The 5 Lies That This Election Is About Supreme Court Appointments
We’ve all heard it:
“THIS ELECTION WILL DETERMINE THE FUTURE FOR ALL MANKIND!”
“HALF SUPREME COURT JUSTICES ARE GOING TO REPLACED IN THE NEXT 4 YEARS!”
Abominable lies. Let’s break it down into the 5 lies on which these 2 are based:
Lie #1: The senate must approve a nominee for Scalia’s replacement this term
No they don’t. They can hold off forever, especially if the nominee isn’t suitable.
Some have suggested that the constitution demands that the Senate rubber stamp whomever the President nominees. Again, a lie … and absurd one at that. If the President doesn’t provide a nominee with the same political ideals of the justice they are replacing then the law is 100% on the side of the Senate if it chooses to reject the nominee, again, and again, and again, and again. Check and balances, my friend, else it would be judicial tyranny as exercised by the POTUS.
Lie #2: The supreme court is unacceptably handicapped when there are less than 9 justices!
No. The Supreme Court can run perfectly well will only 8 justices … and at one time the requirement was only 5, and operated fine when one of those were missing (4 Justices). It has fluctuated and the specification at one time was 10. Too many, they knocked the specification down. Maybe they should have knocked it down further.
With 8 justices what if there is a tie? No problem. If there is a tie in a decision (4 for and 4 against) then the position of the lower court stands which if you have 4 conservative and 4 liberal justices …That’s not a bad plan really so politics won’t play such a huge part in decisions … so long as there are an equal number of conservative and liberal justices. Maybe we should just change the law to 8 justices and specify a history of zero-sum record ruling for the combined judges across the political spectrum. Meanwhile the Supreme Court seems to like to flex it’s legal muscle perhaps a bit too much anyway as the country seems to get steeped deeper and deeper into greater bureaucracy and Federally-based control. The 4 vs 4 setup could keep that problem at bay.
Lie #3: This Next Term 4 Justices Must Be Replaced!
This is the most absurd of all the lies. First of all, the Senate doesn’t have to approve of anyone. ANYONE (see #1 above). Especially if the names proposed by the repeatedly suggest a common shift in the judicial makeup of the court in favor of the POTUS.
Second of all this assertion is that either three more mature justices are all going to kill over in the next 4 years, or retire. That may happen, but it is extremely unlikely. The average age of exiting that position is about 79 years old … and according to a 10 year old study the “length of tenure has increased slowly and steadily over the long term”, so we can expect that to have increased. Say if that increase by 2 years, given the health of the existing judges it would be unlikely that any of them would retire in the next 4 years unless they want to.
And that’s the point. If Clinton is elected it is likely that the oldest two who are conservative won’t want to retire. Those two conservative justices, Kennedy and Thomas, will want to wait for a Republican president, and Ginsberg, the oldest (and one of the most liberal), at 83, has no interest in retiring, works out twice per week and recently went parasailing.
And they all appear to be fit as a fiddle (Hey, I can use the phrase because I just turned 50). Scalia, however, who died this February was quite overweight, but all the others near that age are all in great shape.
Lie #4: If Clinton wins and then the Senate may be overrun by Democrats and there will be a major shift of power in the judiciary!
Congressional approval ratings have always been abysmal, and with a 20% right now most would be surprised to learn that given the recent record … that’s not bad. It actually represents about a 50% improvement over the average 13% — 14% rating it had 12–18 months ago. It’s no worse than it was last time they were all re-elected.
That means things are kind of looking up for the Senate majority (Republicans), and if Clinton is elected that is expected to not change. In fact there is a solid history of Congress flipping opposite from the political bent of the POTUS, especially the longer a certain power holds that office, and with such an unpopular nominee like Clinton occupying that position that dynamic is very unlikely to change.
There are many who believe that if Trump is elected however that both the House and Senate will flip to Democrat within the next 2 years, vis-à-vis the dynamic just mentioned, and that Trump will be out at the end of this term. Then the Democrats will have a dream come true … just about the time that supreme court justices Kennedy and Thomas are ready to throw in the towel. Then there will be nobody to balance the nominations of who Trump’s Democrat replacement will be.
Lie #5: We should federally legislate everything.
This is the thinking of my parent’s generation on the far right: Control the Supreme Court and control the world. It’s also the thinking of many progressives on the far left.
Actually, making laws is a terrible way to get people on board. When it appears the two coincide it’s really the law following the will of the people. Efforts to engineer public sentiment by law always fail. Always. Those laws get overturned, and yes Supreme Courts have overturned previous rulings many times. That’s kind of like calling terrorists conscientious objectors. Nobody is buying it and soon you’ll have revolution on your hands against the opinions you’re trying to enforce by law.
This frustration the rest of us have with the control freaks is perhaps one of the biggest reasons for the recent growth of the libertarian party. Even before either Trump or Clinton looked certain as nominees, the presumptive Libertarian nominee was more popular than any libertarian candidate has ever been. People are sick of the trend to control everything with Federal laws. They feel that we have states for a reason … in large part because it makes legislation easier and more suitable and fair for the populace within any given region.
While the stodgy right wants to restrict what you can do with your weed, your weddings, your unborn, and what religions are allowed, the controlling progressives want to control what you can do with your business, your right to own guns, or the right to restrict people from peeing wherever they want on your property. All Enforced By Federal Law. States schmates. Who needs them?
We do. Independents now comprise 42% of the populace and they are sick of all the fascination to federally legislate everything. So thank you very much, Supreme Court, but we actually don’t want you anymore. At least 42% of us likely don’t. Leave the rest of the laws up to the states to decide.
And so my appeal is this: let’s not shoot for a political majority either way in the judiciary and greed to shift the 4 vs 4 situation we have now. Vote for the best candidate … not for the one with the most greedy judicial promises.