ADDENDUM: I would note that Ruth Bader Ginsburg will turn 83 on March 15 and that, while clearly still mentally very sharp, does not appear to be in good physical health. There’s been a lot of speculation that if the Dem nominee, very likely now Hillary Clinton, wins the general election, and the Republicans retain control of the Senate (very unlikely, in my opinion, but probably not in theirs), they will continue to refuse to allow hearings on a Supreme Court nominee to fill Scalia’s seat.
I (strongly) suspect that the Republican idea is that Ginsburg will leave the Court fairly early into the next administration because of physical disability or death, and that the two overtly political cases currently before the Court, whose clear purpose is simply to skew elections to Republicans—and which now are deadlocked 4-4, and which the Court, rather than affirming by deadlock in a non-precedential ruling the lower appellate courts’ ruling not in favor of the Republican Party’s bald political interests, will instead be reargued next term. Voila! Precedential opinions, by a 4-3 vote, profoundly skewing elections to favor the Republican Party.
The Federalist Society has gamed this out. Trust me.
Meanwhile, the wingnut “legal foundations” that represent the petitioners in those two cases and that regularly fabricate cases for the Supreme Court to employ by a one-vote margin as their quiet-coup mechanism, will be working overtime (no, I mean even more so than usual) cooking up other cases on the wingy to-do list.
They know that this is not sustainable forever. But they think it is sustainable long enough for them to accomplish their top priorities.
The Dem presidential candidates should talk about this. I call this the Republicans’ wing-and-a-prayer strategy. The Dem candidates, and Obama as well, should call it this, too.
They also should call it this: an attempt to orchestrate a silent coup. I’ve been wondering whether issues other than the damn culture-wars ones that are at issue in Supreme Court appointments will ever get any attention from the Dem candidates.
I don’t think Clinton has the intellectual capacity to discuss, or the interest in discussing, anything but the culture-wars issues when mentioning the importance of Supreme Court appointments. And Sanders, unlike Clinton, has no background in law. But he should get information about both of the current Supreme Court cases I am referring to–Evenwell v. Abbott and Friedrichs v. California Teachers Assoc.–from people who know quite a bit about them. And then he should discuss these. These are the very types of things that his candidacy is about.
Added 3/3 at 12:15 p.m.