Comment Of The Day: On The Death Of Justice Ginsburg

Another first: This Comment Of The Day, by Michael West, isn’t related to any post or previous comment. It was triggered by the death today of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020), which has immediate political implications with ethical strings attached.

Some past Ethics Alarms posts relevant to the moment are:

and here is Michael’s timely Comment of the Day:

2) Leaders of every party have soiled themselves jumping straight into political maneuvers and demands within hours of Ginsburg’s body even beginning to cool.

3) They have a really really stupid nuclear armageddon countdown timer. If I were an enterprising political commentator, I’d establish a “civil war countdown timer”. No, not like the last civil war (which wasn’t a civil war)…but a real civil war, which would make the last one look like a boy’s nerf-war sleepover. And if McConnell does what he implies he’s going to do in his statement that came out like an hour after the news broke…I’d set that countdown timer to 5 minutes. Since it’s been at about 15 minutes since the Democrats refused to accept the 2016 election and 10 minutes since the riots began this year.

4a) Someone commented on twitter that “Ginsburg dying feels line one of those points where we’re all forced to explicitly grapple with how broken huge pieces of our political system are”. He’s a history podcaster, with blatantly leftwing leanings, so I know what he thinks is broken. He’s wrong. What’s broken is an electorate that has been conditioned by media and pop-culture since the 70s to increasingly look to the national level of the Federal government to solve our problems and decide our lives. This boils down to ONE thing. ONE THING-

4b) This would be just an odd coincidence at any other time in American history. But for Abortion. The left, in it’s depraved love affair with a cookie cutter nation doing cookie cutter things dictated by central powers, has convinced itself that “losing” (whatever that means) the Supreme Court will open a route to turn America into Handmaid’s Tale to borrow Humble’s comment– WATCH DIFFERENT SHOWS. They just don’t get it. Even if the Supreme Court rules Roe unconstitutional (which it won’t), that does not make your precious sacrament of abortion illegal in the United States. All that would do is turn the topic over to the States…where in all likelihood, the balance of decisions made would still be in abortion’s favor.

4c) So the really broken thing in our nation is that- the over-reliance on the national or central level of government to make our political decisions for us.

5) SCOTUS justices should be appointed for life. I don’t think that is wrong. But SCOTUS justices should also, ethically, recognize when their time is done, and step down.

6) While McConnell would show exemplary ethics sticking to this “McConnell Rule”, I recognize that the “McConnell Rule” is really an extension of Machiavellianism that has crept into American politics since it gentrified around the time they locked the House of Representatives from expanding. The real choice facing anyone at this point which relies entirely on whether or not we are capable of extending good faith allowances to the other side anymore (I don’t think we are, reference #3)— Is, support McConnell and Trump ramming through another justice tentatively knowing that the Democrats aren’t going to behave constitutionally anyway, or oppose McConnell and Trump ramming through another justice on the assumption that will somehow demonstrate enough high-mindedness to get more Republicans elected and stave off what is increasingly expected- a Democrat insurgency. It’s cynical, I know, but here’s where we sit in the year 1860 2020.

68 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: On The Death Of Justice Ginsburg

  1. The old ratbag should have retired while Obama was president and while she could still exhibit some pretence of being nonpolitical. She gambled on a Clinton presidency…and lost. If the Dems are looking for someone to blame for this situation, they need look no further than her.

  2. I’m honored. I tried to make something somewhat coherent despite my urge to rant given what I’ve seen of Twitter so far.

    The last bit where I said “1860” I messed up the html markup… that’s supposed to be struck through.

  3. My standard snark when some big firm lawyer dies in the saddle about twenty or thirty years after he should have retired and gone fishing with his grandchildren: “Did he get his timesheets in?”

    Why wasn’t there any information about her deterioration? Last we knew, she was working ten or twelve hours a day regardless of her cancer. “Just ignore the man behind the curtain.”

    • Nah, the cancer had come back, and she had just been hospitalized. Her number was up; the only reason this was even a little bit surpising is that she acted like she would live forever through sheer will.

      • Sheesh. CNN must have had all their hagiographies in the can and ready to go.

        If she was such a saint, she would have retired while Obama was still in office. Massive ego.

    • Re: “Hell is empty And all the devils are here.” (“The Tempest” Act 1, scene 2, lines 209–216)

      “Who of these groups are the devils, and who are the victims? While Prospero and Ariel are the ones pulling the tricks on the mortals during the play, we remain sharply aware of Antonio and Alonso’s prior wrongdoing. In Act 3, Scene 3, Prospero will remark, while eavesdropping on Antonio and Alonso’s plotting,

      “Honest lord,
      Thou hast said well; for some of you there present
      Are worse than devils.” (Act 3, scene 3, lines 38–40)

      By the end of the play, this distinction between man and devil, with all its moral implications, will begin to collapse. Each and every character, even Caliban, is eventually shown to be made up of good and evil. When Ariel recounts these words as spoken by Ferdinand, he is foreshadowing this eventual resolution.”

      Quoting Shakespeare out of context is always a fool’s errand.

