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I haven't seen anyone else make this point, so let's dive in.

Let's start here:

"All I can say is this -- be careful what you wish for," Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said last week, before the second of three D.C. Circuit filibusters. "If the Democrats are bent on changing the rules, then I say go ahead. There are a lot more [Antonin] Scalias and [Clarence] Thomases that we'd love to put on the bench."
This is laughable. Before Republicans can appoint any judges, they have to figure out how they are going to get around the elephant in the room... er, that is... the elephant that's not in the White House.

Does anyone see a viable path to the White House for a Republican in 2016?

Now consider...

Scalia is 77 years old. At the end of Obama's term, he'll be 80. If he's still alive, he'll be 84 when Hillary finishes her first term.

Kennedy is 4 months younger than Scalia.

Thomas is 12 years younger than Scalia, which would put him at 72 when Hillary's first term concludes. Without meaning to be ghoulish, it's worth remembering that he's an overweight black man that's already lost a brother to heart disease. That's a lot of ticks on the grim reaper's scorecard.

As a longtime court-watcher, I've (and many others before me) often remarked that the Court's glory days as defender of the little guy are long past. I just haven't been able to figure out how we'd ever get any Justices in the mold of Thurgood Marshall past a Senate that grants so much influence to red state conservative Senators.

But hell...  Now, Republicans are daring us to do it. And if we could get a President to nominate, say, Gordon Lui... Well, it'd be politically unthinkable for a Democratic Senate to deny him his power of appointment.

So I agree with Senator Grassely to the extent that folks should be careful of what they wish for. But maybe it ain't Scalias and Thomases Senators should be thinking about. Imagine Alito and Roberts (who's had seizures of his own, by the way... And Alito? Well, he just strikes me as someone destined for colon problems somewhere along the way....) toiling away in the minority for the length of their tenures. Honestly, those corporate sows would almost certainly resign their seats for greener pastures in corporate law, no?

Yup. Never thought I'd say this, but let's go nuclear.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    Was never very good at math. Oddly, though, I can count by twos if I start at the number 1.

    by Mike Stark on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 04:32:42 PM PST

  •  Thomas will probably... (10+ / 0-)

    die within a month of Scalia, like one of those couples who were married for 60 years and just can't live without each other.

  •  End it. (8+ / 0-)

    It no longer serves its intended purpose. Done. Boom.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 04:40:29 PM PST

    •  It's Not Being Done As It Was When Meeting Its (0+ / 0-)

      intended purpose so let's try putting it back.

      Require a talking filibuster, then limit by formal rules to what historic practice was, 5 or so per year, possibly a further restriction on appointments?

      It seems like a valuable tool for the minority provided it is limited so that it doesn't prevent governance.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:19:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Limiting it by formal rules (0+ / 0-)

        only means that system will be gamed by resubmitting the same legislation with a few cosmetic changes.

        No point.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:23:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't carry any water for Roberts, but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CwV, Penny GC, Redfire, salmo

    I also happen to know him personally, and he's strong as an ox. His medical history is not an issue here, and I think that's a cheap shot.

    Otherwise, I'm all for filibuster reform that meaningful, and takes care of the minority holding up hundreds of appointments.

    •  Don't intend a cheap shot (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Just the facts.

      On the other hand, the remark about Alito's colon.... Maybe a cheap shot, but also seems spot-on.

      Was never very good at math. Oddly, though, I can count by twos if I start at the number 1.

      by Mike Stark on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 04:45:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The facts are that you have no idea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        what his personal health issues are and it's none of your goddamned business, and I'm in a much better position to know than you are.

        •  So if it's none of my business (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          why was it news?

          Look, not wanting a flame-war... But the dude fell off a dock, didn't he? Guess it was just dumb luck he wasn't driving or doing something else that'd have left him in a more vulnerable situation. Maybe you know better than me and he's got it under control. But don't fault me for repeating something that was in all the newspapers when it happened.

          Was never very good at math. Oddly, though, I can count by twos if I start at the number 1.

          by Mike Stark on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 04:52:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He did not fall off a dock. And it was news (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            because it was sensational. You wanna muckrake? Go after his former law partner.

            The problem with stories like this that are "all over the news" is that often they are highly distorted. The other thing they do is violate people's neighbors' privacy, which is exactly what happened to me in this particular case.

            Argue the man's court decisions, and leave half-true media reports alone. You'll be doing better journalism than those who put it "all over the newspapers".

          •  For the record, he fell ON a dock, not off it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The same dock where I keep my boat.

        •  I beg to differ.... (0+ / 0-)

 is ABSOLUTELY our "godamnned business" since these aristocrats are all up in our shit, dictating like a buncha little Francos!

          Roberts clearly had some sort of seizure a few years ago that required medical attention, that is an issue of public concern, not "none of our goddamned business!"

          "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

          by leftykook on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:19:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, kinda ghoulish but watch out (3+ / 0-)

    you can get slammed for mentioning that someone dying might not be a bad thing here at dKos. It's another of those invisible rules I keep finding the hard way.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 04:41:23 PM PST

  •  Don't rule out (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, Habitat Vic, VClib

    a GOP White House win in '16.  Since the end of WWII, Americans have usually allowed one party only 8 years AT MOST in the White House.  The only exception was the 12 years of Ray-Gun and Bush I.

    Yes, ESPECIALLY for the sake of the SCOTUS and other courts, but also to keep undoing W's damage, we need to keep the WH and Congress at least until 2024. But we shouldn't kid ourselves on how difficult this will be.

    If a Dem wins in '16, s/he will have to be VERY popular to get a 2nd term.

    "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War. for healthcare coverage in Kentucky

    by SouthernLeveller on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 04:52:25 PM PST

  •  I agree with your conclusion. (0+ / 0-)

    But not because I'm sure we'll keep the White House.  Because I think that Republicans will go nuclear at the first threat to filibuster one of their wingnuts when they are elected, and therefore we need to run up the score with decent justices NOW.

    A little voter suppression, an uptick in Hispanic support and some Obama-whatever fatigue, and the presidential is deadlocked again.  The incumbant party has lost the WH after 2 terms 3 times in a row now.

    Also, Ginsburg needs to retire ASAP.

    First they came for the slippery-slope fallacists, and I said nothing. The End.

    by Cream Puff on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:54:36 PM PST

  •  Reid Needs More Votes To Go Nuclear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It seems likely that Reid presently does not have enough Democratic Senate votes to go nuclear. He may be able to round them up when he needs to, but I strongly suspect he would have a very different public posture if he had the votes in his pocket right now. He is methodically, if not rapidly moving this forward and the Senate calendar will push all of this into January anyway. It will be interesting. Let's hope for action.

    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.... Dylan

    by bywaterbob on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:57:39 PM PST

    •  I don't think the Dems have 50 votes for (0+ / 0-)

      substantive changes in the filibuster rules, and if the GOP wins control of the Senate in 2014 they won't have 51 votes to change it either. Most people here don't understand that, first and foremost the Senate is a club. Long time club members, in good standing, don't want to change the filibuster rules.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:30:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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