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Old 04-01-2019, 02:10 PM
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omnibus Supreme Court-packing thread


Court-packing of SCOTUS is an idea that's gaining more and more traction among Democrats, including Kamala, Beto, Ocasio-Cortez and Warren (links: here and here and here and here)

There are several ways in which this would be disastrous. 1) Republicans will just do the same thing on an even bigger scale when they get the chance years down the road, 2) it ruins the legitimacy of SCOTUS as the SCOTUS becomes perceived as nothing but a political arm, 3) it's simply flat-out partisan. Sure, McConnell blocking Garland was partisan, but that was wrong, too.
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:15 PM
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1) Obviously.
2) This has already occurred.
3) Obviously.

Until something major changes -- like amending the Constitution to make 9 or 18 year terms for SCOTUS, or a minimum age of ~70 or so -- SCOTUS is an overtly political institution, and will be treated as such. As long as this is the case, the Democrats should try to make sure they have just as much partisan influence on this political institution as the Republicans, IMO. And this may help push the country to the point that we'll actually come together and amend the Constitution.

The alternative may be that someone starts shooting SCOTUS justices, since that could gain one side a significant advantage. Then we'd be in big, big trouble.

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Old 04-01-2019, 02:20 PM
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All their campaign rhetoric won't amount to anything if the Dems don't:

1) retake the Senate

2) exercise the nuclear option to destroy the legislative filibuster

Both of those things seem like rather dubious prospects, at least in 2020-2022.
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:27 PM
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2) exercise the nuclear option to destroy the legislative filibuster
Already likely done:

Quote:
McConnell sets stage for 'nuclear option' to change rules on judges

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed a procedural motion Thursday to set up a rules change in the Senate next week that will speed up votes to confirm President Trump’s nominees to federal district courts and sub-Cabinet-level executive branch positions.

SOURCE: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/...ules-on-judges
Also, I seem to recall McConnell rescinded some procedural hurdles to get Gorsuch through.

Why in the world would Dems want to play nice now?
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:34 PM
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Already likely done:



Also, I seem to recall McConnell rescinded some procedural hurdles to get Gorsuch through.

Why in the world would Dems want to play nice now?
The adjective "legislative" was included for a reason. Do I need to explain the significance to you?
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:44 PM
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The adjective "legislative" was included for a reason. Do I need to explain the significance to you?
Yes.
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:54 PM
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Yes.
I started to write out a lengthy post, but I think this bit of a Wikipedia article is sufficient:

Quote:
In November 2013, Senate Democrats led by Harry Reid used the nuclear option to eliminate the 60-vote rule on executive branch nominations and federal judicial appointments, but not for the Supreme Court.[1] In April 2017, Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell extended the nuclear option to Supreme Court nominations in order to end debate on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch.[2][3][4]

As of March 2019, a three-fifths majority vote is still required to end debates on legislation.
from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_option

ETA: I'll note that increasing the size of the Supreme Court would require legislation

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Old 04-01-2019, 02:33 PM
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About as dubious as building a wall across the entire southern border? More? Less?
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:43 PM
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About as dubious as building a wall across the entire southern border? More? Less?
Given that the wall is not being built, does it matter if it's just as dubious? Pointing to a failed project as a comparison doesn't seem like a wise choice.
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:39 PM
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Court-packing of SCOTUS is an idea that's gaining more and more traction among Democrats, including Kamala, Beto, Ocasio-Cortez and Warren (links: here and here and here and here)
Okay, I had to dig through all those cites to find some actual quotes. It doesn't look like anyone is actually campaigning on this issue. They're being asked about it and giving a generic answer that basically says "we'll look into it."
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:42 PM
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Okay, I had to dig through all those cites to find some actual quotes. It doesn't look like anyone is actually campaigning on this issue. They're being asked about it and giving a generic answer that basically says "we'll look into it."
But the very fact that they're giving it consideration is significantly different than in the past. In, say, 2000, if Gore had been asked about court-packing, he'd probably have said "uh....what? No."
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:45 PM
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Newsflash -- politicians are treating a political institution in a political fashion.

