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  • Democratic 'court packing' would prompt a gloves-off political fight

    By Andrew Chung

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The vow by Republican President Donald Trump and the Republicans to quickly fill U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat despite a looming election has revived talk among some Democrats of expanding the number of justices on the court.

    These Democrats, along with progressive activists, say all options must be considered to counter what would become an entrenched 6-3 conservative majority that could threaten access to healthcare, abortion, and civil rights.

    A plan to expand the court would likely lead to a bare-knuckles political fight with unpredictable consequences for both parties. Here are a few things to consider about "court packing."

    SIZE OF THE COURT

    The number of justices on the high court has remained at nine since 1869, but Congress has the power to change the size of the bench and did so several times before that.

    LAST PACKING PLAN FAILED

    In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt, facing a court that repeatedly struck down his New Deal legislation, proposed adding up to six justices, one for each member of the court over the age of 70. The plan faced considerable opposition, including in Roosevelt's own Democratic party, and was never enacted.

    ABOLISHING THE FILIBUSTER

    It is not clear Democrats would pursue a court packing plan. Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer told fellow Democrats on Saturday that "nothing is off the table for next year" if Republicans move forward with Trump's nominee.

    But expanding the court would require Democrats to control Congress and the White House. They would need to ditch a longstanding procedural rule in the Senate requiring 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, a tactic frequently used by the minority party to hold up legislation.

    DIVIDED DEMOCRATS

    Democratic Senator Ed Markey wrote on Twitter on Friday that if Republicans seat a new justice during an election year, after refusing to give former President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland a hearing in 2016, "when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court."

    The party's presidential nominee Joe Biden has opposed the idea in the past. "I'm not prepared to go on and try to pack the court, because we'll live to rue that day," he told the Iowa Starting Line in 2019. His running mate, Kamala Harris, however, told Politico last year that she was open to court packing.

    THE COURT'S LEGITIMACY

    In an era of hyper partisanship, the high court's legitimacy has been increasingly called into question, particularly since the fight over Garland's nomination. Packing the court could prompt future Republicans to further expand the institution and could strengthen the view that the court is purely partisan and renders decisions based on politics rather than the law.

    OTHER OPTIONS

    Besides packing the court, activist groups and Democrats have broached the idea of imposing term limits for justices. This would likely require a constitutional amendment, though some scholars have proposed ways to accomplish term limits by statute.
    ___________

    Personally I don't think court packing is a good idea, at all. The legitimacy of the court would suffer badly. As Biden said: "We'll live to rue that day"

    Also, the Democrats simply don't have the balls or the unity that such a bare-knuckle brawl would require.

    As I've often said, the Dems could f--k up a wet dream.



    My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

    Comment


    • joe,

      Personally I don't think court packing is a good idea, at all. The legitimacy of the court would suffer badly. As Biden said: "We'll live to rue that day".
      what happened with Scalia and now RBG's vacancy is essentially court-packing. it's all connected; had McConnell accepted Garland, then the most likely probability is that the Dems would very grudgingly accept a center-right pick to replace RBG.

      the irony is such a trade would -still- leave the Court with a conservative bent.

      but, as it is, the legitimacy of the Court is already suffering, right now.

      Roberts is doing his best to keep that legitimacy, but ironically his attempts to keep rulings as specific as possible, without implying broad precedents, is just pissing off the right. there's no winning here.

      Also, the Democrats simply don't have the balls or the unity that such a bare-knuckle brawl would require.
      that is exactly what Mitch McConnell is counting on: the coalition nature of the Democratic Party breaking apart at the prospect of a brutal political power-play.

      but, I think he's playing with fire here. this feels like a "Pearl Harbor" situation to me; this has the chance of enraging Democrats to the point where they push the button. if a 6-3 conservative majority does strike down Roe v Wade, it will be a certainty.
      Last edited by astralis; 21 Sep 20,, 18:10.
      There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

      Comment


      • Originally posted by astralis View Post
        what happened with Scalia and now RBG's vacancy is essentially court-packing. it's all connected; had McConnell accepted Garland, then the most likely probability is that the Dems would very grudgingly accept a center-right pick to replace RBG.
        Court-packing definitely. But adding to the number of justices is a whole other kettle of hasenpfeffer altogether..

