This has been a stunning week and it’s only Wednesday.  The full consequences of the 2016 election finally appear to be descending on Democrats.  It isn’t why they’ve become fully unhinged, but it can only escalate the madness.

First were the defeats in the Supreme Court over Trump’s travel ban and mandatory union dues for public employees.  At 5-4 decisions on both, it was Gorsuch who was critical.  Under normal circumstances, the travel ban should have been a 9-0 decision in favor of the president’s authority to restrict travel from terror-prone nations, but it’s the Trump Era.  So, you know.

I don’t disagree.  Sotomayer’s dissent was a rant that was about as poorly thought out as my typical blog post. It was also shorter than some of my rants about Star Wars.

It came down to whether or not the president has the authority to restrict travel from any country using the power granted to him by law.  He does.

That’s right.  In America, your feelings don’t count.  The law does.  You can hate what Trump does, fear what he wants to do, and protest as you must but Trump is enforcing the law and it’s only because he was elected to appoint Gorsuch that the rule of law is still held above the personal feelings and politics of certain judges.

One of the most interesting facets of this decision was Justice Thomas’s grumbling about the over-broad power of district courts to behave as super-presidents who can veto anything the actual president does.  As I read it, he’s sending a very clear warning to certain Hawaiian federal judges that if they don’t rein this practice in, SCOTUS will do it for them at the first opportunity.

If this happens, the Resistance will lose a powerful weapon that it has been applying to stall Trump’s agenda.

The current Court won’t last much longer in its current composition with the next bit of shocking news.  Justice Kennedy is retiring and with him goes the end of unpredictability in the most controversial Supreme Court decisions.  He was always a “conservative” justice, but you never knew which way he would go.  His replacement, who will doubtlessly be swiftly nominated and pushed through the Senate, will be more, shall we say, reliable.  Reliably originalist, constitutionalist, and fuckyourfeelingsist.

It’s not just about emotions with the liberal judiciary, but also politics.  The Court’s decision in Janus will have serious consequences for union donations to Democratic causes.  The liberal justices weren’t happy about it.  Can’t imagine why.

How much longer will Breyer or Ginsburg last?  Or even Sotomayer, with her health problems?  The horror Democrats are experiencing over Kennedy’s retirement is a whisper compared to what a true, permanent realignment of the Court’s ideological balance will do once a liberal justice retires on Trump’s watch.

I mean, the threat that Obama would get such a shift by replacing Scalia and that Clinton would get to fill one or two future vacancies was enough to lead millions of Republicans to vote for Trump who otherwise might not have.

What will it do to Democrats when President Donald J Trump is building the Supreme Court in his own image, especially when they’re already adopting mob tactics, screaming and tweeting “FUCK” everything at every opportunity, and experiencing a dwindling faith in American institutions as the Court sides with Trump and the Blue Wave diminishes.

I’m not mocking anybody today.  Maybe I’d be half-crazed too if Clinton had won and was on the verge of appointing a 6-3 liberal majority on the Court with either Garland or somebody she picked replacing Scalia, a justice to replace Kennedy, and maybe replacing Ginsburg and Breyer with younger justices who would ensure a liberal majority for the next generation.  It’s thinking of that scenario that has me being more measured in my cheefulness than I might otherwise be.

Of course, all of these happenings are coming at the worst time.  The Left is already on the verge of embracing complete lawlessness and, worse, its loony behavior is going to hurt the Democrats in the midterms, particularly if anybody gets hurt between now and then because of it.

As much as I would like to see the GOP maintain control of the House (the Senate should be a given) after 2018, I am already dreading the possibility that it will and because of it, the Left will still refuse to bury its anger and work toward the common good.  Will it accept the outcome of the 2016 election and put these paranoid Russia fantasies to bed?  Will it quit running on fury and put postitive policy positions on the forefront of its platform?

I’m not confident.  By now, all of those changes should have come, but Democrats are still in an incoherent and largely impotent rage.  I don’t have much reason to think they’ll embrace anything but the rule of the mob, anarchy, and intimidation.

They want to fight Trump but Trump is the law.

27 comments

  1. Sotomayor’s dissent is crystal clear evidence of why she should have never sat on any bench, let alone the Supreme Court. She flat out stated that she was not dissenting based on the text of the executive order, or the law. She should be impeached.

