Jerri-Lynn here. Democrats knew since May when Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion was leaked that the Supreme Court was poised to overturn Roe. But they failed to prepare for that decision and to have a response to roll out the minute it was announced. So, lots of options now are being floated. This post discusses the state of play. President Biden continues to seem out of it, a spectator to his own presidency, not willing to consider seriously possible options.
By Kenny Stancil, staff writer. Originally published at Common Dreams
President Joe Biden was rebuked Saturday for doubling down on his opposition to expanding the U.S. Supreme Court even after its deeply unpopular right-wing majority spent the past week ending the constitutional right to abortion care, weakening gun restrictions, undermining the separation of church and state, and eroding hard-won civil rights, with more attacks on equality and federal regulatory power expected.
“That is something that the president does not agree with,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters when asked about the possibility of court expansion. “That is not something that he wants to do.”
MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan called the president’s lack of urgency “ridiculous,” “infuriating,” and “inexplicable.”
“What does Biden ‘agree’ with doing?” Hasan asked on social media. “What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights?”
Hasan and other outraged commentators were responding to a viral tweet suggesting that Biden is opposed not only to court expansion but also to filibuster reform.
While ABC News confirmed that Biden doesn’t support expanding the high court, CNN reporter Mike Valerio deleted his tweet because, as journalist Judd Legum explained, it misrepresented Jean-Pierre’s comments about the president’s position on the filibuster. Although Biden has typically defended the Senate’s 60-vote threshold for advancing most legislation, he has called for carve-outs on voting rights. He may or may not do the same for reproductive freedom, but Jean-Pierre dodged the question.
“I don’t care what President Biden thinks about the filibuster,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). “He is no longer in Congress.”
“This is the messaging and the actual facts,” Lieu continued. “If we elect two more Democratic U.S. Senators and Democrats hold the House, we can pass the bill that codifies Roe v. Wade into law.”
The House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act last year, but it has stalled in the Senate because right-wing Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) have repeatedly refused to back abolishing or suspending the filibuster, thus giving the GOP minority veto power over most legislation.
While Lieu argued that the Senate Democratic Caucus needs just two more members to be able to repeal the filibuster and codify Roe, others made the case that Biden and other party leaders need to do much more, including expanding the Supreme Court, to prevent the Republican Party from continuing to impose a reactionary agenda opposed by the vast majority of Americans.
Ridiculous. Infuriating. Inexplicable.
What does Biden ‘agree’ with doing? What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights? https://t.co/hC6CYhNTOj
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) June 25, 2022
Any Democrat not calling for the expansion of the Supreme Court,” journalist Jordan Zakarian said Friday on social media, “is now in favor of the end of abortion rights and the coming attacks on same-sex marriage, contraception, and every other right we have.”
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), as well as Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), are among the lawmakers who have demanded court expansion since Roe was overturned.
The President & Dem leaders can no longer get away with familiar tactics of “committees” and “studies” to avoid tackling our crises head-on anymore:
– Restrain judicial review
– Open clinics on federal lands
– Court expansion
– Expand Fed access/awareness of pill abortions
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 25, 2022
Last April, Biden appointed a 36-member bipartisan commission to study potential reforms to the Supreme Court—including the addition of more seats, the establishment of term limits, and the creation of a code of ethics for justices.
Although the panel found “considerable” support for 18-year term limits for justices, proposals to increase the size of the court were met with “profound disagreement.”
“As we watch this court majority go berserk for its right-wing overlords,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) tweeted Saturday, “is there any regret that the anodyne, feckless Supreme Court commission missed all the major issues: no transparency, no ethics code, dark money appointments, secret gifts, hypocrisy, capture, corruption?”
“More and more people are understanding what I’ve been saying is going on,” he added, pointing to recent reporting by The Lever. “The court got captured by special interests using gobs of dark money.”
In a Sunday appearance on ABC‘s “This Week,” Warren told host Martha Raddatz that the high court has “burned whatever legitimacy they still may have.”
“They just took the last of it and set a torch to it with the Roe v. Wadeopinion,” she said. “I believe we need to get some confidence back in our court and that means we need more justices on the United States Supreme Court.”
The Supreme Court has “burned whatever legitimacy they may still have had” with their ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, Sen. Elizabeth Warren tells @MarthaRaddatz.
