Court Packing

How a Deal to Prevent Court-Packing Can Still Happen

The prospects are far from ideal. But it is still potentially feasible.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Cartoon criticizing Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1937 court-packing plan.

 

On Saturday, I proposed a potential deal that would prevent both a precipitious rush to confirm a nominee for the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the danger of the Democrats packing the Court in retaliation, then next time they have the chance to do so (which could easily happen as soon as next year, if they take control of both the White House and the Senate). In essence, the deal is that key GOP senators (enough to block a vote on a nominee) agree not to vote on a nominee until after inauguration (thereby enabling the winner of the election to fill the seat), and key Democrats (enough to block any court-packing) commit to opposing court-packing for at least a long period of time (perhaps ten years). Since that time, a range of prominent academics and commentators from across the political spectrum have endorsed my idea, or put forward similar proposals of their own.

Conservative and libertarian supporters of this idea include conservative legal and political commentator David French, Adam White of the American Enterprise Institute, and columnist Jonah Goldberg, among others. Famed libertarian law professor Richard Epstein and Trevor Burrus of the Cato Institute have urged the two sides to, in effect, take the same actions I advocate even without any explicit deal.

On the political left, Johns Hopkins political scientist Steve Teles and University of North Carolina legal scholar Carissa Byrne Hessick have supported my proposal or variants thereof. Hessick suggests it could "avert disaster." UC Berkeley law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky urges Democrats to threaten to pack the court in order to get the GOP to stand down on the nomination.

I am probably missing at least some supporters here. It is difficult to keep track of all the rapidly burgeoning commentary on the subject.

At the same time, there is no denying that the idea has  fared worse in the political arena than in the world of academics and commentators. While two GOP senators (Susan Collins and Linda Murkowski) have said the nomination and confirmation process should not go forward until after the election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has secured the support of enough others to get a majority.

That could well be the death knell of any potential deal. As I have said from the start, the odds were always against my idea. But it isn't necessarily dead yet. Some of the GOP senators who endorsed going forward with the nomination can still change their position if they get a reciprocal concession in exchange from the Democrats: in this case, a guarantee against court-packing. In that event, they can forestall accusations of betrayal by pointing out that they have secured a deal that guarantees at least a 5-4 conservative majority on the Court for some years to come, and a 6-3 if Trump wins. By contrast, in the absence of a deal, either a 5-4 or a 6-3 majority can quickly be reversed as soon as the Democrats control both the White House and Senate.

The key point here is that the calculations of at least some GOP senators might change if this deal were on the table. Most probably will not. But we only need two to join Murkowski and Collins to make the idea work. If Democratic senators make the offer, it might still find the two takers it needs. Alternatively, the offer could come from the Republicans and be accepted by Democrats (or a sufficient number of them).

There are undoubtedly many on both right and left who believe this deal requires "their" side to give up more than is warranted. But, for reasons explained in my initial post on the subject, one of the advantages of the idea is that it only needs the support of a few key players on both sides to work. I also explain there why they would have incentives to stick to the deal, once made.

All of this assumes that offers of this kind have not already been made and rejected by  behind the scenes. I'm not a Capitol Hill insider and obviously do not know what, if anything, has been discussed in private. But if the attempt has not been made so far, it is at least worth trying.

If, as is all too likely, we end up in a reciprocal cycle of court-packing, we will all lose—except perhaps for those who get to sit on what might eventually be a greatly expanded Supreme Court. Perhaps, in time, we can all be Supreme Court justices! That might offer some small consolation for the fact that the resulting much larger court can no longer function as an effective check on government power.

Advertisement

NEXT: Will Pennsylvania Be the Florida of the 2020 Election?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Personally, I think even the Dems are too smart to try packing the court, and are only discussing it to rile people up.

    But if they do add two or four justices, the Republicans will come back with their own court expansion, and it’s off to the races! It would probably eventually end in some kind of Constitutional amendment to chill out, but who knows what it will be…..

    1. That’s assuming the GOP is ever able to get control of the presidency and both houses of Congress. There was a 40 year period (1955 to 1995) where the Dems controlled one or both houses of Congress. The GOP did not hold the trifecta during the period 1933 to 2019. The Dems could enact structural changes to government that could make it almost impossible for the GOP to get control of the trifecta. Adding additional states to the union is one ploy: add DC, Puerto Rico, the USVI…that would be six additional Democratic party senators. It is doubtful that the GOP would ever get the majority in the Senate again.

      1. No, you’re making the same mistake way too many dystopia authors make, that what is bad will get worse without limit. It never does. Expansion brings its own problems, such as increased jealousy leading to splits, general power-tripping, etc.

      2. The 40 year Democratic domination was a product of the Dems being simultaneously the liberal Northern party and the racist Southern party.

        The racists are all dead now and the Northern liberals are mainly in the NE and West Coast.

        PR has a GOP governor right now, it is not hopeless that they would always send two dems. Even with DC and PR, the majority level is only increased by two.

        1. Bob from Ohio : “The racists are all dead now….”

          No, Bob. They just found a new home.

          1. They’re dead grb.

            1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…MGf after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

              Here’s what I do…>> Click here

          2. No, same home, different clients. There’s still only one party in the US supporting racial discrimination, and it’s still the Democratic party.

            1. Right, that’s why all the white supremacists vote Republican. They moved over to the Republican Party once the Democrats became the party of civil rights and equal opportunity.

              1. White supremacists in the Republican Party are the will ‘o the wisp of the Democratic Party, never encountered but often warned about.

                1. Paul Nehlan ring a bell?

                  1. Uh, 1 guy. Who challenged Ryan and was destroyed.

                    1. Steve King

                2. “Very fine people on both sides.”

                  1. And that one.

                  2. “Very fine people on both sides.”

                    I guess there were no fine people on either side? Oh wait, 1 side was 100% evil people, and the only fine people were Team Blue?

                    I can’t believe that this stupid, out of context, misinterpreted quote is still being paraded around. But, I don’t really expect any better from you. Church of Artie, cling on.

                    1. It was a neo-Nazi march. There are no fine people attending a neo-Nazi march.

              2. Mississippi didn’t elect a Republican governor until 1992. The Democrats held a veto-proof majority in both houses of the Mississippi state legislature until 1997, and majorities in both houses of the Mississippi state legislature until the Republican wave election of 2010.

                Funny that the party of ‘civil rights and equal opportunity’ never got around to removing the Confederate battle flag from the state flag in almost 50 years.

                1. Did the issue come up?

                  1. Odd that it wouldn’t since it did come up in SC by that point. Wonder why a Dem led state didn’t have similar problems. Weird.

              3. “Right, that’s why all the white supremacists vote Republican. ”

                Spencer is voting Biden. Duke has been pro-Omar for a while now. ALL of them, you say?

                It’s not Republicans looking to repeal civil rights laws. It is CA Dems doing so.

              4. The white supremacists are still in the Democratic party: Democrats are telling you that unless you vote for their old white men, minorities can never succeed. That’s the same racist bs they have been selling for a century.

            2. The wise man bowed his solemnly and spoke: There’s actually zero difference between good and bad things…

          3. No, they’re still in the Democrat party. They never left. They just changed their marketing.

            1. The actual people (e.g., Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, etc.) went from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

              But I guess your working theory is that black Americans vote 80-90% Democratic despite it (supposedly) being the white supremacy party because…..

              1. Actually the majority stayed in the Dem party. Of the like 19 Dem senators to vote against the Civil Rights Act, only two became Republicans. And Republicans didn’t have a majority in the south until 1994. So this whole pretend thing where all the bad people left your party for the other party, yeah, the old expression of “if it sounds too good to be true” applies here.

                1. It isn’t “my” party.

                  Remember that 46 Democratic Senators (all but one from the North) voted for the Civil Rights Act. These vote totals on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are instructive:

                  The House of Representatives:

                  Southern Democrats: 8–83 (9–91%)
                  Southern Republicans: 0–11 (0–100%)
                  Northern Democrats: 145–8 (95–5%)
                  Northern Republicans: 136–24 (85–15%)

                  The Senate:

                  Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5–95%)
                  Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0–100%)
                  Northern Democrats: 45–1 (98–2%)
                  Northern Republicans: 27–5 (84–16%)

                  Yours is a familiar, but pretty lame argument. Most of the Southern Democratic Senators who voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were gone well before the shifts in party affiliation started. The parties shuffled their alliances. The fact that proud, unrepentant segregationists like Jesse Helms could find a comfortable home among Republicans says something. That the Senator who filibustered the Act became and died a Republican Senator.

                  In fact, the national Democratic Party lead the charge for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is why black Americans overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party to this day. It is also why white Southerners vote overwhelmingly Republican today. White Southerners who believed in segregation felt alienated from the national Democratic Party and migrated (in part, wooed by Nixon’s Southern Strategy) to the Republican Party. The shift took decades, true. But the basic story is white Southerners overwhelmingly opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They and their families eventually became Republicans as a result.

                  Southern whites did leave the Democratic Party for the Republican Party. It is silly to argue otherwise.

                  And Southern blacks left the Republican Party for the Democratic Party.

                  Now, can you come up with a non-racist theory to explain why black Southerners began voting overwhelmingly Democratic starting in the 1960s/1970s and white Southerners started voting Republican about the same time? You don’t think black Southerners know who was and is on their side?

                  Why did the South shift from almost exclusively Democratic to overwhelmingly Republican (despite black Southerners voting overwhelmingly for Democrats) in your view?

                  1. “Now, can you come up with a non-racist theory to explain why black Southerners began voting overwhelmingly Democratic starting in the 1960s/1970s and white Southerners started voting Republican about the same time? ”

                    Neither one of your claims is true.

                    The Black Vote switched in the 30s with the New Deal. It was their first step on the New Plantation. They haven’t left.

                    The Republican shift in the South didn’t happen until the 90s and it was an economic one.

                    1. Your own data proves my point, Sam.

                      Black vote for Democratic Presidential candidate was in the 60-80% range (never over 80%) from 1936 to 1960. In 1964, it shot up to over 90% and has never gone below 80% since. The obvious change was the LBJ’s and the (all but Southern) Democratic Party’s support of the 1964 Civil Right Act and the Republican nominee’s (Goldwater) opposition to it.

                      The shift in the white vote in the South to Republicans (with respect to Presidential politics) happened simultaneously (although the Deep South vote for Democratic Presidential candidates tanked in 1948 (segregationists Dixiecrats like Strom Thurmond) and only partially recovered in ’52, ’56, and ’60, before cratering in ’64, and staying down in ’68 and ’72, only coming back somewhat to support Jimmy Carter in ’76. But the white Southern support for Democratic Presidential candidates never sustainably recovered since 1964, 1976 being the one election they were more supportive than average voters.

                      This wasn’t economics. It was race. That State and then local politics changed more slowly simply than the Presidential vote reflects the fact that, as you point out, the personalities for whom southerners voted remained Democrats for awhile and it is more difficult to shift party apparatus at the State and then the local level. But as new politicians were elected, they began to be Democrats and those that stayed around the longest switched parties (e.g., Strom Thurmond).

                      Thank you for providing the stats that make it clear I was right and your “1990s” and “economics” stories are utterly false.

                      And this:

                      The Black Vote switched in the 30s with the New Deal. It was their first step on the New Plantation. They haven’t left.

                      So you are leaning fully into the most racist explanation you can muster.

                      The 1964 Civil Rights Act and national Democratic support for voting/civil rights was the casus belli for the shifting voting patterns clearly seen in the charts to which you link below.

                    2. “The obvious change was the LBJ’s and the (all but Southern) Democratic Party’s support of the 1964 Civil Right Act and the Republican nominee’s (Goldwater) opposition to it.”

                      That doesn’t hold water given that more Republicans supported the CRA overall than Democrats.

                      “The shift in the white vote in the South to Republicans (with respect to Presidential politics)”

                      You have to hedge your argument because voting at all other levels remained heavily Democrat until the 90s. State and Congressional, and look how hard you have to work to explain the inconsistent Presidential voting.

                      “This wasn’t economics. It was race.”

                      Race doesn’t explain the 60-80% black support for Democrats from 1936 to 1960.

                      “The shift took decades, true. But the basic story is white Southerners overwhelmingly opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They and their families eventually became Republicans as a result.”

                      The Southern white shift happened with the Reagan Revolution and it was economic, again just like with the blacks to the Democrats.

                      “But as new politicians were elected, they began to be Democrats and those that stayed around the longest switched parties (e.g., Strom Thurmond).”

                      You mean Republicans but Oh come ‘on. You said the racist Democrats fled to the Republican Party, now you’re saying they stayed in the Democrat Party and kept getting votes for 30 years.

                      Make up your mind.

                      “So you are leaning fully into the most racist explanation you can muster.”

                      LBJ famously said he’d have those n*ggers voting Democrat for 200 years. He’s halfway there. LBJ was famously a racist shithead.

                      “The 1964 Civil Rights Act and national Democratic support for voting/civil rights was the casus belli for the shifting voting patterns clearly seen in the charts to which you link below.”

                      You can’t explain < 1964. You can't explain racist Democrats fleeing to the Republican Party but somehow Democrats held power in the South for 30 years at State and Congressional levels.

                      You can't reconcile that.

                    3. Sam,

                      When you have to misrepresent facts, you’ve lost.

                      That doesn’t hold water given that more Republicans supported the CRA overall than Democrats.

                      Wrong. In the House, 153 Democrats supported the CRA, 136 Republicans did. In the Senate, 46 Democrats supported the CRA, 27 Republicans did. (And the numbers hold true in the South too, though southern politicians of both parties voted against more than for, the Republicans were more against in both the North and the South.)

                      look how hard you have to work to explain the inconsistent Presidential voting.

                      One spike for a Southerner in 1976? Please. That isn’t working hard. You just ignored the trend and pretended it started in the 90s which is false. Just because you’re lazy doesn’t mean I am working hard.

                      Race doesn’t explain the 60-80% black support for Democrats from 1936 to 1960.

                      Actually, yes it does. Racial justice was also very much a factor in the shift in the 1930s, but that’s a different and more complex conversation. Nice try though.

                      Our argument was about the shift in 1964 (which you claimed didn’t happen). Race very much explains that shift.

                      So, no, you may not move the goal posts. Black voters decisively and permanently (until the present) shifted to the Democratic Party in 1964 in overwhelming numbers (in excess of 80%, a level not seen at any previous point). You are dead wrong and your own stats prove it.

                      The Southern white shift happened with the Reagan Revolution and it was economic, again just like with the blacks to the Democrats.

                      Reagan wasn’t a presidential candidate in 1964. Barry Goldwater was. And the shift of southern white voters in 1964 remained with the lone exception of 1976 (Georgian Carter). The shift in 1964 was not economic.

                      now you’re saying they stayed in the Democrat Party and kept getting votes for 30 years

                      Look at Strom Thurmond, the most prominent segregationist, became Republican in 1964. Coincidence?

                      Look at Jesse Helms, prominent, unrepentant segregationist, came to the Senate later, but was a Democrat until 1970, then switched. Reagan wasn’t a thing yet.

                      As for those who stayed in the Democratic Party, the career of Trent Lott is instructive. He worked for Sen. Stennis, an open racist and one of the staunchest opponents of civil rights for black Americans. Stennis remained a Democrat until his retirement in 1989. Trent Lott was a Stennis protege (and Democrat, but became a Republican) and won a Senate seat as a Republican with the support of Stennis. And we know how the dishonorable Trent lost his Senate seat, praising that other segregationist for his segregationist presidential run.

                      There is a direct line between the southern segregationists and the first wave of southern Republican state politicians. Pretending otherwise is just silly. Southerners were more conservative than northern Democrats on economics and social issues, but the thing about the national Democratic Party that they really couldn’t stomach was support for equality for black Americans. The Presidential voting patterns you so helpfully highlighted make that point crystal clear.

              2. You can see the affiliation grow after the New Deal starting taking hold of them.

                https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/07/07/when-did-black-americans-start-voting-so-heavily-democratic/

                “But I guess your working theory is that black Americans vote 80-90% Democratic despite it (supposedly) being the white supremacy party because…..”

                They went from one Democrat plantation right onto another.

                1. As I noted above, your link shows a dramatic shift in black voting patterns from majority support for Democratic candidates (60-80%) prior to 1964 to overwhelming support (80-90%) in 1964 and ever thereafter.

                  Having shot yourself in the foot, you should probably get that looked at and actually read the things to which you link before linking.

                  1. Have you forgotten your argument?

                    “But I guess your working theory is that black Americans vote 80-90% Democratic despite it (supposedly) being the white supremacy party because”

                    They were 60% – 80% already voting Democrat.

                    Secondly, look at that data again. In 1964 it shot up to 90% and stayed high ever since.

                    When did all the racist Democrats flee (who had 60-80% support from the blacks already) to the Republican party (who voted overwhelmingly for the CRA)? Was it before 1964? After 1964? Or exactly in 1964?

                    The jump from 60-80% to 80-90% happened before any “racist Democrats” left the Democrat party.

