So, what happens next in the battle for Scalia’s seat? Does Obama offer an “olive branch” SCOTUS nominee to the Senate, a judge with a corporate lawyer background who would be friendly to big business and moderate on most social issues? A candidate who would be a shoo-in with a rational, thinking person’s Senate devoid of the partisan political ideology of its hack Republican Majority Leader would order his people to approve? Judge Sri Srinivasan’s name is currently being floated as just such a possibility. Would McConnell dare pull down his drawers, squat down and crap on Obama, the nominee and the Constitution, using his butt in the effort to make a power grab?
Or, just to play with McConnell’s head and to further publicly embarrass him, does Obama nominate someone who is a real, certified REAL Liberal like State AG Kamala Harris of CA, for instance?
Last thing: Turtle Man is about to let slip the dogs of judicial chaos. In a split 4-4 SCOTUS decision or if the justices refuse to hear a case, the lower court decision stands. In the federal court system there are 12 circuits, most of them dominated by Democrats. Of the 13 federal courts of appeal, 9 are controlled by Democrats and 4 are controlled by Republicans. So a Blue circuit court might determine that religious organizations must give their female employees access to contraception through their health plans while a Red circuit court will uphold the religious right (and membership therein) of the organization say “Nicht”.
Because of this attorneys on their own ideological missions shop the different circuits to find a case to bring to them which should result in the desired verdict. This colorful patchwork of legal opinions and ideologies among the circuit courts serves to resurrect the rootin’, tootin’, shootin’ days of the Old West where every town had its own laws and ordinances. So, in some cases you can in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco but you can’t in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana’s three districts. But in both circuits same-sex marriage is protected by the Constitution. Go figure.
So, until McConnell is reduced to a quivering hulk of rebuked jelly by outrage of the American people—AKA voters—to accept and approve Obama’s SCOTUS nominee, chaos will reign among the lower federal courts. Voter ID, gun control, same sex marriage, the right to an abortion, etc., will vary from state to state instead of conforming to one, unified federal decision from SCOTUS establishing it as the (hopefully Liberal) law of the land–for now. That is until the next Republican president is handed SCOTUS vacancies and installs their own Scalia(s) to reverse as much of it as possible—again.
But until then, sit back with your favorite snack and beverage and watch the fight. Who knows how long it will last? And who will history determine was the heavyweight and which was the lightweight? My guess is that when public outrage against this latest game of brinkmanship by the Republicans reaches firestorm level, McConnell’s political weight won’t even register on the scale.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.” – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
“Would be unprecedented in recent history for SCOTUS to go year with vacancy. And shameful abdication of our constitutional responsibility,” – Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Twitter.
I predicted this would happen because the Repugnant-cons are entirely predictable in holding SCOTUS hostage, in effect, shutting it down for at least the next year and a half to play partisan politics, gambling that one of the Republican clowns inside the candidate car will find his way into the White House. If Bernie Sanders is elected president and McConnell loses his gamble, would he then try to go for double or nothing by extending the SCOTUS shutdown through 2018 hoping to add even more Republicans to Congress? Let would be his legacy going into 2020 when he will be up for reelection to the Senate.
Now, it is possible that the eight remaining justices will still hear cases already on the Court schedule. Some of the cases might be relatively easy for them to arrive at an unanimous decision, or at least 5-3. But an Affordable Care Act case where the ideological lines are drawn 4-4 with no swing votes to tip the decision one way or the other, well, what happens then? Kick it back down to a lower court for it to be kicked back up some time in the near or distant future when the Court is once again at full strength? How many other unheard cases would be sitting smack dab atop the Ideological Divide? This isn’t the Senate. You can’t bring in Joe Biden to cast the tie-breaking vote. This is what I mean by the Republicans shutting down SCOTUS because when it comes to those big, high profile cases concerning gun control or state anti-abortion laws and such, the justices will be able to decide nothing.
Mitch McConnell is claiming that a lame duck president doesn’t speak for the American people, therefore, Obama has no right to name a replacement for the not-so-dearly departed Antonin Scalia. What doesn’t McConnell understand about the Constitution? The one thing Scalia sometimes got right is that you don’t screw with certain sections of it. The president is elected to a four-year term, period. His power and authority are not diminished in his final year. Although Obama’s overall approval rating isn’t great, he still has enough support from these same American people–who voted him into office–to choose a replacement justice that the Senate Republicans should confirm.
But, that’s fine. This is an election year. Let the Republicans play their latest shutdown game again. President Obama and the Democrats should and hopefully will start a major media campaign urging the American people AKA voters to make it loud and clear that the Republicans don’t speak for THEM. That they already spoke for themselves when they reelected Obama president in 2012.
What frustrates me is how many people fail to see the big picture when making comments and forming opinions. With the grand predictions throughout the corporate media that the GOP is poised to take back the Senate, everything matters and everything, no matter how disparate and unimportant it may seem to these individuals, is linked and interrelated.
What are you seeing in the news now? The Republicans MIGHT be in trouble in a few races but the Dems are in more trouble in the races they need to win. Here this enough, just like the way any propaganda campaign works, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Scott Walker holds a small lead over Mary Burke in the latest polls so what does that tell you? McConnell still has a real chance to win reelection and what does that tell you? Walker has decimated the unions in his state but he’s till running ahead of Burke.
What it tells you is that the Democrats are still doing a piss-poor job at selling their candidates and some of the candidates themselves are doing a piss-poor job of selling themselves. The Repubs have had forty years to perfect their sales pitch and control the political narrative in this country with the help of right wing TV and talk radio stations in every town in America. The last stats I read showed that Fox/right wing radio is in 500 radio markets nationwide while liberal talk radio was in just 50 markets–and this was two years ago. The number of radio markets carrying liberal talk have dwindled since then and in many radio markets where liberal talk is still limping along, the shows can only be found on low-powered college stations or low-powered independent radio stations. In many ways the Democrats themselves have enabled this.
There is absolutely no reason at this point after the way the GOP-controlled Congress has been and continues to destroy this country that the Dems should still be fighting for their political and our very real lives. This is why I’ve posted so much about Alison Grimes and about other Dems who are distancing themselves from Obama. At this point IF the Dems had done their jobs and IF they hadn’t allowed the FCC to remain in conservative hands there would be more liberal programming on TV and radio. Al Gore screwed liberals by taking what he thought was easy money and selling Current TV to Al Jazeera who’s he’s now suing because he never got all that easy money. MSNBC will probably be urging its viewers to “Lean Backward” soon.
It’s imperative that everyone step back and view the Big Picture. To see all the relationships and discern the pattens which show us where we’re headed and think of SOME way to reverse the manufactured pattern that will convince uneducated voters that Obama is a truly lousy president and the Dems in Congress are right there with him. But, the right wing controls all media here and so, I have no idea how to fix this. Obama showed he had no interest in fixing it by who he nominated to head the FCC and to sit on the board. Tom Wheeler, the chairman, was an industry lobbyist–and a venture capitalist–before Obama named him and confirmed by the Senate. Says much about the Democrats that they had no problem with a installing a guy whose resume screamed CONFLICT OF INTEREST in the top job at the FCC.