Merrick Garland gets some attention

Pressure to hold hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland are intensifying as Obama barnstorms for his confirmation, Chuck Grassley faces unpopularity during a reelection year for his stonewalling the process, and conservatives freak out over the increasing odds of a President Clinton and Democratic Senate in the spring.

Democrats in the Senate, so far conspicuously lukewarm on Garland’s nomination, would probably block Garland’s confirmation if Republicans try and push the process during the lame duck session after the election.

The Last Decision of the Supreme Court

When Associate Justice Antonin Scalia died, everyone knew it would be a battle to nominate someone to replace him. They expected President Obama to nominate a liberal justice who would meet significant resistance from the Republican-led Senate. People thought Obama would then follow with a more moderate nominee and the Republicans would capitulate and narrowly accept the nomination. No one thought that three years after Scalia’s death, the Supreme Court would also be dead.
 
Scalia’s death was not expected. There were three older justices on the Court.  He looked to be in good health; nevertheless, immediately after his death each party began to maneuver for an advantage.
 
The very next day Obama promised he would nominate someone in a few weeks. Within hours, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced there will be neither a vote nor hearings until after the election.  Although McConnell’s rhetoric was unsurprising, it was unnecessary. The Republicans could have said nothing and just allowed the nomination to stall.
 
The presidential election moved forward. There were some interesting primary vote outcomes, but in the end it was Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton. Trump selected Mark Cuban as his running mate, claiming he liked his entrepreneurial spirit, his enthusiasm, and most importantly his participation on the CNBC show Shark Tank. Trump said, “Mark Cuban is the type of person that ‘Tells it like it is’ and goes on to own whatever he says rather than shrinking away and apologizing whenever the mainstream media attacks him. I see a lot of myself in him.” Journalists wonder if Trump sees ‘starring in a reality show’ as a requirement to be part of his administration.
 
Years later journalists, academics, and analysts are still pondering how Trump won.
 
Immediately following the election, the Senate Democrats declared they would not allow any person nominated by Trump to receive a vote. There would be filibuster after filibuster. The Senate Republicans threatened to invoke the ‘Nuclear Option’ and end the filibuster once and for all.
 
A week after inauguration, Trump nominated Judith Sheindlin to replace Scalia. That’s right, Judge Judy. Trump declared, “She is the type of person that ‘Tells it like it is’ and goes on to own whatever she says rather than shrinking away and apologizing whenever the mainstream media attacks her. I see a lot of myself in her. And she’s from Brooklyn! She’s tough.”
 
The worst fears have come true; participation in a reality TV show puts you first on the A-list for jobs in the Trump Administration. Charles Krauthammer thanked God Howard Cosell was dead. Cosell originated ‘Tell it like it is’ and he grew up in Brooklyn.  Trump would have made Cosell the Secretary of State.”
 
The nominees of the Cabinet are horrendous. Just one example, Kim Kardashian is named Secretary of the Interior.  Misinterpreting Interior for Interior Design, she spent all her time redecorating the federal buildings. She started with the Lincoln Monument and hired Banksy to add some color to the statue of Lincoln.
 
The Democrats cannot stop laughing at Trump’s choice to replace Scalia. The Republicans refuse to fight for the nominee.  The Democrats do not have to filibuster to stop the nomination.
 
Trump responded, “Screw all of you.”
 
Fortunately US citizens received a valuable civics lesson on the Supreme Court and its history. They learn that the original court had only SIX justices. The Founding Fathers wanted a two-thirds majority (at least 4-2) for the Court to override congressional legislation or decisions affecting the States. The court grew over time due to the expansion of the Circuit Courts that expanded as the nation expanded. It reached TEN justices during the civil war. But was reduced to the current NINE justices in 1869.
 
The Court spends the next year unable to issue a decision of any significance. The tally for every major decision was a 4-4 tie. There was not much change in 2018, as Trump refused to name another nominee.
Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy were vacationing together in Minnesota during the Christmas holidays and both died while ice fishing. As they hauled in a yuge (sic) fish, the ice collapsed beneath them and both died from drowning. (The Oxford English Dictionary added the word YUGE in 2016 based on the constant usage by Trump and Bernie Sanders.  Its definition is “something much larger than HUGE.”)
 
Trump is unmoved by their deaths and does not nominate anyone else to fill the now three vacant seats.
 
The justices are still deadlocked (3-3) and the Supreme Court is unable to issue any significant decisions.
 