                    You saw some data point and didn’t bother to consider it. Your argument is the racist Democrats switched to the Republican party causing blacks to become more loyal to the Democrats.

                    That can’t possibly be true given the jump happened in 1964 and the alleged racist exodus happened afterwards.

                    1. Secondly, look at that data again. In 1964 it shot up to 90% and stayed high ever since.

                      That’s my argument. Your argument was that everything changed at the New Deal and the 1964 CRA was basically irrelevant to racial voting patterns in the South. Have you forgotten your argument?

                      When did all the racist Democrats flee (who had 60-80% support from the blacks already) to the Republican party (who voted overwhelmingly for the CRA)? Was it before 1964? After 1964? Or exactly in 1964?

                      Southern Republicans didn’t vote for the CRA at all, in either the House or Senate, so pretending Republicans “voted overwhelmingly for the CRA” ignores the regionalism that I have consistently pointed out. (And in both the North and South, the Democratic Party was more supportive of the CRA than the Republican Party. Check the voting records again. So the Republican Party was a much more natural home for racist segregationists and their voting patterns showed that in Presidential elections from 1964 forward (with a brief exception in 1976 for homegrown Jimmy Carter). That you would like to pretend otherwise only says something about you.

                      Thanks again for the stats that very clearly establish my argument. A major shift in racial voting patterns occurred in 1964, just as I said.

        2. Or, the GOP could just add South Wyoming, North Wyoming, East Wyoming, and West Wyoming, to give themselves an additional 6 senators….

          Just a thought. Wyoming might go along with it.

          1. This IS the 200th anniversary of the Missouri Compromise.

          2. There’s plenty of time during the lame duck session.

            1. “There’s plenty of time during the lame duck session.”

              But likely not enough to persuade Speaker Pelosi or the House majority to pass the bill.

              1. I’m sure the FBI has more than enough dirt on het

          3. Right, and then the Democrats add the states of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, South Boston and Los Angeles. This can go on indefinitely.

            Or not, because if you’re going to add states, they have to at least be plausible states. Puerto Rico is a plausible state. DC less so, but at least not ridiculous. East Wyoming isn’t.

            1. North and South Dakota say hello.

              1. I agree that the Dakotas are not plausible as separate states, so at best they should be combined into one.

                Of course someone will come along and talk nonsense about how they are truly different and their separate interests need to be represented and so on.

            2. And now you start to get it. It’s the same logic with court packing.

              FWIW, PR is plausable, and should be a state so long as they vote to become a state in a fair, non-boycotted election.

              DC….well, recent events regarding federal control and police in NYC and Portland have emphasized to me the need to keep at least some areas under federal control. Like, oh, a federal district.

              1. One compromise I heard was to make D.C. a state, but combine it with the parts of Virginia and Maryland that keep those states permablue.

                1. I see no reason to compromise in this regard. Admit new state, watch Republicans cry, repeat two or three times as desired.

                  A recipe for progress.

                2. One of the reasons DC is not a state, is so that the seat of federal government does not depend on a single state for its security and needs. Indeed, DC is under federal rule and not a state.

                  What happens when federal authorities and state legal and security apparatus disagree? We’ve seen this in Portland and NYC, where protestors assault federal facilities, and federal protective forces really can’t do much but sit there and passively defend the building itself.

                  What would happen if DC was a state, and the “state of DC” decided it just wasn’t going to stop a riot that was heading towards the White House? If DC was a state, nothing could be done by federal forces (legally) without the state’s say so. But since DC is a federal district, outside any state’s authority, federal forces can respond to executive federal control, enforcing order in the entire district as needed.

                  1. The “seat of government” element would continue to constitute the federal District of Columbia. Some of the non-government (residential, commercial) land would become a distinct state, perhaps the Douglass Commonwealth.

                    Ostensible problem solved.

                    1. Right. Not a tough one.

                    2. That doesn’t really work great if the rioting people can withdraw 25 yards and continue to throw firebombs, but the feds can’t do anything because it’s “Douglas commonwealth” land.

                      There’s a reason the EPA is threatening to leave NYC…

      3. GOP held the House, Senate, and Presidency from 2017-2018. Also, from 2003-2007

      4. Dem excess will lose a lot of existing Dem Senators.

        If Biden names Stacy Abrhams as one of the SCOTUS packees….

        The craziness is coastal — Blue Collar America may vote Democrat but isn’t crazy.

    2. Republican Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee said Tuesday he is introducing a constitutional amendment to limit the number of justices on the Supreme Court to nine

      1. And that will go about as far as multiple other constitutional amendments that have been proposed over the years. Though I might support it if we could get rid of the electoral college at the same time.

        1. The time to have done that was 3 years ago, when the Republicans could have credibly threatened to pack the Court themselves if the Democrats wouldn’t go along with taking it off the table.

          Now you’d need an amendment that fixed the size of the Court at 9, AND prohibited filling vacancies on the Court closer than, say, 6 months from a presidential election. And you’d have to get it originated and ratified in a matter of weeks, or else the Democrats could just use it to run out the clock, and then drop their support for it.

        2. And 18 year terms to stop the gamesmanship that allows strategic retirements and random untimely deaths to dictate what should be decided (via the nominate/advice and consent process) by elections.

      2. Doesn’t he have anything useful to do? Paint his house, clean his garage, change the oil in his car, whatever?

    3. Republicans will come back?

      They’re already on their heels, foundering in a demographic tsunami. Add two states, enlarge the Electoral College, add some Democratic gerrymandering (Pennsylvania is a prime example), eliminate the filibuster, expand the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts, enact the majority-wins provision regarding the Electoral College . . . and the Republicans — and Republican political power — will be painted into increasingly small, desolate pockets of the American population.

      1. You know, Democrats were claiming that the era of permanent Democratic rule had arrived after the 2008 election. Didn’t learn anything from that?

        1. I heard Grover Norquist make the same claim in early 2001 on behalf of Republicans. It’s an assertion almost as regular as changing inhabitants of the White House.

        2. I hope and expect to observe that they have learned to use power when they possess it.

          1. Now, that’s a rational response.

            I agree that the Democratic party has gotten over the notion that they’re naturally going to end up in permanent control of the government, and are now resolved to artificially entrench themselves at the next opportunity. Biden’s campaign website, for instance, is promising to naturalize essentially all illegal aliens already in the country, while terminating efforts to stop new entries.

            So, yes, the next time they control the House, Senate, and White House, they’ll enact entrenchment measures. That’s why it’s silly to offer Democrats anything in return for a promise to not pack the Court: Packing the Court is the first step in any entrenchment program, to make sure none of the entrenchment measures are blocked.

            So it’s basically certain that any such deal would be broken.

            All the Republicans can do at this point is try to win, and filling this vacancy is a reasonable step in that direction.

            Oh, and when the Democrats do make their move to turn the US into a one party state? I expect you’ll be one of the first up against the wall.

            1. We are going to diminish our system’s structural, undeserved magnification of rural votes. That is a change long overdue.

              Republicans will not be able to prevent it. They should focus on trying to become more popular with Americans.

            2. Do you seriously believe that the Republicans are not trying to entrench themselves?

            3. Oh, and when the Democrats do make their move to turn the US into a one party state? I expect you’ll be one of the first up against the wall.

              This is deranged.

              1. Brett is a Birch-class, obsolete bigot with a birther record and delusions of violence and adequacy. He lives in the backwaters because he can’t keep up with modern society. He imported a bride because uppity American women.

                He’s an all-talk, no-count loser.

                1. “He imported a bride because uppity American women.”

                  Holy crap, is this another thing where the woke and racists agree? That folks out to stick to their marrying their own kind? That’s hilarious.

                  1. There are reasons certain American men disregard American women — Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Catholic, Jewish, agnostic, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, Italian, French, German, Polish, Spanish, Arab, Irish, bisexual, tall, short, thin, heavy, redheaded, blonde, brunette, educated, ignorant, rural, urban, with plenty of other choices in America to reject — and instead import a partner.

                    They are generally not attractive reasons.

                2. I don’t think Brett’s personal life is an appropriate subject for discussion here.

                  1. Writing about how I will be ‘put up against a wall’ seems personal.

                    Just as offering to give me a Zyklon shower was personal (I needed to look that one up).

                    And threatening to place me face-down in a landfill.

                    Or suggesting someone would shoot me in the face as I opened my front door.

                    I also take it personally when this blog continues to feature comments calling for liberal judges to be gassed.

                    Brett introduced his marital circumstances to this forum when he figured somehow that it might rebut (or maybe even refute?) observations that he is a bigotry.

                    No free swings.

                    1. And there you have it, ladies and gents. The good Rev not only keeps a long list of cut-and-paste insults, he also keeps a long list of old, tired purported grievances.

                      What a sad, lonely existence you must lead.

                    2. You are a sad, pathetic loser.

                    3. Should Insults from racist, uneducated pansy-boys diminish my pleasure from winning the culture war and shoving delightful progress down their whining, envious throats?

                      I enjoy stomping the low-grade aspirations of Republicans, conservatives, bigots, and clingers. It has been a good lifelong ride, with more liberal-libertarian progress coming for so long as the eye can see.

                      Plus, I am lucky I avoided being an incel and was able to find a good wife without resorting to a pliant import.

                    4. Artie’s true racist, xenophobic colors shining proudly. I can’t say it was unexpected. Woke yourself right out of the closet.

                      How about this? I don’t want you to open the door and have someone shoot you in the face. I want you to gag on a shotgun and pull the trigger yourself. You’re quite literally the worst of the worst. I still hope that you are just an amazing satire though.

                      But, I have a feeling you actually believe the tripe that you spew.

                    5. Race is unrelated to the issue of weak men importing young doormats willing to marry a flabby old man to land American citizenship. See: Melania.

                    6. I agree with most of this. There is way too much talk of violence, and it should be flagged by commenters, and those guilty of such talk should be banned.

                      Whatever Brett has said, there is still no license to attack his marital choice.

                    7. “Whatever Brett has said, there is still no license to attack his marital choice.”

                      Unlicensed commentary it is, I guess.

                      It’s better than political correctness.

      2. Kirkland — Black and Brown people aren’t as stupid as you think they are.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg8EcvUea-Q

        1. I don’t know, Dr. Ed. The black woman in your video had to have Joy Behar explain to her the difference between blackface and dark makeup worn as an homage to black people.

      3. Lolz. This guy’s a trip.

        “Republicans are drowning in a demographic tsunami. Why, the tsunami is sooooooo big, all we have to do is create new states and fundamentally alter our constitutional system to win. Huge tsunami! Bigly big!!”

        1. Our system has provided undeserved, unearned, artificial amplification to yahoo votes for decades. That magnification has increased as our can’t-keep-up backwaters have emptied (bright flight causes all of the smart, young people to flee).

          We’re going to diminish that immoral warping of voter influence with overdue reform, in fastidious compliance with the rules and congruence with longstanding precedent. Don’t like it? Take it up with the Founders. Or try to make the conservative agenda of backwardness and bigotry more popular in modern America.

    4. I’d like to see a Constitutional Amendment setting the Supreme Court at Nine judges with the additional caveat that all Supreme Court justices must be approved by 60% of the Senate. There would probably have to be additional ‘house-keeping’ such as time limits for the whole process…

      1. Rohdewarrior : “with the additional caveat that all Supreme Court justices must be approved by 60% of the Senate”

        It’s a noble sentiment, but probably unworkable by this point. Even pre-Garland, it was unlikely norms of conformity would function again anytime soon.

        1. Norms don’t work when only one side abides by them.

    5. I no longer believe any of our elected officials are “too smart” to do pretty much anything.

    6. And hopefully the GOP is smart enough to realize that another “Heads we lose, tails you win” deal won’t benefit them.

      Mitt Romney cares only about Mitt Romney, and for him to say what he did speaks volumes. Susan Collins is toast if she supports this — I know lots of conservatives who see no distinction between her and Sara Gideon, and will vote for Gideon out of spite if Collins defects on this.

      And remember that FDR only wanted new justices to “assist” the elderly justices, he never *dared* to admit what the Dems are openly stating.

    7. RE: “But if they [the Dems] do add two or four justices, the Republicans will come back with their own court expansion, and it’s off to the races!”

      In order to prevent Republicans from coming back with their own expansion, Dems should be pre-emptive. Add THIRTY new seats! Then if the Republicans want to retaliate, they’d have to add sixty. I don’t think they’d do that.

      1. ” I don’t think they’d do that.”

        No, they would just succeed from the Union.

        1. By hopping the fence into Mexico, or by swimming out to sea?

    8. ” if they do add two or four justices, the Republicans will come back with their own court expansion”

      They’ll have to win elections to do that. Can they suppress enough voters to do that?

    9. I Make Money At H0me.Let’s start work offered by Google!!Yes,this is definitely the most financially Abq rewarding Job I’ve had . Last Monday I bought a great Lotus Elan after I been earning $9534 this-last/5 weeks and-a little over, $10k last month . . I started this four months/ago and immediately started to bring home minimum $97 per/hr

      Heres what I do……………………………………………… More INformation Here

  2. “Some of the GOP senators who endorsed going forward with the nomination can still change their position if they get a reciprocal concession in exchange from the Democrats: in this case, a guarantee against court-packing. ”

    I’m not seeing any ‘guarantee” here. Just a promise, where the Democrats get their end of the deal up front. That seems a non-starter to me, without some actual commitment mechanism.

    What is your commitment mechanism, to justify calling this a “guarantee”?

    1. Have there been any modern equivalent’s to the compromise of 1876?

      Sequestration happened as a sort of default, unless certain conditions were changed, then it happened. The parties set those conditions up in advance. Any deal would have to do the same, methinks. Unless both parties pass a law that prevents budgeting for an enlarged court (which would be hard to undue) I agree that a handshake agreement is nothing but a soundbite.

      1. When’s the last time you saw a Gang of Eight-type deal breached?

        1. (That was for Brett.)

        2. When Harry Reid nuked the filibuster?

    2. “I’m not seeing any ‘guarantee” here. Just a promise, where the Democrats get their end of the deal up front. That seems a non-starter to me, without some actual commitment mechanism.”

      You don’t seem to have any faith in voters, Brett. If the D’s were to break their word in order to pack the Court, the voters might be talked into putting R’s back in charge (which gives them a chance to re-pack the court.) Unless what you’re afraid of is that the electorate, in general, would WANT the D’s to pack the court, in which case the R’s wouldn’t be winning many elections afterwards.

      Much better to grab the short-term reward right fucking now and if Americans don’t like it, what are they gonna do? Watch the Republican party fade into history?
      always take the short-term advantage, even if it costs in the long run. That’s on-brand for Republicans.

      1. Do you have faith in the voters? From your perspective, the voters put Trump in charge, so they ought not be trusted to far here.

        1. The voters didn’t put Trump in charge, that was a side-effect of NOT putting Hillary in charge.
          Trump’s running for re-election against an imaginary Joe Biden. The one who passed the largest tax increase ever when he was elected President. The one who didn’t do enough to fight the coronavirus.
          If the voters, knowing what they’re getting this time, put Trump in charge, it’s because they don’t like the United States.

          1. The voters didn’t put Trump in charge, that was a side-effect of NOT putting Hillary in charge.

            Ah yes, I forgot. In 2016, the Republican party forewent holding primaries, and annointed Trump as their nominee before any voters had a say.

            It didn’t have to be Trump vs. Clinton. Republican voters voted for it to be Trump vs. Clinton.

      2. You mean like the voters published Trump and Republican Senators for blocking Garland’s nomination and putting Kavanaugh on the Court over Democrat objections?

          1. Yeah. Who do YOU think won 2018.

      3. You don’t seem to have any faith in voters […]

        Should he?

        We’re dealing with Republicans who flocked around Mr. “I could shoot somebody on 5th avenue and not lose a vote”. Voters punishing their own guy is something Republicans have very overtly chosen to not do.

        So why should Brett expect Democrat voters to behave better then Republican voters?

    3. They’ll all swear on the same Bibles that Graham, Grassley, McConnell, etc. swore on when they claimed “no filling vacancies in an election year” was an inviolable principle. Not to worry.

      Wait.

  3. I’m sorry but any deal that requires a decades worth of faith is DOA. Particularly where, as here, one side would get what it wants immediately but could say “neener-neener-neener sucks to be you” at any time in the future (assuming a Democratic president and control of Congress) and there would be no realistic retaliation.

    You have to come up with something a lot better than this. Especially given that the Democrat-leaning voters I’ve talked with see court packing as a far more dangerous escalation than Ginsberg being replaced by a Trump appointee.

    1. That’s it in a nutshell. The unguaranteed way-in-the-future part is far more valuable than the show-us-now part. Might as well promise to give Wimpy a hamburger today for a hamburger shop in his will.

      1. Whimpy proposed his deal, and didn’t threaten to burn down the hamburger shop if he couldn’t have what he wanted.

        Note: If you go into a McD’s, and offer a Visa card for payment, you’re basically requesting the same deal Whimpy was always requesting.

