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Dings and Dongs and Arglebargles. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Dings and Dongs and Arglebargles.

This wasn't supposed to be the post du jour. THAT would've been a repost of a bizarre story from this week's local news about a local (young white woman) Teabagger Republican, who got busted for weapons possession in a car with her (younger African American) boyfriend and who has singlehandedly sensitized her Ammosexual Republican base to the problem of minority racial profiling.

You can, and should, click that link and read that delicious report on how the gun nuts go, but my attention has been diverted to the big national news of the day. Yet it's still connected to that unposted post, for Alan included in it the word "arglebargle," and  it was the dear departed Nino Scalia, defender of the faith and whiner in defeat, who introduced that term to the Supreme Court's lexicon in his petulant dissent to its 2013 decision holding the federal ban on gay marriage recognition to be unconstitutional.

Yes, the 79-year-old Mr. Justice Scalia was called back to Jesus today after being found dead in his room on the morning of a weekend hunting trip.  You can't make shit like that up. How I'd like to be a fly on the wall when his Lord and Savior has a few words with him.

That's the past, but it's also the prologue to a bitter battle that has already begun.  Scalia's death leaves a vacancy among the SCOTUS Nine, which in ordinary times a President would fill with all deliberate speed.  Two members of the current Court were appointed in the final 18 months of a president's term: Anthony Kennedy by Reagan in 1988, and Clarence Thomas by Bush Daddy in 1991.  But the decree has already slithered out from Republicanland that our Senate in their control is inclined not to even consider any nomination from the current elected President until "The American people ... have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.”

That's the word from Mitch "Yertle the Turtle" McConnell, current head of the Senate, which must consent to such an appointment.  Funny how these "original intent" constitutional scholars are inferring a popular-vote component to justice selection all of a sudden.

In theory, they can stop the train, potentially rendering any decision between now and 2017 as unprecedential and leaving the final decisions in the lower appellate courts.  (Any 4-4 deadlock on the highest court results in the effective affirmance of whatever the lower Court of Appeals decided but without it having precedential effect in any other circuits.) But they may not want to do that, given the political winds. No matter what they might tell you, I firmly believe a majority of the current Senate is scared shitless of any nominee that would be put forth by Bernie Sanders, or Donald Trump, or anybody else on the current GOP ledger.  The current Senate also faces the distinct possibility that if they force the seat to remain open and wind up with a D in the WH (and possible loss of Senate control), the nominee will be one Barack Hussein Obama.  (It's happened before: Taft!)

So they'd be better off with a compromise candidate- who's just a damn good judge and won't tip the balance of the Court's ideology for decades to come.  This is one area where my home state's longest serving Dem governors- Cuomo pere et fille- have excelled; both have readily nominated Republican jurists to the bench where they were best for the job.

I have a candidate for this job, who I think would make everybody happy.


Present for your approval, the Honorable Richard Posner, of the Seventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals based in Chicago.

I originally learned of him from work- he wrote a decision on an obscure point of bankruptcy law over 20 years ago, which was just so well-reasoned, and well-written, I got in the habit of sending it to clients to explain the law of "preferences" to them.

Since then, I've occasionally read, and loved, how he's responded to cases outside my wheelhouse. His 2014 7th Circuit opinion striking down Indiana's anti-gay-marriage statute has become legendary.

One reason to love him in this transition period: he doesn't want the job.

Posner explained why he isn’t interested in an interview with the Daily Beast about his compulsive writing habits. “First, I’m too old,” Posner said. “I’m 74 and they don’t appoint people my age.”

The reviewer notes that Posner sounds “peppy,” spurring the Chicago-based federal appeals judge to elaborate.

“Well, I don’t like the Supreme Court,” Posner says. “I don’t think it’s a real court. I think of it as basically … it’s like a House of Lords. It’s a quasi-political body. President, Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court. It’s very political. And they decide which cases to hear, which doesn’t strike me as something judges should do. You should take what comes. When you decide which case to hear it means you’ve decided the cases ahead of time.

“Also, because I’m a compulsive writer, I like to write. … If you sit with eight other people [like the Supreme Court] you only get one-ninth of the cases to write. I’m not interested in that. Now the Supreme Court justices write very, very few majority opinions. Last year they saw 74 cases. Divide that by nine and that’s a little more than eight opinions a year. That’s ridiculous! I write around 90 opinions a year.”

Judge Posner just turned 77- a mere two years shy of Nino.  He's from Obama's non-Kenyan adopted home town.  He would be a perfect voice and pen to tide over the country until the next guy or gal comes along. And if he let Citizens United stand, I'd be shocked- which is why it won't happen. But it could.

As Maxwell Smart used to say, It'll never work!....but it's certainly worth a try!

2 comments or Leave a comment
bktheirregular From: bktheirregular Date: February 14th, 2016 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
One complaint I had (and shared) about Scalia during law school was that his opinions, concurrences, and dissents weren't useful to a student of the law - you didn't have a better understanding of what the law meant after reading a Scalia opinion on it.

Posner's opinions are very unlike Scalia's in that regard.
weebleswobble From: weebleswobble Date: February 16th, 2016 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)
oooh, i like the idea of obama for supreme court *grins*.

i dont understand why they're making such a big production over this. they're just utterly worthless at getting stuff done. all they seem good for is whining.

never heard the word arglebargle before. i like it. but i like hullabaloo better.
2 comments or Leave a comment