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09/11/2001 WE REMEMBER

"Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams

"My family is more important than my party." - Zell Miller


I think it's safe to say this recontextualizes the midterms... since pretty much everyone else is already saying so. Some excerpts from the CNN announcement:

The retirement is effective July 31, Kennedy said in a letter to President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Kennedy's decision to step down could transform the Supreme Court for generations. Trump will have his second opportunity to nominate a justice and will likely replace Kennedy with a young, conservative jurist. That would create a bloc of five staunch conservative justices who could move the court further to the right and cement a conservative majority for the foreseeable future.


The court opening is also likely to drastically alter both parties' approaches to November's midterm elections. Republicans, in particular, hope the vacancy activates a base that the party has worried would sit out this year's contests.

The timing couldn't be worse for the five Democratic senators up for re-election in states Trump won by double digits: Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. If those five vote against Trump's nominee, they'll hand Republicans a potent issue to hammer them with. If they vote for the nominee, they risk severe retribution from within the Democratic Party.

Recalling McConnell's action, Democrats have begun calling for a delay until after the midterms.


Personal dignity and liberty are constant themes in Kennedy's jurisprudence as well as the limitation of federal power over the sovereignty of the states.

Kennedy disliked the label of "swing vote," but he did side with his conservative colleagues on issues such as campaign finance, gun control and voting rights. He also cast a vote with conservatives in Bush v. Gore, the 2000 case on disputed electoral results that cleared the way for the presidency of George W. Bush.

Kennedy authored the majority opinion in Citizens United v. FEC striking down election spending limits for corporations and unions in support of individual candidates -- an opinion that liberals and Democrats on the campaign trail vowed to overturn.

To the dismay of conservatives, however, he joined the liberals on the court in other areas.

Kennedy voted to reaffirm the core holding of Roe v. Wade in 1992, only to vote to uphold a federal ban on a particular abortion procedure in 2007.

Nine years later, he sided once again with the liberals on the court to strike down a Texas law that abortion rights supporters thought was the strictest nationwide. Without Kennedy's vote, the law would have been allowed to go into effect, inspiring other states to pass similar legislation.

In the same term, Kennedy pivoted on the issue of affirmative action when he voted for the first time in favor of a race- conscious admissions plan at a public university.

After that term, former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said, "It is very much Justice Kennedy's court."


Although for many years Kennedy served as the most important vote on the court, he was only the third choice of President Reagan in 1987. The Senate rejected Robert Bork after contentious hearings.

Judge Douglas Ginsburg dropped out after admitting he had smoked marijuana when he served as a law professor for Harvard.

But Reagan praised his choice when he introduced him to the country, calling Kennedy "that special kind of American who's always been there when we needed leadership."

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/27/politics/anthony-kennedy-retires/index.html
Anthony Kennedy will probably be remembered as among the most powerful judges in American history. What will follow from his retirement will predictably be a bloodsport. With a Blue Wave just around the corner and the future of Roe v Wade conceivably on the line, the stakes are even higher than usual. And Republicans have all the power.

Or do they? Can the Democrats stall through the midterms? How would they accomplish this? Would it even amount to anything if they did? Trump says the process for Kennedy's replacement will begin immediately. McConnell says they'll be voting by fall.

Incidentally, I was on Chris Hayes' twitter earlier this afternoon drinking gallons of salt water (he concludes that Kennedy is "one of the most morally vain figures in American public life") when I happened upon a tweet from some gentleman named "Boko Harambe". He offered this bit of wisdom:

Constitutional originalism is the only correct interpretation of the constitution. If you want legislation passed or the constitution changed, that’s the legislature’s job.


Not bad for a guy that has a turtle eating a watermelon for his profile picture. There's something to be said for the argument that judicial review is in and of itself unconstitutional. At the very least it is a perversion of the republic that the Supreme Court is seen as the legislator of last resort. That is not their job. Unfortunately this is the world John Marshall gave us, and as such the best they can do is interpret the law correctly. Judicial activism is a self conscious farce, and it is not a legitimate philosophy.

The confirmation of Neil Gorsuch is the single greatest accomplishment of an administration and a ruling party that is desperate to be responsible for anything approaching adequacy, and I'd just as soon they repeat that miracle and on McConnell's schedule if at all possible. No number of Supreme Court vacancies would ever have justified the Trump presidency, but now that we're here we may as well make the best of it.

