• Sat. Dec 5th, 2020

Thursday Night Owls: Kavanaugh and Barrett show they're political operatives not impartial justices


Oct 30, 2020

Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week

Matt Ford at The New Republic writes—Brett Kavanaugh Will Have His Revenge on AmericaHe and Amy Barrett have demonstrated this week that they should be thought of as political operatives, not justices: 

Two years ago, Justice Brett Kavanaugh appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to defend himself against allegations of sexual misconduct. He lashed out at Democrats, left-wing activists, and those who sought “revenge on behalf of the Clintons,” whom he had investigated in the 1990s. Then he gave a stark warning. “This grotesque and coordinated character assassination will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country,” Kavanaugh angrily told senators. “And as we all know, in the United States political system of the early 2000s, what goes around comes around.”

“What comes around goes around” echoed in my ears last night as I read the Supreme Court’s order in Democratic National Committee v. Wisconsin State Legislature, a dispute over the state’s absentee ballot deadline. A federal judge in Wisconsin, citing the coronavirus pandemic, ordered the state to count ballots that arrive by mail by November 9 so long as they are postmarked by Election Day on November 3. The Supreme Court blocked that ruling in a 5–3 vote on Tuesday night in an order on its “shadow docket,” where it decides emergency filings without full briefings or oral arguments. The ruling is a victory for Republican efforts to deny voters greater flexibility while they vote during a pandemic.

Among the justices to explain their reasoning was Kavanaugh, who articulated a Trumpian view of the election process. In his eyes, votes counted after the stroke of midnight on Election Day are inherently suspect; news organizations’ projections of the winner carry the same weight as the legal certification of the results; and Democrats’ efforts to ensure voters’ ballots are counted despite Post Office delays and the ongoing pandemic are destabilizing and delegitimizing to the electoral process. It was a coldly partisan vision of how American elections should be run, often unmoored from fact or reasoning. If this reasoning had sprung from the pen of the vast majority of Americans, it could be dismissed as ignorant; from Kavanaugh, it is unabashed partisanship.

In a moment of cinematic timing, the court’s order came down just moments before the Senate voted to confirm Amy Coney Barrett as the ninth justice. Barrett proceeded to the White House, where she took one of two oaths to become a Supreme Court justice in an outdoor ceremony led by Justice Clarence Thomas. Then, in a highly unusual move, she joined President Donald Trump on the White House balcony for what amounted to a campaign photo op before an audience of his closest political supporters. If two of the court’s leading conservatives wanted to signal that they were political actors instead of impartial jurists, they could not have done a better job. […]




“Being human means throwing your whole life on the scales of destiny when need be, all the while rejoicing in every sunny day and every beautiful cloud.” ~~Rosa Luxemburg 


The most common question I am asked is, “What people can do to help?” Here is my answer: start by rejecting the cynics and naysayers. We cannot allow the fear of losing in court deter us from fighting hard for justice.https://t.co/54UnXCp5iT

— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) October 30, 2020


At Daily Kos on this date in 2011—Wisconsin firefighters union head ponders run against Scott Walker:

One of the outcomes of a political system in which big money is required to get elected to anything above local office is that elected officials are disproportionately wealthy, and working people end up underrepresented just in the matter of who is in the government, making decisions—never mind our under-representation at high-dollar fundraisers and meetings with lobbyists.

So, as the effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker gears up, it’s interesting to hear that Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin President Mahlon Mitchell is considering a campaign to replace Walker. Mother Jones‘ Andy Kroll writes that:

Mitchell’s role in the protests catapulted him into something of a celebrity among union members and activists in Wisconsin, especially considering that firefighters were exempted from Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-union budget repair bill.

Now Mitchell is eyeing a bigger stage: the governor’s mansion. In an interview with Mother Jones, he said he was “seriously considering a run” for governor in a potential recall election targeting Walker. He said he believes Wisconsinites are sick of professional politicians not following through on campaign promises, and that a populist candidate running against Walker stands a better chance of unseating the governor. The ideal candidate would be “able to talk with common people about common issues,” Mitchell said. “Tell ’em what you can do and what you can’t do.”

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