Dog bites man.
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:25 PM
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Newsflash -- politicians are treating a political institution in a political fashion.

Dog bites man.
But it shouldn't be. The whole point of the 3 branches of government is that the first two (presidency and Congress) are for politics but the Supreme Court+judiciary is supposed to serve as referees.


Your comment is akin to, "Sports team tries to bribe referees, dog bites man."
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:30 PM
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But it shouldn't be. The whole point of the 3 branches of government is that the first two (presidency and Congress) are for politics but the Supreme Court+judiciary is supposed to serve as referees.
Yes, but this has spectacularly failed. The SCOTUS is a political institution, whether we like it or not. I hope that this could be changed, but it would require a Constitutional amendment. Asking the Democrats to pretend that it's not a political institution just helps the Republicans, and I'm not particularly eager to do that.
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:38 PM
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But it shouldn't be.
It's too fucking late.

The Dems can continue to treat things like the filibuster and monkeying with the court like they're playing bocce while the GOP is throwing hand grenades, or they can level the playing field with a Sherman tank. If they choose option 1, they'll wind up controlling nothing despite having won the popular vote everywhere besides the Deep South, Great Plains, and the northern Rockies.

What's going on is no joke, son. I'm all for the Dems playing fair if there's some way to ensure that the GOP does the same. But if the Dems let the GOP walk all over them, the losers are the American people, who will have an insultingly low minimum wage, no overtime pay, and no health care, and a future to look forward to where the planet turns into a hellscape.
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:06 PM
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There is a law setting the size of the Supreme Court at nine. It's only a law, not part of the Constitution, and so it could be changed by a mere act of Congress (as opposed to an amendment), but it would still need that act of Congress. Which would require nuclear retaliation in the form of eliminating the Republican filibuster. But that's pretty much a given, since the Democratic filibuster is already dead: Democrats would be insane, upon taking back the Senate, to leave the rules at "only Republicans are allowed to filibuster".
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:18 PM
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There is a law setting the size of the Supreme Court at nine. It's only a law, not part of the Constitution, and so it could be changed by a mere act of Congress (as opposed to an amendment), but it would still need that act of Congress. Which would require nuclear retaliation in the form of eliminating the Republican filibuster. But that's pretty much a given, since the Democratic filibuster is already dead: Democrats would be insane, upon taking back the Senate, to leave the rules at "only Republicans are allowed to filibuster".
I think you're confused about which filibuster is dead. The filibuster for nominees (executive and judicial branches) is dead, but the legislative filibuster is still very much intact. There's not really any such thing as the "Democratic filibuster" or the "Republican filibuster"

ETA: the rules don't say "only Republicans are allowed to filibuster".

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Old 04-01-2019, 04:41 PM
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Look out everyone! The sky is falling!
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:47 PM
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Look out everyone! The sky is falling!
Unfortunately, the scientific backing for that assertion is pretty much overwhelming at this point.
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:56 PM
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Unfortunately, the scientific backing for that assertion is pretty much overwhelming at this point.
How would you rate the scientific backing for "a future to look forward to where the planet turns into a hellscape"?
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:50 AM
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How would you rate the scientific backing for "a future to look forward to where the planet turns into a hellscape"?
If we do nothing about global warming, it's pretty solid AFAICT.
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:44 PM
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Whack-a-Mole, did we clear up your confusion about what the legislative filibuster is and why it would be relevant to any court-packing scheme?

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Old 04-01-2019, 04:50 PM
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Whack-a-Mole, did we clear up your confusion about what the legislative filibuster is and why it would be relevant to any court-packing scheme?
I was not confused. You were unclear.
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:55 PM
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I was not confused. You were unclear.
When? When I used the term "legislative filibuster"? Or when you said:

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... And where does it say that court packing requires legislation? ISTM it only requires senate approval of a nominee.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:00 PM
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When? When I used the term "legislative filibuster"? Or when you said:
The senate refused to consider the nomination of Garland.

