The knights are restless and for good reason.

Archive for the month “February, 2016”

From a Restless Knight – Rest in Peace

I’ve spent many a restless night imagining a GOP win in November, and the Supreme Court appointments the next President is destined to make. I don’t know which of the remaining candidates will make it to the top, and frankly, it won’t really matter. I’m sure he is envisioning Scalia think-alikes (I say “he,” because Carly has mercifully made her exit, leaving an all-male field). Her nominees would have been those slightly to the right of Himmler, with regard to women’s reproductive rights.

The jovial Scalia, with his many liberal friends including ladies on the Supreme Court, could actually have competed with old Heinrich on women’s rights and those anti-biblical gay marriage rules.


Antonin Scalia posing with fellow hunter and Justice Elana Kagan

The death of Scalia affords an additional opportunity for a Trump or a Cruz to name one more justice to the high court. To give you an idea what that could mean, the chart below shows the ages of the eight remaining members of the Court:

Justice Born /Age Nominated By
Anthony Kennedy 7/23/1936

Age: 79 yr 6 mo

Ronald Reagan
Clarence Thomas 6/23/1948

Age: 67 yr 7 mo

George H. W. Bush
Ruth Bader Ginsburg 3/15/1933

Age: 82 yr 11 mo

Bill Clinton
Stephen Breyer 8/15/1938

Age: 77 yr 6 mo

Bill Clinton
John G. Roberts 1/27/1955

Age: 61 yr 0 mo

George W. Bush
Samuel A. Alito, Jr. 4/1/1950

Age: 65 yr 10 mo

George W. Bush
Sonia Sotomayor 6/25/1954

Age: 61 yr 7 mo

Barack Obama
Elena Kagan 4/28/1960

Age: 55 yr 9 mo

Barack Obama

It is likely that several of those listed above could be awaiting Angel of Death visits within the next five years. The problem is that most of those are Democratic Presidential appointees, with the exception of Anthony Kennedy, who Reagan thought would be far more conservative than he turns out to be. Scalia, 79 when he died, was Anthony Kennedy’s age.

I just watched an old Charley Rose interview with the recently departed jurist, and can understand why people liked him. This proves the point that you don’t have to hate someone because you disagree with just about everything they stand for. In Scalia’s case, I might make an exception.

One of Scalia’s last acts was to become part of the 5-4 decision striking down Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CCP), one of President’s signature achievements. This had enabled the U.S. to take the lead at the Paris Summit on addressing the very serious issue of Climate Change. With the climate initiative in trouble, there will be little motivation for other COP21 signing countries to stick with their commitments. The remaining Republicans in the Presidential race have all vowed to repeal the CCP, on the day of inauguration. They appear to be champing at the bit to do so.

Scalia was at a hunting lodge when he bit the bullet. Maybe it was that other Supreme Court’s punishment for killing some of His helpless creatures, as if letting the planet sink in a mire of toxicity and rising seas were not criminal enough.

The Senate, which has final approval of the nominated justices has been given a command by their General, Mitch (Make Him a One-Term President) McConnell: Stall, stall, stall, with the hope that it will delay the appointment to the next administration. Many Republican voices are echoing a statement that has no basis in reality (what else is new?). Lame ducks should not make Supreme Court appointments. Maybe Marco Rubio should observe the rule, “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.” As this Politifact article confirms, conservative superman, Ronald Reagan did nominate Kennedy to the high court during the final year of his administration

Now the Republicans have a real dilemma: There is currently an even number of remaining justices on the Supreme Court. Contests ending with a 4-4 tie will have the effect of allowing lower court rulings to stand. Most of these do not serve the GOP cause. See the USA Today article for more information.


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