tyrannical SCOTUS aiding the president; what happens?

Suppose Trump had a lapdog Supreme Court (say, 9-0 majority) that gave him carte blanche on everything:

Trump: “I am suspending all elections indefinitely, including the 2020 one” = Supreme Court: “You go, bro”

“I am revoking the citizenship of all brown-skinned Americans” or “I am jailing reporters who criticize me” = Supreme Court: “You go, bro”

This would of course lead to some kind of political revolt, but what or how? Would state governments and officials then just disregard the Supreme Court?

Why require a 9-0 verdict to do this? Surely any 5 is sufficient?

Because some conservative justices wouldn’t go along with it. Even if the bench consisted of 9 righties, some would oppose Trump.

The federal government doesn’t control elections. You know that, right?

But the president doesn’t need the Supreme Court for anything. If the president is going to be a dictator, it doesn’t matter if the SCOTUS backs him or not. They have no ability to stop anything anyway. Congress might, but if he’s got the military and the Secret Service behind him, it doesn’t matter much what Congress or the SCOTUS does. It would, indeed, be up to the states to resist.

So you are arguing against your own OP?

If there were 5 justices who, regardless of the merits of the case, of who appointed them or of their political persuasion, vote as a block for the White House position, then you have the lapdog SCOTUS of your OP.

The more interesting questions are the consequences of this.

I think what the OP is asking is what would the military, secret service, FBI, etc. do in such a situation. The answer is that it depends on who is in charge of those agencies. Supporting clearly illegal orders would require that a Trump lackey and not just a conservative be in charge, as shown by the recent happenings over the office of Attorney General.

I think an interesting side question, although it does fight the hypothetical, is how things stand with our actual SCOTUS. IMHO we have a conservative leaning but fair SCOTUS due to Roberts being a judge of integrity. I’m not so sure about Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and especially Kavanaugh. Are they willing to be Trump lackeys, with the implication that we’re relying on RBGs health holding out for 2 more years to prevent a Trump lackey SCOTUS, or would some (or even all) of those four be willing to stand up to Trump should he issue blatantly illegal orders?

Nobody’s mentioned Congress. You know, the branch that can actually impeach a President.

But if the President has already staged a successful coup, why wouldn’t Congress either have approved or been taken to concentration camps?

Remember when Lex Luthor became President in DC comics? What did people do then? This question cannot be answered any more realistically.

Interesting question.

I have no idea but I’d like to hear legal arguments for what would happen.

Can the executive and legislative branch just repeal the entire constitution if the Supreme Court OKs it?

Also isn’t this one of the tactics they used in Venezuela? They packed the Supreme Court with loyalists.

I assume that in this scenario that a Democratic House impeaches Trump but the Republican Senate acquits him or possibly even refuses to hold a trial.

Turkey, as well.

I’m pretty sure there’s a somewhat more realistic answer than Trump would get beat up by Superman.

Is there? The OP’s scenario is essentially “The rules of law have been suspended. What do the rules of law say comes next?” That’s dividing by zero. Any answer at all is meaningless.

If someone attempts a coup, then one of two things happens: Either someone has the balls to stop him (which, ultimately, means by force, if he resists until that point), or they don’t. Coups are not stopped by pieces of paper, but by people. Laws only have meaning insofar as people behave as though they have meaning.

Exactly. If the laws are being thrown out (and cancelling elections would qualify) it’s no longer a question of what’s legal or illegal. It’s a question of whose orders the military listens to.

Nobody? :slight_smile:

Agreed. But apparently we have to go thru this exercise after every election. What if the president won’t leave? Well, if he’s got the military behind him, he’s good. If not, he’s not.

He didn’t say “What do the rules of law say comes next?”, imho. He was asking what maneuvers the various political entities would make. Ultimately, sure it depends on who the army backs but there are degrees of how far they’re willing to go. The question is kind of way too broad though and depends on a million things. I still think pondering it doesn’t require superhero team ups.

And I don’t think Lex Luthor suspended elections anyways. Lol.

What’s sad is that I think we’re at a point where Lex Luthor (at least some versions like the one portrayed by John Shea) would probably be a better president than the one we actually have.

It would all boil down to who was willing to accept and enforce the new structure.

POTUS says, “Yada, yada.”
Senators, Governors, Mayors say “Whatever.” and carry on with business as usual.

Allowing the hypothetical that at least some of the military are going along.
POTUS has his opponents removed from office and detained, replaced with supporters.

Followers attempt to enforce POTUS edicts.
Minions ignore those orders and continue with their usual duties.

Minions are fired and replaced with more supporters.

That’s about where I see the wheels coming off. There won’t be enough supporters to replace all the objectors and we’ll wind up with the emperor on the beach ordering the tide not to come in.

If the Supreme Court is still judging the law, then we aren’t quite to “the law doesn’t matter” yet. So, if Congress wanted to, it could pass a law in contradiction to the ruling and remove the court’s jurisdiction to judge it. But impeachment would be the better thing to attempt, probably. Not just of the president, but possibly also of the court–though the latter is more damaging unless they can prove a reason to do so.

Now, yes there’s the possibility that these things are not honored, or that Congress have also become lackeys. Then we are at the extralegal stage.