        1. “you’re basically requesting the same deal Whimpy was always requesting”

          No you aren’t. McDonald’s gets its money today for a hamburger today.

        2. Nope. Visa acts as a third party guarantor for transactions. There isn’t any third party guarantor in Ilya’s proposal.

          Oh, and did you ever, even once, see Whimpy deliver on is promise?

          1. ” did you ever, even once, see Whimpy deliver on is promise?”

            I suspect you’ve never even seen a “Thimble Theatre” comic strip.

            1. I certainly watched enough Popeye as a kid.

    2. ” (assuming a Democratic president and control of Congress)”

      That’s a pretty big assumption. Obama had that, and barely got the ACA out of it.

      1. The difference between this and the ACA is that the Democrats weren’t responding to the Republicans blowing up democratic norms. I’ll bet if the Democrats do sweep the table in November, you’ll see them more united than they’ve ever been.

        1. A united herd of cats.

    3. As much as I would like to see the deal, this is the thing that makes a deal unlikely. Let’s say you could get 4 GOP and 4 Dems on board for the deal. How long is a gang of 8 going to be in existence to keep the deal alive? One of the GOP members is already in dire straits. And if the Dems get a majority +4 in the senate, the gang of 8 senators can keep their promise and court packing happens anyway. And what if the unlikely (but not impossible) occurs and Trump gets a second term? There will be enormous pressure to pack the next time possible because the court will be on a 6-3 split (and could get worse if Breyer’s health turns) and Dems will still perceive the split as ill-gotten because of Garland. I don’t think the GOP or Dems are giving up too much in this proposed deal, but the deal requires too much faith when there will be enormous pressure to cheat.

    4. one side would get what it wants immediately but could say “neener-neener-neener sucks to be you” at any time in the future (assuming a Democratic president and control of Congress) and there would be no realistic retaliation.

      But as I keep pointing out, if Democrats want to do that, they can do that anyway.

      Republicans aren’t risking anything by taking the deal. They’re trading off a future in which there is no constraint on the Democrats doing this for one in which there is a constraint — their promise not to do it. That’s not legally enforceable, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have that effect.

      1. This only makes sense if court packing is 100% guaranteed in the event the deal doesn’t happen.

        1. It makes sense if you are destined to become uncompetitive and relegated to relying on the other side’s generosity or leniency.

          Eight or nine years ago, I called a friend on the local Republican Committee and proposed that we reach agreement to ensure that each party had at least one position on the school board and on the municipal council in each municipality. At that time, Republicans had held every spot on the school board and in my municipality for a number of years, and the majority for as far back as anyone could recall.

          The elections were getting closer, which seemed to bother the Republicans. They rejected my offer. I explained my reasoning: Registration and demographic trends indicated that the area was becoming steadily more Democratic and that Democrats would achieve a registration majority at some point. I was proposing a chance to avoid the wilderness my side had experienced for years. The offer was nevertheless rejected.

          The Republicans, who have been continuing to lose ground steadily, will lose their school board majority in six weeks. and may lose their council majority at the same time, called me in December . . ‘Hey, remember that idea we discussed about holding at least one seat for each party?’

          The Democratic offer was no longer available. We expect to shut out the Republicans relatively soon. It can reasonable be argued they should have taken the deal earlier, even with no guarantee I would perform. I would have honored it, but in any event the changing demographics should have inclined them to take the deal if only for the chance the other side would comply with the agreement.

          Similarly, after years of being somewhat supportive of the Fair Districts group in my state as it pushed for nonpartisan redistricting, I am now advocating strenuously for ignoring the Fair Districts approach and instead implementing a no-survivors Democratic statewide redistricting, which Democrats will have the power to enforce. (If Republican line-drawers could manage a 2-1 advantage with a minority share of the statewide vote, imagine what Democrats will be able to achieve while allocating a majority of the votes. I have seen some preliminary maps that look goofy but ruthlessly effective.)

          Today, I’m glad the offer was made years ago and glad it was rejected. Similarly, I am glad I did not commit to the Fair Districts proposal and hopeful it will fail, at least this time. Maybe it will make sense to be magnanimous in 10 years, or maybe it will be an evenhanded compromise in 10 years. But this year? I want the most severe map our consultants can devise. No free swings.

        2. Have you been reading Blackman’s screeds? There’s plenty of folks on the right that believe it’s 100% guaranteed.

  4. It’s dead because there is zero trust and zero enforcement mechanism. One side has to give up something now for a negligible promise for the future. (Sound familiar? Obama-Kerry Iran deal.)

    Let me make a counter-proposed deal. It is based on the Judicial Circuits Act of 1866. One part established the circuit courts, hence the name.

    Another part dealt with the Supreme Court. It then consisted of nine justices. Congress wanted to deny Andrew Johnson the ability to appoint justices. So it phased out the number to seven (chief justice plus six). No one was fired, but if any justice retired or died, then that seat was eliminated, until the total number reached seven.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That no vacancy in the office of associate justice of the supreme court shall be filled by appointment until the number of associate justices shall be reduced to six; and thereafter the said supreme court shall consist of a chief justice of the United States and six associate justices, any four of whom shall be a quorum; and the said court shall hold one term annually at the seat of government, and such adjourned or special terms as it may find necessary for the despatch of business. (bold added)
    — Judicial Circuits Act, 1866

    Here’s the proposed deal. Pass the same thing now. No new appointments until the number gets down to seven. And the Dems have to sign on — it has to be unanimous or at least 66% of the Senate.

    This way, Trump gets no nominee. But no one replaces Ginsburg, and the next retiree, which is likely Beyer. The conservatives will have a stronger majority, but not overwhelming.

    1. I’m not seeing the commitment mechanism in your proposal, either.

      Constitutional amendment, or nothing. There is no trust, nor should there be. We’ve seen multiple such deals broken. Amnesty for border enforcement. Higher taxes for fixing Social Security.

      Such deals are never kept. An individual might genuinely commit themselves, even a small group. Large groups are incapable of it.

      1. One, my proposal is never going to happen.

        Two, while not ironclad, the Senators, including the Dems, have to vote for it. If they try to change it in a year or two, then they have to explain why they are now changing something they voted for.

        You could also put a provision in that the law cannot be changed for four years, but it is questionable whether such a provision is Constitutional.

        1. Not questionable at all. It is not binding on the next Congress.

        2. ” If they try to change it in a year or two, then they have to explain why they are now changing something they voted for.”

          Maybe Mitch can give them pointers on completely forgetting what he had to say on a topic only 4 years after saying it. “What? Did I say ‘let the voters decide’? That can’t be right, because I don’t think the voters will decide the way I wanted them to.”

          1. What, uh, was Biden’s thoughts on this issue in 2016?

            If McConnell’s view is quite vital, shouldn’t the view of a nominee for President be discussed?

            1. “If McConnell’s view is quite vital”

              McConnell took unilateral action. Whose else opinion is factored into what Mitch does? I’d say Mitch’s view is quite vital in deciding what Mitch does.

              1. “McConnell is a hypocrite”

                “What about the Democrats?”

                “DO NOT ATTACK MY BOOS!”

              2. Actually, McConnell was just a lot of talk.

                The Judiciary Committee never acted on Garland’s nomination, thus never brought it to the Senate, and the Senate *cannot* consider a SCOTUS nominee without it being referred to the Senate by the Judiciary Committee.

                McConnell is not (and was not) on the Judiciary Committee, so McConnell never could have held a vote on the Garland nomination.

        3. Look, can we try honesty here? All the yabber in comments above and below of people saying they “can’t trust the Democrats” is so much bullshit. It’s an empty pretense to evade the question of compromise. It’s no different from Blackman posting the Dems will pack the court regardless of McConnell actions, which was even cruder/stupider/more phony bullshit.

          Democrats would welcome a deal because they don’t want the next escalation. They’ll respond if given no choice, but it’s not a move they welcome. What you see in these comments are Right-types looking for any excuse to avoid considering what’s responsible from their side. Any excuse. They refuse to think about the consequences while they gloat & applaud.

          1. I want you to be right. I don’t think Democrats are inherently less trustworthy than Republicans. They are both motivated by incentives that can often make deal breaking the politically rational thing to do.

            The deal Ilya proposes would probably be net good for America, yet it probably won’t happen. Why do you think that is?

            And please stay away from saying it’s because Republicans are more X than Democrats. There has to be a politically rational reason for anyone to do anything. Neither side is more or less cynical and corrupt than they other.

            1. Roman Moroni : And please stay away from saying it’s because Republicans are more X than Democrats.

              I wouldn’t ever claim that. We got here because each side has escalated step-by-step over a period stretching back decades. That’s another thing you see in these comments – each tribe trying to identify some Ur-moment when the other guys started it. I honestly can say I thought every new transgressive step was bad for the country, but still supported my side during their turn.

              The problem is there’s no more room left to escalate. Jam this nomination into the month before an election – after Garland – and the war will continue onto new ground. Cold furious anger requires it. A week ago I would have sneered at supporting court-packing. Not today. Given any excuse not to support such a ruinous escalation, I guarantee the Democrats would agree, and honor that agreement.

              1. The reason you see so many people saying “you can’t count on the Democrats to keep their word” because the people saying that are projecting. They know that they are too partisan to keep their word if breaking their word gives a partisan advantage, therefore they assume everyone else is.

            2. Roman Moroni — Sorry, but I am going to say Republicans are more X than Democrats, whenever the value of X is “anti-government.” And that makes a huge difference on all questions relating to norms. Democrats like norms and want to preserve them, because without norms government doesn’t function very well. And Democrats want government to function (meaning, to them, to do whatever it is government does).

              Republicans don’t want government to function, or at least want to cripple many of its functions. They think breaking norms is a great way to speed along to that result.

            3. The phrase you are looking for is a “Nash Equilibrium”, my friend. Where people acting in their own self-interest get a clearly worse result than if they cooperated because they cannot trust the others to uphold their end of the deal.

    2. “The conservatives will have a stronger majority, but not overwhelming.”

      Why would or should the majority — and the culture war winners — enable the minority and losers to possess a majority?

      Win elections or consequences, clingers.

      1. Back to my initial point. No trust, no deal.

        End result is that Trump’s nominee will sit on the SCOTUS.

        And, the cherry on the top is that she (and it is most likely she) will get to swear in the next VP, as the tradition is that the Chief Justice swears in the new president, and the most junior associate justice swears in the new VP.

        So we may well see Amy Barnett sweat in Kamala Harris on Jan. 20. That would be a great photo-op.

        1. “and the most junior associate justice swears in the new VP. So we may well see Amy Barnett sweat in Kamala Harris on Jan. 20. That would be a great photo-op.”

          Incorrect. The VP typically picks which Justice gives them the oath.

          Biden 08: Stevens
          Biden 12: Sotomayor (Kagan was the JJ at this point)
          Pence 16: Thomas

          1. I stand corrected. I thought that was the case.

            Pence, if he gets in, will likely pick this new Associate Justice.

            Harris, I don’t know. Probably Kagan.

            1. Biden can’t even manage the pledge of allegiance anymore.

              1. You realize this delusion is setting you up for disappointment, right?

                1. Well, hey, if the famously impartial arbiter of truth ddale8 says that Biden’s capping half the Pledge with “for real!” was a deliberate choice rather than grasping for words, that’s good enough for me.

      2. “Win elections or consequences, clingers.”

        Then you agree that the seat should be immediately filled by Trump now? He won the last election, with his party in majority in the Senate. And you agree that Garland was properly blocked in honor of the consequences of the midterm election that gave the Republicans a Senate majority?

        I know your answer to that. It seems you think only SOME elections should have consequences.

        1. I’m largely agnostic on the issue of what Republicans should do. I focus on what Democrats should do when they regain the levers of power, as seems likely to occur soon.

          Republicans should take their best shot, while they have the votes. Democrats should respond when they have the votes.

          Take your best shot, conservatives. Then brace yourselves.

        2. ” He won the last election”

          Unless you remember that there was an election in 2018.

          1. Sadly, I guess I’m among the unfortunate ones who flat out forgot there was a Presidential election in 2018.

    3. “It’s dead because there is zero trust and zero enforcement mechanism. One side has to give up something now for a negligible promise for the future. (Sound familiar? Obama-Kerry Iran deal.)”

      Master deal-maker Donald Trump abandoned that deal in exchange for absolutely nothing. Is that what you meant?

      1. Pre-Donald, the West, Russia and China were in a tight coalition to shut down Iran’s nuclear program. And it worked : Even the Trump administration certified the Iranians were following their treaty obligations right up to the point DJT pulled out. Iran’s nuclear program was frozen at a standstill. All Trump could point to was non-nuclear mischief from the regime.

        Now that coalition is shattered. The entire world ignores the U.S. like some freakish crank ranting on a street corner. Pompeo recently tried to push an Iranian vote thru the UN Security Council and only the Dominican Republic voted yes. Just a few days ago he loudly announced the world was reimposing sanctions and everyone just ignored him.

        Meanwhile, the Iranians have resumed the uranium enrichment they stopped under Obama’s treaty. Every day they get closer to a bomb because of the bungling clown in the White House.

        Trump’s failure is stark and complete. There’s no way to claim otherwise.

        1. “Pre-Donald, the West, Russia and China were in a tight coalition to shut down Iran’s nuclear program. And it worked”

          The West, Russia, and China were in a tight coalition to pretend to shut down Iran’s nuclear program, which worked because all three got what they wanted out of the pretense. Russia and China the assurance that a nuclear armed Iran would eventually be bedeviling the West, Obama credit for being a deal maker, and various figures in the EU were personally enriched by having contracts to sell Iranian oil.

          1. You always have your fantasies to fall back on, eh Brett? As I noted above, even the Trump administration certified Iran was in full compliance and shut down their nuclear program. The White House acknowledged this repeatedly, right up until Trump voided a still-working treaty.

            Instead, Trump complained about Iran’s missile development, or its growth in convention arms, or its malignant influence in the region. This was bait&switch pushed to the extreme : The nuclear pact had to be rejected because of every imaginable reason under the sun except Iran’s nuclear program, which was then frozen (even the White House admitted)

            Trump promised the dupes (take a bow, Brett) that he would torpedo the accord and the Iranians would quickly agree to another nuclear treaty, along with conventional weapons restrictions, along with missile restrictions, along with limits of their foreign adventurism. Care to guess how much of this came true?

            Instead, Trump destroyed the world-wild coalition against Iran, destroyed the credibility of the U.S. with its allies, destroyed functioning restrictions on Iran’s uranium enrichment – and accomplished absolutely nothing in return …. except to rile the dupes (take a bow, Brett)

            Definitely not a major success – like getting all those gooey mash notes from Kim Jung Un….

            1. Why anyone halfway paying attention doesn’t see this as a disqualifying blunder, I will never understand. Confirmation bias and extreme partisanship is the only answer. Even assuming the original deal was bad, Trump’s scrapping of it made things far, far worse.

          2. “The West, Russia, and China were in a tight coalition to pretend to shut down Iran’s nuclear program, which worked because all three got what they wanted out of the pretense. Russia and China the assurance that a nuclear armed Iran would eventually be bedeviling the West, Obama credit for being a deal maker, and various figures in the EU were personally enriched by having contracts to sell Iranian oil.”

            Then deal-maker-Don pulled the US out of the deal, in exchange for precisely nothing.

            1. Oh, it wasn’t for precisely nothing. It was less than nothing. More Russia-China influence in the ME, a restarted Iranian nuclear program, and frittered away American credibility as a trustworthy treaty partner.

              Any future deal with countries will necessarily now be more expensive because America can’t guarantee the morons now running the GOP won’t renege on any negotiated deal.

              And Trump has not managed any significant deal. The re-upping of NAFTA (USMCA) with largely Democrat friendly environmental and labor enhancements hardly counts. Rebranding an old deal isn’t the same as managing to get a new deal.

      2. “Master deal-maker Donald Trump abandoned that deal in exchange for absolutely nothing. Is that what you meant?”

        Hmm. multiple ME states are willing to recognize Israel.

        Looks like he abandoned a bullshit deal for something with some actual benefits.

        …but nobody ever accused Kerry of being intelligent or competent.

        1. The ME states were moving in that direction already and Trump had to give them advanced weaponry to entice them to do what was already underway in time to claim a foreign policy success prior to the election. This is just another example of Trump claiming credit for other’s work and paying more than it is worth to the US, but he is always willing to overpay for things for himself while using others’ money.

          1. You really can’t seem to give Trump any credit for anything, can you?

            1. Well, unlike you, not when he doesn’t deserve it.

              Pulling out of the Iran deal had little to do with the ME developments, and was an idiotic move, made to appeal to idiots.

              1. Pulling out of the Iran “deal” made sense. It’s like the “deal” a business has paying the mob for “protection”. If Obama wanted a “deal” he should’ve pushed it through Congress. But it didn’t make sense there.