“They just took the last of it and set a torch to it.” https://t.co/OYumwDfET9 pic.twitter.com/2KeCuPXXcY
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 26, 2022
Soon after Biden created his Supreme Court commission, congressional Democrats—led by Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), and Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) in the House and Markey in the Senate—introducedlegislation that would expand the number of seats on the high court from nine to 13.
While its passage is unlikely barring the election of more progressive lawmakers in the upcoming midterms, there is no shortage of ideas for immediate steps the Biden administration could take to protect abortion access in post-Roe America.
In a letter sent to the White House on Saturday, 33 Senate Democrats told Biden that “now is the time for bold action to protect the right to an abortion.”
“You have the power to fight back and lead a national response to this devastating decision,” the letter states, “so we call on you to take every step available to your administration, across federal agencies, to help women access abortions and other reproductive health care, and to protect those who will face the harshest burdens from this devastating and extreme decision.”
Biden has instructed the Justice Department to ensure that pregnant people can travel to states where abortion remains legal, and Attorney General Merrick Garland has vowed to crack down on states that attempt to ban federally approved abortion pills.
But there is much more that can be done, progressives say. As of Sunday, more than 14,200 people have signed Ocasio-Cortez’s petition urging Biden to open abortion clinics on federal lands, especially in states where access to care has already been eliminated or severely reduced.
I’m not in favor of this. Democrats were beaten by a very experienced McConnel. I personally don’t believe Democrats didn’t do enough to delay or prevent this from happening. Now we must live with their blunder. Actually a change like this sound good but will come back to bite us later. Typically Democrats are less politically savvy than Republicans. They spend all of their energy on emotional issues and tend to ignore things like this.
Agreed. Fighting fire with fire can get everyone’s house burned down. That would be a knee jerk reaction. But the war with words is one-sided, and the Democrats like to seem cerebral–they do not have three-word slogans to synchronize the support. There is an underlying trust, though, that “people” will do the right thing.
It may or may not be political savvy. It is likely they do not have a taste for using it.
So what’s to stop the Republicans to enlarging the SC to 27, or 33 or 99 justices?
The GOP will start with 13, and use the Dems’ proposal as justification to do it, and it’ll happen on Jan 21, 2024, the first day of the next Republican president’s term (there’s no way these Dems win in ’24).
The failure to anticipate and prioritize single issues that would build Democratic power is unforgivable. For example, say Ds had identified the issue of DC statehood as a matter of critical importance during the Obama or Biden presidency for all the obvious reasons of fairness and to give citizens of the District a real voice. If they had success, you would have a “two-for”, a 51st State to represent the millions of Americans, and two new, Democratic senators.
Pick a specific problem, devise a solution that not only addresses the problem but that builds a base for more power (universal health care, universal job guarantee, Supreme Court ethics or term limits) and concentrate everything on that. Talk about nothing else. Accept defeats are going to happen but keep at it. Build power.
I was just thinking about this — Every time liberal Democrats control Congress, they can create whatever utopian state they desire right in DC. I mean, if someone came up with this as part of the plot for House of Cards, it’s hard to believe no one’s thought of this before! But every go at it, liberal Democrats mismanage the district, too. It’s almost like they don’t want to govern at all.
And… engage with people opposing the idea. Engage even with the claims made by the most blowhard exaggerators opposing the idea. Instead, from the Dems we get ‘be silent, you deplorable!’ Yeah, that’ll win votes. / ;)
Dems are the party of Andrew Jackson, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan. The FDR era is anomalous as events since Carter have demonstrated. They’ve reverted to the mean.
This comment is short, brilliant and completely true. FDR was, is and always will be an outlier. Thank you, “redleg.” I’m 83 and I probably shoulda stayed home since my first vote in 1960. Better late than never… :)
One needs a different party based on that concept to act on that concept. It would take decades to grow such a party.
Better find a good winning concept.
If they appoint more SC justices, It will just cost more to buy the court. They’ve got the money.
Jesus, these people are such clowns. Every single person quoted in this article is lying. Not one of them has any intention of doing anything real, about any of the myriad problems plaguing this country. And the tweet from the MSDNC commentator is rich — dude, where have you been the last 18 months?
And as for the government officials quoted: their utter lack of seriousness is belied by how often they say they are going to do things they lack the will or power to do.
