Donald Trump

Donald Trump's Supreme Court Pick Will Shred the Constitution! Or Save It!: Podcast

Trump freaks out Democrats with second SCOTUS pick; the Libertarian Party comes of age; how Steve Ditko created the modern action movie



"We're looking at a destruction of the Constitution of the United States" if Donald Trump gets to pick Supreme Court justices, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told MSNBC recently. A couple more appointments to the top court, she said to Chris Matthews, and you can kiss abortion rights, integrated schools, and more goodbye.

That completely deranged point of view is reaching a fever pitch today, the day that the president will announce his replacement for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. On today's Reason Podcast, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and I talk about Trump's Supreme Court shortlist, just how much the Supreme Court matters in the long run, and whether The Donald is a net positive or negative for libertarian-minded Americans. On the one hand, he is deregulating certain aspects of the economy and the administrative state, and he's been less aggressive than George W. Bush or Barack Obama when it comes to sending troops overseas. On the other hand, he just started a global trade war, acts despicably toward immigrants, and has yet to actually cut spending.

Matt Welch also gives a first-hand report on what he saw at the Libertarian Party convention in New Orleans, and we talk about the legacy of Steve Ditko, the co-creator Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and other more-popular-than-ever superheroes. An ardent Objectivist and Ayn Rand fan, Ditko contributed two comics to Reason in 1969, each of which took aim at "neutralists" who were willing to "compromise" with evil and thus become evil themselves (that's a rough paraphrase). Read them here and here.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes. Listen at SoundCloud below:

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

'Fuck It' by Broke For Free is licensed under CC BY NC 3.0

Relevant links to today's conversation:

"Another Justice Like Gorsuch, Please," by Jacob Sullum

"8 Reasons Why Obergefell Won't Be Overturned," by Jonathan H. Adler

"SCOTUS Shortlister Brett Kavanaugh on Obamacare and Judicial Restraint," by Damon Root

"SCOTUS Shortlister Raymond Kethledge on Free Speech, Gun Rights, Originalism, and Chevron Deference," by Damon Root

"SCOTUS Shortlister Amy Coney Barrett on Overturning Precedent and Judicial Deference to Lawmakers," by Damon Root

"Not So Supreme (Q&A with Mark Tushnet)," by Nick Gillespie

"Trump's Trade War Officially Begins," by Eric Boehm

"Trump's Trade War Targets Second-Most-American Pie Filling," by Christian Britschgi

"Libertarian Party Rebuffs Mises Uprising," by Matt Welch

"Controversialist Arvin Vohra Announces 2020 Libertarian Presidential Run," by Matt Welch

"Ant-Man and the Wasp," by Kurt Loder

"Steve Ditko, RIP," by Brian Doherty

Don't miss a single Reason Podcast! (Archive here.)

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Katherine Mangu-Ward

  • Went to a reading of the Declaration of Independence in New York

NEXT: 'When I Encountered Libertarian Ideas, They Just Resonated With Me': Podcast

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  1. On the other hand, he just started a global trade war, acts despicably toward immigrants, and has yet to actually cut spending

    You mean by continuing policies that were started under Obama and enforcing laws that go back decades? But hey, who gives a shit about the administrative state or the 2nd Amendment. It is all about Mexicans. Reason never fails to live down to its worst stereotypes.

    1. It is all about Mexicans.

      No, it's not "all" about Mexicans. Serious libertarians also welcome unlimited immigration from other countries in Central and South America, as well as Africa and the Middle East. Rigorous academic studies consistently show diversity is an inherently good thing, so open borders makes sense theoretically and practically.

      1. So, you've read the new Libertarian Party platform?

      2. how to spot a troll.

        Rigorous academic studies consistently show diversity is an inherently good thing

        "Rigorous" made me lol.

  2. Republican president picks replacement of a Republican president's pick. Oh the outrage!

    1. More like, "Illegitimate President who was installed when a hostile foreign power hacked our election, attempts to replace justice whose son has a longstanding business relationship with him, and who is retiring at a suspiciously early age (Kennedy is younger than RBG)."

