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Scalia: Interjections!

scalia-gesture_400x400I woke from my pre-bedtime nap yesterday to find that news of Antonin Scalia’s death was almost an hour old.  I uttered an uncharitable interjection.

It was uncharitable because I did not think of his family or his grandchildren or anything like that. It was uncharitable because his death is one of those eucatastrophes in an already unorthodox election year that could blow the joint wide open.

First, let me get out of the way that I did not like Antonin Scalia. I’ve heard that some of his opinions on defendent’s rights were good and he had a soft spot for habeas corpus. So, the guy wasn’t all bad.

But this is the same Supreme Court justice who helped give us Citizen’s United and didn’t think Brown vs the Board of Education was a good decision.

If you are the kind of voter who only cares about abortion and whether gay people get away with doing “unnatural” things with their naughty bits without being stoned, then Scalia was your guy. I might point out that the Supreme Court has had five justices to overturn Roe v Wade for over eight years now and as far as I know, it hasn’t been overturned so someone hasn’t been entirely honest with you.

But if you cared about more than sexual morality, then Antonin Scalia was one of the moving forces behind some of the most regressive Supreme Court decisions of our modern age. He affected everything from voting rights to workers rights.

I have to admit that I have had a secret desire that one of the conservative justices would reach an age where their parts would unexpectedly wear out in time to make a difference. It didn’t much matter to me which one it was. Roberts, Alito or Thomas are too young so I suppose it had to be Scalia.

So, what does this mean for 2016? Well, one of the first things to come to my mind is that there won’t be enough justices to tamper with the voting rights act case they were planning to take on. That one, had it been decided 5-4 along party lines, would have stripped urban districts of even more voting strength because some rural districts in Texas complained they didn’t have the population to go toe to toe with a place like Austin. And it won’t have the extra vote to stick a knife through the heart of public unions by allowing freeriders to not pay dues. Those were two juicy decisions that I am sure the Republicans are going to hate losing.

We can speculate on how this will play out in this election year.

If the Republicans decide to block the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice, The Democrats can use that in the general election to illustrate that when Republicans don’t like something, they don’t compromise, they don’t concede the other side’s right to do what the law requires. No, they obstruct. They’ve been doing this for at least two decades in every branch of government. If we don’t let them aggressively roll over everything that is important to us, they refuse to cooperate.

It could make the Republicans rally around Ted Cruz. This could be another opportunity for the Republicans to roll out the shiny, sparkly abortion football again. The fundamentalists will salivate over that and will completely forget that if there’s a 5th conservative justice again, the court’s priorities will be all about squashing labor and keeping people from voting again. All you need to do is look at recent history. Will fundamentalists look past the sinning junk on their bodies that Satan is controlling to think about the greater repercussions to their economic stability and ability to change their political minds in the future? I am not hopeful that fundies will grow brains overnight so expect them to go nutz with the baby murderer stuff again forgetting all about the job murderers that appreciate Scalia types.

This might be an issue for Trump and not in a good way. He doesn’t have Cruz’s nauseating religious bona fides.

On the Democratic side, it could potentially take the wind out of Bernie’s sails. If the GOP is steadfast about blocking a new justice, the party will want to unite around the stronger candidate going into the general. That’s assuming the Democrats still care about things like voting rights, which I am assuming they do.

By the way, I am not confident that Obama will nominate a liberal justice. He’s not a liberal and I have no idea how Kagan and Sotomayor will vote now that their votes might actually count for something. The titans of industry, both finance and Silicon Valley, have a completely different agenda and it also isn’t particularly nice to workers. So, who knows what will happen there? We’re all going to have to scrutinize records very carefully. If Obama nominates someone the Republicans can actually vote for, we could be right back to where we were yesterday morning when we all thought that Scalia was just sleeping in.

What’s your prognostications? See any twists in this story coming up? Who do you trust and who is going to benefit from Scalia’s death? Add your comments below.

Update: From the NYTimes post on Scalia’s legacy comes this comment from John0123 that sums it up perfectly:


Denver 17 hours ago

I’m about as grief-stricken over this news as Scalia would have been to hear that liberal poster John0123 had died.

