Supreme Court Squares – Republicans (And Democrats?) For The Block

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In my last post I noted how the trend towards straight-ticket voting was helping to polarize politics and make it more “Us Versus Them” than ever in the US.

And then Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away over the weekend…

(Sidebar – he was 79. As for references to his “sudden passing” this isn’t the first time I’ve noted such language in obituaries and other articles about a man his age. Folks, that’s the life expectancy for males in our country. There is an expiration date on us all even if we aren’t living in a hospital or care facility. By all accounts Justice Scalia lived a full and rewarding life. RIP.)

If you thought the country was split into two before…watch what happens next.

The Republicans didn’t wait but minutes after news of his death before predictably screaming how we should wait for over a year for the next President to be able to make the all-important nomination of his successor.

The President and fellow Democrats simultaneously, predictably screamed back they most certainly will make a Justice nomination and seek a successor immediately in order to continue to ensure the integrity and performance of this all-important branch of the US Government.

The first irony that comes to mind is the main reason (I think) of having Supreme Court appointments for life is to insure the integrity of the power of the Court and protect against interference from either the Legislative or Executive branches. That being said it should be noted a President nominates Justices and the Legislative branch approves or disapproves.

That sounds like interference to me…checks-and-balances to others, I suppose.

The second irony is you hear Republicans indicating we have to hold off on replacing Justice Scalia because the American people should have a say in who sits on the Supreme Court. Please. All we’re going to be doing (in November mind you) is electing a President who upon taking office (in January mind you) will make a Justice nomination (sometime next year mind you) and have it vigorously contested (immediately afterwards next year mind you) by the party who loses the Presidential election.

I would be remiss if not interjecting on this whole “job for life” thing I’ve always wondered how in touch Justices are as they advance in age…not only with present-day USA…but in general? And what if they did something really stupid or illegal while serving at any age…can you imagine the political circus of trying to impeach a Supreme Court Justice?

Good thing we’ve had Justices behave…and often retire without dying while serving.

The third irony is even if Republicans are rock-solid on locking out the vacancy being filled to see if they can reclaim the White House the President and fellow Democrats might be better off letting them take that position.

A divided court – and by all accounts the Court now is as “balanced” as can be based on prior decisions – favors the President and his party in that with only eight Justices split decisions are inevitable. A divided Supreme Court leaves prior lower court rulings in place…and a large majority of the U.S. Courts of Appeals holds a majority of Democratic appointees. Further, there apparently is no law or policy about what the Supreme Court should do with cases already argued and voted on when a Justice dies. (Yes, you read that correctly – nada…)

If we take all the rhetoric out regarding either party’s desired timing for a replacement…and whether or not Justices even deserve a lifetime achievement award…the bottom line is a vacancy is now open on the highest Court in the land and the world doesn’t stop spinning.

Cases have been argued and voted on, heard, are to be heard and are to be argued and voted on. Important cases.

It is a disgrace of American politics we are possibly now going to leave the Supreme Court short of having a full complement of Justices for over a year regardless of whose “strategy” prevails. Political gridlock at its ugliest…over a unique position that helps shape, define and clarify the law of the land.

It is also a disgrace of American politics the nomination process for quite some time now has been about parsing ideology first, qualifications second. Whoever eventually gets this seat – assuming someone gets appointed someday – will do so primarily because of party leverage and/or because of how it is perceived they will rule on key issues more so than on whether or not their careers have truly distinguished themselves to be worthy of the lofty position of a Supreme Court Justice. The President and the Legislative branch members will all get their crystal balls out and first try to figure out who’s the “surest” bet to advance their respective agendas well before then considering a nominee’s true ability to honor and carry out the position on behalf of all Americans.

All. Americans.

Qualifications are unfortunately guaranteed to not be the top priority when considering our next Supreme Court Justice.

A job mind you…guaranteed for life.

 

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About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside the City of Brotherly Love. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen of our United States and Canada (twice). Addicted from birth to Television/Movies/Sports. Took three years of French and got credit for two of 'em.
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38 Responses to Supreme Court Squares – Republicans (And Democrats?) For The Block

  1. Good post, Bruce! What a mess this is turning into…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. spearfruit says:

    Bravo Bruce – I totally agree. My thought is was disrespectful to start having this fight before Justice Scalia is even buried. I just do not know what to think anymore concerning politics and our government.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Terry for the support. As you said we hadn’t even heard the circumstances of the Justice’s passing before quotes were being fired back and forth from both sides. I don’t know what to think either and while I said in my last post I don’t often wade into politics I felt this post “inside me.”