                1. Armchair,

                  Your comment makes little sense. Pulling out of the deal made no sense. It achieved nothing but acceleration of the Iran nuclear program.

                  You can characterize any arms control deal as akin to “mob” protection. Like how Trump made concessions to North Korea for absolutely nothing? I presume you were happy with that mob “protection” deal, though it wasn’t written on paper and, unlike Iran after that multilateral deal, North Korea has never slowed up building nuclear bombs.

                  The fact remains: The leading democracies and the other power players in the region joined in a deal that actually did result in Iran slowing/stopping its nuclear program and it was sticking to the deal when Trump left it for nothing. There were real benefits to the deal (regardless of whether you think Iran got the better end of it). Leaving it accelerated the Iranian nuclear program, exactly what Republicans were caterwauling about previously and the reason they were suggesting war. Trump gave away our downpayment and our credibility as a treaty party for, again, nothing. Stupid.

          2. “The ME states were moving in that direction already”

            …yet no agreements were signed. Odd.

        2. damikesc : Looks like he abandoned a bullshit deal for something with some actual benefits.

          Up-thread I mentioned bait&switch? Well, take a look at what we have here: I’ll bet a few years back damikesc was in the crowd screaming Iran’s nuclear program was an existential threat against the United States and the world. We must do something they howled. We can’t sit back without acting they shrieked. This is an imperative they wailed.

          So Obama brought together a coalition of the West, Russia, and China. After long & difficult negotiations he produced a deal with verification measures that impressed even the skeptics. And it worked : Even the Trump Administration repeatedly certified Iran in full compliance. Their nuclear program was shut down. Most of the uranium they’d enriched was shipped out of the country to Russia. Great news you’d think. But for people like damikesc suddenly Iran’s nuclear threat had become a big nothingburger.

          As I mention above, the complaints against the pack had zero to do with the pact, since Trump’s White House conceded it was working. It was Iran’s missile program, or their build-up of conventional arms, or their interference in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. What had become of that “existential threat” from an Iran with atomic weapons? Completely forgotten. Totally irrelevant. Yesterday’s news…..

          Our own damikesc just takes this bizarre about-face to even more ludicrous extremes. Who cares if Iran is back enriching nuclear bomb fuel after Trump’s bungling? Why worry if every day brings us that much closer to Iran having the Bomb? We got two postage-stamp-sized countries to recognized Israel !!! That’s so much more important than Iran as a nuclear power…..

          The lengths Trump cultist go to excuse his lies, bungling & failure is amazing.

          1. “Up-thread I mentioned bait&switch? Well, take a look at what we have here: I’ll bet a few years back damikesc was in the crowd screaming Iran’s nuclear program was an existential threat against the United States and the world.”

            I said allowing Iran to pursue nukes, which that deal did, was idiotic. Iran could have just removed their signature from NPT but opted not to. So they agreed to abide by it.

            “Our own damikesc just takes this bizarre about-face to even more ludicrous extremes. Who cares if Iran is back enriching nuclear bomb fuel after Trump’s bungling?”

            Israel indicated Iran ignored the agreement from day one and I trust them dramatically more than I trust our intel services.

            1. Give it up, damikesc. Trump’s own White certified Iran’s nuclear program was shut down and they were in full compliance with the treaty. Please supply us with the information that “Israel indicated Iran ignored the agreement”. You can’t because they never did.

              I’ll bet you bring up the Israeli raid on a warehouse in Iran. Just spare yourself embarrassment for once. The records in that warehouse dated back years, long before the treaty. Is it possible you’re so ignorant you didn’t even know that ?!? Trump and the Israelis tried to make agitprop from records showing the Iranians had a nuclear program back when everyone knew that. Who’s dim-witted and gullible enough to fall for that? Apparently you.

              Here’s the problem, damikesc : Your handlers treat you like a fool and feed you lies. If that isn’t an issue with you, then fine. If it is, maybe you should do a little research on your own. You can start with your Israeli bullshit. As a baby step, ya know……

              1. “Please supply us with the information that “Israel indicated Iran ignored the agreement”. You can’t because they never did.”

                https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/30/netanyahu-accuses-iran-cheating-nuclear-deal

                “Here’s the problem, damikesc : Your handlers treat you like a fool and feed you lies. If that isn’t an issue with you, then fine. If it is, maybe you should do a little research on your own. You can start with your Israeli bullshit. As a baby step, ya know……”

                My “handlers”? Intriguing.

                Continue blowing mullahs.

                1. Geez, you’re a glutton for punishment. From your own source :

                  “However, key documents highlighted by Netanyahu had previously been seen by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as early as 2005 and made public by the agency in 2011. The IAEA judged that substantial work on nuclear weapons development ceased in 2003, and that there was no evidence of weapons research after 2009. Under the 2015 nuclear deal, the task of investigating Iran’s nuclear past was handed to the IAEA.”

                  Hilarious. Let’s walk thru this :

                  1. I told you exactly what you were thinking
                  2. I told you exactly how you were mistaken
                  3. I told you exactly how your allegation would blowup in your face.

                  And yet you still waddled thru the whole clown dance I laid out for you, step by step. News Flash, damikesc : You don’t prove Iran is cheating on a treaty with documents dating back years before the treaty was signed. Just how damn stupid are you anyway?

                  Try again, but without making a fool of yourself this time…..

                  1. damikesc = owned by grb.

                    Just, damn. I find it particularly amusing when people cite articles that are directly contrary to their own position.

  5. How could a 10-year agreement not to expand the Court be made binding on a future Congress and President?

    1. It can’t.

      1. By winning enough elections to cost them the majority of Congress.

        But that would mean embracing postions held by a majority of Americans, and the GOP isn’t willing to consider going that far.

  6. Biden wouldn’t pack the court unless leftist demands grow strong. And the demands won’t grow unless the court stands in the way of major legislative priorities of Democrats.

    1. Biden won’t be running things for long. He will either resign, or Vice President Harris will invoke the 25th amendment to have him declared disabled.

      1. This could well happen, as for the dems go get Biden, they would probably keep the house and gain the senate. In that scenario, section four of amendment 25 contains an interesting little phrasing; “Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, . . . “.
        So the democratic controlled congress is permitted to “by law provide” that the DNC become the body that determines the fitness of any given president to serve.
        Fun, huh?

        1. You must be a hit at parties.
          You don’t want Mr. Biden to be President, so you assume that nobody wants Mr. Biden to be President, and they’re secretly working for Ms. Harris.
          Do you not remember when the W administration was run out of the VP’s office? A lot of Democrats remember that, and they aren’t looking forward to trying it their own selves.
          so, you’re left with a conspiracy theory that doesn’t work that well, but fascinates stupid people. I bet your friends just love it to death.

          1. Your candidate for President cannot talk to James Corden without a damned teleprompter. If this is the best you have, that is sad.

            1. My candidate for President can’t talk to James Corden because she isn’t backed by a political party.

              Other than making staggeringly bad assumptions about people, what else you got?

      2. “the Kool-aid is deep in this one.”

        1. Have you seen Biden lately? He can’t take interviews without a teleprompter….

          1. Psst didn’t you get the memo? The Trump people are raising expectations for Biden now:

            https://thehill.com/homenews/media/517412-trump-campaign-plays-up-bidens-skills-ahead-of-cleveland-debate-hes-actually

            1. Well, I’m not on the Talking Point list for the GOP, so…

          2. Armchair Lawyer : Have you seen Biden lately?

            There is stupid, and there is Trump-Stupid, which takes things to a whole other level. Most politicians try to lower expectations before these things to ensure any success looks brighter. Only Biden is lucky enough to have a clown opponent & his clown army labor months doing that job for him.

            Biden will do fine in the debate, just like he did fine in a two-hour one-on-one faceoff against Sanders in March. Then a sizable segment of voters dumb idiot enough to actually believe Trump will understand they’ve been had again. Who knows how high the poll bounce will go, but its effect will surely be augmented by the hard labor of one Armchair Lawyer. (Biden thanks you)

            Speaking of Trump-Stupid, the head-clown himself recently gave a speech sneering at Biden using a teleprompter. To either side of Trump at the podium was – yes – dual teleprompters. His supporters seemed too dumb to notice.

            1. So, there’s a difference between an interview and a speech.

              With a speech, everything you say should be rehearsed and set. Often people would bring notes (or the entire speech) written down for the purpose. It was quite common. Teleprompters are an update for that.

              An interview, on the other hand, is typically not rehearsed (And if it is, that’s a different problem). There is back and forth between the speaker and interviewer. Because not everything is planned, not every question is known ahead of time, a teleprompter shouldn’t work. (Again, if it is…that’s not really an interview). You can teleprompt it only if it’s all planned out in advance…which really makes it more of a play, and less of an interview.

              1. You know he did a CNN town hall last week right? And at a town hall in February he was talking about his favorite Kierkegaard quote in response to a question about his faith. That’s not something addled people are typically able to do. Unless you think Biden went from the ability to think about how Christian Existentialism applies to his faith to a vegetable in seven months.

                Remind me: what’s Trump’s favorite philosophical quote relating to his faith?

                1. You do know that CNN has a long history of using Democratic plants in it’s ‘town halls’, right? At least as far back as 2007 they’ve been caught asking questions of “random” citizens who turned out to be local party officials or activists.

                  If the questions weren’t pre-arranged, why would he bother having a teleprompter?

                  1. Yeah I’m not seeing any proof of that claim beyond conservative media mudslinging. And if you believe it I’m even more skeptical because you’re prone to accepting delusional conspiracy theories and the dismissal of people who know more than you.

                    You’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Indeed the Trump campaign thinks so too, because they finally decided to raise expectations for Biden this week.

                  2. It’s really not that difficult to anticipate the range of questions a presidential candidate might be asked and to prepare responses to those questions in advance. But you guys just keeping do you.

                2. In…February….

                  1. So you’re saying Biden has gone from understanding complex questions of faith to being a vegetable in seven months?

                    1. Prepare yourself, because when you deal with Armchair Lawyer you must expect industrial-grade delusion. After an earlier exchange when I pointed to Joe’s two hour debate with Bernie in mid-March, Armchair claimed Biden became a vegetable since then.

                      So I expect after Biden’s strong showing in the upcoming debate Armchair will just reset the clock, and have Biden vegetate just in the nick of time before Election Day. I keep telling him (ACL, not Biden) that this cult drivel just makes Joe’s election easier, but apparently ACL is having too much fun for long-term responsible adult-style thought. Now ain’t that’s a Trump supporter all over…..

                    2. Actually, over the longer term, in dealing with Armchair Lawyer I expect

                      (1) lots of crying

                      (2) compliance

                      Not much more.

                    3. I’ll agree that the debate should tell us, one way or another. A genuinely unscripted encounter without a teleprompter, if he is demented there won’t be any concealing it.

                      Of course, I’m not sure who’s going to be around to care. Back in July Biden announced that gun violence had killed 150 million Americans, and a couple days ago 200 million died of Covid 19 before he could finish his speech. I think that accounts for all of us, doesn’t it?

                    4. Brett,

                      Well Trump says COVID affected virtually nobody. So at least Biden has the moral sense to realize that people are in fact harmed by the thing…

                    5. The theory that Kamala Harris is being pushed forward now over Biden rather than just nominating her in the first place is phenomenally stupid. It’s not a surprise to see Republicans advancing this theory.

                    6. No, the current belief is that he’s simultaneously a master deceiver and power-monger AND a drooling invalid.

                    7. Armchair Lawyer : Dementia is real. And progressive.

                      You never learn, do you? You’re justifying Trump’s reelection with B.S. that will blow-up in your face the moment Biden and Trump share a debate stage. And it’s not like you can’t predict that result. Only a few short months ago Biden was debating with dreary regularity. No doubt he’ll be wooden & stogy, but with Trump’s cult army convincing people Joe will be drooling & incoherent, wooden will be a resolute victory. Are you so short-sighted you don’t see the danger in basing your argument on an obvious lie?

                      Well, I guess that kind of think comes easy to a Trump supporter. Their version of mother’s milk……

              2. Forget it, A.L.

                No sane person takes the teleprompter crap seriously. I remeber when you guys were all over Obama for using one to give a speech, but suddenly it’s just fine for Trump.

                At least try to show a smidge of integrity.

                1. There are commenters here who still insist Obama was so dumb he couldn’t function without a teleprompter (a belief that might stand as the dictionary definition of “projection”). Never mind he did did a day-long healthcare summit with a roomful of hostile Republican congressmen and totally owned their shit. You can look up the video if you like – a full six or seven hours worth.

                  Then try to imagine Trump doing something like that (for a laugh)

                  1. I would never have said he was dumb. But he did a lot better when he had the teleprompter feeding him lines.

                    For Biden it isn’t just better. He’s even using the teleprompter for supposedly unscripted events. “Supposedly” unscripted.

                    1. Obama couldn’t have done better than when he did that healthcare summit with GOP congressmen. All extemporaneous, batting them down one after another. At the end, Obama said something like, “This was fun, guys. Let’s do it again soon.” They couldn’t get out of the room fast enough.

                    2. I gotta credit Brett. The man does a lot of retreating, but damn if he doesn’t keep up his dignity while doing so. “But he did a lot better when he had the teleprompter feeding him lines” Well. Yeah. So does everyone.

                      As for Biden, he still sounds more coherent, more rational, more knowledgeable, and more in command of his mind than Trump – and by a sizable margin. For every one instance Joe sounds fuzzy we get a week’s worth of Donald as unintelligible addled imbecilic child with no impulse control & an attention span of zero.

                      If Biden’s advantage is due to teleprompters, then I applaud his sagacity in effectively using the tool. It would be nice to have a president who doesn’t sound like a short-bus gradeschooler with ADD.

      3. Somehow, swapping out “Trump” for “Biden” and “Pence” for “Harris” doesn’t make this fantasy any more likely.

    2. Biden doesn’t get to expand the court. Neither does Harris for that matter. It’s up to the Congress Critters, and it’s far more dangerous than Harry Reid’s nuclear option.

      1. Danger! Danger Will Robinson! Step away from the Capitol Building!

    3. I think this is right.

      But, if the Court overturns the ACA on the (b.s.) grounds of non-severability, the demands from the base to either re-instate the ACA without the mandate (which would presumably fix the problem) or to put something different in place will be overwhelming. Of course McConnell won’t go along. And that will spell the end of the filibuster. Once that happens, all bets are off.

      1. I don’t think anyone with a functioning memory is ready to let Mitch off, so these bets you’re taking may be unwise.

      2. If Biden wins and the Democrats take the House and Senate, the ACA will be replaced by full-blown single-payer Obamacare. Problem solved!

  7. We need a diaper changing accord for those infants who cannot accept losing.

  8. Seriously, it’s like you never heard the parable of The Scorpion and the Frog. Spoiler: The Democrats have proven to be the Scorpion multiple times.

    1. So have Republicans. I mean Democrats apparently believed McConnell when he said the American people deserve a voice.

      1. They got a voice, the GOP Senate ran in both 2016 and 2018 on a platform of confirming conservative judicial nominees.

        1. Most voters voted for Democratic candidates in the Senate in 2018. Only 1/3 of the seats were up. That’s hardly America.

          Face it, they were lying to everyone. Including you. Kant said lying is the most immoral act because it degrades a human’s intrinsic moral worth by denying the freedom of a rational choice. McConnell and co. degraded you as much as anybody. Unless you knew they were lying then and supported the lie because it furthered your aims?

          1. The GOP stanch on Garland was ratified by the people when Trump was elected and the GOP kept the House and Senate.

            1. Right. They exercised their voice in 2016. So they deserved one in 2016 but not 2020? If they don’t, why not? The only answer is that McConnell et al were lying to everyone when they said they thought you deserved a voice in SCOTUS justices as a normative matter. They actually didn’t think that. They were lying to you Bob. They degraded your moral worth the same as they degraded everyone else’s. Again, unless you were in on the lie, in which case your own morals are suspect.

              1. The people have already spoken in 2014, 2016, and 2018. They want good judges who will listen to the law.

                1. So why aren’t they allowed to speak again in 2020?

                  1. They are for openings that occur after 2020.

                    1. But the opening in 2016 was before the election. When Mitch said the American people deserve a voice. Face it you support a lie. Admit it so you can focus on bettering yourself.

                    2. But it was after the Senate election in 2014 and 2012, where the people made their views known.

                    3. Let’s break this down:

                      I. 2012 voters from across the country voted for the President assuming he would have 4 years in power to do thing like nominate SCOTUS justices. 1/3 of the country supported enough senators to maintain democratic control.

                      2. In 2014, voters in 1/3 of states decided that they wanted more Republican senators and they gained control of the chamber.

                      3. Republican Senators in early 2016 announce that Americans deserve a voice in the next SCOTUS Justice, this includes all American voters voting on a President who nominates and 1/3 of American voters voting on senators who will confirm.

                      4. Although less Americans voted for both Donald Trump and Republican Senators (indeed Democratic candidates got 10,000,000 more voters and picked up two more seats) the American people apparently decided that Donald Trump should get to pick SCOTUS
                      justices and have Senators confirm them.