        Originally posted by astralis View Post
        Roberts is doing his best to keep that legitimacy, but ironically his attempts to keep rulings as specific as possible, without implying broad precedents, is just pissing off the right. there's no winning here.
        I think he's going to regret a lot of the choices he's made. In fact he's probably regretting them right now.

        Originally posted by astralis View Post
        that is exactly what Mitch McConnell is counting on: the coalition nature of the Democratic Party breaking apart at the prospect of a brutal political power-play.

        but, I think he's playing with fire here. this feels like a "Pearl Harbor" situation to me; this has the chance of enraging Democrats to the point where they push the button. if a 6-3 conservative majority does strike down Roe v Wade, it will be a certainty.
        I think you're absolutely right. If Roe v Wade goes down, the nuclear button gets pushed.
        My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

        Comment


        • I think it really says something about the state of American politics when the Democratic leaders are pleading for the GOP not to escalate, while the GOP leaders gleefully slam on the big red button.

          Nancy Pelosi all but screamed to the administration and the GOP, "don't push me into impeachment" because she -really- didn't want to go there.

          Joe Biden just asked the GOP Senate to "follow your conscience", begging them to cool things down and prevent escalation.

          Asked about the overtures to Republicans from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Republican strategist Scott Jennings shot back, “lol.”
          if this type of thing continues, one day the GOP will find that they face a Democratic Party leadership just as willing and eager to play pure power politics as they do; given the existing demographic trends, I don't think they will like that very much.
          There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

          Comment


          • What I am seeing is the death of RBG and the attempts by the GOP have enraged and energized a group who were going to sit out the election....young white women. They see this as a wholesale assault on women's health freedoms and issues. Seeing and hearing multiple reports (NPR, Reuters, BBC) on this topic.
            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
            Mark Twain

            Comment


            • Originally posted by astralis View Post
              if this type of thing continues, one day the GOP will find that they face a Democratic Party leadership just as willing and eager to play pure power politics as they do; given the existing demographic trends, I don't think they will like that very much.
              They know their Neanderthal days are numbered and have been since the 1988 election. Imagine winning the popular vote only once since then. It's no wonder Republicans are lashing out in every possible way.

              Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
              What I am seeing is the death of RBG and the attempts by the GOP have enraged and energized a group who were going to sit out the election....young white women. They see this as a wholesale assault on women's health freedoms and issues. Seeing and hearing multiple reports (NPR, Reuters, BBC) on this topic.
              Early voting seems to be quite popular. I'll be voting on October 19th myself. I wonder if there'll be Trump followers/thugs out there trying their hand at voter intimidation as they're doing in Virginia.

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              My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

              Comment


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                No more dog whistles. He's got the industrial-grade air horns out.

                Charles Benedict Davenport would be so fucking proud.

                But at least he's the "anti-lefty", right surfgun?
                My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                  What I am seeing is the death of RBG and the attempts by the GOP have enraged and energized a group who were going to sit out the election....young white women. They see this as a wholesale assault on women's health freedoms and issues. Seeing and hearing multiple reports (NPR, Reuters, BBC) on this topic.
                  I hope you are right although it won't help the current situation in the next 5 weeks. A 6-3 or even 5-4 court will spell trouble for a lot of people who were excluded in the past but then include by RBG. They could see their hard earned rights tossed back out into the street. I always felt the term white supremacy was inaccurate. Much prefer the term WASP supremacy which is much closer. We are going to protect our WASP heritage which means all others are below us on the totem pole as always since Plymouth. Order will be restored to our society. Tough luck women, gays, lesbians, environmentalists and so forth.

                  Edit: should have noted arguments once again on ACA and religious liberty.
                  Last edited by tbm3fan; 21 Sep 20,, 23:22.

                  Comment


                  • Romney supports holding a vote on next Supreme Court nominee

                    Sen. Mitt Romney said he would support a floor vote on President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court, essentially clinching consideration of Trump’s nominee this year despite the impending election.

