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Trump Presidency

Constitutionalists are interesting. They interpret strictly to how the founding fathers drafted the constitution. Kind of like literal Christians who think the Bible is the literal word of God, even the Old Testament.

...but often pick and choose the bits that serve their argument, and ignoring any teachings that might undermine their argument. Much like Scalia.
 
Stop Bill C-10

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
I'm actually a little surprised his SCOTUS appointee isn't so controversial. He's actually a qualified candidate. No shocker he's conservative but he has roots in heavily liberal Boulder Colorado and seems to get praise from some liberals. I thought Trump was going to appoint one of his sons or Ivanka or Steve Bannon.

He wouldn't be my first choice. And the story about him crying while skiing after hearing about Scalia's death is fucking weird, but from what I've seen he is pretty jurisprudentially sound. What I mean is that he does not look like he is some sort of black sheep judge who is going to overturn Roe v Wade, nor wave through Trump's bizarre executive orders.

His decision in Hobby Lobby (where the court ruled that a closely held corporation couldn't be forced to pay for contraception if it was against the religious beliefs of the controlling parties) was based on a pretty reasonable reading of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The result was agreed by all the other judges, and eventually affirmed by the Supreme Court. If the result strikes one as problematic, it's more because of the RFRA which is a fucking weird and very American law, and because responsibility for providing contraception is something the state should bear (so this result is a symptom of the American peculiarity of setting the health care burden on the private sector.)

His decision in Guiterrez (which considered whether the immigration authorities, could retrospectively override a judicial precedent which allowed the Attorney General to give legal status to an illegal immigrant) was also pretty sensible. He came out in favour of the immigrants by the way. And more importantly he was highly critical of another fucking weird American legal peculiarity (called the Chevron principle) which allows government agencies to overrule past judicial interpretations of a law if the law is seen to be 'ambiguous'. His view was that this gives the executive (which includes the President and government agencies) way too much power, and is contrary to the Constitutional separation of powers doctrine. I would agree.

Especially considering the second decision, he doesn't look like the sort who will be sympathetic to Trump if he continues to issue bizarre executive orders that play fast and loose with Constitutional rights. in fact, I expect that he would even find the refugee ban unconstitutional.

Also: I fear that if the Democrats blow their filibuster load trying to block this dude, that it will backfire in a few years when a few more judges die off and Trump tries to appoint the REAL crazies.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
But didn't the GOP just teach us all the obstructionism works?

Only reason they are making this pick now is because of successfully obstructing garland

Maybe the dems should just hold out til 2020 and then they can fill the seat then.

Why not?
 

KickIT

TRIBE Member
Trump says to use the "nuclear option" and change the rules around confirmation to a simple majority. Could be good and bad, depending on the circumstances.
 
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Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
Well, first of all because sometimes revenge is an act of hypocrisy (and would be here.)

Second, the reasons given at the bottom of my last post. Basically a several years long filibuster of a SCOTUS nominee would have a lot more impact if reserved for someone seriously defective, and I fear that person will come later.

Third, there's the 'nuclear option', which if used would basically end filibusters. That might ultimately be a good thing, but not during *this* presidency.

Finally, if the Democrats want to risk that option being exercised, they had better do it at a point where they can score some seriously useful political points against the Republicans for doing so. That is not now. It should be on a hot button issue, and preferably close to congressional elections.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Haha yes well I was mostly tongue in cheek

Still, unhappy the GOP is riding high on the back of successful obstructionism: wrong lesson and all. Even if Dems don't answer in kind it doesn't bode well for future GOP actions.
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
If the Democrats want to use obstructionism effectively, they will need a majority in one of the houses. Any party that tries to use a filibuster to summarily lock down the majority for a protracted period is going to get the nuclear option invoked, and then they are left with nothing. Unfortunately they simply don't have the power to mount a successful obstructionist campaign at this point.
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
Right, but the only reason it hasn't been done is because both parties view the continued existence of the filibuster as a Nash equilibrium. A forever-filibuster for something as important as a SCOTUS pick would outweigh the value of future Republican filibusters, so they'd use it. Also Trump is irrational so not sure the equilibrium holds in that case.
 