Do they (either party) actually want to solve problems, or would they rather just have the problems around to raise funds and pander to their base?
Ever since money = speech and corps = people the Congress has been fund rasing using all these issues but has shown no successful action. The two parties are wings of the same airplane and this will stop only when that plane crashes.
Most people are foolish enough to believe what the Dems say NOT what they do. It’s time to cut the terms of the Supreme Court judges to 8 years and reduce the number of judges to 3 by impeaching the remaining ones by lottery. Expanding the court will not help at all.
Expanding the SC would just buy the D’s a couple of decades, after which the new expanded court would have a conservative majority due to Democrats continual infuriating inability to actually accomplish anything.
Oh, I doubt they’d get a couple of decades. As multiple people have commented already, once this precedent is established, the Republicans would further expand the court as soon as they were in power again. And given how the Democrats are mismanaging just about everything these days, this could be as soon as 2024.
Inability to accomplish anything? They accomplished a Christian Sharia Law supreme court, beginning with Biden’s going the extra mile to make sure of getting Thomas on the supreme court. Don’t say ” inability to accomplish anything.”
Even if the Democrats did actually try codifying the right to an abortion into Federal law, what would stop the current Supreme Court striking it down as “unconstitutional” 6-3? I am not saying that is not what should have been done, but I think that with the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court justices as things are now, it became too late when Amy Barrett was appointed by Trump as the Democrats should have codified this 40 years ago.
But Pelosi and pals have already started fundraisers immediately after Roe vs. Wade was overturned…what a strange coincidence!
I think that it is quite clear that the Democratic party does not care at all if they fail electorally. After all, why should they? If you can make money from empty symbolic gestures and virtue signaling why care at all what voters think or the public at large?
Unfortunately, that also disarms the ability to punish them electorally as they will gladly take the fall as long as they can still fundraise.
Why wouldn’t the R’s just expand the court again when they were in power? Why wouldn’t each party continue to do it? It’s a ridiculous way to solve what is in fact a problem of campaign strategy (as in nothing worthwhile in the red states for at least 20 years) and of governance, aka leadership.
For a long time now, at least some feminists have been pointing out that abortion is only actually accessible in one-third of American counties. My guess is that if you overlaid a map of those counties and the counties in which Dem party orgs put effort and money, you’d find a perfect overlay.
Dems repeatedly walk off the field and then try to play the refs. Having watched a lot of PMC children maneuver their way from HS into the Ivy League, I imagine that’s because those were the tactics they saw work in getting what they want.
But those tactics only work if you can also threaten the ref’s employment.
This began with successfully demonizing Carter, likely to last decent person to be a political face of the USA. Reagan was Moses. Then came the Contract on America led by Newt the Craven and the Tea Party led by no one and never short of cash. Diebold voting machines owned by W financier in 2000 and Roger Stone’s Brooks Brothers 5th column where Al chose to take the money and run versus spending his first term cleaning up from the Clintons. The Cheney/Bush years beginning with 7 minutes of controlled panic and The Pet Goat and 2 decades of fighting terrorists in sandals for the “homeland “.
Republicans kind of snuck up on the country.
Heh, only if those two senators also support filibuster reform! And if no one else magically flips to oppose it — to remove the football, as it were — once these two supportive senators materialize. Perhaps more photos of $2,000 checks (that are then voided and replaced with $1,400) will get this done?
Biden isn’t wrong here. Chances are good the GOP will take the Senate in the midterms, they could add more conservative justices by ending filibuster to only pass justices through nomination they approve of.
The Dems and nominal ‘left’ have no strategy or long term thinking beyond fund raising. My 2 cents (which the Dems aren’t getting.)
On a longer aside: the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment for women) was mentioned yesterday. It got me thinking about the same darn play I see over and over from the so-called ‘left’ Dems and so-called liberals in the US.
1) A leftish/progressive legislative change for the better for millions of people is proposed in non-partisan or bi-partisan terms.
2) It gains traction across the board except in the most conservative organizations/areas.
3) conservatives mount an organized attack on proposed legislation.
4) attack is based on scaring people by making outrageous claims about how the legislation will upend millions of adults settled lives, making their lives worse. (see the conservative ‘family values’ arguments)
So far, this is standard political play. Here’s the clunkler.
