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Old 07-09-2018, 10:05 AM
Silver lining Silver lining is offline
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Are liberals facing the equivalent of political checkmate with the Supreme Court for the next 25-30

Are liberals facing the equivalent of political checkmate with the Supreme Court for the next 25-30 years?

An interesting question. Trump's nominee, which will be announced today at 9:00 PM Eastern Standard time will likely get approved, giving the conservatives a 5-4 majority, with the elimination of the sometimes middle swing vote in Kennedy who has retired.

While a 5-4 is a slim majority by the numbers, predicting how the court will vote on the issues of Criminal Procedure, Civil Rights, First Amendment Rights, Unions, Economic issues, Federalism and Federal Taxes will become much easier to forecast.

The endgame for a generation will happen when Ruth Ginsberg, who will be 86 in August, or Stephen Breyer who will be 80 in August create a vacancy.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:09 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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... The endgame for a generation will happen when Ruth Ginsberg, who will be 86 in August, or Stephen Breyer who will be 80 in August create a vacancy.
This. The Kennedy replacement is small potatos compared to replacing one or both of these.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:09 AM
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I think Ginsburg will outlast Trump's presidency. As for Trump's nominee, there's always the chance he/she could turn out to be a Souter.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:17 AM
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I have no idea how you think Federal Taxes is coming up, please elaborate.

After the midterms this administration will be castrated and the operative issues before the court will be "can the president pardon himself?" and "can a sitting president be indicted?" Except for the Chief Justice, who will be taking up temporary quarters in the Senate.

The incoming Democratic Senate will thwart any future nomination.

This appointment of whatever crazy extremist gets nominated doesn't change the court that much- Kennedy was no moderate himself.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:18 AM
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Kennedy was a conservative.

The new justice will probably be a libertarian. The Federalist Society keeps track of conservative and libertarian justices. The Republican party - with an eye to polling numbers - and our philandering President will want to preserve Roe v. Wade, so they'll avoid the conservative half of the Federalist Society and pick a libertarian member (most likely).

While this isn't amazing for liberals, it's not bad either. It means more decisions like Masterpiece Cakes, where the Supreme Court rules that being an asshole isn't a crime, it just makes you an asshole. But at the same time, it will support freedom to be LGBTQ or do whatever else you want in your life.

Libertarians are afraid of government oversight and government intrusion into ones personal life, so they are likely to favor the average person against the police, and have a very wide interpretation of the 1st Amendment (which was also true of Kennedy, as I understand it).
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:23 AM
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The incoming Democratic Senate will thwart any future nomination.
This incoming Democratic Senate isn't happening unless Democrats hang on to all of the following - Montana, Indiana, West Virginia, Missouri, and North Dakota - and also win two in Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, et al.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:27 AM
Silver lining Silver lining is offline
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I think Ginsburg will outlast Trump's presidency. As for Trump's nominee, there's always the chance he/she could turn out to be a Souter.
I would say the odds of a liberal judge sneaking by Trump are near zero. He has a vetted list of people with track records.

At age 86, Ginsberg is not likely to be active if Trump is re-elected. How often does 86 year old make 90+? I don't know. A life insurance person would likely be able to answer that question.

From the anecdotal evidence in my family, there is a huge difference between in mental and physical ability between the mid-80s and age 90 or higher. People tend to age in dog years once they approach 90.They might be still alive, but the ones I knew would not be able to serve in the capacity the job demands.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:33 AM
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This incoming Democratic Senate isn't happening unless Democrats hang on to all of the following - Montana, Indiana, West Virginia, Missouri, and North Dakota - and also win two in Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, et al.
I tend to believe Rick Scott a very good 2 term governor for the State of Florida will defat senator Bill Nelson. Scott is in the lead, outside of the margin of error in some polls. If/When this happens, itís -1 for the Dem's.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/ep...lson-6246.html

I tend to think the Republicans will either have a majority or 50.50 split in the Senate post the 2018 midterm elections, which would pave the way for the President in many areas, including nominating another supreme court justice should an opening present itself.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:35 AM
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Interesting how a thread about the court falls into the election board sub-topic category.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:36 AM
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Or even a Roberts - who is conservative but flexible on certain issues. Recall that Eisenhower referred to Warren as a mistake at one point. So sometimes picks can fool you.

Recall, too, that Thomas and Alito are both in their 70s. They have excellent health care but their both at the stage where they're getting to the average life expectancy for a male (78 for a male in the US). Speaking as a guy who got cancer at 50, the odds do sometimes get even.

To think about 'political checkmate' in any part of the American system is to be as foolish as Gingrich in the 90s speaking of a 'permanent Republican majority'. It's just not the way things work here. There's an ebb and flow to American governance that must be continually adjusted and accounted for.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:37 AM
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I would say the odds of a liberal judge sneaking by Trump are near zero. He has a vetted list of people with track records.

At age 86, Ginsberg is not likely to be active if Trump is re-elected. How often does 86 year old make 90+? I don't know. A life insurance person would likely be able to answer that question.

From the anecdotal evidence in my family, there is a huge difference between in mental and physical ability between the mid-80s and age 90 or higher. People tend to age in dog years once they approach 90.They might be still alive, but the ones I knew would not be able to serve in the capacity the job demands.
I don't think Trump will be reelected, and Ginsburg will only have to hang on for 2.5 more years. As for her mental ability, I think she is determined to stick it out even if she completely deteriorates. Is there a way a SCOTUS justice can be declared incapacitated or unfit, but without impeachment or death?
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:37 AM
Silver lining Silver lining is offline
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I have no idea how you think Federal Taxes is coming up, please elaborate.

After the midterms this administration will be castrated and the operative issues before the court will be "can the president pardon himself?" and "can a sitting president be indicted?" Except for the Chief Justice, who will be taking up temporary quarters in the Senate.

The incoming Democratic Senate will thwart any future nomination.

This appointment of whatever crazy extremist gets nominated doesn't change the court that much- Kennedy was no moderate himself.
Federal Taxes = The government's ability to define and enforce tax concepts and policies in cases involving the Internal Revenue Code and related statues.

The below link shows a breakdown as to how the current justices rule on various topics.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideolo...Court_justices
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:41 AM
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Sweeping predictions like this are no more than guesses at this point. But they obviously play a large role in the fantasies of Trump lovers, as we've seen many times in these threads.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:43 AM
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At age 86, Ginsberg is not likely to be active if Trump is re-elected. How often does 86 year old make 90+? I don't know. A life insurance person would likely be able to answer that question.
Ask and ye shall receive. The actuarial life expectancy for an 86-year-old is 6.43 years.

https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:44 AM
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Is there a way a SCOTUS justice can be declared incapacitated or unfit, but without impeachment or death?
I'm not sure if a supreme court justice can be declared unfit to serve. A sharp decline in mental abilities such as dementia could cause a person to forget their views and change. Or make it difficult to think and remember current conversations. If such as disease were to overcome a Supreme Court Justice, I do think that person would eventually have to be removed.

Cameras typically are not allowed in the supreme court. In theory, the clerks could take over, with the compromised Justice being no more than a figurehead, but I would not be for that.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:45 AM
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Are liberals facing the equivalent of political checkmate with the Supreme Court for the next 25-30 years?.
No.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:48 AM
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Ask and ye shall receive. The actuarial life expectancy for an 86-year-old is 6.43 years.

https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html
Thanks, very interesting. I guess those who viewed the chart are looking at how much time they have left, on average.

Asking the near impossible, if you were to factor in known health issues, what would the chart say? Since the 1990s Ginsberg has suffered two bouts of cancer as well as heart problems.

Last edited by Silver lining; 07-09-2018 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:49 AM
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Ask and ye shall receive. The actuarial life expectancy for an 86-year-old is 6.43 years.

https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html
It's probably longer for her, since that table doesn't account for race or socio-economic status.

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Old 07-09-2018, 11:01 AM
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Interesting how a thread about the court falls into the election board sub-topic category.
It's also the jaqing off forum.
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:09 AM
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I'm not sure if a supreme court justice can be declared unfit to serve.
They can be impeached for it. Samuel Chase.

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Cameras typically are not allowed in the supreme court. In theory, the clerks could take over, with the compromised Justice being no more than a figurehead, but I would not be for that.
That has no doubt happened a number of times before.

Checkmate for 20-30 years, you say? How confident are you that the Senate and White House will both be under Regressive control for that long?
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:15 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Thanks, very interesting. I guess those who viewed the chart are looking at how much time they have left, on average.

Asking the near impossible, if you were to factor in known health issues, what would the chart say? Since the 1990s Ginsberg has suffered two bouts of cancer as well as heart problems.
Near impossible is correct.

That chart is all men/women and does not account for SES or whatever. Finding better data would be extremely problematic. For Ginsburg she takes very good care of herself, appears to be tough as hell and has access to the best healthcare America can provide. The previous health issues also can be provided for but with difficulty.

