Democrats must prepare for the Supreme Court's second try at installing an illegitimate president

Thom plus logo Democrats must prepare for the Supreme Court's second try at installing an illegitimate president The Supreme Court has awesome power, and now that there's a 6-to-3 right-wing majority, they're preparing to use that power like a sledgehammer.

In 2000, they put popular-vote-loser George W. Bush into the White House, and Brett Kavanaugh just signaled to Donald Trump that he's enthusiastic to be part of a second such effort.

They single-handedly decided that corporations should have the rights of persons, and that billionaires and big corporations should be able to legally own politicians.

They've gutted the rights of union workers, devastated environmental protections, ripped apart civil rights and voting rights laws, and made it harder for the average person to hold banks and financial institutions accountable for their ripoffs.

They've empowered CEOs and giant corporations, and reduced the power of voters and average citizens.

And now they're preparing to hear cases where they could gut abortion rights, Obamacare and healthcare rights more generally, and even destroy long-established American institutions like Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance.

But the Supreme Court's power is balanced by an equal, arguably greater power given to Congress by Article III of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to "Regulate" the Court and define "Exceptions" to what the Court can rule on.

Congress decides how many people are on the Supreme Court, and has changed that number many times specifically because of political overreach by conservatives like John Adams and Andrew Johnson.

Congress can force the Court to operate under the federal code of judicial ethics, so it's right-wing members can no longer be wined and dined by right-wing billionaires at fancy resorts around the world.

Congress can pass laws telling the Court what issues and cases they may or may not decide. It's an extraordinary power and hasn't been used in decades.

Congress can expand the entire federal judiciary, to dilute the power and impact of Trump's unqualified right-wing judges.

The question now is whether Congress will rise to the occasion and exercise the power given them in the Constitution.

Whether Congress will act to restrain an out-of-control Court dominated by extremists who have been nurtured and pushed up the ladder by hard-right billionaires.

And, if they do, when the billionaires start screaming about it and funding the next version of their Astroturf Tea Party, whether Democrats will allow themselves to be cowed or bought off.

Everything is on the line now, from personal freedoms to the environment to the right to healthcare during a pandemic.

If Democrats seize the power it looks like they're about to get in this election, we're all going to have to push them very hard, and totally have their backs, to reverse America's current slide toward authoritarianism and billionaire rule.

These billionaires have put hundreds of millions of dollars into a multidecade effort, and are not going to give up easily.

Get ready for a really big fight.



bobbler's picture
bobbler 2 years 31 weeks ago

Good catch Thom. Damn right they will use the 6-3 Supreme Court, if they get the chance. Now I'm wondering If they make it happen? For example how did the hanging Chad become an issue in Florida (obviously the vote was punched if it's hanging on by a fiber thread).

Conservatives at polling locations will probably be told to look for something to dispute, knowing the Supreme Court will take their side.

RepubliCult's picture
RepubliCult 2 years 31 weeks ago

Beware of Fox News. In 2000 they quickly called the election for W. This affected nation wide perception - that Gore was trying to steal the election.

DrRichard 2 years 31 weeks ago

You are right and people should remember that clause. The problem is the current Senate will do nothing, and the new Congress does not meet until the 3rd of January. Now that is 17 days before the president is inaugurated, but what happens if the old has stood by and let the Court declare Trump the winner? The new Congress cannot retroactively demand a do-over or take the power away from the Court for what it has already ruled on. Then we have the nightmare of two persons claiming to be president, almost an 1861 situation and certain to get violent fast. My big worry (aside from Trump clearly losing and going crazy) is that Trump loses and the court somehow reverses it. I cannot imagine the people quietly accepting such an outcome, or our having a functional national government after that.

JohnR45's picture
JohnR45 2 years 31 weeks ago

Take the mandate and put it to work immediately. Make the first 100 Days an eternity for the other, "evil" side!The WORK really begins when (and if) Democrats/Progressives (read: "thinkers with foresight") take majorities and Executive branch. Our recent history, legislatively, has been to sit on our hands and wait for the Conservative/"Libertarian" (read: Corporate leaders) to do the decent thing by the PEOPLE (individuals). THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN! Democrats must get off their butts and LEAD, rouse the sleeping giant of Individuals' Rights to protection--in ALL its various forms, including Equality--by the Federal Government. Start by ending the filibuster use the bully pulpit(s) to inform and rouse the PUBLIC to FIGHT for INDIVIDUALS OVER CORPORATIONS DON'T WAIT EVEN ONE MINUTE!

Legend 2 years 31 weeks ago

Open carry! What could possibly go wrong? One right winger found out that you do not take pepper spray to a gunfight. But 1st degree murder was not in the plan. Whose idea was this? Should we have to risk our life to vote? Don't mind those people with the Weapons of Mass Destruction????

deepspace's picture
deepspace 2 years 31 weeks ago

To an unqualified layman on complex constitutional matters, it just seems like simple common sense that the Framers would have granted the legislative branch broad latitude to regulate the judicial branch, as Thom enumerated above, probably for the exact reason now playing out in real life, or for any other similar scenario that would obviously threaten the balance of power and core principles of the Constitution, or, mainly, for the interests of good governance that represents the People's will (Remember us?) if for nothing else.

So here we have the leader of the Senate, soon to be buried in the minority (Pray to God, sacrifice a goat, self-flagellation, or whatever ya gotta do to make that happen ...after voting!), who has been aggressively flooding the federal court system with highly partisan Judges tilted ninety degrees to the right on virtually every weighty issue.

Moscow Mitch is a petty conman, smarter perhaps but at the core no different from Trump when it comes to morality and decency. He is crudely abusing a sacred leadership position of public trust with gross misrepresentation, rank hypocrisy, and glaring lies recorded for posterity in the Congressional Record. Besides lavishly enriching himself with public largesse in his private life, Dear Leader loves to pull ridiculously lopsided Senate "rules" out of his butt while furthering the great Republican crusade for one-party government in the pocket of the one-percent -- the essence of fascism.

vetinla's picture
vetinla 2 years 31 weeks ago

After listening to Ann Nelson on Thoms show today,10/28/20, and hearing how pervasive the radical anti-democratic forces are around the nation, I've come to believe that IF J. Biden wins, it's only because our real rulers have decided to throw DJT under the bus.

Big organised $ has captured our nation, and IMO, there's no going back.

Love to be wrong on this, we'll soon see.

Daveg426's picture
Daveg426 2 years 30 weeks ago


I suspect the GOP has already got the fix in place and it will happen on Election Day. By the slimmest of margins they will pull off victories in the senate, house and possibly the presidency itself although they may be willing to let that go to Biden. So how are they going to do it, same way it was done in 2016. Manipulation of electronic voting and vote tabulation equipment in favor of the GOP. Manipulation by an embedded script that only comes to life on the day of the election. After November 3rd it becomes dormant so that if the equipment was checked it would appear to be operating normally. How do I arrive at this conspiracy? Previous elections exit polling indicated victories for Clinton that Trump won and the accepted excuse was that people exiting did not want to admit they voted for Trump. About 2 months ago Trump suggested he would postpone the election. Within days McConnell was making a public announcement that the election would take place as planned on November 3rd. When has McConnell ever done anything that was not to the benefit of the GOP. Right wing media realizing early voting favors the Democrats so they are making claims of huge republican turnouts on Election Day. For McConnell and the GOP there is something about the need for November 3rd.

vetinla's picture
vetinla 2 years 30 weeks ago

Why is the debate either capitalism or socialism? Don't people realise all 1st world economies run on MIXED economies. Even countries we're taught are socialist, are in reality MIXED economies.

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