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(The New York Times)   At just 58 and likely to lead the Supreme Court for another two decades or more, Chief Justice Roberts is in it for the long game   (nytimes.com) divider line 99
    More: Interesting, supreme courts, Justice Anthony Kennedy, workplace discrimination, Justice Kennedy, SCOTUSblog, Adam Winkler, dockets, Voting Rights Act  
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2037 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Jun 2013 at 11:30 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-28 10:55:52 AM
This thread shall be fun
 
2013-06-28 11:01:47 AM
I wish the Founders had come up with a better plan than lifetime appointments

/I'm not sure that was such a great idea
//of course, lifetimes were generally shorter back then, I suppose
 
2013-06-28 11:04:04 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I wish the Founders had come up with a better plan than lifetime appointments

/I'm not sure that was such a great idea
//of course, lifetimes were generally shorter back then, I suppose


I dunno much about English law. Are Judges on the British High Court appointed for life?
 
2013-06-28 11:07:15 AM

cman: MaudlinMutantMollusk: I wish the Founders had come up with a better plan than lifetime appointments

/I'm not sure that was such a great idea
//of course, lifetimes were generally shorter back then, I suppose

I dunno much about English law. Are Judges on the British High Court appointed for life?


Wiki says: They are not subject to term limits, but may be removed from office on the address of Parliament

/So I guess the answer would be "potentially"?
 
2013-06-28 11:10:46 AM
If there were more stringent standards regarding the conduct of Justices and their families regarding politically-motivated fundraising, rallies, or partisan leanings, I could get behind lifetime appointments.  As it stands, the SC is just another mouthpiece by the two major parties and an attempt to long-term stack the deck by installing a panel that can overrule laws passed by their opposition.  Alito and Scalia demonstrate this consistently.

Also, if lawmakers were more concerned with integrity than having "their guy" on the panel, we wouldn't be stuck with dickhouses like Thomas.
 
2013-06-28 11:13:30 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: cman: MaudlinMutantMollusk: I wish the Founders had come up with a better plan than lifetime appointments

/I'm not sure that was such a great idea
//of course, lifetimes were generally shorter back then, I suppose

I dunno much about English law. Are Judges on the British High Court appointed for life?

Wiki says: They are not subject to term limits, but may be removed from office on the address of Parliament

/So I guess the answer would be "potentially"?


We based our legal system off the English system IIRC.

It would make perfect sense.

And, in the political arena, it also does kinda make a little sense.

Judges voted in are beholden to even more politics than our SCOTUS. Remember that Iowa gay marriage ruling? Voters through their asses out.

I can see something like this (i.e. for life positions) as a way to limit possible partisan action. If you don't worry about reelections then you are basically beholden to no one naturally but your own conscience.
 
2013-06-28 11:14:25 AM

cman: MaudlinMutantMollusk: cman: MaudlinMutantMollusk: I wish the Founders had come up with a better plan than lifetime appointments

/I'm not sure that was such a great idea
//of course, lifetimes were generally shorter back then, I suppose

I dunno much about English law. Are Judges on the British High Court appointed for life?

Wiki says: They are not subject to term limits, but may be removed from office on the address of Parliament

/So I guess the answer would be "potentially"?

We based our legal system off the English system IIRC.

It would make perfect sense.

And, in the political arena, it also does kinda make a little sense.

Judges voted in are beholden to even more politics than our SCOTUS. Remember that Iowa gay marriage ruling? Voters threw their asses out.

I can see something like this (i.e. for life positions) as a way to limit possible partisan action. If you don't worry about reelections then you are basically beholden to no one naturally but your own conscience.


Through isn't Threw. Fixt.
 
2013-06-28 11:15:05 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I wish the Founders had come up with a better plan than lifetime appointments


I'm certain that electing judges is a worse idea and subjecting reappointments to legislative reconfirmation would be only slightly better than that. Term limits and mandatory retirement would make lawyers try to run out the clock on judges on controversial cases.

I'm not sure if there's a solution to the problem that doesn't make it worse.
 
2013-06-28 11:19:34 AM
Thanks, Obama.
 
2013-06-28 11:20:06 AM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: MaudlinMutantMollusk: I wish the Founders had come up with a better plan than lifetime appointments

I'm certain that electing judges is a worse idea and subjecting reappointments to legislative reconfirmation would be only slightly better than that. Term limits and mandatory retirement would make lawyers try to run out the clock on judges on controversial cases.

I'm not sure if there's a solution to the problem that doesn't make it worse.


Each Justice has to make a saving throw every 5 years?
 