    Can that really be done? waht are the requirements.?

  2. A SCOTUS Justice can be impeached and removed the same as a president or any other “civil officer”.

    Justice Chase was the only SCOTUS justice ever impeached and it was for his political rulings, rather than because of any crimes he committed, so there’s a precedent for it. The Senate found him “not guilty” so he wasn’t removed from the bench.

    I don’t see any reason, on that basis why Sotomayer shouldn’t be subject to impeachment. It’s wrong for her to make a ruling based on her shock at what the president said when he was a candidate instead of what legal authority he actually has and is lawfully applying as president.

  3. Can that really be done? waht are the requirements.?

    Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Chase was impeached by the House in 1804, and acquitted by the Senate. Ironically, he was impeached because they thought he ruled based on his political ideology instead of the rule of law (they viewed it as an attack on the Constitution itself). What the hell would the Congressional members then think of the liberals on the court today?

    It’s essentially the same process as the President or any other Federal office as outlined in Article 1 of the Constitution. The House decides to Impeach, and the Senate has the power to try the impeachment to decide if they are guilty or not, and if found guilty, removed from office.

    EDIT: Jinx on Will.i.am

  4. EDIT: Jinx on Will.i.am

    Yeah, that question was directed at you. Shoulda let you have it.

  5. The Left (including Democrats in office) seems to be railing en mass against the nomination of a replacement for Kennedy based on the grounds of the Senate holding off the nomination of that idiot Obama nominated. They appear to be missing the point that the President nominates the person, and the President isn’t up for re-election this year.

    Regardless of what we think about Obama’s nomination to replace Scalia, the situations are not the same. They didn’t tell Obama to hold off on nominating Kagan in August of 2010, less than 3 months before the mid-terms. I don’t recall anyone on the Right saying Obama should wait to nominate someone until after the mid-terms in 2010.

  6. The complaints about confirming a nominee after the midterms are pathetic, really. Obama made an appointment. Trump will make an appointment. Both were empowered to do this by the Constitution.

    The Senate refused to consider Obama’s nominee until after the election. It is allowed to do that. Here in 2018, the Senate very much wants to confirm Trump’s generic nominee. It is able to do all of that under the law.

    Sorry, but given that we already have four justices on SCOTUS who are perfectly willing to ignore the Constitution and US law in their rulings in favor of foreign laws and their own personal feelings, I wasn’t prepared to risk seeing a potential fifth one on the bench in 2016.

    Democrats should console themselves by recognizing that both Gorsuch and Kennedy’s replacement are only replacing other conservative justices and not shifting the balance of the Court. As long as Trump as a GOP controlled Senate, he gets to have his SCOTUS nominees confirmed, just as Obama did with Sotomayor and Kagan and would have had Garland if he’d had a Democratic-controlled Senate.

    This is one domain in which I’m not sympathetic at all. They lost in 2016. They lost the White House and failed to retake the Senate. The Republicans get to make court appointments. If they want to change that dynamic, they’d best tell Mad Maxine to STFU about mob tactics, tell Schiff to STFU about Russia, and tell everyone else to STFU about open borders and instead offer a competing vision besides trying to impeach Trump.

  7. Worth revisiting this post from April 2017.

    http://www.ridiculousvikingstuff.com/2017/04/06/filibuster-busted/

    There wasn’t any downside to opposing Obama’s nominees because the belief was that he would add more activist judges to the federal courts. Republicans weren’t just supportive of this because of Obama, but because of a strong belief that the federal judiciary is completely out of control.

    “But Garland wasn’t an extremist or an activist judge, you asshole,” you might say. Maybe not, but I don’t doubt that he would have robotically voted with the other Democrat-appointed justices on every single issue. I didn’t see the point in risking it, in any case.

    What you should understand is that Republicans have become convinced that the Supreme Court has become too…supreme. Whether you think it’s fair or not, Republicans see that it was the Supreme Court who first created the Culture War by settling social issues such as birth control and abortion that should have been left to the state legislatures and Congress to resolve. It’s because neither the people nor their elected representatives were allowed to do this that so many of those issues are still blazing after all these years.

    My advice to Democrats is to let this one go. I still think the big fight worth having (for them) is if the time comes to replace Ginsburg or Breyer during Trump’s term. Kennedy has largely been voting pro-Trump for the past year and a half, so I don’t think replacing him with another pro-Trump justice is going to be the apocalypse.