5) leftish/progressive promoters of new legislation do not counter with outreach to now frighten citizens about legislation with talking tours and sympathetic attempts to understand where the fear is coming from and try to reassure voters the legislation does not mean what the conservative speakers have been saying.
6) leftish/progressive promoters of new legislation instead mock the effective conservative speakers and mock anyone who listens to them. Calls them deplorable. And, these days, tries to silence anyone who doesn’t agree with them.
That is why the progressives/left/Dems lose. Mockery for the opposition instead of engagement. No strategic or long term thinking, except for…fund raising. sigh…. (I did not say conservatives are smarter, I did not say conservatives are right on the issues.)
It’s also that Democrats
1) Choose pet issues that have zero political salience among the electorate;
2) Act as a barrier to anything that provides concrete material benefits to people who are “not worthy” of them.
You can see the baked-in elitism right there.
Organizations have their one-year operation and they have their long-range vision. If you think about it, Republican administrations are all about “right now”–DJT cut taxes and raised the national debt, a fake rising Economy for the present, but a big burden for the grandchildren.
His business precedent was bankruptcy law, and all the little creditors only got ten cents on the dollar. Expect a second Trump administration to return to the same well: borrow and spend, while telling cronies, “You just made a lot of money” when his Executive Orders favor the “already haves.” Then watch the Great Again America try to file international bankruptcy or go for a Russian Rescue.
Neither is appealing.
GOP sees their chances and they takes ’em.
Dems sees their chances and they form a committee. / ;)
an aside: it’s weird the GOP now seems like the more egalitarian party, the more working class friendly party. Seems like. (Only because the Dems are so not that anymore.)
the Dem(entia)crats turned ‘populism’ into a dirty word…
nycTerrierist: if you don’t mind, I’m going to steal that (“Dementiacrats”) for occasional use.
And…hello again! :) we met and chatted at Yves’ going away party! I moved to Iowa 18 months ago but wanted to give you a shout-out.
permission granted, with my compliments
yes, I remember chatting with you —
always enjoy your comments!
Regarding your #6, here’s one from the Grauniad – https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/26/illinois-mary-miller-roe-wade-abortion-verdict-victory-for-white-life-trump
Evidently some Republican nobody has ever heard of before said this was a “historic victory for white life”. Even though the woman clearly misspoke, the corporate media will never let a chance to be divisive and boost the “white supremacy” meme go to waste. I’m sure the fact the Big Cheeto was in attendance really got their knickers in a knot.
We have heard from a few commenters here who aren’t in favor of abortion personally but also understand that everyone should be free to choose for themselves. A strong majority in the US do not favor this recent decision. Perhaps the corporate media could highlight this aspect, trying to bring people together and maybe sway the minds of some of the more hardcore right-to-life people.
But the Democrat party had no plan to counteract this, and hate sells, so here we are once again bogged down in a morass of stupid.
That same nobody (an elected representative) also apologized for quoting Hitler at a 1/5/21 “Save the Republic” speech. https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/10/illinois-republican-mary-miller-hitler-capitol-speech
She has a knack for misspeaking in a way that appeals to a certain demographic and garners big applause from the crowd.
As you said, “hate sells” and she keeps getting these prime speaking gigs.
The misspeaking reminds me of Rick Santorum being against welfare for “blah people” or Joe Biden’s “poor kids are just as smart as white kids”. https://www.pennlive.com/midstate/2012/01/rick_santorum_says_hes_against.html
I’m not saying it doesn’t deserve mention at all, but I don’t think this rises to the level of international news in any way, shape or form. Having this type of thing in the Guardian rather than in the local IL paper is only promoting stereotypes and hatred.
We have some ultra conservative Catholic friends who are ecstatic about this recent SCOTUS decision. They were happy to criticize the hypocrisy of the pro-rona vaccine crowd who were demonizing the unvaccinated, throwing the pro-choice “my body, my choice” rhetoric back at them, without recognizing their own hypocrisy in not allowing others to choose for themselves on the abortion issue. However, this same Catholic couple has also invited homeless people to live with them for extended periods so they could help get them back on their feet.
Just goes to show that very few people fit the stereotypes that two-bit politicians and pundits like to use to gin up fear and hatred to garner more eyeballs and more money for themselves. If we took the time to really get to know our neighbors, we might just find we have more in common that we think, politicians be damned.