2013-06-28 11:22:42 AM
I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time, and Scalia is old. I'm not too worried about Roberts and Alito sticking around for 20 years.
 
2013-06-28 11:24:41 AM

what_now: I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time, and Scalia is old. I'm not too worried about Roberts and Alito sticking around for 20 years.


All the GOP needs is a charismatic individual and they can get elected to the White House in 2016

Americans forget shiat easily. They live for the moment.

Elections arent about policies, they are about popularity.
 
2013-06-28 11:29:03 AM
We need more wise Latinastm
 
2013-06-28 11:38:08 AM

cman: what_now: I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time, and Scalia is old. I'm not too worried about Roberts and Alito sticking around for 20 years.

All the GOP needs is a charismatic individual and they can get elected to the White House in 2016

Americans forget shiat easily. They live for the moment.

Elections arent about policies, they are about popularity.


Even though you, cman, are a terrible person, this thing that you have said is absolutely correct, only "charismatic" doesn't require actual charm, just a superficial glibness and an artificial recognizable personality like the one a PR team concocted for George "Cowboy" W. Bush.
 
2013-06-28 11:42:32 AM
FTA: Justice Scalia is an outlier on the current court. He is a man in a hurry who would rather score points than make plans.

I would say this is because he has already won.  When he was first put on the court, and really before that on the D.C. Cir. Scalia was busy basically inventing modern conservative jurisprudence.  Any conservative jurist who followed him, both on the high courts and the lower ones, basically owes the core of any philosophy they may claim to have to Nino.
 
2013-06-28 11:44:09 AM

what_now: I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time, and Scalia is old. I'm not too worried about Roberts and Alito sticking around for 20 years.


Romney only lost by les than five million popular votes. And electorally, 3-5 states.  I know that seems like a lot, but it isn't.
 
2013-06-28 11:47:09 AM
Is sending a box of bacon dipped in lard sauce to a person weekly considered killing them with kindness?
 
2013-06-28 11:49:48 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I wish the Founders had come up with a better plan than lifetime appointments

/I'm not sure that was such a great idea
//of course, lifetimes were generally shorter back then, I suppose


Check on unbridled democracy and such.

Shostie: We need more wise Latinastm


I hear they can be summoned by judiciously placing your pubes on someone's soda.
 
2013-06-28 11:51:22 AM
Nice to know he has a mind and isn't a cliché
 
2013-06-28 11:58:19 AM

ikanreed: cman: what_now: I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time, and Scalia is old. I'm not too worried about Roberts and Alito sticking around for 20 years.

All the GOP needs is a charismatic individual and they can get elected to the White House in 2016

Americans forget shiat easily. They live for the moment.

Elections arent about policies, they are about popularity.

Even though you, cman, are a terrible person, this thing that you have said is absolutely correct, only "charismatic" doesn't require actual charm, just a superficial glibness and an artificial recognizable personality like the one a PR team concocted for George "Cowboy" W. Bush.


You mean Sarah Palin wasn't a riveting enough entity? Or America's Favorite Workout Buddy, Paul Ryan?
 
2013-06-28 11:58:48 AM
I think we should raise the minimum age for Supreme Court justices to 55.
 
2013-06-28 11:59:14 AM
You know, I get really insanely tired of these articles.

Every time the Supreme Court makes a big ruling, we have to have an article describing how "conservative" or "liberal" these justices are.
Yes, the justices are appointed by people who have a political affiliation
Yes, the justices (may) have a personal political affiliation
Yes, the justices have a general stance of leaning conservative or liberal.

But, in general, the court makes decisions based on the law at hand and legal reasoning. I am so tired of hearing "justice so and so is a liberal so he'll vote x". And then the talking heads come on and go, "its so suprising to see Justice so and so vote Y because he's liberal!".
christ on a cracker, not EVERYTHING has to be see as conservative or liberal.
 
2013-06-28 12:01:50 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I wish the Founders had come up with a better plan than lifetime appointments

/I'm not sure that was such a great idea
//of course, lifetimes were generally shorter back then, I suppose


It's a question of the balance between stability and keeping current with social and moral trends.  The USSC is the part of the government designed for the greatest stability, with the justices technically appointed for life but realistically serving a couple decades at the outside.  This makes sure the government doesn't act in the extreme short term, and the length of the terms forces them to regard the law in broader, longer strokes rather than always focusing on the hot-button issue of the moment.

Second most stable is the Senate, with six-year terms but designed around appointments and continuity, so they tend to serve on the order of decades as well.  Note that they're the house that tends to moderate some of the bullshiat overall, and are given more responsibility as regards mediating between varying state interests.