        • Oh Lucky. It’s just the interweb. I found the quoted material while trying to figure out what Val was saying. I guessed it must have been from somewhere. And I just last week finished “King Lear.” It had been a LONG time since I’d read any Shakespeare. His plays are massive poems with tons of images and metaphors that weave themselves together and reflect off each other throughout the poem. Nothing’s ever simple. I’m not sure I’ve ever managed to finish “The Tempest.” It’s terribly difficult.

  4. So now we’ll be going into an incrediby contentious election with rushed-through mail-in voting changes in multiple states likely to result in several challenges that reach the Supreme Court, with a court consisting of an even number of Justices. What happens if the outcome of the election hinges on a 4-4 decision?

    2020 just keeps on 2020’ing… Do you guys remember the good old days (by which I mean two days back in May) when all we had to panic about were “murder hornets”? Such a quaint, sepia-toned time that was…

    • I stand ever more sure of what I predicted here a few weeks ago: The 46th, 47th, and 48th Presidents of the —— States will be, in rapid succession, and in the following order, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris.

      • Oh, and I didn’t add this to my prediction at the time, but it was in a it-goes-without-saying state of mind: There will be LOTS more rioting.

    • Mail in voting should stay the same as it’s always been. In Colorado there’s issues with people not changing their address and they “opt in” to mail ballots. As I look at my mangled journal I received in the mail, I have to question why either party is “for” mail in ballots as proposed. It’s simply a bad idea- no matter what else is happening. People are in a state of mob rule and heightened alert already and aren’t making rational decisions.

      • We don’t “opt-in”. We’re an all-mail election system. But we’re also a “same day registration” system too. If you don’t want to vote with the ballot sent to you, or it’s lost or damaged, you can go to a polling station or request a replacement ballot.

  5. “ an electorate that has been conditioned by media and pop-culture”.

    Surely one of the vital requirements for a civilised democracy is respect for those who think differently to you?

    So ‘they’ have been ‘conditioned’ (I think you mean ‘brainwashed’), and you haven’t? I wonder how that happened. Do you want to set up ‘reeducation camps’ so they can be ‘corrected’? Or have you got some other solution?

      • You mean the convicted felon and former grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan? Who won a seat in Louisiana House of Reps in the early 90s? Well there is a lot I’d vigorously disagree with him about, but yes I respect his right to hold the views he holds, horrid as they are, and to express them in a peaceful way. I have no reason to consider him ‘conditioned’ or ‘brainwashed’. So what? I don’t know how many supporters he has, hopefully not very many. You, in contrast, seem prepared to disrespect a good 30% of your fellow citizens.

        • Sorry Michael Ejercito. I took you to be the original author, a different Michael, (West). My ‘You in contrast …’ was aimed at him not you. Sorry.

        • Andrew wrote: “Well there is a lot I’d vigorously disagree with him about, but yes I respect his right to hold the views he holds, horrid as they are, and to express them in a peaceful way. I have no reason to consider him ‘conditioned’ or ‘brainwashed’. So what? I don’t know how many supporters he has, hopefully not very many. You, in contrast, seem prepared to disrespect a good 30% of your fellow citizens.”

          It is of course *interesting* that a person and people — you in this case! — will describe a person you know nothing about in the pre-vilified terms of *received view*. First, David Duke is a Great American in the more or less understood and accepted meaning of the term. Literally Jeffersonian and far more like the Founders in orientation, integrity and outlook than many you will encounter (and evidently you did encounter them!) who will recite from a List of Horror the evil deeds and thoughts of a man they have not ever read!

          To get to the point where you can condition people’s minds, now that is a glorious American achievement! This result is where the *conditioning* is best seen. It is a marvelous thing really. Now, when you encounter that individual who has been conditioned to react and respond simply when you mention a name, good luck to you trying to interject a contrary idea or notion into that man’s or that woman’s head. The mere fact that you suggest a different view is ipso facto evidence of your own evil relationships. “You defend that monster?!?” they say. And they conclude, necessarily, that you are similarly evil for proposing their view is off in some way.

          Now here is an interesting way to understand “David Duke”. I will turn David Duke now into a general symbol and say “David Duke went to Charlottesville to peaceably protest. In fact David Duke did appear at Charlottesville but I am converting David Duke into an emblem of all those people and groups who showed up there.

          David Duke went to Charlottesville to peaceably protest . . . and the *righteous* of America met him at the gates and did battle with him. The entire system, basically, with the very very odd exception of the Lunatic President, condemned David Duke because there is no other alternative, on any level, for any reason, ever! to say anything favorable about David Duke. David Duke is ‘Hitler’ and I am surprised that you — so noble a man! — could here allow yourself to offer any defense for David Duke!

          What is the matter with you!?!

          I read David Duke’s autobiography. Well almost half of it before I went on to other things. He is an admirable man with an admirable intellectual process. And the largest reason he is opposed with such violence (hold on to your chair because this might cause an Earthquake!) is that he is in no sense in pro of Jewish influence and control within the structures of America. He speaks about this because he thinks about this. Because he can think about it.