Former justice Scalia always assumed he was the smartest guy in the room and often came close to saying so. Unfortunately his personal “strict constructionism” was a sham in light of the highly activist rulings he either wrote or joined. Citizens United comes immediately to mind, where he gleefully conferred personhood upon corporations and the status of speech upon money..

How will the so-called “conservatives” in the Senate play this? Moderate President Obama is very likely to name a moderate replacement. Will the fire-breathers in the Senate get a grip on themselves and take a good deal while they can get it, or will they roll the dice on the 2016 election and run the considerable risk of having a President Hillary or a President Bernie name Scalia’s much more progressive replacement?

At least one of us readers isn’t buying into the crazy notion that Obama is a liberal.

Happy Valentine’s Day!



54 Responses

    • I have no idea why Trump would link to us. We are the least likely people in the world to vote for him.

  1. Here’s a crazy idea from a commenter at the NYTimes: Obama should nominate himself. That would be novel. I can’t see him doing that because I think his post presidential plan is to cash in big. But who knows? It has a certain appeal. Yes, yes, he’s not a liberal. But he’s also a not especially strong motivating force.
    That would give Biden almost a whole year of being president. Could be interesting.
    Who would be appointed VP? That could be interesting too.

    • Nah gah happen, though I admit the wingnut hissy fits would amuse me. 😈

    • IIRC a recent newsstory within the last 2 months H Clinton’s top SC pick if were elected Pres, was 0bama. 0bama replied back noting he is thankful for the honor, but he is not interested.

      IMHO 0bama wants to follow the Clinton Family plan to getting $100M+ of of speech/bribes & skimming off the top of a Foundation. Being a SC Justice is a lifetime job (very rare in the 2016 US economy) that “only” pays $213.9K, excessively small for 0bama or B Clinton to accept.

      • Everyone knows it is time for Obama to get serious about his golf game! Hanging with Clarence would be such a bore. The clerks do most of the work, but still one has to wear a costume and make office appearances. The intellos such as RBG love the intellectual challenge, but Obama is probably going to present us with another book about himself in a decade or so. Kindles of the World unit!

  2. Good riddance! I dance on your grave, Scalia. I hope your heaven or hell is populated by gay men.

    • Don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel. 🙂

      • Allow Linda Greenhouse to express it in words that can be printed on a polite blog like this one – http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/02/18/opinion/resetting-the-post-scalia-supreme-court.html

        After Scalia’s death, no one in the corporate-owned media dared express even one bad word about this gop troglodyte (apologies to troglodytes). Not even Jeffrey Toobin, who wrote a piece in The New Yorker several years ago that called out Clarence Thomas for the self-loathing beneficiary of affirmative action that he is — and not the kind of affirmative action that you’re thing about (although he benefited from the conventional affirmative action from start to finish); we’re talking about the kind that makes sure that dim-witted misogynists get a fair shot at an appointment to SCOTUS, regardless of color – Thanks for your help on that one, Joe F’ing Biden…

        Scalia didn’t just object to same sex marriage, he objected to the idea that people of the same sex should be allowed to have intimate, physical relationships. In one encounter with a student at a book signing, Scalia told the young man, as it relates to the law regarding homosexual relationships and marriage, that we also have laws against murder.

        I hate to go full Godwin in less than 30 seconds, but hey, except for that whole ‘jew’ thing, Hitler put millions of people back to work… Why is this a valid comparison? Because Scalia viewed teh gays as sub-human and less than deserving of equal protection under the law. They shouldn’t be allowed to be physically intimate, and they shouldn’t be allowed to to visit their partner on their deathbed in the CCU, abd they shouldn’t be allowed to have the workplace benefits of heterosexual married people. Damn dirty faggots!

        The corporate-owned media does this. (There should be one of those ‘that’s what they do’ Geico commercials for this.) They make up these bullshit narratives. They go to any length to not be percieved as having a liberal bias.

        So, tell you how I really feel? OK, Fuck you, Scalia. Fuck you CNN, Fuck you Toobin. And fuck the corporatocracy of AmeriKaa. “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power.” –Benito Mussolini (number one fascist dictator of all time).

