Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died.
September 18, 2020 4:52 PM   Subscribe

 
Oh no!
posted by homerica at 4:53 PM on September 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


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Also fuck
posted by Grandysaur at 4:53 PM on September 18, 2020 [23 favorites]


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posted by sixswitch at 4:53 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 4:53 PM on September 18, 2020


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The darkest timeline. Of course this had to happen now. Of course.
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posted by jenfullmoon at 4:53 PM on September 18, 2020 [31 favorites]


I just can't even.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
posted by medusa at 4:54 PM on September 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


BRB, just screaming into the void
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 4:54 PM on September 18, 2020 [11 favorites]


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posted by jameaterblues at 4:54 PM on September 18, 2020


what horrible news. 2020 is definitely, an "annus Horribilis".

My sympathies to her family and colleagues. She was great.
posted by blob at 4:54 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


I'm not even American and I'm practically crying now.

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posted by Pink Frost at 4:54 PM on September 18, 2020 [12 favorites]


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posted by Akhu at 4:55 PM on September 18, 2020


May her memory be a blessing.
May her successor be appointed by Biden.

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posted by pjsky at 4:55 PM on September 18, 2020 [115 favorites]


Fuck

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posted by cmfletcher at 4:55 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


She was great.
posted by Hicksu at 4:55 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


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Good bye America, you had a good run.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 4:55 PM on September 18, 2020 [42 favorites]


I'm gutted by this news. I also feel a whole lot less safe in this country than I did about an hour ago. Good luck, everyone.
posted by heyho at 4:55 PM on September 18, 2020 [56 favorites]


...
posted by rambling wanderlust at 4:55 PM on September 18, 2020


This may well turn out to be one of the most pivotal events in US history. Beyond the immediate tragedy, there are so many levels of heartbreaking fuckery to the aftermath, from Merrick Garland to "he's learned his lesson" to the GOP being on the way to losing their Senate majority, leaving several GOP senators in unusual circumstances. Few appreciated it as well as she must have as shown by her final statement, it's unfair for anyone to die carrying that weight. Fuck everything about it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:56 PM on September 18, 2020 [114 favorites]


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posted by nickggully at 4:56 PM on September 18, 2020


May her successor be appointed by Biden.

I'm too mad and depressed to laugh uncontrollably.
posted by dances with hamsters at 4:56 PM on September 18, 2020 [30 favorites]


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posted by valkane at 4:56 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


I feel shock and rage and horror and exhaustion, and we all do, we all do, and we will grieve how she deserved, and we will feel more than we think we can manage--

And we're going to fucking fight.

Just like she would want.
posted by meese at 4:56 PM on September 18, 2020 [47 favorites]


"Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: 'My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.'"



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posted by Ahmad Khani at 4:56 PM on September 18, 2020 [57 favorites]


fuck

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posted by Time To Sharpen Our Knives at 4:56 PM on September 18, 2020


Fuckin' shana tovah everybody. I don't even know what to do with myself tonight. God dammit.
posted by cortex at 4:56 PM on September 18, 2020 [46 favorites]


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posted by Foosnark at 4:57 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by Tsuga at 4:57 PM on September 18, 2020


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Fuck
posted by Deoridhe at 4:57 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


I'd make some sort of joke about how surely McConnell will stand by his principles and demand that the American people decide what should happen in the election, but I know that it would be utter bullshit. We're about to have someone rammed through the process, and it will be terrible. Fuck. This is control of the court for a generation.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:57 PM on September 18, 2020 [23 favorites]


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posted by chinesefood at 4:57 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by jamuraa at 4:57 PM on September 18, 2020


I am certain that the calm, fair, and even-tempered leadership of Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump will guide us to the right choice for a successor to honor Justice Ginsburg.
posted by rbellon at 4:58 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


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posted by kewb at 4:58 PM on September 18, 2020


She carried an entire country on her shoulders. It's up to the rest of us now.

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posted by mochapickle at 4:58 PM on September 18, 2020 [23 favorites]


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posted by skye.dancer at 4:58 PM on September 18, 2020


We lost a great person, a great American and a seat on the Supreme Court. The Repubs have the votes to put someone up quickly, before the election. The Dems should not have made it a simple majority.,
posted by AugustWest at 4:59 PM on September 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


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I feel this like a punch to the gut.
posted by flamk at 4:59 PM on September 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


Rest in Peace, Dear Justice Ginsburg. And, dear birthday mate, we'll carry on in your name. Thank you for everything.
posted by etaoin at 4:59 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]




Vote in November. We may only get one chance.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:59 PM on September 18, 2020 [10 favorites]


RBG had a life well lived and did so much incredible work and fought so, so hard for us and I'm so grateful for her and she deserves a rest

but fuck man

the timing
posted by obfuscation at 4:59 PM on September 18, 2020 [19 favorites]


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posted by belarius at 4:59 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by cowlick at 4:59 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by ghharr at 5:00 PM on September 18, 2020


Chuck Schumer @SenSchumer
The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.
4:51 PM · Sep 18, 2020·Twitter for iPhone
4.2K Retweets 484 Quote Tweets 14.3K Likes

"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."
Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1851)
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:00 PM on September 18, 2020 [54 favorites]


What an amazing person and I count myself lucky to have been alive when she was.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:00 PM on September 18, 2020 [21 favorites]


Not good; I hope there is a way to keep Trump from appointing a replacement but I’m not optimistic.
posted by TedW at 5:01 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


now we see the make and mettle of the democratic party electeds. if they oppose fascism and have steel in their spines, they will block whatever monster the fascists attempt to deposit in rbg’s seat on the court — indeed, they will block anyone the fascists attempt to deposit into rbg’s seat, even if it means stopping all legislative processes until january 2021 or until there is not a fascist in the white house, whichever comes first.

if they do not have steel in their spines or if they prefer fascism to antifascism, we are doomed. if they do have steel in their spines the party and the nation will face an even more heightened barrage of pro-fascist propaganda from the national media.

again: if they do not have steel in their spines or if they prefer fascism to antifascism, we are doomed. but if they do have morals and courage, it is our moral obligation to muster our own courage, to take to the streets, to by whatever means necessary defend what’s left of the united states, that flawed and dying but not yet dead experiment, from the open fascist onslaught that starts on this day, that starts on september eighteenth, year two thousand and twenty.

we mourn for a second. and then: allons-y, y’all! aux barricades, citoyens et non-citoyens!
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:01 PM on September 18, 2020 [76 favorites]


I feel so ashamed and disheartened that my first thoughts swirl around "2020...*abject panic*...despair...exhaustion", and can only then land on genuine grief for this most remarkable of women, who graced my entire life with the incalculable measure of her service to this country. I feel all of the things at this point—well, none of the good ones. All of the bad things.

I'm not a religious man, but may God bless you, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. You have the undying thanks of a grateful nation.
posted by Brak at 5:02 PM on September 18, 2020 [39 favorites]


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posted by photo guy at 5:02 PM on September 18, 2020


I hope she wasn't in pain. I'm sure that her heart was heavy.


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She's more than earned her rest, but, ohmygod, this is not good.
posted by droplet at 5:02 PM on September 18, 2020 [22 favorites]


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posted by k8bot at 5:03 PM on September 18, 2020


Feel like the floor just dropped out from under me even though I was fully expecting this. US democracy is (probably) over.

Never thought I'd say this but: good for Schumer. Really hope the spine he just grew is made of steel.
posted by Lonnrot at 5:03 PM on September 18, 2020 [7 favorites]


the fucking timing

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for her and

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for us


we knew this was coming. the chance of her surviving till january was slim. i had hoped she'd make it till november, which would provide SOME figleaf, but trump will get some other shitbag in.

and trump will get to crow to the polite fascists "see! I may be rude/a racist/unhinged/unfit/rapey/killed 200k people but I got you your pet justice! vote for me!"


one small chance of hope; if the dems had the spine to pack the court *if* they win in november,……. assuming they don’t rely on a supreme court decision to undo "voting irregularities”
posted by lalochezia at 5:03 PM on September 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


Let no one fuck with her legacy. Women, let's go!
posted by maloon at 5:04 PM on September 18, 2020 [7 favorites]


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A true champion for justice.
posted by ssmith at 5:04 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


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posted by KeSetAffinityThread at 5:04 PM on September 18, 2020


Steel or no steel, can they do anything to stop it while in the minority? It's not clear to me what actual steps Schumer et al. can take.
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 5:04 PM on September 18, 2020 [21 favorites]


Also feel the same as Brak. Really wish my immediate reaction wasn't, "Well, that's it, then, show's over." In a less tumultuous time, RBG's life and works would've been worth celebrating on their own, but everybody I know is just too scared tonight.

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posted by Lonnrot at 5:05 PM on September 18, 2020 [22 favorites]


The sheer fortitude to continue her work at her age, after multiple bouts with cancer is remarkable in its own right. She had an incredible uphill battle every step of the way. I've heard stories from her time in law school, but of course it began long before that. She deserved to relax and retire long ago, but she kept on fighting for all of us.

Thank you.

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posted by Orrorin at 5:05 PM on September 18, 2020 [13 favorites]


The republicans will revel in their hypocricy. They will rub our noses in it and sneer. Blocking Merrick Garland was always a sick ruse and they are delighted that they get to prove that it was such.
posted by rikschell at 5:06 PM on September 18, 2020 [69 favorites]


Hmm, makes me wonder whether Susan Collins will attempt to save herself by pretending to oppose McConnell.
posted by etaoin at 5:06 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


It's only a matter of days before we learn, with absolute certainty, whether Mitch McConnell has ever believed that the United States is a nation of laws and equality, or if he has always been a Fascist to the core. And then we act accordingly.

It's what She would want.

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posted by Faint of Butt at 5:06 PM on September 18, 2020 [7 favorites]


I would welcome an emphatic statement from the Dem leadership that, if McConnell attempts to ram through a replacement, in contradiction to his earlier practice with Garland, that we WILL be expanding the court.
posted by darkstar at 5:07 PM on September 18, 2020 [55 favorites]


What was it, last week? That Trump publicized his list of weirdo far-right potential Supreme Court nominees? Makes me wonder if he received (and abused) information that she was in hospice care or otherwise near the end. And then crassly exploited it for his own gain, giddy at the chance to get another justice on the court during his term.

The thing that I hate the most about this moment is that that man is happy tonight, and that her legacy will be unconscionably disgraced by whoever replaces her.
posted by witchen at 5:07 PM on September 18, 2020 [38 favorites]


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posted by 20 year lurk at 5:07 PM on September 18, 2020


There's nothing stopping Democrats from packing the court if they win the presidency and senate except their own actions. Don't bother taunting Republicans for their hypocrisy, don't bother trying to out-maneuver in the Senate. Just commit to increase the Court to 15 on January 21, 2021. There is nothing stopping us from doing it; all we have to do is win the election.
posted by chortly at 5:07 PM on September 18, 2020 [80 favorites]


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Hope that somewhere, RBG and Marty are enjoying fresh banana bread.
posted by scruss at 5:07 PM on September 18, 2020 [18 favorites]


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also NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
posted by tuesdayschild at 5:08 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by duoshao at 5:08 PM on September 18, 2020


Fuck, Rest In Peace great woman, I wish you had retired five years ago.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:08 PM on September 18, 2020 [23 favorites]


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posted by amusebuche at 5:09 PM on September 18, 2020


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I'm obviously worried for the country, but I'm mostly sad for her. She fought so hard, hung on for so long. There's nobody on this earth who deserves to get to see Trump soundly defeated in November more than she did, and now she won't get to see that. Honestly, she deserved to live to see a nine-woman Supreme Court, too, but I suppose that's asking for a lot.
posted by mstokes650 at 5:09 PM on September 18, 2020 [47 favorites]


Why didn't she retire eight years ago?
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:09 PM on September 18, 2020 [23 favorites]


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And what can the population do now?
posted by doctornemo at 5:09 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


Hopefully this is bad for the prez because now you can’t hold out that carrot. But, fuck.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:10 PM on September 18, 2020


> Steel or no steel, can they do anything to stop it while in the minority? It's not clear to me what actual steps Schumer et al. can take.

a total shutdown by filibuster of the entire senate, a shutdown that lasts either 105 days or until the senate is forever disbanded. coupled with individual senators putting holds on the nomination. coupled with whatever other tactic, legally sound or unsound, that forces a time-consuming response from the fascists and their media allies.

while they do this the fascists’ mass media allies and the international troll farms and the qanon lunatics are going to spur the proud boys and the boogaloo gang and the police forces and cpb to take to the streets against us. if the senate does their part we must do our part, no matter how grave and terrible our part will be.

the work of fiction i’m about to reference has not historically been my favorite, but this reference resonates so much that i am going to break my rule against never capitalizing any letter but the i in Internet to make it. we are in democracy’s darkest hour and our chance of victory is slim, but:

Arise, arise! Spear shall be shaken, shield shall be splintered, a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises! Ride now, ride now, ride! Ride for ruin and the world's ending! Death! Death! Death!
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:11 PM on September 18, 2020 [42 favorites]


Trying to find a silver lining... Maybe this will de-energize Cheeto's base - they already have their justices so that's one less reason to feel a sense of urgency about keeping him in office.

On edit: what Going to Maine said.
posted by duoshao at 5:12 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


It's not clear to me what actual steps Schumer et al. can take.

Asking IRON-CLAD QUESTIONS of the next appointee when he is up for scrutiny.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:12 PM on September 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


corpse: presumably because she wanted to stay in the fight as long as possible.

Only history will be able to tell whether her benefit to the court over the last five years outweighed having Trump appoint her replacement. I’m personally in no fit state to speak objectively about that.

I wish her family peace in their time of loss.
posted by darkstar at 5:12 PM on September 18, 2020 [8 favorites]


I might drink all the liquor in my house tonight.

And tomorrow, my wife and I will begin serious planning to leave the United States of America.

I'm grateful for her inspiration and for all that she did, but...the USA is fucked up beyond repair now unless the Democrats in Congress employ every tool in their power -- including chaining doors shut and wrecking shit if necessary -- to stop Trump's replacement justice.

Otherwise, goodbye to Roe v Wade, hello to brutal voting rights suppression and no checks on the militarization of US police, etc etc etc.

May you rest in power, RBG. And if you have any influence in any sort of world beyond this one with a benevolent higher power, please intercede and ask for that higher power to have mercy on us.
posted by lord_wolf at 5:12 PM on September 18, 2020 [33 favorites]


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posted by 41swans at 5:13 PM on September 18, 2020


This is a sad day for America. I have no doubt Trump and McConnell will try to push through a replacement as soon as possible.
posted by Roger Pittman at 5:14 PM on September 18, 2020


The only lever left is to deny quorum.
posted by vibrotronica at 5:14 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


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posted by Flunkie at 5:14 PM on September 18, 2020


Every Q###@%A reporter better make the issue about hypocrisy the first words out of their mouths starting now.
posted by etaoin at 5:14 PM on September 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


If there’s any justice in the universe, then now is the time for something unfortunate to befall the fascist stain known as Mitch McConnell.

May the Democrats have the balls the take off the gloves and do everything within and without their power, to do the needful of preventing the morally bankrupt from taking any gain here whatsoever.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 5:14 PM on September 18, 2020 [14 favorites]



No. No. No.
posted by bz at 5:14 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


There is nothing the minority can do to stop the majority if the majority cares. There are no Senate rules that are not fundamentally at the pleasure of the majority -- not the filibuster, not holds, nothing. The only solution is to use that same power when it's your turn to pass your own extreme measures.
posted by chortly at 5:15 PM on September 18, 2020 [20 favorites]


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Shit
posted by JawnBigboote at 5:15 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


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We are so screwed.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:16 PM on September 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


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posted by ageispolis at 5:16 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by No One Ever Does at 5:16 PM on September 18, 2020


well, shit.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:16 PM on September 18, 2020


She didn't retire 8 years ago or 10 years ago because she didn't want to. elections have consequences and expecting a respected member of the Court to retire because an elections are entertainment in the US, turns my stomach. Why didn't Breyer retire?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:16 PM on September 18, 2020 [36 favorites]


The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country, so of course the American people should have a say in the Court’s direction…Give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy.
— Mitch McConnell, March 16, 2016
Psych!
— Mitch McConnell, May 29, 2019
posted by kirkaracha at 5:16 PM on September 18, 2020 [7 favorites]


Taking stock, where I am is I am:

- gutted that the inevitable happened
- gutted that it happened now, tonight
- worried because this creates such a yawning gap of doubt and instability in the Supreme Court
- fucking scared because the steady march of failures of institutions to save us the last four years has made it very clear that we can't count on that suddenly, somehow, happening here
- absolutely out of patience with reflexive dire snark about the inevitable hypocrisy of McConnell et al, nothing personal to folks in here in particular because I get where it comes form but boy is it not helping
- tired of being Very Online, and tired of that being such a part of my expectations about discourse and making me such a fucking grump about the previous dot
- ready to rip the shit out of any establishment Dems in power who fail to do whatever the fuck they can to stop the bleeding on this situation
- angry and angry and angry all over again that this, the death after long illness of an old woman, is such a fulcrum for worry and despair in our country instead of just the passing of someone who has put in her hours and then some
- sad that this is the context of Ginsberg's death, that this is understandably what we're reacting to right now and that it will take some time and deep breaths before we're even collectively able to spend thoughtful time on her life and legacy
- drinking a large strong beer and getting this typed out before it kicks in enough to make me second guess things too much

Rest in power, RBG. Good luck and good fight to the rest of us. Fuck.
posted by cortex at 5:17 PM on September 18, 2020 [103 favorites]


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posted by Alensin at 5:17 PM on September 18, 2020


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:(
posted by slater at 5:17 PM on September 18, 2020


Rest in peace

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(This makes me sick with utter sadness.)
posted by one teak forest at 5:18 PM on September 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


Crap crap crap crap crap. Dammit!
posted by olopua at 5:18 PM on September 18, 2020


There's is still a chance that a President Biden could reunite this country with a little work and some luck, but if Replicks steal another Supreme Court seat this entire country will end up making California look sane. The justifiable backlash will be ten times worse than whatever was coming six hours ago, and honestly the resizing of the Court might not nearly be the most extreme makeover. 52 states could be right there behind it, and amendments attacking the electoral college will be there as well.

Greedy gets its hand slapped, but this could be a remaking of America that won't end up being nearly what Demo politicians think they're creating. This is historic and unlikely to be good. Much hinges on Republican restraint and decorum, and it's been a generation since that party could be relied on to do the right thing.
posted by Cris E at 5:19 PM on September 18, 2020 [8 favorites]


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posted by vert canard at 5:19 PM on September 18, 2020


- absolutely out of patience with reflexive dire snark about the inevitable hypocrisy of McConnell et al, nothing personal to folks in here in particular because I get where it comes form but boy is it not helping

this.
posted by Tsuga at 5:19 PM on September 18, 2020 [9 favorites]


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posted by jquinby at 5:19 PM on September 18, 2020


May her memory be for a blessing.

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I have no words.
posted by ChrisR at 5:20 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


I wish people wouldn't make (even grim well-intentioned) jokes in here.
Let's not have the successor chat in here maybe.
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posted by Glinn at 5:20 PM on September 18, 2020 [12 favorites]


I just can't with this year, and I just wish that one old lady whose health wasn't the best hadn't been so pivotal to the near future of the United States.

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...and thank you.
posted by May Kasahara at 5:23 PM on September 18, 2020 [8 favorites]


I am devastated.
posted by y2karl at 5:23 PM on September 18, 2020 [7 favorites]


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posted by double bubble at 5:23 PM on September 18, 2020


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God she fought so hard and so long. We joked they'd have to find all her phylactery, or that she'd melt away in the sun like the Red Woman after the election, but I thought she'd hang on till justice could be served. Like she was some powerful avatar of Justice herself, in a black gown and pearl collar. So this feels almost like something holy has died.

I'm legitimately horrified. I'm also doubly saddened for the family, who don't get time to mourn in some semblance of peace, and and disgusted that all her accomplishments and ambition and her powerful sense of justice and that indomitable iron will are going to be ignored in the shitshow to come finding her replacement.

Rest in Power,Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We won't forget you.
posted by Jilder at 5:23 PM on September 18, 2020 [29 favorites]


A quick reminder that there's nothing in the Constitution saying that the court would be limited to nine judges. The size of the current court was set by the relatively obscure Circuit Judges Act of 1869.

The Senate can repeal that law whenever they want, and pass a new law setting the court at a larger (or, for that matter, smaller) size. Increase the court to have as many as 15 judges, like FDR wanted, or reduce the court to seven and state that the remaining members would stay based on seniority.....thus conveniently removing the two most recent appointees.

Step one is electing a Senate that would do this--both in the sense of a party majority, and also in the sense of having a party leadership with the guts to do what needs to be done.
posted by gimonca at 5:24 PM on September 18, 2020 [27 favorites]


May her memory be a blessing.
posted by MrVisible at 5:25 PM on September 18, 2020 [7 favorites]


Grieve tonight. Work hard tomorrow.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:25 PM on September 18, 2020 [23 favorites]


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posted by eclectist at 5:30 PM on September 18, 2020


2020's gonna be 2020.
May her memory be a blessing.
posted by Arctan at 5:30 PM on September 18, 2020


I literally bawled when I got the news. One of the most amazing women in American history.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:30 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


We should name a bright star for her.
posted by Oyéah at 5:31 PM on September 18, 2020 [9 favorites]


*puts on dissent necklace*
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posted by Gray Duck at 5:31 PM on September 18, 2020 [8 favorites]


And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards SCOTUS to be born?