          You see: to get to the truth of things is not exactly difficult, in fact it is easy. But what has to be surmounted is the ‘internal conditioning’, and that is hard indeed! If you were to make *brainwashing & conditioning* an actual topic of discussion within the American context . . . you would have a very interesting, but very difficult conversation on your hands.

          But of course the real meaning here is that this is what you and I must do: examine our conditioning at all levels and in all areas. These efforts are blocked by Ideological Monuments of course.

          Blue pill or Red pill Andrew? Qu’allez-vous choisir?

    • Andrew wrote: “Surely one of the vital requirements for a civilised democracy is respect for those who think differently to you?”

      Thinking about this, I would say that there are numerous requirements that would allow a civilised democracy to even function, and other factors and conditions that would lead to its fracturing and to civil strife. A civilised democracy could only really function well if the members of that society were largely and basically in agreement about a range of very basic notions and values. But what happens when at very fundamental levels factions appear that are really quite opposed to each other? In the democracy you speak of that danger is always a real one, isn’t it?

      The thing about a democracy is its *delicateness*. If there were some sort of authoritarian structure that had the power to hold disparate elements together, despite their differences, then these conflicts and differences of opinion and value could be restrained. But that is not the case in America. And though you, as an Aussie, could not be expected to know certain things about America, nor to grasp the extreme and to some degree insurmountable differences that now present themselves with genuine force, nevertheless you should understand that there are some ideas and some ideologies that cannot be *respected* as you say.

      For this reason you should be able to grasp that America is at a point where many people, realistically or dramatically and exaggeratedly, have begun to see the first traces of open civil conflict. It is, after all, one of the elements of our history, and it is not unnatural, if I may say, that the struggles are defined through civil war terms.

      In normal circumstances, of course there would be a great deal of toleration for differences of opinion. But I suggest to you that these are not normal circumstances, not by any means. What we see — to the degree that we can see — are extreme power-plays by power-factions who yet seem to remain invisible. I do not think there has even been a time, in recent American history, where internal factions have acted to foment civil rebellion. But things of that nature are taking place now. It is as if the very System itself, sort of para-democratically, exploits cultural and democratic strife for *it’s own purposes*. What those ‘purposes’ are, it seems to me (and many others I should add) is not clear. Because there is a sort of veil or obscuring haze.

      I know that you were speaking to and commenting on Jack’s perspectives, but what you wrote inspired me to chime in.

      “So ‘they’ have been ‘conditioned’ (I think you mean ‘brainwashed’), and you haven’t? I wonder how that happened. Do you want to set up ‘reeducation camps’ so they can be ‘corrected’? Or have you got some other solution?“

      It has become evident to me that most who write on this forum, and for different reasons that can be named, have a very very difficult time accurately *seeing* the other. They project into the other content that they cannot see in themselves. But related to not being able to see the other is the inverse of not being able to see oneself. And then there is the strange issue of what I have noticed as a tendency to identify one’s own self with the larger *being* of the country. The doings of the nation are explained as if it is the doing of that individual! The nation is as justified as that individual sees himself or herself. And if you critique the nation and its doings, that individual takes it *personally*, as if you are attacking that person.

      These blind-spots, as I might call them, are ‘part-and-parcel’ of Americanism and American identity. But what I want to say, and the primary example I will cite here, is essentially the Northern attitude toward the Southern section and the way that it concocted a whole series of lies and distortions to justify its attack on and destruction of the South. Jack and Steve of NJ and literally 99% of those who write here are deeply and profoundly wedded to these mis-truths or dis-truths as it were. It distorts the entire personality and it certainly distorts a person intellectually. To have that perspective, to be wedded so fundamentally to those lies and distortions, have wide-ranging effect in many other areas and categories. Just as the whole *lie* about what was done in that war is believed and upheld, so is a whole range of other lies. They are very convenient to that liar! and for that reason they are never challenged or confronted.

      You might be able to imagine that my views and perspectives are not exactly appreciated very much!

      Since Shakespeare came up recently, I wanted to make a reference to Gloucester’s in King Lear. Those who analyze the play have suggested it has, ultimately, to do with *seeing* and *vision*. Lear was significantly blind to the nature of his own daughters. And Gloucester unable to *see* how treacherous was his adopted son. And at one point Gloucester says “I stumbled where I saw”. Meaning, when he was not physically blind and had his physical eyes he could not see. He did not accurately see *his world* nor himself in it. It implies another sort of *seeing*.

      These are things that actually happen to people. You don’t *see* until you have significantly lost something, until fate or Providence has intervened.

      It is as a result of trying to think deeply about all of these things — the deliberate undermining of one’s own power and station, the deliberate collusion with destructive forces in which American Republicans are deeply and profoundly complicit, and a whole range of events and processes that were not and are not *seen* by those who indeed ‘have eyes’, that has brought the country of America to this critical point! But just try, Andrew, just try to put those perspectives in order. It is very very hard. Because it demands the ultimate act of *seeing*. And who *sees* accurately?

