It is so easy to get lost in the headlines, especially when they’re negative. Voting rights, police reform, the BBB act, immigration. All failures. And then you can throw in supply change problems, rising inflation, and Covid-19. All of which can leave Biden looking like some sorry sad sack that can’t even tie his own shoes in the morning. And the polls show it.

But there’s a reason why they say A week is a lifetime in politics. Our national attention span is short, and issues ebb and flow on a daily basis. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment.

But some things are far more consequential than the daily ebb and flow of headlines. There are decisions that President’s make that last long after a cycle, a year, or even a term. They become a legacy.

And nowhere is a decision more consequential and long lasting than when it involves the judiciary. Ronald Reagan left office on January 20th, 1989. But there are still, to this day, Reagan appointed federal judges determining our lives. George HW Bush only served one term, but Clarence Thomas is still a national nuisance.

For decades, the Democrats either misunderstood or ignored the GOP and the Federalist Society’s obsession with the federal courts. In this, the GOP wisely decided to play a Chinese style long game, and work silently in the shadows. And it paid off. The federal district courts are the fodder for the federal appellate courts. And the appellate courts are the fodder for the Supreme Court. And the GOP and the Federalist Society set out to pack them at all costs.

And it worked. It all exploded when Justice Antonin Scalia died, and the traitor to the union, Bitch McConnell held the seat open for more than 300 days, so that an illegitimate President Trump could fill the seat. And then Trump got two more picks in 4 years, and suddenly the Supreme Court was a 6-3 GOP supermajority. And only then did the Democrats realize how short sighted they had been in the importance of the court, when Roe v Wade was in mortal peril.

But one dude did. Papa Joe Biden was once the Chair of the Senate Judiciary committee, he ran hearings for confirmations of judges. He well knew that the legacy of a President was the number of judges he put on the bench, because they would be around long after he was gone.

And President Biden has aggressively moved to tip the scales back towards justice again. Lawrence O’Donnell reported that in his first year, President Biden had confirmed 42 federal district court and appellate judges, more than double what Trump accomplished in his first year. You have to go all the way back to 1961, when JFK was president to find more judges approved. And that was in an era when judges were normally confirmed by unanimous consent, as long as they had green cards from their two home state Senators.

Take my word for it, this is something that the Democrats have to turn into a national issue for 2022. They spent decades ceding the courts to the GOP, and only mobilized when women’s rights were finally threatened. And with the country on court watch for the Mississippi abortion ban decision, it’s time to turn up the heat.

And remember one thing. This country is full of white suburban women voters, sick of Trump, who don’t want to see their reproductive rights compromised either. And as every GOP legislative state rushes to emulate Texas and Mississippi, this could lead to some serious surprises in November.

The Democrats need to immediately start a national ad campaign, highlighting Biden’s record of elevating judges to the bench. They can talk about abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, workers rights. Biden has at least another full year to keep appointing judges, and cut into the disparity. Democrats only seem to become motivated by panic, and nowhere has there been a better time. Both LGBTQ as well as reporductive right poll as incredibly popular. In their endless thirst to play to their dunderheaded Evangelical base, the GOP is leaving itself wide open. Time to pay the piper.


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  1. What I want to see is Beer Kavanaugh impeached and removed. Sen Whitehouse (D-RI) sent a referral to the DOJ regarding BK’s perjury during his confirmation hearing. Of course, Barr was AG at the time and it went into the circular file. I believe he resent it when Garland became AG. While he has a lot on his plate right now, he ought to be able to spare a prosecutor or two for this.

    Rather than expand the Supreme Court, if we are able to increase our Senate majority, I think it would be easier to institute mandatory retirement. The way it would work is you can serve 20 yrs or until age 70, whichever comes first. At retirement, justices can take senior status at any federal court of their choice, circuit or district, if they desire, thus maintaining their “lifetime” seat. The wrinkle is whether to make it immediately effective or to grandfather all sitting justices.