Quote: “But they failed to prepare for that decision” –
What you call “failure” could be labelled “collusion”. I don’t think Dems and Repubs are qualitatively different except in the emotional cattle call they make to their base, which splits over sidetracks. The USA is no longer U.
Did you merely forget all the help Clinton, Obama and Biden gave the Republicans, or were you trying to whitewash it?
This was intended as a reply to Huxley, above.
71% of people,give or take, are pro choice. The supreme court really did us a favor by kicking it back to the states. This is our opportunity to take this wedge issue away from politicians. This is a way to break “their” strangle hold on “all politics are national”. Because right now … its all politics are local. Yay.
I suggest that a winning friends and influencing people approach is “bestest” for getting a solution at the state level. Here in Arkansas its time for women to unite and say that our bodies are inseparable from our lives. We honor life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and hold them inalienable. By the way, this applies to all such questions. Vaccines. Weight. Who you want to have sex with. Smoking.
And … since Washington does NOT control these issues any more, we can decide on whom we want to vote on based on TRUE national issues like … war, peace, the economy. Universal healthcare. etc etc etc.
This November vote on your local state legislature based upon a single issue … Our body, our decision.
And then vote for whomever else you want to based on whatever you want to.
You really think there is the slightest chance the AR legi would do the right thing? As for organizing and such it’s almost impossible to find any news at all on what our State reps do. I know far more about mayors of burning villages in eastern Ukraine than any of our State officials. I wouldn’t read a free copy of our states largest newspaper for reliable info. Nor would I trust any AR TV news if I were able to get even one channel. Even the AR Times in its best years could only scratch the surface.
I used to have a shop in Little Rock on South University, just across the street from a choice provider. For years and years the place had people outside harassing patients most every day of the year. A permanent federal Marshall sat outside in black car. Never once did I see a counter protester.
In my opinion that service will never be available in any safe meaningful way unless it’s part of an expanded improved national health care system. That’s what 99 percent of women desperately need.
They will if we vote them in on this one issue. The idea that a clear majority of 71% cannot win is … what? For me, that would be unacceptable..
Here’s hoping I am right. If the representatives are not answerable to 71% then there is indeed a problem
But … it is important to note that this is a mandate for “your body, your decision”. It is NOT for anything else.
They didn’t “kick it back to the states.” They replaced an individual right to choose with government’s power to control. They gave control to politicians.
Best of luck to the people of Arkansas if they are now going to try reversing or ameliorating the law the politicians they elected passed in 2019, that, according to this media report “bans abortions in Arkansas, except to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency.”
If it is the states’ right then if is NOT open to federal government control. That’s what it means. It is the States’ jurisdiction. And … any idea that you have more control over our laws on the national level than our local laws is wrong.
I remember sending Blanch Lincoln a check for $500 about 15 years or so ago. And I remember that it occurred to me that my $500 meant nothing to her. My $500 may not buy me much now but if I can get enough of my friends and neighbors to make a donation, too we do have a chance at changing thing here in Arkansas.
Let’s get politics out of our lives
remember voting is the preferred method of regime change.
I think that the recent SC action was inevitable after DJT pushed the balance to the right of what Chief Justice Roberts could guide with his own “swing” vote.
This was known, or knowable, before JRB was elected. The thought occurs that the people who are upset with JRB now were not upset 2 years ago at the promise that “nothing fundamental would change.” I feel a teeny bit of empathy for JRB — he’s getting flak for keeping a promise.
This action was inevitable once Barack Obama punted in 2016. And to my eyes, this has been irreversible ever since Bush The Stupider nominated Alito.
Agreed. Fighting fire with fire can get everyone’s house burned down. That would be a knee jerk reaction. But the war with words is one-sided, and the Democrats like to seem cerebral–they do not have three-word slogans to synchronize the support. There is an underlying trust, though, that “people” will do the right thing.
It may or may not be political savvy. It is likely they do not have a taste for using it.
If a “vast” majority are in favor of legalized abortion then you have to wonder why it isn’t the law of the land. Indeed this new SC decision says, not unreasonably, that a controversial matter like abortion rights should be decided by Congress rather than by judicial fiat. Articles like the above are an expression of “progressive” weakness rather than strength and the fact that their support is anything but vast. To be sure if results mean anything the country is to the left of our bought and paid for Congress. But the progressives who are in Congress aren’t challenging the corruption of the system that is the real problem. They like the rhetoric of revolution but not the personal sacrifice that would come from taking on the Dem leadership. After all they are ten percenters themselves.