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posted by jim in austin at 5:32 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


If we can avoid any "R.I.P."s or "Rest in Peace" in this memorial thread about a Jewish person, that would be a really lovely way to start this most shitty New Year.

On preview: spoke to fuckin' soon, as usual. Whatever.

May the memory of this righteous one be a blessing.

זכר צדיק לברכה
posted by tzikeh at 5:33 PM on September 18, 2020 [45 favorites]


I've got one challah still in the oven, one already done. I was just feeling hopeful about things, reflecting on this time as one for renewal, the start of a new season and a new year. The smoke has cleared the air near me (for now) after last week's day without blue light from the sky. I'm still here after fires and plague have swept through and are still raging.

My reaction to the headline was still a big "fuuuuck," yelled to my husband and the universe in general. It's easy to let the despair creep back in, to play out scenarios where I flee to Somewhere Else, to play out scenarios where I didn't flee and find myself living in The Handmaid's Tale. But you know what? I still have a fuck-ton of privilege. There are people as dogged and determined as RBG to give it everything they've got, keep fighting for justice and truth, and we owe it to her and to them and to the people who can't just up and leave, to fight to make this place the America we want it to be.

It's going to be bad, yes. But despair is what they want and I won't give them the satisfaction. Shana Tova. Thank you Ruth for holding on as long as you could.

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posted by j.r at 5:33 PM on September 18, 2020 [32 favorites]


My pebble on her gravestone

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posted by Guy Smiley at 5:34 PM on September 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


Well. We're fucked.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:34 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


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posted by soundguy99 at 5:35 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


https://mobile.twitter.com/ZaraRahim “it is absolutely depraved that we cannot mourn this mountain of a woman’s death without the fear of whatever is left of our very democracy crumbing.“

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posted by supercrayon at 5:35 PM on September 18, 2020 [29 favorites]


If anyone has personal stories or anecdotes about Justice Ginsberg, I think this would be a great time/venue for them, and encourage you to share.
posted by curious nu at 5:36 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


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rest in peace and in power, RBG.
posted by cabin fever at 5:36 PM on September 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


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She did what she could, while she could.

May the same be said of all of us.
posted by Archer25 at 5:36 PM on September 18, 2020 [12 favorites]


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posted by Scattercat at 5:36 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


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posted by evilDoug at 5:37 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


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Fuck it. To the barricades it is then.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 5:37 PM on September 18, 2020 [8 favorites]



posted by mumkin at 5:38 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


A better motivation to vote has never happened.
posted by Freedomboy at 5:39 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


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posted by cali at 5:40 PM on September 18, 2020


Fuck. One month. Just one fucking month away. And this is the final nail in the coffin.

And all those little shits who told me back in 2016 "Who cares about the Supreme Court, I hate Hillary! "? I hope those fuckers burn in hell. This. Didn't. Have. To. Happen. But it did, and the next 40-75 years are going to be worse.

I'm sorry, I can't even find any hope in this. She was brilliant, and I'm grieving not just for her, but for America.
posted by happyroach at 5:40 PM on September 18, 2020 [37 favorites]


this does not seem like it bodes well, but even the worst scenarios will play out over weeks and months. i see a lot of panic among people i know and i would urge everyone to just slow down before panicking completely. there is no downside to being uncertain right now.
posted by vogon_poet at 5:42 PM on September 18, 2020 [10 favorites]


May her memory be a blessing.

.
posted by haiku warrior at 5:42 PM on September 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


.
posted by mikelieman at 5:43 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by aneel at 5:44 PM on September 18, 2020


A few years ago I made a Justice Ginsberg crochet doll for my childhood best friend's birthday upon request. It was a great project. I am inclined perhaps to make another one for myself. I also learned in the process of making it that I'm related to someone who worked with her in the 90s after she was appointed - she was evidently exactly as driven, funny, and encyclopedic in person as she seemed to be.

Her memory is already a blessing. May her life serve as guidance for the intentional fierceness and sheer stubbornness we so desperately need.

Shana tova, everybody.
posted by Mizu at 5:45 PM on September 18, 2020 [21 favorites]


.
posted by Songdog at 5:45 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by Lesser Spotted Potoroo at 5:45 PM on September 18, 2020


Why didn't she retire eight years ago?

Ngl that was something I'd been saying and now I'm kind of wondering that since she didn't, it's better that this happened before the election when Trump might have to compromise a little and pick someone who is simply really terrible instead of absolutely the worst. Like January Trump is going to be so drunk on power that he'd probably nominate himself, but maybe now he'll go with, I don't know, my mind is blanking, can't think of any Trumpies who aren't absolutely the worst.
posted by betweenthebars at 5:45 PM on September 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


.
posted by one for the books at 5:47 PM on September 18, 2020


זכרונה לברכה

.
posted by bcd at 5:48 PM on September 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


The first I heard of this was when I saw Andy Borowitz, whom I follow on Facebook, had posted about it, and I thought, oh please please please let this be a piece of satire on his part.

RBG was a quiet, pocket-sized, lion of a woman who accomplished more than most of us can ever dream of, and whom we would all do well to emulate. I hope she didn't suffer. May she go in peace.

But shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit why couldn't she have lived just five more months.
posted by orange swan at 5:49 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


Fuck. Cancer.

.
posted by photoslob at 5:50 PM on September 18, 2020 [7 favorites]


.
posted by debgpi at 5:50 PM on September 18, 2020


Again: there is no solution to the SC now besides expanding it. And there is no solution to the Senate besides adding new states. The sooner Democrats come round to these necessities, the better.
posted by chortly at 5:50 PM on September 18, 2020 [27 favorites]




If they replace RBG, Biden's first act should be to expand the Court to 15 justices.
posted by andreaazure at 5:50 PM on September 18, 2020 [8 favorites]


"Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you." - Ruth Bader Ginsberg
posted by metabaroque at 5:50 PM on September 18, 2020 [8 favorites]


All this stuff about Mitch... Can't Trump just appoint someone in a lame duck session? She should have stepped down at the beginning of Obama's second term. Oh well. RIP to an incredible American.
posted by Chickenring at 5:51 PM on September 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


Ruth Bader Ginsburg, NYC, early 1972, when she'd just become the first tenured woman professor in the history of Columbia Law School (Lee Romero) via twitter.
posted by valkane at 5:51 PM on September 18, 2020 [9 favorites]


.
posted by mustard seeds at 5:51 PM on September 18, 2020


.

RIP Justice Ginsburg. This is awful.

Possible options:

- FILIBUSTER. Democrats must use every procedural trick in the book to prevent a Trump nomination.
- Win the House and Senate. Congress determines the number of justices. Win the elections, increase the number on the SCOTUS and dilute the Republican majority.

(I am from Europe, but I follow your politics through increasingly shaking fingers.)
posted by hankmajor at 5:52 PM on September 18, 2020 [7 favorites]


I think my blood pressure just rose by 200 mm Hg.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:53 PM on September 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


.
posted by introp at 5:53 PM on September 18, 2020


Ballotpedia

8 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supreme Court Rulings to Know About, Teen Vogue

Tonight: grieve, honor, remember

Tomorrow: fight

Always: take care of yourself and each other
posted by curious nu at 5:55 PM on September 18, 2020 [15 favorites]


What we need to do is find that clip from her documentary, the one of the confirmation hearing where Newt Gingrich (I think it was him) speaks glowingly of her, and says that she has his vote; and she was confirmed 96-3. We need to find that clip, and circulate it as widely, widely, widely, widely as possible.

.
posted by Melismata at 5:57 PM on September 18, 2020 [9 favorites]


Fuck.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:57 PM on September 18, 2020


Mitch gonna Mitch

"There it is, from McConnell: “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
posted by cashman at 5:58 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


The idea that the most incompetent, amoral, sociopathic, negligent, idiotic misanthrope ever to occupy the White House will, in a single diabolical term in office, get to appoint three of our Supreme Court Justices, including RBG’s replacement, is frankly obscene.
posted by darkstar at 5:58 PM on September 18, 2020 [76 favorites]


I'm utterly unable to think of anything but more of what will happen with three Trump appointees on the court, and all of the cascading effects, and the outright end to the Obama's concept of a "moral arc of history." All I have to offer is a growing list of terrible things, one that gets bigger with every other random realization that comes to mind. There is no positive good that I could bring to pretty much any discussion I could have today, so, I'm gonna head out for a bit. Be good to each other.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:58 PM on September 18, 2020 [12 favorites]


Fuck.

.
posted by genehack at 5:58 PM on September 18, 2020


Can't Trump just appoint someone in a lame duck session?

No, the Constitution requires the President to submit nominations to the Senate for their "advice and consent."

She should have stepped down at the beginning of Obama's second term.

Wouldn't have gone well.
posted by metabaroque at 5:59 PM on September 18, 2020 [6 favorites]



“If I were her I would have retired years ago.”
-Greg Nog

YOU WERE NOT HER.
posted by areaperson at 5:59 PM on September 18, 2020 [76 favorites]


.
posted by achrise at 6:00 PM on September 18, 2020


Notice, too: without even knowing who the nominee is, McConnell has just said the nominee will make it through the Senate Judiciary Committee to get a floor vote. So there’s not even a fig leaf of respectability covering this obscenity.
posted by darkstar at 6:02 PM on September 18, 2020 [30 favorites]


Thinking about all the decision back to Plessy that are potentially up for grabs. JFC.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:03 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


i'm tired and scared
posted by Sokka shot first at 6:03 PM on September 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


.
posted by Silvery Fish at 6:04 PM on September 18, 2020


Just a note, I believe that statement from McConnell is from February not from today. Not that his position will have changed but I don't believe he released it post-news which would be rather ghoulish even for a ghoul like him.
posted by Justinian at 6:04 PM on September 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


I don’t know - can Roberts refuse to accept a Senate-confirmed associate justice?
posted by Guy Smiley at 6:05 PM on September 18, 2020


Oh, he put out a new statement reiterating what he said in the old statement.

Not too ghoulish for a ghoul I guess.
posted by Justinian at 6:05 PM on September 18, 2020 [11 favorites]


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posted by and they trembled before her fury at 6:06 PM on September 18, 2020


Please GO REGISTER VOTERS.

Call or text EVERYONE YOU KNOW.

Make sure they're registered and know the polling place, or are getting a mail in ballot. MAKE SURE THEY DO THE SAME THING.

The sacred fire of liberty is lit w/a single, tiny spark.

YOU BE THE SPARK!

REGISTER VOTERS!
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 6:06 PM on September 18, 2020 [12 favorites]


.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:08 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by supermedusa at 6:09 PM on September 18, 2020


Pretty cool life.
posted by Keith Talent at 6:09 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


so far, murkowski and mitt claim they won't vote to confirm until after the election dust settles

for whatever that is worth, and it isn't much
posted by prefpara at 6:09 PM on September 18, 2020 [8 favorites]


.
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 6:10 PM on September 18, 2020


- FILIBUSTER. Democrats must use every procedural trick in the book to prevent a Trump nomination.
- Win the House and Senate. Congress determines the number of justices. Win the elections, increase the number on the SCOTUS and dilute the Republican majority.


- refuse to pass the continuing resolution to keep the government open unless mitch mcconnell agrees to stand by his principles and delay the confirmation until the next congress and president can choose
posted by pyramid termite at 6:10 PM on September 18, 2020 [14 favorites]


.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:12 PM on September 18, 2020


.

Every woman of accomplishment in this world lives and dies amid a chorus of ill-informed and self-impressed hecklers. May I humbly suggest that my fellow spectators take their own retroactive, non-actionable retirement advice in suppository form?

She earned that lifetime appointment. It was not her obligation to step down. It is now, and has been for a while, your obligation to step up.
posted by armeowda at 6:13 PM on September 18, 2020 [161 favorites]


Cite for Romney saying he won't vote to confirm? I've seen Murkowski's statement from before the news broke.
posted by Justinian at 6:14 PM on September 18, 2020


Increasing the size of the court would hand Republicans a multi-generation political issue which might mean the cure is worse than the disease. Even promising to do so is probably a major political win for the Republicans in this election.

Better IMHO to stall the RBG replacement nomination by any means possible if it comes forward, elect Biden, nominate someone else, and open a deep investigation into the shady circumstances around Justice Kennedy's retirement.
posted by Rumple at 6:16 PM on September 18, 2020 [10 favorites]


.
posted by MythMaker at 6:17 PM on September 18, 2020


She was a great human being.

.
posted by janell at 6:18 PM on September 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


Increasing the size of the court would hand Republicans a multi-generation political issue which might mean the cure is worse than the disease. Even promising to do so is probably a major political win for the Republicans in this election.

How come when republicans get power they use it absolutely mercilessly, and when democrats get power they're too concerned about whether someone might be mad at them someday to actually do anything with it
posted by Sokka shot first at 6:18 PM on September 18, 2020 [139 favorites]


I also had an opinion about whether RBG should have retired, but can we all agree that now is not a good moment to discuss that issue?
posted by Tsuga at 6:20 PM on September 18, 2020 [12 favorites]


How come when republicans get power they use it absolutely mercilessly, and when democrats get power they're too concerned about whether someone might be mad at them someday to actually do anything with it

Fundamentally, because most Democrats actually care about things like norms and justice. The modern Republican Party has metastasized into an entity that exists solely to perpetuate its own hegemony, consequences and norms be damned.
posted by darkstar at 6:21 PM on September 18, 2020 [15 favorites]


I don't think we're voting our way out of this
posted by anazgnos at 6:21 PM on September 18, 2020 [23 favorites]


.
posted by readery at 6:24 PM on September 18, 2020


Fundamentally, because most Democrats actually care about things like norms and justice.

maybe we should start caring more about outcomes
posted by Sokka shot first at 6:25 PM on September 18, 2020 [23 favorites]


[I'm going to need everybody to take a breath and point their rage in the right direction because I'm legit hovering on the edge of stress-vomiting and please don't make jerk comments and please just flag jerk comments if you see them.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:26 PM on September 18, 2020 [81 favorites]


.
posted by egregious theorem at 6:26 PM on September 18, 2020


[I'm not even working tonight but see above.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:26 PM on September 18, 2020 [40 favorites]


.
posted by Alterscape at 6:29 PM on September 18, 2020


I wish we could honor the life of this woman as she deserves to be honored without the political baggage. She was one of our very best. May the memory of this righteous one be a blessing.

It seems clear that the election will be contested. Trump will die a president or he'll die a felon, he knows this. If he doesn't win outright, he'll have every reason to pursue every possible legal option as far as he can. If McConnell installs a sycophant and SCOTUS decides the election, the outcome is inevitable. Preventing McConnell's appointment by any means necessary is the only play we have left.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:29 PM on September 18, 2020 [29 favorites]


note: Everyone needs a hug
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 6:29 PM on September 18, 2020 [11 favorites]


I don't think we're voting our way out of this

let's vote our hardest anyway, and worry about its ineffectiveness when that is manifest.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:31 PM on September 18, 2020 [42 favorites]


There is absolutely no surprise to be had in the Turtle declaring that a CHUD nominee would receive a vote. He telegraphed that a long time ago, and it is entirely in keeping with his lack of character.

I would love to be a fly on the wall in the office of any of a number of Senators right now, though, staring at the phone and willing it not to ring any time soon.
posted by delfin at 6:31 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


may her memory be a blessing. may her legacy be a fucking revolution in the goddamn streets.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 6:33 PM on September 18, 2020 [66 favorites]


Hey.

It’s ok eat to all of the rest of the ice cream/cake/whatever.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:38 PM on September 18, 2020 [18 favorites]


Everyone I know and love is feeling gutted tonight, it feels like this is the inflection that points towards THE END of my country. In my whole life, it never felt darker than this moment.

RIP, RBG, may you find your beloved Marty and be at peace, you've more than earned it.

.
posted by dbiedny at 6:38 PM on September 18, 2020 [10 favorites]


.
it's sad I'm sad and it's sad for all of US
posted by anadem at 6:39 PM on September 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


I typed out a whole comment, but deleted it, because it was so full of rage and despair for what happens to America with a trump replacement for RBG, and how that can't be stopped, how hopeless I feel for the next election now that the supreme court is solidly on lock for agent orange.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an incredible person, outstanding Justice, one of the finest in history, and I wish that she had lived for a thousand years.

.
posted by mrgoat at 6:39 PM on September 18, 2020 [12 favorites]


May this be the darkness before dawn. May we each be a flicker to summon the dawn.
posted by inkytea at 6:40 PM on September 18, 2020 [24 favorites]


.
posted by Start with Dessert at 6:41 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by dannyboybell at 6:43 PM on September 18, 2020


.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

I desperately need Schumer to release a statement that if McConnell brings Trump's nominee up for a vote that the Democrats will expand the Court if they win. This is line in the sand survival of the nation time here.
posted by sotonohito at 6:44 PM on September 18, 2020 [9 favorites]


Cite for Romney saying he won't vote to confirm? I've seen Murkowski's statement from before the news broke.

According to twitter, Romney's people say he hasn't taken a position yet
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:46 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


I'm sad and fearful, grieving over someone I've never met. She was an amazing person, and she'll leave an indelible mark on history. Whatever politics this unleashes, she was strong enough to hold at bay all this time, and she was so very strong.

.
posted by netowl at 6:49 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


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posted by detachd at 6:51 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:51 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by shirobara at 6:52 PM on September 18, 2020


Cite for Romney saying he won't vote to confirm? I've seen Murkowski's statement from before the news broke.

According to twitter, Romney's people say he hasn't taken a position yet


For what it's worth:
@JimDabakis:
BREAKING: A high-level Romney insider tells me Mitt Romney has committed to not confirming a Supreme Court nominee until after Inauguration Day 2021. #Mittrevenge #utpol
Background on Dabakis for those, like me, who are unfamiliar with Utah state politics: He ran unsuccessfully for Salt Lake City mayor last year. Lisa Riley Roche of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City reported in May that Dabakis is a former Utah Democratic Party chairman who
switched his party affiliation so he can vote for a still-unchosen GOP gubernatorial candidate in what he called a “rigged election” because of Republican Party rules. Democrats have long allowed any voter to participate in their party primaries.
posted by virago at 6:52 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


Why should she have retired? It's impossible to predict pancreatic cancer, and she worked hard to be healthy and in shape. She was uncommonly good at her job. Her mental acuity was greater that the sum of the White House staff combined.

Pancreatic cancer is fierce; she hung on and fought so hard. The very least anyone can do in her honor is work hard to end the Trump Administration and turn the Senate Blue. She was tireless; be tireless. She was uncompromising; be uncompromising. She had the highest standards; uphold her standards.

I cannot think of a person for whom I have higher respect and admiration. We owe her our gratitude and our unceasing effort.

.
posted by theora55 at 6:56 PM on September 18, 2020 [49 favorites]


Fuck Cancer and Fuck 2020 and especially Fuck Mitch Fucking McConnell.
posted by theora55 at 6:57 PM on September 18, 2020 [33 favorites]


.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:57 PM on September 18, 2020


.
A truly devastating loss in a year full of unimaginable loss already.

I hope we honor her memory by emulating her courage and perseverance.
posted by TwoStride at 6:57 PM on September 18, 2020 [10 favorites]


In 2018 Lindsey Graham said he would not consider a Supreme court nomination in 2020.
posted by namret at 6:59 PM on September 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


.

Oh dear god.
posted by lovecrafty at 6:59 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Northbysomewhatcrazy at 7:02 PM on September 18, 2020



posted by Gotanda at 7:03 PM on September 18, 2020


.

How many u's in fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck?
posted by jonp72 at 7:05 PM on September 18, 2020


.
posted by badbobbycase at 7:06 PM on September 18, 2020


Fuck saying she should have retired.

Spend a few minutes thinking about Merrick Garland tonight.

Think about Obama tonight.

Think about Hillary tonight.

And then fuck notions of Supreme Court retirement. That's not how it works. We had a chance to work it how it works. We failed; we failed RBG.

She sure as hell didn't fail us.
posted by Miko at 7:07 PM on September 18, 2020 [45 favorites]


The NY Times obituary article in the FPP is very good, and if you're on the fence about using a free NYT article view for it, I recommend it. I of course have many complicated feelings at this news, as I'm sure we all do, but it was a comfort to take a moment and focus on the incredible life of this amazing woman and grieve the loss of a true public servant and patriot.

All of us in America owe her a tremendous debt for the work she has done for us throughout her career. Tomorrow, let's pay that debt forward by working to serve the country she served and advance the ideals she embodied. Her life's work was a candle in a world that has grown very dark, but we can honor her by carrying her flame through the darkness toward a new morning.

May her memory be a blessing.
posted by biogeo at 7:08 PM on September 18, 2020 [14 favorites]


.


Here's Kate McKinnon lovingly portraying RBG on SNL.
posted by kadonoishi at 7:09 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg's awe-inspiring takedown of the pernicious load of self-justifying BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT known as originalism, from a public conversation between RBG and NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg in 2019:
When asked about the notion of originalism versus a living Constitution, Justice Ginsburg discussed history’s evolving concept of “We the people” and who it speaks for in 2019.