Then the Executive, where the president changes every 4 years but his powers of appointment are somewhat limited so he doesn't just throw everything out each change-over.  Usually acts in terms of one decade at a time at the most, usually more like 5-6 years at a time.

Obviously the House is the fast one, designed to keep its fingers on the pulse of the electorate at all times due to rapid turnover (two years, and populist procedures result in real turnover much more frequently than the senate, so actually serving 2 or 4 years total is pretty normal).  They keep to issues of current popular urgency because they have to, which can be nice but can also result in them missing things.

So... yeah, when you talk about term-limiting the USSC you're talking about removing one of the big balancing factors in our government.  We don't want to do that because we don't want the entire government to never look more than 5 years into the future when making policy decisions.  Can you imagine basically the house of representatives having final say on everything?  We'd have 500 abortion bills passed a session and 300 abolishing and re-establishing free speech repeatedly, because that's what makes news, then we'd all starve because no one would bother with boring shiat like regulating agriculture.
 
2013-06-28 12:03:46 PM
He's surprised me on at least a few occasions so far. Dare I say, he seems more reasonable than I originally gave him credit for?
 
2013-06-28 12:05:13 PM

EyeballKid: Is sending a box of bacon dipped in lard sauce to a person weekly considered killing them with kindness?


Slathered on Paula Deen's writhing and ample body?
 
2013-06-28 12:07:52 PM

ikanreed: cman: what_now: I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time, and Scalia is old. I'm not too worried about Roberts and Alito sticking around for 20 years.

All the GOP needs is a charismatic individual and they can get elected to the White House in 2016

Americans forget shiat easily. They live for the moment.

Elections arent about policies, they are about popularity.

Even though you, cman, are a terrible person, this thing that you have said is absolutely correct, only "charismatic" doesn't require actual charm, just a superficial glibness and an artificial recognizable personality like the one a PR team concocted for George "Cowboy" W. Bush.


I am not a terrible person, I am just an asshole. Those two are not always mutually exclusive.
 
2013-06-28 12:08:38 PM
So by 2035, everyone must be forced to have a corporate tattoo across their forehead declaring their allegiance?
 
2013-06-28 12:17:08 PM

cman: what_now: I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time, and Scalia is old. I'm not too worried about Roberts and Alito sticking around for 20 years.

All the GOP needs is a charismatic individual and they can get elected to the White House in 2016


All the GPO need to do is change how the allot electors. If the KSA (Koch States of America) all switch to proportional allotment, they will have a good shot.
 
2013-06-28 12:17:29 PM

what_now: I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time.


That depends on if folks under 60 forget there are mid-term elections again and let the Republicans have a redistricting free for all ahead of the 2016 Presidential election combined with changes to how OH, PA, WI, MI and VA allocate their electoral college votes.

Vote in 2014.
 
2013-06-28 12:21:14 PM

Target Builder: what_now: I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time.

That depends on if folks under 60 forget there are mid-term elections again and let the Republicans have a redistricting free for all ahead of the 2016 Presidential election combined with changes to how OH, PA, WI, MI and VA allocate their electoral college votes.

Vote in 2014.


Are you expecting some mid-decennial redistricting?  Redistricting is typically only done after the census when electoral votes get reassigned due to population shifts.  There's no census until 2020...
 
2013-06-28 12:25:27 PM

EighthDay: Target Builder: what_now: I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time.

That depends on if folks under 60 forget there are mid-term elections again and let the Republicans have a redistricting free for all ahead of the 2016 Presidential election combined with changes to how OH, PA, WI, MI and VA allocate their electoral college votes.

Vote in 2014.

Are you expecting some mid-decennial redistricting?  Redistricting is typically only done after the census when electoral votes get reassigned due to population shifts.  There's no census until 2020...


According to some experts, Republicans can't redistrict their way out of the demographic issues they face next time. That assumes all trends today continue for a decade.
 
2013-06-28 12:26:11 PM

Katie98_KT: You know, I get really insanely tired of these articles.

Every time the Supreme Court makes a big ruling, we have to have an article describing how "conservative" or "liberal" these justices are.
Yes, the justices are appointed by people who have a political affiliation
Yes, the justices (may) have a personal political affiliation
Yes, the justices have a general stance of leaning conservative or liberal.

But, in general, the court makes decisions based on the law at hand and legal reasoning. I am so tired of hearing "justice so and so is a liberal so he'll vote x". And then the talking heads come on and go, "its so suprising to see Justice so and so vote Y because he's liberal!".
christ on a cracker, not EVERYTHING has to be see as conservative or liberal.