One suspects we are coming to a point where the country at large has had enough of both political parties and the Trump phenomenon–he’s a lot more popular than Dems care to admit–shows them reaching out for alternatives. Here’s suggesting what they are longing for is not fascism but democracy. Progressives showing them some respect could do wonders.
I think the claim that “vast majority is for X” arguments reveal our failure to understand what “democracy” means. On most issues, vast majorities don’t care and don’t have reasons to care–it’s not their business or something that affects them. So rather than redirect strategy to focus on people who do care, Dems in particular imagine that, if they could make voting easy enough, or rather, if people who don’t care enough are “allowed to vote,” things will change. In practice, none of that ever worked.
Of course, the other side of the logic can backfire badly, too–sometimes, if the few who do care go so far as to step on too many toes, people who didn’t care before might. I always thought the brilliance of old style American politics was that it was dominated by coalitions of small interests that cared about their issues, but had enough internal brakes to keep them from going too far. But this logic has now been turned upside the head for some time now
It’s one thing to say that “65% of Americans favor the ‘right to choose'”. It’s quite another to suggest that the issue will motivate voters. It doesn’t, which is why 3% (in a poll cited here yesterday) called it the most important issue in the election.
Another way to put this: “abortion” has almost zero political salience. Availability of contraception would be far more solid ground on which to make a stand, but as we have seen repeatedly, the professional advocates who mislead the movement are not at all interested in winning on an issue — if they did, they’d lose their fundraising and their jobs.
Thanks Big river…..good observation. One of the reasons the Congress did nothing about it is because it is a very hot potato. In their local districts there are going to be quite a few people opposed to abortion and they need every vote. Anti abortion people tend to vote. The DNC backed Cuellar heavily who is anti abortion. Rather than drop this on the supreme court it might make sense for our legislators to deal with it. Since Medical licensing is a state function it might make sense to leave it to the state medical boards to make a determination. You could even consider perhaps abortion panels of doctors that would rule on whether a particular abortion made sense. I worked in an abortion clinic for a while some years ago. What struck me is just how careless and uncaring the mothers were that we had to deal with. Most all of them were on Medical and they just figured a scraping was cheaper and easier than getting their boyfriends to wear a condom or help support the child both concepts foreign to many young men in this particular demographic. I am in favor of abortions when the circumstances are appropriate but I think a concerted effort at family planning, tubal ligation, vasectomy etc. is needed. In fact, given the fact that so many men do not pay meaningful child support which leads to a lot of abortions, I would support mandatory vasectomy for any man that has fathered a child and has not supported it. If they straighten out later in life and want to inseminate a woman they can buy donor sperm. That law alone might solve the entire abortion problem.
If the Dems expand the court, why wouldn’t Republicans expand it again when they had the chance?
Is there something I’m missing here where adding 5 new justices is legit, but adding 20 is somehow beyond the pale?
When Republicans are in power at any level they use power to forward their agenda. In addition to economic and social policy, the agenda includes the establishment of permanent minority rule. That’s a given. It’s not an argument for or against what Democrats should do or when they should do it.
Not for nothing but one of the other tools that has been used over decades was the bipartisan dance of judge appointment. Forget Roe or gay marriage and the Supreme Court. The real battle has been appointments to lower courts. I am always amazed at how many tools the Democrats allow Senators to use to block judge appointments when they hold the Senate that disappear or get limited when Republicans hold the Senate. I would also posit that the real end of Roe v. Wade occurred when the Tea Party gained power within the Republican Party and suddenly mainstream Republicans really really needed the religious right to survive, and the Democrats didn’t realize it.
Bob Dole and even Trent Lott, despicable as they were, led a very different group of Republicans (I fully admit I don’t remember Frist well enough to comment). McConnell took the reins in 2007 and was soon faced with a fractured party. The Democrats over this period had Daschle, Reid and now Schumer, none of whom can really hold McConnell’s beer when it comes to strategy. Now think of party interests during this period. Once the Clintons revolutionized the Democrats, the focus of the party became wealthy donors. Both parties might have campaign fund raised on social issues but largely didn’t care. So for most of two decades, the dance was about getting the courts full of people that valued the goals of their top donors. No one really cared about women’s rights or gay rights or Native American rights or yes immigration that was all show for the rubes. And then the Tea Party happened. And they took out some top Republicans. Suddenly regular Republicans needed the Christian Right.