JUSTICE GINSBURG: [The] Constitution begins with the words, “We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union.” Think about how things were in 1787. Who were ‘We the people’? Certainly not people who were held in human bondage because the original Constitution preserves slavery. Certainly not women whatever their color and not even men who own no property. It was a rather elite group, ‘We the people,’ but I think the genius of our Constitution is what Justice Thurgood Marshall said. He said he doesn’t celebrate the original Constitution but he does celebrate what the Constitution has become, now well over two centuries. That is the concept of “We the people” has become ever more inclusive. People who were left out at the beginning – slaves, women, men without property, Native Americans – were not part of ‘We the people.’ Now all the once left out people are part of our political constituency. We are certainly a more perfect union as a result of that.
posted by virago at 7:12 PM on September 18, 2020 [72 favorites]


Oh dear God in heaven, I feel sick.

.
posted by jokeefe at 7:12 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


A high-level Romney insider tells me Mitt Romney has committed to not confirming a Supreme Court nominee until after Inauguration Day 2021.

So Mitt Romney might help to save American democracy. What a world, what a world.

Bless you RBG, and thank you from the bottom of my not-even American heart.
posted by jokeefe at 7:15 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


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posted by caliche at 7:16 PM on September 18, 2020


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posted by nobody at 7:16 PM on September 18, 2020




May her memory be a blessing. My heart also breaks for her, that her last few days were filled with the worry that she hadn't held on long enough and what would happen to the world. She worked to her literal dying day to try to save us all. I'm tearing up right now.

We need to step it up, and we need to step it up not by saying 'The Democrats oughta'. What are you going to do, right now, tomorrow, the next day? What are you going to do to carry on the work? You don't even have to tell me. But figure it out. How can you make her memory sacred? By doing the good work, by carrying on the torch, so from wherever she is she can say 'Well, it was carried on.'
posted by corb at 7:18 PM on September 18, 2020 [35 favorites]


So Mitt Romney might help to save American democracy.

Unlike Collins and Murkowski, I think he may well be sincere.
posted by Miko at 7:19 PM on September 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


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posted by daybeforetheday at 7:19 PM on September 18, 2020


Sad news for many reasons. Americans, I’m sorry for your loss.

.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:20 PM on September 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


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posted by surlyben at 7:21 PM on September 18, 2020


It does feel like a huge wall just slammed down in front of us all here in the US. And after fleetingly Googling house prices in Canada, I realized there's no place on earth safe from the fascists, and that despair is a luxury I can't afford (much like moving to Canada).

So if it's OK to paraphrase a comment of mine from a happier day, 5 years ago:

Imagine how overwhelmingly bleak things looked to an abolitionist in 1859, or a suffragette in the election of 1916, or a person marching for the vote in Selma. Those men and women were up against the impossible: the law, entrenched business interests, systemic bigotry and personal prejudice and the weight of all that had come before. And yet, they won--even if some aspects of those victories were partial, and we're still working toward completion today.

So keep the pressure on. You never know when the wall's about to crumble.

posted by reclusive_thousandaire at 7:22 PM on September 18, 2020 [81 favorites]


Anne Helen Petersen used a lovely phrase in her missive today about RBG's passing, "May her memory be a revolution"...
posted by PhineasGage at 7:22 PM on September 18, 2020 [16 favorites]


(We would need four defections from the Republicans to be able to shut this down. Mitt is one. Collins and Murkowski can’t be trusted, but even if they were released by McConnell to vote against confirmation, Pence could still break the resulting tie.)
posted by darkstar at 7:24 PM on September 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


I left minute-and-a-half stoned voicemails for two U.S. senators.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:26 PM on September 18, 2020 [24 favorites]


The last shit RBG took has more integrity than DJT.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:27 PM on September 18, 2020 [9 favorites]


One shouldn't be able to feel both dreadfully numb and panicked, right?
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 7:29 PM on September 18, 2020 [8 favorites]


You rock, Faint of Butt, thanks!

Folks can phone the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:30 PM on September 18, 2020 [9 favorites]


My god, the brutality of a system that makes an 87 year old 2 time cancer survivor continue to work to prevent the total takeover of totalitarianism...

“Fuck this shit” is all I can say. We as human beings deserve better than this and it’s time to Braveheart-Up for our freedom.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:30 PM on September 18, 2020 [16 favorites]


If you're like me, you need Uncle Iroh to get through tonight.
No, Zuko. You must never give into despair. Allow yourself to slip down that road and you surrender to your lowest instincts. In the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself. That is the meaning of inner strength.
posted by MiraK at 7:39 PM on September 18, 2020 [20 favorites]


The Romney thing is not true. Another person in his campaign said so.
posted by xammerboy at 7:44 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg Won’t Be Replaced … Until After the Election
Come what may, McConnell will fill the seat if his Republican colleagues stick with him. He won’t let cries of “Merrick Garland” get in his way. But the smartest and most cynical move, and therefore McConnell’s move, will be to leave it open, hold the election, and then fill the vacancy in the lame-duck session. That way, he can get the juice of increased social-conservative turnout on Election Day without having to sacrifice Collins and Gardner in the process. There will be no real way for Democrats to stop that from happening.

The only residual question would be whether Collins, Gardner, and anyone else who loses re-election will come back and vote for the nominee. The answer is, they likely will. The right-wing employment machine for former legislators is powerful enough to sway these loyal soldiers to give the Republicans a lock on the Court, potentially for decades. And even if Murkowski, Collins, and Gardner were to vote against Trump’s pick, Republicans would still have enough votes to confirm, what with Vice President Mike Pence providing the decisive 51st vote.
posted by metaplectic at 7:47 PM on September 18, 2020 [17 favorites]


It does feel like a huge wall just slammed down in front of us all here in the US. And after fleetingly Googling house prices in Canada, I realized there's no place on earth safe from the fascists, and that despair is a luxury I can't afford (much like moving to Canada).

Seriously, if it were possible I'd open my house to any and all Americans running North, like our parents did for the draft resisters in the 60s. I'm just so very sorry for this terrible loss.
posted by jokeefe at 7:48 PM on September 18, 2020 [19 favorites]


Just glad I had this community to turn to tonight, to find people feeling as I do. Thanks, everyone.
posted by martin q blank at 7:51 PM on September 18, 2020 [24 favorites]


It's just one more cruelty that now, when we should be celebrating RBG's life and accomplishments, we are instead wracked with fear and anger
posted by ckape at 7:52 PM on September 18, 2020 [24 favorites]


It does feel like a huge wall just slammed down in front of us all here in the US.

American corporations are so powerful and global, and US environmental policy has such an impact worldwide, that this feels like a global catastrophe that goes way beyond US borders. A huge wall just slammed down in front of an entire planet.
posted by Omon Ra at 7:53 PM on September 18, 2020 [17 favorites]


.

Honor her memory not with despair it with action.

An exceptional woman, let’s do her proud and fight the bastards.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:56 PM on September 18, 2020 [11 favorites]


We are with you, America:

Trending in Canada
Devastating
81.7K Tweets
posted by jokeefe at 7:56 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


May her memory be a blessing. Her life is an absolute monument to the best of humankind and of the ideals of this country.

The life of everyone and especially of every woman in the United States is better because of her service. I don't care who thinks she should have retired 10 years ago; she earned every goddamned year she served and she should have been able to serve to the age of 90, like she wanted. Fuck cancer.

Fuck Trump and his supporters. Fuck Mitch McConnell sideways with barbed wire - he's going to do what he's going to do, but nobody should ever let him forget what he is.

Fucking vote and make sure everyone you know does too.
posted by faineant at 8:02 PM on September 18, 2020 [11 favorites]


Oh fuck. :(

this does not seem like it bodes well, but even the worst scenarios will play out over weeks and months. i see a lot of panic among people i know and i would urge everyone to just slow down before panicking completely. there is no downside to being uncertain right now.
posted by vogon_poet


Tonight: grieve, honor, remember

Tomorrow: fight
posted by curious nu


What they said.

All is not lost. Get the shock and fear and despair dealt with pronto, then focus down real hard, and find a way.
posted by Pouteria at 8:06 PM on September 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


She deserved a retirement. She deserved better than to die at this particular moment.

.
posted by schmod at 8:10 PM on September 18, 2020 [9 favorites]


May her memory be a blessing. I absentee voted today and didn’t know it would be in tribute.
posted by some chick at 8:11 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]




What a catastrophe
posted by dis_integration at 8:14 PM on September 18, 2020


There is no doubt..

.
posted by Windopaene at 8:15 PM on September 18, 2020


RBG would have not wanted us to give up. We fucking owe her.
posted by furnace.heart at 8:16 PM on September 18, 2020 [32 favorites]


.
posted by dragstroke at 8:20 PM on September 18, 2020


.
posted by sunusku at 8:28 PM on September 18, 2020


May her memory be a blessing.

Rest in peace, knowing you have done so much for the rule of law in the US. Thank you.
.
posted by Silverstone at 8:35 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


I was wishing that she’d retired in a “I hate how things are now and wish they were different” way, not a “she was selfish to remain at her job” way. I was unclear and I apologize for that.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:43 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


.
posted by fFish at 8:47 PM on September 18, 2020


.
posted by BustedCatalyzer at 8:48 PM on September 18, 2020


Can we please stop armchair quarterbacking her career. Just for today?
posted by furnace.heart at 8:50 PM on September 18, 2020 [13 favorites]


The memory of her is a blessing.
posted by RuvaBlue at 8:51 PM on September 18, 2020


You keep fighting as long as you can.

Bless you, RGB
posted by Windopaene at 8:56 PM on September 18, 2020


I'm very sorry for your loss, Americans.

In a small sign of what the world has become the last few years, her death has been heavily reported also in Norwegian news media. That's so "inside baseball" when it comes to US politics that 2016 me would have been very surprised that it made the news here at all. But now we all keep a wary eye on the workings of the US political machine, even down to relative details like individual supreme court justices.
posted by Harald74 at 8:57 PM on September 18, 2020 [20 favorites]


.
posted by impishoptimist at 9:05 PM on September 18, 2020


It's easy to say "she should have retired early" but really: someone who didn't have the drive to stay on the court as long as she did, likely wouldn't have had the drive to overcome all the obstacles she overcame to get to that bench in the first place. Really, read the obituary in the OP.

Also, lotta people in this thread seem to think she should've known, in 2016 or earlier, that Trump or some equally noxious Republican would win, many of whom I suspect did not, themselves, expect that Trump would win until he did. I wouldn't be surprised if RBG had hoped her successor could be appointed by the first woman president. That we ended up with Trump instead is a stain on our nation but not a reflection on RBG.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:05 PM on September 18, 2020 [40 favorites]


I just hope her final hours weren't thoughts of disappointment and she went peacefully with love around her. That she was a rock for many is a gift, not a failing. I'm glad she doesn't have to see what comes next.

My hope is that with Trumps approvals so low, they'll turn the election into a 'Vote for the Supreme Court (and Trump). But my fear is also they'll turn the election into a 'Vote for the Supreme Court (and Trump).

As an outsider looking in, I wish you well USA.
posted by Static Vagabond at 9:07 PM on September 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


I would like this year to end, please
posted by Automocar at 9:13 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


sorry, looks like my earlier comment was premature twitter bs
posted by prefpara at 9:15 PM on September 18, 2020


.
posted by sharp pointy objects at 9:20 PM on September 18, 2020


Gutted. I so wanted her to have at least a few years of peace. She is and always will be an exemplar of all that an ethical, humane person can be.

May her memory be a blessing, a special comfort to her family, and an inspiration for all of us.
posted by vers at 9:22 PM on September 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


.
posted by bryon at 9:32 PM on September 18, 2020


.

Oh, and fuck cancer.
posted by eagles123 at 9:41 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:50 PM on September 18, 2020


At the risk of circular firing squadishness, I’d dearly like to hear from the leadership of the Democratic Party as to how they allowed the entire weight of the future of democracy in America to rest on the shoulders of an elderly woman with pancreatic cancer. Years of embarrassingly bad candidates, uncontested elections, and just a seeming general lack of interest in building support among young voters. No clear strategy towards building ways to fight back against the jerrymandering that’s gotten us to this point.

We never should have gotten to a point where so much rested on one person battling cancer. Ginsberg was a tremendous justice, and her passing should have been a moment where we celebrated her legacy rather than panicking and trying to see a way out of the deluge that she unfairly tasked with holding back.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:55 PM on September 18, 2020 [61 favorites]


Baruch Dayan Emet
posted by PenDevil at 9:55 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


Again: there is no solution to the SC now besides expanding it. And there is no solution to the Senate besides adding new states. The sooner Democrats come round to these necessities, the better.

Adding new states isn't a political necessity, it's a moral necessity. The people who live in DC are more numerous than two US states and they have no true congressional representation. There's more US citizens living in Puerto Rico than a *dozen* states and they have no true congressional representation and get treated like a forgotten foreign colony. The outlying islands have almost as many people as Wyoming in the same position.

Their addition to statehood *might*change how partisan balance in the Senate works, though it's always worth remembering people in each place would retain their capacity to choose and no population is a guaranteed win for a given party forever without the same media operations and organizing work that happen elsewhere now.

But it would make the US a more democratic place and fulfill the old promise that taxation should come with representation.

That said, I absolutely agree with being willing to do anything that's legal. Norms? Fuck norms. McConnell whacked them and buried them under the rubble grinning all the way, Trump doing the same thing with rule of law. The only operable question at this point is very clearly "Can you get away with it?"
posted by wildblueyonder at 10:03 PM on September 18, 2020 [48 favorites]


.
posted by Coaticass at 10:09 PM on September 18, 2020


.
posted by Feantari at 10:13 PM on September 18, 2020


[We're deleting graphic threats of violence, even if metaphorical or well-deserved.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:27 PM on September 18, 2020 [9 favorites]


All respect to a real one.
posted by StarkRoads at 10:31 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


.
posted by St. Oops at 10:33 PM on September 18, 2020


.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:43 PM on September 18, 2020


.

God help us all.
posted by pan at 10:50 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


.

What a legacy she left. May her memory be a blessing.

This is not a good start to 5781.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:50 PM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


.
posted by pernoctalian at 10:51 PM on September 18, 2020


Tribute by the ACLU.
posted by rjs at 10:53 PM on September 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


.
posted by quazichimp at 11:02 PM on September 18, 2020


I went back to school in the fall to get a paralegal certificate (long story that I'll save for a later date when the plague ends and the fascists are all back in their holes and we can get tacos and hang out), and we had to read a lot of case law, including a lot of Supreme Court case law. I loved reading RBG's decisions and dissents because she was so goddamn smart. They were a pleasure to read. May her memory be a revolution.

Though I'm still pissed about Kelo. Come on, RBG.
posted by RakDaddy at 11:08 PM on September 18, 2020 [8 favorites]


Obama has a statement, which includes some pointed (for him) words:

Four and a half years ago, when Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, they invented the principle that the Senate shouldn’t fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new president was sworn in.

A basic principle of the law — and of everyday fairness — is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment. The rule of law, the legitimacy of our courts, the fundamental workings of our democracy all depend on that basic principle. As votes are already being cast in this election, Republican Senators are now called to apply that standard. The questions before the Court now and in the coming years — with decisions that will determine whether or not our economy is fair, our society is just, women are treated equally, our planet survives, and our democracy endures — are too consequential to future generations for courts to be filled through anything less than an unimpeachable process.

posted by carrienation at 11:19 PM on September 18, 2020 [54 favorites]


.
posted by bunnysquirrel at 11:19 PM on September 18, 2020


reclusive_thousandaire, thank you for that second cry. It helped.

Thank you, Eyebrows and whoever else, for still herding cats today.

Thank you, everyone, for being here. Going through this thread helps.
posted by Lonnrot at 11:23 PM on September 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


From Pia Guerra.
posted by Quonab at 11:23 PM on September 18, 2020


I’m seeing a lot of statements from Democratic leaders who seem to think that the Republicans still have a sense of shame. Which...
posted by darkstar at 11:24 PM on September 18, 2020 [14 favorites]


.

RBG was great, as a lawyer, a woman, and an associate justice on the Supreme Court. With her gone from the Court, I feel despondent, because I know her replacement won't be anything like her. We must do something to ensure a better outcome than the one staring us in the face. If you can spare any money, make strategic campaign donations as suggested in other threads; if you can't give money, help in other ways, such as GOTV. But do *something*. (I contribute to McConnell's opponent, Amy McGrath.)
posted by Avalow at 11:28 PM on September 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


Trump has made an ass of everyone who claimed the US Constitution is some kind of holy writ. It is a flawed document written by slave owners who disagreed about how risky near-absolute power could be.

The fact that the death of one person can send the scales tipping wildly is proof of this -- norms are for suckers. We needed laws and swift consequences, not handshakes between rich white men agreeing to divide the pie.
posted by benzenedream at 11:32 PM on September 18, 2020 [9 favorites]


I don't know if . has ever been more deserved.

Don't let the bastards grind you down. She didn't.
posted by blue shadows at 11:32 PM on September 18, 2020 [8 favorites]


.
posted by Standard Orange at 11:57 PM on September 18, 2020


.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 11:57 PM on September 18, 2020


Today while signing up for Where's My Ballot I learned that somehow I'm no longer on my county's voting rolls. Seventeen years at the same address, no name change, voter in nearly all elections - somehow I've been expunged.

An hour later I learned of RBG's death.

An hour after THAT I sent money to McConnell's opponent Amy McGrath, and contacted my local election board.

I mean - no. NO. We will not be silenced.
posted by goofyfoot at 11:59 PM on September 18, 2020 [43 favorites]


To have been on Earth at the same time as her. To have had her to look up to throughout my entire girlhood when so many uncountable generations could scarcely have imagined such a thing. How tirelessly--tirelessly--and brilliantly she fought for us. I will do whatever is in my power to try to be worthy of her.

.
posted by peakes at 12:04 AM on September 19, 2020 [7 favorites]


.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:40 AM on September 19, 2020


Well, I finally filled out the form to be a poll worker in my county. It’s a small way I can stand up for the ideals RBG represents.

I’m scared, worried about the loss of Roe and hell even Griswold. I’m worried that today’s young girls won’t have the freedoms I did, much less the larger share they actually deserve. I’m worried about the loss of our very democracy.

But the fight isn’t over, not even with this loss. Tomorrow, it’s time to call both my senators and remind them that they serve at the pleasure of the voters. It’s time to write more letters for Swing Left. It’s a long fight that never ends; RBG fought for me to have so many of the rights I do today, so how could I not now use those rights to fight in her memory?
posted by nat at 1:00 AM on September 19, 2020 [11 favorites]


.
posted by Pendragon at 1:03 AM on September 19, 2020


A basic principle of the law — and of everyday fairness — is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment.

Goddamn it, Barry. You and I know you’re right. RBG knows you’re right. We all know that turning this into a football game where we exploit every opportunity to put hotels on Park Place or move the ball over some arbitrary goal line is a perversion of Actual Change. How in the hell do we take the meaningful high road, informed by our highest idealism when rolling double threes on Pacific Place means bankruptcy?

The USPS has sent us postcards saying our votes might not be counted. Trump has said that our mail-in ballots might not be valid. Some states have said that they’ll only have one valid polling place for hundreds of miles around.

How can you focus your energy on adhering to a game that is so obviously open to manipulation, where the final arbiters are so affected by political winds instead of basic fairness? Why aren’t we discussing the fact that the alternative to the McConnel Doctrine is guillotines?

In my entire lifetime, whenever I’ve seen the opposition argue for doing the long. term right thing instead of the politically expedient thing we end up with Stupidity taking over our freedoms. RBG understood this. That’s why so many people from thiis nation put all of their hopes on this frail 87 year old terminally ill woman.

I feel like the gloves are off now and we are firmly in the realm of French Revolution territory. All possibilities for justice within the system have been exhausted. Any politician or mid level manager in government who doesn’t recognize this dangerous dynamic should be well advised right now. Business as usual might get you killed. Pleasing your supervisor might get you killed. The only thing holding this nation together is the shared ideal that each of us matters equally and our institutions damn well better reflect this ideal else we descend into chaos, all of us.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:21 AM on September 19, 2020 [21 favorites]


.

I hope she was able to find peace. She deserved it.

And I hate 2020
posted by mumimor at 2:16 AM on September 19, 2020


Funny, I was just having a conversation earlier about how we as humans in general have a need to see patterns when there aren’t any, that we build moral codes out of happenstance and blind luck, yet here I am, the day Ginsburg dies, and everything just seems as pointless as possible, getting my absentee ballot.

It’s not a sign. There’s no portent to be had, it’s not a rallying cry or a message from on high to go and vote.

It does feel like a proper kick in the nuts though.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:43 AM on September 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


May she rest in peace.

Fuck Trump that she should have to die thinking about the shitstorm he will create.
posted by RandomInconsistencies at 2:49 AM on September 19, 2020 [4 favorites]


As a Brit, I feel distraught for you.

I think the US and UK may now be finished as democratic global players. We did some good, but probably not enough; we certainly did lots of harm.

The future will not be kind to us as that belongs to Russia, China and the EU in the short term. I wish for sanity to be restored to both our nations and for an independent Scotland to rejoin the EU within my lifetime.
posted by epo at 2:53 AM on September 19, 2020 [13 favorites]


My mind reels about and somehow landed on the fact that Henry Kissinger is 97 years old. I guess that old war criminal hasn't done much in forty years, while Ruth was achieving greatness. He'll die in obscurity and irrelevance, an impotent old man. Almost the opposite of Ruth's passing, an event which will shape the future of a nation.

Eighty seven years well spent. Such valuable time, we all wish that she had more but, so it goes.

