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  •  I don't think that what they've been doing (2+ / 0-)
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    serendipityisabitch, Moravan

    can be classified as precedent.  Their case law is a hot mess of capricious excuses and pretenses - there's no legal philosophy that can be derived from it other than "Do everything possible to maximize Republican electoral prospects."

    As to "radical," I tend to have a different definition based on my understanding of history.  To me it's a fundamentally different concept from a "reformer."  A reformer is a voice of civilization and cooperation; a radical is a voice of hate and rage, and lacks a basic sense of proportion and fairness.  One's a gardener, the other's an arsonist.  Radicalism as a general phenomenon is the degenerative spiral that happens when malignant narcissists hijack a reform movement, like what happened in revolutionary France and Russia.  But people can and do change, so radical movements can be become benign, and reform movements can turn ugly.

    Sign the petition to demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.

    by Troubadour on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 07:51:35 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  For what it's worth (2+ / 0-)
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      serendipityisabitch, Moravan

      I did not intend any negative connotation when I used the word radical.  I meant it in its denotative sense as a dramatic departure from practice.  As serenpidity... points out that can be a good thing as well.  

      The precedents from the past two courts have been all over the place.  I used to follow the court more closely during the Rehnquist years and your head could spin from the decisions in which sections I, II, and IV(b) only of the majority opinion were binding.  That group could not reach a solid consensus on most issues.  (I would recommend looking at the abortion cases as a good example.)  Scalia has applied his own standards for the past 28 years (damn he was young when appointed), fortunately mostly in dissent (he has a fondness for referring to 17th and 18th century English common law when he cannot find anything American to justify his position).  

      However, I think this problem falls squarely on the shoulders of congress.  They have accepted(!) the post-Bork approach of nominees who will not opine on their judicial philosophy.  Indeed, many will lie about even having a judicial philosophy- as if this is a qualification for the position as opposed to disqualification.  After the embarrassment of the Thomas hearings, I believe the senate decided to avoid potential fallout from SC nominations, so everyone has been given a rubber stamp.  Indeed, one could argue that a lack of judicial experience and vision has become an endorsement rather than a hindrance.  

      Nevertheless, your argument still consists of merely broadsides.  You need to come up with articulable bases for impeachment, such as so-and-so took a bribe, so-and-so is on tape indicating how s/he will rule before the arguments have been heard, etc.    

      •  I agree the Senate hasn't done its job (2+ / 0-)
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        Moravan, serendipityisabitch

        but then neither have we, and we ultimately don't have even the corrupt excuse of self-interest.  We've ignored self-interest, reason, morality, obligation - pretty much everything other than pure frivolousness.

        As to the broadness of my arguments, I probably should have made it clear the petition calls for impeachment investigations.  That's probably a critical nuance that matters when talking to people with some legal background.  In other words, there's sufficient basis to demand that the House Judiciary committee hold impeachment hearings.  For general rhetorical purposes, we're demanding impeachment.  For procedural purposes, Judiciary committee hearings into the pattern of partisan Supreme Court decisions.

        Sign the petition to demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.

        by Troubadour on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:28:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay (1+ / 0-)
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          serendipityisabitch

          I hope I am not beating a dead horse, but I still think you have to come up with more to merit an investigation.  Especially since (in my view) our elected officials are fearful of rocking the boat.  It was easy to resist when Bush and the republican congress were engaging in their outrageous behavior in part because it was so outrageous (turning the lights off while hearings are going on, really?).  I have noted that some of my favorite rabble-rousers (and I mean that as a compliment) have been much more docile over the past five years.

          As for our role in the SC selection process, we were effective in keeping Bork off the SC, but that was the swan song.  There was the greatest level of opposition to the Thomas nomination (others many disagree, but I cannot think of a case) with every women's rights organization coming out against it in conjunction with ABA, ACLU, leftist groups, etc. and yet the man was confirmed- with 11 Democratic yeahs no less.  Perhaps I am being defeatist, but I have little faith in the public's ability to sway the votes, absent some serious allegation- eg, in bed with a dead woman or live boy (switch the genders if necessary).  