There is a lot of anger about the inaction after the draft was leaked. The last couple of days, I have come to believe that this was an act of desperation, a last minute wake up call to Democrats who unfortunately live in a bubble. If it turns out that Roberts or at the very least one of his staff leaked it, I will not be surprised. We all pooh-poohed Manchin and Collins when they said they were misled by Barrett and Kavanaugh. But in fact they were blindsided, because it totally violated the unwritten rules they have been following their entire Senate life. The judges were always going to allow limits on those hot button issues, but the status quo was to remain. They thought that was the deal. Nobody did anything because it wasn’t going to happen. But somewhere back along 2010, the majority of the judges nominated and appointed by Republicans, and they appointed most of them (Mitch made sure of that) met a strict federalist society vetting process that also vetted their Christian bonafides.
If the Democrats had really taken the courts seriously, not just the Supreme Court, they would have used everything in their power to block every Bush and Trump nominee. Everyone of them. But they were playing the Dole Biden rules. My point being that the rot isn’t just Alito and Thomas, but it is Barrett, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch and the judges that replaced them and most of the over 100 judges that Trump got on the court, those of the 200 that Bush appointed in his seconded term and frankly I might not trust all of the over 350 appointed by Obama and Biden. The Christian Right has not just been playing a long game about who gets elected, the legislation that gets passed but who gets nominated. And the Democrats have not even realized it was happening much less been in the game. They didn’t even get that the rules had changed when Mitch wouldn’t allow a vote on Garland. If McConnell had been in charge and a Democrat had nominated Barrett, he would have shut down the Senate by making sure there weren’t enough members for a vote before passing her.
Expand the court, establish either term limits or a mandatory retirement age or both, and you still end up with a socially conservative court because the lower courts are just as stacked, and it was done with Democrats unknowing collaboration.
Ahh, the Federalist Society. The have been around for 40 [family blog]ing years now packing the courts to keep Republican donors happy. Completely legal too. You hit the nail on the head describing the dynamics of court appointments.
My rhetorical question would be, after 40 years, why hasn’t the Democrat party set up any organization of their own to combat this? It’s the same question I have for gerrymandering issues, or voting rights issues, and many others where the Republicans continue to hand the Democrats their asses.
Agreed. It really does feel like the Washington Generals vs the Harlem Globetrotters. When I was six years old I wondered why the Generals were so bad and my dad explained it was their job to lose. It was just a show. Not sure that’s the case with the Dems but the alternative is that they’re incompetent.
In your last sentence you wrote:
I do not for one moment believe Democrats were “unknowing”. But I agree with the rest of what you wrote.
The lack of perspective by the Dems continues to be astonishing: the other side can play the same games, too. Back in the beginning of the W presidency, Dem legal academics urged stonewalling conservative judicial appointments, then GOP adopted the same strategy big time; it was the Dems that ultimately breeched the issue on filibuster, then GOP ran with it. If you want a “rule based order,” you can’t delude yourself into thinking that you get to dictate what the rules are to your liking.
The stunningly inferior supremes just stepped on the big right-wing dick. Bad ouch. Because: The silly six in their fatuous self-love of life have tossed the enforcement against abortion rights back to the states. It’s like reverse racketeering – we need a reverse RICO. And we actually have the means to pass a law in Congress that protects women’s health rights and access to safe abortions under the banner of equality. Remember equality? If I were those “supremes” I wouldn’t start wearing my testosterone on my sleeves just yet. All Congres has to do is pass an Equality Requirement to be met by every state that wants so much as a penny in any federal funding. And if women are screwed around with at all, whatsoever, over safe abortion access then the state will be denied any and all funding; and will be open to a big, BIG, lawsuit by those harmed. It’s the only constitutional thing to do.
Democrats really can’t do much legislation wise because they actually don’t control the Senate. Republicans control the Senate. Manchin and Sinema are Republicans, the same way Joseph Lieberman was a Republican. Pelosi knows this. She will use the Roe v. Wade decision to ramp up fundraising because that is the only thing available to the Democrats.