  3. Has anyone been over to Fox News to see the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth?

    • I’ve completed nearly 53 solar orbits, RD. I don’t have enough time left on this planet to waste any of it watching Faux Noise. :mrgreen:

  4. Speaking of Teh Ghey, let us remember that the power of yuri is stronger than any ideological difference. Happy Valentine’s Day! :mrgreen:

  5. whether 0bama or whomever the next Pres ends up being, I want them to publicly claim that being anti-Citizens United decision is a “litmus test” for nominating a SC Justice. Aka being against a purchased oligarchy, & being for a political economy that at least maybe has a chance of actually being its nominal name of “democracy”.

    It would be nice to do the same litmus test requirement on abortion rights, Roe v Wade. Although, IIRC legal abortion is not completely at risk with the Scalia replacement, because A Kennedy is moderately pro-abortion. Is my understanding correct here?

    • Kennedy is NOT pro-choice in any way that we understand it. At one point, he was planning to join the conservative on one of the most important post-Roe abortion decisions. I think it was Casey and it was about undue burdens. I have the book where I read about this but don’t remember all of the details. You might need to look it up. Google casey, Kennedy abortion.
      Anyway, Kennedy had written his opinion joining the other conservatives when Sandra day o’connor grabbed him and spent hours talking him out of it. He was reluctant.
      O’connor was forceful. And she was fairly conservative. I doubt if any other person on the court could have made him change his mind. I’m pretty sure that Kennedy could easily be persuaded if the right case ever comes along again. Reargue Roe itself? Yeah, I think he’d be up for that. And if he could be the hero, there wouldn’t be a Sandra day o’connor standing in his way.
      People are mistaken when they think Scalia was the most dangerous justice. It’s Kennedy. Everyone always knew where Scalia stood. He was a solid conservative vote. But Kennedy doesn’t have the same internal moral compass. He wants to be flattered. He leans conservative because the right fluffs his ego better.

    • Hillary said it was a litmus test for a nominee for her. I don’t think Bernie has said so.

  6. Apart from other important considerations, it is an absolutely fascinating political strategy battle. And for that, one has to consider the personalities involved. I would want to think that President Obama would pick a liberal judge to be appointed, but he and we know that the Republicans would never approve him/her. So does Obama then seek for a “compromise,” where he picks a moderate-to-conservative person whom the Republicans might accept? I don’t know that they would accept anyone, but they might figure that the cost of not going for such a person is that if they lose the election, they would face a liberal appointee; and also that not acting might hurt them electorally.

    I am concerned that Obama, in his wish to appoint the Justice, and his everpresent efforts to compromise, will pick someone whose background makes him a risk. But would Obama risk his own legacy by ending up with a swing Justice who actually is the deciding voice in the wrong way, and for years? As you note, three of the conservatives aren’t going anywhere. Ginsburg will retire soon; maybe Kennedy will, or Breyer. If this appointment goes the wrong way, the right wing will have control of this court for another forty years. And as you point out, the Court is absolutely instrumental in the movement of this country to a fascist oligarchy. The Citizens United decision, the fact that they were about to move away from “One Person, One Vote,” in terms of apportioning districts, are cornerstones of the right wing plan to rid this country of democracy.

    If we lose the election, we lose the Court, because of the two moderate to liberal justices who will leave soon. I would be inclined to want Obama to pick the best person, a solid liberal, and let him/her be turned down. First, because it is the right thing to do; and second, because we have to win the election, anyway, to have a majority on the court. However, my sense is that he will nominate someone who might get five Republican votes for approval. I am not sure that this is a good idea at all, but I admit that it is a very difficult calculus. One other aspect is that if Obama does pick a centrist, this will then be argued to be the touchstone for appointments (by Democratic Presidents only, of course); that no liberal should ever be appointed to fill a seat held by a conservative. That is another reason for me to want Obama to do what virtually every president has done, which is to pick someone who reflects his own political views on judicial matters. Obama studied and lectured on constitutional law, so he should be well aware of these considerations.