The Senate can do as it wills in this regard. Who can say otherwise? The law mandated nine justices but they let it continue with eight for over a year.

If the Senate can stall on eight justices why not seven or fewer? Who can stop them from making it 10 or more?

Can congress make the supreme court one or no justices? If they can set it at nine why not one or none?

I am not saying I like this arrangement but it seems to be where we are.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:30 PM
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The senate refused to consider the nomination of Garland.

The Senate can do as it wills in this regard. Who can say otherwise? The law mandated nine justices but they let it continue with eight for over a year.

If the Senate can stall on eight justices why not seven or fewer? Who can stop them from making it 10 or more?

Can congress make the supreme court one or no justices? If they can set it at nine why not one or none?

I am not saying I like this arrangement but it seems to be where we are.
Refusing to fill a particular vacancy at a particular time isn't the same things as changing the size of the Court. The law sets the size of the Court currently at 9. But if the Senate won't confirm anyone to fill a vacancy of course it will be smaller until the political gridlock resolves. Theoretically they could all die off and there would be no Justices at all. But the Senate can't add a 10th Justice (unless both Houses pass a law allowing them to do so). They can't remove Justices (other than through impeachment), either; if they were to pass a law reducing the size of the Court to five, none of the current Justices would have to leave. But the next four to die or resign wouldn't be replaced.
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:57 PM
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The Republicans have, in fact, killed the legislative filibuster. Reconciliation can only be used to pass bills that decrease the deficit, and they used it to pass the tax cuts which increased the deficit. If the party in power just plain ignores the rules, then the rules effectively don't exist.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:31 PM
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The Republicans have, in fact, killed the legislative filibuster. Reconciliation can only be used to pass bills that decrease the deficit, and they used it to pass the tax cuts which increased the deficit. If the party in power just plain ignores the rules, then the rules effectively don't exist.
That's not right. The legislative filibuster is alive and well. There's been an exception to that, reconciliation, that's been in place for years. That exception is still in place, as is the general requirement to have 60 votes for cloture for almost all legislation.

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Old 04-01-2019, 05:06 PM
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Both sides need to consider the long-term effects of their actions.

Question: What happens if you end the legislative filibuster and pack the Supreme Court?

Simple Partisan Answer: Why, everything stays the same, except now we have control of the court and can pass any agenda we want! Win!

Complex Answer: You get your way for a year or two, at the cost of pissing off half the country and making yourselves look like you're engaging in a major power grab. So you lose the next election bigly, and your enemies get to use all the tools you ruined yourselves over.

A good example is Obamacare. Institutionally, there had always been a sort of unwritten rule that seriously major legislation that would make wholesale changes to the economy or the government must be passed in a bipartisan fashion. That gives it the legitimacy necessary to withstand the shrieking that will no doubt come from special interests and partisans. The Democrats did away with that and passed a major change to the country on a strict party-line vote. The result has been eight years of fighting, court cases, and ultimately the possible destruction of the entire law.

The notion that when your side gets 'control' it's time to clean house and use every trick in the book to pass everything you want, whether done by Republicans or Democrats, is a recipe for social breakdown, chaotic governance, and the transformation of a country from one with high trust in its institutions to a low-trust society, and all the damage that brings.

Specific to court-packing, that looks like such a blatant power grab that I predict that any governing party that tries to do it will face such a public backlash that they will get routed in the next election after.

Also, if you are going to pack the court you need a justification for doing so other than, "They keep using the constitution against our progressive ideas." FDR tried to claim that the court was overworked, but that was shot down by the court itself. The next idea was to force judges over 70 to retire, which would have disproportionally affected Republican judges and given FDR the ability to make multiple appointments in a short period of time. Unfortunately for the Democrats, if they tried to age-out the justices at 70, they would lose Ginsberg and Breyer, and the Republicans would only lose Thomas and I guess Alito if it's a couple of years from now. But 70 today isn't like it was in the 30's, and I doubt you could ever make a forced retirement at 70 stick. And if you did, the only justices that will hit 70 in the next term are Sotomayor and Roberts.

