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19 September 2020


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Grossly over-pessimistic.

Chuck Light

Bobo and A, Pols: If I may, I would like to ask you both a hypothetical question, in order to make sure that I understand your stated position(s) above.

First let me say that I am a Democrat, and that I have come to the conclusion that a high probability exists that the president will win re-election, and the Senate will remain in Republican hands. I believe this is so because with the death of Justice Ginsburg, the evangelical Christian right and the extreme right wing of the Republican party (call them Federalists, White supremacists, White Nationalists, or whatever you will, but they are a potent political force) will be extremely energized to vote. The evangelical Christian right, especially, has waited for decades to overturn Roe v. Wade, and this is their best opportunity. The extreme right wing of the Republican party wants power, now and for as long as they can keep it, by whatever means. Prior to Ginsburg’s passing they might have been disheartened by Biden’s steady lead in the polls, but now they will vote like their futures depend upon it, and I have concluded they have a pretty good chance of keeping the White House and the Senate.

If I understand your positions as stated above, you both appear to argue that what various members of the Senate said in 2016 -- when Scalia passed away and Obama nominated Merrick Garland -- should be disregarded as mere politics, and what matters is who has the power, and who uses it to best advance their own political interests, prior promises be damned.

If that is your position, and please correct me if I am wrong, then here is my hypothetical:

Assume I am wrong about the election. Assume that somehow Biden wins, convincingly enough that the president accepts the result and a peaceful transition of power to the Biden administration occurs. Assume further that not only does Biden win, but that enough Republican Senators lose, sufficient to flip the Senate. (I said it was a hypothetical.)

Assume also that either before the election, or in a lame-duck session, the current president nominates, and the current Senate confirms, a jurist to replace Associate Justice Ginsburg on the Court, and that this new Justice is firmly committed to the repeal of Roe v. Wade, and to act to further right-wing political goals, including ending campaign finance, the Affordable Care Act, the Voting Rights Act in its entirety, etc., etc.

With these assumptions, would you agree that the Democrats, hypothetically controlling both Houses of Congress and the White House, would be fully within their rights, and in fact obligated as they exercise the power given them by the electorate, to nominate to the Court and confirm to lifetime appointments four extremely liberal jurists, thus creating a seven to six liberal majority on the Court?

As Bobo said, “Power is Power and if you have it you use it.” A, Pols said “’Principle’ be damned: it's politics and one should use any advantage one has, particularly in the peculiar instance of Supreme Court composition.”

Just curious. If it is good for the goose, is it equally good for the gander?

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