      This of course opens up the entire vista (obviously every descriptive term now chosen must Be related to sight and seeing!) to an examination of the profound problems manifesting in our present. It involves perspective and also interpretation. The Culture Wars of America are wars of ‘vision’. But (in my opinion) there is another and a major aspect of the present struggles that can best be defined through *mechanics*. This is much less to do with ideology and idea-struggle and more to do with systemic and economic issues. Who will control the vast ‘structure’ of America. America is, in this sense, the *investment portfolio* of sets and constellations of set of very powerful interests. In this sense it does not care about America’s ‘soul’ as it were. It would, one might suggest, be just as happy controlling a nation of Zombies.

      I hope everything is going well for you Andrew . . .

      • You write :” A civilised democracy could only really function well if the members of that society were largely and basically in agreement about a range of very basic notions and values.”

        I agree 100%. Unconstrained democracy simply can’t work when two foxes and a goose vote as to what’s for dinner.

        • You remind me with such terse, empty comments, the degree to which people cannot think about the present. The time demands so much and yet there is a general failure to even come up to the edge and to see and understand any part of what goes on. What if you actually had to act responsibly in your present? Would you rely on the perspectives and ideas provided to you? funneled down into your mind?

          Can you think anything at all original? Is there any ideas or opinions that you have genuinely worked to have?

          A memorable line from an intense, though ultimately rather weird, Sixties poem comes to mind:

          “What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?”

          I admit that I do not fully understand it though I think I understand some part of it.

    • “So ‘they’ have been ‘conditioned’ (I think you mean ‘brainwashed’), and you haven’t? I wonder how that happened. Do you want to set up ‘reeducation camps’ so they can be ‘corrected’? Or have you got some other solution?”

      Having given this some consideration, pop-culture and media really only brainwash one way. If we were talking about a sort of catch-all, general brainwashing, then you’d have a point. Certainly people of all persuasions can be, and are, more indoctrinated than self-taught.

      At the present time, nearly every major U.S. and global corporation, every Big Data and social media giant, search engines, the Ivy League and most of academia, over 90% of major media outlets, the FBI, IRS and other American Bureaucracies, as well as close to 100% of mainstream entertainment, are all very active in brainwashing in a very specific ideological direction.

      • At the present time, nearly every major U.S. and global corporation, every Big Data and social media giant, search engines, the Ivy League and most of academia, over 90% of major media outlets, the FBI, IRS and other American Bureaucracies, as well as close to 100% of mainstream entertainment, are all very active in brainwashing in a very specific ideological direction.

        That is a statement that a person can really work with. It is not an exaggeration. If the present in this sense is a *current* then that current carries everyone in it and along with it. If one begins to resist the current one does so because one has become ‘reactionary’ to it. But reaction is not a sufficient platform. More is demanded. Here the problem starts. If I am in reaction to the current(s) of the present, why am I in reaction? What different and opposing values am I aligned with? How can I know them, how can I become aware of them, if indeed I am within the current of the present and pulled along by it?

        It leads to a recoiling back into oneself, and then processes of deep analysis and especially ‘self-analysis’. Because to be in the current implies, to one degree or another, complicity with it. The current of the present flows on and does not require energy. One does not swim in the current, one is moved by it. But even to become stationary in a moving current requires energy! And to turn against the current requires twice the expenditure of energy.

        But here is another metaphor that revolves around the notion of *light*. If one *wakes up* to the possibility that “100% of mainstream entertainment, are all very active in brainwashing in a very specific ideological direction“, one comes into the light. The implication is that a light has been turned on and there are *things* that one can focus on and *see*. But what is that *light*? It is not only what makes visible. It is what makes intelligible.

        But as I see it — and indeed as I live it — it is very difficult to develop a contra-dictory platform. Because what is required to remediate a present that has ‘spun out of control’ is, it would appear, a rather radical shift. And individual can do this, and certainly an individual within her or his spiritual life. But the current of the *world* goes and is going in its own direction.

  6. Good comment, Michael.

    Last night, I was thinking much of what you wrote. It was foolish for McConnell to insist upon waiting until the 2016 election to select another Justice; it is stupidly foolish of him to insist upon replacing Ginsberg now.

    Nothing is wrong with the American system of government in the way the Left continues to do it’s Henny Penny act. It’s the pattern of misinformation and indoctrination led by the news media and education that needs to be overcome.

    I still say that Trump would make everyone’s head explode by nominating Merrick Garland.

    My question is: would the Left accept Merrick Garland now (when it insisted upon him four years ago) if he were A) nominated by Trump and B) now that they’ve committed themselves to diversity-based rather than merit-based representation?

    • Merrick Garland would be a great choice judicially, but suicidal politically. Trump could have Ginsburg resurrected and it wouldn’t cure the Trump Deranged, and appointing Garland would be seen by the Right as a betrayal, as well as an insult to McConnell.

      • I am almost certain that Amy Comey Barrett is waiting in the wings and will be announced tomorrow. this is simply too big of an opportunity and too important to pass up or let go. If the president pushes someone through at this point, he might lose some of the fence-sitters, but probably not many. If he does not push anyone through and says he will wait till the election is decided, he loses the base. That’s actually a pretty easy decision.

        The ones who don’t have an easy decision, are the GOP senators, particularly those facing tough re-election fights this year. if they support the president on this, they motivate every Democrat in their district to come out against them. If they sit this one out their people stay home and they lose.