    So, if we remove BK and pass retirement and make it immediately effective, Alito, Breyer and Thomas would exit SCOTUS. That would give us a 6-3 majority.

    That’s my fantasy and I’m holding onto it as long as possible.

    Yes, Biden and Schumer are doing a great job installing qualified jurists and greatly diversifying our courts.

    • Minor problem with your scenario about “make it immediately effective” is that most laws will exempt people who would be negatively affected by the law. For example, when the Reagan Administration decided to raise the legal drinking age from 18 to 21, it could NOT force young people already in that age group from continuing to drink legally so they were “grandfathered” into the new law. (People who hadn’t turned 18 by the date the new law went into effect had to wait until they turned 21 but people who turned 18, even just the day before the law went into effect, remained legally able to drink alcoholic beverages. It was a bit of a headache for the folks who had to enforce the law–liquor stores, grocery stores, restaurants–for the first couple of years but the troublesome part eventually was resolved.)

      Some of the longer serving judges (not just SCOTUS but all the federal justices) might need to be incentivized to leave the courts. But I also don’t really see where you come up with this “give us a 6-3 majority” since, as I noted, it would be highly unlikely to force a current Justice off the court even if a law establishing term limits or age limits were to go into effect tomorrow. (Here in Alabama, state judges have an age limit of 70 BUT that doesn’t apply to a judge who was elected at the age of 69 3/4 for a six-year term. As long as a judge has not actually reached his or her 70th birthday when being sworn in for a new term, they’re legally allowed to serve out their full term. That’s why we finally got Roy Moore off the Alabama Supreme Court. He’d been suspended in 2016 and his term would’ve been up in Jan of 2019 but he turned 71 in 2018 which meant he wouldn’t be eligible to run for the Court again. But he chose to resign so he could run for Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat which, at the time, was held by Luther Strange–if he’d won that race he could stay in office till he retired or was forced to resign. It’s worth noting most judges who will be between 68 and 70 when they have to decide on a re-election bid do choose to retire rather than run for re-election.)

      • It all depends on how the law is written and whether they specify a date in the future as the effective date. They can make it effective immediately but that may be too politically fraught.

  2. We need term and/or age limits for Congress, the Senate and the Judiciary. All these old geezers (I’m one myself) cling to their outdated sexist, misogynistic, racist and militaristic views of what society should be despite the fact that younger generations are NOT on the same page. The society is in constant flux but not the old dinosaurs that want things to be like they were 50 years ago. A President can only serve 8 years. It should be the same for the rest of them.

    • “All these old geezers (I’m one myself) cling to their outdated sexist, misogynistic, racist and militaristic views of what society should be despite the fact that younger generations are NOT on the same page.”

      I’m sorry. How old is/was the “Q Shaman?” How old is Madison Cawthorn? Are we really to believe that all those youngish faces at Trump’s rallies were there by force?

      When you allow yourself to be deluded into believing that ONLY “old geezers” are “sexist, misogynistic, racist and militaristic,” you leave yourself in for a terrible letdown when you realize that Donald Trump won the white 18-29 year old demographic (53%, per 2020 election exit poll results) and even won the white woman demographic (55%). Per the breakdown, the white 18-29 vote was 8% of the total vote while the Black and Latino vote of the same age group was only 7%; the 18-29 bracket accounted for 11.9% of the total white vote but nearly 27% of the total Black and Latino vote (separating the Black and Latino vote, the bracket was 23% of the Black vote and nearly 31% of the Latino vote).

      The 12 youngest members of the House consist of 7 Democrats (AOC is the youngest there at 32) and 5 GOPers (with Cawthorn being the youngest overall at 26) while the 12 youngest members of the Senate consist of 6 Democrats (Jon Ossoff is the youngest overall at 34) and 6 GOPers (with Josh Hawley at 42 being the youngest). You don’t get young GOP members of Congress without there being young GOPers.


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