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KickIT

TRIBE Member
Dems need to hope that Ruth Bader-Ginsberg stays on the bench until 2018 and the Dems win back one of the houses in the midterm.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Right, but the only reason it hasn't been done is because both parties view the continued existence of the filibuster as a Nash equilibrium. A forever-filibuster for something as important as a SCOTUS pick would outweigh the value of future Republican filibusters, so they'd use it. Also Trump is irrational so not sure the equilibrium holds in that case.

Ok just didn't agree with premise that nuclear option was likely before.

It has only become a likely outcome in the last few weeks.

Gentleman's agreement and tradition kept it as scare tactic only for past decades
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
Nobody has ever used filibusters to full scale lock down an opposition for a protracted period. The Republican lock-down obstructionism during Obama's tenure was achieved through congressional majorities.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Flynn and the Dangerous Iran Obsession
By DANIEL LARISONFebruary 1, 2017, 2:34 PM
Donald-Trump-Iran-Deal-rally-554x382.jpg


Earlier today, Trump’s National Security Advisor delivered this statement:


Treating the attack on the Saudi vessel as an “Iranian action” is wrong and deliberately misleading. Iran can’t be held responsible for the actions of Yemeni fighters over whom it has no control. Besides, Saudi and other coalition vessels wouldn’t be targeted if they weren’t taking part in the wrecking and starvation of Yemen. They are being targeted because they are waging war on Yemen with U.S. backing (a fact that Flynn chooses to ignore entirely in this statement), not because of some grand Iranian design to attack them. Using Yemeni resistance against the U.S.-backed coalition that is attacking them to blame Iran for threatening “U.S. friends and allies in the region” is about as perverse and dishonest as it gets. But it comes as no surprise that this is how Flynn would frame the conflict.

Based on his previous statements and writings, I assumed that he would misunderstand the conflict in exactly these terms, and unfortunately I was right. Flynn tends to imagine Iranian involvement in everything that happens in the region. While heading the DIA, he was fixated on finding proof that Iran was somehow involved in the 2012 Benghazi attack, and in his book with hard-liner Michael Ledeen he absurdly casts Iran as the “linchpin” of huge “alliance” of states and groups that spans the globe. It’s not surprising that someone so eager to pin blame on Iran would fail to distinguish between the actions of Houthis fighting against the coalition that is attacking their country and those of Iran, which has so far provided the Houthis with negligible support.

All of this suggests that the Trump administration will continue to enable the Saudi-led war on Yemen, and it also suggests that they are looking to blame Iran for anything that happens in the region that they don’t like. The Iran obsession isn’t just causing the U.S. to continue a shameful policy that is destroying Yemen, but it could very easily lead to war with Iran.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Re: Iran - Trump has to decide if he wants to fight ISIS or Iran, fighting both means you'll fail at both
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
Constitutionalists are interesting. They interpret strictly to how the founding fathers drafted the constitution. Kind of like literal Christians who think the Bible is the literal word of God, even the Old Testament.

Here's the thing... a living constitution... why not just update it instead of "interpreting it"?
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
sure but legislators can make things explicit should they wish.

Or explicit in the constitution? Like "well regulated militia"

See - everyone is "interpreting". Originalists are imagining things about what people thought more than 200 years ago and thats an "interpretation" typically convenient for whatever it is they want to do.

The idea that "activist judges invent stuff not passed by the legislature" is mostly just baggage from the culture war (mostly from the fight over gay marriage).

The South was fighting against focusing on "explicit" rights back in the day:

"The Ninth Amendment (1791) declares that individuals have other fundamental rights, in addition to those stated in the Constitution. During the Constitutional ratification debates Anti-Federalists argued that a Bill of Rights should be added. One of the arguments the Federalists gave against the addition of a Bill of Rights was that, because it was impossible to list every fundamental right, it would be dangerous to list just some of them, for fear of suggesting that the list was explicit and exhaustive, thus enlarging the power of the federal government by implication. "

Everybody knows there are places where laws are not clear, where legislators were intentionally leaving grey areas open to interpretation - this has always been the way its been. Sometimes legislators are chicken shit to make stuff explicit in law and deliberately make it something the courts will have to decide. Sometimes they just draft bad legislation that doesn't accommodate real world examples and the courts MUST step in.

Just some people pretend they have the One True Interpretation and everyone else is "making stuff up". Its a simplistic way to look at things, but works well in political mud fights.
 
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