  8. Regarding the SCOTUS ‘anti-union’ decision – I wanna go on record again making it clear that I strongly oppose compulsory unionism. IMHO it’s a RIDICULOUS concept. We got rid of it years ago here in NZ.

  9. At 5-4 decisions on both, it was Gorsuch who was critical.

    In the alternative universe which way did Garland vote on them? 😉

  10. The good news is, Trump has the opportunity to pick somebody relatively young. Most of the current crop of Justices, however good they may be, are past retirement age.

  11. As an outsider it seems very strange that the most significant decisions in a country are largely determined by whichever team had the right amount of power at the right (random) time.

  12. As an outsider it seems very strange that the most significant decisions in a country are largely determined by whichever team had the right amount of power at the right (random) time.

    That’s basically the problem with any democratic institution anywhere in the world.

    In the case of SCOTUS though, it is strange. The problem with it is that there shouldn’t be “teams”. They should be ruling according to the law; that is, the Constitution, the text and meaning of laws passed by legislatures, and previous Court rulings.

    Instead, you have four justices at any time who will rule according to whatever is convenient for their preferred outcome to further political and ideological goals. As an example, look at Justice Breyer. Breyer hates the death penalty and would love to eliminate it. Therefore, he always rules against its application or use in every single case that comes before the Court. Doesn’t matter what the merits of the case are, doesn’t matter what the law says, doesn’t matter if the appeals process was faithfully applied, doesn’t even matter if the defendant is clearly guilty.

    Now, you can agree with Breyer that the death penalty is barbaric and ineffective. However, when he rules according to his favored outcome (eliminating the death penalty) instead of the merits of the cases in front of him, he isn’t doing his job right. He’s serving his own causes, not the law.

    If the Justices were all ruling according to the law instead of policy outcomes, you wouldn’t see very many of these 5-4 decisions. In the case of the travel ban, it should have been 9-0 on the merits. The law that Trump is applying is constitutional. He has the authority as president to do what he’s doing. But the four liberal justices all decided “it’s a Muslim ban” and voted against it on that basis. They were ruling on Trump’s policies, not the law.

    After the recent Christian baker case, I was delighted that the ruling was a 7-2. It’s because the majority all agreed that the 1st Amendment was violated because of how the CO Human Rights Commission behaved. It still wasn’t good enough for two of the liberal justices, but keep in mind that if they had gone for a sweeping ruling that nobody can be forced to bake a cake, it would have been a 5-4 decision and it might not have gone the same way.

    I like consensus rulings decided on narrow grounds. They have more legitimacy and it’s encouraging to see the Court restrain its power. I had really hoped the baker case was a sign of better things to come, but then we get the union and travel ban rulings and it’s business as usual.

    So for all that, I’ll say that if the Court consistently ruled on the merits of the cases in front of them and didn’t try to make sweeping rulings on culture war issues and tried to rule unanimously in order to give those rulings legitimacy, we wouldn’t have “teams” and people wouldn’t go so berzerk over justices being appointed.

    It shouldn’t matter that much, since the law is usually pretty clear.

  13. I wanna go on record again making it clear that I strongly oppose compulsory unionism.

    The issue was not “compulsory unionism”, it was whether unions could charge non union members dues as if they were union members. There is a lot of misinformation going around about this decision, like it will somehow destroy the middle class or will be the demise of all unions, ridiculous. In the past, unions have served a vital role in securing better working conditions and better benefits for it’s members, nothing has changed in this regard. Now they have to dance for their dinner. If they can convince workers that joining the union will be to their benefit and that the union will indeed speak for them, their existence is guaranteed.

    As an outsider it seems very strange that the most significant decisions in a country are largely determined by whichever team had the right amount of power at the right (random) time.

    Wasn’t Obama the guy that said ,”Elections have consequences”? This is an extension of that. The team with the power gets to make the laws, gets to enforce the laws and gets to interpret the laws (the 3 branches of government and their Constitutionally mandated powers).

    This would seem the ideal time for North Korea to upgrade a nuclear research facility.

    Yeah, I noticed that as well, I doubt it was missed by Bolton or Pompeo.

    As an outsider it seems very strange that the most significant decisions in a country are largely determined by whichever team had the right amount of power at the right (random) time.

