Tuesday's Supreme Court appointment appears to have the Court picking up where it left off before Scalia died. Gorsuch, according to judicial politics researchers I trust, is basically Scalia. Some sources claim he is more conservative than Scalia, a distinction which, if even humanly possible, should make very little practical difference. The only way to make the data show that anyone is more conservative than Scalia is to include that justice's votes from the 80s and up to the mid-90s, before he lapsed into complete self parody. It was as if he laid down a track record for a few years of writing well thought out opinions and then, figuring he'd done enough, took off his suit, relaxed in some sweat pants, and let his inner asshole take over. In his last decade he was everything his critics always claimed he was, and worse. This is the man who pontificated about Strict Constructionalism and then, when same sex marriage was on the docket, started babbling about the ancient Babylonians and "judeo-christian tradition." Yeah, that must be in Article Give Me a Break.

Essentially, the GOP took an enormous risk when Scalia died and it paid off. It was risky because at the time, the prospects of any of the Republican field winning the White House seemed very slim. And they knew the option in front of them, Merrick Garland, was likely a better pick than whoever they would get out of a president Hillary Clinton. They also gambled (wisely) that literally any form of obstructionism and hypocrisy is OK if Republicans do it, because they do it to like, protect Freedom from the totalitarianism of moderate centrist Democratic presidents.

Senate Democrats appear to have zero will to fight this in a meaningful way.
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I'm not sure what it's going to take to get through to those people, but right now they're failing to grasp that the only rational response to this disaster is to bring the Senate to a grinding halt and oppose everything – which, coincidentally, is exactly what Republicans in the Senate did for six years while Obama was around doing things that were usually routine and, at their top dollar best, qualified as mildly interesting.

I've never been a "Let's take to the streets!" person. I dislike being in large mobs of people. But with the Senate Democrats ready to lie down for Gorsuch – who, it should be noted, is 49 and we will be stuck with him for probably three decades – I suppose the only useful course of action is to try to scare them the same way GOP incumbents are terrified of their base.

39 thoughts on “STATUS QUO JUSTICE”

  • Here's how this plays out.

    1) A Democrat with courage (there has to be one who has Presidential aspirations) starts a filibuster.
    2) The Republicans vote to end the filibuster.
    3) This dipshit gets confirmed.

    Everyone "wins" in this situation. Dems can say they tried, Republicans get what they want but, the filibuster as we know it is dead and buried.

  • 49? 49?! No fucking way, not today. No one younger than 60 gets a hearing, and it better be an unhealthy 60 at that. Granted, as cromartie says, the filibuster will be nuked (because let's face it, repubs don't play by the rules), but the dems have to show some spine after 9 months of ignoring Garland.

    I really can't believe McConnell's gamble paid off. That was like betting it all on lucky 13 in roulette.

  • TheMontgomery says:

    Is there some parliamentary procedure bylaw that binds Senators to confirm, uh, "qualified" nominees, or something?

    When even alleged-progressive-firebrand Elizabeth Warren votes to confirm Doctor The-Pyramids-of-Giza-are-actually-siloes for something not remotely germane to his professional or political career, there's something terribly wrong.

  • Native Lemurian says:

    He’s a literal son of a bitch. Mom was first Reagan appointee to EPA, stonewalled investigation of Superfund mismanagement, 1st agency head in US history cited for contempt of Congress. Left the EPA in shambles, and Sonny’s here to finish the job…

  • @ Native Lemurian:

    He's got bigger fish to fry, DARWIN FISH!!

    I guess that we should be glad it wasn't Roy FUCKING Moore.

  • Anybody else re-reading The Deep State for clues about how fast we're turning into the Chinese Communist Party Republican Peoples Party?

  • Apparently this guy used to clerk for Anthony Kennedy, so there was some sort of message sent to the human weather vane that he can safely retire in the next couple years. In which case we'll be well and truly fucked.

  • @DC, Judge Moore's up next, after Gorsuch is confirmed and Kennedy retires. (And Yertle McConnell nukes the filibuster, natch.) But hell, at least he's not Catholic!

    @Ed, the only way to scare Dem Senators and Congressmen and women is to a) primary them, and b) vote against them even if that means a Republican gets their seat. I REALLY don't think that's going to happen.

  • It gets better: there are more than 100 federal judicial vacancies, just waiting to be filled by Trump. Oh boyyy!

