The Widdershins

Activist Monday: There Went the Judge

Posted on: February 15, 2016

Good Monday, everyone! It looks like Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has gone to face some judgment of his own. He passed away yesterday at a hunting resort in West Texas, under what seem to be natural causes at this time.

For those of us on the left-leaning side of the fence, the 79-year-old’s passing was not exactly cause for mourning. In fact, it gave rise to a great deal of speculation about what Obama will do with this unexpected opportunity, and what it will mean for the Court going forward.

In some cases, a diminished conservative majority might mean unexpected victories for liberals.

The best example of that concerns a battle over public employee union fees that the court considered last month.

At oral arguments, the court seemed prepared to hand a significant defeat to organized labor and side with a group of California teachers who claim that their free-speech rights are violated when they are forced to pay dues to the state’s teachers union.

The court’s conservatives — Scalia included — appeared ready to junk a 40-year-old precedent that allows unions to collect an “agency fee” from nonmembers to support collective-bargaining activities for members and nonmembers alike.

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, citing that precedent, had ruled for the union. And with the Supreme Court’s liberals seemingly united in upholding the precedent, a 4-to-4 vote would mean the union victory would stand.

But what’s all this talk of 4-4? Doesn’t the Supreme Court have nine Justices? Well, yes…but the confirmation process could be a bit painful. The entire Republican platform, for the past several years, seems to be about opposing Obama and all Democrats. Getting a liberal justice past this Congress seems very unlikely. But what if the Democrats take over the Senate in 2017? (Oh please oh please oh puleeeeeez!) In that case, he might just pick the person he wants and hope that the next President and Senate turn out the way he wants them to. In that case, what would incumbent Republicans do?

…Do they vote no with their party and risk alienating a sizable chunk of swing voters who may already be put off by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, or do they go out on a limb and support Obama’s nominee?

“I’m sure every Republican senator up for reelection would give anything not to have to cast a vote about a Supreme Court nominee,” said Russell Wheeler, a judicial expert with the Brookings Institution. This quandary is particularly acute for senators running in states that voted for Obama in 2012, such as Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

Mwahaha! Oh, the POOR Republicans. Bless their hearts!

Who would have thought that the Supreme Court would suddenly be just as hot as the Bern and Hillz saga – or maybe hotter? We do indeed live in interesting times. my friends.

This is an open thread.


41 Responses to "Activist Monday: There Went the Judge"

Excellent post MB. Who knew all these strict Constitutionalists would measure 4 years as 3 and change.

Mitch jumping the gun on not taking up a SC nominee is seen by some as a mistake. Having spent a good part of my early career in hand-to-hand political combat with Mitch, he doesn’t make careless mistakes. He is a political strategic genius — an odious human, but a strategic genius. Here’s my guess: He was baiting Obama into talking about a recess appointment or at least having some on the Left call for a recess appointment. There is nothing that would energize the fringers more. That is the way Mitch’s mind works.

Obama’s best bet is to find a well qualified Hispanic jurist and watch the good times roll thereafter. What fun to have them decide whether to filibuster for their base or try to attract Hispanic votes.

@2, Chat, ask and you shall receive:

California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino “Tino” Cuéllar would fit the bill. Cuéllar previously served as an official in the Clinton and Obama administrations, and has a background in international law. At age 43, however, he would be one of the youngest Supreme Court nominees. He’s a naturalized citizen born in Mexico and raised in Brownsville, TX.

@3, LOL – that will lead the Fox 6:00 news. They will have interviews and a purloined copy of the list.

Not everyone in KY is like noted hair farmer, Kim Davis.

A Democratic state legislator in Kentucky introduced a bill that would force men seeking impotence drugs to jump through a series of procedural hoops beforehand, such as visiting a doctor twice and obtaining a note from their wives. The symbolic bill was proposed after Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed an “informed consent” bill, requiring women to consult with a doctor at least 24 hours before an abortion.

@4: Viva, Tino!

@3 and 4: Or some totally clueless member of the Congress will believe it’s real and take to his facebook page to rant and rave.

@6: Oh and Rep. Mary Lou Marzian is a nurse by the way. 😉

@9: Nurses rule!

Prolix, how’s your tooth?

Please do not be consuming a beverage or eating anything when you read this link and the tweets in it.

@11, Sue, due to the snow, freezing rain, and ice, I had to reschedule for tomorrow. In any event, the world through the haze of hydrocodone makes Donald Trump almost sensible.

snow, freezing rain, and ice

Oh yeah that’s a winning combination right there. Definitely better to stay off the roads.

I refuse to watch any of the b.s news shows because AMC is running last season’s episodes of Better Call Saul and the new episodes and season start tonight.

I just heard there’s a petition to nominate Anita Hill to the Court.

Man oh man. That would be PERFECT.

Also saw a great tweet: “This would be a good time for Clarence Thomas to stick to his tradition of following Scalia in everything.”

@6 – I love it!! And Quixote – Anita Hill! How fabulous. 😊

Quixote said, “This would be a good time for Clarence Thomas to stick to his tradition of following Scalia in everything.”

Hilarious! Thomas will likely never speak unless Jeff Dunham slips his hand up his robe.

@16-18: Yes, that tweet was by Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian ™

@15: Fredster, love, I’ve spent the whole day watching the Saulathon.: fabulous, hilariously funny and poignant.
Chuck is the worst brother ever.

@20: Oh I did the exact same thing and then watched the “Talking” show afterwards.

I think this show has the chance to be as good as B.B. was. I’m wondering if Saul/Jimmy is going to go after Chuck from his new position with the firm in Santa Fe. At least it looks like he’s gong to get his cocobola desk! 😆

Republicans backing off Hillary’s email. I guess they’re relying on the FBI to keep leaking them.

Bernie’s numbers don’t add up.

“Alluding to one progressive analyst’s criticism of the Sanders agenda as “puppies and rainbows,” Mr. Goolsbee said that after his and others’ further study, “they’ve evolved into magic flying puppies with winning Lotto tickets tied to their collars.”

Chris Hayes “sort of” apology for editing a clip of Bill Clinton to make it seem he was dissing Obama:

@27: Chris Hayes worked/wrote for The Nation magazine. That magazine endorsed Bernie. Nuff said.

GAgal and chat, thanks for the links. I noticed in the criminal justice survey, Hillary’s answers were thoughtful and comprehensive, and Bernie’s were usually very short and just the opposite. Just like in real life!

@28, Ugh. Don’t like The Nation, or Vanderwhatever or Hayes. Shady lot. Dirty tricks sounds about right for them.

Over at Uppity’s, someone commented that Bernie people are knocking on doors in Vegas at 11pm, pretending to be Clinton people, just to piss people off.

Considering that Sanders campaign has rethug orgs like Karl Rove’s Crossroads working for him, and his army of young assholes are more obnoxious, vicious, and entitled than the bamabots were (I never imagined I would be writing such a thing), it looks like we’re in for a really nasty Spring and Summer.

@30: I just call her Katrina Vandenhoover. 😆

I hope Prolix got into his dentist today.

@32: Me too. I got an email from him *early* today so hope he was able to make the appointment.

Well my fave “flash and trash” was just on, the B. H. Hausfraus, but I missed the first part. 😦 Have to catch the repeat, later.

I love the links!! The media seems to.somehow not understand that not all millennials are white. Racism or CDS??

I would love to see the figures for all of the non-white millennials…to our friend SM77’s point, Latinos are overwhelmingly in support of Hillary too.

Woo hoo!! I voted today!! I love early voting! That felt so good. I even took a picture. Go Hillary!

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