.
posted by adept256 at 3:00 AM on September 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


We’ll know our allies by their grieving for Ginsburg. We’ll know who to shun by their heartfelt elegies for Kissinger.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:05 AM on September 19, 2020 [5 favorites]


Democrats shatter the ActBlue site’s donation records in the hours after Ginsburg’s death.

"Democratic donors gave more money online in the 9 p.m. hour after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died — $6.2 million — than in any other single hour since ActBlue, the donation-processing site, was launched 16 years ago.
Then donors broke the site’s record again in the 10 p.m. hour when donors gave another $6.3 million — more than $100,000 per minute."

[…]

"While ActBlue does not show where donations go in real time, Democratic donors flooded into at least one page dedicated to key Senate races, called Get Mitch or Die Trying. The page, created by Crooked Media, raised more than $3 million in about three hours, dividing the proceeds between 13 different Democrats running for Senate this year."

- - -

"Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you." Ruth Bader Ginsberg
posted by faineant at 3:25 AM on September 19, 2020 [27 favorites]


.

Oh my ghod.

I just slept for 12 hours and woke up to this.

Godspeed, RBG.

.
posted by jaruwaan at 4:07 AM on September 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


I'm not American but I mourn today.
posted by hat_eater at 4:43 AM on September 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


.

As an outsider..... If it's a big issue that one guy gets to nominate three justices. Maybe the nomination system is broken and needs to be depoliticized, back to impartiality and all that nonsense.

And the two team, big tent, system is insane along with all the majority and minority rules that go with it.

https://www.eiu.com/topic/democracy-index

Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand,... are at the top of the democracy list. Maybe stop looking inward and look outward for solutions?
posted by sety at 5:03 AM on September 19, 2020 [9 favorites]


.

and another . for American liberalism, which dies with her.
posted by acb at 5:04 AM on September 19, 2020


Don't mourn. Organize!
posted by St. Oops at 5:19 AM on September 19, 2020 [5 favorites]


.

May her memory be a blessing.

(I keep seeing the "According to Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah, which began tonight, is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness" thing but I've honestly never heard this before. Is there any source for this beyond tweets and articles sharing tweets?)
posted by ChuraChura at 5:28 AM on September 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


.
posted by brevator at 5:36 AM on September 19, 2020


.

What an amazing, wonderful person.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:36 AM on September 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


.
posted by condour75 at 5:44 AM on September 19, 2020


McGrath's campaign has already spent tens of millions and is down double digits. Please donate to other, closer senate races. John Ossof, Theresa Greenfield, Barbara Bollier are within easy reach. There are a few others that I can't think of but can easily be researched. Please do not waste donation dollars on McGrath.
posted by windbox at 5:48 AM on September 19, 2020 [21 favorites]


@mariontjohnson: “That woman died with so much pressure on her shoulders, and she won’t even be mourned like a human. She’ll be mourned like a defense wall that crumbled.”
posted by acb at 5:48 AM on September 19, 2020 [19 favorites]


[robbyrobs your link didn't work (it was text instead of url); try reposting?]
posted by taz (staff) at 5:54 AM on September 19, 2020






.

NYMag: The Glorious RBG.
I learned, while writing about her, that her precision disguised her warmth.
posted by adamvasco at 5:57 AM on September 19, 2020


Ed Markey comes out for court expansion.

Elections matter -- including primaries.
posted by gimonca at 6:19 AM on September 19, 2020 [7 favorites]


I searched back in my browser history and it was only six weeks ago I was looking at an RBG action figure on amazon. I really should have snapped that up when I had the chance, now they're $149.

These children's books are still reasonably priced:

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

I Look Up To... Ruth Bader Ginsburg

maybe I should put these in the playstation 5 box so they're really excited to unwrap it. I mean, I'll give them the ps5, but make it clear which I think is way cooler
posted by adept256 at 6:30 AM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


Note that Markey's thinking ahead, too: in order to pass legislation to change the size of the court, you'd almost certainly have to start by eliminating the filibuster.
posted by gimonca at 6:30 AM on September 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


That NYPost article is more laughable than normal. This is still Trump we’re talking about. The chances of his nominee (as chosen for him by whatever conservative think tank is the last to whisper in his ear before he sees a podium and a microphone) being anything other than a cis white male are on par with my sudden development of the ability to fly.

I mean, it’s quaint that the post put forward a Notre Dane grad who is “on record” (isn’t that quaint, remember when that meant a thing?) as saying that a judges personal beliefs should have no effect on the laws they decide on, but that alone pretty much guarantees she doesn’t get the nod.

The vetting process at this point is more than likely: “if Trump sues over the election results, what do you say?” and if it’s anything other than “well, of course, I vote for Trump no matter what” they aren’t seeing the light of day. We’ll have another toady (after suspicious debt repayment/I like beer boy) on the court.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:48 AM on September 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


In a small sign of what the world has become the last few years, her death has been heavily reported also in Norwegian news media.

It’s like having neighbours whose private life is played out so publicly and with such drama and volume that your own domestic issues recede into irrelevance. Who cares if your toddler scribbled crayon on the hallway wall if the house across the street has just caught on fire for the third time this month? Like most Canadians, I would struggle to even name one of our own country’s Supreme Court justices.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:49 AM on September 19, 2020 [22 favorites]


.

Please do not waste donation dollars on McGrath

Hard agree. If you don’t want to get in the business of interpreting polls, the Get Mitch or Die Trying page mentioned above is a good place to have impact. The Crooked Media folks are savvy political operators who are focused on winnable races that benefit from funding right now.
posted by jeoc at 6:49 AM on September 19, 2020 [18 favorites]


ricochet biscuit: Like most Canadians, I would struggle to even name one of our own country’s Supreme Court justices.

Barbara? I'm pretty sure there's a Barbara. But I can't remembering any other names or parts of names.

[googles] Oh, shit, no, it was Beverley McLachlin I was thinking of. Complete failure on my part. (Hmm... looks like we had a Thomas Cromwell on the court a couple of years ago and I had no idea. A name like that should stick in your head. Or off your head.)
posted by clawsoon at 6:57 AM on September 19, 2020 [5 favorites]


Another good political organization that is working to win back the Senate is Flip the West. Notables from David Crosby to Rep. Ted Lieu to Frances McDormand & Joel Coen to Rep. Adam Schiff have all done fundraisers for the group. Their site offers opportunities to donate cash or make calls or send texts or send postcards, whichever flavor of political activism feels best for you. We must win back the Senate.
posted by PhineasGage at 7:00 AM on September 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


Clawsoon: indeed, McLaughlin’s was the only name I could summon, but she retired three years ago. A quick look at her Wikipedia page tells me she was preceded as Chief Justice by Antonio Lamer and followed by Richard Wagner, but you could have put any two names there and I would have shrugged and said okay. Looking up the list of the holders of the office, the only name that I can recall three minutes later is the Depression/WWII-era Chief Justice, who rejoiced in the deeply satisfying name of Lyman Duff.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:11 AM on September 19, 2020


This feels like the part of the story where the GOP reveals that they've cloned Hitler and he's working as a lawyer in Texas.
posted by johnofjack at 7:18 AM on September 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Advice for Living. First published in the NYT in 2016.

Earlier, I spoke of great changes I have seen in women’s occupations. Yet one must acknowledge the still bleak part of the picture. Most people in poverty in the United States and the world over are women and children, women’s earnings here and abroad trail the earnings of men with comparable education and experience, our workplaces do not adequately accommodate the demands of childbearing and child rearing, and we have yet to devise effective ways to ward off sexual harassment at work and domestic violence in our homes. I am optimistic, however, that movement toward enlistment of the talent of all who compose “We, the people,” will continue.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:29 AM on September 19, 2020 [5 favorites]


Don't dot, vote!
posted by Brachinus at 7:31 AM on September 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


Also, get to work people. Local, state, national elections are everything.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:31 AM on September 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


⚫️

(I can't vote in y'alls elections. But I do care. When I read the news this morning, my heart sank. There's more of us here who care.)
posted by Too-Ticky at 7:38 AM on September 19, 2020 [16 favorites]


Note that Markey's thinking ahead, too: in order to pass legislation to change the size of the court, you'd almost certainly have to start by eliminating the filibuster.

Yes, if the Democrats retake 50+1 Senate seats in November, the first orders of business should be:

1) Eliminate the filibuster entirely
2) Pass sweeping protect democracy legislation. Statehood for anyplace under American authority that wants it: DC, PR, American Samoa, Guam, expand the size of the House of Representatives, increase the size of the Supreme Court, reinstate the protections of the Voting Rights Act, mandate uniform electoral rules for the entire nation, etc etc etc. Basically do anything to make the United States more democratic that can be done with a simple majority in Congress and the signature of the President.

Call it the Make America Great Again bill, to really stick it to the Trumpists.
posted by Automocar at 7:50 AM on September 19, 2020 [38 favorites]


Turns out communal mourning and political activity are not mutually exclusive!
posted by ChuraChura at 7:50 AM on September 19, 2020 [14 favorites]


I'd also like to see North and South Dakota combined into one state. The Constitution outlines how new states can be created from existing ones, but is silent on the question of combining existing states into one, so just assume Congress can just... pass it with a majority, and then battle it out in the courts, of which the Supreme Court will have 4 Biden appointees.
posted by Automocar at 7:53 AM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


Article IV, section 3: "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress."

So no dice on Super Dakota, unless you can get both Dakotas to agree.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:10 AM on September 19, 2020 [11 favorites]




Damn, you're right. In my head that clause only referred to new states out of existing states, not combining states. C'est la vie.

I still maintain the state should be Dakota, as it was a Senate gerrymandering ploy back in the 19th Century!
posted by Automocar at 8:23 AM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


I am devastated beyond words for her family, for the marginalized communities I am a part of, and for this country.

I sorely wished RGB retired during Obama's first term because the signals were already very strong that Republicans were launching an all out assault to preserve a permanent system of white minority rule. For me, the rights and lives of hundreds of millions of people matter far more than what one wealthy and powerful person "wants", even if she faced immense challenges to get to that point. Of course it shouldn't have ever reached that point in [pick your year/moment of crisis in the last decade], but it did.

But I think one of the problems in any of us trying to analyze a decision like that from the outside is that the Supreme Court, with its limited number of lifetime appointments, is such a bizarre institution in a nominally democratic country. After all, I doubt many of us would have been close friends with Scalia.

But that doesn't matter now. I just hope if the Democrats take back both the White House and the Senate, Breyer retires on day one of the new administration, Biden expands the court, and Democrats never again put all their hopes and dreams into the health of one person.
posted by Ouverture at 8:26 AM on September 19, 2020 [10 favorites]


.
posted by kozad at 8:37 AM on September 19, 2020


For me, the rights and lives of hundreds of millions of people matter far more than what one wealthy and powerful person "wants", even if she faced immense challenges to get to that point.

Can you please consider that it is precisely those hundreds of millions of people that were on her mind that kept her on the bench to continue to shape the laws to help them? She did us all good for every decision she contributed to.

On top of that, women, particularly professional and famous women, are always criticized for every decision they make, and I am very exhausted at hearing it here too. Please consider what you are adding, both to the conversation and to the emotional burden of women right now.
posted by tiny frying pan at 8:38 AM on September 19, 2020 [52 favorites]


Don't dot, vote!

And volunteer your ass off.
Yes you're tired.
I'm tired.

I turn 65 next week. Yesterday, I did a 4-hour round trip through trump-sign- heavy Michigan to visit my 90-ish mother for 45 min. through the window of her nursing home. (Because fucking Trump plague. And because my maga sister who lives in that same town has banned me from staying at her house.)

I wish it was in a different world. But tough. RBG and John Lewis and my father who fought in WW2, and a billion other souls, would tell me to shut up and suck it up and do something.

So, you & I have to keep donating, keep writing postcards and letters to GOTV. Go to marches, if you think it's safe for you. Phone and text.

If you do the latter, be prepared for some outright threats from crazy trumpies. But eyes on the prize. Remember who's in the wrong here. Know who among us is following the path of all those good souls who got in good trouble.

Keep fighting, people. That's how you honor her.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:49 AM on September 19, 2020 [36 favorites]


.
posted by The Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas at 9:17 AM on September 19, 2020


.
posted by Splunge at 9:17 AM on September 19, 2020


My first reaction to this news was definitely pessimistic. But reading this thread and getting some sleep has given me a more nuanced view of things. First of all, she was a remarkable woman and we should definitely be celebrating her life. The United States and by extension the world was a better place for her having been here. I understand the impulse to speculate what might have happened had Obama been able to pick her replacement, but in reality no one knows how that would have turned out and it could very easily have been worse, given the animosity of McConnell towards Obama and anyone he would have sent to the Senate for confirmation. And I also agree with those who feel that if one person is all that prevents the downfall of our system of government, then perhaps it was fatally flawed to begin with. If the worst-case scenario of Trump successfully replacing her before the election comes to pass, then there are still any number of things that might make things better. First off, it seems possible that having achieved a solid conservative majority on the court, Republican voters will be less energized, while Democrats are already becoming fired up by the hypocrisy of ramming through a nominee right before an election while denying Garland a seat on the court. If Democrats can win control of the congress and the presidency, then having 2 out of the 3 branches of government gives them a number of options. As mentioned numerous times above and elsewhere they could attempt to pack the court; I personally am not a big fan of this option but it could work. And an unfavorable Supreme Court decision could in many cases be reversed legislatively, as was done with the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Even with Justice Ginsburg on the court I felt it quite possible Roe v. Wade would be reversed in the near future, but that wouldn't stop Congress from passing a bill legalizing abortion nationally, as as been done at the state level in some places. Indeed, one of the (probably bad faith but we may see) criticisms of Roe is that it was up to Congress to legalize abortion, not the Supreme Court. A third way to deal with a Trumpist court that could happen is impeachment of one of the Justices. It has only been tried once (Samuel Chase, for using his position to promote a political agenda) but it is a tool that does exist. And given the amoral nature of modern day Republicans, it seems quite likely that one or more Justices has done or will do something that justifies removal from the bench. There are probably other things that can be done as well. That's not to say any of this will be easy or will happen overnight, but there are potential ways out of this situation if enough people want it. It is worth remembering that we didn't just magically get to this point in our history. Republicans have been working toward an authoritarian state since the time of Reagan, Nixon, and even Goldwater. If we the people can prevent them from destroying the checks and balances on power in this country then we can take it back. If we can't, then perhaps it is time for the United States to collapse and with luck be replaced by something better.

But for today I am content to mourn the passing of a remarkable human being and hope her loved ones find comfort in her legacy and that many people around the world are also sad that she is no longer with us.
posted by TedW at 9:24 AM on September 19, 2020 [4 favorites]


Gutted.

Frequent sentiment on Twitter that seems fitting: May her memory be a revolution.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:27 AM on September 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


Here’s who might succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court

Looking forward to Associate justice Ben Shapiro
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:28 AM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


Don't dot, vote!

These are in no way mutually exclusive.

We lost a Giant yesterday. Taking some time to mourn the passing of a woman as influential, as ground-breaking, and as heroic as RBG is not only possible, it's a good idea. Her legacy and memory are worthy of our reflection.

6 weeks from now I'll vote. On Monday I'll donate. But today? Today I grieve.

.
posted by Frayed Knot at 9:36 AM on September 19, 2020 [12 favorites]


I cackled at the last sentence in Obama's statement:
The questions before the Court now and in the coming years ... are too consequential to future generations for courts to be filled through anything less than an unimpeachable process.
Sneaky. I hope we see active leadership from him in the aftermath of this on impeaching whichever judge is appointed.

Is it too much to hope Kavanaugh can be impeached as well?
posted by MiraK at 9:37 AM on September 19, 2020 [5 favorites]


Removal after impeachment requires a 2/3 majority vote in the senate. Even if Dems take the senate in November, it won't be a 2/3's majority, so no, there will be no impeachment and removal of any justices. Impeachment maybe, but you know what you call an impeached supreme court justice? Justice <whoever>.
posted by mrgoat at 9:45 AM on September 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


The basic job to be done hasn't changed: Win the White House and Senate. From there we have options and the game continues. If you aren't already, encourage your friends and loved ones to vote, dammit.
posted by elwoodwiles at 9:52 AM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


Impeachment is worthless unless the Democrats have 66 votes to remove the Justice. Expanding the court is the only real way forward.
posted by sotonohito at 9:54 AM on September 19, 2020


Tom Scocca makes a good point re: our shouting about McConnell not abiding by a rule he himself invented only recently: There Are No Principles. You can't shame someone if they are shameless, and not many voters will change their mind on who to vote for just because of a little hypocrisy. Scocca:
What’s wrong with Donald Trump plotting to name his third Supreme Court justice is not that he is doing it in an election year, nor that it violates the consistency with which our rules ought to be applied. It’s that thanks to McConnell’s ruthlessness and shamelessness, Trump got to pick justices in a five-year window for his four-year term.

The “legitimacy of our courts” that Obama invoked was gone the moment Neil Gorsuch presented himself to the Senate for confirmation. The challenge for the Democrats isn’t to fight to preserve and extend a temporary and fictitious procedural norm from four years ago. It’s to seize back that stolen year, and that stolen seat, and control of the entire court. That, not any principle, is what Mitch McConnell was fighting for in 2016, and it’s the only thing worth copying from him now.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:59 AM on September 19, 2020 [14 favorites]


“We should honor the life of RBG, American hero, by refusing to give in, refusing to back down, fighting for the civil rights of all people & demanding our leaders honor the rule of law. This is our fight now.”

- Joyce Vance, via Heather Cox Richardson's Letters from an American

Rest in peace, RBG. It's our fight now.
posted by kristi at 10:08 AM on September 19, 2020 [5 favorites]


.
posted by mikeo2 at 10:11 AM on September 19, 2020


Shaming McConnell et al. isn't about inducing shame in those human simulacra. It's about getting powerful center-leftists who are loyal to the system to see her replacement as illegitimate and thus see an expansion of the Court under Biden as a legitimate response.

Senators and ex-Senators like Obama have a deep loyalty to the rules of the Senate and other long-standing pillars of the US government, and it's going to be damn hard to get them to give up the filibuster, let alone consider something as radical as expanding the court. This also extends to the major media (NYT, Post, CNN, etc), who share the same institutional loyalties. The only way to get them on board with fundamental Court reform is to convince them that the last two Justices have been such egregious violations of fairness that expansion is the only reasonable response. And to do that, in part, requires hammering them -- via hammering McConnell -- with the hypocrisy of McConnell and the Senate Republicans. It's not about convincing them -- they have no souls to convince -- it's about getting the wavering centrists on board with radical change by making it seem like a reasonable response to unreasonable cheating.
posted by chortly at 10:17 AM on September 19, 2020 [34 favorites]


For me, the rights and lives of hundreds of millions of people matter far more than what one wealthy and powerful person "wants", even if she faced immense challenges to get to that point. Of course it shouldn't have ever reached that point in [pick your year/moment of crisis in the last decade], but it did.

I have a *ton* of sympathy for this position. I've felt that way at times in the last four years and in the last 18 hours.

One thing that takes the edge off it for me is remembering that ten years ago she might well have reasonably thought she'd have 12 good years. Or that she'd get into Obama's 2nd term and see. Or get into 2016 and see. Or had the confidence that President Clinton would nominate her replacement, like a lot of us who thought it was just impossible that a manifestly unfit man like Trump could be selected even in spite of two decades of forcefully boosted contempt for HRC. RBG made it to Sep 2020, less than two months until the election, which both means it was reasonable to assume she wouldn't live longer... and that it was reasonable enough to assume she would, and I can respect a certain amount of optimism 5+ years back regardless of 2020 hindsight.
posted by wildblueyonder at 10:21 AM on September 19, 2020 [4 favorites]


.

If Trump succeeds in appointing a replacement, five of nine justices will have been appointed by people who became president despite losing the popular vote.
posted by Syllepsis at 10:27 AM on September 19, 2020 [26 favorites]


thus see an expansion of the Court under Biden as a legitimate response.

I want to be here, in this thread, mourning an amazing woman who was a deep inspiration to me. But this keeps coming up and it is provoking fear responses. I fear that packing the court will be the impetus for the war already hitting us on the West Coast to heat up. I fear that once a “tit for tat” political response has been created, that the mask will be off and everything will just be a naked exercise of power, forever. I am more afraid when I was yesterday when I hear that rhetoric. I’m not saying that it means people shouldn’t say it, but I kind of wish that we could have two threads, one for “what do we do now to save the country” and one a mourning thread.
posted by corb at 10:36 AM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


the mask will be off and everything will just be a naked exercise of power

my perception is that we're there
so i just don't want my side to unilaterally disarm
posted by prefpara at 10:39 AM on September 19, 2020 [40 favorites]


Removal after impeachment requires a 2/3 majority vote in the senate. Even if Dems take the senate in November, it won't be a 2/3's majority, so no, there will be no impeachment and removal of any justices.

There won't be a 2/3 majority after this one, but as demographics change and Republican policies continue to hurt people (losing preexisting care protections has the potential to alienate millions or even tens of millions of voters) there may be after the next election, or the one after that. The Republicans chipped away at a Democratic majority over decades, now it's the Democrats turn.
posted by TedW at 10:39 AM on September 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


the mask will be off and everything will just be a naked exercise of power, forever.