Only problem is conservative leaning justices have done a lot of weighing in favor of their party in the last thirteen years that has affected the outcome of many things in our country.

It's a cleverly hidden "both sides are bad" argument ya got there, but i would argue that, at this point in time, Republicans on every level of government are a greater threat than Democrats are right now. 

Let's compare and contrast the big things in the news right now in terms of policy pushing to illustrate the point. 

Republicans:

Conservative judges Repeal VRA on the federal level.
Texas goes ahead with their previously denied voter suppression ID laws after VRA is gutted.
Texas Senate attempt to illegally alter records to try to pass the abortion bill. Rick Perry calls special session to ram abortion bill through the legislation after all that failed.
Rick Scott signs a law saying businesses no longer have to pay you for sick days. Forcing people to come in to work, who can't afford to miss work, with dangerous ramifications. 
House of Reps pass law to Senate that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, which conveniently forgets about women that usually go in for ultrasounds at 20 weeks to discover the health and subsequent viability of the fetus. There are no provisions in that bill that cover that fact. If you discover a stillborn child, at 20 weeks, you have to carry it to term, as well as other health problems that may arise. Don't worry, if the mother is in danger she is ok to abort the child.

Democrats:

44oz soda ban and now a sparkler ban in New York. 

I don't know. Maybe my google fu is bad, but im looking at fox news articles that are big in the headlines and most of them are non-stories. Democrats seeking gun control. IRS boogaloo. Did i miss the memo on Bengazhi? Is it a scandal yet?

Does anyone know of anything the Democrats have done that is on the weight and scale of these comparisons? Serious question.
 
2013-06-28 12:27:45 PM

TV's Vinnie: So by 2035, everyone must be forced to have a corporate tattoo across their forehead declaring their allegiance?


I plan on becoming a loyal vassal of House Unilever.... if I do well and keep sharp perhaps I can avoid being sacrificed by the priestesses of Lolth.
 
2013-06-28 12:28:38 PM

Ricardo Klement: EighthDay: Target Builder: what_now: I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time.

That depends on if folks under 60 forget there are mid-term elections again and let the Republicans have a redistricting free for all ahead of the 2016 Presidential election combined with changes to how OH, PA, WI, MI and VA allocate their electoral college votes.

Vote in 2014.

Are you expecting some mid-decennial redistricting?  Redistricting is typically only done after the census when electoral votes get reassigned due to population shifts.  There's no census until 2020...

According to some experts, Republicans can't redistrict their way out of the demographic issues they face next time. That assumes all trends today continue for a decade.


No, I get that, but the argument that there will be a redistricting free-for-all pre-2016 implies that there will be redistricting done in the next three years, and since there's no census to alter the electoral vote allotment / House makeup until 2020, that seems unlikely unless he's expecting that those states will try to redistrict their already-redistricted districts.
 
2013-06-28 12:31:09 PM

what_now: I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time, and Scalia is old. I'm not too worried about Roberts and Alito sticking around for 20 years.


Especially since it truly seems that Roberts can make a practical judgment that goes against Republican core values now and again.  Not a lot this week, mind, but occasionally.
 
2013-06-28 12:33:13 PM

EighthDay: No, I get that, but the argument that there will be a redistricting free-for-all pre-2016 implies that there will be redistricting done in the next three years, and since there's no census to alter the electoral vote allotment / House makeup until 2020, that seems unlikely unless he's expecting that those states will try to redistrict their already-redistricted districts.


Well, given that we effectively don't have a Voting Rights Act anymore, expect a couple of southern states to try it and not give the slightest fark how they look in front of everyone else.
 
2013-06-28 12:35:10 PM

cman: MaudlinMutantMollusk: I wish the Founders had come up with a better plan than lifetime appointments

/I'm not sure that was such a great idea
//of course, lifetimes were generally shorter back then, I suppose

I dunno much about English law. Are Judges on the British High Court appointed for life?


IIRC, there's a statutory retirement age of 70 although they can be removed prior to this with the agreement of both Houses of Parliament. It's also worth noting there's a far less partisan means of appointing them
 
2013-06-28 12:38:10 PM

Gosling: EighthDay: No, I get that, but the argument that there will be a redistricting free-for-all pre-2016 implies that there will be redistricting done in the next three years, and since there's no census to alter the electoral vote allotment / House makeup until 2020, that seems unlikely unless he's expecting that those states will try to redistrict their already-redistricted districts.

Well, given that we effectively don't have a Voting Rights Act anymore, expect a couple of southern states to try it and not give the slightest fark how they look in front of everyone else.


