One of the most overlooked and under appreciated issues in any presidential election is the appointment of federal judges in general and Supreme Court justices in particular. It was super important in the 2016 election given the #MoscowMitch stole a Supreme Court justice, but somehow we “forgot” about the issue and let the Ol’ Pussy Grabber win.
It is super-duper important in the 2020 election because the age of some of the more liberal justices and because the Repubes are willing to buy the retirements of the justices, see Anthony Kennedy.
Between now and November 2020 don’t be surprised to see one or more of the older conservative justices retire. The Repubes are looking to pack the court with young justices that will support their authoritarian endeavors.
They know for their coup to be complete, they’ll need the blessing of the Supreme Court on key cases. They almost have it now, but there are several concerning factors:
- John Roberts is not a reliable authoritarian vote. They will be working overtime to get him off of the court, i.e. trying to find the amount of money it will take, the favors he wants, or the kompromat needed. But, he needs to go since he voted to keep the ACA.
- The Ol’ Pussy Grabber is not assured of winning re-election even with all the gerrymandering, voter suppression, and foreign interference that the Repubes have worked so hard to put into place to insure that they never lose another election not to mention their structural advantages in the electoral college.
- Two of the conservative justices are relatively old and may conceivably retire during the next presidential term. That would be Clarence “Just Give all the Money to Jenny” Thomas (72) and Samuel Alito (70). The justices have proven to be fickle when it comes to retirement, but given the precedent set by Kennedy, open to being bought.
It is clear that #MoscowMitch has had designs on the federal judiciary for some time. He stalled and slow walked judiciary appointments under Obama up to and including stealing Merrick Garland’s seat. He has been boasting and bragging about it ever since. Under the Ol’ Pussy Grabber about the only thing the Senate has done is appoint young radically incompetent, severely unqualified, and reliably authoritarian justices to all levels of the federal judiciary.
Since federal judiciary appointments are lifetime appointments, the Repubes have been emphasizing the youth factor. They need to maintain their hold on the judiciary for as long as possible as a hedge against a resurgence of democracy preventing them from completing their authoritarian take over.
Our chief concern is the Supreme Court. We need to protect the precarious 5-4 split that we have, and hope to god that the next president is a Democrat and they can appoint at least one justice to make it a 5-4 liberal split.
Let’s review the current justices by age:
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg, born March 15, 1933, making her 87 this year. She has had several bouts with cancer and has metastatic cancer, but I may be wrong. Anywho, how much longer can she hold on and are we really being kind and fair to her to ask her to? Seriously, we’ve gotten about as much out of her as anyone can legitimately expect. Replacing her just maintains the status quo.
- Stephen Breyer, born August 15, 1938, making him 82 this year. Beyer is a swinger at best, but we’re counting him as one of the four liberal votes cuz we’re desperate here. Replacing him just shores up the shakiest member of the four-vote liberal wing of the Court.
- Clarence Thomas, born June 23, 1948, making him 72 this year. Given the excellent healthcare that our justices receive, unlike the rest of us, he ain’t likely to die anytime soon. He had grumbled about retiring during the Obama years, but he ain’t said much about it recently. Hell, don’t say much at all and just copies his votes from Alito. He’s our best bet for gaining a seat since he’s the oldest and likely the unhealthiest.
- Samuel Alito, born April 1, 1950, making him 70 this year. He’s an old school justice: he’ll be happy to eviscerate every progressive achievement since FDR, he just won’t crow about it.
- Sonia Sotomayor, born June 25, 1954, making her 66. One of the few remaining reliably liberal votes on the court. I would say that she’s young enough to likely make it to the next Dem president even if the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is re-elected, but since there won’t be no more Dem presidents if that happens, I won’t.
- John Roberts, born January 27, 1955, making him 65 this year. Since his infamous vote on Obamacare, he’s been considered a RINO by the Repubes, but remember he gutted the Voting Rights Act. He won’t hesitate to maintain the coming authoritarian regime. Who knows, maybe Roberts will sicken of his role of presiding over the slow dismantling of our democracy and gift us with an early retirement. Probably not, though.
- Elana Kagan, born April 28, 1960, making her 60 this year, my age. The youngest reliably liberal vote on the court. She may be the last, too.
- Brett Kavanaugh, born February 12, 1965, making him 55 this year. The court’s resident asshole. He’s a dry drunk at best, which means he’s erratic in temperament and judgment. He’s equally likely to die of cirrhosis and be removed from the court for having a #MeToo moment.
- Neil Gorsuch, born August 29, 1967, making him 53 this year. He is the Tweedle Dumb Ass to Boof-K’s Tweedle Dickhead. Given his route to the court, you’d think he’d just be happy to be there, but he’s proven himself to be disrespectful of everything the Court stands for. He’s just there to dismantle it all. He’s probably got visions of Chief Supreme Court Justice dancing in his head.
Do you see why we can’t afford to lose the 2020 election? We’ve got three reliably liberal votes and one swing voter. Other than that, we have to rely on Roberts sense of the Court as an institution. The other four conservative justices are ravenous wolves who can’t wait to tear our progressive victories apart. And, the youngest two have exactly zero fucks to give for any sense of tradition on the Court; they are just political animals that see the Constitution as saying whatever the fuck advantages the other trust-fund babies of lobbyists that define their image of the world.
The image was found using a Creative Commons search. The image was acquired from Wikimedia. It was taken by Fred Shilling as part of his duties in working for the federal government. It is part of the Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States. As such, it is part of the public domain and free for use.