    This also assumes that the appointed SCOTUS judge will always vote in tandem with the ideological leanings of the party of the president currently in power. While the Democrat appointed judges have followed suit in this regard, the GOP appointed judges have not, batting about 500.

  14. This would seem the ideal time for North Korea to upgrade a nuclear research facility.

    I think it’s Iran’s turn in this rotation. Sometimes I swear that real life is like the beginning of Naked Gun. All of the anti-American world leaders just get together periodically and decide who’s going to do what when.

    Putin: “Thanks for coming this year. We are honored to host this annual conference on “Fuck America”. Here in Moscow, we have the best hookers in the world. Have fun, just don’t urinate on anything!”

    (laughter)

    Putin: “First order of business. Whose turn is it to irritate the US?”

    Kim: “Not mine. I blew up my own nuclear testing sites during my last go-around. Why doesn’t Iran do it?”

    Khamenei: “I’d like to, but I have some riots going on in Tehran on account of the economic downturn.”

    Abbas: “I could throw some more of my people at the Israelis.”

    Putin: “No, that’s not necessary…”

    Abbas: “Seriously. I’m always down for strapping some bombs to teenagers or sending them with small arms right at the well-trained Zionist infantry. Just say the word and I’ll…”

    Putin: “No, we…”

    Abbas: “It’s okay. We pay their families. I have a ton of unemployed young men who would blow themselves up if it means their mothers can buy a new Toyota.”

    (awkward silence)

    Putin: “What about Venezuela? You are closest to the Americans, geographically. Could you possibly…hey, can you please tell your delegation to stop eating all of the refreshments? Those are supposed to be for everybody!”

    Maduro: “Sorry, some of us haven’t eaten since…May. Is the hotel toilet paper complimentary?”

    Putin: “Uhhh, yes?”

    (Maduro mutters something to his associates, who quickly run out of the room)

    Xi: “Maybe we could threaten that one island near us?”

    Putin: “Taiwan?”

    Xi: “STOP SAYING THAT! THERE IS ONLY ONE CHINA, VLADIMIR, YOU ASSHOLE!”

    Putin: “Sorry, it’s just that….ahhh.”

    (facepalm)

    Putin: “How about this? I’ll tell my cyber unit to keep producing some of those frog pictures the American alt-Right loves so much and sharing them on social media. That should undermine the American government.”

    Xi: “Last time you did that, they elected Trump. Thanks to that, Kim nuked his own country, Iranians can’t get a job, and the Americans put their embassy in Jerusalem.”

    Maxine Waters: “I guess I could tell Democrats to start forming mobs wherever Republican politicians appear.”

    Putin: “Perfect! Now let’s go hit the bar!”

    Khameini: “I don’t drink.”

    (the Venezuelan delegation is seen running down the hall with suitcases and armfuls of toilet paper rolls)

    Maduro: “Are the cherries, lemons, and napkins at the bar complimentary?”

    Putin: “No wonder the Americans don’t pay enough attention to us.”

  15. What will it do to Democrats when President Donald J Trump is building the Supreme Court in his own image

    This is most definitely not true, and it’s bigly to Trump’s credit. The judges and justices Trump is appointing are not populist, outcome-focused blowhards, they are, to a person, constitutionalist, textualist, classic judicial conservatives. A Trump version of a Harriet Miers nomination is almost inconceivable at this point. Trump knows where his bread is buttered, that a fundamental pillar of his support comes from conservatives who laud his approach to the SCOTUS.

    He deserves massive credit for the open and transparent “list” approach to SCOTUS nominations. It really is an unsung positive development for our system of Government that I hope becomes the MO for future presidents.

  16. judges and justices Trump is appointing are not populist, outcome-focused blowhards, they are, to a person, constitutionalist, textualist, classic judicial conservatives.

    That doesn’t matter to your average Democrat, who absolutely does not want Trump to be able to exercise his constitutional powers. It doesn’t matter if the travel ban is constitutional. As far as they’re concerned, the Court should be striking it down because it’s Islamophobic. The justices are just doing Trump’s bidding.

  17. Wasn’t one of Trump’s explicit pre-election promises that he’d appoint anti abortion judges? How does that differ from having an anti death penalty judge?