“Biden has instructed the Justice Department to ensure that pregnant people can travel to states where abortion remains legal”
Pregnant people? What a nice term to use to undercut your argument with people who need convincing.
Also – thank you Ruth Bader Ginsberg and your gigantic ego for not retiring when Obama asked you to. In Canada, judges have mandatory retirement at 75. Simple solution to the RBG issue.
Even if the Dems did expand the court, the Biden administration, in a show of “bipartisanship” would likely nominate conservative judges, so nothing fundamental would change.
How could Biden voters be surprised by him? He told his check writers that nothing would fundamentally change. He could not have been more clear.
His legacy of corruption and failure got wallpapered over by a silly speaking style and a propensity for sticking his foot in his mouth. Which I guess made people like him more?
Sorry Biden voters, this is what you wanted. Next time do your homework. And get involved in the primaries.
Biden is busy saving Ukrainian freedom and democracy. He had years of experience there and his family has been heavily involved with the oligarchs there. As you know being under the knuckle of a Ukrainian oligarch is a lot better than being under the knuckle of a Russian oligarch.
You mean the rigged and engineered primaries which were designed to manufacture an artificial defeat for Sanders? Those primaries?
( By the way, I saw an interesting suggestion somewhere which I will bring here. A really-means-it pro-legal-abortion President could order the setting up of abortion clinics at all military forts and bases and all VA hospitals open to all civilian citizens who want an abortion. Federal National property, you know.)
Speaking of the primaries, is there a one-stop article which makes a clear and persuasive case for how Sanders’ defeat was engineered?
I know this was discussed extensively here in the NC forum, but I don’t recall seeing an article that made a clear case for the engineering of the defeat.
Asking because I have repeatedly found myself in discussion with Democrat voters who don’t see this, and seem to sincerely believe that the election was squeaky clean, nothing untoward happened, and that any suggestion that it might be otherwise is more or less Trump-esque cray cray.
Someone would have to write that article for the first time. I am not aware of it ever having been written anywhere as a single grand pulled-together theory-of-the-case article.
If someone were to write that article, and it were judged to be good enough to be posted on this blog, a lot of people would see it. But that requires several ifs to fall into sequential place juuuuust right.
Okay, I guess I’ve been paying sufficient attention and didn’t miss an article. OTOH, it would be good to have a solid analysis of this because it’s safe to say the DNC will follow a similar (if not the same) playbook again in the future.
From Krystal Ball:
Dems moving frantically to rig the primaries for an unpopular Biden in 2024.
Something to keep an eye on.
Sen. Sheldon, giving hell to the Federalists and himself from an olde Yankee Federalist family. He loves writing books about nefarious “dark money” and subversive corporate interests. Ask him about supporting “We The People – Move to Amend”…crickets.
He looks the part though. Distinguished, good hair, inbreeding. I saw him at a pro-Ukraine rally a couple of weeks ago. Wrapped in yellow and blue. I was lurking around the edges with a No Nazis/No Azov sign…picture one big ant on a picnic cake. People slowly filtered home after the multitudinous sermons, but Sheldon stayed around to wring the very last hand. So, this left me, Sheldon and three or four people. I closed in with my big-ant protest sign. I kept my eye on em’. Not once did he give me a glance. I engaged someone in conversation, and he took the opportunity to bolt to his ride. Doubtless off to Spouting Rock Beach Association for late afternoon cocktails with his corporate donors.
If Biden had decided to grow the Supreme Court to a larger size, what would the current Clintobama Sinemanchin NAFTAcratic Party do with such a Supreme Court anyway?
I am sure Biden declines to grow the Court for all the wrong reasons, but a “right” reason might just be this:
that growing the Court gives the Democrats a weapon to use for two years before the Republicans regain power and grow the Court even bigger. And the current Democrats don’t believe in having weapons or using them . . . . except against the working classes and any such Sanders-figures as might emerge.
And for what? For two years of assisting the Republicans to gain an even huger victory in two years?
So why bother?
I think the “political war” is basically unwinnable for now. Non-reactionaries might shift their efforts to winning a no mercy/ no prisoners war of cultural victory or cultural extinction. And turning a few possible states into unconquerable Modernian fortresses.