    • 1.) I have no idea where people are getting the idea that Obama is going to pick a liberal. He hasn’t made any indication on any issue other than lgbt rights that he is anywhere close to being liberal. He is at best a moderate Democrat.
      2.) this could easily turn into Kabuki. He’s more likely to nominate a moderate who isn’t going to rock the boat for globalists and the finance industry. The Republicans will protest too much and drag this out, then confirm this person. We will be stuck, as you pointed out, with a person who will be socially liberal, maybe, except for some issues that are only important to women(like they count) and firmly in the pocket of the techy and finance 1%.
      This would be very consistent with the way he has governed. And if you are retired, you have no idea how much fun it has been in the work world where their attitudes dominate.
      In a way, I’m ok with waiting for Hillary to be inaugurated. Let the Republicans block everything. Now that Scalia is gone, most of the worst outcomes for the Supreme Court this year are avoided.

    • Obama will pick the sort of nominee who can be trusted to decide in favor of Wall Street and the Overclass and the FIRE sector perpetrators whenever a case puts their power and money at stake. He will not do anything to jeopardize the hundreds of millions of dollars he expects to be paid after leaving office in return for what he used his office to do for the FIRE sector perpetrators to begin with.

  7. [wingnut]





  8. If Obama runs true to form, he will appoint a Repug wet dream so they won’t block the appointment. That how he ” wins” when it comes to a budgets. Give them more than even they would demand to throw them a curve. Meanwhile a person both Obama and Repubs want gets in. You know Obama is never happier when he is pleasing Repugs. You Dems can eat your peas.

  9. I finally saw a sea of Sanders signs and even I am amazed the moon beam wing of the party is falling for the promise of free collage and a campaign slogan authored by Tinkerbell “Believe” ?

    Please clap lol

    • It’s not an impossible dream. My former French colleagues used to be shocked at how much they paid in taxes here in the US and how little they got in return. It’s like, “we pay a lot in taxes AND we have to spend money on top of it for all the things we would have gotten for free in France!”
      So, you know, maybe it’s not that we need a massive tax hike. Maybe it’s that we need to 1.) impose price controls on health care spending and 2.) cut back on how much money we send to the military industrial companies.
      Once you do that, sanders doesn’t look nearly as Quixotic.

      • You do realize it took 15 years for France to roll out their program?

        • Are you saying the French can do it better and faster than we can?

          • It’s possible. They also did it a long time ago before the resistance was so set in against it. They also didn’t have the institutional racism issue that we have in this country. Look what it took to get social security to everybody.

      • Everyone knows what needs to be done here in the way of schools, jobs heath care , infrastructure , on and on and what could be done with the trillions spent on our wars …but it will not be done as things stand now and it certainly will not be done by Sanders who said, and I quote

        “Russia’s aggressive actions in the Crimea and in Ukraine have brought about a situation where President Obama and NATO—correctly, I believe—are saying, you know what, we’re going to have to beef up our troop level in that part of the world to tell Putin that his aggressiveness is not going to go unmatched… We have to work with NATO to protect Eastern Europe against any kind of Russian aggression.”

        That’s neocon speak. He gets alot of mileage out of his 2003 no invasion vote, but Sanders is very much on board for the wars . He will not be cutting the war spending . He’s for ” beefing up” So where is the dough coming from ? …plus the European model you site, of actual value for one’s taxes, is under attack . They are bent on following our model , not the other way around. Your former French colleagues are likely also shocked right now how they have lost many of their rights over night .

        please clap… if you believe

        • opps…somehow I thought I was responding to a Sanders supporter… . It should have tipped me off it wasn’t one because of how polite it was . pardon moi RD

          • No problem but fwiw, I’m not going to be bashing sanders. He has a lot of very good ideas and we should consider if they can be implemented.
            As far as I can tell, neither sanders or his supporters are obots.

          • Thank you. I only bash the idea he’s a peacenik , oh and the free collage promise . I’d like to see help with the existing collage loans behemoth before that. Folks have started to be arrested over them . Yet business people can get out of their debts

            There may not be bbots but there are the Bernie Bros who promised me a ” buthurt ” . I think we can declare the era of the concern troll is over lol

        • Let’s not forget Sanders supports the F-35 which has been the biggest most expensive waste of spending in the history of the country.

