Forum Replies Created
Seniors can already get Medicare Part D for prescription drugs. The people who need help with their prescriptions are the people under 65 who can’t afford their insulin or whatnot. But Trump knows his base is largely older people.
Actually, I think this is a distraction. I don’t think his taxes will have any impact on the 2020 election. The more people are talking about this, the less they are talking about 200,000+ Americans dying of Covid and how pathetic Trump’s response has been to it. That’s what people really care about.
Get rid of the Senate, get rid of the Electoral College – nice ideas but pipe dreams in the real world. Both would require a Constitutional Amendment. Not going to happen anytime soon.
FYI, a friend posted on another forum today suggesting that the Congress has the power not only to change the number of justices but to change the rules of the Court – e.g. Congress could simply change the number of votes needed for a Court decision to 6 votes – so every decision must be 6-3 to pass. (Though this would still require Democrats to get rid of the filibuster as surely Republicans would block any change like this otherwise.) That’s an intriguing idea that would probably protect the ACA and Roe V. Wade with a lot less complication than trying to stack the Court and appoint two new liberals.
Meanwhile, Clarence Thomas might wind up leaving on his own sooner or later for whatever reason, Democrats could replace him if they still have the power, and then maybe the 6-3 rule could be reverted back to 5-4.
Yeah, demand for coffins from Covid 19 has sure been a boon to the lumber industry. But once we have a vaccine and Covid finally starts going away, what will happen to those lumber jobs and to the price of lumber?
Trump didn’t create the political divisions in the US – they were starkly there when he started his presidential bid in 2015. He merely exploited these divisions and made them worse – gas on the fire. But the country most certainly is in crisis – only people not paying attention to the news would think so. We are at a very dangerous place where the US hasn’t been for a long, long time. Our Democratic Republic is literally at risk.
Deane: “To cut down the traffic at the voting locations, and to give more room for social distancing, the decision has been made to have the GOP vote on Tuesday and the Dems to vote on Wednesday.”
Exactly. Democrats have to vote early on Wed, October 28. Republicans have until Tuesday, November 10 to get their ballots in this time, because their president is in the White House.
edselehr, I think the larger the membership of the Court grows, the more difficult and complicated decisions will become. Having 25 members deciding a case sounds like a nightmare. The Court isn’t supposed to be a mini-legislature where members are just voting yes or know.
Harry Reid only removed the filibuster on judicial nominees except for Supreme Court justices. It was McConnell who got rid of the filibuster on Supreme Court justices. Reid’s action certainly made it easier for McConnell, but who knows if he wouldn’t have done it anyway no matter what Reid had or hadn’t done. If Reid hadn’t gotten rid of the filibuster in 2013, Republicans would have filled even more vacancies in the federal courts.
The Constitution is just a piece of paper with words written on it.
What matters is that Americans respect the institutions that are based on the Constitution. But not every institution was established right after 1789. Some have evolved – like the Supreme Court, which has been unchanged in over a hundred years.
There’s nothing magical about the number 9 – what matters is the purpose of changing it. How would you have felt if Republicans in 2017 had added four new seats to the Supreme Court, then appointed four right-wing justices to fill them? Would you still respect the Court’s decisions? Do you think the governments in the blue states would?
As much as you think Trump and the Republicans have grabbed power in an unprecedented way, they didn’t kill the filibuster in 2017 and didn’t stack the Court. They could have done that, could have stacked the Courts with Republicans, could have then voted to ban abortion nationwide, could have enacted a bunch of new laws greatly restricting voting to give them a permanent advantage in elections so they could stay in power indefinitely.
How would you have reacted then had Republicans done that?
How do you think the 60 million+ Trump voters will react in 2021 if Democrats do the same? Do you think they’re not going to take the same steps and then some next time they re-take power, which could be sooner than you think?
You can’t think about how expanding the Court affects things today – you have to think about everything, over the next few decades.
I’m not saying Democrats should roll over and play nice if they win in November. They need to make it clear to Republicans that they are willing to stack the Courts. Let Democrats negotiate from a position of strength. Give Republicans a chance to back down and give up something – e.g. convince Thomas to resign and re-balance the Court and maintain some of the legitimacy, without completely destroying the Court. I think the Court needs some reforms – e.g. term limits. Let Republicans agree to support those things too if Democrats will agree not to stack the Courts.
I’m sure Clarence Thomas can get a cushy job on some corporate board somewhere.