It already is. Republicans decided that. Now it's time for Dems to step up.
posted by mrgoat at 10:41 AM on September 19, 2020 [28 favorites]


my perception is that we're there
so i just don't want my side to unilaterally disarm


Same. I am done with this notion that the Democrats and the left wing of the country must always go slowly, must always show deference to the right wingers who don't even consider us real Americans, must always not rock the boat out of fear of what the Republicans might do. These shitheels already have us in a state of mass death, environmental collapse, and burgeoning fascism. Stop worrying about what they might do and get to work stopping what they're up to already. Maybe if the Democrats had started playing hardball years ago, we wouldn't be in this mess now.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:44 AM on September 19, 2020 [28 favorites]


the next election, or the one after that.

DON'T COUNT ON THIS
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:45 AM on September 19, 2020 [17 favorites]


A couple of weeks ago I had to leave my house due to encroaching fire and I realized I might not see it again, so I took pictures of every room on the way out. That's kind of how I feel waking up this morning. If by some means a replacement is seated in this term, I don't see many ways to interpret that as anything other than a sign that recourse via the old means may no longer be possible. Not even sure what you do with information like that, to be honest.
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:47 AM on September 19, 2020 [7 favorites]


Maybe if the Democrats had started playing hardball years ago, we wouldn't be in this mess now.

Over and over again for years I keep thinking, "Evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." The Democrats have been doing that for too long.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:00 AM on September 19, 2020 [5 favorites]


2022 senate map is neutral / favorable to democrats, but if Biden wins there is a pretty consistent loss for the presidents party at the midterm. There isn't going to be a revolution to support impeachment. Perhaps inevitable, but removing all filibuster deeply disadvantages democrats given the small state republican bias right now. Shaking up statehood is a huge lift.

Filling / nominating is a big electoral positive for DJT, who even though he has been a terrible president and isn't conservative, does nominate judges from the federalist society. Its really one of the only things he does for "normal conservative" voters. I don't have a good mental model for liberal nonvoters, but don't expect this kind of long term vague issue to move them.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 11:04 AM on September 19, 2020


I understand where you're coming from, corb. Unfortunately the two in this case are inextricably linked. This should be a space for mourning that, too - that in a calmer time, we could have celebrated Ginsburg as both person and justice. In the present time, though, she was one of the only significant barriers left to Republicans seizing complete power. Now that barrier is gone. It's unfortunate, but the circumstances of her role at the end of her life are in some ways bigger than her life and career overall. At least more immediate and urgent. US fascism has been here for several years now, but is almost at the point where it can fully remove the pretense of rule of law and respectability that Republicans have for as long as I've been alive used as a fig leaf to mask what they're really doing - staging a slow coup.

Frankly I'm frightened and falling back on my contingency plans now.
posted by Lonnrot at 11:08 AM on September 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


The filibuster has already been effectively eliminated. If anyone thinks republicans won't nuke it the very second it gets in the way of something they want, they're dreaming. The only reason it's on paper is to score rhetorical points against Democrats when the idea of eliminating it comes up. Fuck it, and Call. That. Bluff.
posted by mrgoat at 11:08 AM on September 19, 2020 [11 favorites]


I hope we see active leadership from him in the aftermath of this on impeaching whichever judge is appointed.

Keep hoping. Obama is the ultimate Norms Respecter, the only time he goes out of his way to sink insurgencies is when they are left-wing in character.

thus see an expansion of the Court under Biden as a legitimate response.

I want to be here, in this thread, mourning an amazing woman who was a deep inspiration to me. But this keeps coming up and it is provoking fear responses.


Well, don't worry, because there isn't a chance in hell the Democrats do any court packing even if given the chance. They never miss an opportunity to pre-compromise their own interests (and ours).
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 11:22 AM on September 19, 2020 [4 favorites]


Nothing good will come from this. You can hear them smacking their lips over the prospect of putting the final nails into the coffin of liberal democracy in the US.
posted by tommasz at 12:11 PM on September 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


U.S. Senator Susan Collins released the following statement on the Supreme Court vacancy:

“In order for the American people to have faith in their elected officials, we must act fairly and consistently—no matter which political party is in power. President Trump has the constitutional authority to make a nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, and I would have no objection to the Senate Judiciary Committee's beginning the process of reviewing his nominee's credentials.

“Given the proximity of the presidential election, however, I do not believe that the Senate should vote on the nominee prior to the election. In fairness to the American people, who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one, the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd.”
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:29 PM on September 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


I hope it doesn't cause the good lady too much internal anguish when she inevitably walks this back.
posted by acb at 1:33 PM on September 19, 2020 [22 favorites]


That might mean McConnell thinks he already has the votes to ram a nominee through and so freed Collins to sound like she really has a contrary position to help her with her campaign.
posted by adamg at 1:50 PM on September 19, 2020 [14 favorites]


Collins won't have to walk anything back, you almost have to grudgingly admire the "have your cake and eat it too" brazenness of that statement.

She supports Trump nominating, she supports the Senate starting the review, keeping her red base happy, but adds that little fig leaf of "Well, we shouldn't vote on it until after the election."

That way when Mcconnell rams it through she can throw up her hands and go, "hey, I tried to compromise and push the actual confirmation vote back - it's not my fault my fellow Republicans got excited. Vote for me, I'm still a moderate."
posted by soundguy99 at 2:05 PM on September 19, 2020 [10 favorites]


Indeed; strictly speaking, Collins commits only to not voting on the nominee prior to the Nov 3 election.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 2:12 PM on September 19, 2020 [4 favorites]


She doesn't even do that? She just says she thinks the Senate should not vote and that the decision should be made... She doesn't commit to doing or not doing anything.
posted by Preserver at 2:19 PM on September 19, 2020 [4 favorites]


I really appreciate everyone here who has taken the time to post links of interviews, etc., regarding Justice Ginsberg's achievements. And also a thank you from those in other countries, even those mentioning the outsize impact our hideous political nightmare has on the world. Today I definitely grieve and mourn the loss of one human being who worked so hard for so many others. Tomorrow I'll plan my donations and actions, and do what I can to encourage and help.
posted by winesong at 2:20 PM on September 19, 2020


And to clarify, for those who are not familiar with how the US government works, even after the election occurs on November 3rd, current elected office holders will continue to hold those offices until January of next year. So a vote after the election but before current offices change hands would certainly and very specifically benefit Susan Collins, who is facing a tough re-election campaign in large part because of her behavior during the last Supreme Court nomination process.
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:21 PM on September 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


If McConnell rams through a confirmation in the lame duck people should and will lose their fucking minds.
posted by Automocar at 2:27 PM on September 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


So, what you're saying is: “surely, this...!”?
posted by acb at 2:49 PM on September 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


Senators and ex-Senators like Obama have a deep loyalty to the rules of the Senate and other long-standing pillars of the US government, and it's going to be damn hard to get them to give up the filibuster

Probably preaching to the choir here, but this is a good time to review the causes and problems of "when they go low, we go high".

I bring it up partly to review the case that Obama should have leaned *entirely* into the idea that if the Senate didn't hold hearings and a vote, then the nomination he made was auto-confirmed. The position that the President and the Senate cooperatively select a nominee makes *much* more sense than the idea that a single house of the legislature can indefinitely starve the court of replacement and in fact effectively use that mechanism to entirely usurp the Presidential power to nominate as they did here, which can't be the intention of a constitution that explicitly gives that power to the President.

But I think the more important part for the choir here may not be how we can review the moderate failings of various officeholders. Danskin also points out that the progressive side of the spectrum can be difficult to hold together as a coalition and the fractiousness and unreliableness (in combination with the geographic concentrations) cost this side power.

And when he's describing the imagined Democratic officeholder frustrated at the opposition's recalcitrant lack of respect for norms and process, you know, the one where the officeholder says "Damnit, *I'm* going to do what I think is right regardless of whether anyone else does, whether to lead by example or nobly go down with the ship"... is similar enough to the reasoning of certain voters who say to themselves "I'm going to vote my conscience and not compromise my purity, and if things go to hell so be it *my* hands are clean" that it should be clear the problem isn't just milquetoast officials.

We're going to have to get better at nurturing committed killer instinct *and* at mitigating the temptation to step off when it doesn't seem like everyone's on board with going for the kill.
posted by wildblueyonder at 3:02 PM on September 19, 2020 [8 favorites]


So, what you're saying is: “surely, this...!”?

Nah. Senate Democrats aren’t going to do shit and I think we all need to be prepared for that.
posted by Automocar at 3:50 PM on September 19, 2020 [4 favorites]


For any argument that demographics are shifting, so someday the senate will be free of ghouls like McConnell, Cruz, Graham, etc, look back to this fun projection from just two years ago, from a Slate article breaking down a Washington Post analysis.
[In 2040] eight states will have just under half of the total population of the country, 49.5 percent, according to the Weldon Cooper Center’s estimate. The next eight most populous states will account for an additional fifth of the population, up to 69.2 percent — meaning that the 16 most populous states will be home to about 70 percent of Americans.

[…]Ornstein’s … point is clear: 30 percent of the population of the country will control 68 percent of the seats in the U.S. Senate. Or, more starkly, half the population of the country will control 84 percent of those seats.
As far as politics go, this is the projection that should inform Democratic strategy. That’s pretty much a 70 seat majority in the Senate that doesn’t ever go away. It won’t matter what the make up of the house (which would project to be overwhelmingly Democrat) or who sits in the Oval Office. It would almost certainly be a continuation of the McConnell doctrine of governance through hostage taking because if nothing else, we can see that the GOP learns and studies what works. No dem bill would pass. No GOP lawmaker, judge, or president would ever have to worry about impeachment again. 70 seats in the senate is impunity and any Dem strategist that isn’t laser focused on this should be asked to explain themselves and their utter lack of comprehension of a giant, neon threat to the functionality of the American government as a whole.

I’ve seen first hand what happens when you get to a place where a voter in Wyoming wields x4 the power of a voter in New York (it’s called Japan, where the new cabinet has *2* women, where a recent government panel on women’s health issues was made entirely of men. It’s not that people don’t resent this, it’s that they’ve lost any faith in the power of their vote to do anything, so we have rule exclusively by and for old men). I have yet to hear a single high ranking Democrat talk about any of this, or show any sort of long term planning that takes it into account. At best, we’ve got Biden’s lovely Mr. Rogers like insistence that he’ll be able to get the senate republicans to work with him because he can remind them to be nice.

Fuck nice, the GOP is playing for blood, and it’s high time the Democratic response evolves past mild shock and tsking noises about “the spirit of Democracy.” They aren’t interested in nicety, they want power, and were seeing the results of plans set in motion back in Gingrich’s time, if not before.

Long term strategists are needed. Dem plans to deal with or enact the end of the electoral college, gerrymandering, and the senate as a whole. A stock-taking of the way the government functions as seen through the needs of now, not the 250 year old pandering to the whims of white land owning slave holding men.

Show me the Democrat who is talking about this. Who’s planning for this. Without it, everything else is just a doomed holding action, and hoping people in Wyoming and Nebraska suddenly start to care about progressive ideals.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:52 PM on September 19, 2020 [47 favorites]


Pack the Union (pdf) probably needs its own thread.

Like the rest of you, I'm feeling miserable. But I'm going to try, at least, to celebrate Ginsburg's life and mourn our collective loss for a little while before trying to talk about the collapse of the United States.

.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 4:00 PM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


A system that cannot bear the loss of a 87-year old woman because she's the bulwark of the rights of 330 million people and that relies on the morals of four senators to prevent a 78-year old man from rushing through her replacement is a system that is fundamentally broken.
Joanne Stocker
posted by Omon Ra at 5:06 PM on September 19, 2020 [20 favorites]


you know, president trump's reaction to the news was very interesting - not so much as to what was said, but right before he gave the speech about her having an amazing life, he held both hands in front of him, like he was trying to stop something

i think the guy's stressed out and overwhelmed

i know that's a bit off topic, but it's revealing
posted by pyramid termite at 5:40 PM on September 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


he held both hands in front of him, like he was trying to stop something

i saw that and thought that must be his reaction when reality suddenly changes without his permission, even if for him it's a positive change.
posted by pee tape at 5:50 PM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]






Can we not even have 48 hours? Please? This is a woman who became an adult in the aftermath of WW2. Who broke barrier after barrier and changed the world. She was far from perfect but she deserves better than to be rushed over so we can talk about the next thing.

Yes, her role was key in our current government. Her opinions shaped public policy, etc. There has been no collective mourning of the dead this year because of COVID. I don't know if that is informing this thread or not but take everyone take a breath for a second? Spin up a new thread for politics, please. Please.
posted by ladyriffraff at 6:50 PM on September 19, 2020


It would be nice if we could have less policing of all the forms of mourning out there. Some of us need activist, angry mourning. There are many ways to do it.
posted by chortly at 7:18 PM on September 19, 2020 [24 favorites]


you know, president trump's reaction to the news was very interesting - not so much as to what was said, but right before he gave the speech about her having an amazing life, he held both hands in front of him, like he was trying to stop something

i think the guy's stressed out and overwhelmed

i know that's a bit off topic, but it's revealing


He's apparently terrified of human frailty, death and disease
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:31 PM on September 19, 2020


Not very patient with the “system is broken” thing. All systems are limited. The problem is not that we have a Supreme Court structured the way it is but that we are harvesting the fruits of a 50-year campaign to weaken government systems and undermine public trust and information systems and game every political process in the favor of one party that is essentially an extortion racket for its wealthy supporters. Because we haven’t opposed the campaign effectively doesn’t mean there’s a broken system. It’s not broken for the other side. It’s working great. What’s broken is effective opposition and D party discipline to use the system as it’s intended, instead of letting the other guys just run the table.
posted by Miko at 7:36 PM on September 19, 2020 [27 favorites]


Because we haven’t opposed the campaign effectively doesn’t mean there’s a broken system. It’s not broken for the other side. It’s working great.

Well said, Miko. I'm reminded of Stafford Beer's assertion that the purpose of a system is what it does.
posted by reclusive_thousandaire at 7:49 PM on September 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


It would be nice if we could have less policing of all the forms of mourning out there.

Or just less acting in general like someone else's reaction to an event invalidates your feelings. People talking about the political ramifications of this event, which are ample, doesn't somehow make others' mourning ineffectual. Obit threads have always wrestled with this, but if a dot is all that's allowed why even bother. There's a lot more going on with this than just Ginsburg personally and whatever relationship people feel they have to her life.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:55 PM on September 19, 2020 [8 favorites]


Well said, Miko.

I'm not sure you guys are saying the same thing, though. The article you link talks about the system being designed to bring about bad outcomes. Miko seems to be saying the system would be fine if only we could muster effective opposition to the campaign to work it on favor of the Republicans. For the record I'm in the "the system sucks as designed" camp.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:01 PM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


Hey.

It’s still ok grief eat, just check with AskMe if it’s been sitting on the counter for a while.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:05 PM on September 19, 2020 [10 favorites]


I mourn RBG both for herself and for the fact that she was the person with her finger in the dam, and now we're all going to drown.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:05 PM on September 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


Because we haven’t opposed the campaign effectively doesn’t mean there’s a broken system.

Well, actually, all presidential systems eventually break down (and yes, I well, actually’ed deliberately)
posted by Automocar at 8:09 PM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


opinions, concurrences, dissents, etc. of justice ginsburg, curated by the legal information institute of the cornell law school. by all evidence, she took "the system" pretty seriously, valued it and many of the ideals, purportedly animating it, highly; indeed, dedicated her life's work to bringing that system into closer conformity with those ideals.

bingeing is acceptable.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:17 PM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


Well, actually, all presidential systems eventually break down (and yes, I well, actually’ed deliberately)

After spending the first 28 years of my life growing up in a parliamentary constitutional monarchy I always found the idea of separating the executive and legislative branches just downright weird. I just can’t put my finger on why it feels so weird.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:29 PM on September 19, 2020


I just can’t put my finger on why it feels so weird.

Because it’s an elected monarchy.
posted by Automocar at 8:31 PM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


.
posted by dfm500 at 8:33 PM on September 19, 2020


Because it’s an elected monarchy.

Of course. All of the executive members of a parliamentary system are elected. In the US Republican system they’re all political agents of the President. The people only get an indirect say at best by the advice and consent of the Senate. In a parliamentary system the executive branch members have at least had a litmus test applied directly by some of the public.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:33 PM on September 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


Al systems have biases and limitations.

Power goes to those who can figure out how to work with the mechanics of the systems to achieve their ends.
posted by Miko at 8:38 PM on September 19, 2020 [4 favorites]


There's a lot more going on with this than just Ginsburg personally and whatever relationship people feel they have to her life.

Additionally I can tell you one person who would absolutely not want us to refrain from the politics of the moment: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I know this not simply because of the way she lived her life but because her last statement and dying wish was entirely about the politics of the moment.
posted by Justinian at 8:42 PM on September 19, 2020 [23 favorites]


In 2018 Lindsey Graham said he would not consider a Supreme court nomination in 2020.

It didn't take the spineless twit 24 hours to go back on that.

posted by StarkRoads at 9:01 PM on September 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


Spin up a new thread for politics, please.

Sorry, but no. As others have mentioned, the way you mourn is not lessened because it is different than others, just as the way they mourn is not lessened because it is different than what you feel is right.

Ginsburg was a political figure, and she spent her life working on the law of the land. Anything she did that in any way affected the country was of political import. The actions she took in her life affected the way the country is run. Her death, too, will greatly affect the country. It is literally perfectly natural to discuss the political ramifications of what comes next. Politics and the law are the reasons we knew of her and her legacy enough to discuss her passing.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:24 PM on September 19, 2020 [8 favorites]


I think it's fully appropriate in a liberal system for people to take the reflexive, meta-position that the system itself is flawed and in need of reform, or more, i.e. "broken". So, saying that it is broken is in fact using the system correctly. It's true that political systems have limits, but in real life, no systems are closed. What this is about is not the nature of such systems but what the political center accepts as the status quo and don't want to change.
posted by polymodus at 9:47 PM on September 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


I just want to echo what a few people said above: PLEASE stop giving money to Amy McGrath. Please. Also, there are a bunch of other Dem races that don’t need your money right now. The candidates in Arizona, Maine, and South Carolina (that’s Mark Kelly, Sara Gideon, and Jamie Harrison, respectively) are flush with cash, and Mark Kelly is polling anywhere between eight and 17 points ahead in Arizona, depending on what polls you read. You get a lot more bang for the buck with donations to Alaska and Montana (cheap media markets) and Iowa, where the race is competitive.
posted by holborne at 10:10 PM on September 19, 2020 [11 favorites]


A few personal reminiscences on the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg - "And my personal favorite RBG moment: In 1994, I arranged for my daughter's 6th grade class to come and take a tour of the Court... Finally, she said she could take one more question before she had to go back to work, and it was 'What case that you worked on that you enjoyed the most?'" (via)
So she told the story of Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld—the case from early on in her days at the ACLU Women's Rights Project. Mr. Wiesenfeld, the plaintiff, had just lost his wife, leaving him alone with their newborn son. He wanted to take time off from work so he could stay home with the baby, but he discovered that he was not entitled to spousal benefits under the Social Security regulations—although if he had died, his wife would have received the supplemental payments. RBG took his case and won a famous victory in the Supreme Court. So she told the story, and then she added: "And just the other day that little boy wrote me a letter, to let me know that he had just been accepted to Columbia Law School …" It was a very touching moment—the teachers and parent/chaperones who had come along on the tour all had tears in their eyes, and even the 6th graders knew, deep down, that they had heard something pretty special from a pretty special person.

[...]

Earlier this year, when I was doing some research putting together a compilation of her writings, I came across this essay that she wrote for the Bulletin of the East Midwood Jewish Center (the synagogue in my old neighborhood) in 1946 when she was 13 years old. It is, I think, a fitting epitaph for a life very well-lived. R.I.P.
One People—An Essay by Ruth Bader, Age 13 (June, 1946)

Bulletin of the East Midwood Jewish Center, Brooklyn NY (June 1, 1946)

The war has left a bloody trail and many deep wounds not too easily healed. Many people have been left with scars that take a long time to pass away. We must never forget the horrors which our brethren were subjected to in Bergen-Belsen and other Nazi concentration camps. Then, too, we must try hard to understand that for righteous people hate and prejudice are neither good occupations nor fit companions. As Rabbi Alfred Bettleheim once said: "Prejudice saves us a painful trouble, the trouble of thinking."

In our beloved land families were not scattered, communities not erased nor our nation destroyed by the ravages of the World War. Yet, dare we be at ease? We are part of a world whose unity has been almost completely shattered. No one can feel free from danger and destruction until the many torn threads of civilization are bound together again. We cannot feel safe until every nation, regardless of weapons or power, will meet together in good faith, the people worthy of mutual association. There can be a happy world and there will be once again, when men and women create a strong bond towards one another, a bond unbreakable by a studied prejudice or a passing circumstance.

Then and only then shall we have a world whose structure is the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of men and women.
> Fuck norms.

> norms are for suckers.

> Fuck nice

@authorandiej: "Listen, I don't think Democrats need to become amoral, but we do need to become *ruthless.* Because that's what morality requires of us." (via)

> Increase the court to have as many as 15 judges, like FDR wanted, or reduce the court to seven and state that the remaining members would stay based on seniority.....thus conveniently removing the two most recent appointees.

The Supreme Court and Normcore - "The obvious point here is that Roosevelt's threat was the reason why the Court backed down. If Roosevelt had not made it clear that he was willing to upset the game, by packing the Court, the Court would have had no reason to back down on judgments and precedents that systematically limited the scope of democratic politics. One norm that had been pretty systematically trashed – judicial respect for what citizens and their democratically elected representatives actually wanted – was only preserved through Roosevelt's credible threat to upset another norm." (via)
This seems to me to identify the major internal weakness of the “normcore” approach to analysis that Levitsky and Ziblatt have become associated with. This approach tends to treat norms as worth respecting in and of themselves, on the argument that such norms are what prevent politics from breaking down entirely. This is not an obviously wrong argument, especially in a polity like the U.S., where a two centuries old constitution has been jury-rigged by norms into something that might, just about, manage a modern polity without sinking.