And then, on March 15, 2019, while celebrating her 86th birthday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies. And with her death, so died the Supreme Court. Again, the US citizens received a valuable civics lesson. The Supreme Court can only meet when there is a quorum. When there were six justices, a quorum was four. Today a quorum requires six justices.
 
The third branch of government is now gone. The US is now unchecked and unbalanced.
 
Political historians are now blaming Ed Meese for this predicament. Back in 1985 Meese laid out in his speech before the American Bar Association, of reshaping the Court around one coherent jurisprudence of original intention. He started the politicization of the Supreme Court. What neither Republicans nor Democrats could achieve through the ballot box could be achieved by stacking the Court with political puppets. And both parties are guilty.
 
The constitutional check on President Trump is absent. Trump requested a new census (before the decennial) in 2019 claiming the Constitution was approved in 1789 and the Census has been one year late ever since. The Census shows that there are 270 electoral votes in the Manhattan Trump Tower alone. Accordingly, he is re-elected in 2020 winning 270 electoral votes.
 
Just my opinion. I may be wrong.
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Election Prediction (N=2)

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia is found dead Saturday morning in Texas. Before his body is cold, President Obama announces he will nominate someone soon. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the nomination should be left to the next president.

The nomination will be a bruising fight and will undoubtedly have implications for the presidential primaries and general election.

President Obama recognizes the difficulty he will have nominating a liberal judge. He also recognizes that the two leading candidates to represent the Democrat party may have significant problems winning the election against the remaining Republican candidates. Knowing his legacy as president depends on winning a third term through a Democrat successor, he therefore embarks on the following political strategy.

Obama nominates Al Gore for the position of Associate Supreme Court Justice saying, “It’s only fair since the Supreme Court stole the presidency from Gore. It’s payback time.” The conservative wing of the Republican Party is apoplectic.

Ted Cruz, while being interviewed live on Fox News, has a seizure while discussing someone like Gore on the Supreme Court.

The news coverage of the nomination dwarfs the candidates’ campaigns for President. No one is gaining traction in the primaries. As the Supreme Court concludes its last decision on June 30, 2016 (most decisions being tied 4-4), Obama announces that for the sake of the Union he is withdrawing Gore as the nominee. On July 4th, Obama announces he will nominate himself for the position, following Taft from White House to the high court. As soon as he is confirmed, he promises to step down as President and Joe Biden will take his place. Simultaneously, Joe Biden announces he will also run for president representing the Democrat Party.

Ted Cruz, while being interviewed live on Fox News, has a grand mal seizure while discussing someone like Obama on the Supreme Court.

Republicans in the Senate are caught flat-footed and they are unable to stop Obama’s self nomination. As one of the youngest justices on the court he will be able to continue his liberal agenda well past the end of his presidency. At the Democratic National Convention, Sanders and Clinton are unable to stop the Biden wave. All the super delegates choose Biden in the first ballot and no candidate wins a majority. On the second ballot Sanders and Clinton release their delegates to vote for Biden, who selects Michelle Obama as his running mate.

Ted Cruz, while being interviewed live on Fox News, has a stroke while discussing someone like Michelle Obama as Vice President.

Biden, running as a sitting president, wins easily.

While being interviewed live on Fox News, Ted Cruz’s head explodes.

This is just my opinion. I may be wrong.

Conservatives’ Worst Nightmare

An event that will emanate shock waves throughout the 2016 Presidential campaign, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonin Scalia is dead. Within hours, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the Senate would not confirm an Obama nominee and President Obama released a statement saying he will nominate a successor regardless, setting the stage for the first major Constitutional crisis of the 21st century. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I wish Antonin Scalia didn’t die.

Existential Constitutional crisis and the end of an accomplished man’s life aside, let’s talk politics. It’s a no brainer: this is a political advantage for Obama, Cruz, and Clinton. Obama because he might be able to name a third of the Court and name the future swing vote for decades. Cruz because he’s made the Court and consistent conservatism center pieces of his campaign, and Scalia’s death just rocked conservative interest groups. Clinton gets a double advantage: she will declare that if it were up to her new administration, she would name Barack Obama to the Court. If there is one thing more terrifying to conservatives than President Obama naming Antonin Scalia’s replacement, it’s Obama personally replacing him. This might actually motivate Senate Republicans to take Obama’s nominee seriously, and it will absolutely provide Clinton with the optics of being linked to Obama, something that will help her through the primaries.

Campaigns rarely respond well to unpredicted developments. Hold on to your butts.