For John, BLUF: This is a political piece by people whose politics are not on the ascendency. Were it the other way they would be shushing the rest of us. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From The Boston Globe, by Mr David Scharfenberg, 27 JULY 2018.
Here is the lede plus four:
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S NOMINATION of Brett Kavanaugh is the culmination of an unprecedented campaign by activists to build a reliably conservative majority on the nation’s highest tribunal.Yes, this sounds like whinging by the "losing" side.
Frustrated by a string of Republican appointees who drifted left, groups like the Federalist Society and the Judicial Crisis Network spent decades vetting lower-court judges, compiling lists of approved candidates, and lobbying GOP presidents to pick them.
If Kavanaugh is confirmed to replace swing justice Anthony Kennedy, as expected, the polarization of the Supreme Court will be complete: its 5-4 split between staunch conservatives and stalwart liberals not only reflecting Washington’s bitter partisanship, but encouraging more of the same.
Indeed, with the country’s most difficult questions increasingly decided by razor-thin majorities on the tribunal, the incentives for a no-holds-barred approach to the confirmation process are only growing.
But the debate over changing the court is focused almost entirely on the power dynamics. How do we get another liberal on the court, or another conservative? There is almost no discussion of the deeper issue: the politicization of the highest court in the land. Almost no discussion of how we get closer to the original vision of the tribunal, as the relatively impartial arbiter of the American experiment.
And then there is this item:
Life expectancy, in the late 18th century, was substantially shorter than it is now.The author forgets that once folks reached a certain age their life expectancy was like ours. The shorter life span was due to death in the early years.
|John Quincy Adams||President||8||73|
|John Quincy Adams||President||4||73|
|John Jay||1st Chief Justice||6||83|
|John Rutledge||2nd Chief Justice||0.5||61|
|Oliver Ellsworth||3rd Chief Justice||4||62|
|John Marshall||4th Chief Justice||34||80|
|Roger B. Taney||5th Chief Justice||28||87|
So, Washington, John Rutledge and Oliver Ellsworth died in their sixties. The two Adams go at 73 (genetics). The rest made it into their 80s. I think the idea of dying early in the early days of the Republic doesn't make sense.
Then there is the suggestion for term limits. While we have term limits for Presidents, we don't for our Legislature (and we don't for the Mass General Court), so I see that as just swatting at the breeze. It isn't a serious proposal.
Then there is a proposal for "Court Packing", an idea proposed by President Franklin D Roosevelt, and rejected by the Congress. Nine seems like a good number. It has worked for over 200 years and I don't see a reason to change it, especially since the problem Democrats face today is of their making, going back to the Sage of Searchlight, Senator Harry Reid, who decided to take certain Federal Judgeships out of the realm of needing more than a simple majority.
Regards — Cliff