Thursday, February 18, 2016

What if the Supreme Court....was liberal?

This is a political post.

As much as I wanted Scalia to no longer be a part of the supposedly non-political court that controls quite possibly the fate of the world, if you read back I just wanted the man to retire someplace quiet. And take Clarence Thomas with him. But I'm ashamed to admit my first feeling was an inappropriate glee at his passing. Two or three seconds, but I would like to apologize because it was just that very, very inappropriate. A man has passed on and his passing should be embraced with the solemn respect of one who has affected so many of our lives.

I just wish someone had told the conservatives. 

It goes without saying that there is a belief on the part of the conservatives that this country is theirs, by right, and those of us who disagree with them but who were also born here and are citizens should have no say in it's running. I'm not sure why this is, or why the version of free they espouse has so many limitations in it for things they don't agree with, but I try not to let the incongruity get to me. Lest my head explode. So, it goes without saying that of all the things that could have happened, the most conservative of the conservatives Supreme Court Justices passing on was not something that was supposed to happen. At least not now.

Because before everyone was even sure the man was dead, the GOP establishment and the candidates running were of the very verbal opinion that Obama was on his way out and the next president should pick the next Justice. Then had the gall to got upset if anyone (else) tried to politicize the man's death. But there plan has an issue. Obama has officially more than three hundred thirty (330) days left in office. A lame duck president he is not. Someone suggested that maybe the Republicans thought because he was black he only gets 3/5ths of a term. But since the average time to confirm a nominee going back to Rehnquist is about three (3) months, let's see, some quick math, let's see carry the week, divide by a weekend...yep, he's got time to get it done. Twice. Maybe three time. It turns out the long thought of as permanent conservative majority of the Court may not be as permanent as they thought.

Which leads us to our next issue: Instead of playing and rigging the game, they ANNOUNCED that they're going to turn the table over, grab all the chips and hide in the bushes until the next election. Not exactly sporting. And it an election year, potentially politically fatal. There plan is already falling part less than a week later, as some Republicans have refused to toe the party line and are saying we should consider one. Of course this might be a ploy - say they'll consider one and then just continue to call them unfit until after the election, but still. And hopefully they realize that even this plan runs the risk of them tagging someone obviously qualified as unfit and making it clearly political. It's a delicate game they're playing, and right this second they're using sledgehammers and baseball bats.

But what if the Supreme Court had a liberal majority? It's had a conservative majority for so long we've all just assumed that it's the normal state of things. But what if it's not. What if the Supreme Court wasn't a ref checking the rule book as the Executive and Legislative branches duke it out, but instead a more of what it was designed to actually be...the third branch of government. While we deride the idea of legislating from the bench, is that such a bad thing? And isn't that within the bounds of the court, with it's intentionally vague constitutional mandate. Could the Founding Fathers who crafted a document that seemed to encompass so many other checks and balances have left that one out...on purpose? One of my law professors, as I've explained here, likes to refer the Supreme Court as American's Counsel of Wise Men. Maybe he had a point.

But, most giddy for me, does this mean the return of....BATMAN Obama.   

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