Thursday, February 4, 2016

President Bernie and the Supremes

At the February 4th Democratic Debate Bernie Sanders stated that  he would not appoint any justice to the Supreme Court who hasn't spoken out loudly that he or she would overturn the Citizens United decision.

That would be a big change from the norm wherein most nominees to the court are extra careful to NOT indicate how they would vote on an issue prior to being appointed.  This sort of thing was frowned upon after the Bork debacle during the Reagan presidency.

A President Sanders would most likely have to get his candidate approved by a Republican-led senate which I would think would make such a nomination dead-on-arrival.

If Sanders COULD get someone who both passed his litmus test AND successfully navigated the congressional consent process, Citizens United wouldn't be reversed on the first Monday the following October.  Someone would still have to bring an appropriate case in the lower courts and that case would have to progress all the way up the federal court system, which means an awful lot of appeals (translate: It would take years).  Then the Supreme Court would have to agree to hear the case, and the case would have to have broad enough enough ramifications to effect the Citizens United decision and not have a narrower interpretation.

As a sitting senator, Bernie Sanders is obviously aware of how our system works so, considering all it would take to get that decision reversed, I can't help but find Bernie's statement disingenuous.

Not hatin' Just sayin'

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ted Talk

I watched Sen. Ted Cruz doing a meet 'n' greet at a bar in New Hampshire where he quoted John F. Kennedy multiple times.  Not certain whether that was to imply he was the natural heir to Kennedy's political legacy ( I believe I have heard him say that, today, JFK would be a Republican). A favorite quote he used was "Some people see things the way they are and ask why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?"  

JFK did, indeed, say something like that, quoting George Bernard Shaw, when he addressed the Irish Dail as the first Irish-American president.  In fact, a few years later, most famously, Robert Kennedy paraphrased the quote and, at his funeral, Teddy Kennedy did the same.  

But when I watched Cruz say those words, I couldn't help but be reminded of another quote from a Kennedy:

"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."
That comes from RFK's book, The Pursuit of Justice.

I'm no hater. Not wired for it, but when I hear Ted, this comes to mind.

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