But the problem is that norms are institutions (more precisely, they are informal institutions that are not supported by formal external punishments but by the expectations of the actors that adhere to them) and institutions do not exist in a vacuum. In game theoretic terms, norm maintenance depends on actors’ expectations about “what is off the equilibrium path.” In more practical language, norm maintenance requires not just that political actors worry about the chaos that will ensue if the norms stop working. It also relies on the fear of punishment – that if one side deviates from the political bargain implicit in the norm, the other side will retaliate, likely by breaking the norm in future situations in ways that are to their own particular advantage.

What this means, pretty straightforwardly, is that norms don’t just rely on the willingness of the relevant actors to adhere to them. They also rely on the willingness of actors to violate them under the right circumstances. If one side violates, then the other side has to be prepared to punish. If one side threatens a violation, then the other side has to threaten in turn, to make it clear that deviating from the norm will be costly. A norm governing relations between two opposing sides, where one side acts strategically (to exploit opportunities) and the other naively (always to support the norm) can’t be sustained.
Constitutional hardball - "Where the Supreme Court crisis goes next: Pressure points and possibilities." (via)
If Democrats do seize the Senate and the White House, Republicans will still control the Senate in November and December. If Mark Kelly wins his special election in Arizona, he’s supposed to be sworn in immediately, but that doesn’t mean he will be. But assuming he is, that takes the GOP majority down to 52. Murkowski’s no vote means it’s down to 51. Romney could take them down to 50, which would mean they’d need both Collins and Gardner to vote yes. In a world where Democrats take the Senate, both of them would have lost re-election.

The most likely way to get Collins and Gardner to say no would be the credible threat from Democrats to grow the size of the Supreme Court to 13 justices, which would make 7 liberals and 6 conservatives. Since they’re reforming the federal courts, they could also add scores of lower level judges, undoing McConnell’s signature achievement of taking over the federal bench with right-wing zealots.

So, in short, if Republicans don’t ram through a nominee, they will continue to control the Supreme Court and the lower courts. If they do ram one through, and Democrats respond in kind, Democrats can take over the federal courts. The message from Democrats to McConnell ought to be: Make my day.
posted by kliuless at 11:27 PM on September 19, 2020 [30 favorites]


What this means, pretty straightforwardly, is that norms don’t just rely on the willingness of the relevant actors to adhere to them. They also rely on the willingness of actors to violate them under the right circumstances. If one side violates, then the other side has to be prepared to punish. If one side threatens a violation, then the other side has to threaten in turn, to make it clear that deviating from the norm will be costly.

The only thing that bad faith actors such as McConnell 'respect' is power and the willingness to use it.
posted by Pouteria at 2:01 AM on September 20, 2020 [9 favorites]


.
posted by drworm at 3:32 AM on September 20, 2020


In order for a state to be formed from within a state, you need simple majorities in the House and the Senate, and the approval of the legislature of the state concerned. That's it. In the run-up to the civil war, several states were admitted to the Union for pragmatic reasons, to try to balance power and prevent the war that people saw coming. This included separating Maine from Massachusetts.

It could be done again. Make every county within Massachusetts its own state. If the Senate is broken, make it clear that it is broken. If there is no population threshold for a state to be a state and that is undemocratic, make that clear too. Whichever party does it first, when they happen to control Congress, has a huge advantage because, presuming they keep their partisan advantage in the new states, they will control a majority of the Senate subsequently.

All this talk of Constitutional hardball and the breaking of norms doesn't think far enough. The Texas state legislature can split Texas into five States without new Congressional approval. The Republicans could gerrymander those new state boundaries, put all lean-Democratic areas in one state and then divide up the remainder into four.

It is not right that the reaction to the death of Justice Ginsburg should be panic and fear and talk of political brinkmanship. But that is where the country is. The Supreme Court is too powerful and too partisan, but that is a reflection of the partisanship of the Senate Republicans which have a built-in and increasing political advantage, stack the judicial branch, make the legislative branch dysfunctional, and can prevent any meaningful oversight of the executive.
posted by Ktm1 at 4:31 AM on September 20, 2020 [6 favorites]


All of the executive members of a parliamentary system are elected.

This isn't true. It's the norm, but there are exceptions including in the past few years.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:33 AM on September 20, 2020 [2 favorites]


Ktm1: All this talk of Constitutional hardball and the breaking of norms doesn't think far enough. The Texas state legislature can split Texas into five States without new Congressional approval. The Republicans could gerrymander those new state boundaries, put all lean-Democratic areas in one state and then divide up the remainder into four.

And then the new Democratic state would divide itself into 10 new states, and then each of the new Republican states would divide themselves into 20 new states, and then... uh... neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire, or something.

The point of the Senate was to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority, a role which it continues to play as the Founders intended. You're supposed to appreciate it, since it protects you against the turbulency and weakness of your own unruly passions. Imagine the laws you might have now if you had given into those passions.
posted by clawsoon at 5:46 AM on September 20, 2020 [4 favorites]


And then the new Democratic state would divide itself into 10 new states, and then each of the new Republican states would divide themselves into 20 new states

I, for one, look forward to becoming the great state of Halifornia.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 5:51 AM on September 20, 2020 [6 favorites]


>And then the new Democratic state would divide itself into 10 new states, and then each of the new Republican states would divide themselves into 20 new states,

No. Texas is unusual because it already has federal Congressional approval to divide into five from laws passed when it was annexed by the US. All other (and all subsequent) states would require approval from Congress to split, approval which obviously wouldn't be granted if the party that stood to lose out had control of either chamber. This splitting of a state into many 'micro' states has the potential to be a one-way valve, at least on the timescale of decades, because the first party to do it seriously would have a massive advantage in control of the Senate and could block all subsequent attempts to change that.

Failure to take seriously this sort completely legal but obviously undemocratic and hyperpartisan manipulation of the Constitution and norms is what will let the Republican party maintain control.
posted by Ktm1 at 6:05 AM on September 20, 2020 [3 favorites]


The bad news is: this iteration of US liberalism/progressivism may be circling the drain, on the way to total vanquishment as a political and cultural force.

The less bad news is: absolute power doesn't remain unified forever. Sometime after RBG and Obama and Clinton and the New Deal have been consigned to the history books, the ruling Republicans will fission on their own fault lines. The fragments will coalesce into two roughly equal-sized parties, with one of those pushing in its own reformist direction.
posted by acb at 6:33 AM on September 20, 2020 [2 favorites]


See: the paradox of tolerance. It is obligatory to eject from a tolerant society those who stand opposed to tolerance. This is why it is always correct to punch Nazis and their ilk. It is always necessary for a peaceful country to have a means for violently enforcing the peace because those who stand for violence cannot be repulsed by peace alone. Or to put it more simply, since there will always be assholes, it's good to make sure some of them are on your side.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:33 AM on September 20, 2020 [3 favorites]


jenfullmoon: I mourn RBG both for herself and for the fact that she was the person with her finger in the dam, and now we're all going to drown.

I've placed my dot and largely remained silent, but there is some serious truth there. I read of RBG's death right before I went to bed Friday and it wasn't 30 minutes after I woke before I asked my partner if they were willing to emigrate. Anyone who knows me would be incredulous that I would even consider leaving Texas (specifically, it just happens to be a subset of US). I am terrified of the idea of what a Supreme Court with three Trump nominees would do.

I was actually shocked at how quickly my partner gave a qualified yes to the idea. They have much more invested in Texas than I do, but I think they understand the gravity of the situation, as well.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:37 AM on September 20, 2020 [5 favorites]


I've been trying to get my partner to emigrate for years. I am beginning to worry I may eventually just have to say, you know what I love you but I'm not going to stay on this sinking ship any longer.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:00 AM on September 20, 2020


Thank you, kliuless, for that in depth look at tactical options for responding to Republican bad behavior. Yes, without threats, there is no leverage. And in game theory's Prisoner's Dilemma, the winning strategy, in a game with multiple turns, is tit-for-tat responses to the other side's behavior.
posted by PhineasGage at 7:11 AM on September 20, 2020


I respectfully ask those of you opening the emigration discussion to take a moment to temper such comments with the understanding that literally millions of us lack the health, resources, and connections to make that possible, and we are also participating in this thread.
posted by mochapickle at 7:13 AM on September 20, 2020 [30 favorites]


There are any number of potential games we could play with the "rules." Whether there is actually a movement to undertake any of those moves is a separate question.

I wish merely to note that one of the products of the system as designed was, intentionally, a certain degree of stability. And it has mostly worked - it has been a resilient system and thus has kept the ball roughly in the basin. We are now at a point where the ball is leaving the basin and we face large-scale, revolutionary change. Some want to actively push that by dismantling these components of the system that in the past produced resilience and kept eventualities within a fairly predictable range because the influencing factors remained mostly the same. It's easy to get excited about the imagined better results of revolutionary change. Yet it is at least as possible that the disruptive and chaotic period that leads us into revolutionary change hurts more people overall, and results in a worse system than the one we have. That's not to say don't talk about it; just to recognize that departing from known systems we often have a bias to envision the desirable condition, when we would also unleash a lot of unpredicted affects and enter unknown and perhaps much less desirable conditions. Arguments that don't recognize the seriousness of this risk and include discussions about the possible negative eventualities of changing the conditions are just not complete arguments. Embracing revolutionary change means letting go of anticipated results and control mechanisms. The future funnel contains a tremendous number of possible conditions, a minority of them positive overall.
posted by Miko at 7:15 AM on September 20, 2020 [10 favorites]


To be clear, I don't really think we have a choice - I believe we are already in the chaotic period. I just don't think we should bring the illusion of control or the simple expectation of purely positive "solutions" to it.
posted by Miko at 7:20 AM on September 20, 2020 [2 favorites]


Multiple news agencies reporting that Amy Coney Barrett is a front runner.

They're literally putting The Handmaid's Tale on the Supreme Court.

How much more god damned symbolism do we need? Whether the hand has been forced or not, we're at endgame for this generation. Christofascist theocracy is a serious god damned threat.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:22 AM on September 20, 2020


[Folks, let’s pause on the emigration derail. Feel free to set up a dedicated thread for any other topics you'd like to bring up. ]
posted by travelingthyme (staff) at 7:32 AM on September 20, 2020 [2 favorites]


Peter Marks, the theatre critic for the Washington Post, has a lovely article about Ginsberg's commitment to the DC theatre scene. My favorite story in here is when she sent Heidi Schreck a marked up copy of a supreme court case after seeing Schreck's "What the Constitution Means to Me."
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 7:37 AM on September 20, 2020 [5 favorites]


All this talk of Constitutional hardball and the breaking of norms doesn't think far enough. The Texas state legislature can split Texas into five States without new Congressional approval. The Republicans could gerrymander those new state boundaries, put all lean-Democratic areas in one state and then divide up the remainder into four.

Except Texas can't actually split into sub-states at a whim and without Congressional approval. That's one of the persistent myths Texans tell, but it's just not the case. The TL;DR is that when "Texas" was admitted it was with the **POSSIBILITY** of the territory being divided into as many as 5 states, but ultimately it was admitted as a single state and that was the end of that.

Prior to the Civil War there was a proposal to subdivide Texas into two slave states so as to counterbalance the admission of California as a free state, but that was denied and Texas was given $10 million in exchange for abandoning its claims to territory that used to be what Mexico called Texas and today we currently call parts of several different states.

Basically Texas has the same right to subdivide as any other state, in theory it can do so but any new states so formed would have to be admitted to the USA by Congress so therefore it doesn't.
posted by sotonohito at 8:06 AM on September 20, 2020 [2 favorites]


Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the End of the One Great Woman Myth:
For some time, though, reproductive justice advocates and those working on abortion funds had been sounding the alarm, urging abortion rights defenders to turn their attentions to the states, and to better resourcing the grassroots work of women of color in the places where a slate of new laws had made the right to an abortion, long the purview of privileged white women, little more than an abstraction for poor women. The disconnect between large, national reproductive rights organizations and their (now publicly documented) institutional racism was interconnected with the online media feminist shakeup that produced the RBG meme. This image of Ginsburg was a triumph of branded feminism, and a bid—for some who drove it—to turn away from a feminist reckoning over race and class and entrust their freedom in one of the only women in the United States with a job for life.

What conception of women’s rights, and what kind of feminist movement, might have died with Ginsburg? Fear of the end of legal abortion rightly fuels many women’s mourning, a pre-wake for an idea of Roe as the most significant indicator of the status of women’s freedom. But we still have Roe, now, and yet we are faced with the continued neglect and abuse of women in Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers, with the police who kill Black women like Breonna Taylor with apparent impunity.
posted by Ouverture at 8:31 AM on September 20, 2020 [5 favorites]


I suspect that nothing would excite the Evangelical part of Trump's base more than appointing a woman who overturns Roe v. Wade. It would be their ideal "see, pro-life isn't anti-woman" moment.
posted by clawsoon at 8:35 AM on September 20, 2020 [4 favorites]




I'm so very sorry.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:01 AM on September 20, 2020 [2 favorites]


.


>In 2018 Lindsey Graham said he would not consider a Supreme court nomination in 2020.

It didn't take the spineless twit 24 hours to go back on that.
"I want you to use my words against me," the South Carolina Republican said. "If there's a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said, 'Let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.'"
Video of that moment, for anyone who's interested.
posted by trig at 11:19 AM on September 20, 2020




See, the democrats will not do anything about this.
Think about it, has anything the supreme court decided on recently hurt any of their big money donors?

They will only actually try to accomplish goals that have the full backing of the billionaires and corporations, or are massively popular with the population and don't impact their profits negatively.
posted by Iax at 12:23 PM on September 20, 2020 [2 favorites]


well, that's the advantage the republicans have - they don't care if the government shuts down and the democrats do

when are the dems going to realize that there is no such thing as unused power? - if you don't use it, your opponent will
posted by pyramid termite at 12:42 PM on September 20, 2020 [6 favorites]


See, the democrats will not do anything about this....They will only actually try to accomplish goals that have the full backing of the billionaires and corporations

Or maybe, because there's a somewhat important upcoming election that the Dems are trying to win, the decision not to shut the government has as much to do with not pissing off voters as it does with billionaires.

. for RBG
posted by Lyme Drop at 1:19 PM on September 20, 2020 [7 favorites]


Is the idea that Democrats should shut down the government, and just keep it shut until January, when (we all hope) Biden is inaugurated and can put forth a nominee of his own?

Because that doesn't seem like a viable plan - a lot of people would be hurt, and therefore angered, by a shutdown that long.

On the other hand, if the idea is that Dems should shut down the government until they can extract a promise from Senate Republicans not to vote on a nominee to fill the vacant seat on the Court, that doesn't seem viable, either, because a promise from Mitch McConnell is worthless.

Is there another way by which a government shutdown could be expected to produce the desired result here? Is there a way to get a commitment from the Senate GOP that they couldn't just abandon whenever they feel like it? I'm not seeing it, but maybe someone can explain it to me?

(Regardless of any of the above, RGB was a great American, and her passing was sad news.)
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 1:59 PM on September 20, 2020 [6 favorites]


From that CNN link:

And pressed again on what Democrats may do, the House speaker said: "We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I'm not about to discuss right now."

Is this a thing? What leverage other than the power of the purse could they possibly have?
posted by Not A Thing at 2:18 PM on September 20, 2020


What leverage other than the power of the purse could they possibly have?

Repeated impeachments.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 2:31 PM on September 20, 2020


This article, quoting from the same interview, I believe, contextualizes the "every quiver" comment as in response to a question about possibly initiating impeaching proceedings -- against either Trump or Barr -- to delay the Senate's ability to take up any other actions.
posted by nobody at 2:32 PM on September 20, 2020 [1 favorite]


Repeated impeachments.

Again, impeachment is meaningless without a 2/3 majority in the senate willing to remove the impeached. The senate, being arbiters of their own rules of order, don't even have to bother taking up the time for a vote if they don't want to.
posted by mrgoat at 2:46 PM on September 20, 2020 [1 favorite]


Impeachment as a tool to slow down a Senate confirmation doesn't require conviction. It requires repeatedly presenting articles forcing the Senate to suspend other business to try the impeachment. (It's probably not that simple in practice, since McConnell would probably just ignore his Constitutional obligation to try such impeachments or would majorly rush them, but I think that's the theory, anyway.)
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 2:50 PM on September 20, 2020 [3 favorites]


Just expanding a bit: If McConnell actually did his Constitutional duty and took up impeachment charges every time they were passed, then the House could send an obstruction of justice based impeachment of Trump for every separate instance of obstruction of justice in the Mueller report -- somewhere between 8 and 50, depending on how you individuate instances. If it took three days to dispose of an impeachment in the Senate -- one day of presentation from the House managers, one day of presentation from the defense, and one day of debate and adjudication, which would be hilariously fast -- then the House could easily lock up the Senate for four or five months based on the Mueller report alone. And none of that would require any convictions.

And that assumes that the House makes an effort to present new articles every time. There's no Constitutional requirement that the articles be new ones. There's no such thing as double jeopardy for impeachment and removal. The House could just reissue its articles and (theoretically) force a new Senate trial on the same articles over and over and over again indefinitely. For my own money, I'd like to see the House reissue its previous impeachment articles and just append something like, "The Senate got this wrong last time, please try again and do better this time."
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 3:03 PM on September 20, 2020 [6 favorites]


I’ve been vacillating for the past 48 hours between anger, grief, disgust, fear, and resignation. Right now, the needle is on “Anger”.

I’m thinking about all those fuckwits who said “there’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats”, or who said they felt that Trump was the lesser of two evils in 2016, or who held up Benghazi or EMAILS as the fig leaves to justify voting against Clinton, and my blood is Just. Boiling.
posted by darkstar at 3:19 PM on September 20, 2020 [15 favorites]


.
posted by filtergik at 3:23 PM on September 20, 2020


The House can't control the Senate.

The whole hogwash amounts to: the old norms didn't work, let's make up some new norms and try them!
posted by Wood at 3:59 PM on September 20, 2020


The old norms *didn't* work and the GOP has *already* made new norms and forced them on the government. Pretending otherwise is just accepting the new norms they've created.
posted by absalom at 4:05 PM on September 20, 2020 [12 favorites]


.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 4:17 PM on September 20, 2020


.
Damn 2020!
posted by ahimsakid at 4:51 PM on September 20, 2020


Repeated impeachments.

There's certainly no shortage of Trump administration officials who have committed impeachable offenses, parading them before the public one after the other would at least be good entertainment.

As Donald Rumsfeld once said in a different context, it's a "target-rich environment".
posted by gimonca at 5:01 PM on September 20, 2020 [7 favorites]


Thing is, I'm not really advocating that Pelosi use a government shutdown to try and stop the confirmation. I can see not only the argument that it would be morally wrong but also bad politics.

I'm just annoyed with the unnecessary, unforced, preemptive declarations of helplessness.

There was absolutely no need for Pelosi to say she wouldn't shut down the government, she could have left it ambiguous and simply changed the subject when asked. Same as there was no need for Biden to declare that he absolutely would never consider expanding the Supreme Court.

Even if they both believe those things and even if we take those things as good saying it out loud right now seems to be extremely demoralizing and provide no actual benefit to the Democrats. They're not even blaming the Republicans, they're just saying they can't, or won't, fight back with all the tools available.

Pelosi could have phrased her statement as a thundering denunciation of Mitch and Trump. Something like:

"Even though the Senate Republicans have broken their own rules, violated the principles they expressed in 2016 when they denied Merrick Garland even the courtesy of a hearing, and have chosen to deny the American people their voice in choosing the next Supreme Court Justice, we are not so fickle and power hungry. We stand by our principles. We believe the government must function, and therefore despite the vile and intolerable behavior of Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump we refuse to shut down the government."

Instead she just did her usual mealy mouthed BS complete with the meek statement that she hopes some day Trump will see the light.

I'm very explicitly making a tone argument here. The policy, don't shut down the government over the Supreme Court (which is both wrong and probably wouldn't work anyway) isn't bad. The surrendering and meek tone in which it was expressed is.
posted by sotonohito at 6:46 PM on September 20, 2020 [19 favorites]


Right or wrong, it seems like Pelosi & Biden think that the soft-middle is a significant voting bloc, and they'd lose more than they'd gain by declaring brinkmanship.
posted by Marticus at 6:58 PM on September 20, 2020 [4 favorites]


If the Dems hold the White House and both chambers of Congress, there is another approach short of expanding the courts, and that is the judicial reform that has been discussed before, and was today mentioned on electoral-vote.com:

1. SCOTUS Justices are no longer life appointments, but instead serve for one 18-year term.

2. Terms are staggered, with one beginning every two years in odd-numbered years, so each President would make two appointments per term.

3. The President may make additional appointments in case of death or retirement/resignation; justices so appointed serve only the remainder of the term of the justice they are replacing.

4. Current justices would be assigned their term based on their tenure, with those serving longest rotating out first.

5. If the Senate does not bring an appointment to a floor vote, then they are considered to have exercised their “advise and consent” role tacitly, and the appointment is confirmed automatically when the next Senate is seated.

