It doesn’t take a genius or even a veteran political watcher to conclude that Americans don’t have long attention spans.
Perhaps the lack of retention is due to the establishment news media’s fondness for sensationalizing every little tidbit of information whether the hysteria is warranted or not. How many times have we seen “Breaking News” flash across a screen to describe an occurrence that normally wouldn’t prompt much mention at all, such as a press secretary leaving vice president Kamala “no one gets out of my hemisphere happy” Harris or yet another House Democrat retiring rather than risking being humiliated and summarily booted out of office because of senile president Joe Biden’s abysmal job approval ratings or his or her district was reassembled in a manner that made a return trip to Washington too arduous. But then there are morsels of news that really merit a big to-do in the press. Such was the case (almost) a month ago when 83-year-old liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer let it leak that he was stepping down from the position he’d held for nearly three decades. High court openings always generate a buzz, but this one was particularly noteworthy among liberals. Breyer maintains one of three solid constitution-bending votes left on the Court, and Democrats have been begging, pleading, cajoling -- and threatening -- him to walk away while he was still under his own power… and while liberals still clung to a senate majority.
This was a big deal, yet four weeks later the opening barely receives a brief second glance in the mainstream corporate media. The shiny-object chasing talkers would much prefer offering another story on Russia and Ukraine complete with images of Vladimir Putin and a teeth-gritting tough guy Joe Biden trading official communiques. And there was the recently finished spectacle of the jackboot wearing Canadian dictator Justin Trudeau tossing a bunch of freedom loving truckers in jail over COVID vaccine mandates. As far as the Court goes? Crickets. Will there be a confirmation fight? Is anyone even listening? Senator Ted Cruz weighed-in earlier this week. Ryan Lovelace reported at The Washington Times:
“Sen. Ted Cruz said Sunday that President Biden’s forthcoming Supreme Court nominee should not expect personal attacks akin to what Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh faced during his 2018 confirmation to the high court.
“Mr. Cruz said he and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee would undertake a ‘vigorous’ vetting of the nominee to replace retiring Justice Stephen G. Breyer, but the focus would be on the nominee’s record.
“’We’re not going to do what the Democrats did with Brett Kavanaugh,’ the Texas Republican told ‘Fox News Sunday.’ ‘We’re not going to go into the gutter. We’re not going to engage in personal slime and attacks. We’re going to focus on the nominee’s record, on substance, on what kind of justice she would make.’”
Sounds pretty normal, doesn’t it? Almost boring. Imagine senators sitting in a committee room going from politician to politician asking the witness questions and poring over notebooks of writings and staff scribblings about the person in front of them. There would probably be some terse exchanges and an occasional dirty look from one of the Democrat senators, but on the whole, the dramatic nature of Kavanaugh’s days before the inquisition should be lacking this time around. A bigger question these days is, who will she be? Why haven’t we heard an announcement yet?
Admittedly there could be a lot of reasons, but might it be that no one wants the job? Before you scoff and dismiss, consider the whichever (it wouldn’t be whomever because senile Joe already indicated the individual would be a black woman, a member of a category, so she becomes an object rather than a real human being to Democrats -- sad) African-American woman ends up in that seat, she’ll most likely spend the rest of her judicial career voting in the minority on landmark liberal cultural issues. Put it this way -- the Supreme Court already has two female members who are nothing but rubberstamp placeholders for future justices who could carry the torch of liberalism and judicial activism forward. Granted I haven’t delved deeply into either of their two voting records, but I’m not aware of either Sonia Sotomayor or Elena Kagan ever siding with a conservative majority on any headlining cases during their tenures on the Court. This means that they’re losers! We kind of figured this anyway, but reality suggests liberal justices only occasionally get to taste victory for their side. The rest of the time they watch powerlessly as the conservative originalists debate among themselves and lobby Chief Justice John Roberts to be selected to write the court opinion. This might not be a blow-by-blow overview of how it’s actually done behind closed doors in the Court chambers, and numerous so-called “conservative” justices have proven unreliable over the decades, but generally speaking, the current conservative majority will be writing the legal interpretations from this point forward, and they’ll be doing it for a long, long time. Unless there are a wave of retirements and/or untimely deaths -- or, gulp, ideological turncoats/born again activists to upset the balance. This means Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, (Chief) John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett will have their names signed to the official majority opinions -- the ones current lawyers and future law students will find when they peruse those big law books (do they even do this anymore or is it all online?). The next to the study table are persuasive but non-binding concurring opinions, which are always interesting because they could provide clues as to the Court’s next course of action. Then there are the lowly dissenting opinions, which, if the law clerk or student is still awake in the recesses of the night and actually choose to read them, sometimes provide comic relief and/or substitute for toilet paper if the community restroom suddenly runs out of Charmin during non-regular business/custodial hours. 99 percent of the citizenry doesn’t pay any attention to Supreme Court opinions, and of those that do, they’re sure as heck not devoting a lot of their excess energy into deciphering what Sonia Sotomayor or Elena Kagan or (insert as yet unnamed black woman justice) thinks about an important issue on the losing end. They’re too predictable, and they’re not going to be famous for anything but dissenting complaints, are they? Who knows, maybe the media will concoct a grand “discrimination” scheme whereby the journos and liberal cable hosts accuse the five white, non-Jewish justices and Clarence Thomas (who the Washington Post says “thinks” like a white man anyway) of picking on the triumvirate of minority women (Kagan is Jewish, right? That’s close enough!) because they’re all a bunch of white supremacist rednecks in fancy black robes. Without delving too deep on the current makeup of the Court, Chief Justice Roberts appears to be settling into the role of moderate “swing” vote on the bench, but that still leaves five fairly steady votes for the liberty, make the legislatures do their jobs side. Let’s not forget that Donald Trump replaced retired Justice Anthony Kennedy (with Brett Kavanaugh) and dearly departed liberal legend Ruth Bader Ginsburg (with Amy Coney Barrett). If these relative newcomers stay true to their stated judicial philosophies, they should be more like Clarence Thomas than Stephen Breyer. Therefore, the newest Supreme Court justice faces either a couple decades of frustration and the irrelevance of always being on the losing end of Court votes -- or possibly taking a crash course in Antonin-Scalia like originalism and getting an assignment or two to write an important majority opinion. If not, she can always get real good at penning boring civil procedure opinions. But who cares about that stuff? (Kidding, of course -- there are no inconsequential Court rulings.) All of the aforementioned reasons should be taken into account when assessing who senile Joe is likely to select -- and whether they’d even want the job. It’s almost unfathomable that an aspiring Supreme Court justice would turn down an appointment, but life in the minority on the Court isn’t necessarily much more successful and satisfying than being a backbencher in the House of Representatives with Nancy Pelosi wielding the Speaker’s gavel. In other words, you don’t get to do much consequential work. The media will still chase after the woman for being a “groundbreaking” female black justice, but the interviewer had better skip over the part about what she’s done to help steer American jurisprudence for the next half century. Translation: I’m not much better than a seat warmer in a big marble building.
Technically speaking, politics plays no role in Supreme Court controversies, but it sure does when liberals work to shove through social engineering or create “new” Constitutional rights out of thin air. Being an originalist should be easy, since legislatures make the laws, courts need only interpret them. Whoever the new Biden-appointed justice is, she’ll need to find her way on the bench.
There’s a lot to think about, that’s for sure.
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