      It's a mouthful, but it's more accurate.

      1. I need that as an acronym or it isn't real.



      2. "when a hostile foreign power hacked our election"

        You leave China, North Korea, the UK, Iran, Israel, Ukraine, Qatar, Mexico, Australia, and Saudi Arabia out of this!
        And don't you even think about mentioning Brussels!

  3. "We're looking at a destruction of the Constitution of the United States" if Donald Trump gets to pick Supreme Court justices, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told MSNBC recently.

    I'm having a really difficult time ranking my top two 2020 presidential choices as Gillibrand #1 and Harris #2, or the reverse. With this insightful analysis, Harris may have taken the lead. OTOH Gillibrand has joined the calls to #AbolishICE, so it's tough to say. In either case a ticket with both women would be guaranteed a landslide victory in the next election, and would be excellent for libertarians.

    But more immediately, it's not too late to contact your Senators and tell them to do everything they can to #Resist Orange Hitler's attempted right-wing Supreme Court takeover. As CNN legal expert Jeffrey Toobin has noted, we risk living in a country with no legal abortion access, no African Americans at top tier colleges, and no service for LGBTQ+ people at places of business. We must not allow this to happen!

    1. Trolling or TDS? Can't tell.

      1. Clumsy parody. You'll eventually tune it out.

        1. It's a conservative Republican attempting to make it seem like open borders is some sort of leftist idea, so obviously any libertarian espousing the very libertarian idea of open borders must really be a leftist who supports the Democratic Party. *shrug* It's just plain dumb from beginning to end.

    2. None of those things CNN's Toobin claims are risks have any chance at all of happening. Regardless of what the court does.

    3. "I'm having a really difficult time ranking my top two 2020 presidential choices as Gillibrand #1 and Harris #2"

      Clearly, OBL, you've become a racist blinded by your own white privilege.
      You must check yourself.

  4. After looking at their histories all the shortlist picks kind of suck in one way or another. They're all good on some things, but they all tend to side with the government a bit too often when it comes to bulk surveillance of phone/internet or the death penalty or anything else that conservatives like the government to do.

    1. Most of them have never issued an opinion on bulk surveillance and not believing that capital punishment violates the constitution is actually a better argument than the reverse which is just making stuff up out of whole cloth. I might have missed the bulk surveillance rulings. Do you have a link?

  5. "We're looking at a destruction of the Constitution of the United States"

    Um...isn't that what both Teams want? Especially Team Blue? You should be jumping for joy Mx. Harris.

    1. Ms Harris wants to destroy it differently, by stretching it to allow government to do whatever SHE wants.

  6. "A couple more appointments to the top court, [Kamala Harris] said to Chris Matthews, and you can kiss abortion rights, integrated schools, and more goodbye.

    That completely deranged point of view . . . "

    Kamala Harris is playing Trump's game here--throwing red meat to the base she's hoping will win her the primaries. That deranged point of view is predominant among her base, even if it doesn't get the press it deserves.

    I think it's just about the different groups of people they're reaching.

    When Trump was dog whistling to deplorables about immigration and Muslims, etc. he was called out for it--as well he should have been.

    When Kamala Harris starts dog whistling to elitists about abortion and segregation, she's doing more or less the same thing--with a twist.

    You might think Harris is better because she's not making it about people, like Trump made it about immigrants and Muslims, but that's missing the point of her dog whistling. Where Trump was using immigrants and Muslims to bait his supporters, Kamala Harris is using deplorables, AKA her fellow Americans. She's saying they'd get rid of abortion and bring back Jim Crow if they could--just like immigrants will take your jobs and the Muslims will establish sharia in this country, right?

    Depending on how you feel about your fellow Americans, what Harris is doing is arguably worse.

    1. So she's pulling a Bernie?

    2. If your Team thinks the courts are no big deal then why did it suffer Trump for the stated sole purpose of packing the courts with Team Red loyalists?

      1. You didn't read his post, did you? Because lemme tell ya, the courts weren't mentioned.

    3. Ken, you're one of the most thoughtful posters here, but you do occasionally err.
      Pretty sure what you're describing isn't 'dog whistling' - don't think that term is appropriate when somebody comes right out and directly says the meaning. I think the 'dog whistle' expression is supposed to be applied to statements that are rather innocent/restricted on their surface, but signal a different/deeper message to those whose ears are "tuned" for it. So saying, "illegal immigrants are screwing us over," or "Muslims are dangerous," or "Trump will outlaw abortion and reinstate segregation" isn't exactly covering more nefarious messages beneath - those statements are pretty blunt.

      And while we're at it, stop comparing international trade dynamics to blackjack. Blackjack is a bullshit game, almost entirely chance, and bears little or no relation to what's going on. Trump is betting on his tariffs, China is betting with their tariffs, the EU is throwing their chips in with tariffs - it's poker, not blackjack. Each side is trying to apply pressure to get the others to fold. How the fuck does that have anything to do with blackjack???

  7. The Santa Monica Observer has Barrett en route to DC.

    If true I think Trump is itching for a little culture squirmish in the Senate floor. See how much the Democrat party hates Jesus!

    1. The Democrats set their own trap on that one. There is a reason why they are a regional party now

      1. Politics don't use religion except to turn idiots' brains off. What were Democrats supposed to do, again? Go against gay marriage? Go pro forced birth? They are hardly the crazies when it comes to the religious spectrum. It's why Republicans are a regional party--and the extra hypocrisy that seems to go with religion helps them justify cheating to win.

        1. Not imposing a religious test in violation of the US Constitution would have worked just fine. Probably wouldn't have made her so popular with conservatives.

          Tell me, how can you justify a Muslim ban on immigration being wrong (as it is), but think that a religious test for federal officials (which explicitly violates the Constitution) is totally OK?

          1. This is one of those things that serious people aren't going to pay attention to until the Breitfucks of the scummy sewers of the internut force it into mainstream dialogue over poor beleaguered Trump being a victim to the satanists, isn't it?

            Asking a judg eif her religious beliefs will influence her rulings is a fair and prudent question. No test is being required. Jesus the shamelessness of it all.

            1. I'll take that as: "I'm just a hypocrite and a bigot against Christians". Don't worry, you're not the only hypocrite on this.

              Just don't wonder why your party isn't a national party anymore.

              1. They get more votes than Republicans, so any argument about their relative popularity should really take that into account.

                I know, Californians are only half-people.

                1. "They get more votes than Republicans"

                  That's not true in every election. Too bad for you that we live in a federal system of government

                  1. Too bad for everyone. Many animal and plant species included.

                    1. Are you drunk or high Tony?

                      Your politics has become your religion mate.
                      Perhaps it is a good time to reflect on that.

                2. I know, Californians are only half-people.

                  Three-fifths, more like.

            2. What? Sometimes I don't think you can't be any more of dumbshit but then there you go outdoing yourself.

              I'm not sure who is more fucking nuts. You or Hihn.

            3. Did they ask RBG if her religious beliefs would influence her decisions? Who else got asked that question?

    2. If so, it is an inspired choice. Go ahead and tell us how a woman has no right to have a voice on "women's issues", Dems.

      I just hope the Dems can avoid raping her in meetings. Male feminists have a track record, you know...

      1. Republicans just call it "marital duty" and then get the enthusiastic consensual stuff from their side whores.

        1. Note the consent part.

          Male feminists do not bother. All of their concern for dames entitles them to pussy.

  8. I love Sen Casey announcing his disapproval and rejection of Trump's SCOTUS pick...several hours before the person is named.

    1. Pretty embarrassing if Trump picked Sen. Casey.

    2. Casey is a dim bulb. His whole career is based on his last name. And he certainly is not his dad which is not a good thing.