“There cannot be greater rudeness than to interrupt another in the current of his discourse.” - John Locke
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There are 18 Replies

The confirmation of Neil Gorsuch is the single greatest accomplishment of an administration


I find this a bit of an odd sentiment to be immediately following some praise for a tweet talking about Constitutional originalism, given that this "accomplishment" was only doable as a result of complete disregard for the Constitution. I'm a bit confused as to when exactly it is we're supposed to treat the Constitution strictly.

And Republicans have all the power.


They always do, really. Republicans have long had the majority of political power in this country, and have long dictated policy even when a minority party.

Can the Democrats stall through the midterms?


No. They're too busy chastising their base for being "uncivil" to an administration whose entire schtick was being vulgar and enacting policies predicated on fear and misinformation, and actively harming the lives of millions of Americans. Does anyone really think the Democrats will get their shit together for this fight?



Also, I guess we're totally cool with a President under investigation for collusion with a foreign entity during the election appoint a Supreme Court justice while that investigation is ongoing? So... you might have to forgive me if I don't give a fuck about "Constitutional originalism."

Posted June 27th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

This isn't absolutely terrible -- that would be Trump replacing someone like RBG -- but it is pretty bad nonetheless. Anthony Kennedy was the most liberal of the conservative judges, so he was often seen as a swing vote on an otherwise balanced court.

Trump will no doubt install another person like Gorsuch and do away with any attempt at balance. That's probably what most Republican voters and Republican leaders expect in return for their unwavering protection.

This will no doubt be brought up in primaries and elections, particularly in Senate elections. Democrats will first have to decide amongst themselves is they want a candidate to go in promising obstruction, or to let that go unsaid so as not to scare Republican voters into coming out in full force against them. That was Clinton's strategy in 2016, and people might take that as a lesson.

Posted June 27th by Agis
Agis
 

I find this a bit of an odd sentiment to be immediately following some praise for a tweet talking about Constitutional originalism, given that this "accomplishment" was only doable as a result of complete disregard for the Constitution. I'm a bit confused as to when exactly it is we're supposed to treat the Constitution strictly.

How did it disregard the constitution? I'm looking for relevant text on the matter. I'd try looking in Article 2.

Senate rules are what they are. McConnell gamed the system. So did Harry Reid when he rewrote the rules to pack the courts. The constitution, as far as I understand it, does not require that the Senate vote on the president's nominee. If I am wrong then I am certain you can demonstrate this.

Also, I guess we're totally cool with a President under investigation for collusion with a foreign entity during the election appoint a Supreme Court justice while that investigation is ongoing? So... you might have to forgive me if I don't give a fuck about "Constitutional originalism."

If your only argument against constitutional originalism is that I am a hypocrite by virtue of <insert bizarre non sequitur> then I will assume that the value of the principle speaks for itself. What does the FBI investigation, which is at this stage not criminal as it pertains to Donald Trump, have to do with anything? What does McConnell's Senate antics have to do with anything?

But yes, I will forgive your unwillingness to accept what is self evidently true: that our laws are not designed to be rewritten by judges.

Posted June 27th by Famov
Famov

Cant wait for Roe v Wade to be overturned.

Now we just need jewess Ginsburg to retire. I really hope William Pryor is the nomination. And i hope Trump nominates 1 or 2 more.

Posted June 28th by #85
#85

Also, in terms of "collusion" sounds like there was some collusion going on in the FBI to sabotage Trump as we learned in the IG report.

Posted June 28th by #85
#85

"Collusion" between themselves, as evidenced by a text between FBI officials?

Hardly evidence of "deep state" conspiracy and far away from being anything comparable to what Trump, his family, and his campaign have done.

Posted June 28th by Agis
Agis
 

A picture starts being painted when you add in the other things, wire tapping Trump Tower etc.

Posted June 28th by #85
#85

I have some curiosity as to whether or not another closer-to-center judge will be appointed to replace a relatively moderate Kennedy...but probably not. Roberts will likely become the most centrist judge when this is over. Balanced ideologies in the court sounds good, but rank partisanism will always rule in today's US.