Figure it balances out. Maybe. Possibly. Could be.
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:17 AM
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Given stories about how poorly Clarence Thomas takes care of himself physically, who's willing to bet that Ginsburg will be the next to go? Hell, who had Scalia in the pool?
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:27 AM
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...
At age 86, Ginsberg is not likely to be active if Trump is re-elected. How often does 86 year old make 90+? I don't know. A life insurance person would likely be able to answer that question.
....
An 86 year old female has a life expectancy of 6.43 years based upon this set of life expectancy numbers from the Social Security Administration from 2015.

She has a history of pancreatic cancer but works out regularly and seems to have a very sharp mind. Not sure if her life expectancy would be the average for the group of women of similar age.

That 6.43 years is about 2349 days. And according to https://howlonguntiltrumpleaves.com/ Trump only has 925 days and a few hours until his term of office is over. So RBG should, on average, outlive his presidency... if he is a one term president.

A second term would add 1461 days to Trump's presidency. That would be a total of 2385 days from now. And RBG would, on average, be expected to die a mere 36 days prior to Trump leaving office (on Dec 15, 2024) from a second term, during the lame duck transition period.

Of course these are round numbers and a mere guess and do not account for the fact that RBG is a bit shy of her 86th birthday at present. But on average an 86 year old woman alive today would outlive Trump's first term but die shortly before completion of his second term.

If arguendo Trump wins a second term and the Republicans still control the Senate would anyone actually believe that Trump and the Senate would defer making a nomination and voting on Advice and Consent to permit the incoming to make the selection? Would it even matter if the incoming president is also a Republican?
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:28 PM
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A lot of these very conservative justices are strong believers in precedent--so even though they would never have voted for a particular decision if they had been justices when it was originally made, decades later they are not going to change it. Look at the Miranda decision of 1966 which only passed with a 5-4 majority:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirand..._Supreme_Court

Does anyone here think it will be immediately overturned?
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:16 PM
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I will say this:

The Democrats are *not* going to allow themselves to be permanently locked out of governing for the next 30 years due to an illegitimate SCOTUS. Expect them to just add more seats if/when the Court crosses a red line by striking down a core Democratic law (Medicare-for-All is the obvious one, but ruling the EPA unconstitutional or something could also cross the line).

Honestly, the fear of Court-packing is what is going to prevent John Roberts from allowing the Court to veer too far to the right. That said, if Trump is able to replace Ginsburg or Breyer that decision may not be up to him anymore.

Last edited by 2ManyTacos; 07-09-2018 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:14 PM
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Interesting how a thread about the court falls into the election board sub-topic category.
We used to have a "Judiciary" subforum, but too many threads ended up as a screaming match between Judge Wapner and Judge Judy fanboys.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:41 PM
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I will say this:

The Democrats are *not* going to allow themselves to be permanently locked out of governing for the next 30 years due to an illegitimate SCOTUS. Expect them to just add more seats if/when the Court crosses a red line by striking down a core Democratic law (Medicare-for-All is the obvious one, but ruling the EPA unconstitutional or something could also cross the line).
Not a chance. And there is nothing illegitimate about the current court except in the imagination of some people.

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Honestly, the fear of Court-packing is what is going to prevent John Roberts from allowing the Court to veer too far to the right. That said, if Trump is able to replace Ginsburg or Breyer that decision may not be up to him anymore.
Roberts isn't losing any sleep over the idea of court packing, because it's not going to happen. If there was any chance of that happening, the Republicans would be doing it right now as a preemptive measure.
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Old 07-09-2018, 04:33 PM
Silver lining Silver lining is offline
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They can be impeached for it. Samuel Chase.


That has no doubt happened a number of times before.

Checkmate for 20-30 years, you say? How confident are you that the Senate and White House will both be under Regressive control for that long?
Well being that the two oldest SCOUTS members are Ginsberg and Breyer ( 86, and 80 in August ), the best Dems could hope for is to keep the 5-4 minority is to have both the Senate and Presidency when a vacancy for Ginsberg or Breyer appears.

The soon to be 5-4 majority seems good for at least two more presidential terms. So it's an 8- 10-year checkmate if you will.

If a moderate judge with one party holding the presidency the other the Senate is put in, it would only weaken a liberal point of legal view, making 5-4 or 6-3 outcomes likely.

If Trump replaces either Ginsberg or Breyer with the Senate, I would say its a checkmate for 15-20 years with a conservative based majority rule in the court. My guess is either Ginsberg or Breyer will need to be replaced before 2024. Perhaps both.

Last edited by Silver lining; 07-09-2018 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:05 PM
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I'm not sure if a supreme court justice can be declared unfit to serve. A sharp decline in mental abilities such as dementia could cause a person to forget their views and change. Or make it difficult to think and remember current conversations. If such as disease were to overcome a Supreme Court Justice, I do think that person would eventually have to be removed.
When William O. Douglas suffered a stroke in the 1974-1975 term, the other eight justices shifted his workload, reassigned opinions he would have written and most importantly, deferred cases where he might have been the swing vote in a 5-4 decision. Douglas continued to serve through the rest of that term and into the 1975-1976 term before he decided/was persuaded to resign.