The thing is, we have been in a spiral of escalation between the two parties for a while – and I feel it is about to get exponentially worse and more destructive (under Trump, maybe it already has). When you are in one of these spiraling conflicts, each step of escalation looks logical and appropriate. E.g. in the 1980s, when Teddy Kennedy managed to keep Robert Bork off the Supreme Court, Republicans remembered and retaliated when they had the chance. And then Democrats retaliated…
But no one wins in one of these escalations.
I assure you, there are privately numerous Republican senators who are alarmed at the prospect of destroying the Supreme Court and would prefer not to appoint a replacement for RBG. But…they feel compelled to go along. It is logical for them. And the Democrats will feel compelled to retaliate by stacking the Court if they can in 2021 (assuming Biden wins! Who knows?)
I’m just hoping cooler heads may prevail at some point and try to halt this destructive escalation. It could be that once Trump is gone, enough Republicans will be able to vote their consciences that they may be able to work something out with some of the more reasonable Democrats. Maybe. But while Trump is still here, there’s no way anyone will compromise with Democrats. The pressure on them is too great.
I have come up with an odd (probably implausible) solution to this problem: if the Democrats win everything in November but Republicans still fill RBG’s seat with a right-winger, get Clarence Thomas to pledge to retire early in 2021, as long as Democrats promise not to stack the Supreme Court. Then Biden could appoint another liberal to restore the balance to what it had been until RBG died.
Now you may think, “No way Thomas would ever go for that!” but think about this: if Thomas stays, he’s going to see his power and influence on the Court diminished anyway in a newly packed Court, right? Right now he’s one of nine and in the majority. If the Democrats add say four justices, all liberals, now he’ll be one of thirteen in the minority. (Or maybe one of 30 or something like that.) What’s the fun in that? He might as well just retire anyway…and do some good for the country.
I fear that if the Democrats pack the Supreme Court, that may literally lead to the end of the Constitution. I’m trying not to be hyperbolic. But it seems that once the party in power gets a chance to stack the Supreme Court in its favor, it will…and then the legitimacy of the Court as a fair body will be completely eliminated.
Meanwhile, the party in power’s incentive to stay in power will be so great – because the consequences of losing will be so catastrophic – that they will do literally anything to rig an election…similar to the stance Trump and the Republicans are now taking. But the Democrats may become just the same way. It’s not hard to imagine Democrats following this reasoning: my god, if Republicans re-take control in the next election, millions will lose their health insurance, abortion will be banned again, blah blah blah. So keeping power at any cost will make sense. Whatever the party in power chooses to do, the Democratic-controlled Supreme Court will just rubber stamp the decision, like in any banana Republic.
Not that the federal courts haven’t already been drifting to be more and more political with every decade, but stacking the Supreme Court would seem like an exponential escalation. I mean, some Court cases have definitely been surprises right? E.g. John Roberts voting with the liberals on several decisions. That will be eliminated in a new Political Supreme Court.
I agree that it’s about 99% that Republicans will push through the appointment.
But I’m not sure packing the Democrats packing Court is the right answer. This is a very dangerous, potentially catastrophic change – effectively, it will just let the party who is in the majority add more justices to tip the balance in their favor again. Effectively, the Court will become another political body with decisions being reversed and then reversed again depending on which party is in charge. That will be extremely destabilizing for the nation.
Don’t assume Republicans won’t be in the majority again soon, assuming Trump loses in November. It could happen again as soon as 2025. Imagine what Republicans could do with no filibuster and the ability to flip the Court again decisively in their favor – and building on the precedent Trump has set of doing whatever you want to win. They could make what Trump has tried to do in rigging the elections look like child’s play.
We have lived through eras with conservative control of the Court before. And you never know what will happen with the remaining justices. Clarence Thomas is 72 – who knows how much longer he will be around. If anything, the Democrats could use unpopular decisions by the Court to political advantage; if it keeps repealing popular laws the Democrats pass, they can keep blaming Republicans.
If Democrats do anything, they can try to change the lifetime appointment of Justices to be fixed terms like 20 years. Some experts say this would require amending the Constitution – and that would require a 67% vote by both houses of Congress and ratification by the states.
Elections have consequences. The election people seem to forget is 2014, where Democrats lost nine Senate seats due to the lowest turn-out in a congressional election since 1942. That election led to the current Senate majority for Republicans that has led to two and now probably three conservative justices appointed by Trump to the Supreme Court.
Yes, it’s awful. But it’s reality. Can’t look back. We all knew RBG’s health was fragile – not a surprise to anyone that she died, right?
The future may not play out exactly as some people fear. Clarence Thomas is 72. I don’t wish him poor health, but you never know when he or any of the other eight justices may suddenly no longer be on the court for who-knows-why.
Maybe he’s right – if Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Arizona become blue states in November…