                      5. In 2018 one third of Senate seats were up. There was no Presidential election. Despite saying that Americans deserved a voice in 2016, Republicans did not feel that the fact that there was an election should impact nominations and confirmations. This makes sense: the American people as a whole couldn’t weigh in.

                      6. So 2018 happens and 1/3 of the Senate is up. Democratic candidates get 18(!) million more votes than Republican ones. But the map was bad for Democrats and they don’t win the chamber.

                      7. Now 2020: Despite saying the American voters voice deserved to be heard in 2016, for both nominating and confirming, Republicans now say they were already heard in 2018 when their candidates got much less votes only for the power to confirm, and not nominate.

                      Face it: it’s literally the same scenario. There’s a presidential election with 1/3 of the Senate up. They just lied to you about your voice mattering this time. They think it doesn’t. Either admit you’re being lied to and morally degraded, OR admit you are in on the lie and start improving your morals.

                      This absurd attempt to pretend their logic isn’t based on them lying is kind of pathetic.

                      Even though the van

                    4. That was a remarkably prolix rendition of “elections happened, and the winners of those elections exercised the power granted to them by the voters.”

                      Or, even more succinctly, “I won.”

                    5. LawTalking,

                      You do enjoy mixing and matching numbers, don’t you….

                      But let’s simplify it a little.

                      Yes, since the GOP won enough seats to gain control of the Senate in 2014, the people made their views known. It was a 9 seat shift. That’s pretty impressive. So the new GOP senate took it under advisement.

                      Since then there were two more senate elections (2016, 2018), and not enough seats shifted back. In fact, in 2018, the GOP gained 2 more seats. Seems the people liked what the GOP senate was doing.

                      Now popular vote is nice and all, but the Senate doesn’t follow popular vote overall. It’s for each individual state. In fact, when you have a large state like California in the 2018 election, where there’s no GOP senator candidate on the ballot, it’s quite misleading to use popular vote overall.

                      So, to summarize. The GOP won a massive swing (9 seats) in the senate in 2014. The people didn’t like what the Democrats were doing in the Senate. So, future openings should go be under advisement for GOP consent. And in 2018, the GOP gained another 2 seats on top of its existing control. So, the people liked what it was doing.

              2. “They were lying to you Bob. ”

                Oh noes, politicians lie.

                Your side lies to you too.

                Obama promised in 2008 to renegotiate NAFTA for instance. Did he? It was in his total power to try.

                1. I know you’re a nihilist but you shouldn’t really be one when Mitch was lying to you about the value of your participation in the American system of government.

                  1. I’m a realist.

                    Politicians lie. Some all the time, some most of the time, some sometimes.

                    Its not personal, its just business.

                    1. A lot of Americans are like you. You admire politicians who lie to you, who double cross other politicians so that nothing gets done. You see it as a sign of toughness, I suppose, or hardheadedness. Telling the truth , or trying to work out a compromise, that’s all for chumps.

                    2. “you admire politicians who lie to you, who double cross other politicians so that nothing gets done. ”

                      Last politicians I admired were Sarah Palin and George W. Before that Reagan I guess.

                      I don’t admire any right now. I respect the abilities of some. I like some. I dislike quite a few, even conservatives like Romney.

                      I respect Mitch’s tactical abilities but understand his weaknesses too.

                    3. I kinda like Rand Paul, personally. Can’t think of any other Republicans I particularly admire.

                    4. “I’m a realist.

                      Politicians lie. Some all the time”

                      One of those, for example, is running for re-election this year. His buds aren’t sure he can win on his merits, though, so they think they better lock in any partisan gain they can before he gets voted out.

            2. “The GOP stanch on Garland was ratified by the people when Trump was elected and the GOP kept the House and Senate.”

              That’s idiotic. There were dozens, maybe hundreds of issues in those elections. The winners don’t get a mandate on every one, especially not the ones like Garland on which popular opinion was contra.

              1. If it was so unpopular, Dems would have done better. Major unpopular policies [Iraq in 2006, obamacare in 2010] turn elections.

                1. Except when they don’t. The majority supported Garland, and the Dems lost. That’s not hypothetical, Bob. It’s what happened.

                  1. “majority supported Garland”

                    Only in opinion polls. Push come to shove, it was not reflected in the election.

                    1. Very funny. I’m going to choose to believe you’re not insulting me by thinking I’m that stupid, and that you’re just trolling me because why not.

                    2. Believe what you want.

                2. “If it was so unpopular, Dems would have done better.”

                  They did, in 2018.

        2. “They got a voice, the GOP Senate ran in both 2016 and 2018 on a platform of confirming conservative judicial nominees.”

          Sen. Schumer says ‘everything’s on the table’ at the Senate. Let’s see which side picks up Senate seats in this election.

        3. No they didn’t. A few hundred thousand Wyoming voters can cancel 30 million Californians. The people having a voice would be if the Senate were population proportionate.

          So long as we have anti-democratic institutions, the argument that the people have a voice is at the maxima of where cynicism and mendacity meet.

          1. Blah, Blah… You always make this reference, and always forget about the few hundred thousand Vermonters cancelling out 30 million Texans.

            1. Either way, it’s not a reflection of the voice of the American people as a whole.

              1. Sure it is. Just broken down by state.

            2. And last time you asked me about Vermont, I said I was opposed to that result too.

              1. Yeah, protections for minorities, a federal system of government, who needs all those things….

            3. ” always forget about the few hundred thousand Vermonters cancelling out 30 million Texans.”

              Texas is gerrymandered. Ask the Representative from Austin.

          2. “No they didn’t. A few hundred thousand Wyoming voters can cancel 30 million Californians. The people having a voice would be if the Senate were population proportionate.”

            The Senate represents the STATES. Popular vote of Senators was the single dumbest thing this country has ever done.

            The House represents voters.

            They aren’t intended to do the same thing.

        4. ” the GOP Senate ran in both 2016 and 2018 on a platform of confirming conservative judicial nominees.”

          Even if that were true, it has nothing to do with Senators running for election in 2020.

    2. “Spoiler: The Democrats have proven to be the Scorpion multiple times.”

      It’s almost like you have something that obscures your vision and impedes your memory in such a way and to keep you from seeing and remembering that each and every complaint you make about Democrats is also true about Republicans.

      1. Even if it’s true about Republicans, too, it doesn’t alter my point: Ilya’s proposal requires the Republicans to give up something of considerable value today, which they’ve already promised to their voters, in return for a pinky promise they’d rationally expect to be broken.

        I understand that Ilya doesn’t want Trump to make another Supreme court nomination, and probably doesn’t want the Democrats to pack the Court, either. But his proposal is just a wild fantasy.

        1. The D’s, if they win, will claim a mandate to overcome Mitch’s duplicity, and act to do so.

          So the R’s can overcome Mitch’s duplicity themselves, or they can lock in a short-term, temporary win based on Mitch being a lying SOB, and accepting that Mitch, being a lying SOB, represents the full party.

  9. I say we amend Rule 19 to get rid of the rule that “a Senator shall not impute to another Senator ‘by any form of words’ any conduct or motive that is unworthy or unbecoming of a Senator.” Then Senators can play the clip and show the tweets of McConnell, Graham, Cotton, Cruz, et al., going on and on about the American people deserving a voice in the selection of the next Justice and then correctly and accurately call them liars right to their faces.

    1. Can we then play the words of Democrats who did the same thing?

  10. More of the court will be tip toeing around the Democratic platform and liberal issues.

    1. More of the court will be tip toeing around the Democratic platform and liberal issues.

      That would be the smart thing to do in terms of retaining their power; long-term retention of political power always requires moderation in its use. But I don’t think most of the current Republican-appointed judges are capable of that. Roberts for sure; maybe Kavanaugh and Gorsuch. But not the other three, and very likely not the new one either.

      1. Odd that it’s always the Republican justices who “grow” on the bench while the Democrat ones tend to have the exact same views from start to finish and all are fairly predictable.

        1. Gee, it’s almost like judges appointed by Republicans are used to lying about their views during confirmation.

  11. If a deal were feasible, we wouldn’t need a deal.

    1. We don’t agree on much, but I think you nailed it here.

      Most likely, there will be no deal. The GOP will get a sixth justice, and it’s likely the Dems will have seven come spring.

      Few want these things to come to pass, but it’s where we are now

      1. “and it’s likely the Dems will have seven come spring.”

        Not bloody likely. They’ll either have 3, or 9.

        You don’t take the heat for packing the Court just to barely win some cases, and maybe lose others. You do it to gain a rubber stamp Court, and that means adding enough Justices so that you can prevail even if you lose one or two of your own justices on occasional votes.

        1. You do it to put the clingers in their rightful place. That will involve four new justices.

          1. You are a pathetic loser.

          2. Artie, you could put 1 clinger in his place right now. I’ll even come dig your grave for you. You won’t have to do any work, like usual.

            Poor racist, xenophobic Artie. Cling on.

  12. But there is no way to enforce the deal. Suppose there is a wave election where Trump is defeated and the Dems retake control of the Senate with (in effect) 53 votes (counting independents with the Dems). Progressives will demand that elections have consequences and will push for an end to the filibuster and packing the courts. If the Dems go back on their word, there is no way for the GOP to force them to abide by the agreement.

    1. When politicians do unpopular things (like break deals they agreed to) there is always something you can do about it. Vote ’em out.

  13. Here’s the compromise: Both sides stop filibustering nominees on ideological grounds. We were doing that until Bork got borked. Now there is just hammer and tong from both sides.

    1. Here’s a better compromise:

      Republicans use the power while they have it.

      Then it will be the Democrats’ turn.

      The voters will decide which party gets the power. Then that party uses it vigorously.

      1. Shut up troll. Don’t respond to my posts.

        1. Don’t post in public if you can’t stand the trolls.

          1. He’s just a one note song. I can stand somebody interesting and occasionally funny.

            1. How many notes in your song?

        2. “Shut up troll. Don’t respond to my posts.”

          The things that make you so cranky are the things that make me eager to enjoy next year.

          1. You are a pathetic imbecile.

      2. “Republicans use the power while they have it.”

        OK. I wonder who South Wyoming will send to the Senate.

        1. Please entertain us with your envisioning of that one passing the House.

    2. Actually, they did not overtly oppose nominees for political grounds until 2001. And that is the same year they started filibustering judicial nominees. You can thank Chuck Schumer for these changes. I attended Schumer’s senate hearings where they debated allowing senators to oppose nominees for political reasons.

      And things started rolling downhill at a faster rate starting in 1986, when the Dems opposed Rehnquist’s nomination to be Chief Justice. We had Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum accusing Rehnquist of being an anti-semite because Rehnquist bought a house that had a restrictive covenant against selling the house to Jews in the deed. I remember studying in law school how those restrictive covenants were void, but that did not stop Metzenbaum from arguing that Rehnquist could have used it as cover to refuse to sell the house to a Jew. Metzenbaum conveniently ignored evidence of how Rehnquist had advocated for Jews earlier in his career. It was bullshit.

      1. So your argument is “hey, there was once this guy who did something that was bullshit. So screw everyone!”?

        1. I think that’s Bob from Ohio’s family crest. But in Latin.

          1. It looks more heroic in Latin.

          2. More likely, in pig latin.

    3. Both sides stop filibustering nominees on ideological grounds. We were doing that until Bork got borked.

      Bork wasn’t filibustered. He went down in a vote on the Senate floor by 42-58. With 6 Republicans voting against him.

      1. Get that reality-based time space continuum shit out of here.

    4. PeteRR : “We were doing that until Bork got borked”

      Apparently PRR knows zero history. Robert Bork got a full hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee and his nomination was rejected 9-5 (with one Republican vote against). Normally that would have been that, but Bork asked for a full Senate debate which was granted, and he then lost 42–58 (six Republican votes against).

      Bork’s problem wasn’t a filibuster but his own words. One of many examples : When you speak pro-Southern state poll tax, it tends to become a talking point. People using the term “borked” apparently means someone said meanie hurtful things about your judicial philosophy.

      Fun fact : Lawyer used the phrase “I got borked” long before it became rightwing-snowflake usage. Attorneys before the D.C. Circuit used those words to describe receiving a conservative judicial decision with no justification in the law. Probably just sore losers, huh?

  14. Due to demographic trends and the emergence of a better informed generation, the anti-Republican vote (already a clear majority) will overwhelm the Constitution’s antimajoritarian creations. In the near future the Republicans will permanently lose the Senate. Nor is it likely there will ever again be another Republican President. I know this is a very long view but the fact is today’s Republicans are acting this way because they have to — this is their last chance to exert any kind of power

    1. The problem with a ‘last gasp’ strategy becomes apparent toward the end of that gasp.

      It is at that moment that I will support throwing the foundering clingers an anchor.

    2. Worse informed, not better.

    3. “Republicans will permanently lose the Senate. Nor is it likely there will ever again be another Republican President.”

      So silly. There is nothing permanent in politics.

      West Virginia is now one of the most GOP states, 30 years ago it was one of the most Democratic.

      In a two party, first past the post system, the people have turn to the other party when they are unhappy enough. See 2006, 2008, 2010, 2016 for examples.

      1. The coalitions and ideology shift over time too. So future Republican majorities may have views very different from their current ones that are more suited for the majority in future times.

        1. Yes, of course. Dem views and positions are not going to stay stagnant either.

        2. Republicans may change, they certainly did not when their 2012 post mortem recommended they moderate and stop demonizing immigrants and black people.

          1. If Republicans want to try to become more popular by ditching their bigotry, superstitious nonsense, and general backwardness, I would welcome that development.

            Otherwise, they’re doomed. Change or die.

            I vote “die.”

            1. Of course you do, you bigoted, narrow minded piece of crap. Why are you even commenting on a libertarian site?

              1. Is there a libertarian blog you would recommend? I have been trying to find one.

                Mostly, what I find are defensive movement conservatives prancing around in unconvincing, garish libertarian drag.

      2. “So silly. There is nothing permanent in politics.”

        Tell it to the Whigs.

    4. Uh oh… It’s the Emerging Democratic Majority again!

      LOL. You still believe that nonsense.

      1. They’ve won the popular vote in 6 of the last 7 presidential elections (and the last three times it wasn’t that close). Their opponents are disproportionately old, male and white, and the new generation has little use for them. So yes, it is not an “emerging” but already a majority and will become more so.

      2. Other members of the liberal-libertarian mainstream will be dancing on conservatives’ political graves for so long as any of us will be alive.

        I will be enjoying fine beer and periodically urinating on those graves.

        Unless Republicans figure a way to make intolerance, ignorance, backwardness, and superstition more palatable to modern, younger Americans, the remainder of the culture war will be an even more intense rout.

        After that, the Democrats can quarrel among themselves, I guess.

      3. “Uh oh… It’s the Emerging Democratic Majority again!”

        The writing is on the wall, and the only conflict is about where it’s coming from. The R man in the street likes to imagine it comes from votes of illegal immigrants, but the truth is that the R’s have been unable to suppress enough citizens from voting.

  15. Your deal would be more plausible if most of your “conservatives” were not “never Trumpers”.

    1. Yeah. What kind of conservative would say that Donald Trump is bad for the Republican party?

      The smart, insightful kind, you say. Except that neither of those words goes well with the word “Republican” in modern-day America.
      sorry guys but your boat steered into that particular iceberg.

  16. There can be no deal that includes democrats. They lie.

    1. So what was Mitch doing when he stated unequivocally in 2016 that the American people deserve a voice? Cruz and Cotton too? Graham? It was a lie. They were lying to you. They degraded your intrinsic moral worth as a human when they lied to you. If you knew it was a lie then and supported it anyway, you are complicit in their moral degradation of everyone else.

    2. “There can be no deal that includes democrats. They lie.”

      You might even say they lie like Republicans, if you wanted to be mean and spiteful to the Democrats.

  17. What kind of abject stupidity is this? Are we to suppose that Democrats have some leverage and a deal must be made, simply because they have started hollering about court-packing?

    So then by this logic, Republicans should also start talking about how they are going to pack the court. Because then, Democrats will give them things. Right? See how stupid this is? This kind of logic doesn’t stop there. The left wing has also been engaging in violence around the country, and the blue checkmark brigade and so on have been making explicit the threats of violence in response to not getting their way.

    Aside from all that, Ilya Somin proposes a “reciprocal concession” in the form of a “guarantee” against court-packing. What the hell is he even talking about? A “guarantee” against court packing would take a constitutional amendment or at least an act of Congress.

    1. Not for nothing, but I don’t see any Democratic politicians explicitly praising an act of violence against a specific individual, which Trump actually did last week.

      1. Any of those Democrats out there suggesting that their supporters should try to vote more than once?

      2. It is mostly media members and other left-wing figures. The politicians usually limit themselves to winks and nods (e.g. Pelosi: “I just don’t even know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country. And maybe there will be”), and then to denying what is happening right before everyone’s eyes.