        Lisa Murkowski has already said she will not vote for any nominee. Surprise surprise, since it’s already well known her that she is owned by Planned Parenthood. Susan Collins is keeping quiet so far, however, in the end I do not believe she will stab the president in the back on this one. If she does she’s done. mitt Romney has said nothing so far, but since he voted to convict the president in the impeachment trials he may well try to stab the president in the back here, she’ll be 72 years old at the end of his current term, and he really doesn’t care, he’s just a member of the fitter brotherhood.

        That’s all the defections that are likely to happen, but that’s all we can afford. I would not want to be in the president’s shoes today oh, he is really walking a tightrope God help this nation if he falls.

    • I still say that Trump would make everyone’s head explode by nominating Merrick Garland.

      My question is: would the Left accept Merrick Garland now (when it insisted upon him four years ago) if he were A) nominated by Trump and B) now that they’ve committed themselves to diversity-based rather than merit-based representation?

      1) I have thought the same.
      2) Don’t know, but I suspect it would be downright hilarious to watch.

  7. Joe Biden to Georgetown law students March/2016: “I was responsible for eight justices and nine total nominees on the Supreme Court – more than, I hate to say this, anyone alive […] Some I supported, a few I voted against. But in all that time, every nominee was greeted by committee members, every nominee got a committee hearing, EVERY NOMINEE GOT OUT OF A COMMITTEE EVEN IF THEY DIDN’T HAVE SUFFICIENT VOTES TO PASS WITHIN THE COIMMITTEE..” (bolds/caps/italics mine)

    Whooooooopsie!!

    2016 Arguments Support GOP Vote on New Supreme Court Justice

    DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL nominee Joe Biden argued furiously in 2016 for the Senate to consider a Supreme Court nomination in the midst of an election season

    In justifying their decision to block Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court in March 2016, Republicans at the time cited a floor speech Biden made as a senator in 1992 in which he staunchly opposed the idea of holding confirmation hearings for prospective justices, calling it the “Biden Rule.”

    But Biden, by then the vice president, blasted the GOP justification as “frankly ridiculous,” saying that such a rule “doesn’t exist.”

    You’s think Lefty’s been breathtakingly Bat $#!t Crazy lately, you’s ain’t seen NUTHIN’yet!!!

  8. McConnell is as right to expedite a hasty appointment of any reasonably acceptable Trump nominee in September 2020 as he was as wrong to deny a hearing to any Obama nominee whatsoever in February 2016.

    To do so would reveal blatant foetid dishonesty and utter hypocrisy, but I see no good argument against it, other than the limited time available for a thorough vetting, 45 days vs 270. Doing so less than 70 minutes after RBG’s death was tacky, but fitting for this regime, and arguably such haste is needed.

    Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore? Judicially qualified, would certainly shore up the softening Evangelical support, and, most crucially, would cause Democrats to have conniptions. But not on the current shortlist.

    Ivanka Trump? Excellent test of personal loyalty, would embolden personal followers of Trump, would cause Democrats to lose their minds, but would do nothing to encourage Evangelicals, and again, not on the short list.

    So most likely one of the many “overturn Roe v Wade, Obergefell v Hodges, and Lawrence v Texas” nominees on the short list. Anyone less extreme would not be acceptable to Evangelicals, not after the relative milquetoasts of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

    None of the nominees would have any Democrat support of course, regardless of their qualifications or suitability, not after Feb 2016, so their views can be safely ignored.

    By doing what he has done, saying that a Trump nominee would be put before the Senate for confirmation, it allows the Democrats to Wave the Bloody Shirt, jettison the filibuster, and add another 4 – or even another 8 – positions to the SCOTUS if they win.

    I would argue that this would be fatal to the Republic. I can’t argue well that, given McConnell’s and the GOP’s dishonesty, that the Republic isn’t already dead in this respect, and that this isn’t just burning the corpse in the vain hope of temporarily preventing further infection.

    What I would hope is that any such measure would be vetoed by President Biden. But then, I would hope that Trump would nominate an ACLU lawyer to replace RBG. Both would be good for the US. Both would be politically impossible.

    Why do I say that such a pollution of the SCOTUS by stacking would be fatal to the Republic, not just damaging to the Republicans? Because the next time the GOP gets Senate, House and Presidency, they’d be compelled to do the same, and the reputation of the SCOTUS as a non partisan arm of government would be permanently shattered, rather than merely maimed. And if they never get all three, we have a one party state. Healthy Democracies rely upon loyal oppositions.

    However.. given McConnell and the GOP acting with such flagrant and unashamed hypocrisy, there is no expectation, let alone guarantee, that they wouldn’t do this anyway, now the bounds of “convention” have been torn asunder. As in 2016, if there is political advantage, they will do it. So what a Democratic Congress and Presidency with blood in their eyes does is immaterial.

    Ideally, all would be for the State and not the Party. But it is all too human, and one of the few things both sides have convinced themselves of, that the interests of their respective parties *are* the interests of the nation.