  • tomwhoatheres Says – I wish they were to be filled by trumph. Actual federal judicial vacancies, just waiting to be filled by the demons that whisper in Bannon's ear.

  • Wow, that was incoherent. Sorry. I'm at a sad mental state about the future and it affects my ability to write.

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    @Mo –

    Put some serious energy into the next redistricting battle. The GOP is still facing demographic erosion and the only way they can keep this up is by manipulating spreadsheets and essentially reinstituting the poll tax.

  • The only valid response to this nomination is to bork the guy in such a way that it will make anything that was done with Robert Bork's nomination look like a Roman triumph by comparison. He needs to be borked so hard that the late-80s neoligism "to bork" gets completely forgotten and replaced by "to gorsuch."

    Yeah, like that's going to happen.

  • I have some (actually, quite a bit of) sympathy for the Dems who don't want to do this. They represent a lot of moderates who just like to see the system work, and figure that you win some and you lose some. But right now the Republicans are full of unreasonable people and the alternative is just to constantly get smacked around. It's true that blocking Gorsuch is a hostile act, but McConnell intensified the war that Newt Gingrich declared back in the Clinton Administration and the only question left is whether to fight back or surrender. Democrats care that people get hurt in wars, even cold wars (like this civil crisis will hopefully remain), but sometimes you don't have a choice.

  • "gets completely forgotten and replaced by "to gorsuch.".

    Expeshly if it's pronounced "Gorsucked".

    One thing that the dems might do, I'm just spitballin' here, is to stop socializing with the true ratfuckers in the GOP controlled Congress and spend time with the 2-3% who still retain some humanity.

  • > Put some serious energy into the next redistricting battle. The GOP is still facing demographic erosion and the only way they can keep this up is by manipulating spreadsheets and essentially reinstituting the poll tax.

    Ok, but understand that can be maintained forever. There's no particular reason that there will ever be a fair election in the USA again. This idea that demographic change will "inevitably" favor Democrats rests on the assumption that elections are fair. That is a false assumption. It is quite likely (>50% chance, I'd say) that the USA never has a fair election going forward. Get out there and vote harder! But everyone with a black or hispanic name…. you can't vote. Also anyone in a city. Oh, we lost again! You just weren't voting hard enough!

  • Yeah, we're fucked. Senate just changed the rules to get Price and Mnuchin passed out of committee and voted on by the full Senate. Democrats were holding together and refusing to show up and vote, so that meant delay. So the Republicans said fuck you, lady Democracy and changed the rules.

    They will totally nuke the filibuster. So Dems should hang together as the captains who ride down with a sinking ship.

    MS is right. We won't see a real election in this country anymore. Shit, David Frum is predicting the same thing. David Frum. Let THAT sink in for moment.

    I used to joke about being elderly and homeless. That is not a joke anymore. Once the Republican Congress and Trump get rid of Medicare, SS and Medicaid, you will be seeing scores and scores of homeless people literally dying in the roadside (and in North Dakota, motorists will legally be able to run them over). Our country will be featured on those ads for aid to impoverished nations, with images of little hillbilly urchins crying in the dirt.

  • Mothra
    If all that happens, what you would also see is republican members of congress hanging from lamp posts.
    I think people are getting carried away here. Lets calm down a bit

  • mothra – Well, no hillbillies and dirt anymore.

    Nowadays we get to push roller suitcases and shopping carts and sleep in a pile of dirty blankets on cardboard in doorways and squats until the cops roust us or we get roughed up.

    No more poorhouses and workfarms, tho, nosirree.

  • Sip Sip Titimo says:

    Time to stop bringing a knife to a gunfight.

    They play to win at any cost.
    Authoritarians take power with force and deception.
    They maintain control thru force.
    Your life is cheap and meaningless to them.
    Only power and ideology matter.
    When power and ideology conflict; power takes precedent.
    Consequences are never a hinderance. They blame others for their perfidy.


    You must take control back thru greater force.
    You can only take back the power they just usurped from their cold, dead, hands!

    Blogs won't work. They aren't listening.
    Shame won't work, they have none.
    Highlighting contradictions won't work. They are not thinking.
    Pleas for mercy won't work. They are merciless.
    Pleas for sanity won't work. They are not sane.
    Pleas for reason won't work. They aren't reasonable.

    They never stop.
    They never quit.
    They never surrender.

    Power is their Opiate.
    Seeing others suffer is their entertainment.