      Like

  3. I love plain speaking, Bruce. This is a nice clear assessment of a complicated issue. Well, complicated because of partty politics, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meg, as I just noted to Terry in an earlier comment I just felt this post “inside me.” I was watching TV Saturday night when the Justice’s passing came to light and I was so infuriated with what followed. Thank you for the compliment on the clarity. I know a lot of my followers don’t really do so for politics and I tried to keep it as “clean” as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Not to worry, it was a very balanced post! The extremes of both parties are very out of touch with the people and the folks in the middle are getting drowned out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OneDizzyBee says:

    I had thoughts when I heard the news, but they were scattered and all over the place. You, however, did an amazing job of articulating. I’m as far from political as a person can get, I think (which may be a cop-out in some ways, I’m aware), but I enjoy, as a previous commenter said, a plain speaker. Especially when that voice can take the chaos in my own head and give it some sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bee, thanks so very much for your complimentary review. This is new territory for me as far as posting politically-related material. My prior post and this one have been therapeutic to let out frustration and I’m finding people like yourself are responding favorably. We’re all frustrated. Grateful for your comment!

      Like

  6. aFrankAngle says:

    Amazing that the first shots where fired within the first hour of the announcement of the news about Justice Scalia. Not praises for the job he did on the court. Not praises with his legacy. Not praises for the type of person he is. Oh no … Let’s block the next nominee!

    Sure, if the shoe was on the other foot, the two parties would switch roles … no question! To me, President Obama has an excellent opportunity to put the GOP in a very difficult situation … but I wonder if he will.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Frank, I’m betting the President would have been just fine leaving office without this on his plate. Then again, he has no choice but to look at it as a key opportunity for his party…but it should of course be one for his country first and foremost.

      Like

      • aFrankAngle says:

        No question about the unexpected addition to his plate. Elected members are not country first people … nope, not even constituents first … but unquestionably party first.

        I have a great idea for a nominee. President Obama needs to find a pissed off Republican … one with qualified legal credentials, but one who is pissed off at the gridlock. The president nominates him/her …. suddenly the Senate does an about-face and opens the hearings … and then the nominee withdrawals.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Frank, that scenario would be the cherry-on-the-sundae for this election season.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. George says:

    Embarrassment for our country at the highest order. The mans body wasn’t even warm and we were playing political corpse. It’s hard to even watch this train wreck going on in DC and around the country. It’s never what’s best for our country any longer but who can grab the most power, collateral damage be damned.
    The bubble is about to burst and it won’t be pretty when it does.

    Liked by 2 people

    • George, I just read a story of a poll showing how “frightened” America is at the prospect of the leading Prez candidates actually winning their respective party nominations. I think we can now all go into frightened mode now with this Supreme Court debacle. The disrespectful timing of those announcements about no or yes to nominating a successor indeed showed the world our “dark side.”

      Like

  8. George says:

    P.S. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bruce, You’re trying to infuse logic and truth into the issue of party politics. You’re trying to suggest that we—the American people—actually have a clue as to what is going on. That we are all voting to be led by a bunch of self-serving, powerful, egotistical, gridlock minded along party line, frauds. Not even interested in the slightest about us the voter, or our countries image and troubles. Only hoping to divide and conquer the American people and hold them hostage through their party’s argument, that we are all complete imbeciles who only vote for one party or the others point of view, and never voting for what is best for our country. Thank goodness for reminding us not to vote for a party, but for the individuals who have Americas best interest at heart. Now, if only there was such an animal. What was it Groucho Marx once said: All people are born alike-except Republicans and Democrats.” 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This is such a heartfelt, sensible post Bruce and as some of your other readers said, you made it make sense. It’s be great if this was submitted as a letter to the editor of one of our major newspapers.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have a soap box and it is quite worn because I use it so often, however I’ll try not to use it too much here. I will say, I get quite frustrated with politics and politicians, and a two party system is the worst. As some other commenter said above, it’s all about their party. What about people, the country as a whole, the greater benefits to our society? Nope, just maintaining your power, lining your pockets and those of your highest paying backers, and pitting the little people and “peasants” against one another. Both parties are guilty of it, and both are shady as all get out. Okay, so maybe I did use my soap box too much in this comment. Oops.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know LSON it appears from my last couple of post reactions you, me…and a lot of others feel exactly the same. Maybe you need to make some room on that soap box of yours for us all. Reading responses like yours provide hope I’m far from alone. Both parties have failed miserably and put the nation second for a long time now.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. actions15 says:

    “If you thought the country was split into two before…watch what happens next.”

    —A good reason for Michael Bloomberg to run.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Belinda O says:

    You’ll have to trust I read this one. I’m trying to stay away from political comments…it’s too easy for me to go off… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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