                    Just two Republican senators have asked for the party to put the brakes on the confirmation. And with a 53-seat majority, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) now has the votes he needs to move forward with a nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

                    “I intend to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the president’s nominee. If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications,” the Utah Republican said in a statement.

                    Romney said he was merely following the law in making his decision rather than taking a position based on the recent blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, during the 2016 election. Romney said the “historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own.”

                    He added that his decision is "not the result of a subjective test of 'fairness' which, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It is based on the immutable fairness of following the law, which in this case is the Constitution and precedent."


                    Though Romney’s position doesn’t mean Trump’s yet-to-be-named nominee will definitely have the votes to be confirmed, it does mean that McConnell and Trump can move forward without delay.

                    Other potential swing votes like Republican Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Chuck Grassley of Iowa said on Monday evening they do not oppose considering a nomination. Only Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have said the seat shouldn't be filled this close to the election.
                    ___________

                    And there it is, Hypocrisy Incorporated.


                    My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                    Comment


                    • Manhattan district attorney points to ‘mountainous record’ of alleged misdeeds in justifying request for Trump tax records

                      NEW YORK (AP) — The Manhattan district attorney’s office told a federal appeals court Monday that its quest to gain access to President Donald Trump’s tax returns is supported by “a mountainous record” of public allegations of misconduct.

                      The president and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. have been battling for more than a year over a subpoena sent to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, seeking eight year’s worth of his tax documents.

                      Attorneys for Trump have argued that Vance, a Democrat, is just trying to smear the president with an overly broad investigation that has no legal basis.

                      In a filing with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, lawyers for Vance again declined to reveal exactly why Trump is under investigation, citing grand-jury secrecy rules.

                      But they cited multiple news reports in which Trump or his companies have been accused of overstating the value of his assets when dealing with potential business partners and lenders while minimizing the value of those same assets for tax purposes.

                      “Any investigation into the types of potential financial improprieties described above would of necessity require a review, not only of tax returns, but source documents, working papers, and communications of the sort identified in the Mazars Subpoena, to evaluate the accuracy and good faith of the positions taken in the filings, as well as the roles of various employees and other potential witnesses,” they wrote.

                      Trump has called Vance’s investigation “a fishing expedition” and “a continuation of the witch hunt — the greatest witch hunt in history.”

                      The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled against Trump once in the case, dismissing his argument that presidents are immune from state criminal inquiries as long as they are in office.

                      Trump’s legal team then tried a different approach, saying the subpoena seeking his returns was issued in bad faith.

                      That argument was also rejected by a federal judge last month.
                      Trump appealed.

                      Even if the appeals court decides in Vance’s favor, it is unlikely that Trump’s returns will then become public before the election. Any material produced as a result of the subpoena will also be protected by grand jury secrecy rules.
                      ________

                      My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                      Comment




                      • Originally posted by Bloomberg_Quicktake

                        Trump Says He'll Announce Supreme Court Pick at 5 P.M. Saturday

                        Published on Sep 22, 2020

                        President Donald Trump said Tuesday he would announce his Supreme Court pick on Saturday at a 5 p.m. ET news conference. He made the remarks while taking questions from reporters on his way to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on September 22, 2020, in Washington, D.C, before traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a campaign event.

                        .

                        ...





                        .
                        .
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                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                          Democratic 'court packing' would prompt a gloves-off political fight

                          By Andrew Chung

                          NEW YORK (Reuters) - The vow by Republican President Donald Trump and the Republicans to quickly fill U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat despite a looming election has revived talk among some Democrats of expanding the number of justices on the court.

                          These Democrats, along with progressive activists, say all options must be considered to counter what would become an entrenched 6-3 conservative majority that could threaten access to healthcare, abortion, and civil rights.

                          A plan to expand the court would likely lead to a bare-knuckles political fight with unpredictable consequences for both parties. Here are a few things to consider about "court packing."

                          SIZE OF THE COURT

                          The number of justices on the high court has remained at nine since 1869, but Congress has the power to change the size of the bench and did so several times before that.

