HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Editorials & Other Articles (Forum) » So much for 'tradition'; ...

Thu May 30, 2019, 02:35 PM

So much for 'tradition'; McConnell seeks to pack court

By E.J. Dionne Jr.

The Washington Post

Permit me a question to every truly fair-minded person in our country. Imagine that one party packs the Supreme Court with ideologues and the other party does absolutely nothing in response. Isn’t this abject surrender to an unscrupulous power grab?

This inquiry can no longer be ducked. Even those in the deepest denial can no longer ignore Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s nakedly political aim of cramming the Supreme Court with justices who will undo more than seven decades of precedent. They’ll do the bidding of corporate interests, undercut voting rights and empower billionaires to buy elections.

What McConnell said in 2016 to rationalize his decision not even to hold hearings on President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the court is now, to appropriate the word from the Nixon era, inoperative.

Back then, McConnell waxed all bourbon-and-branch about “tradition.” He made the misleading claim that keeping a court seat open in an election year until a new president took office dated back to 1880. “The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let’s give them a voice,” he told us. He piously insisted that this was “about a principle, not a person.”

Some principle.


An attendee at the Chamber of Commerce event put an admirably unvarnished query to McConnell that created an exact parallel to 2016, when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away: “Should a Supreme Court justice die next year, what will your position be on filling that spot?”

“Oh, we’d fill it,” McConnell said quickly, with that small smile of his. Court-packing — excuse me, loading the court with your ideological friends — is the one way you can set the nation’s political course no matter what voters decide year to year. “You want to have a long-lasting positive impact,” he explained. “Everything else changes. … What can’t be undone is a lifetime appointment to a young man or woman who believes in the quaint notion that the job of a judge is to follow the law.”

Of course, “follow the law” for conservatives means the law back before the mid-1930s. Conservatives have long dreamt about salvaging what they call the “Constitution in Exile,” a reading that lets courts eviscerate the ability of the legislative and executive branches (and state governments) to protect workers and regulate the economy — back to the days before Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade and the one-person, one-vote decisions.


2 replies, 955 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 2 replies Author Time Post
Reply So much for 'tradition'; McConnell seeks to pack court (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 2019 OP
Harker May 2019 #1
Igel May 2019 #2

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu May 30, 2019, 05:36 PM

1. No more appeasement.

These people need to be marginalized.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu May 30, 2019, 09:16 PM

2. He's being consistent.

But you actually have to read all the words (or listen to the entire sentence) and then remember more than the 3-second outraging sound bite.

It's hard. We used to have 5-second sound bites, but that was years ago.


Look at paragraph 5. That's what he said he was doing in 2016, that's consistent with what he says in 2019 about 2020. We may think it's scurvy and wrong, but it costs nothing to be accurate.

It also avoids straw men, aka scarecrows.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread