The Fourth Rule of Court Packing Is Accuse Republicans of Court Packing

Biden: "The only court packing is going on right now -- it's going on with Republicans packing the court now. It's not constitutional."

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The first rule of Court packing is you do not talk about Court packing.

The second rule of Court packing is you do not talk about Court packing.

The third rule of Court packing is you only talk about Court packing after the election.

The fourth rule of Court packing is accuse the Republicans of Court packing.

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  1. Your posts are really tedious.

    1. There’s a common misconception among those who cannot differentiate between the importance of freedom of expression and the content of that is expressed. They seem to mistake their opinions for judgments of universal value. You may find Prof Blackman’s posts tedious, but I can assure you, this is most likely driven by your sociopolitical bias.

      1. The tedium of Blackman’s posts are due to the fact that this blog has lately become the “Blackman Conspiracy”, as it seems like a majority of the threads are his posts.

        A bit more quality and a lot less quantity would help. Or maybe he should just get his own blog.

      2. I’ve read many things that I disagree with, but find interesting. Blackman’s constant whining about “Blue June,” discourses on travel and computer monitors, and incredibly dated “Fight Club” court-packing series are boring.

    2. This is what passes for argument in some quarters nowadays.

      1. Are you referring to a particular comment or to the Volokh Conspiracy in general?

        1. I’m referring to this particular comment, plus all of your comments, Arthur.

    3. Doesn’t change that the Democrats actually did put forth the hilarious line that Republicans were “packing the Court” by filling naturally occurring vacancies.

      1. “Vice President Biden, you say the Republicans are packing the court, but they are, like it or not, filling a vacancy in the normal course of business. Your loudest supporters shout how the Democrats plan to actually pack the court by adding more seats they can immediately fill. Will you do this should you win the election?”

        VP Biden: “mumble mumble”

        “I’m sorry, sir. This is the biggest threat to the Supreme Court since FDR in the 1930s, which cost him dearly at the election. Could you speak clearly so the American People can enter this into their decision when voting. You do screetch about the importance of little-d democracy, after all.”

        VP: “No.”

        “No you won’t pack the court?”

        “No, I won’t say. It is against my interests to let the American People know my intent before they vote for me on this important issue.”

      2. That rhetoric started from the right under Obama, or did you forget already?

        I’m not thrilled, but I lost that semantic fight on here like a decade ago.

      3. Distinguishing a by-now established practice of holding open judicial seats, at all levels, when a Democrat holds the White House, only to fill them with a surfeit of unqualified nominees, when a Republican is president, from “court-packing” recalls to mind the specious arguments put forth by a conservative I once debated, in favor of tax cuts. He explained that tax cuts, in truth, “cost” nothing, and so were therefore distinct from government spending, because they merely represented allowing people to keep more of their hard-earned cash. The fact that tax cuts contribute just the same to deficits and thereby the national debt was of no great concern to him.

        So, too, here. The vacancies that McConnell has conspired to hold open and then fill may in some sense have been “naturally occurring,” but the ultimate point of the effort is clear – to pack the courts with a bunch of young, ideological conservatives who will be able to impose conservative policy by judicial fiat even when the American public finally manages to vote them out of Congress and the presidency.

        Anyway, the argument is a bit tiresome, because Republicans have regularly floated their own clearly court-packing plans, by adding federal district courts and splitting Appeals Courts whose holdings remain a thorn in their side. The fact that they have not yet uttered the possibility of doing so at the Supreme Court level merely reflects the fact that they have found no particular need to do so yet, given decades of a steadily right-shifting Court.

        You, like all conservatives, regularly engage in disingenuous hypocrisy, and count on the decency of your political opponents not to call you out on it or to seek to engage your audacious treasons tit-for-tat. It’s time to put an end to that.

      4. Technically, the GOP did pack the court by subtracting, or to put it another way: Court stacking, by blocking so many Obama appointees in the 8 years of his presidency that it forced Reid to do the nuclear option to remove 60 vote requirement for district and appellate court judges. And of course we can’t forget about Garland, and how McConnell got rid of the 60 vote filibuster for Supreme court judges.

        Let’s be frank; what McConnell and the GOP did was so brazen in violating almost every norm that they made court packing look so appealing.

    4. “Your posts are really tedious.”

      This is part of a strategy.
      Conservatives start with a thing that is not true, but keep repeating it as if it WERE true. They think that enough repetition actually MAKES it become true…

    5. PotKettle

    6. And yet you took the time to read it and further, to spend even more time gracing us all with your insightful comment…

  2. Can we use the 25th Amendment to disqualify a presidential candidate?

    1. With any luck, the EC will do something along those lines.

    2. This is an easy question. Just read the text of the amendment.

    3. An observation : Immediately after the Trump-Biden debate, all the 25th Amendment & Biden Dementia garbage briefly vanished from right-winger comments, here & elsewhere. That shtick had just exploded in their face on national TV; apparently they didn’t have the heart to peddle such an obvious lie. Snowflake whining about Wallace was the only consolation for Trump’s fiasco.

      But the immediate impact of what everyone saw with their own eyes has faded, and 25th Amendment/Dementia bullshit has crept slowly (and shamelessly) back into the playbook.

      Of course I understand why : It may be dishonest & discredited, but it sure as hell beats trying to make a positive case for their reality-TV-show buffoon.

      1. ” it sure as hell beats trying to make a positive case for their reality-TV-show buffoon.”

        All they have to do is list all of President Trump’s accomplishments…
        Once you filter out the ones where President Trump is trying to take credit for someone else’s work, what is left is a list of his real, actual accomplishments.

  3. What exactly is the meaning of the term “court packing”? Once a definition is established, then you can examine whether the actions or claims of an individual or party fall into that definition.

    More specifically, please explain what the difference is between “court staffing” and “court packing.”

    1. Learn the historical background to court packing in The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes (1991 Blackwell) by Mogens Herman Hansen.

      By the end of the Athenian democracy all 6,000 citizens sat on the Areopagus supreme court.

      1. That’s what they get for rejecting Merikos Garlandios!

    2. @More specifically, please explain what the difference is between “court staffing” and “court packing.””

      It’s like the difference between an “assault rifle” and an “assault weapon”. The first is an actual thing, and the second is a political term of art.

      1. Hi Jerry, though I mostly accord with your statement an “assault rifle” is a conjured term for political ends. A Daisy Red Ryder is an assault rifle in as much as it is a. A rifle and b. I could assault you with it. Words are flexible and definitions are malleable. Any rifle, even an 18th century flintlock can be used to assault. I’m pretty sure that the British at Lexington and Concord felt somewhat assaulted. “Assault Weapon” is an even more vapid term given that it must by its own force include a rock, spittle a reasonably well aimed shoe and hundreds of other possibly otherwise innocuous instruments that may be used to perpetuate an assault. As you can see, the term “Assault” defines the action and intent of the mind of the moving party, not that of the inanimate object incapable of thought and emotion that the actor will employ to carry out his/her desired ends which may constitute the crime of assault.

        1. No, “assault rifle” was originally a technical term from the mid-20th century to describe a military rifle with a certain set of characteristics, generally by way of contrast with the “battle rifles” that were previously the standard infantry weapons.

      2. “It’s like the difference between an ‘assault rifle’ and an ‘assault weapon’.

        “Assault weapon” is a broader category than “assault rifle”. It includes “assault rifles” and every other kind of non-rifled weapon that can kill multiple people with one trigger pull, so those assault muzzle-loading smoothbore muskets are also assault weapons and knives that can automatically retract and thrust again with just one stab.

        1. Can you point to some examples of people other than you using the term in this way? I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered it before.

          1. I just applied originalism to the meanings of the words “rifle” and “weapon”.

    3. “Court staffing” is filling vacancies as they occur. “Court packing” is creating seats in order to have vacancies to fill.

      Democrats argue that Republicans “created” vacant seats by not confirming some of Obama’s nominees. Which isn’t a totally whacked out perspective, but it is about 95% whacked out.

      1. Recently all questions addressed to Democrats about their intentions to pack the court have been met, as usual, by a new definition of court packing. The term first appeared in the FDR administration. Angered and facing defeat of his new interpretation of the powers of the government – the court were mainly originalists – he proposed adding about five new justices of the ‘living constitution’ sort.
        Now, according to Harris-Biden, the term just means appointing justices they don’t like.
        Change the narrative by asking whether Harris-Biden will increase the sitting justice numbers. Any response other than ‘no’ must be seen as a ‘yes.’

        1. “Now, according to Harris-Biden, the term just means appointing justices they don’t like.”

          It also means inventing rules about how Presidents who happen to be of the “Democratic” brand aren’t allowed to appoint Supreme Court justices in the last 4 years of their Presidential terms, but those of the “Republican” brand can appoint right up to election day.

          1. Depends who has control of the Senate. When Lincoln waited to nominate the justice mentioned by Harris, the Senate was in recess. It was not out of concern for the feelings of Democrats, but rather because the nomination was not possible. No Senate, no advise and consent.
            The only rule that applies is, the President nominates and the Senate votes on that nomination. If the Senate ignores the nomination for a short while, it is not against the rules.

          2. Seriously, we’ve discussed this before. There are records going back over 200 years, and they demonstrate that Presidents routinely nominate to fill vacancies that appear in election years. Then the Senate usually confirms if controlled by the same party, and usually does NOT confirm if controlled by the opposing party.

            And refusing to confirm by simply ignoring the nomination is actually more common that voting it down.

            1. What happened was, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade in a way that made a lot of people unhappy. The GOP decided that they’d attempt to serve those unhappy people by promising to only select judges who’d overturn that decision, a promise they’re still making today.

              Before that event, you have to go back a ways to find egregious politicalization of the Court… when FDR was trying to get us out of the Depression by using the power of the government, and the Court kept finding things unconstitutional on basically frivolous grounds. (like finding that the 13th amendment prohibited minimum-wage laws.) All those precedents are toast now, and more-or-less as a result of that BS you now have Wickard as law.

      2. It’s really simple to cut through all the rhetoric :

        (1) Barrett after Garland is an escalation.
        (2) The Democrats will respond at first opportunity.
        (3) Barret’s nomination is constitutional & per precendents
        (4) So is court expansion.

        If anyone here thinks court expansion is bad for the country, there’s an easy action to take : Contact a GOP Senator and ask the Barrett nomination wait on the election. But a lot of commenters here prefer to gloat over their hypocrisy & exult on their political hardball – then shift in a flash to pious concern about the common good.

        The first rule of war is don’t start a new conflict unless you’re prepared to live with the result. If Republicans and the Right are really concerned about court expansion then they should consider their choice now. It’s up to them.

        1. The rules of war include don’t get involved in a war in Russia during the wintertime, which Germany ignored (twice) in the last century. Coincidentally, Germany lost both.

          The next one is “never get involved in a land war in Asia”. Which cost two different Presidents their control of the United States.

          1. You forgot,

            “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.”

            1. Doh! The rule I never stop forgetting is “refresh before you post.”

          2. You forgot “Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line.”

            1. I don’t find the Princess Bride to be conclusively authoritarian.

    4. I think what Biden should have used to describe the GOP’s actions during the Obama era and Trump era when it comes to judicial appointments is ‘court stacking’.

  4. I hope no one is holding their breath waiting for any media person to actually ask him what the hell he meant by that.

  5. Democrats have been doing this for a long time – accusing GOP of the wrongdoing they are engaged in themselves. It’s so blatant that theyve made a parody of themselves.

    1. True! That’s why we have a 15 member SCOTUS with 11 D appointees!

    2. “Democrats have been doing this for a long time – accusing GOP of the wrongdoing they are engaged in themselves.”

      Coincidentally, Republicans have ALSO been doing this for a long time. That’s what you get for choosing brand-name politicians instead of competent, capable independents.

      1. Which ones are the “competent, capable” ones? Too many “independents” are just coy about their actual positions.

        1. Hard to tell, they get drowned in attack ads by the brand-name candidates and their supporting organizations.

  6. How, exactly is the President’s nomination for a vacancy on the Court, which is required to do by the Constitution unconstitutional?
    Biden is some Constitutional scholar!!!

    1. Dopey Joe is only a mouthpiece reading from his teleprompter, mansplainin’ whitesplainin’ lamestream mediasplainin’

      1. As opposed to just winging it, without any information, which is the preferred tactic of his opposition. Kind of a shame the D’s settled on Old Man Biden to take on Grampa Trump.

    2. Oh, have we switched now so that that the process laid out in the Constitution is an actual obligation on the parties involved, and not just a thing they do if suits their political purposes?

      1. The Constitution, unlike whatever document you think you’ve read, says this:

        “… and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court …”

        Shall nominate. By and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint.

        Obligation 1; to nominate. Obligation 2; with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to appoint.

        That is the process laid out in the Constitution. The rest of it is political blubbering.

  7. So its unconstitutional to confirm a Supreme Court vacancy before an election now. But in 2016 it was a violation of the constitutional role of the Senate to not entertain a confirmation? Got it. Love that “living constitution” the left believes so much in.

    1. The 2016 experience (Garland) was constitutional.

      The 2020 experience (Barrett) is constitutional.

      The 20201 experience (Obama, Stevenson, Jackson, Karlan) will be constitutional.

      1. “The 20201 experience”

        Yep, it will take the Democrats another 18,000 years to get what they want.

        1. But, even you will have to admit then that Obama will deserve credit for being the first President to live for 18,000 years.

          1. Assuming several other living Presidents hadn’t gotten that distinction a few years earlier, of course.

            1. Don’t know how much longer Carter can hold on.

              1. There is always Nixon’s head

                1. Technically not still alive. But currently as capable of leading the nation as the current President.

                  (He calls himself my favorite President, but doesn’t even make the top 47.)

                  1. James,
                    I assume he’s making a (darned funny) “Futurama” reference.

                    1. I also assumed a Futurama reference. But Futurama is fiction. You can tell, because in the head museum’s Hall of Presidents both slots for Grover Cleveland are filled with different heads, but historical records are pretty clear that both Grover Clevelands who served as President were the same guy (with the same head).

              2. I’d say his odds of making it to 18,000 years are roughly as good as Obama’s. His odds of making it to 100, OTOH, are perhaps not as good.

                1. Obama looks like he’s already around 16,000 years old.

    2. Just a pro-tip to the local Republicans: if your only defense of the ACB nomination is that it’s constitutional, that’s actually an argument in favor of increasing the number of seats on the Supreme Court, which is also constitutional.

      1. No, the defense is that it’s not just constitutional, it’s normal practice, historically.

        1. That’s not a very good defense, to people who can remember things that happened four years ago.

  8. Prof. Blackman:

    Do you intend to conduct a bonus FantasySCOTUS competition in which participants predict the number and name(s) of Supreme Court installations for justiceships established during 2021?

    Will it be none? Two? Four?

    Obama? Karlan? Stevenson? Jackson? Garland? Becerra? Liu? Perales?

    Sutton? Hardiman? Barr? Clement? VanDyke? Duncan? Ivanka? Hicks?

    Why not have some fun with this?

    1. To expand the Supreme Court, the Democrats would have to control both chambers of Congress and the White House.

      Go ahead, count your chickens before they’ve hatched, see what it gets you.

      1. Regrettably, I’d have to say these particular eggs have at least been laid, if not yet hatched.

        1. Go ahead, make the case that the Republican mismanagement deserves to be extended.

          The reason they’re losing is that they’ve been doing a poor job of running the thing they don’t fundamentally believe should even exist.

          1. The only case for the Republicans is that the Democrats would be worse. And visa versa.

            And both cases are quite strong, they can both be true if the quality of management is declining over time.

            1. ” they can both be true if the quality of management is declining over time”

              That your “if” is true is an item of Republican faith, but they’re the only ones actively trying to make it so.

      2. Taking the Senate seems the toughest task for Democrats, and that’s about a 2-in-3 likelihood.

        I was proposing predictions. “None” was among the prospects I identified. So were Bill Barr, Paul Clement, and Ivanka Trump.

        Why so cranky? Are you troubled by predictable prospects of progress?

        1. Everything you support is the polar opposite of progress.

  9. I fear in 30 years will need a stadium to seat all the Supreme Court justices in order to hear arguments.

    1. But the new thumbs up/down decisions will eliminate the need for transcripts.

      1. They’ll decide the cases by voice vote, in the same way Congress does. Where “Allinfavorsayayeallopposedsaynaytheayeshaveit” is one word, pronounced without any pause for people to vote during.

        1. They have little pushbuttons on their desks for voting “aye” or “nay”. The little lights are easier to count than a bunch of people saying either “hell, yes” or “fuck, no” at the same time.

  10. As partisan as Josh is, at least he has a sense of humor, and quoting his opposition directly is a lot simpler than the TDS victims who cloak their partisanship in legal quibbles.

    1. Trump Death Syndrome! Now over 215,000.

    2. Okay, here’s an actual quote!

      “I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said, ‘Let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,’ “

      1. Quoting Whore Graham is too easy. The political equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel.

        1. You can’t hold him to that quote. He thought Hillary would be President now, not a Republican.

  11. “The virus is disappearing.”

    “We will always protect those with pre-existing conditions.”

    “I’m going to release my all new wondrous health plan any day now.”

    “I can’t release my taxes while I’m under audit, but will as soon as the audit is over. (a twofer.)

    “I’m going to have the military drive around and deliver free Regeneron – a miracle cure almost as good as bleach – to every hospital.”

    The First Rule of Blackman is never criticize Trump.

    The Second Rule of Blackman is criticize Biden at every opportunity.

    1. Well, hopefully we’ll have a vaccine before the election. Unless the anti-vaxxers manage to block it.

      1. Well, hopefully we’ll have a vaccine before the election. Unless the anti-vaxxers manage to block it.

        I didn’t know the FDA was run by anti-vaxxers.

        1. Apparently Pelosi is an anti-vaxxer. Who knew?

          1. You’re, uh, making bernard’s point for him.

            1. If you say so.

              1. If you think it’s silly to call Pelosi an anti-vaxer, as it seems you do, then you should also think your own October.10.2020 at 7:56 pm post is silly.

      2. ” Well, hopefully we’ll have a vaccine before the election. ”

        . . . much as the child hopes for a gentle rain of gumdrops and jellybeans from cotton candy clouds.

      3. “hopefully we’ll have a vaccine before the election.”

        Hopefully, it won’t just be Chlorox in solution labeled as “miracle vaccine”.

      4. I’m sure Trump will announce something like a “phase 1” vaccine that’ll be ready just days before the election, which you can get with the $200 drug cards he’ll be sending out to the nation’s seniors, funded with some money he’ll have illegally appropriated from Medicaid. And plenty of people here will slurp up that transparent non-promise like the useful idiots they are.

        1. the virus is no big deal. If you get it, you just go to the government hospital to be treated at taxpayer expense before returning to your government-provided house that has a full medical clinic inside it.

          But watch out for Biden, he wants to get the government into your health care.

      5. Jeesus, the irony. Trump is a long time ant-vaxxer. Just look at the outlandish lies he told during the Republican debates in 2016,

        1. ” Just look at the outlandish lies he told during the Republican debates in 2016,”

          You’ll have to be a LOT more specific than that

      6. You are suggesting that the only thing that stands between a safe and effective vaccine before election day is political opposition. There is another possibility that you neglect. We may not have a safe and effective vaccine before election day because no vaccine will have been identified as safe and effective by then. Just because Trump and his ass kissers, sycophants, and ball-washers (to use a Rick Wilson term) claim that the only reason we wouldn’t have such a vaccine by election day is because of political opposition doesn’t make it true.

        1. oops. I’m not sure wherer that was supposed to be.

      7. Anti-vaxxers are people who just KNOW from the bottom of their hearts that they know medicine better than the people who wasted years of their lives taking medical school classes and completing a medical residency, despite a complete lack of basis for such belief.

        Does that sound like anyone occupying a position of power in America today?

  12. Interesting that there’s been no coverage here of Pelosi’s dry run for applying the 25th Amendment to Biden as soon as he’s sworn in.

    1. Nobody but you knows about it.
      Because things that happen in your imagination stay there until you let them out.

  13. The term court packing, which according to one article was coined by FDR himself (https://www.the-sun.com/news/1503872/packing-the-court-justices-rbg-democrats-republicans-trump/).

    Recall, that FDR’s plan was not merely to increase the size of the court. It was to increase the size of the court based on the age of current judges. So, you would “pack” multiple judges into one judicial seat. The terminology thus might be thought to have a specific meaning applicable to a specific plan by FDR, rather than referring more generally to increasing the size of the court, which increases the size of the court by increasing the number of seats without “packing” them onto the same seat.

    A broader definition of court packing would be any plan to increase the size of the court even if it does so by increasing the number of seats rather than increasing the number of judges occupying a given seat. This would seem like a more aggressive approach than court-packing, since court packing was based on objective criteria (the age of justices). But apparently, some believe that the phrase “court packing” has more bite, even though it actually is a somewhat more modest approach than simply increasing the number of seats on the court.

    A broader still definition of court packing might be any “norm breaking” or “norm change” that is motivated by a desire to influence the composition of the court. So, for example, if holding up the Garland nomination was a “norm change” or “norm breaking” relative to previous practice, that is a form of court packing.

    There is no objectively correct definition here.

    My own view on court packing is that increasing the size of the Supreme Court should always be on the table as a possibility, but I see no urgent need for that idea to be implemented right now.

    While judges on courts have a little more freedom to do what they think is right than some other officials due to life tenure, as a whole, the judiciary still relies on public esteem and consent for legitimacy. I think courts are ultimately well-aware of that.

    1. ?? I’m sure FDR was going to give them all seats.

    2. Which lamentably goes against the whole point of life tenure. They are appointed for life in order to be immune from public esteem and consent. Roberts is a Jurisprudential coward. He has no spine. At least Gorsuch pointed out the great truth. “If you are happy with all of the decisions you make as judge then you are not a good judge.” Whomever they are outside the court is fine. Once you don that black robe and are referred to in the third person, the law is your only guide and purpose.

      1. Once you don that black robe and are referred to in the third person, the law is your only guide and purpose.

        Bought any bridges lately?

    3. “… as a whole, the judiciary still relies on public esteem and consent for legitimacy. ”

      And if Coney Barrett is confirmed she will become the fifth justice appointed by a president who lost the popular vote, making for a 5-4 majority on the court.

      How does this help the legitimacy in the eyes of the public?

      1. Legitimacy will blossom with November rain and spring flowers . . .

        1. “Legitimacy will blossom with November rain and spring flowers . . .”

          When the coronavirus disappears as soon as it starts to get colder.

          1. Genuinely funny. I did laugh out loud. (albeit thru my tears)

      2. “Coney Barrett”

        Ugh. Her last name is Barrett.

        Coney is her maiden name which she now uses as a middle name, like a lot of married women.

        1. Your maiden name is “from?”

        2. “‘Coney Barrett’
          Ugh. Her last name is Barrett.
          Coney is her maiden name which she now uses as a middle name, like a lot of married women.”

          Thanks for clearing that up, Bob. Are you contending that Judge Coney Barrett is a different person from judge Barrett?

    4. “apparently, some believe that the phrase “court packing” has more bite, even though it actually is a somewhat more modest approach than simply increasing the number of seats on the court.”

      The term comes up a lot in attack ads, which in my area seem to involve a lot of suggestions of conspiracies by “liberals” to do things like pack the courts and of course “defund the police” which is in every single attack ad regardless of whether the candidate’s would-be office has anything to do with police-funding or not.
      the only attack ad against a Democrat that I’ve seen this season is one that focuses on Senate candidate Cal Cunningham, who, it seems, might have gotten a bit of naughty action from a woman who isn’t his wife. What? A powerful man with a side piece?!? who ever heard of such a thing?

  14. Catholic court packing is fine, though.

  15. Speaking of packing, Trump has allowed Chairman Kim to do a great job of Ballistic missile packing. Thanks Conservatives!

    1. In fairness he has not had great success with the little maniac. However he has made strenuous efforts to reign him in. I fear that your tantrum can never be satisfied. Were we to erase them from this earth and make a large parking lot out of N. Korea, something easily done, you would still be critical. So, I say get off your ass and vote or better yet run for office. Otherwise stop bitching, moaning and complaining.

    2. Pacific — Ballistic missile packing? Are you old enough to remember Dense Pack? It was an early 1980s scheme for land-base missile deployment. Close-together launch sites, with mobile, multi-warhead ICBMs shuttling all over the place between them. Great fun for some, but too scary ultimately. Never got built.

      1. I never quite got what was so scary about dense-pack. It didn’t involve any extra missiles, after all. The basic idea was just that if your launch sites were the right distance apart, it would still take one incoming nuke per silo to take out a silo, but the nukes would be close enough to take out each other if detonated too frequently, so that the opponent would have to space out their strikes enough that you’d have time to launch most of your missiles anyway even if taken by surprise.

        It was a trick to make a first strike ineffective. That’s the opposite of scary in my book.

        1. Too many people decided they didn’t like the notion of 10-warhead hydrogen bomb rockets rumbling around on highways. And they didn’t like that to make the scheme even halfway secure you would have to use a giant number of dummy rockets, and maybe close . . . Nevada—because you would have to guard each dummy in transit as if it were fully real. Also, there were questions where the all the water for all that desert concrete would come from.

          Basically, your book was the same book Henry Kissinger relied on when he decided MIRV was a great new thing. He later repented, saying he had not thought it through.

          1. “Too many people decided they didn’t like the notion of 10-warhead hydrogen bomb rockets rumbling around on highways.”

            The MX system would have them running on railroad tracks.

            The alternative plan, of not picking fights with anyone who could throw nuclear weapons at us, is cheaper.

  16. Why are you guys so worried about court packing these days? I thought Trump was going to win in a landslide, including winning a majority of black voters. Getting a little nervous?

    1. He’s going to win by a huge margin, and that’s why we’ve got to get these judges confirmed before the election, because afterwards he’ll be too busy shaking hands, making all the deals.

  17. Court-packing is clearly allowed under the McConnell Rule, which says you do anything you can do to give your side a majority on the courts.

    So what’s the big deal?

    Biden is being evasive? For Trumpists to make an issue of Biden being evasive is laughable. When was that last negative test, Mr. President?

    1. ” When was that last negative test, Mr. President?”

      Assuming there were any.

  18. Look.

    What’s going on here is plain.

    The Trump campaign, flailing around, has decided to make court-packing an issue, and Josh got the memo, so he’s joining in.

    So he’s not just using the blog to promote his book, he’s using it to blatantly support Trump.

    1. The election advertsing I’ve been subjected to, thus far this year, shows that “defund the police” scares the hell out of old white people. The ads paid for by old white people to attack candidates all find a way to work in the words “defund the police” in their attack ads, regardless of what role the contested office has in funding police. Memo to the Republican Senatorial campaign: Senators don’t have any way to “defund” police, so accusing Cal Cunningham of wanting to defund the police just shows that you guys are desperate. This tops the nominations for “stupidest campaign ad claims” for 2020, beating out the Trump campaign’s two competing claims, first, the one where they accused “President” Biden of passing the biggest tax increase in history and the one that complains of Mr. Biden’s “47 years of trade deals” of favoring China at the expense of US industry. Tell me more about Biden’s 47 years as President (the person who manages trade deal negotiations), Mr. Trump!

    2. and Josh got the memo

      Who translated it from the original Russian for him?

    3. Look, you’ve got a candidate for President flatly refusing to tell the public what he intends on a fairly important issue. Literally said they don’t deserve the answer, and will have to wait until after the election to find out what policy they’re voting for.

      In a democracy, telling the voters that they don’t deserve to know where the candidate stands on something ought to be enough to disqualify a candidate.

      1. “Look, you’ve got a candidate for President flatly refusing to tell the public what he intends on a fairly important issue. Literally said they don’t deserve the answer, and will have to wait until after the election to find out what policy they’re voting for.”

        And that got him elected in 2016, so why assume it won’t work again this year? He’s happy to tell you anything you’d like to hear. Mexico’s going to pay for it! Coronavirus will go away by itself, and it’s no big deal anyway.

    4. Look.

      What’s going on here is plain.

      The Democratic nominee for President has repeatedly refused to take a position against court-packing. Democratic Senators are coming out for it. The radical left have taken over the desperate, flailing Democrat party, and this historically momentous proposal to nuke SCOTUS is easily one of the most important, if not the most important issue of this election.

      1. “What’s going on here is plain.
        The Democratic nominee for President has repeatedly refused to take a position against court-packing.”

        You should leave whatever country you’re talking about and come here to America, instead.

    5. “he’s using it to blatantly support Trump.”

      wonder what he’ll switch to come January?

  19. If I were Biden, I would release the following statement:

    I oppose growing the Court to more than nine people as a matter of principle. However, as shown by the different treatment of Merrick Garland (where the Republicans argued for the principle that no one should be confirmed if a vacancy occurs in a presidential election year) and Amy Coney Barrett (where the Republicans discarded that principle), the Republicans have demonstrated they prefer raw power politics to principle. If the Republicans stick to principle and wait until after January 20, 2021 to act on the vacancy, I will oppose adding members to the Court. However, if they confirm Barrett, I will consider adding members to the Court even though I oppose the idea. We cannot unilaterally stand down in the face of unprincipled power politics. At the same time, I would consider other options that also provide the necessary equity in the face of Republican power politics that would hopefully avoid adding members to the Court.

    1. If you were Biden, I’d feel a lot more optimistic about the next 4 years.

  20. If they win, let them pack away. Its nothing to fear.

    Reducing the prestige of the court is in long term conservative interests

    1. Well, movement conservative interests anyway. Real conservative interests? Just the opposite.

      1. We have seen since 1960 a rapid expansion of judges deciding every political issue. Creating out of nothing all sorts of alleged “rights” not supported by any Constitutional text. Its judicial tyranny.

        Preserving such folly is not conservative.

        1. ” Creating out of nothing all sorts of alleged “rights” not supported by any Constitutional text.”

          Bob, try reading all ten of the Bill of Rights.

          1. Besides that, consider Citizen’s United and Heller, et al. Not to mention the decimation of the voting rights act.

            1. Bob supports Republicans, so he sees the decimation of voting rights as a plus, not a problem. It’s how his guys get elected.

            2. All Congress had to do to preserve the VRA was to update the coverage formula to be dependent on recent facts, rather than how states had been behaving half a century earlier.

              They couldn’t be bothered.

              1. Except that the Republicans have controlled at least one house of congress since Shelby County was decided and you won’t get any voting rights legislation past them. Even if the Democrats get the House, the Senate, and the White House, it might not be possible unless a sufficient number of senators can be shamed or extorted into going along. Why? Just ask The Uncredible Bulk. If the vote is not supressed, Republicans will have a hard time winning elections.

                1. We need a Voting Rights Amendment.

                  1. One would have thought that we already had one.

                    1. Nope. Federalism has delegated protection of voting rights to the states, and Republicans have used their control of state legislatures to restrict voting rights of people who don’t reliably vote Republican, thus maintaining control of state legislatures.

    2. “Reducing the prestige of the court is in long term conservative interests”

      In the sense that it’s part of their long-term strategy of delegitimizing the federal government as a whole. They’ve been running against the federal government going back at least as far as Reagan, and then when they get elected they set about to prove that the federal government is inept and corrupt.