          I also think that blaming ourselves absolves our elected officials of their responsibility to us.  That's why we elected them.  Granted, this view is somewhat contingent upon where one lives.  (A significant fact that I think is often lost around here; this is a big country.)  I live in NYC, so I can place greater expectations on my elected officials than others who live in less politically congenial places.  Regardless, most elected officials avoid taking a position until the 11th hour, or, worse yet, have a "change of heart" at the 11th hour, so you are blindsided.  I am generally of the view that we need to demand more of our elected officials, hold their feet to the fire, and withdraw our support, even though they are Democrats.  I think it is counterproductive to castigate (or flagellate) ourselves.  

      •  A minor quibble, and from the standpoint of a (2+ / 0-)
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        Moravan, orestes1963

        non-lawyer, yet...

        When I said that SCOTUS had established precedents, I was speaking generally of the ability of ideology to weigh heavily against legal precedent, or even good law, in many of its decisions. Granted, I've been following it lightly, and that opinion is based on those decisions which have garnered the most publicity in the past few years.

        It strikes me that the re-imposition of judicial experience and vision would be considered a radical change by many.

        You've made many excellent points here, and I've enjoyed them. Thank you.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:39:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Addendum (2+ / 0-)
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      serendipityisabitch, Moravan

      in re-reading your comment, I just want to offer that I generally think of radical as a good thing.  Modernism was radical; the Industrial Revolution was radical; the Protestant Reformation was radical.  Bader-Meinhoff and the Weather Underground were radical as well.  I think the rupture (of thought and how one views the world or existence) that occurs with radical ideas and acts, even if I disagree with the substance of them, is a good thing.  

      •  There's radical as a general adjective (1+ / 0-)
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        Moravan

        simply denoting an extraordinary degree of something, and then radical as a political disposition.  I don't define the latter as relative - it's an absolute tendency to prefer violent catharsis over consensus, and it occurs irrespective of circumstances.  

        And while all I know about Baader-Meinhof comes from the movie about it, if it's at all true I wouldn't call it a good thing: They were psychos.  The Weathermen were never consequential enough to even be considered psychos - they were idiots who blew up a statue three times.  I also saw a movie about a Japanese communist group from the '70s, and it was basically the same story as Baader-Meinhof: Over-cerebralized psychotics building so many incoherent ideas on top of each other that they basically lived in their own little sick, fervid bubble universe.  I don't find that engaging or inspiring.  They were disfigured minds ravings about the most obscure ideological minutiae you could possibly imagine.  

        Sign the petition to demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.

        by Troubadour on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:45:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  At the risk of going astray again (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          serendipityisabitch

          The Weather Underground did more than blow up three statues.  I am not a fan because I see them as a bunch of pseudo-radicalized bourgeois kids (I admit this is my prejudice), but they did engage in serious violent actions.  I am more sympathetic to the Baader-Meinhoff group (perhaps I romanticize a bit) because my lack of cultural knowledge leads me to believe they were more committed, as they relinquished their connections to their lives to fight their battle.  The movie on them is quite good IMO.  You may enjoy Fassbinder's critique of them in his film, The Third Generation.   In any case, I believe that radicals (on both sides) serve a critical function.  They compel us to reconsider where we stand, what we believe in, and what we are willing to do to vindicate (for want of a better word) our beliefs.  I believe the Hegelian dialectic captures the human experience.  

    •  Obviously, we see the term differently. But (2+ / 0-)
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      Moravan, orestes1963

      if you wish to use reformer as your base term, and have defined it in terms of cooperation and civilization, you may undermine your basic premise, at least in the terms of those who will argue against you.

      If you value cooperation so much, they will say (are saying), then why are you suggesting something with which so many of us disagree? I think you'll have to accept being called a radical on this, at least until you get to at least stage 4 of your game plan.

      I'm not prepared to back this up with statistics, but my guess is that every reformer who has tried to deal with a situation that deeply affects entrenched interests has been called a radical. And has been accused of hate and rage against those interests. It all depends who's been writing the history.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:55:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, history! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        serendipityisabitch

        As an adolescent in 1979 I decided, as a working class kid, that history was worthless.  It was my sophomore European history class- who could keep all of the kingdoms and kings and boundaries and wars straight?  I thought, what is the point of all of this crap?  I still hold on to that view, but history has become my fiction reading.

        I think you are right about the radical tag.  I have soft spot for radicals, even if I disagree with their cause.   (There are likely exceptions to my position that I have not yet contemplated.)

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