                          LAST PACKING PLAN FAILED

                          In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt, facing a court that repeatedly struck down his New Deal legislation, proposed adding up to six justices, one for each member of the court over the age of 70. The plan faced considerable opposition, including in Roosevelt's own Democratic party, and was never enacted.

                          ABOLISHING THE FILIBUSTER

                          It is not clear Democrats would pursue a court packing plan. Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer told fellow Democrats on Saturday that "nothing is off the table for next year" if Republicans move forward with Trump's nominee.

                          But expanding the court would require Democrats to control Congress and the White House. They would need to ditch a longstanding procedural rule in the Senate requiring 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, a tactic frequently used by the minority party to hold up legislation.

                          DIVIDED DEMOCRATS

                          Democratic Senator Ed Markey wrote on Twitter on Friday that if Republicans seat a new justice during an election year, after refusing to give former President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland a hearing in 2016, "when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court."

                          The party's presidential nominee Joe Biden has opposed the idea in the past. "I'm not prepared to go on and try to pack the court, because we'll live to rue that day," he told the Iowa Starting Line in 2019. His running mate, Kamala Harris, however, told Politico last year that she was open to court packing.

                          THE COURT'S LEGITIMACY

                          In an era of hyper partisanship, the high court's legitimacy has been increasingly called into question, particularly since the fight over Garland's nomination. Packing the court could prompt future Republicans to further expand the institution and could strengthen the view that the court is purely partisan and renders decisions based on politics rather than the law.

                          OTHER OPTIONS

                          Besides packing the court, activist groups and Democrats have broached the idea of imposing term limits for justices. This would likely require a constitutional amendment, though some scholars have proposed ways to accomplish term limits by statute.
                          ___________

                          Personally I don't think court packing is a good idea, at all. The legitimacy of the court would suffer badly. As Biden said: "We'll live to rue that day"

                          Also, the Democrats simply don't have the balls or the unity that such a bare-knuckle brawl would require.

                          As I've often said, the Dems could f--k up a wet dream.


                          Let's all be very clear: the idea of packing the SCOTUS is not part of the Democratic Party platform.
                          My guess is Moscow ...
                          Or QAnon (same thing).
                          Trust me?
                          I'm an economist!

                          Comment


                          • There's those racist air horns again.

                            President Donald Trump on Tuesday night launched into a racist diatribe against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), saying this isn’t her country and mocking her birthplace.

                            “She’s telling us how to run our country!” he said at a rally in Pennsylvania. “How did you do where you came from? How is your country doing?”

                            Omar was born in Somalia and immigrated to the United States as a child when her family fled the violence there. She’s been a U.S. citizen for 20 years.
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                            My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                            Comment


                            • Huffington Post, Sept 23, 2020
                              https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dems-reform-bill-target-trumps-abuses-of-power_n_5f6b4d04c5b6718910f3d0c9


                              Dems Target Trump’s Abuses Of Power With Sweeping Reform Bill

                              House Democrats are proposing a sweeping bill to curb presidential abuses, a pitch to voters weeks ahead of Election Day as they try to defeat President Donald Trump, capture the Senate from Republicans and keep their House majority.

                              The legislation, a wide-ranging package of new and revised bills, will be announced Wednesday morning by the heads of seven House committees. It would, among other measures, limit the president’s pardon power, strengthen laws to ban presidents from receiving gifts or payments from foreign governments, better protect independent agency watchdogs and whistleblowers from firing or retribution and require better reporting by campaigns of foreign election interference.



                              Trust me?
                              I'm an economist!

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by DOR View Post
                                It would, among other measures, limit the president’s pardon power, strengthen laws to ban presidents from receiving gifts or payments from foreign governments, better protect independent agency watchdogs and whistleblowers from firing or retribution and require better reporting by campaigns of foreign election interference.
                                So, in a nutshell: Accountability, Checks & Balances....and something about enforcing that phony Emoluments Clause in the United States Constitution.

                                What a concept.

                                It'll be DOA in a GOP-controlled Senate and White House.
                                My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                                Comment

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