Douglas had already been targeted in two separate attempts (153 and 1970) to impeach him, but I don't believe there was any official move to remove him in 1975.
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:12 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is offline
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Well being that the two oldest SCOUTS members are Ginsberg and Breyer ( 86, and 80 in August ), the best Dems could hope for is to keep the 5-4 minority is to have both the Senate and Presidency when a vacancy for Ginsberg or Breyer appears.

The soon to be 5-4 majority seems good for at least two more presidential terms. So it's an 8- 10-year checkmate if you will.

If a moderate judge with one party holding the presidency the other the Senate is put in, it would only weaken aliberal point of legal view, making 5-4 or 6-3 outcomes likely.

If Trump replaces either with the Senate, I would say its a checkmate for15-20 years with a conservative based majority rule in the court. My guess is either Ginsberg or Breyer will need to be replaced before 2024. Perhaps both.

Also, I canít help but wonder at the effect of all of this on, say, Thomas.

Imagine, as seems entirely plausible, that Ginsburg winds up being replaced during Trumpís term because, well, sheís in her eighties ó just like she was in her eighties when the Democrats had the White House and the Senate. And imagine that said replacement, being nominated by Trump and okayed by Republicans in the Senate, promptly decides case after case after case in whatís clearly the exact opppsite of how RBG wouldíve ó undoing, instead of reverentially citing as precedent, her lifeís work whenever possible; and voting, presumably, with Thomas.

Imagine that Thomas, in his seventies, sees this happen right in front of him. Heck, imagine that itís one of his former law clerks. Does he get a little more tempted to step down when someone could put his work up on a pedestal instead of maybe rolling some dice on a successor in his eighties?
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:24 PM
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Expect them to just add more seats if/when the Court crosses a red line by striking down a core Democratic law (Medicare-for-All is the obvious one, but ruling the EPA unconstitutional or something could also cross the line).
Why would there be a problem with Medicare-for-All? It would seem to have no more constitutional problems than Medicare for people over 65.
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:34 PM
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Also, I canít help but wonder at the effect of all of this on, say, Thomas.

Imagine, as seems entirely plausible, that Ginsburg winds up being replaced during Trumpís term because, well, sheís in her eighties ó just like she was in her eighties when the Democrats had the White House and the Senate. And imagine that said replacement, being nominated by Trump and okayed by Republicans in the Senate, promptly decides case after case after case in whatís clearly the exact opppsite of how RBG wouldíve ó undoing, instead of reverentially citing as precedent, her lifeís work whenever possible; and voting, presumably, with Thomas.

Imagine that Thomas, in his seventies, sees this happen right in front of him. Heck, imagine that itís one of his former law clerks. Does he get a little more tempted to step down when someone could put his work up on a pedestal instead of maybe rolling some dice on a successor in his eighties?
Thomas should just retire right now, when he still has a conservative POTUS and Republican majority in the Senate to get him a likeminded replacement - unless he's waiting to see how the midterms play out.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:39 PM
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Thomas should just retire right now, when he still has a conservative POTUS and Republican majority in the Senate to get him a likeminded replacement - unless he's waiting to see how the midterms play out.
Nonsense. People are Supreme Court justices because they want to do that and will continue doing that until they die, get too sick or are tired of doing that. Just like for any other job who will replace them is a very minor consideration in their decision to leave.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:44 PM
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Dems are gonna be getting defeated by SCOTUS alot in the next few years. Not sure how long it will last.

The moral of the story is that elections have consequences. It's that simple.

Dems need to get off their collective rear-ends, and start winning more elections at local, state and national levels.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:30 PM
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Funny to think that 4 out of 5 of the justices from the GOP side will have been put there by a president who lost the popular vote. All three branches of government are run by the minority party.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:45 PM
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Funny to think that 4 out of 5 of the justices from the GOP side will have been put there by a president who lost the popular vote. All three branches of government are run by the minority party.
Roberts and Alito were put in by Bush in his second term. He did not "lose the popular vote" in 2004.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:10 PM
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Justice Brett Kavanaugh here we come....
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:10 PM
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Funny to think that 4 out of 5 of the justices from the GOP side will have been put there by a president who lost the popular vote. All three branches of government are run by the minority party.
Itís funny to think that people think the popular vote has any relevance.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:22 PM
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I will say this:

The Democrats are *not* going to allow themselves to be permanently locked out of governing for the next 30 years due to an illegitimate SCOTUS. Expect them to just add more seats if/when the Court crosses a red line by striking down a core Democratic law (Medicare-for-All is the obvious one, but ruling the EPA unconstitutional or something could also cross the line).