        But let’s hear it. Which Trump remark are you latching onto?

        1. On Ali Velshi at his rally Friday:

          “He got hit on the knee with a canister of tear gas. And he went down. He didn’t—heeee was down. ‘My knee! My knee!’ [Crowd laughs] Nobody cared, these guys didn’t care. They moved him aside. [Crowd laughs.] And they just walked right through—it was like, it was the most beautiful thing. No, because after we take all that crap for weeks and weeks, they would take this crap. And then you finally see men get up there and [punches fist forward] go right through, did—wasn’t it really a beautiful sight? [Crowd cheers.]

          It’s called law and order. Law and order! ”

          Here is the President, saying someone being hurt and in pain as a result of unwarranted state violence was a “beautiful sight”

          This is sadism. It’s sick praise of a specific human being in pain. It’s demented and depraved. People who support this are bad people. If you respond that this is okay, you are likely a sadist and a bad person too.

          The “law and order” capper comes across as sarcasm in text because deliberately attacking unarmed reporters just witnessing things would be illegal (although law and order people never care about laws like the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, or 14th Amendments unless they happen to be Trump associates) .

          1. The clingers have had their fun; they will pay for all of it.

            Hunting prohibited on public lands (that’s to enlighten the gun nuts).

            Restriction of limited liability benefits (a lesson for the Chamber of Commerce).

            Diminution of farm subsidies (a winner in every direction).

            Those, and more like them, will be additions to Supreme Court enlargement, House enlargement, Electoral College enlargement, filibuster diminution or elimination, admission of new states, etc.

    2. ” A “guarantee” against court packing would take a constitutional amendment or at least an act of Congress.”

      Or enough members of Congress onboard to scuttle any attempt to pass legislation that would pack the court.

      1. Um, no, the question here is how you “guarantee” that.

        1. So your question is how do Republicans guarantee that Republicans and their temporary allies keep Republicans from doing something?

    3. ” Are we to suppose that Democrats have some leverage”

      Depends on how much you like the Republicans’ chances in this year’s elections.

      1. Point granted in theory. It’s somewhere around 50/50, but even if you thought Dems were 80% to win both houses and Presidency, court packing is still a lot less likely than that. And even if it were likely, there would be some kind of response to that, whether more court packing eventually or something else. Perhaps we could split into states again and just live and let live.

        1. ” court packing is still a lot less likely than that. And even if it were likely, there would be some kind of response to that, whether more court packing eventually or something else.”

          There might be more court packing later. But we’re talking about locking in temporary gains, not working to secure long-term stability. The long-term stability play is to make a deal.

  18. “That might offer some small consolation for the fact that the resulting much larger court can no longer function as an effective check on government power.”

    Aha! And now the Republicans’ true goal begins to emerge!

  19. Ilya, give it up. Republicans don’t want a deal; they want a conservative court. They figure they’ll deal with court packing later.

    1. I think some (particularly the executive branch and the most Trumpy-Senators) are hoping they won’t have to deal with court packing because they’re counting on the Supreme Court to keep Trump in power when he baselessly claims the election was fraudulent or tries to stop ballot counting after Tuesday night.

      1. 538 today has it 77-22-1 Biden for president, with the most likely result 420 votes or so for Biden at the Electoral College and a 6.9 edge for Biden in the popular vote. 538 also indicates a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House.

        The conservatives at RealClearPolitics indicate Biden up 6.5 in the popular vote, a 2-1 win for Biden at the Electoral College (353-185), a Democratic Senate, and a Democratic House.

        Republicans can count on keeping Trump in power mostly by ignoring how to count.

        1. You can’t read graphs, can you? Their most likely result is 332, not 420. But, yes, 6.9% on the popular vote.

          I won’t lie, I’d prefer those odds flipped. But let’s see what they look like after the first debate. It’s no accident the DNC is desperate to have as many people as possible vote before that debate.

          1. The highest point on the “every outcome in our simulations” graph corresponds to 420 Electoral College votes for Biden. My point stands. On Republican necks.

          2. ” It’s no accident the DNC is desperate to have as many people as possible vote before that debate.”

            No, that’s not an accident. That’s Trump messing with the post office to keep mailed-in votes from getting to the elections offices.

        2. Funny, that’s roughly where they had Clinton this time four years ago.

          1. You are welcome to pin your hopes on another three-cushion trick shot at the Electoral College.

            The reckoning is going to be a delight.

          2. “Funny, that’s roughly where they had Clinton this time four years ago.”

            I don’t think having the FBI director make a last -second announcement about email investigation is going to do the trick this time.

  20. No deal possible. And it’s time to fix the Court, which is now a super-legislature which represents the ultimate prize in the American political system that justifies violating all norms to capture.

    One nominee per Presidential term, which can only be vetoed by a 2/3 vote of the Senate. No term limits, but no fixed size, with a judge brought up from the DC Circuit to make an odd number if necessary.

    That fixes the failure to confirm problem, the random death problem, and largely fixes the strategic retirement problem. The only thing it doesn’t fix is the Republicans’ determination to hold on to the Court by any means. But that would matter far less.

    And, over time, the Court becomes more reflective of what the country wants in a court of last resort.

    1. I’d say two-(or more)-per-term†, but otherwise this is roughly what I think should happen. Might necessitate the court treating itself more like an appeals court (random panel of judges assigned to a case, with an en banc option), but that’s a detail that can be worked out later.

      Overall though, yeah. Make new appointments reliable, take randomness out, and you don’t get 11th-hour drama like this.
      ________
      †Obviously, there will need to be a phase-in period so that the court grows slowly and the partisans in power when the new configuration starts isn’t unduly favored.

  21. What is the complaint, motion, or brief the Conspirators could develop to try to stop Democrats from enlarging the Supreme Court with a (one-vote) House majority, a (one-vote) Senate majority, and a presidential signature (or lack of veto)?

    That point should haunt Republicans and conservatives.

    Then consider admission of two or three states . . . enlargement of the House (and with it the Electoral College) . . . Democratic gerrymandering . . . elimination of the filibuster . . . expansion of the lower federal courts . . . what legal arguments could Republicans and their lawyers use to attempt to stop any of those changes?

    I would expect every Conspirator — and every Federalist Society member who teaches at a legitimate law school — to acknowledge that each of those measures may be accomplished with fastidious compliance with all relevant law, in congruence with established and longstanding precedent, so long as those proposing the change possess the requisite votes.

    1. I think you’ve been reading too many of Blackman’s screeds.

  22. Professor Somin….There will be no deal. And Ginsberg’s replacement will be on the bench before the year is out. That is all there is to it.

    1. That’s a great plan for conservatives . . . if the Rapture occurs before spring 2021.

      Unfortunately for conservatives, the Rapture is an illusory concept. The reality-based world will sting Republicans next year.

      1. Look, it’s just going to happen. And Democratic threats of Court packing won’t fend it off, because Republicans don’t really believe that Democrats would refrain from Court packing if Trump gave up this nomination. They’d take the seat, AND pack the Court.

        That being the case, their best move is to just go ahead and fill the vacancy. Worst case, they’ve got a 6-3 majority on the Court until early next year. Best case, doing it energizes their base enough that they’ve got a 6-3 majority on the Court, AND the White House and/or Senate, and Democratic Court packing is off the table for two more years.

        The odds of the Democrats actually carrying through on refraining from Court packing are just too low for the prospect to be worth taking seriously.

        1. “Worst case, they’ve got a 6-3 majority on the Court until early next year. Best case, doing it energizes their base enough that they’ve got a 6-3 majority on the Court, AND the White House and/or Senate”

          Which base do you think that energizes, again?

        2. The odds of the Democrats actually carrying through on refraining from Court packing are just too low for the prospect to be worth taking seriously.

          If Republicans really believed that, they wouldn’t be trying to “fill the vacancy”, they’d be trying to get a head-start on the court-packing.

      2. Ah yes, speaking of rapture. Another Article I judge confirmed today. Two more district court judges will be confirmed tomorrow; that will make 163 with another 40 on deck that will be confirmed before January 20, 2021. Rapturous indeed.

        See you at the polls. Can’t wait.

        1. I expect Democrats to create and fill more than one hundred judicial positions next year, including four at the Supreme Court.

          I also expect you to whimper about it incessantly, because that’s about all you will be able to do when your betters impose the reckoning.

          Well, that and continue to comply with the preferences of your betters, as you have your entire life.

        2. “See you at the polls. Can’t wait.”

          Bring a book, the lines seem likely to be quite long.

      3. “It’s her turn”

  23. The democrat party is now effectively controlled by the hard left. It is only in the regressive mind that court packing is a legitimate option. I think most of America is going to view it for what it is a partisan power grab. And if they go through with it that very well could cost them Congress for many years. FDR couldn’t even pack the court when his party controlled Congress and he was wildly popular. When the electorate is split 50/50 what make you certain this will fly now?

    The “let’s make a bunch of new states” scheme is also a pipe dream. Really it sounds like a plan a mad six grader made up when he lost a popularity contest to insure that he would stack the deck in his favor never to lose it again. This is also going to be 100% transparent and politically unpopular.

    So let them try to pack the Court. What that will probably bring around might be a short term packed court but might finally fuel the constitutional reform we need for that branch. And if they do I think it is going to cost them so much political capital that they will lose both Houses in 2022 and possibly much more.

    1. Its like the wild party flips of the last decade never happened. Dems had 60 senate seats 12 years ago! The house has changed hands three times in 14 years, and by big swings.

      1. Even the pollsters are really bad at predicting the way Congress will go. I remember in 2008 we were told that the Democrats had a new permanent majority. Then in 2010 we were told that because of gerrymandering and population shifts the Democrats wouldn’t be able to ever win the House back. And in 2016 the Republicans were supposed to lose the Senate but instead added a seat. If you want to go back to 1994 the media was hell bent to up till right before the election that the Republican had no chance in getting either House and then they ended up with both.

        1. “And in 2016 the Republicans were supposed to lose the Senate but instead added a seat. ”

          It was a pretty good performance; In 2016 the Democrats had 10 Senators up for reelection, and the Republicans 24, so the odds did actually favor the Democrats gaining ground.

          By contrast, in 2018 it was 26 Democrats to 9 Republicans, a net gain of only two seats was doing badly.

          This year, the Democrats are defending 12 seats, to the Republicans’ 23, so the odds again favor the Democrats. But it could go either way, most of the seats are not seriously contested.

          1. The big question, as always, is whether or not Democrats can get all the people who support them to actually show up at the polls. When they show up, as in 2008, you get President Obama. When they don’t, as in 2016, you get President Trump.
            c’mon Republicans help get those people to show up at the polls. Ram through a Supreme court nominee.

          2. “This year, the Democrats are defending 12 seats, to the Republicans’ 23, so the odds again favor the Democrats. But it could go either way, most of the seats are not seriously contested.”

            I currently live in one of the contested states, and the R’s seem a touch desperate. They advertised for one of the candidates in the D primary, but were unable to pick their opposing candidate. Now they’re running increasingly desperate sounding ads against the “radical left” instead of against the guy who’s actually running.

    2. “This is also going to be 100% transparent and politically unpopular.”

      It will be unpopular in Can’t-Keep-Up, Mississippi; Outer Jesusland, Wyoming; Snake Juggle, West Virginia; Lesser Jesusland, South Carolina; and Cousin Marriage, Idaho.

      It will be popular in modern, successful, educated, reasoning, diverse America. It will be popular in the two or three newly admitted states.

      You can’t please everyone. But pleasing the ascending majority, and sticking with the right side of history, seems a sound plan. If a few bigots get left behind, fuming, that seems an acceptable cost.

      I am content.

    3. You’re forgetting that most of the country views Republicans trying to fill the vacancy this year to be a “partisan power grab”.

  24. Ilya, a few points

    1. This is not a “Compromise”. It’s a threat. The two are significantly different. With a compromise, each party gets something, and each gives up something. With a threat, one party demands something of the other “or else something bad”. To use an example, a compromise is one kid exchanging his lunch money with another kid for a toy. A threat is one kid telling the other kid “Give me your lunch money, or else I’ll beat you up”.

    With this threat you are proposing, Democrats demand their SCOTUS seat “or else” they’ll pack the court. This is a lose-lose deal for the GOP (They either lose the SCOTUS seat or they “lose” more seats when the Democrats pack the court) and a win-win deal for the Democrats. IE, a sign of a threat. With a true compromise, the Democrats would give something the GOP something they wanted (IE, border wall funding for the SCOTUS seat being delayed).

    2. You’ve come out repeatedly in the past as being opposed to court packing, as have many on the left and right, because it is very bad policy, for many reasons. One major problem however is that by proposing such a “deal”, you appear to implicitly support or normalize the idea. IE, “Court packing may be OK sometimes to get what you want”. This is a problem, if you don’t actually support court packing, and think it is bad policy. Care to comment?

    1. “With this threat you are proposing, Democrats demand their SCOTUS seat “or else” they’ll pack the court. This is a lose-lose deal for the GOP (They either lose the SCOTUS seat or they “lose” more seats when the Democrats pack the court) and a win-win deal for the Democrats. IE, a sign of a threat. With a true compromise, the Democrats would give something the GOP something they wanted (IE, border wall funding for the SCOTUS seat being delayed). ”

      You’re forgetting to count the seat Mitch snagged for the GOP in 2016.

      1. That seems to me the linchpin to any defense of this kind of deal – that the failure to allow a floor vote on Garland was illegitimate and thus postponing a vote on the current vacancy is merely restoring the balance. Thus, the compromise isn’t just Republicans giving up lunch money to postpone a beating.

        But what if there had been a floor vote on Garland and he lost? Would that have made the ultimate selection of Gorsuch illegitimate? If so, it seems to me the rule is that Republican Senators aren’t allowed to vote based on the judge’s ideology (but Dems are – see votes on Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh). If not, then McConnell didn’t steal the Garland/Gorsuch seat, he just used the wrong process.

        1. “Thus, the compromise isn’t just Republicans giving up lunch money to postpone a beating.”

          The compromise is Republicans giving back the lunch money they stole to postpone a beating.

      2. Are you suggesting the deal is “give us this seat now and you can have the seat from 2016”?

        That’s a crappy deal.

        1. “That’s a crappy deal.”

          Take it up with Mitch.

      3. James, stop whining. A shitty judge got rejected by the Senate. Shit happens. Hey, you got the borderline autistic Kagan and known imbecile Sotomayor. Be glad Obama didn’t get three morons on the court.

        1. ” the borderline autistic Kagan ”

          That seems quite disrespectful of several prolific Conspirators.

          1. I am more than a bit disrespectful of several Conspirators.

            1. People who do not deserve respect often cannot give it, either.

          2. Artie, no one will believe that you are autistic. You’re a moron. Plain and simple.

        2. “James, stop whining. A shitty judge got rejected by the Senate. Shit happens.”

          Maybe, but that shit didn’t happen.

  25. Parties should win the battles in front of them and worry about the future battles if and when they appear.

    Confirm Amy, see what happens in November and go from there. If Dems run the table and do all the things they threaten, its not the end of the world.

    1. I don’t think the Dems flipping the Senate and the White House is a foregone conclusion. Odds are Trump loses, but there are still many days before the election and the polls are tightening up.

      The math is fuzzy on how the Senate goes D. It is possible, but I don’t think those scenarios are as likely as Trump losing.

      As 2016 and countless other elections have demonstrated, there are no foregone conclusions even the night before. Confirm Amy and see where the cards lie in December. And if you need to give the left all the rope they need because they are very good at using that rope to hang themselves as history has shown us many times.

      1. “The math is fuzzy on how the Senate goes D”

        It’s not that fuzzy. you start by counting how many seats you’re defending, then you calculate how toxic your brand currently is. Is is so toxic that people who might not have voted in other years will take the time to show up and tell your side to get bent? Then you figure how many voters your side has lost because, demographically, they’re more susceptible to the pandemic disease that your side deliberately and intentionally set about spreading? “Don’t wear a mask when you come to our event!”

        1. So your un-fuzzy version has mythical voters casting their ballots because of mad up reasoning which you just further make up….ok….

          1. 538 and RealClearPolitics indicate Democratic Senate, Democratic House. Democratic polling indicates Democratic Senate, Democratic House. Republican polling indicates Democratic Senate, Democratic House.

            Nothing is certain. Certain things are likely.

            1. 538 is only predicting a 61% chance of the Democrats taking the Senate, with the most likely outcome a majority of only 51 seats.

              So, more likely than not, but not very likely.

              1. We probably need just 50 . . . 51 or 52 would diminish the ‘weak-kneed ally’ problem.

                I prefer the 61 percent section the 39 percent section, particularly when I’m better than a 3-1 favorite to have the presidency.

            2. Nothing is certain. Certain things are likely.

              Yeah, just like Crooked Hillary, right? The last sure thing.

              1. Admittedly, betting that the United States was too smart to elect Donald Trump President turned out to be an overestimation. But betting that they’re stupid enough to elect him twice? If they are, the Republic is already lost.