As a reminder, FDR's court-packing scheme did not succeed. In today's era, such an attempt would trigger massive civil unrest on the right, who would rightly see it as a massive power grab.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:12 PM
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A good example is Obamacare. Institutionally, there had always been a sort of unwritten rule that seriously major legislation that would make wholesale changes to the economy or the government must be passed in a bipartisan fashion. That gives it the legitimacy necessary to withstand the shrieking that will no doubt come from special interests and partisans. The Democrats did away with that and passed a major change to the country on a strict party-line vote.
In fairness to the Democrats, there was just about no major healthcare reform that they could enact that would have passed with any significant amount of Republican support.


But what's being proposed with SCOTUS court-packing is very different. It's being proposed that the judiciary - which ought to be an impartial referee that holds the other, partisan branches of government in check - jump into the game and take one team's side. Like buying off the referee in a Super Bowl.

Last edited by Velocity; 04-01-2019 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:26 PM
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In fairness to the Democrats, there was just about no major healthcare reform that they could enact that would have passed with any significant amount of Republican support.


But what's being proposed with SCOTUS court-packing is very different. It's being proposed that the judiciary - which ought to be an impartial referee that holds the other, partisan branches of government in check - jump into the game and take one team's side. Like buying off the referee in a Super Bowl.
The Supreme Court has become completely politicized. There is a reason McConnell didn't let Garland get a vote.

Republicans made it this way so democrats have a reason to push back.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:54 PM
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Both sides need to consider the long-term effects of their actions.

Question: What happens if you end the legislative filibuster and pack the Supreme Court?

Simple Partisan Answer: Why, everything stays the same, except now we have control of the court and can pass any agenda we want! Win!

Complex Answer: You get your way for a year or two, at the cost of pissing off half the country and making yourselves look like you're engaging in a major power grab. So you lose the next election bigly, and your enemies get to use all the tools you ruined yourselves over.

A good example is Obamacare. Institutionally, there had always been a sort of unwritten rule that seriously major legislation that would make wholesale changes to the economy or the government must be passed in a bipartisan fashion. That gives it the legitimacy necessary to withstand the shrieking that will no doubt come from special interests and partisans. The Democrats did away with that and passed a major change to the country on a strict party-line vote. The result has been eight years of fighting, court cases, and ultimately the possible destruction of the entire law.

The notion that when your side gets 'control' it's time to clean house and use every trick in the book to pass everything you want, whether done by Republicans or Democrats, is a recipe for social breakdown, chaotic governance, and the transformation of a country from one with high trust in its institutions to a low-trust society, and all the damage that brings.

Specific to court-packing, that looks like such a blatant power grab that I predict that any governing party that tries to do it will face such a public backlash that they will get routed in the next election after.

Also, if you are going to pack the court you need a justification for doing so other than, "They keep using the constitution against our progressive ideas." FDR tried to claim that the court was overworked, but that was shot down by the court itself. The next idea was to force judges over 70 to retire, which would have disproportionally affected Republican judges and given FDR the ability to make multiple appointments in a short period of time. Unfortunately for the Democrats, if they tried to age-out the justices at 70, they would lose Ginsberg and Breyer, and the Republicans would only lose Thomas and I guess Alito if it's a couple of years from now. But 70 today isn't like it was in the 30's, and I doubt you could ever make a forced retirement at 70 stick. And if you did, the only justices that will hit 70 in the next term are Sotomayor and Roberts.