  9. "whether The Donald is a net positive or negative for libertarian-minded Americans."

    Compared to what?

    Compared with my ideal libertarian, which is very different from Reason's, The Donald is a huge negative.

    However, if Hillary sets the benchmark, Trump's a huge net positive. If Gary Johnson sets the benchmark, it's hard to tell whether Trump is net positive or negative because Johnson would have been entirely ineffectual. Johnson wouldn't have started a ridiculous trade war or immigrant bashing, but then his court appointments probably would have reflected the Bill Weld wing of the LP (consider what it would mean to have a "wonderful public servant" like Hillary or a "statesman-like" Obama on the Supreme Court.)

    1. Johnson first suggested a justice in the mold of Souter and then was surprised to hear how he ruled in Kelo. He eventually provided a good list, but Johnson's first instinct was always "mushy moderate".

  10. A couple more appointments to the top court, she said to Chris Matthews, and you can kiss abortion rights, integrated schools, and more goodbye.

    At first I thought maybe that was an exaggeration, but then I clicked the link and watched some of the youtube clip.

    1. You never need to exaggerate when Harris opens her mouth.

      1. It's how she got to where she is today.
        I don't think any words were involved, though.

  11. Oh No,a shredded constitution. How will Kamela wipe her ass with it now?

  12. WTF.

    This is a libertarian site right? I mean some seriously dumb shit on here.

    Lets just start with 1A and 2A. Any of the Trump finalists are strong on an absolute basis and stronger than Kennedy on a relative basis.

    Wonder what a Hillary pick would be? Same as Obama that is what she campaigned on. Who are they? Kagan and Sotomayor.

    Two f-ing idiots who don't believe in either amendment. They both came right out and said it in their recent dissenting opinions. And then we have Ms. international law Ginsberg.

    Really Nick you question whether Jonah Goldberg is libertarian? He's not but closer to it than you and some of the nutball posters on here.

  13. Just imagine the freak our when RBG's desiccated skeleton is finally hauled out of the supreme court and Trump gets ANOTHER pick.

  14. It's so much fun watching the proglodytes melt down. Trump will probably get 2-3 more scotus picks before all is said and done. It won't be as bad as you think libs, after all you'll still have the deep state. I just thank my lucky stars for the incredible foresight the founding fathers had to put the Electoral college in the constitution, because that hag HRC should not have been allowed anywhere near a scotus pick. It's amazing, der schlickmeister couldn't get elected potus if he was running today and 25-30 years ago Trump would have been considered a moderate democrat but put an R next to his name and the left becomes unglued, hilarious. How much further to the left are the dems going? Also, don't think for one minute that the dems would not have done the same thing to repubs if the shoe was on the other foot pertaining to BHO's nomination of Garland for scotus. It sucks when things (like killing the filibuster) come back to too bite you in the ass don't it. Thanks, dingy Harry.

  15. SCOTUS is a trivial sideshow today. Money determines history (I learned that in college in the 1960's) and what happens with money is being brawled over in Brussels this very minute.

    Germany wants American troops to protect them for cheap while Merkel protects German industrial complex by hosing American workers.

    Merkel has made her nation dangerously dependent on Russian natural gas. She did this to pander to her Green Party, which demanded the destruction of nuclear and coal power facilities. Over-hyped solar and wind alternatives are bankrupting Germans paying for kilowatts. Shivering in the dark makes unhappy voters.

    Russian gas arrives via pipelines. Nordstream II is a special Putin deal w. Merkel that goes around Poland. Burisma is a company that peddles natural gas from Eastern Ukraine, controlled presently by Russian entities. Google Burisma and try to figure who really controls it. Google Hunter Biden for a special epiphany!

    Posturing! Pretend you hate Russia and want sanctions strictly enforced. Then conspire to pump anonymous gas in a pipe and dodge sanctions. Fake News is spouting from Brussels today like a gusher as lefty apologists rage.

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