    They are a evolutionary throwback our species has not purged from its system.
    This pre-hominid throwback will kill us and itself if we do not contain it.

    To them there are only two kinds of people:
    Those in power

    Choose what you want to be or they will choose for you.

  • The Republic is dead, long live the Republic. And to make matters worse, Nickelback is releasing a new album and touring.

  • Will someone please explain to me why Gorsuch would not be a great jurist. The man is brilliant and apparently a strict adherent to the Constitution.

  • You actually make it seem really easy together with your presentation however I find this matter to be actually one thing that I think I'd by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very extensive for me. I am having a look forward for your next publish, I'll try to get the hold of it!

  • Bitter Scribe says:

    @free sex: You might get the hold of it better if you upgraded to a spambot that can generate colloquial English.

  • Rich S: I don't see any reason to not get carried away. The Republicans plan to take away every bit of the safety net. They will get rid of Section 8 so that the working poor won't be able to receive any supplementation for housing. So they and their families will be homeless. They will end SNAP funding, so those families will be hungry. There won't be enough food pantries to help the thousands needing assistance. When they get rid of Medicaid, the poor, elderly and disabled will not be able to afford medical care/rehab/nursing homes. When Medicare and SS end, the elderly will not be able to afford medical care, accommodation or food.

    And of course, the ACA will be abolished and millions will not be able to have healthcare. Since many on ACA are working, they will attempt to pay for their medical care themselves. This will bankrupt them and render them homeless–we already see that as a cause of homelessness now.

    What I have described isn't some imagined fever dream–it is exactly what the Republican Congress has stated they will do–and that Trump will go along with. Trump and the Congress control the military. They would easily dispatch any violent uprising within minutes, if not seconds. There is nothing, I repeat nothing to stop them. Courts? Bwahaha. They don't recognize the Court's authority over them. Oh, and getting rid of the right to vote will handily eliminate any worry of not being re-elected.

    If I had the means, I would get the hell out of this country.

  • I am reminded of the last Matrix movie, where the Admital exclaims "We can't set off an EMP! We'd lose the Dock!" And the subordinate has to say, "But Sir, we've already lost the Dock".

    Democrats can't double-lose control of Congress, so any useless resistance gestures can't hurt them at this point. Obviously this hasn't sunk in yet.

  • I agree this SOB needs to be fought. But I also accept that there's no realistic way to stop him, or the rest of the GOP agenda. They've got their tiny hands on ALL the levers of power.

    And before giving mothra a ton of stick, consider; the GOP's Ayn Rand stiffy means effectively taking the U.S. socially and economically back to at least pre-1932. It's been so long that none of us recall that society, but it was a hell of a harder time for a hell of a lot of people. There WAS a lot of grim poverty – the national standard used to be about 25% of the population below the poverty line (since the Great Society programs of the Sixties the number has usually been around 10-11%).

    That's where Ryan and McConnell and Joni Ernst want to go, and I'm not sure that there's any way for the rest of us to fight that. We're pretty dependent on His Fraudulency fucking up so hard that even the wingnuts can't stomach his agenda and flip the Congress blue in 2018. Good luck with that; GOP politics is utterly tribal; they're Kipchak Turks only with their hands on the nukes right now.

    See it THAT doesn't keep you up nights.

  • "I agree this SOB needs to be fought. But I also accept that there's no realistic way to stop him, or the rest of the GOP agenda. They've got their tiny hands on ALL the levers of power."

    The filibuster still works on Supremes. Use it. If McConnell wants to go nuclear, let him, and then the next time the Dems have power we can pack the court with 60 25-year-olds from Daily Kos.

  • Welp. I noticed nobody brought up the elephant in the room.

    Or at least the incredibly ancient one at that.
    The one, the only RBG.
    Not looking too flash, at the moment.

    I'm curious to know what she was thinking.
    Why didn't she give Obama a nice gift to celebrate his reelection?
    Was she expecting that hrc would run, and actually win this time? Then she would retire.
    That way hrc could have the glory of appointing a judge.

    There you go.

  • @xynzee, I think it's possible Justice Ginsburg realizes that a judge like herself is unlikely to be appointed to the Court anytime soon (more likely never again), and with her husband and pal Antonin dead prefers to work until she drops, particularly in light of recent events. Hell, she's beaten cancer TWICE, she must be pretty goddamn tough. If we're gonna have a Constitutional crisis, I'll at least feel a little better having her on the losing side.

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