As a reminder, FDR's court-packing scheme did not succeed. In today's era, such an attempt would trigger massive civil unrest on the right, who would rightly see it as a massive power grab.
This analysis ignores the fact that this is not happening in a historical vacuum; the Republicans have already been ignoring established historical norms to pack the Court in their favor. First, they refused to seat a well-qualified, moderate jurist in Merrick Garland. Then, when their next nominee was credibly accused of rape, they didn't fully investigate the allegations, nor did they replace the nominee with someone else -- because doing either of those would have risked not getting a Republican confirmed before the Senate changed hands. So there are now two members of the Court whose legitimacy is highly dubious in terms of "norms" (obviously, I am not alleging that any actual laws were broken). If those Justices, in the future, thwart popular progressive legislation passed by Democrats, the Dems would be IMO foolish to not at least consider every legal method of working around the obstacle.
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:15 PM
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Both sides need to consider the long-term effects of their actions.

Question: What happens if you end the legislative filibuster and pack the Supreme Court?

Simple Partisan Answer: Why, everything stays the same, except now we have control of the court and can pass any agenda we want! Win!

Complex Answer: You get your way for a year or two, at the cost of pissing off half the country and making yourselves look like you're engaging in a major power grab. So you lose the next election bigly, and your enemies get to use all the tools you ruined yourselves over.

A good example is Obamacare. Institutionally, there had always been a sort of unwritten rule that seriously major legislation that would make wholesale changes to the economy or the government must be passed in a bipartisan fashion. That gives it the legitimacy necessary to withstand the shrieking that will no doubt come from special interests and partisans. The Democrats did away with that and passed a major change to the country on a strict party-line vote. The result has been eight years of fighting, court cases, and ultimately the possible destruction of the entire law.

The notion that when your side gets 'control' it's time to clean house and use every trick in the book to pass everything you want, whether done by Republicans or Democrats, is a recipe for social breakdown, chaotic governance, and the transformation of a country from one with high trust in its institutions to a low-trust society, and all the damage that brings.

Specific to court-packing, that looks like such a blatant power grab that I predict that any governing party that tries to do it will face such a public backlash that they will get routed in the next election after.

Also, if you are going to pack the court you need a justification for doing so other than, "They keep using the constitution against our progressive ideas." FDR tried to claim that the court was overworked, but that was shot down by the court itself. The next idea was to force judges over 70 to retire, which would have disproportionally affected Republican judges and given FDR the ability to make multiple appointments in a short period of time. Unfortunately for the Democrats, if they tried to age-out the justices at 70, they would lose Ginsberg and Breyer, and the Republicans would only lose Thomas and I guess Alito if it's a couple of years from now. But 70 today isn't like it was in the 30's, and I doubt you could ever make a forced retirement at 70 stick. And if you did, the only justices that will hit 70 in the next term are Sotomayor and Roberts.

As a reminder, FDR's court-packing scheme did not succeed. In today's era, such an attempt would trigger massive civil unrest on the right, who would rightly see it as a massive power grab.
This all may (or may not) be true, but I don't see how the alternative of not attempting to pack the court is better. The court is already entirely politicized. The Republicans are already violating norms. The only long term solution is a Constitutional amendment, but that's not likely to happen. In the mean time, it seems reasonable to suggest that the Democrats play ball the same way as the Republicans, and don't limit themselves for reasons that Republicans have been ignoring for years.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 04-01-2019 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:29 PM
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Velocity: I agree with both those points, but would add that the fact that the Democrats couldn't get ANY support from the representatives of approximately half the country was a good reason to not do it, not a justification for doing it.

I think Obamacare was one of the factors that has led to increasing polarization, and that in turn helped elect Donald Trump. Unintended consequences, and all that. So perhaps the choice back then was, "No sweeping health care reform", vs "Sweeping health care reform, coupled with an energizing of a populist right and the election of Donald Trump."

Was Obamacare worth Donald Trump being President and the Republicans holding a large majority in the Supreme Court? Because that may have been the price. It was unknowable at the time, except for the understanding that passing sweeping legislation against the wishes of half the country will likely lead to some bad outcomes. If Trump gets re-elected, he will get to appoint at least one more Supreme Court Justice, and more likely two or three. Breyer and Ginsberg are not spring chickens. That will give the conservative side of the court a comfortable majority for a generation, which is now leading to talk of further breakdowns of norms through court-packing schemes. That may be the real legacy of Obama, but it didn't have to be.