Honestly, the fear of Court-packing is what is going to prevent John Roberts from allowing the Court to veer too far to the right. That said, if Trump is able to replace Ginsburg or Breyer that decision may not be up to him anymore.
As bleak as things look now, they could get a hell of a lot worse. If the republicans hang on to power for another 4-8 years, I think the possibility is good that they will threaten to impeach progressive judges and replace them with conservative ideologues. Whether or not they succeed doesn't matter; plutocrats just want the judiciary to stop functioning, and that would do the trick.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:37 PM
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Dems are gonna be getting defeated by SCOTUS alot in the next few years. Not sure how long it will last.

The moral of the story is that elections have consequences. It's that simple.
And had this been anything like a fair and honest election, I'd have no problem with that. It wasn't, and the "winners" are doing their level best to insure we never find out how much it wasn't.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:41 PM
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Itís funny to think that people think the popular vote has any relevance.
Trump, for one.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:08 PM
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nm

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Old 07-09-2018, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by octopus View Post
Itís funny to think that people think the popular vote has any relevance.
No one believes that more than Trump who goes on and on about how he'd have won it without millions of illegal votes.
  #44  
Old 07-10-2018, 12:09 AM
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I Love Me, Vol. I I Love Me, Vol. I is offline
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
Near impossible is correct.

That chart is all men/women and does not account for SES or whatever. Finding better data would be extremely problematic. For Ginsburg she takes very good care of herself, appears to be tough as hell and has access to the best healthcare America can provide. The previous health issues also can be provided for but with difficulty.

Figure it balances out. Maybe. Possibly. Could be.
Hi. I would have appreciated it if you had spelled out what SES means in your post as it is not clear. It may be obvious to you and some other posters but it is not to me.

I'm sure it will seem obvious to me after I learn it but I think most folks would agree that reducing the occurrence of not-commonly-known acronyms on the SDMB helps the fight against ignorance.

Thanks
  #45  
Old 07-10-2018, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
Trump, for one.
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Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
No one believes that more than Trump who goes on and on about how he'd have won it without millions of illegal votes.
Well, Trump appears slightly nutty, doesnít he?
  #46  
Old 07-10-2018, 12:35 AM
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Not a chance. And there is nothing illegitimate about the current court except in the imagination of some people.
Do you forget that the Republicans prevented a vote on Obama's nominated justice? The court has been illegitimate ever since then.
  #47  
Old 07-10-2018, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by I Love Me, Vol. I View Post
Hi. I would have appreciated it if you had spelled out what SES means in your post as it is not clear. It may be obvious to you and some other posters but it is not to me.

I'm sure it will seem obvious to me after I learn it but I think most folks would agree that reducing the occurrence of not-commonly-known acronyms on the SDMB helps the fight against ignorance.

Thanks
Based on the comment he was responding to: socio-economic status.
  #48  
Old 07-10-2018, 12:53 AM
Bricker Bricker is offline
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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
After the midterms this administration will be castrated and the operative issues before the court will be "can the president pardon himself?" and "can a sitting president be indicted?" Except for the Chief Justice, who will be taking up temporary quarters in the Senate.

The incoming Democratic Senate will thwart any future nomination.
In 2014, I asked you about predictions you had offered up that were similarly optimistic, but very wrong:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
My question for 2014 -- are you going to address, even obliquely, how utterly wrong your predictions were?
You replied:

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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
They were based on an overestimate of the intelligence of the electorate. I did not see any way that such a silly little ditz like Ernst could pick up Iowa, nor did I think that a cockroach like Walker could win once exposed to the light.

I'm much more optimistic about the 2016 prospects, when the intellectually challenged among us won't be voting to spite Obama.
In 2016, also, your prediction was wrong.

But again you're offering up confident predictions.

So my question to you now is: is there any number of successive incorrect predictions that will cause you to stop offering predictions on the grounds that perhaps you're not as strong a seer as one might expect from your confident tone?
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It was always the Doctor and Sarah.
  #49  
Old 07-10-2018, 01:02 AM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is offline
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Do you forget that the Republicans prevented a vote on Obama's nominated justice? The court has been illegitimate ever since then.
No, it hasn't.
  #50  
Old 07-10-2018, 01:23 AM
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Is there any other democratic country where the politicians choose the judges?

This looks to me like a flaw in the US constitution.
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