So in 2021, Clarence Thomas (appointed in 1991) would be rotated out.

In 2023, Stephen Breyer (appointed in 1994) would be the next to rotate out.

In 2025, John Roberts (appointed in 2005) would be rotated out.

In 2027, Alito’s turn (appointed in 2006).

And so forth.

This has been a reform long needed, regardless of McConnell’s assholery. It would not swing the court back to the liberal side right away, but it is FAIR, PREDICTABLE, REASONABLE, and would eliminate the kind of bullshit we’ve been going through with SCOTUS appointments.
posted by darkstar at 7:12 PM on September 20, 2020 [27 favorites]


Ending lifetime appointments would require a constitutional amendment.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:27 PM on September 20, 2020 [3 favorites]


Some argue that, since the phrase “lifetime appointment” is not explicitly stated in the Constitution, there may be ways to accomplish this reform through statutory means.

(Of course, getting such a law past the conservative SCOTUS could be a heavy lift, especially when it’s their power that’s being curtailed.)
posted by darkstar at 7:45 PM on September 20, 2020 [4 favorites]


getting such a law past the conservative SCOTUS could be a heavy lift, especially when it’s their power that’s being curtailed

However, they will readily support it whenever the party in the Presidency changes.
posted by Miko at 9:03 AM on September 21, 2020 [1 favorite]


The following article by Christopher Jon Sprigman in Slate doesn't persuade me as to the wisdom of reducing the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction, but the suggestion that it's do-able alarms me. You can bet a Republican government would do it if they could: How to Save the Law Without Packing the Court

David Schraub is a lawyer, not a political theorist, but I think he's right when he says that The Supreme Court Fight Probably Helps Trump. Particularly in his third point: disruption, and gambling a couldn't-be-worse outcome against might-be-better is basically why Trump is where he is today.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:11 PM on September 21, 2020 [1 favorite]


Nothing about us without us: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death was reported when many Jewish reporters would have been away for Rosh Hashanah. Columnist Yair Rosenberg thinks that provides some explanatory value, but eviscerates The Guardian's simultaneous claims that RBG had "given up" her religion and that Clinton appointed her primarily because she was Jewish. He brings receipts, but I particularly commend her Genesis Prize acceptance speech, also available on the Supreme Court's website. She travelled to Israel in 2018 (!) to accept this lifetime achievement award, granted to "Jews who have attained excellence which they attribute to Jewish values".

In conclusion, The Guardian sucks and, also, its editors can't spell.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:48 PM on September 21, 2020 [2 favorites]




The policy, don't shut down the government over the Supreme Court (which is both wrong and probably wouldn't work anyway) isn't bad.

A majority of the country wants to wait until a new president is elected, before a judge is appointed.

I agree that it is a terrible idea for Pelosi to announce her strategy out loud to Republicans who cheat to win, but it doesn't seem to be a given that temporarily shutting down the government to put a stop to this would be an incorrect tactical decision.

Dem leaders need to take this seriously, for once, and be stone-hearted and unapologetic about fighting this. Stacking the highest court with ringers just before an election — one that Trump has threatened to contest, even before the outcome is known — would be the tacit end of democracy in this country. Everything should be on the table, while there's still a table.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:35 PM on September 21, 2020 [5 favorites]


This is pretty much the end for my hope. I have given up the hope that this country can turn it around. They will continue to cheat and we will keep on trying to take the high road. There is no way we can defeat evil, because it is an uneven playing field. It doesn't matter what the majority of the country wants - as long as the dirty tricksters are in play, we can never win, because, as we've seen, they take no accountability or responsibility for their actions. And they get away with it every. single. time.

I'm fucking done. Sorry if this rains on the parade, but I just can't even hope anymore.
posted by sundrop at 6:01 PM on September 21, 2020 [8 favorites]


They will continue to cheat and we will keep on trying to take the high road.

I'm pretty sure we can't win even if we don't take the high road.
posted by Miko at 11:33 PM on September 21, 2020 [1 favorite]


Historically, the playing field is levelled by either heads in a basket or an actual populist (non-gangster) reformer like Teddy Roosevelt, if the dictatorship doesn't take.

Just enforcing laws on the books would probably result in 40% of Trump's cabinet and family going to jail. In my dreams Kamala Harris and Warren would be heads of the anticorruption task force. In this world, Bill Barr will be bringing pedophilia charges against Hilary any day now.
posted by benzenedream at 12:02 AM on September 22, 2020 [7 favorites]


Romney will vote to confirm pre-election. Given that it now requires two additional Republican Senators to block, looks like it’s done.

In terms of Court packing I think Biden would like it more as a threat than as a deed. What better way to keep the nine-member Court in line than to be able to dilute them if they get out of line? But if he actually does it, he’s created something he can’t control. There is a lot on the progressive legal agenda he doesn’t (or at least hasn’t so far) supported.
posted by MattD at 7:25 AM on September 22, 2020


Ugh.
Mitt Romney backing of Supreme Court vote paves way for election-year confirmation [CNN]
"The historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party's nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own. The Constitution gives the President the power to nominate and the Senate the authority to provide advice and consent on Supreme Court nominees," Romney said in a statement. "Accordingly, I intend to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the President's nominee. If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications."
posted by Ahmad Khani at 8:27 AM on September 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


Lili Loofbourow in Slate: “It’s Not Hypocrisy” (September 21, 2020)
Hypocrisy is a mild failing. It applies to parents smoking when they advise their kids not to for their own good; it does not apply to parents lighting the family home on fire for the insurance money while high-fiving each other over how stupid their fleeing children were for thinking anything they told them was true.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:56 AM on September 22, 2020 [22 favorites]


Not that it's at all surprising, but Pat Toomey will vote for the nominee as well.
posted by gladly at 9:07 AM on September 22, 2020


There are no good Republicans. There have not been my entire life. Not Romney, not anyone in the Lincoln Project. Chances are high they share funding with QAnon. One of my favorite things about AOC is that she also grew up in a post-Gingrich world, and can see the Republican party clearly for what they are. They are not a legitimate political party and should not be treated as such. They are at this point merely fascists seeking any and all power for its own sake through any and all means, legal or illegal. Relying on the goodness of Mitt Romney's heart to keep the US from falling to fascism has always been an utterly stupid strategy.
posted by Lonnrot at 10:45 AM on September 22, 2020 [19 favorites]


Much of the recent oeuvre of Paul Krugman has been making this argument, too.
posted by PhineasGage at 10:51 AM on September 22, 2020


RBG portrait painted by a famous comic book artist.
posted by sardonyx at 11:49 AM on September 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


Historically, the playing field is levelled by either heads in a basket or an actual populist (non-gangster) reformer like Teddy Roosevelt, if the dictatorship doesn't take.

The problem with revolutions is the Left treats them as a fantasy, with the assumption that they will win because their philosophy is good. They think of Revolutionary France or Russia 1918, as opposed to say, Spain or Argentina or Nicaragua, or....

History puts the lie to the inevitability of Leftist revolution. And seriously, looking at the state of America, are we supposed to believe the bozos who did their part in letting Bush II and Trump I gain power are going to actually be able to lead a real revolution? (But hey, good job keeping "that bitch" out of the White House)

What we're probably looking at its something like the Somoza regime, 45-60 years of fascist/Christian Dominionist dominance of America, probably followed by a bunch of semi-failed governments completely unable to deal with the changing environment. If we're lucky. If not, then we're talking Yugoslavia or The Congo. But that won't be so bad for the Left- completely out of power, they'll be able to lose themselves in fantasies of Revolution, which will happen. Any. Day. Now.
posted by happyroach at 2:23 PM on September 22, 2020 [5 favorites]


Today would not be a terrible day to contact your representatives. I understand everyone is damn tired, but here's some model language:

""Dear Senator Whatsyername,

I am writing to you in ironclad opposition to having any person added to the Supreme Court before January 2021. Such a person would have a clear conflict of interest in arbitrating the election. Any and all procedural actions should be taken to inhibit this installation.

The Supreme Court's legitimacy is crucial to the legitimacy of the United States. If Sen Schumer will not take this on, his leadership is offering nothing to the people of Yourstate, and immediate removal from leadersihp will be a reasonable response.""
posted by StarkRoads at 2:31 PM on September 22, 2020 [5 favorites]


.
posted by spinifex23 at 6:37 PM on September 22, 2020


What a Defiant Democratic Party Looks Like.

I'm not sure what the value is in liberals talking about leftists and revolutions, but wow, I sure hope that feels good.
posted by Ouverture at 7:45 PM on September 22, 2020 [4 favorites]


There are no good Republicans. There have not been my entire life. Not Romney, not anyone in the Lincoln Project.


Repeating this for emphasis. I’m super leery about the Lincoln Project. They’re expending a very little relative effort to make some zingy web videos poking Trump in the eye, and getting a lot of applause from those on the Left, but I don’t trust them a bit.

They’re the kind of Republican that is 98% shit, and it’s great that they’re drawing the line at Trump, but they should have drawn the line a lot farther back if they had any sense of decency.

Once Trump is out of office, they’ll go back to supporting all of the evil crap the modern Republican Party has been doing, like it was business as fucking usual, and keeping the ugly parts quiet.
posted by darkstar at 11:07 PM on September 22, 2020 [14 favorites]


There have been a couple of NT Republicans that have been having a very public CTJ moments about the Republican Party’s conduct and how it led to Trump but they’re still very few and far between.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 4:25 AM on September 23, 2020


Trump says he wants a conservative majority on the Supreme Court in case of an Election Day dispute.

I hope Dem leadership understands the existential stakes here and uses every option available to them, because it is either that or letting Trump normalize his pre-announcement of a coup d'etat.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:39 PM on September 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


Trump says he wants a conservative majority on the Supreme Court in case of an Election Day dispute.

But of course, this really crucial breaking news is...paywalled. I mean, I'm unsurprised, but still.
posted by corb at 4:59 PM on September 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


Trump visited the Supreme Court to pay his respects to Ginsburg and the crowd had something to say about that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:14 AM on September 24, 2020 [9 favorites]


Bomb threat has now closed down the Court and the viewing. From a friend who lives very close.
posted by Cocodrillo at 10:52 AM on September 24, 2020


That video EmpressCallipygos posted was very satisfying and is highly recommended.
posted by box at 11:20 AM on September 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


The Intercept presents the memo circulating about tactics Senate Democrats could use to delay Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
Suggestions contained herein, even if all acted upon in good faith, might not be dispositive of the outcome of the confirmation process — but we have reason to believe that not all potential options have been thoroughly explored.
posted by PhineasGage at 8:30 PM on September 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


My own regrettably cynical sense is that exactly none of those tactics mentioned in that article will be employed.

I’ll be very happily surprised if it turns out to not be the case, of course. But Hope and Justice are having a rough year in 2020.
posted by darkstar at 11:22 PM on September 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Looks like the House Dems are moving forward with a term limits bill.

Definitely won’t pass this senate. And may not be upheld as Constitutional by this SCOTUS, even if it were passed by a subsequent Congress.

But at least it’ll be getting folks talking about it.

I suspect that a Constitutional amendment would only become possible if the Dems tried what McConnell has done over the past four years.
posted by darkstar at 1:30 PM on September 25, 2020


Lol, the people on the left who have the capability of leading the leftist revolution would be the academic left, highly educated college students and professors and such. Just be glad that very few of us advocate for revolution, we have other actual goals, and it only shows how out of touch propaganda-fed neoliberals are with modern leftist thought and sociopolitical theory if they think the left as a whole is for revolution.
And, blaming "The Left" for 2016 is just fact-free nuance-free neoliberal fiction, not even going there.
posted by polymodus at 1:35 AM on September 26, 2020 [2 favorites]


Multiple reports this morning that Trump has selected Amy Coney Barrett as the nominee.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:44 AM on September 26, 2020


Just to clarify, the specific Catholic subgroup Barrett belongs to, People of Praise, is literally part of the inspiration for Margaret Atwood's book "The Handmaid's Tale". Barrett literally refers to herself as a handmaid and has literally sworn an oath to obey her husband in all things under all circumstances. None of this is exaggeration or hyperbole.

Barrett has written an article in which she was harshly critical of Justice Roberts' ruling in favor of the ACA which means if she does get onto the Court and the Democrats don't pack the court then the next challenge to the ACA will win and it will be found to be unconstitutional.

Barrett has also written that Obergefell was wrongly decided indicating she will almost certainly vote to overturn it if it is legally challenged.

She's worse than Scalia or Thomas and has a clear history of ruling to impose her own theocratic agenda on all Americans.

She's also, of course, a hypocrite. She argued first that if Obama replaced Scalia he must do so by nominating a conservative Republican in order to "preserve the balance of the Court". Then argued that Obama had no right to appoint anyone to the Court that close to the elections.

If Trump puts her in then we MUST pack the Court.
posted by sotonohito at 5:41 AM on September 26, 2020 [8 favorites]


the specific Catholic subgroup Barrett belongs to, People of Praise, is literally part of the inspiration for Margaret Atwood's book "The Handmaid's Tale"
This is not true. (Everything else you say about her is, though.)
posted by neroli at 6:30 AM on September 26, 2020 [5 favorites]




I'm not sure I've ever seen a writer work so hard to thread the needle differentiating between "right-wing Republican beliefs" and "right-wing Republican beliefs rooted in strongly held right-wing religious beliefs."
posted by soundguy99 at 7:08 AM on September 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


My mistake and thank you for the correction.
posted by sotonohito at 9:26 AM on September 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


If one is looking to the court for reform keep in mind the court had Judge Powell. And his memo. If you want to just listen to someone talk about the memo The Attack Ads! podcast.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:38 PM on September 26, 2020


the specific Catholic subgroup Barrett belongs to, People of Praise, is literally part of the inspiration for Margaret Atwood's book "The Handmaid's Tale"
This is not true. (Everything else you say about her is, though.)


While I appreciate having this knowledge, it’s not our job to fact-check for them. It has a basis in truth, it feels true, and even according to that article, it’s sticking. Let them waste valuable confirmation time debunking it. If their smear tactics have taught us anything, it’s that they don’t care about the truth - only how to weaponise existing falsehoods. They’re still talking about how Kavanaugh was attacked with lies about him literally having raped women. If they’re going to call anything that damages her a lie, then let her defend herself from this one too. It’s not our job.
posted by Mchelly at 5:26 AM on September 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


While I appreciate having this knowledge, it’s not our job to fact-check for them. It has a basis in truth, it feels true, and even according to that article, it’s sticking.

But it is, in fact, not true. You want them to spend time during the hearings talking about something demonstrably false? So they can point at the left and say (again, though definitely truthfully this time) that the left just puts out lies and smears when they don't get their way? And be right?

This is a losing strategy.
posted by King Bee at 6:23 AM on September 27, 2020 [8 favorites]


The thing is, debate is a solved game. There is a known tactic that wins 100% of debates: the Gish Gallop. Whoever can start it wins.

So yes, throw every single thing at them and her. It takes two seconds to make an accusation, and twenty minutes to refute it. So make a million accusations, regardless of truth, sound confident and authoritative when you do, and make them play defense. Make them use up their time refuting 1% of your claims, then point to the other 99% they didn't have time to refute as proof you're right.

I'm done with playing fair and being honest. I want to win for a change. They go low, we go high, has done nothing but produce a losing streak that has gone on for my entire life. Let's go low for a change. Smear Barrett with everything regardless of the truth.

Here, on MeFi, among friends and where it isn't a debate, I'll acknowledge the truth and thank people for correcting me. But anywhere else? I'll be telling everyone she's the inspiration for the Handmaid's Tale. Along with any other appealing and truthy sounding falsehood I can think up.

It works.

That's how they destroyed Clinton. That's how we destroy them.
posted by sotonohito at 7:13 AM on September 27, 2020 [5 favorites]


I disagree. There is no winning strategy. Nothing is provably, demonstrably false anymore. The truth was against Kavanaugh and he still was rammed through. AND they still not only believe we lied, but state it as if it’s fact that we were liars for saying it.

I’m not saying abandon focusing on the facts. I’m saying it’s not our job to defend her from the lies.
posted by Mchelly at 7:17 AM on September 27, 2020


Don't lie to people. You shouldn't have to.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:22 AM on September 27, 2020 [5 favorites]


It has a basis in truth, it feels true, and even according to that article, it’s sticking

"But the fact the video was faked didn't change his impression of Biden...." see, circa 2:10. Chris: "well. i mean, i definitely wouldn't doubt that it would happen."

i don't think misrepresenting is particularly useful in this case (or in general). but handmaid's tale pretty effectively invokes the theocratic menace of xtian right wing authoritarians regardless of whether atwood was inspired by any particular sect. otoh, not sure how effective such invocations will be among persons whose views are not already fixed.

wouldn't mind confirmation hearing questions about the interplay between the reported vow of obedience to husband, who afaic was not nominated, and decisionmaking on the bench. and some interrogation of any public statements concerning application of faith to judicial practice. having some slight exposure to a catholic social teaching/legis- & jurisprudence nexus, would prefer such interrogation to be pretty nuanced, notwithstanding there is little room for nuance in public discourse.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:34 AM on September 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


should hasten to add: would prefer no confirmation hearing at all. and of course no confirmation.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:36 AM on September 27, 2020


Don't lie to people. You shouldn't have to.

I shouldn't have to do many of the things I do every day to survive. "Going high" is the essence of the problem with liberals: they seem to think that if they just stick to the rules hard enough and remind conservatives of the rules often enough, then conservatives will agree to play by the rules. This will never happen, because conservatives only carry about grabbing and holding power. They don't care what's true or what's not true: recall Trump's "alternative facts" and the whole post-truth news / constant accusations of "fake news". This is not to say that I think it's necessary to lie about ACB, but that liberals need to wake up, move left, and go on the offensive. The reliance on a set of rules that conservatives never follow puts more emphasis on breaches of etiquette than breaches of justice, and emphasizing civility and respectability politics does not get us anything. We have to start screaming. We have to keep screaming and not allow distractions about civility or a set of rules they haven't cared about in my lifetime. Mincing words about what is or isn't true when they couldn't care less doesn't get us anywhere except bogged down.
posted by bile and syntax at 11:49 AM on September 27, 2020 [5 favorites]


Deciding whether to lie about the nominee isn't about which side "wins," and it's not actually about liberals and conservatives. The liberals and conservatives have been on the same side in US politics for at least ten years anyway: Republicanism no longer has much to do with conservatism, it is now (and has been for some time) the party of obstruction and deception irrespective of ideology. Endorsing lies and bullshit for purely utilitarian political gain is the ground the Republicans want us to fight on, and if we engage on their terms we've already lost. Their goal is political nihilism, where truth is irrelevant and nothing matters but naked power. You can't win by agreeing to their terms. Maybe we can't win according to the old rules of politics either, but we definitely can't win by accepting that spreading a lie in the name of political expedience is a valid tactic. To accept it is to grant them victory.

I don't think anyone is obligated to go out and fact-check claims about Amy Coney Barrett on behalf of her supporters, but if we're at the point where we think it's acceptable to deliberately lie about her because it's politically expedient, then the Republicans have gotten exactly what they want: a nation where no one cares about the truth, and the only thing that matters is what tribe you're a part of and how effectively you can lie and cheat your way to power. Because once we start to play their game, they will win every time, and the republic is finished.

Plus, this is a stupid thing to choose to lie about. The only people who are going to care whether the Handmaid's Tale was inspired by People of Praise are the people who already hate Amy Coney Barrett's politics and already oppose her nomination. The actual political benefit of spreading this lie is zero, and the cost is your own integrity.
posted by biogeo at 4:34 PM on September 27, 2020 [8 favorites]


Oh, and a final point: advocating for spreading lies about your political opponents in the obituary thread on Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman who devoted her life and career to the idea that truth and integrity in the law are powerful tools for positive social change and the liberation of oppressed people, that is seriously... well, just take a hard look at yourself and think about what you're doing, and maybe please take that somewhere else if you still feel like you need to do it?
posted by biogeo at 4:39 PM on September 27, 2020 [13 favorites]


just take a hard look at yourself and think about what you're doing

I dunno, helping prevent the demise of democracy in the US by any means necessary?
posted by Miko at 8:27 PM on September 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


With a charitable read I can accept that you think that, but you're wrong.
posted by biogeo at 8:44 PM on September 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


This is honestly an extremely minor point that we will all have forgotten about in a matter of days. It's not worth climbing up on a gleaming white horse about.
posted by Miko at 5:59 AM on September 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


Yeah, and if I could amend my abrupt statement above, I’d say you shouldn’t have to (lie) anyway, because there are so many true things to tell people about.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:22 AM on September 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


Some one should maybe point out to Judge Barrette that everything Trump touches, dies.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:39 AM on September 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


Is this fight really over?
posted by asra at 7:48 AM on September 28, 2020


Maybe this is a minor point to you. It is not to me. Thanks for the dismissive metaphor tarring my point of view without engaging with it, though.
posted by biogeo at 9:29 AM on September 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


Saying someone else is "climbing up on a gleaming white horse " while claiming that you yourself are "helping prevent the demise of democracy" is really not a good look.
posted by neroli at 10:11 AM on September 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


Long time lurker, first time poster.

I'm a Wikipedia editor. Tzikeh's comment in this thread alerted me to the fact that "rest in peace" is not used in Judaism and I think I've finally managed to clear out the uncited claims and implications to the contrary from Wikipedia's article on the phrase. But not before meeting some baldly anti-Semitic resistance.