    The handful of GOP senators queasy at the prospect of such an appointment are also irrelevant in the long term. Whether they vote on party lines for confirmation, or stand on a matter of Principle, is irrelevant as long as those voting on principle are not a substantial majority, let alone a mere handful. The damage has already been done – even though I am forced to agree that a Trump nominee should be voted on, and if at all acceptable, confirmed.

    None of the candidates on Trump’s shortlist would be deemed acceptable under these particular circumstances.

    • Doing so less than 70 minutes after RBG’s death was tacky, but fitting for this regime, and arguably such haste is needed.

      Except that in a way she had been dead already for months. She just couldn’t admit it.

      • Out of intellectual curiosity; could you possibly be more of an asshole? Like can it even be done or would you like undergo gravitational collapse and create a sphinter singularity?

        • Valkygrrl, somewhat rhetorically, asks: ”Out of intellectual curiosity; could you possibly be more of an asshole? Like can it even be done or would you like undergo gravitational collapse and create a sphincter singularity?”

          But that wasn’t where my worst character traits show up. That was really not even that bold of a thing to say. More or less it was accurate.

          When we think and speak *intellectually* we do so when we resolve not to do so *emotionally*. All of your comments are emotion-based. So I imagine it would be hard for you to operate in a strictly intellectual environment.

          What I would most appreciate and even relish from you would be more of an intellectual outline of what you think and believe. What holds you back?

          It is imperative for those who are conservatively-inclined not to lose nerve around the necessity — a necessity intellectually understood — to elect as conservative a justice to the open spot as is possible. I am not sure how to classify President Trump’s attainments and accomplishments, but if he can succeed in carrying this one off it will mean a great deal.

          And yet even if that does happen, it is still a shame that these justices have so much power in the molding of culture. But I guess it was through an oversight of sorts of the Founders?

        • valkygrrl wrote, “Out of intellectual curiosity; could you possibly be more of an asshole? Like can it even be done or would you like undergo gravitational collapse and create a sphinter singularity?”

          GREAT QUOTE!!!!!

          • Did your keyboard suffer damages as a result of the hilarity? Mine did. I lost control of a whole mouthful of oatmeal! And it was an Apple Extended Keyboard.

            I’ve got everything protected in plastic now though.

            I had no idea ethics was going to be so risky!

    • But seriously,

      There is plenty of precedent for justices to be confirmed within 46 days. It’s been done frequently; FDR confirmed a judge in zero days. The time crunch is only an issue if liars make it one.

      But we all know that there is literally no limit to what Democrats will do to delay the process, and I expect extreme measures to be taken. We’ve already seen protesters paid to disrupt proceedings one at a time and scream. We’ve also seen made-up sexual abuse charges and never-ending demands for more investigations into same. They even tried to bully Kavanaugh’s high-school girlfriend into lying about him (despite being a Democrat, she refused.)

      There isn’t much new to try outside of maybe a bomb threat.

    • But then, I would hope that Trump would nominate an ACLU lawyer to replace RBG. Both would be good for the US. Both would be politically impossible.

      If the ACLU of even 1960 still existed, I would agree in principle (if not, perhaps, in practice). But the ACLU today might as well be a wholly-owned subsidiary of not just the Democrat party, but of the socialist wing thereof.

      So no, I can’t agree. Alas, the ACLU has corrupted itself unrepentantly, and is now, in its essence, a communist sockpuppet.

      • Thank you for the cogent argument, actually addressing the issues.

        By the same standards though, the Federalist Society is unrepetently Fascist.

        I don’t agree with either evaluation, but at least both propositions are worthy of discussion.

        Remember too that in the 60s, the ACLU was viewed by the right as a Communist front. Given the number of actual Communists in it then, as opposed to the zero in it now, it was arguable.

        • zoebrain wrote, “By the same standards though, the Federalist Society is unrepentantly Fascist.”

          Can you please extrapolate on this point?

          Here’s where I’m confused by what you wrote; I don’t understand a correlation between the Federalist Society and Fascist where I do understand a correlation between the apparent morphing of the ACLU towards conforming to totalitarian ideology and thus a correlation between the ACLU and Socialist, Communist’s and even Fascists.

          Your thoughts on this?

        • zoebrain wrote:
          By the same standards though, the Federalist Society is unrepetently Fascist.

          Fascist? I don’t think that word means what you think it means. Not even using my hyperbolic standards would this be true.

          Fascism, generally, is defined as “a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.” The Federalist society promotes exactly the opposite — limited central government, more local control, and a weaker federal state.

          Fascism, it would seem to me, would require a strong central government at minimum. With so fundamental a tenet expressly opposite of their positions, it’s nonsense to argue that a hyperbolic version would embrace it.

          Remember too that in the 60s, the ACLU was viewed by the right as a Communist front. Given the number of actual Communists in it then, as opposed to the zero in it now, it was arguable.

          Zero? Heh. Here’s the truly weird thing — a the self-described communists of the 1960’s were practically right-wing compared to the so-called socialists of 2020. Besides, the ACLU banned communists from leadership positions in the 1940’s.

          The Bill of Rights is for communists as well as capitalists. The problem is, the communists (read: Democratic Socialists) of today are actually totalitarians in the mold of Mussolini, who was also a fascist (but needn’t have been).