Very true, but even if NC does it, the states where Dems are favored are not highly impacted by the VRA...  PA and WI weren't subjected to it anyway.  The only thing such a thing could change by southern states is cutting out a few more Democratic House members... and it's unlikely to see the House shift until national redistricting anyway given the gerrymandering and natural political concentrations...  And NC was already hosed anyway, so it would be hard to further concentrate the Democrats than they already have.

So while I agree that Democrats and liberals should not sit out 2014, especially for gubernatorial elections, I don't see it as a big concern from a redistricting perspective.
 
2013-06-28 12:43:57 PM

EighthDay: Ricardo Klement: EighthDay: Target Builder: what_now: I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time.

That depends on if folks under 60 forget there are mid-term elections again and let the Republicans have a redistricting free for all ahead of the 2016 Presidential election combined with changes to how OH, PA, WI, MI and VA allocate their electoral college votes.

Vote in 2014.

Are you expecting some mid-decennial redistricting?  Redistricting is typically only done after the census when electoral votes get reassigned due to population shifts.  There's no census until 2020...

According to some experts, Republicans can't redistrict their way out of the demographic issues they face next time. That assumes all trends today continue for a decade.

No, I get that, but the argument that there will be a redistricting free-for-all pre-2016 implies that there will be redistricting done in the next three years, and since there's no census to alter the electoral vote allotment / House makeup until 2020, that seems unlikely unless he's expecting that those states will try to redistrict their already-redistricted districts.


Sorry, I didn't mean to give the impression I was disagreeing. I was just adding to the general conversation.
 
2013-06-28 12:48:21 PM

cman: I dunno much about English law. Are Judges on the British High Court appointed for life?


Also it is important to remember that
1) The UK does not have a written constitution, and thus the high court isn't that "high"
2) The UK does not have strong separation of powers, and even though the Supreme Court is no longer just a weird part of Parliament, they are still not a co-equal branch or anything.
 
2013-06-28 12:49:06 PM
Sadly, yes. I would not be surprised if he ends up being the longest serving chief justice of all time. He'd 'only' be 85 at the time he broke the record.
 
2013-06-28 12:55:19 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I wish the Founders had come up with a better plan than lifetime appointments

/I'm not sure that was such a great idea
//of course, lifetimes were generally shorter back then, I suppose


Are you kidding?  It's the lifetime appointment that actually maintains our system of checks and balances.
 
2013-06-28 12:56:26 PM

ramblinwreck: Are you kidding?  It's the lifetime appointment that actually maintains our system of checks and balances.


How does a lifetime appointment have anything to do with checks and balances?
 
2013-06-28 01:00:44 PM

Teiritzamna: 1) The UK does not have a written constitution, and thus the high court isn't that "high"


Judge in a powdered wig puffing on a spliff: "The bloody hell I'm not!"
 
2013-06-28 01:01:33 PM

DamnYankees: Sadly, yes. I would not be surprised if he ends up being the longest serving chief justice of all time. He'd 'only' be 85 at the time he broke the record.


Thomas is 65 and he's been on the Court for 20 years already. Roberts was an old man in comparison.

/Yes, I know, Thomas ain't chief justice.
 
2013-06-28 01:02:10 PM

DamnYankees: ramblinwreck: Are you kidding?  It's the lifetime appointment that actually maintains our system of checks and balances.

How does a lifetime appointment have anything to do with checks and balances?


By making them unbeholden to the President or Congress. They're independent, as in, independent judiciary.
 
2013-06-28 01:04:38 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I wish the Founders had come up with a better plan than lifetime appointments

/I'm not sure that was such a great idea
//of course, lifetimes were generally shorter back then, I suppose


Only if the justices you want to leave don't have your point of view, amirite?
 
2013-06-28 01:05:26 PM

blastoh: what_now: I don't see the GOP getting the white house for a long time, and Scalia is old. I'm not too worried about Roberts and Alito sticking around for 20 years.

Romney only lost by les than five million popular votes. And electorally, 3-5 states.  I know that seems like a lot, but it isn't.


And the right is torn about how to bridge that gap. The civil war that is brewing between the old white racists and the rest of the party is delicious to watch.
 
2013-06-28 01:05:53 PM

Ricardo Klement: By making them unbeholden to the President or Congress. They're independent, as in, independent judiciary.


I don't see the connection. What about non-lifetime appointments makes them beholden to either other branch?
 
2013-06-28 01:06:32 PM

cman: Voters through their asses


But did they have proper ID?
 
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