  18. How does that differ from having an anti death penalty judge?

    It doesn’t differ. Judges can certainly hold their own personal opinions. The question is whether or not they apply a fair reading of the law in the decisions or if they only apply their own opinions. Breyer doesn’t rule according to the merits of death penalty cases, with the understanding that the death penalty is constitutional and legal.

    An anti-abortion judge can still fairly evaluate cases when abortion is a topic. An anti-death penalty judge can too in death penalty cases. However, some do not. All nominees should be considered by their records for adhering to the Constitution, not their own policy positions.

  19. But if a judge is picked explicitly because they’re anti-abortion and anti-gun control, doesn’t that make a mockery of what follows? Sure you can always just claim each time that their subsequent decisions ‘are consistent with the Constitution’, but that’s surely going to ring very hollow. They’re being primarily picked to make certain decisions on certain things. The Constitution seems secondary. Which is what you’re complaining about.

    I wonder if the new judge will be subjected to the one-on-one ‘pledge loyalty’ talk with Trump.

  20. Sure you can always just claim each time that their subsequent decisions ‘are consistent with the Constitution’, but that’s surely going to ring very hollow.

    Then it’s going to have to ring hollow.

    They’re being primarily picked to make certain decisions on certain things.

    It’s expected that they’ll have cases brought before them and regardless of their own leanings, I want them to rule on the merits of the cases. Again, the baker majority opinion was consistent with this. The conservative justices could provide a restrained ruling that found a 1st Amendment violation without striking down all state laws that require bakers to make cakes for gay weddings.

    You’re too focused on a justice’s positions. It’s irrelevant. Kennedy himself is personally pro-life and has always been a conservative guy, but he also isn’t above making sweeping rulings that aren’t grounded in the Constitution when it suits him.

    I expect Trump’s nominees to have a track record for obeying the Constitution and care less what their politics are. Indeed, their politics are not a true indicator for how they’ll behave on the Court.

  21. You’re too focused on a justice’s positions. It’s irrelevant.

    Is it though, when Trump repeatedly and explicitly promises in an election campaign that he will appoint anti-abortion and anti gun control judges (and presumably will do so, purely for political reasons)?
    Come on now.

  22. Is it though, when Trump repeatedly and explicitly promises in an election campaign that he will appoint anti-abortion and anti gun control judges

    Yes. What matters is that during the election Trump released a list of judges he wanted to appoint that were all recommended by the Federalist Society. They’re originalists.

    Trump said he wanted anti-abortion judges because he had to give the evangelicals a reason to vote for him. What he campaigns on and who he nominates aren’t necessarily the same thing.

  23. Right, they’ll use their “originalist” beliefs to bring about making abortion harder or illegal, and to stop any further gun control. They are chosen based on the result they will achieve, and how they get there is secondary.

    That’s basically the problem with any democratic institution anywhere in the world.

    I’m not sure I agree with that. I haven’t really seen any of that here. if it does exist, it’s somewhere deep behind the scenes. But then I guess most things like abortion and the death penalty are well settled.

    The issue was not “compulsory unionism”, it was whether unions could charge non union members dues as if they were union members.

    Well use whatever term you like, charging people to belong to a club that they don’t belong to sounds much like the same thing.

    If they can convince workers that joining the union will be to their benefit and that the union will indeed speak for them, their existence is guaranteed.

    That is 100% my position too.

  24. BTW Trump University was the best of both worlds – you got a degree and there’s no chance of you ever being accused of being an “expert” in anything.

  25. Right, they’ll use their “originalist” beliefs to bring about making abortion harder or illegal, and to stop any further gun control.

    Which they should. The Supreme Court had no authority to strike down any state law on abortion with Roe v Wade. It was a tyrannical over-reach and should be overturned so that the states can settle the issue. There is no basis to be found in the Constitution for establishing a right to an abortion.

    On the other hand, the Constitution is very clear on the subject of the right and people to arm themselves.

    How exactly do you come to the position that the right to have an abortion is constitutional and beyond question even though there’s nothing in the document that even implies it while the right of the people to keep and bear arms is explicitly stated in the Constitution?

    Both of those topics should be up to the states, not the federal government. That viewpoint has nothing to do with whether I think abortion should ever be allowed or that there should or shouldn’t be any gun control. I’m acknowledging the realities of the law without stating a policy preference.

    Those who favor an activist judiciary can’t say the same thing.

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