  10. The only thing I can say about this is even if Obama picks a moderate he’s going to be far, far to the left to Scalia.

  11. Rubio/Haley is my nightmare ticket. could win it all vs. Clinton or Sanders

    • If the media allows an actual discussion of real issues, as opposed to the “reality show” ones which they put out there, there is no way that Rubio can beat Clinton. He is against choice, he is against Social Security, and just about all of the rest of the social progress of the last eighty years. If the media manages to make the race about Hillary’s choice in clothes, or what she said in 1982, then it’s anyone’s guess.

      Rubio makes G.W. Bush seem like a classical scholar. Now, Sanders, who would quickly be outed by the Republicans as a lifetime Socialist, would probably lose any general election.I have nothing against Socialism in classical economic form, but this country is never going to vote for a Socialist, certainly not self-identified. Apart from all the other aspects, nominating Sanders is like throwing away a winning hand to risk your life savings on drawing five out of the deck.

    • Rubiobot? Hillary will peel the bark off of him in short order.

  12. Off topic, but… fivethirtyeight put up an article, ‘are you more likely to vote for a woman or a man?’ re a recent CNN poll (did anyone else see this?). Those are some large spreads, almost across the board…

  13. http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/02/male-biology-students-underestimate-their-female-peers/462924/?utm_source=SFFB
    its obvious that there is a bias from the male perspective. it explains a bit the sanders phenomenon

  14. Hillary can beat any Repug in a fair fight imo …will her own party and the top .001 % let her is the question .

  15. It’ll be interesting to see if anything we’ve been discussing comes up in the Dem town hall debate tonight.

  16. ” President Barack Obama cannot select the most liberal possible candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court and should seek a “consensus” pick who could attract Republican support, Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday.

    Looks like peas for Dems on the menu.

  17. Congrats, HRC, for winning in NV today, despite Rove attack ads there and Repubs registering to vote Dem!

  18. Bernie’s not-so-secret plan to destroy the Democratic Party. (I’d follow Bernie if in his 50-odd years on the government payroll as a politician he had created a viable Socialist Democratic Party that would trounce the Republican Party. As it is, he is a Party of 1.)


    And reports of shenanigans in the Nevada caucus. Obots replaced by Bernbots with the Republicans the ultimate beneficiaries. Is this just the way Democratic politics are played these days?


    • Check the poll http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2324

      Despite the 1% Propaganda, including BigMedia & BigPoli-trick-ian, & H Clinton’s claim that H Clinton is more electable

      The polling indicates that Sanders is the MOST ELECTABLE D Candidate.

      Sanders beats ALL Top5 Rs. H Clinton beats Trump by only 1 pt, & H Clinton loses to the other 4 Rs.

      This is despite the BigMedia like CNN & NYTimes endlessly being in the tank pro-H Clinton.

      • What spectral class of star does the home planet of these pollsters orbit? 😆

      • Bernie is certainly different kind of Presidential candidate: A Trotskyite, Socialist, Conscientious Objector (to avoid Nam—and not a Quaker) for whom the clock ran out; unwed father; Jewish ethnicity, but
        no religious beliefs (not at least pretending to be religious doesn’t play well in red-meat America);
        weak record in Congress; takes money from PACs that he calls by other names, attends Goldman-Sac events at Martha’s Vineyard; has consistently berated the Democratic Party; has a Party of 1; no one would co-sign his single-payer bill;.

        What Dem running for re-election would want to be on the same stage as him? He wants to increase taxes hugely and does not seem to have an ounce of diplomacy in his body—so how is he going to negotiate with the Republican Party of today?

        Nothing wrong with any of that in the best of all possible worlds other than he should be ethnical enough not to run on the ticket of a party that he does not respect.

  19. I had to put this in here before the thread closes: :mrgreen:

  20. Jeb bows out and he hasn’t looked that happy in a long time. All the kings horses and all the kings men can’t fix no fire in the belly

  21. Joe Cannon weighs in; the first part is concerned with the Syrian mess, but the second part is concerned with the alleged advantages of Sanders.


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