In the course of this I have been shocked to discover that there appears to be no official policy at Wikipedia, nor at the web sites of its governing body the Wikimedia Foundation, which even mentions anti-Semitism, racism, or sexism. I should not have been shocked given how much of those things I've seen in the biases of Wikipedia content in more than a decade of editing, but it explains part of the mechanism behind it if Wikipedia and Wikimedia policy is not backing up even administrators who want to respond to those things. (I am not an administrator.)

However, there is a draft of a Universal Code of Conduct currently in the works, with a discussion about it that is scheduled to terminate October 7th after which the Drafting Committee, which meets on Wednesdays (2 meetings left including the final one), will finalize its recommendation and present it to the Wikimedia Board of Trustees.

The current draft UCoC also does not directly mention anti-Semitism, racism, or sexism either. It blandly talks about respect along a variety of axes and about refraining from insults–while defining repeated sarcasm as a form of harassment, I think?–and prohibits hate speech in the vandalism of web site content, but is silent about hate speech in other circumstances. Those three words do not appear at all in the page which contains summaries of the Drafting Committee's meetings. In the public discussion about the draft the word "antisemitism" currently appears once, "sexism" once, and "racism" three times, one of those in a comment where an editor protests having been accused of racism.

So if anyone reading this thread is a member of any Wikimedia project you might want to go over to meta.wikimedia.org at that discussion link above and express your views on what a Universal Code of Conduct should say. I, for one, think it should actually explicitly say that anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and a whole bunch of other forms of prejudice and bigotry are bad; and if an organization that has been writing encyclopedia articles about these topics for nearly a quarter of a century now is having trouble coming up with operationally workable definitions for its own policies well then tough luck, you have to start somewhere.

I hope that placing this message here is in the spirit of RBG.
posted by Charles Bronson Pinchot at 11:14 AM on September 28, 2020 [20 favorites]


Wow. What I was saying was that focusing on conservative lies is not a productive use of our time and we should focus on things that benefit us like breaches of justice, but clearly you're reading something else into it.
posted by bile and syntax at 12:13 PM on September 28, 2020


Not worth debating. Any means necessary. Stakes are too high.
posted by Miko at 1:00 PM on September 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


"Fight for the things you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you." - Justice Ginsburg
posted by 20 year lurk at 1:12 PM on September 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


It's a great quote, but worth noting that it isn't currently yielding the needed results.
posted by Miko at 1:37 PM on September 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


bile and syntax, I was responding primarily to sotonohito's argument that in order to achieve our political goals we must, and should, employ Republican tactics and lie about our opponents. I apologize if I was unclear.
posted by biogeo at 4:29 PM on September 28, 2020


I'm not saying we **MUST** smear our opponents. I'm just saying I think we should use all the tools available including smears. We've tried it the polite, civilized, and high road way for my entire politically aware life and it's gotten us President Trump. Clearly being the Party of the high road hasn't produced what I'd call really great results.
posted by sotonohito at 6:31 PM on September 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


And not just President Trump: 45 years of high-roading it against 45 years of focused GOP strategy to undermine trust in government bodies and notions of “truth” means that, however deeply we recognize its beauty, “truth” is not a winning strategy all on its own. People don’t value it - so it makes for a very poor strategic elections tactic.

Let’s get out of the dramatically dangerous mire of this moment however we need to, and on the other side we can have a T & R process, rumination, reflection, and a re-affirmation of ideals. Right now though, the ideals are worthless because the only people who truly believe in their value and stand to be moved by our purity are already a minority and already In the Biden column. No one else cares - at least right now.
posted by Miko at 7:00 PM on September 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


Man, there are days when I'm really not sure how much more I can take of this community.
posted by biogeo at 2:08 AM on September 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


"my vote doesn't count and they're all a bunch of liars, anyway"

is that what we want people to think?

you're not going to engage people in the political process you want by lying to them, you're going to make them walk away

(oh and the subliminal idea here that people are too stupid to detect said lies and therefore deserve them isn't so great either)
posted by pyramid termite at 2:30 AM on September 29, 2020 [3 favorites]


[If I could, I'd like to try to nudge this back toward discussion of RBG and her own political thoughts and goals, as well as the SC vacancy, and ask that folks not go to the mats over the smear/lie yes/no thing. (And I'm betting there's a deep enough trench of actual true, bald malfeasance to keep everyone busy for a few decades.)]
posted by taz (staff) at 2:45 AM on September 29, 2020 [7 favorites]


Within a couple of days, I heard those lies about Barrett from left-wingers, and these lies about Ginsburg from right-wingers:
Did you know she fought to lower the age of sexual consent to 12 years old?
Did you know she fought to overturn laws against human trafficking and pedophelia? She fought against the criminalization of child/adult sex.
Did you know she supported abortion in order to reduce the number of black people in America?
They were all based on the same kind of deliberate bad-faith reading of Ginsburg as is being applied to Barrett. It's dumb and easy to refute if you put in minimal effort, but the system is fucking broken and I am fucking tired of having to double-check everything that even people I agree with pass along. I talk with conservatives on a regular basis because I have relationships of mutual respect with some mostly kind and caring conservatives on Facebook. Maybe they're wrong about politics, but in the real world they do a lot more kind and caring things than I do. Do I really want to have my credibility destroyed with them as I try to nudge them toward kinder, more caring politics by repeating stuff I read on Metafilter that turns out to be false?

No. I do not.
posted by clawsoon at 6:32 AM on September 29, 2020 [7 favorites]


The always thoughtful Ruth Graham reports on the effect that the Barrett nomination is having on conservative women.
posted by clawsoon at 6:33 AM on September 29, 2020


I took a long break here because I’ve been occupied with sign distribution at our local Democratic Party HQ. It has been a rough week. Justice Ginsburg truest was one of the great figures of modern history. She was famous for defending abortion rights but she also defended an Air Force nurse’s right NOT to have an abortion and the rights of working women who often were told to ‘deal with’ their pregnancies. May her memory be a blessing!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:35 AM on September 30, 2020


I cried when they read Kaddish for Justice Ginsburg. The Hebrew language is beautiful and it was good to hear it spoken at this sad time.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:53 AM on September 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


.
posted by exlotuseater at 2:22 PM on September 30, 2020


Dahlia Lithwick: The Contempt of "Notorious ACB"
posted by Mchelly at 12:26 PM on October 1, 2020


She was famous for defending abortion rights but she also defended an Air Force nurse’s right NOT to have an abortion

And these are expressions of the same principle: that it isn't the state that should have the power to decide the fate of your pregnancy. It's a failure of pro-life imagination not to recognize the very real possibility of being forced to abort a child when that becomes inconvenient for the state. Heck, with the ICE hysterectomies, we once again are coming close to this as a reality.
posted by Miko at 2:56 PM on October 1, 2020 [7 favorites]


It’s a couple of weeks after RBG passed, and to realize how much darker things have become since then is to be in some serious mental anguish; it’s hard to imagine where we’ll be in a month. The Republicans have shown they will dig down to the core of the planet, there is no point too low or depraved for them. If Dems don’t stop bringing cupcakes to tank battles, the country will most likely collapse. It almost seems inevitable now. Thank you, RBG, for hanging on as long as you did.
posted by dbiedny at 7:41 PM on October 4, 2020 [5 favorites]


Soooooo with six GOP senators in quarantine and a temporary Democratic majority on the floor, this gets interesting:
"Arguing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would do precisely the same if the roles were flipped, progressives are urging Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to use the temporary numbers advantage his caucus could have due to the coronavirus outbreak among the chamber's Republicans to delay hearings on President Donald Trump's right-wing Supreme Court nominee until after next month's election"
posted by JoeZydeco at 3:30 PM on October 5, 2020 [10 favorites]


If Schumer doesn't do that I will be more furious at him than I have ever been at The Malicious Turtle OR the Toddler Tyrant.
posted by PhineasGage at 6:18 PM on October 5, 2020 [2 favorites]


All they're demanding is that the vote on confirmation be delayed until after the election. That's a pretty weak request, given that the Republicans could still confirm her during a lame duck session.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:20 PM on October 5, 2020 [1 favorite]


Oh they'll confirm her, nobody is in denial about that.

But this idea potentially removes Barrett from any SCOTUS action regarding the outcome of the election itself.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:00 AM on October 6, 2020 [6 favorites]


The downside of delaying hearings until after the election is that Republicans will then hold them in the lame duck session, when senators from swing states won't be facing any near-term electoral consequences.

Polls show that rushing the confirmation is unpopular. If the Republicans do it before the election, it might make their senate majority that much more vulnerable. (On the other hand, McConnell seems to have concluded that sooner is better, so I guess he doesn't foresee much disadvantage from it.)
posted by mbrubeck at 7:08 PM on October 6, 2020


McConnell seems to have concluded that sooner is better

I think his read is that this may be his only chance.
posted by Miko at 7:50 AM on October 7, 2020 [5 favorites]


all those many things that congressional democrats might have done to obstruct or postpone, described, detailed and discussed in links and here, above, they apparently did not do, as the confirmation hearing for amy coney barrett's appointment to the supreme court begin this morning. i'm listening at c-span, here.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:00 AM on October 12, 2020 [1 favorite]


Would it be an appropriate protest for some non-infectious Senator to regularly cough during the hearings?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:13 AM on October 12, 2020 [1 favorite]


What truly enrages me is that they're treating her like a legitimate nominee and just proceeding with the usual sort of questions.

None are denouncing the entire process a illegitimate. None are asking what it says about her supposed temperament or impartially that she accepted Trump's illegitimate nomination.

Nope, they're just going along like this is totally normal and legitimate.

All but three of the Democrats in the Judicial committee even gave her the traditional phone call. Including (of course) Sen Feinstein.

It's one thing to fight and lose, but they aren't even fighting.
posted by sotonohito at 8:47 AM on October 12, 2020 [11 favorites]


But it is legitimate. There's the obvious hypocrisy of denying Obama the chance for hearings on Garland, but that was just a savvy move on McConnell's part and the Dems caved. The issue all along here has been whether or not the current Democratic party will have learned anything from the last 4 years if they control both the executive and legislative branches after the election, they should do everything in their power to pack the judicial branch in retaliation. the time for bipartisanship has passed until a new generation of republicans are seated in congress.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:02 AM on October 12, 2020 [3 favorites]


also: we still don't know whether she likes beer.

chairman stated at outset tuesday and wednesday will be questions. so far today, just opening statements. the nominee has not even spoken yet, but should deliver her opening remarks when they reconvene after lunch. and then the session will close.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:08 AM on October 12, 2020 [1 favorite]


I tuned in to hear Nunez also thank her husband by name and turned it off again.
posted by amanda at 9:17 AM on October 12, 2020


all those many things that congressional democrats might have done to obstruct or postpone, described, detailed and discussed in links and here, above, they apparently did not do,

All those many many things can be circumvented by a simple procedural vote at most. None of those will delay the procedure an appreciable amount.

None are denouncing the entire process a illegitimate.

That's at the level of a person on trial for unpaid speeding tickets denouncing the court as illegitimate. It's nothing but bullshit grandstanding.

OK, so sure, the Senate Democrats are failing to engage in the sort of nonsensical posturing that would make MeFites happy. Too bad. You know when political action WOULD have made a difference? 2016. But people were too busy finding excuses not to actually vote for Clinton. When I repeatedly told Internet Leftists, they laughed the idea off. And well, here we are, 4 years later. And looking at Twitter, it seems people still haven't learned the lesson.
posted by happyroach at 1:40 PM on October 12, 2020 [11 favorites]


What truly enrages me is that they're treating her like a legitimate nominee and just proceeding with the usual sort of questions.

I invite anyone who lives in a different time zone (as I do) or simply prefers to watch or listen to a heartfelt plea to Americans to fight the Republicans to go find the video of today's hearings and skip ahead to about 1:42 in the hearing (Day 1, Part 2). Watch Amy Klobuchar speak to Americans directly about why the hearings are a sham and ask them to call Republican senators to try to stop that sham. Listen to her talk about the Republican plan to kill the Affordable Care Act, how the Supreme Court Nominee will make that happen, and why it is unconscionable to return to a world in which pre-existing conditions make it impossible to be insured. She talks about how Trump failed Americans when it came to Covid, she talks about the people infected at the White House party for this nominee, and she talks about a woman's right to choose. She also talks about how personal this is, because her husband got the illness after they had been scrubbing every surface in their home. That was back when Trump knew that the disease was airborne but she and her husband did not.

The whole thing is the most heartfelt and refreshing 11 or so minutes that I have witnessed in a while. Watch that and then skip the rest of the hearing. Doesn't matter what anybody else said. This train isn't going to stop for justice but at least Amy Klobuchar spoke truth to power today. Maybe others did as well, but that was enough for me. I was proud that somebody said what needed to be said. A much shorter version, a little over 4 minutes, can be seen on CNN.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:29 PM on October 12, 2020 [9 favorites]


Forgot to mention that RBG was also invoked. Amy Klobuchar's whole thing is worth watching.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:30 PM on October 12, 2020


Also, Senator (R)-Covid Mike Lee is speaking at the hearing without even a mask.
posted by Marticus at 2:47 PM on October 12, 2020


Apologies, but patience has completely dissipated and I will not bite my tongue: ascendant fascism is not the specific fault of leftists. For fuck's fucking sake. I am tired. Clinton won the popular vote, but lost because US democracy is fundamentally broken. It is long past time to put the hippy-punching bullshit in the trash and accept the reality of the situation. Republicans have spent decades restructuring the US - by exploiting quirks like the Electoral College and committing to gerrymandering and redistricting such that there are regions where votes simply don't matter to the current tactics of destabilizing, disrupting and dismantling democracy by any means - into a country for their own authoritarian minority rule. I say this as someone willing to knock the teeth out of any of my fellow anarchists "taking a principled stand" and abstaining from voting (where it's easy) for being so infuriatingly blind to what is happening. The only people who actually have policies and ideas that could help successfully manage the multiple crises facing the US and the world are not the ones who stood back while the authoritarians broke through the floodgates.

On topic: Booker has said the thing out loud.
Instead of helping Americans who are struggling in the middle of a pandemic, “We are here,” Booker said. “We’re here!” he shouted, almost incredulously. “We’re here because in the middle of a deadly pandemic, in the middle of an ongoing election Senate Republicans have found a nominee in Judge Barrett who they know will do what they couldn’t do, subvert the will of the American people and overturn the ACA and overturn Roe v Wade,” Booker said. “That’s what this is about. That’s why we’re here. It’s very simple.”
This whole spectacle is a nauseating sham to cement power.
posted by Lonnrot at 3:31 PM on October 12, 2020 [23 favorites]


Nothing Democratic committee members and other senators can do will affect the process; we're lucky Trump didn't nominate one of his kids. There's no reason for them to participate in this other than decorum and to preserve the proprieties. But those proprieties will get them nowhere, while some grandstanding might convince people that this is serious.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:36 PM on October 12, 2020 [3 favorites]


Democrats Hijack Republicans’ Sham Coney Barrett Hearing

A Daily Beast opinion piece that's behind a paywall, but here's the opening:
Republicans served America a steaming pile of shit today. So Democrats decided to make a shit sandwich.

The pile, of course, is the illegitimate, dangerous, and so-hypocritical-it-is-literally-what-they-swore-not-to-do “confirmation hearing” of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court. For a dozen reasons, this should not be happening. But the sandwich, Democrats decided, would be to use the entire hearing as a free campaign advertisement, highlighting two of their best-polling issues: COVID and the Affordable Care Act.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:49 AM on October 13, 2020 [4 favorites]


On topic: Booker has said the thing out loud.
I think the most important thing he said was that this is not normal
During these last four years the extreme has been normalized. We have all (Americans and not-Americans) grown used to totally unacceptable behaviour from the US administration, to the extent that we have almost forgotten what normal is.
Now it is "normal" for people to say that vulnerable people are expendable.
Now it is "normal" to be openly racist.
Now it is "normal" to be openly sexist.
Now it is "normal" to claim democratic leaders are communist (whatever that means today)
We could all continue. But the point is that we need to restore normalcy

(Also: now it is normal to have a fly settling in your hair like if you were in a refugee camp in the -70's. What's with that?)
posted by mumimor at 5:46 AM on October 13, 2020 [2 favorites]


Boy, wouldn't have been a fun wild ride to hear RBG debate Judge Barrett, would've wiped the floor with her.

I think there is a real chance for a couple (3?) senators to pull a McCain at the last minute and kabosh the nomination. OMG 4. whew.

Actually listening to the incredibly erudite and very well spoken over educated polite heathen shedevil, she'd rule reasonably on keeping trump out of a second term. And a bit of reading about California vs Texas likely will follow stary decisis and keep knock out that silly case. but only to save her legitimacy to force all unwed pregnant women into handmaidenhood. Or something else very nice and kind for the uneducated unholy.
posted by sammyo at 1:28 PM on October 13, 2020


Nothing Democratic committee members and other senators can do will affect the process; we're lucky Trump didn't nominate one of his kids.

Harriet Miers would like a word!
posted by rhizome at 4:49 PM on October 13, 2020 [2 favorites]


Harriet Miers provides a useful benchmark for how bad things have gotten, even relative to the historically awful Bush administration. Not only is it hard to imagine the present-day GOP actually saying "no" to a Miers-style nominee, it's hard to imagine such a situation even arising -- Leo and his fellow puppetmasters have achieved far too much control to allow such a slipup.
posted by Not A Thing at 6:11 PM on October 13, 2020 [3 favorites]


I think there is a real chance for a couple (3?) senators to pull a McCain at the last minute and kabosh the nomination. OMG 4. whew.

There is zero chance of this happening. Barrett will be confirmed before the election, possibly even with a few Democratic votes.

The only question is whether the Democrats can take the Senate and have the spine to expand the Supreme Court and all of the courts of appeal. If they fail to do so, then we can expect Roe and quite possibly Obergefell and Bostock to be overturned or severely constrained. Maybe even Griswold and Lawrence. I don't think that even with Barrett that the Court will go as far as fetal personhood, but that's clearly Barrett's end-game: no abortion for any reason, no contraception, no IVF, no fetal stem cell research, no protection for sexual orientation or gender identity.

Barrett is the worst kind of True Believer, the kind that fully believes that the ends justify the means. She has made a deal with the devil in order to get her seat, and she will spend these hearings lying and dissembling with a smile, knowing that she will have 30 to 40 years to create a country of "heads" and "handmaids".
posted by jedicus at 9:54 AM on October 14, 2020 [4 favorites]


To counter Jedicus just a bit -

My roommate presented an optimistic scenario. Let's say that Barrett makes it in, and then let's say that Biden wins. And then - sometime within that first year, there is some kind of SCOTUS vacancy - maybe Kavanaugh's past finally catches up with him, maybe Clarence Thomas retires. With a 6-3 makeup in terms of political leanings, odds are that whatever vacancy there would be, it would be on the conservative side.

But then a day or so after that person departs, there is a press conference in which Biden, with a shit-eating grin, begins by saying "You may recognize my nominee here, but allow me to re-introduce Merrick Garland."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:09 AM on October 14, 2020 [1 favorite]


(I just briefly thought "wouldn't it be even better if his nominee were BARACK OBAMA," but while that is technically possible, it might be a bit of a political long shot so let's set that aside.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:11 AM on October 14, 2020


Garland seems like a good man and a good jurist, but he was also chosen at least partly because he was the guy who conservative senators said they might approve, and Obama seems to have truly believed in bipartisanship. If a seat does open up, now is not the time for a justice who could go either way on issues of importance. We need the left's equivalent of Barrett.
posted by Mchelly at 10:16 AM on October 14, 2020 [10 favorites]


Ah, EmpressCallipygos, while I love your fantasy scenario, unfortunately the likely next Supreme Court justice to retire is Stephen Breyer, who is the oldest, at 82.
posted by PhineasGage at 11:03 AM on October 14, 2020


With all this talk about court packing, how about unpacking? George Washington's Supreme Court was six Justices, so why not go back to Original Intent, and send the 3 with the least seniority home?
posted by mikelieman at 2:38 PM on October 14, 2020 [7 favorites]


> he was also chosen at least partly because he was the guy who conservative senators said they might approve, and Obama seems to have truly believed in bipartisanship.
Exactly right. In addition to his centrism, this is also because he is 67 years old, and so Republicans needn't fear him being on the Court for many decades. He's a fine jurist and was a singularly suitable choice for Obama to nominate in the political climate of 2016—but he would not be at all a wise choice in 2021 to counter a now Republican-packed judiciary. His historical contribution, beyond what he has accomplished as a judge and a scholar, will have been to expose the Republicans' hypocrisy and duplicity for all to see—for whatever that turns out to be worth.
posted by Syllepsis at 8:52 PM on October 14, 2020 [2 favorites]


The only question is whether the Democrats can take the Senate and have the spine to expand the Supreme Court and all of the courts of appeal. If they fail to do so, then we can expect Roe and quite possibly Obergefell and Bostock to be overturned or severely constrained. Maybe even Griswold and Lawrence.

I'm thinking the likeliest next battle is going to be the Voting Rights Act via the wildcat ballot boxes the GOP is installing in California. Coupled with the stimulus meth circus drama, I feel like the GOP is preparing for electoral losses and are moving to "gum up the gears" mode. One thing seems clear regardless of their strategies: the people are of no concern.
posted by rhizome at 10:22 AM on October 15, 2020 [3 favorites]


.

(new thread for empty supreme court talk now over here.)
posted by nobody at 12:11 PM on October 15, 2020 [3 favorites]


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