And in case you think I'm saying this as a partisan, I think the same thing applies to the Republicans. One of the reasons I oppose Trump and his methods is that I think they are directly responsible for further radicalizing the left, which may lead to an even worse President next time. Rinse and Repeat. Norms are there for a reason. Break them, and expect unintended consequences.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 04-01-2019 at 05:30 PM.
  #35  
Old 04-01-2019, 07:02 PM
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So, Whack-a-Mole, how do you think the number of Supreme Court justices is set? If Congress doesn't have that power, then who does?

And note that, under your theory that the President is allowed to nominate a new Justice any time they feel like it, you're positing that the other branches do, in fact, have the power to mess with the Court.
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:05 PM
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So, Whack-a-Mole, how do you think the number of Supreme Court justices is set? If Congress doesn't have that power, then who does?

And note that, under your theory that the President is allowed to nominate a new Justice any time they feel like it, you're positing that the other branches do, in fact, have the power to mess with the Court.
That's the thing...no one does. And yes, the president can stack the court.

Read up on the history of the supreme court. It was not always nine people. Nine is just what they kind of settled on. I know, seems crazy, but as smart as our FFs were they missed a few things. This is one of them.

And via impeachment the other branches can affect the court. Checks and balances.
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Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 04-01-2019 at 07:07 PM.
  #37  
Old 04-01-2019, 07:17 PM
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28 U.S. Code  1:
Quote:
The Supreme Court of the United States shall consist of a Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, any six of whom shall constitute a quorum.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 869.)
This is a law, passed by the United States Congress and signed by the President of the United States*. That's what sets the size of the Supreme Court (since the Constitution doesn't actually set a number); Congress (and the President) made that law, and of course they could change it. (Or a super-majority of both houses of Congress could change it over a Presidential veto.) Whether or not they should do so is another question.

*I mean, as far as I know passing this didn't involve overriding a Presidential veto or anything. If I'm reading the parenthetical statement correctly, this law dates back to June 1948 (which doesn't necessarily mean that a nine-member SCOTUS only dates back that far, Congress could have just been tidying up the U.S. Code or something like that).

And of course the President of the United States can't just appoint a couple of extra Supreme Court Justices, either.
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:24 PM
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Oh, and from 1789 (the year the Constitution went into effect), we have the Judiciary Act of 1789, which among other things provided that:
Quote:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the supreme court of the United States shall consist of a chief justice and five associate justices, any four of whom shall be a quorum...
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:35 PM
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Oh, and from 1789 (the year the Constitution went into effect), we have the Judiciary Act of 1789, which among other things provided that:
Can congress pass a law setting the supreme court to one or zero people? What about a million? A hundred bazillion?
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:10 AM
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In the long term (which isn't even that long; any timespan longer than two years or so), we need a Constitutional amendment to establish just how justices of the Court are chosen. Any solution to the problems already caused by the lack of such a procedure must be packaged with that amendment.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:51 AM
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The Supreme Court also technically has no power in and of itself to enforce its judicial decisions. Once or if it gets packed to the point that it becomes regarded as a farce and obvious political weapon, numerous state or local governments would start to flout it - especially if other branches of government that are supposed to enforce SCOTUS rule, decide not to.
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:02 PM
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I am astounded by OP. The Supreme Court is already a laughing-stock; it has been packed with utter scumbags from the right wing. It has no honor left to preserve. Yet, OP thinks that to appoint honorable judges to this desecrated body would dishonor it?

Yes, if the evil scumbags regain power they will do their utmost to restore control to the Kleptocrats, Haters, and Liars. To gain control they will use voter suppression, gerrymandering, and piles of illicit money techniques which have been bestowed upon them by the present scumbag Court. Returning the Court to honest good-spirited judges is an important first step in reversing such anti-democratic measures.
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:00 PM
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I am astounded by OP. The Supreme Court is already a laughing-stock; it has been packed with utter scumbags from the right wing. It has no honor left to preserve. Yet, OP thinks that to appoint honorable judges to this desecrated body would dishonor it?