      1. Why do the democrats, when in power, set about proving the federal government is inept and corrupt?

        1. The last time Democrats were in power, they enacted a now largely-popular health care reform, enacted reforms designed to prevent another economic collapse, and carried this country out of the deepest and most severe economic recession in recent history (the pandemic-induced recession itself being a developing story). After losing full power in 2010, Obama merely presided over years of economic and job growth, expanded access to health care, held large corporations accountable for their environmental and consumer wrongs, entered into important accords designed to combat climate change and contain China’s regional ambitions, began the difficult process of bringing Iran back into the fold of responsible nations, and generally improved America’s standing in the community of nations.

          Trump promptly destroyed much of that. Historic accords were torn up; he tossed our leverage over China and Iran, preferring to negotiate from a position of weakness; gave Israel everything it could possibly want for nothing in return; undermined multinational institutions like NATO and the WTO, which had served to protect Americans and our economy; worked assiduously to undermine Obamacare; pushed our nation further into debt even while bragging about our continuing economic growth; seriously fumbled the response to COVID, which has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and forced states and cities to adopt extreme measures to contain the virus, harming their own economies; made America the laughingstock of the world, geopolitically irrelevant in the eyes of nations like China, Russia, and the members of the EU; and generally just corroded the Republican party from the inside out, so that there is no longer a place in our politics for conservative, small-government types who prefer that our government at least be maintained competently.

          1. They enacted an unpopular bill in unseemly fashion by a nose hair vote, entirely based on brazen Gruber-esque lies. Sorry haven’t made it through your first sentence yet.

            1. “haven’t made it through your first sentence yet.”

              You seem to struggle with sentences that contain facts, if those facts are not to your liking.
              For example, parts of the ACA are so popular that Donald Trump is currently claiming credit for protecting them, while (coincidentally) doing exactly the opposite.

            2. You apparently weren’t around for it.

              The Democrats prepared a far watered-down version of what they’d originally wanted to propose, for Obamacare, in order to get some kind of bipartisan support. Republicans calculated – apparently correctly – that they could get more political mileage out of voting against it rather than supporting the middle-of-the-road version the Democrats offered them. You’ve been carrying their water for them ever since, it seems.

              It’s the same story behind DACA. That was never intended to be a permanent solution. It was intended to be a stop-gap measure, intended to grant some kind of leniency for a population of immigrants that nearly everyone could agree deserved a fair shake at citizenship. Immigration reform was worked on – then, summarily dropped. Now DACA is supposed to represent some kind of extreme limit of executive over-reach (that Trump himself has leapt over).

              But no, by all means, I can’t wait to hear all of the talking points that you’ve let the right-wing mediasphere drill into your head over the years. I just love discussing issues with people who don’t think for themselves.

              1. “The Democrats prepared a far watered-down version of what they’d originally wanted to propose, for Obamacare, in order to get some kind of bipartisan support.”

                And when they get into power again, single-payer will be plan, and conservatives will have only themselves to blame for ending ACA.

        2. “Why do the democrats, when in power, set about proving the federal government is inept and corrupt?”

          They don’t. They set about fixing the problems with the national economy that the previous R administration have created.

  21. The first rule of fighting court packing is to pretend that the Republicans have taken no steps that might remotely justify packing the court as a reprisal.

    Keep up the good work.

  22. I’m not sure what the complaint is here.

    Court-packing would obviously be a partisan move designed to get a liberal majority on the court.

    Well, both blocking Garland and naming Barrett on the eve of the election are obvious partisan moves to get a conservative majority.

    So? Are the Republicans really whining because they somehow thought that they were the only ones entitled to play partisan games with the court? Do they think that only stunts that they are in position to pull are OK?

    1. All dogs are mammals =/= all mammals are dogs.

  23. ” Are the Republicans really whining because they somehow thought that they were the only ones entitled to play partisan games with the court?”

    Absolutely. It’s like when your little brother pipes up from the backseat “No fair! He hit me back!” when you’re on a long road trip.

  24. And the fifth rule — don’t call it court packing! Call it “depoliticizing” the court! Astounding that the left can continue to surprise with new heights of Orwellian dishonesty.

    Amazing that my liberal friends keep posting that “media bias chart” claiming that the left-wing Associated Press is “neutral.”

    1. ” Astounding that the left can continue to surprise with new heights of Orwellian dishonesty.”

      You prefer your Orwellian dishonesty come with a different brand tag attached to it? That why you keep swallowing the Trumpian dishonesty-of-the-day?

  25. What is Biden even talking about? He’s a totally deranged liar. This is worse that anything Trump has uttered.

    1. “He’s a totally deranged liar.”

      He’s trying to reach Trump’s base, who have a demonstrated affinity for deranged liars.

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