          2. “mythical” voters? Were you not paying attention in 2008? It’s not a secret that there are a lot of people who don’t always show up to vote, and that when they do show up, it’s to thwart Republicans.

          3. ” because of mad up reasoning ”

            You still mad, bro?

        2. Burning cities down and canceling people are real brand builders.

          1. That would be a problem for any party burning cities down, and the ones disappearing people are working for your guy.

  26. You wanna fix this problem once and for all? amend the Constitution so that the party out of power picks a slate of Court candidates from which the new member(s) will be selected. Let the parties pick if they prefer to dominate the right-now power of the Presidency or the long-term power of the Court makeup.

    1. Except for one fatal flaw, that’s not a terrible plan.

      That fatal flaw being, of course, that the Constitution does not recognize political parties, nor should it.

  27. It’s time for a Constitutional Convention.

    1. A whole bunch of hostile people all standing 6 feet apart from each other. The timing couldn’t possibly be better.

  28. I offer a counter-proposal:

    Since the Democrats like going nuclear, let the GOP use a couple tactical nukes of their own. Since progressives love to create rights, laws and culture war “wins” via fiat, I propose the newly placed 6-3 majority:

    1. Find a right to life for a child in the womb, thus outlawing all abortion, allowing for its immediate criminalization.

    2. Find a requirement for universal militia in the 2nd Amendment, requiring government provided weapons, ammunition and training.

    The Republicans keep waiting for the Democrats to act right but they never will — perhaps a taste of their own medicine will make them think twice before lighting the fuse to a hot Civil War II?

    1. 1. Find a right to life for a child in the womb, thus outlawing all abortion, allowing for its immediate criminalization.

      One nice thing about this approach is that pregnant people can’t be imprisoned, since that would violate the child’s right to liberty under the 14th Amendment. I assume you said womb to avoid uncomfortable questions regarding ectopic pregnancies?

      1. This little things like probable cause and reasonable suspicion … and as most abortions would cease, a few would get away with it — for now.

        Like any other crime …

        1. Plus you can start charging pregnant women for driving, because car accidents pose a significant risk to the unborn child.

          The goal was to make it suck as much as possible to be pregnant, right?

        2. You have to have probable cause to detain the fetus, which is legally a separate person under your view.

          1. Your argument are so stupid … you are the weakest link — goodbye

            1. They’re not stupid, they’re the obvious legal consequence of treating embryos as distinct legal persons. If they are distinct legal persons, the state has to demonstrate they have the legal authority to detain them. If they can’t they must be released. Unless you’re suggesting that embryos aren’t actually distinct people under the fourteenth amendment and therefore aren’t entitled to liberty.

              1. They’re not detaining the fetus, they’re detaining the mother. If the fetus chooses to leave, nobody is going to stop it.

                1. Except they are. Because it’s in a state facility without probable cause.

                  1. If you throw somebody in prison after a trial, and a friend of their’s decides to accompany them, but are free to leave any time they want, then you’re not detaining the friend.

                    Now, if they laid hands on the fetus itself, you’d have a point. Or are you going to suggest that the mother should be charged with kidnapping and false arrest?

                    1. Suppose you have reason to detain one of a pair of conjoined twins. Can you throw them both in jail? Or at the very least, do you have to provide a lawyer to the innocent one?

                    2. Now, that’s actually an interesting question. I wonder if has ever come up in real life?

                2. “If the fetus chooses to leave, nobody is going to stop it.”

                  Did you not just say that abortion was going to be illegal? Now you say nobody is going to stop it. Make up your mind.

    2. “The Republicans keep waiting for the Democrats to act right but they never will — perhaps a taste of their own medicine will make them think twice before lighting the fuse to a hot Civil War II?”

      You propose to make them mad and then put guns in their hands? AND you think this helps YOU get what YOU want?

      In the spirit of your proposal, perhaps the newly-elected Congress will choose to make Republicanism a sign of mental illness, and thus a permanent disqualification to own or possess a firearm.

      1. But Democrats HATE guns and violence — they told us so! Surely they would NEVER do what you say!

        An Armed society is a polite society — I await their play.

        I’ll be their huckleberry …

        1. So you WANT to disarm yourself? You don’t have to wait for the Sheriff to come to the door and demand that you turn over your firearms, you can just dump them into the sea.

        2. “I’ll be their huckleberry …”

          You will, as you have for the entirety of your downscale and bigoted, life, comply with the rules established against your wishes by your betters.

          Your betters are generous, so you get to cry about it all you want.

        3. “I’ll be their huckleberry …”

          You ARE their dingleberry.

    3. If you can get that knuckle-dragging approach enacted, go for it.

      Otherwise, recognize that the Democrats are going to have control soon, and are going to use it.

      1. What did you say Artie? I can’t hear nothing but the gurgling — come back when Donald is done with you. I didn’t know you could open the wide!

        1. You’re declaring accomplishment — let alone reversing the tide, much less achieving victory or even preventing the Democrats’ victory — in the American culture war, DWB?

          Lack of education has consequences.

  29. Have the democrats EVER abided by any ‘deal’ or ‘promise’ they have made?

    Why would they start now?

    Are you really that credulous?

    1. “Have the democrats EVER abided by any ‘deal’ or ‘promise’ they have made? ”

      About as often as Republicans…

  30. QUESTION FOR CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFS:

    Would the following Federal law be constitutional, or unconstitutional? If unconstitutional, why?

    Any judge or Justice on any Federal court, who was nominated by a president who had not disclosed his recent tax-returns to the public at the time of the nomination, must resign immediately. Any who refuse to resign shall be guilty of a Felony, and imprisoned for not less than five years and not more than ten years.

    To me it looks like not an ex-post-facto law, since it does not criminalize previous actions; it only demands immediate-future actions (resignation). And I don’t see how it would violate the clause about judges serving “during good behavior”, because a judge who refused to obey the law would be a felon, and being a convicted felon is not good behavior.

    But I’m not a lawyer so maybe I’m missing something……

    1. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve read here in days. Since the last “Ilya Deal” blog.

      1. So stupid that you can’t answer the question, apparently. Where did you go to law school, Wossamotta U?

        1. Oh wow, you were serious.

        2. IMT, sometimes, mockery is the only response an idiotic inquiry warrants.

          1. If the question is so idiotic, then you should have no problem answering it. What article of the Constitution (or which amendment) would the law I suggested violate, and how? What precedents rule it out (if any), and why? Or, if the courts were to find it unconstitutional, would they base their decision on generalized yammerings about the deeper meaning of “separation of powers”, or, on penumbras or emanations, or on post-mortem psychoanalysis of the Founders (and authors of amendments)?

            If your response doesn’t include specific answers, then no matter how cleverly-formulated or rhetorically compelling it may be, it will still just be code for “I, [the-Person-Who-Is-Posting-the-Response], am not smart enough to give a real answer, but I, [tPWIPtR], am not classy enough or grown-up enough to admit it.”

            1. Preventing somebody who did not do something not remotely required constitutionally from exercising their constitutional powers is quite illegal. And punishing somebody for the actions of somebody else is also quite illegal.

              You moron.

              1. “Preventing somebody who did not do something not remotely required constitutionally from exercising their constitutional powers is quite illegal.”

                Would you mind diagramming this sentence? Mr. Genius.

          2. “sometimes, mockery is the only response an idiotic inquiry warrants.”

            Nah, I’ll treat you with a little bit of dignity and pretend you make sense.

      2. “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve read here in days”
        You must not read your own comments.
        Explains a lot, actually.

        1. Going with your postings, we know you don’t read your own.

          And those are awfully stupid.

          And IMT managed to beat those. Took some doing.

          1. “Going with your postings, we know you don’t read your own.

            And those are awfully stupid.”

            I’m trying to reach you at your level.

  31. The Colombian Supreme Court has 23 members, if Wikipedia is to be believed:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_Justice_of_Colombia

    17 or 18 modern, with-it, moving-with-the-times justices should be enough to outvote 5 or 6 clingers.

    No more gun fetishism! The Second Amendment is outdated.

    No more equating free speech with hate speech!

    None of this federalism nonsense, that just means slavery and racism.

    Abortion on request, courtesy of Uncle Sam.

    Utopia!

    1. We can then be a banana republic like pretty much other country in the World.

  32. I like how “Open Borders” Ilya trots out notorious neo-con Never Trumpers as the “conservatives” to make this appear bipartisan.

    No real conservative in their right mind would forsake a chance to get a conservative majority (5-4) on the Supreme Court. It’s where all big laws get made now.

    1. Conservatives seem to be striving to arrange a 6-7 minority for themselves.

      1. Maybe the Republicans should pre-emptively pack the court when Trump wins and make it a 12-3 majority.

        That would be pretty cool.

        1. I don’t think you understand how this works.

          First, how enlargement to achieve a majority would work.

          Second, how having a dwindling minority of the public shackles a political party over time.

          If conservatives don’t figure out how to become more popular among modern Americans, not even gerrymandering, voter suppression, and structural amplification of backwater votes will keep them competitive.

          1. Rev. Have you seen the party trends at the local and state levels? Didn’t we see over 1000 seats shift Red during the Kenyan Years?

            That’s why we are seeing so many Marxist tantrums and threats, they’re losing their grips on the power.

            1. It’s simply not true that the Marxists are losing their grip on power in the United States, because Marxists have never had power in the United States, despite the wildly-imaginative ravings of people who insist there’s a Marxist under every bed, and behind every tree.

      2. The argument of a hateful mugger. I expect nothing less from the bigoted Kirkland.

    2. “No real conservative in their right mind would forsake a chance to get a conservative majority (5-4) on the Supreme Court.”

      5-4 is the status quo. Y’all is fighting over 7-6.

      1. I mean 6-7.

  33. What a great idea. Give up a known outcome in exchange for a promise that cannot be binding.

    1. If they’re going to do it anyway, you lose nothing by taking the deal.

  34. I see no reason for the GOP to back down. There is no clear indication they will lose the senate majority and polling is notoriously often wrong. And it can be a wedge issue if the democrats do pack the court. They will overstep, and the electorate will snap them back. No it’s clear the GOP should get a third pick and let the chips fall where they may.

    1. Take your chances, including longshots if you wish.

      Try not to whine so much if those wagers fail and consequences are imposed.

      1. Could we whine like y’all are whining now from the consequences of the 2016 and 2018 elections?

        1. Trump whines about the consequences of 2016 all the time so you don’t need the permission of liberals to do that.

      2. When the court-packing happens, try not to cry when history sees it as a serious blow to the Republic.

        1. It will be a serious blow to Republicans, but not to the Republic.

          Get popular or get stomped, clingers.

  35. Characteristically well argued, Prof. Somin.

    But a profoundly unrealistic idea.

    1. Somin’s sock puppet chimes in.

  36. Yeah, jam tomorrow is not a deal the Rs are going to go for.

    Chuck Schumer became Minority Leader on 3 January 2017. He made a deal with Mitch to allow Pompeo to be confirmed on 20 January 2017.

    When, on 20 January, one of his Senators refused to go along with unanimous consent, so Pompeo didn’t get confirmed on 20 January, Schumer’s excuse was – it was just a deal for me. I can’t control what my people do. And that wasn’t even an important deal. It didn’t really matter whether Pompeo took over on 20 January or a few days later.
    But Schumer shredded his credibility with the GOP Senators for a few days delay on Pompeo.

    But for Wales ?

  37. I’m very confused how this is a “deal” because there is no enforcement mechanism, on either side.

    Lets say they are making the deal for this, which would obviously have to include a constitutional amendment. You get 2/3 House and 2/3 Senate to vote today, 9/22. You need 38 States to approve. There are 21 R-Only legislatures. Thus, once 17 Split or Dem-controlled vote in favor, McConnel could just go “hahahaha we’re voting anyways.”

    OTOH, if the Amendment isn’t passed by election day and Biden & Dems win, they can tell their state colleagues to not vote in favor, then go HAHAHAHAHAHA and pack the court.

  38. How do you enforce the Democrat side of the deal? That’s critical if you are even going to have scintilla of hope.

    1. People who know that they don’t keep their deals assume that other people won’t, either.

  39. Ilya Somin has still not addressed the issue of why Republicans should offer the “deal”, when Democrats are essentially holding a gun to the SC in exchange for the “deal” he claims is so essential. This is the argument of a mugger, who demands your wallet in exchange for your life. This is no deal. It is caving to the threats of a bully who will use violence if you fail to comply. And that is assuming after they get what they want, that they will follow through with their end of the “deal”. They may still pack the court! There is nothing stopping them from doing so. A promise means nothing, and I don’t see a Democratic majority Congress holding to a deal the previous Congress made.

    All I see here is fear. The Democrats are attempting a mugging, and they deserve to be sharply rebuked. If they try to pack the court, they should be denounced, sharply and repeatedly. I sincerely hope they do not succeed. I hope, if Biden is elected, he has the good grace not to die and install Harris as president. I hope he has the courage to stand against a Democrat senate that would demand court packing. I have little hope any of this will come true. The mugger deserves no concession. Damn them to hell.

    1. Ilya’s fear, I suspect, is that Trump gets to fill the slot.

      1. Trump is immaterial. It could be a rhesus monkey naming the names. What matters is who is being nominated.

        1. Not if you hate Trump.

          1. Why would anyone hate Trump? Unless he manages to bring down not just the Republican party, but the whole of America with them, that is.

    2. “If they try to pack the court, they should be denounced, sharply and repeatedly.”

      Why?

      We’ll be following the rules and continuing to win the culture war and shape American progress.

      You’ll be crying and losing political relevance as our backwaters recede.

      Sounds like fun.

  40. BTW, David French is probably the most useless “conservative” in the world. I thought he effectively cancelled himself with all the Never Trumper stuff. But maybe he is trying to reinvigorate his brand now…

    1. He’s useless to you because he has morals.

      1. Well no he is just a pussy.

        1. And you have bad morals.

        2. And you have no use for pussy.

      2. He thinks kids at drag shows are a “blessing of liberty”.

        Morals, smorals.

      3. “He’s useless to you because he has morals.”

        The dude has decided that, as a pro lifer, supporting abortion is better than somebody who is rude.

        He has no morals. But, fortunately, his wife’s boyfriend probably does.

        1. Lol at thinking Trump is simply rude and not a sociopathic sadist.

          1. LOL at thinking he is a sociopathic sadist. One of the candidates started the process of putting kids in cages at the border.

            That candidate was not Trump.

            1. One of the parties chose to pretend not to hear when the President asked for authority to deport more illegal aliens, on the flimsy excuse that it was obvious that the current limit on deportation hearings officers is obviously not high enough to meet the need for them.

              1. “One of the parties chose to pretend not to hear when the President asked for authority to deport more illegal aliens, on the flimsy excuse that it was obvious that the current limit on deportation hearings officers is obviously not high enough to meet the need for them.”

                Only one party thinks having tons of illegals is a good idea. Most sane people do not.

                1. Buzz! You guessed the wrong party. It was the R’s who were disinterested in deporting more illegal immigrants.

  41. What is so sacred about 9 justices? Their caseload is probably 1000 times greater than 1782.

    1. I strongly hope Democrats stop at 13.

  42. Ilya, So your solution is to cut a deal without any means of enforcement i.e., a gentleman’s agreement among non-gentlemen. No sir. Go ahead with the process and let the chips fall where they may. The Supreme court got itself into this mess by injecting itself in the domain of the legislative branch. Let us hope the Roberts’ court undoes the damage.

    1. “a gentleman’s agreement among non-gentlemen.”

      If the D’s are willing to take their word for it, then the R’s are close enough to gentlemen.

  43. What’s truly astonishing is that the left is so willing to destroy the Supreme Court in order to control it.

    If the Supreme Court loses its legitimacy in the eyes of the American public, the most direct effect will be an increase in ignoring it. “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!” is an obvious model for telling a packed Court to go to hell.

    Roe v. Wade, Lawrence v. Texas, Obergefell, all the precedents restricting the death penalty — what, exactly, would stop, say, Alabama’s Supreme Court from deciding to ignore them as “contrary to the actual text of the Constitution, and therefore illegal usurpations of the powers of this state”, if Alabamans in general saw the US Supreme Court as illegitimate? Even the threat of Federal military intervention only works if the President is actually willing and able to use it.

    The result of Democrats packing the Supreme Court could well be indistinguishable from having a Supreme Court composed entirely of Robert Bork clones.

    1. “All the precedents restricting the death penalty”

      Can’t wait until conservatives get all giddy about the prospect of bringing back the execution of mentally disabled juveniles for non-homicide offenses.

    2. “What’s truly astonishing is that the left is so willing to destroy the Supreme Court in order to control it.”

      What’s not surprising in any way is that the right is willing to destroy the Supreme Court in order to control it.

      1. “Destroying it” by…following the Constitutional process to name and approve a justice.

        Yup. “Destroying” it.