  9. I think having an even number on the Supreme Court going into this particular election would be a terrible thing for the United States, I think there is a reasonable chance that the Supreme Court will come into play after election day. Based on that; I think they should push through a nomination and fill the Supreme Court seat before the end of October because having an even number would be a possible disaster waiting to happen.

    The Supreme court already leans Conservative so, is Judge Merrick Garland still available?

    Jack wrote in his Ethics Verdict: The Republicans Should Vote On (And Approve) Judge Merrick Garland blog post on March 17, 2016…

    “Merrick Garland, is a white, veteran 63-year-old judge with a distinguished record, nothing flamboyant or controversial, who is as close to a non-ideological, non-partisan moderate as any Democratic President is likely to appoint from now until the stars turn cold.”

    How could Democrats turn down or disapprove of Judge Merrick Garland being the nominee even if he’s nominated by President Trump? The question is, is would Garland step up to fill the position for the good of the United States of America.

    President Trump should immediately nominate Judge Merrick Garland and force the Democrats to approve or oppose the exact same Judge that President Obama nominated. In my point of view, this would be a shrewd political move for President Trump.

    • Wouldn’t that risk alienating Trump’s supporters, many of whom are already feeling a bit let down by Gorsuch and Kavanaugh not being as conservative as they had been advertised to be? I guess the calculation would be whether it would gain enough swing voters to make up the difference.

      What a revolting mess we find ourselves in, here in 2020 America…

      • Getting someone on the SCOTUS before the election should not be about gaining votes, it should be about what’s right for the United States of America as we head straight into a very contentious election. If the nomination doesn’t shift the Supreme Court a little more Conservative, so what, it already leans a bit Conservative plus there will likely be four more years of President Trump to appoint more Federal judges and possible more SCOTUS justice(s).

        This truly should be about having a full Supreme Court and nominating a moderate like Garland would put the Democrats in a real pickle of what to do politically.

        I may be politically blind but I really don’t see a political downside to President Trump nominating Judge Merrick Garland.

        • I think it more likely that Trump’s supporters would accept a Biden victory with an additional judicial conservative on the Court than that Democrats would accept a Trump victory with a moderate.

          • I think it more likely that Trump’s supporters would accept a Biden victory with an additional judicial conservative on the Court than that Democrats would accept a Trump victory with a moderate.

            I think you’re right about that. Trump supporters could take consolation in the idea that at least a conservative court could dampen potential authoritarian leftist damage for years to come. Not nominating a solid conservative would cause many to ask themselves why they should bother supporting Trump for a second term.

            Putting Garland up surely would kill his chances. Democrats would not love him for it any more than they do for the things he’s done that benefit their constituency, and the media would just pound it as a cynical and desperate attempt to not lose…and would be right, for once.

        • You don’t? The Right would be furious, especially with Roberts attracting their ire by not being a knee-jerk guaranteed vote with the “conservative” block. They want a justice who will refuse incursions on the 2nd Amendment, reject affirmative action and be wary of abortion. That’s not Garland. He was moderate for a liberal justice. He’ awfully liberal for a moderate justice. Trading out a progressive ideologue like Ginsburg for a true conservative would mean a sea change in the court, and nothing should of that will satisfy the GOP base.

          • Devils advocate in me commenting now…

            Jack wrote, “They want a justice who will refuse incursions on the 2nd Amendment, reject affirmative action and be wary of abortion.”

            How do we know he won’t do these kinds of things? Is there a bad track record of him ruling with the extreme political left in cases along these lines, has anyone asked him about these specific things?

            Jack wrote, “He was moderate for a liberal justice. He’ awfully liberal for a moderate justice.”

            But, but, but he’s a “veteran 63-year-old judge with a distinguished record, nothing flamboyant or controversial, who is as close to a non-ideological, non-partisan moderate…”

            What am I missing?

            Jack wrote, “Trading out a progressive ideologue like Ginsburg for a true conservative would mean a sea change in the court…”

            I completely agree but is that the kind of controversial justice what the United States needs right this very moment in time going into the November election? What if for some reason a much more conservative Judge can’t get enough votes to be appointed, we could be screwed going into a very contentious election that could end up in SOCTUS and there’s an even number of justices.

            Jack wrote, “…and nothing [short] of that will satisfy the GOP base.”

            That “might” be true of the very extreme Conservative wing of the base but “might” not be true of the moderate Conservatives. Who has the most clout in the GOP, the squeaky wheel extremist like in the Democratic Party or is it the moderates which are a huge part of that silent majority I keep hearing about? This could be a great opportunity to show United States that President Trump wants to shift away from the extremes for the good of the country.

            Devils advocate has completed. 😉

    • How could Democrats turn down or disapprove of Judge Merrick Garland being the nominee even if he’s nominated by President Trump?

      How could Democrats disapprove of the killing on Iran’s terrorism chief even if he’s rubbed out uner President Trump?

      How could Democrats impeach President Trump for employing the same kind of tactics with foreign leaders every previous President has engaged in routinely?

