How To Undo Republican’s Court Packing & Minority Rule

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Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explores three key ways we can restructure our democracy to level the playing field after Trump and Mitch McConnell’s shameless Supreme Court power grab.

 

Remove Brett Kavanaugh & Clarence Thomas from Supreme Court to Help Balance Stolen Seats by Republicans

Numerous articles claim Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas lied under Oath in their confirmation hearings so both should be removed as Justices from the Supreme Court.

In the above video, Ex-Federal Prosecutor Glenn Kushner explains how when Democrats take over the White House, the new head of the DOJ could order the FBI to review the confirmation hearings of Kavanaugh, Thomas and every Trump appointment and check for false statements. Anyone who lied under oath could be charged with perjury, arrested, removed as a judge and disbarred. Each could face years behind bars. They could be given a choice to resign when confronted with evidence of perjury in exchange for dismissal of prosecution.

This would help balance Stolen Seats by Republicans… 2 from the 2000 Election which was stolen / rigged for George W. Bush and Obama’s stolen Supreme Court appointment in 2016.

 

In 2016, Mitch McConnell decided to violate the Constitution by declaring that the Senate wold refuse to abide by the “advice and consent” clause of Article 2, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. McConnell claimed that there could be no confirmation hearing on a Supreme Court nominee during a the fourth year of a president’s term. This, of course, is blatantly unconstitutional. When we go to the polls to vote for a president we don’t vote with the expectation that the president will only act in his/her first three years. McConnell’s was a crassly partisan position that should have been challenged in court. Of course the question is, what know? And if McConnell tries to ram through a Trump nominee, what should be done about it?

 

Republicans rigged our democracy. Here’s how Democrats can fight back | David Faris

Donald Trump wasn’t elected because Democrats lost a policy fight in 2016. What Democrats did was lose a procedural fight that has been going on since the early 1990s, when Republicans began waging a relentless, brutal, and completely one-sided war, systematically using their lawmaking power to disadvantage their adversaries in elections and political mobilization.

Republicans have been using the constitution’s flaws to wage a one-sided war against their political opponents. It’s time for Democrats to respond

Per the article above; Donald Trump wasn’t elected because Democrats lost a policy fight in 2016. What Democrats did was lose a procedural fight that has been going on since the early 1990s, when Republicans began waging a relentless, brutal, and completely one-sided war, systematically using their lawmaking power to disadvantage their adversaries in elections and political mobilization.

Gerrymandering, the Citizens United atrocity that declared money is speech, blocking US supreme court nominations and obstructing legislation are some of the Republican party’s tactics. Depraved, racist voter ID laws that obviously target people who are likely to vote Democratic, and the cruel way that many states prevent current or former felons from voting, are others.

Standing in the way of reforms to our nonsensical, undemocratic electoral college system for electing the president helps the Republicans too, as does ensuring the United States remains the only country in the entire world that holds its critical national elections on a regular working Tuesday as if we literally couldn’t care less who is able take off work to cast a ballot.

the biggest problem is that it is underspecified. It doesn’t adequately describe the powers granted to the supreme court it created, or explain what a militia is in the second amendment, or outline what happens if the Senate decides it simply can’t be bothered to carry out its constitutional obligations by approving appointments made by the president. It contains no information about how elections should be funded. And the thing is well nigh impossible to amend.

Beginning with the Gingrich radicals who took over the House in 1994, the modern Republican party has been willing to exploit the constitution’s design flaws and the constitutional order’s reliance on informal understandings between political actors to sabotage the functioning of Congress, destroy the Obama presidency, and seize vastly more power than the American people would otherwise have granted it.

When they retake power, Democrats should use those same flaws to revive not the party, but our democracy.

First, they should grant statehood to Washington DC and Puerto Rico – long-suffering territories whose citizens are utterly deprived of voting rights and representation in federal elections. This can help rectify the Democrats’ structural imbalance in the US Senate. Breaking the deep-blue state of California into seven states can finish the job, by finally creating about as many blue-leaning as red-leaning states and delivering lasting power (or at least parity) to Senate Democrats and their allies.