        1. Destroying it by insisting on a course of action that will lead to its destruction.

          1. The “course of action”, of course, being “abiding by the Constitution”. Please, tell me more.

            1. You need more information about our Constitution? Why isn’t that a surprise?

  44. Court-packing only became a thing in the first place because FDR threatened to do it, as a way to force his opponents to let him change the constitution, not by the proper amendment process but by appointing justices who would lie about what it means.

    What we have now is a golden opportunity to undo all or most of the resulting 87 years of illegitimate precedents. No true Republican will hesitate to grab that ring.

    Now if it doesn’t interfere with that achievement, a deal that prevents court-packing in the future is a good idea. But since we already know that no politician’s word is worth anything if we’re not in a position to enforce it, the way to make the deal is simply to amend the Constitution to fix the size of the Court at nine seats.

    I look forward to the cool wind of sanity that will come to our system once outrageous precedents such as Wickard v. Filburn are overturned, and Congress once again has limited powers.

    As far as the left’s threats to “burn it all down” if this happens, bring it. The critical-race-theory controversy is just one way in which large chunks of the Democratic voter base have made clear that they won’t let us have peace on our terms. Well, that’s why we have an army.

    1. “Court-packing only became a thing in the first place because FDR threatened to do it, as a way to force his opponents to let him change the constitution, not by the proper amendment process but by appointing justices who would lie about what it means.”

      Changing the size of the court is a longstanding practice and precedent, expressly authorized by law.

      You don’t have to like it, but you will comply.

  45. From the previous article on this subject.

    The Republicans promise not to confirm any Supreme Court nominee until after January 20 of next year, at which time whoever wins the election will get to name Justice Ginsburg’s replacement.

    2. In exchange, the Democrats promise not to support any expansion of the size of the Supreme Court for at least the next ten years.

    “Democrats promise.”

    Ilya Somin is the most naive lawyer I’ve ever run across or read about.

    1. “Naive”

      You misspelled “dishonest.”

      1. Cloudbuster, he might have just misspelled “idiotic”.

        Only plus of having Somin represent you is, if you lose, you have a solid case of incompetent representation for an appeal.

    2. ” The Republicans promise not to confirm any Supreme Court nominee until after January 20 of next year, at which time whoever wins the election will get to name Justice Ginsburg’s replacement.

      2. In exchange, the Democrats promise not to support any expansion of the size of the Supreme Court for at least the next ten years.

      ‘Democrats promise.'”
      Skipped right over “Republicans promise”, there, didn’t you?

      1. I addressed this in my above post. The “deal” is stupid for both sides to try and take because once either has made out thier side of the bargain (even in a Constitutional Amendment world) the other can easily renege in a few seconds. And seconds isn’t really much of an exaggeration when you think about how quickly votes can be cast.

        1. If you are the sort of person who can’t be trusted to keep your word, you assume that nobody else can, either.

          1. ITT, we learn that James is a naive imbecile.

            Why don’t you just enter your banking info here. I promise I wouldn’t do anything bad with it. Totally honest. I totally would not.

            1. Why don’t you talk a long walk west from a California beach.

          2. Apparently its an indictment of my character that I don’t believe politicians.

            I can’t even.

            1. “I can’t even.”

              And yet your vote counts. Twice, if Trump gets his way.

  46. I do not have the words to express the amount of joy I am receiving from watching Ilya Somin and his acolytes flipping out over this.

    My website -> https://californiaopencarry.com

    1. I am rooting for Republicans to install another justice soon.

      I am ready for clinger-stomping the Republicans into political irrelevance next year.

  47. David French AND Jonah Goldberg like your idea?

    Hitting the heights of conservative thought there, bud.

    Your idea is asinine.

    1. “Your idea is asinine.”

      Yet at the same time, smarter than what the Republicans actually intend to do.

  48. So, the Republicans are supposed to take the word of a Democrat that they will keep their word and never pack the court in the future.

    I am not sure what reality these smart people are living in, but it ain’t the Democratic Progressive world.

    1. Reading really isn’t your thing, is it?

  49. Ilya Somin, always looking for a way to advise the Republicans to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Conservative and libertarian supporters of this idea include conservative legal and political commentator David French, Adam White of the American Enterprise Institute, and columnist Jonah Goldberg, among others. Famed libertarian law professor Richard Epstein and Trevor Burrus of the Cato Institute have urged the two sides to, in effect, take the same actions I advocate even without any explicit deal.

    Gosh, that’s like a Who’s Who of NeverTrump.

    1. “Ilya Somin, always looking for a way to advise the Republicans to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”

      You’re misreading your cards if you think the R’s are looking at winning the November elections.

      1. 538’s got them at a pretty decent chance. Less that 50%, but not awful.

        Better than the chance they gave Republicans of holding onto the Senate in 2018, if that means anything.

        1. I think polling undercounts Republican support. If I voted R and wanted to be a saboteur, I would claim to vote Democrat in polls. Lull them into that false sense of security.

          1. I’m agnostic about the polls. Mostly I think they’re drastically understating the margin of error on most of them, by just giving the sample size based margin, and ignoring that response rates are in the basement.

            Sooner or later that’s going to bite them; The whole polling industry is like Wile E. Coyote standing in mid air after the cliff breaks off, and being very careful not to look down.

          2. “I think polling undercounts Republican support. If I voted R and wanted to be a saboteur, I would claim to vote Democrat in polls. Lull them into that false sense of security.”

            R’s have many faults, but staying home on election day isn’t one of them. On the other hand, many D constituencies are intermittent in their appearance at the polling places (this is helped by the R’s consistent efforts to disenfranchise them). But the question, as usual, comes down to whether the D’s can get everyone who wants to vote for them to actually show up and cast their ballot. The R’s could help with this effort by rushing through a confirmation before election day.

            1. “The R’s could help with this effort by rushing through a confirmation before election day.”

              Hold on to that hope. I am sure the burning desire that literally nobody has to vote for Biden will carry the day.

              1. Did you learn nothing from 2016? You don’t have to have voters who want to vote for your guy if they’re already motivated to vote against the other guy. That’s how you get a President Trump. It’s also how you get rid of a President Trump.

  50. Rather than cower at Democratic threats, it would be better for Republican senators to confirm the Trump nominee, then promptly inform Democrats that, should Republicans retain control of the Senate and Biden be victorious in November, no Biden or Harris judicial nominee to any federal court will be granted a confirmation vote – unless Senate Democrats enter a pre-November agreement prohibiting them from doing what they are threatening to do to the federal courts.

    1. Then Biden should use the military to quell the active revolt against the Constitution. And note that in refusing to engage in their Costitutional duty, the revolting Senators have waived their legislative immunity.

      1. So are you suggesting that failure to give consent to a nominee is somehow a violation of the Constitution? If true, what is the point of the Senate’s role as a check on the Executive?

        1. “So are you suggesting that failure to give consent to a nominee is somehow a violation of the Constitution?”

          What I’m saying is printed above. come back when you’ve developed your reading skills sufficiently to make it out.

          1. James, perhaps you should try reading your own posts. You’re firmly in Artie territory now, son.

            1. I bet he gets frustrated by people who are too stupid to understand what they’re responding to. I begin to understand his general tone.

      2. “Then Biden should use the military to quell the active revolt against the Constitution.”

        The Senate is obligated to give consent to appointees? What clause is that in? Did they pass a new Amendment recently?

        1. “The Senate is obligated to give consent to appointees?”

          where did you read that?

          1. That’s what you advocate. I assumed you don’t read your own posts (don’t worry, I cannot blame you).

            The Senate is under exactly zero obligations to provide a vote to anybody. Feel free to cite the law stating otherwise.

            But you advocate MILITARY action to force a branch of the government to do what you want.

            I guess that ISN’T fascism somehow.

            1. “That’s what you advocate. I assumed you don’t read your own posts (don’t worry, I cannot blame you). ”

              You’re a fucking idiot. That wasn’t anywhere near what I suggested. What I advocated is waiting for the Republicans to destroy their own party following Trump down the rabbit-hole.

              “The Senate is under exactly zero obligations to provide a vote to anybody”

              Somebody told you otherwise?

              ” Feel free to cite the law stating otherwise.”

              Go right ahead. YOU brought it up.

              “But you advocate MILITARY action to force a branch of the government to do what you want.”

              Worked for that fascist Eisenhower.

  51. We only have to trick a handful of people into doing something everyone says is dumb.

    Not an argument based on a strong foundation.

    1. “We are going to pack the court, what will ya give us?” – [Either Party]

      1. “You’ve done such a bad job running the country that the voters are going to put us in charge instead. You want to make a deal?”
        — 2020

        1. Bad job equating a insanely successful economy, record lows for unemployment, etc. Sure, Democrats decided to off their elderly for reasons known only to themselves, but I bet that is somehow Trump’s fault.

          1. “Bad job equating a insanely successful economy”

            HOW many unemployed people? And you call it “insanely successful…

            “Democrats decided to off their elderly”

            No, that was your guys… holding indoor events with no distancing or PPE. Why would I blame Trump for that? Oh, yeah, they were his events.

  52. Romney the spineless piece of trash Mormon says he’ll confirm. This allows Collins and Murkowki to pander to moderates but still have Mitch’s dick up their pussies. If they needed Collins vote she’d suck Mitch dry. Mormons should be disqualified from government. “But you can’t have a religious test to hold office.” You could have an IQ type test and all the mormons would fail. You could have questions like “Did Joseph Smith discover gold plates?” “The phrases used in the King James Bible that also show up in the Book of Mormon are in both because? A. Jesus came to the Americas. B. Divine Providence. C. Joseph Smith made it up. D. The KJB was based on the BOM.” “The LDS Church slowly banned polygamy because? A. Wilford Woodruff received a vision. B. Polygamy was wrong. C. Utah couldn’t become a state until they abandoned Polygamy, so they officially banned it to gain statehood, but they condoned it for a few more decades because Mormons are immoral bastards.” Problem is Mormons have no problem lying to get what they want. We may need a constitutional amendment banning Mormons. Freedom of religion except for “religions” that aim to take over the government and turn it into a theocracy. To be fair a lot of conservative christians want to do that, but they don’t worship a pedo con artist. Well some Catholics may. Send all the mormons to the gas chambers!

    1. ^ typical tolerant liberal

      1. Mormons are the ones trying to take over the country and force their wacky, nonsense, wrong beliefs on everyone. I don’t have to “tolerate” their shit. It’s our duty as patriotic Americans to stop them from destroying the country. No one is forcing Mormons to believe the nonsense they believe. They’re bigoted toward non-mormons. If you defend them you’re either really stupid or want to see our country destroyed. Send all the mormons (and their defenders) to the gas chambers!

        1. Mormons are relevant solely in shit-level backwaters. Move to a better community and never need to worry about Mormon again!

          You are welcome.

          1. I’m sure if someone said the same thing about a racial minority, AK would be all of them with accusations of bigotry….

        2. “They’re bigoted toward non-mormons. If you defend them you’re either really stupid or want to see our country destroyed. Send all the mormons (and their defenders) to the gas chambers!”

          Gee, cannot figure out why a Mormon might not like you.

          1. In my experience, they’re very polite when encountered one at a time. They don’t get dangerous until you get a whole bunch of them in the same place at the same time, and they start voting that nobody should have what their religion says they’re not supposed to want. Thanks to the Internet, they can get all the pornography they want while they complain about the fact that you can get pornography on the Internet.

            1. Is there a relevant point to this gibberish?

              1. I said clear as day that anyone who can’t follow this is lacking basic reading skills. You saying you didn’t get that?

      2. Race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation are things people can’t control. Religious beliefs, ideology, and bigotry people choose. It’s really quite simple. No one is forcing Mormons to believe the horseshit they believe. They need to be ridiculed for believing such nonsense, and they need to be exterminated for trying to take over the country and force their backwards, bigoted, wrong beliefs on everyone. It’s not enough for them to worship a pedo con artist, but they have to try and convert everyone they encounter, ostracize those who won’t convert, breed like rabbits, and get in positions of power so they can force their beliefs on everyone. Sorry, but I’m not gonna “tolerate” my freedom being destroyed.

        “People should be tolerant of others.”
        “My religious beliefs are my church needs to spend millions of dollars on prop 8 in California… You need to be tolerant of that or else you’re a hypocrite!”
        “You can believe whatever you want, but I can point out how goddamn stupid it is. I also don’t have to sit back and let you force your beliefs on others.”
        “Typical tolerant liberal.”
        “Typical idiot conservative.”

        1. Oh, you BOUGHT “The Mormons passed Prop 8 in CA” nonsense?

          Explains a lot about you.

          Hint: Mormons were non-entities in that.

          1. “Hint: Mormons were non-entities in that.”

            they spent a lot of time, effort, and money being non-entities, then.
            Now tell us they had nothing to do with the collapse of the Boy Scouts.

            1. “they spent a lot of time, effort, and money being non-entities, then.”

              Shall we go over who voted for it?

              1. “Shall we go over who voted for it?”

                the question is who paid for it, and pushed for it.

  53. I doubt progressives will even get the opportunity.

    But assuming they do, let them. With a few dozen judges, authoritarians like RBG can never again gain mythical hero status or hijack the court.

    Republicans should go ahead with the nomination, no deal.

    1. You should see if your doctor can prescribe some medication to bring you a closer relationship with reality.

  54. Deal won’t work because it wouldn’t be legally enforceable and because you couldn’t trust Democrats to live up to their side of the bargain.

    1. Yeah. You can’t trust the dems. Look at the way they honored the deal with Iran about developing nuclear weapons.

  55. This will be absolutely, positively, the Democrats’ last territorial demand in Europe…I mean, their last demand about the Supreme Court.

  56. They. Want. The. Seat. And they think they can scream, howl and slobber loudly enough to prevent any court-packing (see also: social vs. military sequester).

    I get why people think Dems would fall for this, but I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone would think McConnell would allow it, or that any republicans would join in.

    1. Oh, and what “DANGER” is involved in adding seats to the court?

      1. The danger that each electoral swing leads to a larger and larger USSC. Which would have the knock-on effect of diminishing the Court’s status as final arbiters.

        Meh. Cut back on the Republicans’ ability to disenfranchise people who don’t reliably vote Republican and they stop being a factor in national politics.

        1. Require some actual ID of the voters and the Dems cease to exist outside of the coasts.

          1. Just because poll taxes are expressly unconstitutional is no reason not to implement them.

          2. Which coast is Austin, TX on?

  57. Perhaps they could come to some sort of gentleman’s agreement whereby they grant amnesty to millions of illegals in exchange for increased funding for border security in the next budget.

    Oh wait.

    Anyone who makes a deal for “advantage the left” now in exchange for “advantage the country” later is a fool at this point. I would never agree to any deal with the current (40 years and counting) Democratic party unless it was an actual law that included ironclad guarantees that both sides of the agreement would be met.

    1. So, you make deals in which you don’t plan to keep up your end.

      Thank you for announcing that.

      1. Well, the Democrats have had few qualms doing that for decades now.

        1. Nor the R’s. Take off the partisan goggles for a second. Just a second.

  58. this app pay me good dollars$ and…READ MORE

  59. This post by Somin is total nonsense, just like the so-called deal that was posted several days ago.

    I doubt Somin actually believes McConnell and/or any other Republican Senator would be stupid or gullible enough to even consider it.

    1. I doubt McConnell is capable of planning more than six seconds ahead, so a deal that provides anything to his party ten years down the line won’t even register.

      1. Funny, McConnell warned about the bad idea that nuking the filibuster was.

      2. True. He thinks only about this moment. Dems need to be as callous as the GOP who has little or no respect for more than half the country. Maybe a bloodied nose and a fat lip will teach them the meaning of respect.

        1. “Dems need to be as callous as the GOP”

          Cuomo murdered elderly people in NY this year. Callous enough?

          A Bernie supporter tried to assassinate multiple Republicans. Callous enough?

          1. “A Bernie supporter tried to assassinate multiple Republicans. Callous enough?”

            What does this have to do with Dems being as callous as the GOP? Bernie’s not a Dem.

  60. How can Democrats ever negotiate in good faith with the GOP? Their words mean nothing. From Lindsay Graham to Mitch McConnell we hear nothing but a lot of double talk. In this environment, it would be foolish to not pack the Supreme Court and follow that up by an Amendment to set the number of justices at 11 or 12 if the opportunity presents itself.
    No ifs, ands or buts about it.

  61. Somin’s “deal” is terrifyingly naive because it would require trusting Democrats to keep their word. These are the same Democrats who are winning Florida by buying votes from felons.

    These are also mostly the same Democrats who tricked Republicans into not using the “nuclear option” of exempting court appointments from the filibuster back during GW Bush’s 2nd term. Thousands of judges languished in appointee limbo, some from his *first* term until Obama was elected. Then their appointments were all flushed, and Harry Reid *did* use that nuclear option to ram Obama’s left-wing extremist, Constitution-killing appointments down the Senate’s throat. As Worf might say, “Democrats have no honor!”

    Never Again!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.