Posted June 28th by Jahoy Hoy
Jahoy Hoy

Trump is a lame duck the dems should stall until 2020 we cant have republicans in the Supreme Court their worse than
Nazis

Edited June 28th by Brandy
Brandy

Brandy makes a good point.

Posted June 28th by Agis
Agis
 

Seriously how can anyone support s party that doesn’t believe in climate change is racist hates women hates abortions the list goes on

Posted June 28th by Brandy
Brandy

Obama put up two radicals. The idea that the left would have used their 2nd pick on a moderate wasnt even a thought. It's only the right that gets sucked into such appeasement.

I wish Trump was as bad as the left thought. He's only a stepping stone for me. I will support him as it furthers pushing the window to the far right.

Posted June 28th by #85
#85

Lol at worse than Nazis.

Anyway, Kennedy was not as constitutionalist as I would like, but he showed during some instances when we needed his conservative side most.

Trump released his list of possible nominees, most are quite good decisions. Mike Lee is the popular one among his base, but I would doubt his ability to get even 51 votes in the Senate.

Posted June 29th by Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
 

hates abortions

Historically, the pro choice position was one that regarded abortion as a necessary evil. Bill Clinton summed up his party's stance as "safe, legal, and rare". You're not supposed to like abortion. It's not a good thing. On that there used to be a bipartisan consensus.

I realize this isn't the least intelligent thing you managed to say but I was afraid it would get lost after the Nazi comment.

Obama put up two radicals.

Admittedly I don't watch that closely, but there seems to be some distance between Kagan and Sotomayor. Kagan at least seems to be on the right side of speech issues.

Posted June 29th by Famov
Famov

Actually, "Republicans hate abortions" is just the least controversial statement Brandy made.

Right now, Trump and the Republicans are either ignoring or doing everything they can to help an existential threat to organized life on Earth -- Climate Change.

It's a level of criminality that arguably surpasses the Nazis, and really doesn't seem to have any analogy in history.


Posted June 29th by Agis
Agis
 

Your statements are only superior to Brandy's in the sense that you don't seem quite as mystified by the English language. To the extent that climate change is man made it is, inevitably, the product of every developed and developing nation on earth. The Republicans and Democrats are both aware that we can't de-industrialize ourselves, let alone anyone else. They are also both aware that we don't know how (or if) we can stop it, and the policies being proposed, when they aren't merely wealth redistribution schemes, are nevertheless unlikely to amount to anything worthwhile. These sobering realities might not be as satisfying to put to words but at least it spares us from having to read anything as monumentally stupid as your last post.

Edited June 29th by Famov
Famov

There is zero chance that the Democrats block a justice being appointed to the Supreme Court prior to the midterm election. The GOP re-wrote the rules and they have a unified government. They've broken our entire system of governance, rigged our electoral system, and there's frankly nothing stopping them from doing whatever they please.

That said, I cannot wait to vote in the midterm elections.

These are the times when I really wish the Democratic party weren't so inept.

"To the extent that climate change is man made it is, inevitably, the product of every developed and developing nation on earth. The Republicans and Democrats are both aware that we can't de-industrialize ourselves, let alone anyone else. They are also both aware that we don't know how (or if) we can stop it, and the policies being proposed, when they aren't merely wealth redistribution schemes, are nevertheless unlikely to amount to anything worthwhile."

This is baseless dribble. De-industrialization isn't necessary. We now have technology that will allow us to subvert the worst effects of climate change. The only thing standing in the way is a lack of political will.

Edited July 3rd by Temerit
Temerit

There really isn't a way to block the vote. Republican senators like Murkowski can say they won't vote for a nominee that would overturn Roe v Wade, but that would mean they wouldn't vote for any of the 25 potential nominees on the list Trump has already published. That just isn't realistic.

Trump released his list of possible nominees, most are quite good decisions. Mike Lee is the popular one among his base, but I would doubt his ability to get even 51 votes in the Senate.

All of the nominees are virtually the same, so I don't see any issues confirming any of them unless some complications arise during questioning. Some may be obviously more hard-line (William Pryor), but they still all likely get you to the same outcome when it comes to decision time. Of course, history says to never take the presumed ideology of a supreme court justice for granted.

Posted July 3rd by Bubba
Bubba
 
Reply to: Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire from Supreme Court

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