The Doom of Justice Kennedy's Retirement
Justice Kenendy Is Retiring
This is a very bad thingOur democracy in America is under threat like we have never known. The news that Justice Kennedy is retiring is more than just the news. He was a Bush (the first) nominee who leaned right but was considered middle of the road. His replacement will be an ultra-conservative. This will change the make up of the Supreme Court for a generation.
There is no way to say what kind of Supreme Court Justice Merrick Garland, Obama's replacement pick upon the death of Antonin Scalia, would have been had his nomination been fulfilled (as it should have been under law). Given, though, that he is very different from Neil Gorsuch, Frump*'s eventual successful nominee, we could guess that during this week, we may not have seen a deep threat to public employee unions, a successful--albeit watered-down version of the original--ban on Muslims coming into the country, and any number of troubling decisions we have or will have from this current Supreme Court.
Once one of these next picks is put into place in the Supreme Court, though, all chance of middle ground will be gone. We are now entering a dangerous time. I am not being hyperbolic.
Let me be clear: Those of you who listen to the show know that this is not an alarmist podcast. We try hard to tamp down on liberal freakouts & bring you the big picture. The big picture here is that Kennedy’s retirement is an unmitigated disaster & there’s NOTHING to be done.— Opening Arguments (@openargs) June 27, 2018
The good folks at Opening Arguments are not prone to alarmist proclaimation, and even they are sounding the alarm, and resigning defeat.
This is a dark, dark day. Worse than 11-9-2016. At least then, we had some hope in the other branches of government, perhaps stopping this spiral downward. As of today, we know it is all lost.
What Should We Do Then?Let's revisit all the advice we got in the wake of the Frump election. First to Masha Gessen, a journalist and author who knows far too well the destruction an autocracy can bring to its people.
Here is her essay, written shortly after Frump's election, "Autocracy: Rules for Survival."
Rule #3: Institutions will not save you. It took Putin a year to take over the Russian media and four years to dismantle its electoral system; the judiciary collapsed unnoticed.
Here it is happening already. Congress udner Republican control, has done nothing to check the autocrat. The Supreme Court only reprimanded his language around the autocratic policy but did nothing to end the policy of blanket discrimination, in the Muslim ban. It will only be more permissive once a second Frump nominee gets a seat.
And what does Gessen say we should do?
Rule #6: Remember the future. Nothing lasts forever. Donald Trump certainly will not, and Trumpism, to the extent that it is centered on Trump’s persona, will not either. Failure to imagine the future may have lost the Democrats this election. They offered no vision of the future to counterbalance Trump’s all-too-familiar white-populist vision of an imaginary past...
Resistance—stubborn, uncompromising, outraged—should be [normal].
And to go back a bit, having noted Resistance Should Be Normal. This is for the Democratic Senators:
Rule #5: Don’t make compromises.Here's advice from a former staffer to retired US Senator Harry Reid, Adam Jentleson. Read the whole thread on what measures can be taken in the Senate to force the center-right US Senators to hold out their votes for an unacceptable nominee:
The first thing all Dems need to do is get a firm mental grip on the new rules.— Adam Jentleson 🎈 (@AJentleson) June 27, 2018
McConnell annihilated every norm of the nomination process to deny Garland a hearing or vote and steal the Court for a generation.
If you play by the old rules, you're playing a fool's game.
What Else Can We Do to Protect Ourselves from a Conservative Supreme Court?
That's a good question. Another thing I'm revisiting today is all the guides and articles that came out post-election about survival. Check in with those lists and tips. Have you done the protective measures you need to put yourself in as good a position as possible?
Here are some:
Anything else we can do during this trying time as the Supreme Court leans much harder to the right?
Yeah. Definitely take time to take care of yourself. I'm so into make up tutorials lately. I realized that watching them and then practicing techniques is my very relaxed way of getting my mind off current events for a little bit, to recharge, before taking it all in again and figuring out ways to help. That's what the kids these days call "self-care." It's a real thing that you really need to do. My beauty blog is my self-care spot.
*Never say a narcissist's name That is a reward to the narcissist, no matter if what you say is negative or positive. I like the use of Frump, because it describes that sloppy look in those ill-fitting suits, and is weak-sounding, something he fears the appearance of--though such a fear is the ultimate in weakness itself.