To Hell With The People

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Trump says they should stall. McConnell said he will stall in the Senate. All the Republican candidates for president insist we must wait to appoint a new Supreme Court justice until the next president takes office. They hope that a Republican will win the general election in November, in which case they can get a new justice that matches their extremist notions.

So, the political rant is all about dragging feet for almost a year – until after January 20, 2017, to fill the vacancy on the court. What’s conservative about that? Can you think of a single reason – even a bad one – that the court should be limited for a year if its job is to be the the final arbiter of disputes and the interpreter of laws, as established in Marbury v. Madison over 200 years ago? Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Tribe can’t and he derided the Republicans’ behavior, saying the Republicans were, ”  .  .  .  holding the court and America hostage.” He said that’s shameful.* He’s right.

It is the obligation (i.e. requirement, duty, responsibility) of the president to nominate candidates to sit on the Supreme Court. It is the obligation of the Senate to vet the president’s candidates and approve or reject. Nowhere in the Constitution are there words suggesting that any of these required duties should be postponed for a year because it’s a presidential election year and the Republicans want to pack the court with their lapdog justices. Indeed, there have been 8 justices put on the court during election years since 1900, including Justice Anthony Kennedy, nominated by Ronald Reagan in  his last year in office.

This Republican hair-on-fire tantrum is just their current denial of reality, another flick of the middle finger to America, saying to hell with the people. The Republicans will likely cave in and hold hearings but will reject whoever President Obama nominates just to string out this process for a year and to deny President Obama another victory.

Isn’t America supposed to be better than that?

* Said to Chris Matthews on Hardball, February 15, 2016.


Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

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5 Responses to To Hell With The People
  1. Frank Levy Reply

    Mitch, Ted, Mark, Jeb, and others have said the American people should have a say in who is nominated to the court…America did have a say, America elected Barack Obama president, twice, by significant margins.

    • JaxPolitix Reply

      We squirmed in pain when George W. Bush had his opportunities to nominate and he picked John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Terrible choices for America, but too bad for us; elections have consequences.

      One of the consequences of the last election is that Barack Obama gets to do the nominating to fill this Supreme Court vacancy. Too bad for the neo-cons.

      To those who would flaunt the Constitution and refuse to do their senatorial duty: That’s Constitutional life; deal with it.

  2. Allan Shuman Reply

    Jack, today’s blog brings to mind something that I began to write to you offline a few days ago. So…. here it is:


    You have spoken of the American electorate’s (especially white lower economic strata males’) propensity for voting against their own interests, generally in response to and alignment with right-wing fear-mongering politicians. In my judgment, those politicians often set prime examples through their own behavior. Consider Senator McConnell’s defiant announcement preemptively rejecting any potential nominee to the Supreme Court. Assuming judicial qualifications being equal (or at least all candidates demonstrating more than satisfactory competence), under which circumstances is a centrist, as opposed to a more left-leaning candidate to be nominated…now or after an election that puts another Democrat in the White House and the Dems in control of the Senate? How far out on a limb are he and his candidate cohorts willing to stick their necks out betting that the Righties will win the Presidency with someone NOT named Donald Trump AND maintain control of the Senate? Forget the backlash that the pundits are predicting. Forget, too, the fiction that nominees are supposed to be considered without regard to their political inclinations. Are they willing to risk the next generation of decisions based on speculation that they will be able to dictate the future from their seats in congress? How cavalier are they with their own and their constituents’ perceived interests?

    Which brings to mind:

    The Righties have skillfully created a boogie man and continue to nurture the idea that he is the enemy of the people…… continue to the point that (some of them) are now advancing the idea that this enemy is not just wrongheaded; he is deliberately trying to undermine the principles on which America is based… to take away their freedom. I fear that a huge segment of the people is not tuned in to nuance (an understatement?). One bit of unfunny comedy is that presumed Constitutional scholars (read that Cruz) seem unaware that the Constitution is quite deliberate in establishing the separation of powers among the branches of government. Of course this idea has never functioned perfectly, but has advocacy of its violation ever been so blatant as it is today in the Constitutional scholars’(?) insistence that the Court’s proper function is to facilitate the agenda of the current congressional majority? (I’m not sure I know the answer to that one. Maybe it’s been like this in eras past; all I know is that it’s not working very well now.)

  3. Jim Altschuler Reply

    So what else is new? The R’s have been stalling and filibustering and fighting every effort Mr. Obama has tried to put forth for 7 years in spite of how much those efforts were in the best interest of the people of the United States. Whether you agree with what he has tried to do throughout his service in the highest office of the land or not, you can’t think the R’s have been right. Disagree with what he wanted to do when it was appropriate, even vote against it, but if you don’t agree come up with a better solution to the issue. For 7 years they haven’t done that … not once. “The Hell with the people” should be the R’s motto.

  4. Joni Lindgren Reply

    The fact that Bernie Sanders and Trump are doing so well is a big indication that people are sick and tired of being lied to, politicians who turn their backs on their constituents in favor of kickbacks, workers and worker’s rights being trampled, politicians who are selling out basic rights like clean drinking/bathing water (actually, privatizing water), much of our tax dollars going to the corporations while the rest of society gets nothing but cuts to wages and pensions, corporations who are writing our “laws of the land”, and no regulations on the big banks and environmental laws that protect us….to name a few.

    There is a revolution happening and it’s not going to stop because the genie is now out of the bottle…..thank God (for Bernie)!! He’s the only one who can save us because he has ALWAYS voted for the middle/lower classes!!

    The biggest issues going forward is the vacancy on the Supreme Court, the privatization of our water supply and not just in Flint, and land grabbing like the Bundys tried to do. By the way, the Kochs were funding the Bundys!