Yes, if the evil scumbags regain power they will do their utmost to restore control to the Kleptocrats, Haters, and Liars. To gain control they will use voter suppression, gerrymandering, and piles of illicit money techniques which have been bestowed upon them by the present scumbag Court. Returning the Court to honest good-spirited judges is an important first step in reversing such anti-democratic measures.
It's how you appoint judges that matters. Otherwise, by this the-ends-justify-the-means logic, "How can you object to us putting a good and honorable president in the White House by underhanded and dodgy methods? Putting him/her there will restore honor and dignity to the presidency."
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:22 PM
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What do people think of the idea of expanding the Court to ten political appointments (adding one seat), and then requiring 5 additional seats to be filled by the consensus of the 10 political appointees?

This is the idea Pete Buttigieg is supporting. I like it. It has the virtue of defusing somewhat the politicization of appointments while also not being obviously to the benefit of whatever party succeeds in creating it. A bigger court also has other benefits.
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:28 PM
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What do people think of the idea of expanding the Court to ten political appointments (adding one seat), and then requiring 5 additional seats to be filled by the consensus of the 10 political appointees?

This is the idea Pete Buttigieg is supporting. I like it. It has the virtue of defusing somewhat the politicization of appointments while also not being obviously to the benefit of whatever party succeeds in creating it. A bigger court also has other benefits.
So President Trump nominates ACB and then her and the current court select five additional justices? You said "consensus". Does that mean the 10 justices have to unanimously approve of the new member? What happens in the quite-likely scenario that they don't reach a consensus? Do those seats sit vacant and the existing 10 members rule on cases? Or is it a majority of the 10-member "political appointees" that choose the remaining 5, in which case I would hope and expect that the 5 would be rather conservative in their judicial philosophy.
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Parker View Post
What do people think of the idea of expanding the Court to ten political appointments (adding one seat), and then requiring 5 additional seats to be filled by the consensus of the 10 political appointees?

This is the idea Pete Buttigieg is supporting. I like it. It has the virtue of defusing somewhat the politicization of appointments while also not being obviously to the benefit of whatever party succeeds in creating it. A bigger court also has other benefits.
I think you wouldn't even be considering a change to the court if your side had the plurality. Which means this is not a 'good government' reform, but an attempt to gain partisan advantage.

Likewise, the left was perfectly happy with the electoral college when they thought it had created a 'blue wall' for Hillary to beat Trump.

I also think that if Republicans had suggested any change at all to the Supreme Court back when it mostly swung to the left, Democrats would be howling that Fascism had arrived or that Republicans were attempting a soft coup and must be stopped.
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:33 PM
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Anything to help your team huh? Restoring the court's reputation and de-politicizing it is just right out for you huh?

I really hate this timeline. When did just doing the right thing and what's best for all of America get replaced by anything goes for my team to be able to force our will on the other team.
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  #48  
Old 04-02-2019, 02:08 PM
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The talk about "let's bring back legitimacy to the SCOTUS by court-packing" is like "last time the ref helped out our opponents unfairly, so this time we'll outright bribe the refs and league commissioner. That'll restore faith and trust in officiating."
  #49  
Old 04-02-2019, 02:22 PM
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The talk about "let's bring back legitimacy to the SCOTUS by court-packing" is like "last time the ref helped out our opponents unfairly, so this time we'll outright bribe the refs and league commissioner. That'll restore faith and trust in officiating."
Court-packing isn't about bringing back "legitimacy" to the SCOTUS. It's about bringing a gun, instead of a pillow, to a gun fight.
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Old 04-02-2019, 02:34 PM
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It's about bringing a gun, instead of a pillow, to a gun fight.
Except that Republicans haven't packed the Court yet. Court-packing goes significantly beyond what McConnell, etc did.
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