How much is a SCOTUS seat worth?

Talking politically, of course, not trying to sell one. That’s illegal.

I’ve said before that I think the Supreme Court is overrated. I’ve never been too concerned that as a conservative, liberal courts will ruin America. Since all judges have to actually explain their legal reasoning in a way that doesn’t get them laughed out of polite society, it limits how far they can go. Plus Chief Justices, as we’ve seen with Roberts, care about the integrity of the court and will swing to protect it.

But many people, maybe most, disagree with me. So let’s say I’m President. Since most people here are Democrats, we’ll say that you’re the Senate Minority Leader. I come to you and say, “Hey, about that Supreme Court opening. I don’t really care all that much about it, so let’s make a deal. you give me some things that I want, and you give me a list of names and I’ll appoint someone from that list.”

So what conservative priorities would you give me for it?

Conservative priorities? Or Republican priorities? List some ideas, we can trade horses.

Let’s see…give me a Justice, I’ll give you a budget that gives the Pentagon up to 40% of discretionary spending. And what the hell, I’ll set long-term capital gains at a flat 15%, no exceptions.

Work for you?

Let’s just push all our chips into the middle of the table. You give me a justice that will fight to the death to keep Roe v Wade, and I’ll give you $5 billion for a wall.

Border wall, capital gains at 15%, chained CPI for calculation of SS benefits, E-verify, and up or down votes within 120 days on all lower court nominees during my Presidency even if Democrats take the Senate.

If the choice is between one right-wing ape and another right-wing ape, the “value” would be measured in tens of millions rather than tens of billions. (Is one a special friend of Big Fracking? is the other a special friend of Big Prisons? I’m not suggesting that Scotus judgeships are literally for sale, but money is a convenient way to quantify their value.)

However if the choice is between a Democratic appointee and a right-wing ape the difference is incalculably huge. Many R’s who detested Trump voted for him anyway because the value of Scotus appointments is so monstrously big. Citizens United v. FEC, one of many MANY 5-4 decisions, was worth many billions just to the Koch Brothers. The total loss to America, from that single decision, was far greater than that.

Decisions of the U.S. government and especially its Supreme Court are consequential. Contrary to dunces who think a government shutdown or replacement of Obama with Trump passes almost unnoticed, the USG is much more consequential than your neighborhood lemon-aid stand. For example, the malfeasance in Iraq by Cheney and his cabal of partisan war-mongers cost U.S. taxpayer Trillions of dollars. With a T.

In the situation you give? None, because there is no reason to actually trust them to follow through. The Republicans are united by being anti-liberal, and in wanting a conservative Court. So there’s no reason this isn’t just a ruse.

But, assuming that this was correct, and we can’t just give them things that would be declared unconstitutional, then we give them symbolic victories that look bad for us, but are worth a ton to them, and won’t permanently harm the country. Sure, give 'em their symbolic wall that won’t actually accomplish anything. Obamacare is basically dead in the water, but give them a proper repeal. Stuff like that that we fight because it symbolizes our desires, not because we actually care.

What real things to give up? Probably monetary stuff, like tax rates. You can always fix them later. And, yeah, throw in some unconstitutional crap.

And maybe figure out some way to let them save face with the Trump thing. I dunno.

The main thing is that we can’t give up the very rights that are the reason we want the Supreme Court seat. So pretty much nothing on the social agenda is available.

I figured, in part because anything we got on the social agenda would just be subject to court overturning anyway.

I’ve give the liberal side THREE justices in return for a Constitutional amendment that clarifies once and for all that programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are illegal uses of federal government power.

Wow you must really hate poor people.

What three new justices, they’d just re-interpret that amendment to be meaningless anyways.

The value is priceless. The reality is that we have wasted 50 years of governing one of the strongest nations the world has ever seen primarily based on whether or not it’s ok to kill babies/fetuses. Oh sure, we have other sideshows here and there, but basically, the overriding everything is the ability to appoint the black robe who will agree with your view on abortion. Everything else is details. When the Supreme Court said they got to make the call on abortion, they wrote the political script for the next half century and likely beyond. There are no details that can’t be bargained away to control that fight, because that’s all that matters.

Just like jesus taught.

Not too sure how to answer the OP (is it what I want to take, or am willing to give?), but:

If a Republican, then in return for getting a justice like Ginsburg or Sotomayor off the bench in return for a Thomas or Gorsuch type, I’d give Democrats pretty much carte blanche in terms of funding and taxation - i.e, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, everything (as long as it is practical/mathematically possible.) Taxation can be as high or as low as they want for virtually any category of people, as long as it’s not targeted on the basis of race/gender/religion, etc. Single-payer healthcare, universal income, almost anything of the sort. As much Wall Street and banking reform as they want. Also willing to agree to huge cuts in defense spending, and as much gun control as Democrats want. Not willing to bend on social issues.

If these programs are so terrible for America, why is it, do you think, that the late Republican house, Republican senate, and Republican president didn’t try to repeal them?

Oh, because these programs are popular? And not just with big city liberals and minorities, but with rural white people too? Why do you think it is that old white people dont want to lose their social security?

Show me another wealthy country that lets old and sick people die in the gutter. Which country is that? And why do we want to be more like them?

In other words: I would pay any amount of taxes you want as long as I get the really important thing, which is to recriminalize homosexuality.

Now now, that’s hardly fair. Just because he wants to do away with programs that help ensure that poor people don’t die of easily treatable illnesses or end up homeless and starving in old age doesn’t mean he hates poor people. He could just be completely and utterly indifferent to whether or not they live or die. Or maybe he just didn’t think his position through far enough to understand the (very obvious) consequences of it. Let’s not be uncharitable here.

As for how much a SCOTUS seat is worth… septimus has the right idea. SCOTUS has shifted away from deciding most of its cases on consensus, and shifted to “whoever wins wins”. And many of these decisions are grossly influential. Citizens United is probably the obvious one, but here are a few more. Very recently, there was the 5-4 decision in Epic System Courts vs. Lewis, which allowed businesses to force class action lawsuits to instead go through arbitration - an absolute fucking perversion of justice if I ever saw one, effectively giving companies a blueprint to make them virtually impossible to sue over anything less than major offenses.

I’m curious if he was visited by Jacob Marley and the Ghostly trio.

President Pence says “Deal!”