Da – Court Packing Notes



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Court Packing DA
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Rosenberg ’17 [Paul; December 3; Columnist, citing political analysts; Salon, “GOP's court-packing spree: It's only the beginning,” https://www.salon.com/2017/12/03/gops-court-packing-spree-its-only-the-beginning/; RP]
“It does seem to be true that the American right is more comfortable playing hardball than the left,” Hopkins told Salon. “One reason, I think, is that there is a greater sense of urgency on the right. Many conservatives are frustrated with their lack of progress over the years in rolling back the modern domestic state, while the leftward drift of American culture further contributes to their disaffection and alienation. If existing norms of governance have helped lead us to this current state of affairs, they reason, then perhaps these norms do not deserve much deference.”
There’s also an inhibition working on the other side. “It’s also the case that the center-left in America tends to have a lot of philosophical investment in the practice of proceduralfairness,’ which often makes it uncomfortable with aggressive displays of political power even on its own behalf,” Hopkins said. Indeed, ever since the 1950s, there have been comments about how liberals have become de facto conservatives, protectors of the established order.
“Finally, I think it’s clear that conservatives prioritize representation in the judicial branch much more than liberals do at this period in history," Hopkins concluded. "Control of the court system, up to and including the Supreme Court, simply matters more these days to conservatives, who view the federal judiciary as broadly hostile to their beliefs and capable of threatening their political values and power via adverse rulings.”
Corey Robin, author of "The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism From Edmund Burke to Donald Trump" (Salon review here), took a longer view. “At moments of realignment, for example, American liberalism wasn't thinking in terms of iterative games or Burkeanism,” he said. “It saw itself, and rightly so, as transforming the rules of the game, of permanently altering the terms of discussion. And it saw itself as being the gravediggers of a pathological formation that would never return: the slaveocracy, in the case of Lincoln and the Radical Republicans, and the Gilded Age oligarchy, in the case of the New Deal.” In this larger historical framework, both sides have been equally capable of playing constitutional hardball, as Tushnet argues.
“Conversely, what I see in this current proposal from the conservatives is less a feature of permanent conservative thinking — though I can see why you would say that, what with references to ‘the last round’ — than a sign of conservative weakness,” Robin said. “I think conservatives see themselves in a race against time: counterintuitively, and in contrast to [Primus], I think they anticipate that their hold on political power is slipping ... and they see the judiciary as a way of locking in their gains long past the expiration date.”
This is certainly in keeping with their wide-ranging voter-suppression efforts, along with the ambitious $30 million gerrymandering scheme described by former Salon editor David Daley in "Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy."
“Their model here is the Gilded Age judiciary, which was able to hold the line against growing populist and legislative attacks on economic wealth and power,” Robin said. “So it is a last round, and it is a fight to the finish, but it's a fight they except to lose in every respect save one: their lock on the judiciary. History suggests that is not an irrational way of thinking about their current predicament, insofar as the Lochner-era Supreme Court [from about 1897 to 1937] and lower courts really did strike down progressive legislation for decades.”

Next is the internal link. A conservative court system undermines environmental regulations necessary to curb global warming.



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