The theft of Merrick Garland’s seat by Republicans and the deepening intensity of congressional battles over federal judicial appointments should lead the next Democratic administration to pack the supreme court, by adding liberal justices until progressives finally have their first majority in a long generation, as well as creating hundreds of new judgeships in the federal judiciary.
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The constitution does not stipulate the number of justices either on the supreme court or the lower courts, and Democrats should use the threat of court-packing to press for a constitutional amendment to end lifetime tenure in the federal judiciary as well as enacting other reforms that would finally remove destructive, ugly battles over the courts from our political landscape.

Progressives should also get behind a change in how we elect our representatives to the House, enacting proportional representation reforms that would not only eliminate the grotesque chicanery of gerrymandering but also make it possible for smaller parties to finally win a seat at the governing table. And they should double the size of the House to bring the constituent-to-legislator ratio more in line with what the founders envisioned”.

 

Two Ways Democrats Can Remove Kavanaugh – Without Impeaching Him

Two ways Democrats can remove Kavanaugh – without impeaching him

Before Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in, critics were calling for his impeachment. The political polarization over allegations that he had assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were teenagers doesn’t show much sign of abating. Impeachment is a polarizing process itself, though, one that even many Democrats appear uneasy about pursuing if they win control of Congress in next month’s elections.

Per the above article: “A Democratic Congress and a future Democratic president could remove Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court if they wanted without needing to impeach him. There are two other ways to kick a sitting justice off the court – neither of which requires a supermajority.

In the first, a new president would nominate and the Senate would confirm by majority vote a justice – in this case Kavanaugh – to a different post on an intermediate court of appeals (say the D.C. Circuit, where Kavanaugh formerly served). The justice would, in effect, be demoted.

It finds support in an 1803 Supreme Court case called Stuart v. Laird. The fading Federalist Party of John Adams had created 16 new federal judgeships in 1801 – in part to spare Supreme Court justices from having to “ride the circuit” and hear regional appellate cases. Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans triumphed at the polls and abolished the new positions in 1802.

The second alternative method of relieving a justice of his or her duties. In a 2006 article in the Yale Law Journal, two scholars (conservatives, as it happens), Saikrishna Prakash and Steven D. Smith, amassed historical evidence that the Framers understood the “good behavior” standard to be judicially, rather than just politically, enforceable.

They pointed out that judicial removal proceedings were used in English law in the 1780s, and were included in the New York, South Carolina and Massachusetts pre-1787 constitutions. Moreover, they noted, “good behavior” was included by the Continental Congress as a standard in the 1787 Northwest Ordinance for courts in the territories – before there were a separate House and Senate to conduct an impeachment.

As (roughly) proposed in the Yale article, Congress could pass a statute authorizing a specially constituted bench of federal judges – say, five randomly drawn judges – to determine whether a particular judge (here, Kavanaugh) had violated the “good behavior” standard. That special bench could hold a hearing and, if convinced by the evidence, make the requisite finding to trigger exit from the bench. This approach wouldn’t require a congressional supermajority. It would need a presidential signature.

Current federal law contains a trace of this mechanism. When a judge is convicted of a felony, whether in state or federal court, the law now states that he or she “shall not hear or decide cases” unless a council of judges decides otherwise. To be sure, the judge keeps a salary in the interim. But the judge is effectively sidelined – as completely as if he or she were impeached.

The creation of a new vehicle for judicial peer review seems to be the optimal option, as it would create a nonpartisan, procedurally robust device for disciplining judges.

Supreme Court justices right now have no real supervisors when it comes to ethics, and impeachment has come to seem excessively partisan. A standing body, available for all cases of misconduct – not just a ticket for one ride only – would resolve that problem, no matter who the appointing president.

 

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