      How could Democrats criticize US troop reductions abroad even if they are engineered by President Trump?

      There are, oh, about 20 similar examples. How? Because Orange Man bad, that’s how.

      • Remember the vast majority of the political left still worships President Obama and to publicly second guess Obama by opposing his nominee would be sacrilegious! If the Democrats chose to stand against Judge Merrick Garland, a President Obama SOCTUS nominee that never got a hearing from the Republicans, they would be risking opening the eyes of their base and reveling their dark undercurrent.

        Yup, I’m in one of those moods today.

  10. I was genuinely saddened when I learned of Ginsburg’s death. She was, as the president remarked, an amazing woman who led an amazing life. Her perspective was an important counterpoint to judicial, political, and social conservatism, and Democrats could hardly have asked for a smarter or tougher voice on the nation’s highest court. Together with Scalia, she embodied the ideal that the bonds of friendship needn’t be broken, even over trenchant disagreement, so long as goodwill and mutual respect prevail. For these reasons, I will miss her.

    At the same time, I am relieved she is no longer on the Supreme Court. In my estimation, when she was wrong about important matters, she was deeply and destructively wrong. I wish she had stepped down sooner, and I agree with Michael that she should have. Certainly by the time she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she was left with no excuse.

    Perhaps my analysis is wrong, but it seems to me that the GOP’s decision to block confirmation hearings for Garland resulted in two major unethical choices downstream:

    1) Ginsburg felt it imperative to hold on to her seat as long as possible to prevent Trump from nominating her replacement. In part, this was symptomatic of the broader derangement in the Democratic party caused by Trump’s election to the presidency, but I think it probable she would have been willing to step down had Garland been confirmed. Am I giving her too much credit, or would she have tried to outlive Trump’s first term regardless? I find it hard to believe the latter.

    2) With the opportunity to tilt the balance of the court ever so slightly in their favor crushed by McConnell’s Machiavellian (albeit legal and parliamentary) machinations, with Ginsburg’s life fading quickly away, and with their hatred of Trump and attempts to undermine him more desperate by the day, the Democrats could not accept Kavanaugh, and resorted to the basest attacks to prevent his confirmation.

    I will again agree with Michael that it is impossible to extend good faith allowances to the Democrats at this stage. They have already said that Trump won’t concede defeat and is trying to suppress the vote, and they have pushed expansions of mail-in voting with full knowledge of the opportunities for fraud, the likelihood of large numbers of invalidated ballots, and the possibility that the outcome won’t be known for days or weeks after the election. With this premeditated attack on the integrity of the election, if Trump is the apparent victor, there is nothing to stop the Democrats from filing lawsuits over the election in their gambit to remove him. And what will happen in the event of a 4-4 split on the Supreme Court?

    Zoe aptly points out that it would be as right to confirm Ginsburg’s replacement post haste as it was wrong to block Garland’s confirmation. The GOP would be ethically estopped from complaining if the Democrats controlled the Senate and blocked confirmation hearings, but that is not the current situation. And aren’t the Democrats are ethically estopped from complaining about nakedly parliamentary maneuvering, especially in light of the recent impeachment? It pains me that our politics have sunk so low, but at present I want McConnell, Trump, and the Republican party to do everything they can within the bounds of the law to defeat the Democrats. As such, I think the GOP must swallow their hypocritical treatment of Garland and confirm Ginsburg’s replacement before the election. I’m afraid no other option is viable.

    It’s hard to be optimistic about our country’s future either way. Ginsburg’s death couldn’t have come at a worse moment.

  11. If, according to Chief Justice Roberts there are no Republican Justices and no Democratic justices there are only justices, what difference does it make whether a nominee is submitted by either Trump or Biden.

    Obviously, RBG felt otherwise or she would have retired earlier.

    Therefore I can only conclude we have a bifurcated judicial system in which your odds of winning your case in the Supreme Court depends on the political ideological majority rather than the set of laws. Thus, we are in fact closer to being a nation of men and not necessarily a nation of laws. Damn shame.

    • While we could fool ourselves and pretend the SCOTUS was not politicised before, we can’t now. I’d argue that we couldn’t since February 2016 without serious self delusion, but at least there was a chance it could be made into a reasonable facsimile thereof.

      Now, odds are miniscule.

      Damn shame indeed.

      Like the estimated half million Americans who will die un necessarily before Christmas 2021. If we’re lucky.

      • Half a million, eh? Wow, you must be expecting BLM and the Democrats to be really, really violent after Trump wins if there’s going to be a half million dead.

        I think it pretty safe to assume there would be a lot of martial law declarations if that is the case.

        • If the Democrats get to repeat what they are desperately hoping happens…another 1861…if Zoe’s side is even remotely as effective as it was when it was defending slavery, 2.5% of the American population dies…making a half million look merciful.

          No, using Civil War ratios (and a modern one, not based on sectional lines, would likely be much worse) we could expect just shy of 8 million deaths.

          Of course, if her side wins via election, we know how the Left cleans out the opposing side legally. We saw it in the 1920s in Russia and the late 30s in Germany.

          No, the Republic-destroying civilization eaters must be opposed at every turn.

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