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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#19681 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-02, 09:26

From What Democrats Don’t Understand About Rural America by Chloe Maxmin and Canyon Woodward

Ms. Maxmin, 29, is the youngest female state senator in Maine’s history. Mr. Woodward ran her two campaigns. They are the authors of the forthcoming book “Dirt Road Revival,” from which this essay is adapted.

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NOBLEBORO, Maine — We say this with love to our fellow Democrats: Over the past decade, you willfully abandoned rural communities. As the party turned its focus to the cities and suburbs, its outreach became out of touch and impersonal. To rural voters, the message was clear: You don’t matter.

Now, Republicans control dozens of state legislatures, and Democrats have only tenuous majorities in Congress at a time in history when we simply can’t afford to cede an inch. The party can’t wait to start correcting course. It may be too late to prevent a blowout in the fall, but the future of progressive politics — and indeed our democracy — demands that we revive our relationship with rural communities.

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Perhaps the most memorable experience was in 2018 at the end of a winding driveway on a cold fall day. Several men were in the garage, working on their snowmobiles. Chloe stepped out to greet them. “Hi, I’m Chloe, and I’m running for state representative.” The owner immediately responded with a question: Did she support Medicaid expansion? Chloe answered honestly that she did. The man pointed an angry finger toward the road and told her to leave.

Taken aback, Chloe asked: “Hold on a second. What just happened? I’m honestly just interested to hear your perspective, even if you don’t vote for me.”

This gentleman went on to tell his story, how he grew up on that very property without any electricity or running water; how he had worked hard to build a life for himself and his family, which included paying for his own health care without any help from the government. This was his way of life and what he believed in. It was an honest conversation, and by the end, he said he would vote for Chloe.

Gradually, our own volunteers learned from Chloe how to find common ground. Despite the many doors shut in their faces, they largely succeeded.

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As Democrats, we feel every day the profound urgency of our times, the existential necessity of racial justice, the impending doom of the climate crisis, the imperative to reform our criminal justice system, and so much more. At the same time, as a party we’ve made some big mistakes as we walk down the road to a better world. Abandoning rural voters could be one of the costliest.

But it’s not too late to make amends, to rebuild our relationship with the quiet roads of rural America. We have to hit the ground running, today, this cycle, and recommit ourselves to the kind of politics that reaches every corner of our country.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19682 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-02, 21:21

@SCOTUSblog said:

It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff. This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin.


Justice Sotomayor after oral arguments in December said:

Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the constitution and its reading are just political acts? I don’t see how it is possible.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19683 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-May-03, 08:25

"It's impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause"
Yes, and as with earthquakes it is tough to see what survives and what stays.
There are those who, regardless of what the Constitution does or does not guarantee, oppose the right to abortion and there are those, I am one of them, who regardless of what the Constitution does or does not guarantee, support the right to abortion. It is my understanding that I am in the majority, a fairly large majority on this one.

Many of us, including someone like me who was carried to full term and then put up for adoption, find it abhorrent to climb into the lives of people we don't know and tell them that they must do as we tell them to do. Butting in is just following the will of God? Try Luke 12: "Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?" Ok, that was about money. But if someone follows the teachings and gives up his worldly goods in service to the poor then perhaps, and that is just perhaps, they can tell us that they speak for God. All others should butt out.

The consequences will be very severe for many very good people. A person does not need to be an expert on the Constitution to see that.

Earthquakes cause changes, not all of the change is predictable.
Ken
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#19684 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-May-03, 09:05

I think that this is missing the real issue here.

Many people, myself included, believe two seats on the current Supreme Court were stolen.
Many people, myself included, believe that Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett perjured themselves during their confirmation hearings.
Many people, myself included, believe that the current Supreme Court is going to gut a whole bunch of related decisions that also hinge notions of privacy
Alderaan delenda est
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#19685 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-03, 09:24

Heather Cox Richardson said:

And so here we are. A minority, placed in control of the U.S. Supreme Court by a president who received a minority of the popular vote and then, when he lost reelection, tried to overturn our democracy, is explicitly taking away a constitutional right that has been protected for fifty years. Its attack on federal protection of civil rights applies not just to abortion, but to all the protections put in place since World War II: the right to use birth control, marry whomever you wish, live in desegregated spaces, and so on.

The draft opinion says the state legislatures are the true heart of our democracy and that they alone should determine abortion laws in the states. But Republican-dominated legislatures have also curtailed the right to vote. When Democrats in Congress tried to protect voting rights, Senate Republicans killed it with the filibuster.

Tonight's news is an alarm like the 1857 Dred Scott decision, which gave a few white men who controlled state legislatures power over the American majority.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19686 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-May-03, 12:39

View Posthrothgar, on 2022-May-03, 09:05, said:

I think that this is missing the real issue here.

Many people, myself included, believe two seats on the current Supreme Court were stolen.
Many people, myself included, believe that Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett perjured themselves during their confirmation hearings.
Many people, myself included, believe that the current Supreme Court is going to gut a whole bunch of related decisions that also hinge notions of privacy

This brief from Alito is simply a poorly-made argument that the confederacy won the war.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19687 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-May-03, 13:53

Oh come on, Hrothgar.

Of course, they didn't lie when they agreed that Roe was settled law.

It was the law.
It was settled.
That as soon as 5 real votes (can't trust Roberts, the louse, he cares too much about his reputation) are available, it's going down.
Hopefully along with Griswold, Casey and all the rest of those "the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation" laws.

I mean, Trudeau was a -ing Liberal! and anti-American! and French!

(in case it isn't obvious, it's going to take solvent to remove tongue from cheek)
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#19688 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-03, 17:47

Jonathan V. Last at The Bulwark said:

Susan Collins is either the most dishonest, the most gullible, or the dumbest member of the United States Senate.

Manu Raju at CNN said:

Susan Collins: “If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office.”

That goes right up there with this Collins classic from February 2020:

"I believe that the president has learned from this case," Collins told CBS News anchor Norah O'Donnell. "The president has been impeached — that's a pretty big lesson."

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19689 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-May-03, 17:53

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-May-03, 12:39, said:

This brief from Alito is simply a poorly-made argument that the confederacy won the war.

Somehow I missed this. I read the complete brief (98 pages) and I found no mention of The War Between the States. Could you please provide a reference? Thanks.
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#19690 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-May-04, 17:42

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But Republican-dominated legislatures have also curtailed the right to vote.

Could you please elaborate on this observation? Exactly what are the "curtailments"? Thank you for a reasoned response.
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#19691 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-05, 13:44

From How to save the Supreme Court at The Economist:

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... Perhaps the judges will change their mind or temper their arguments before the final opinion is issued. Even so, with a 6-3 conservative majority, not the 5-4 split that has held for the past half-century, the court is poised to reopen some of the most contentious questions in American public life. In this, it risks damaging itself and accelerating the division of the country into two mutually hostile blocs.

The outsize power wielded by the court in 2022 derives from a political system that struggles to strike compromises. Lining up a majority in the House, 60 votes in the Senate (to override a filibuster) and a presidential signature is too hard. It is easier for politicians to fundraise off controversy rather than solve problems. Time and again on the thorniest questions—carbon-dioxide emissions, gay marriage, guns, abortion—Congress has failed to reflect public opinion.

By their dereliction, legislators dump big decisions on the justices. As a result Supreme Court confirmations have become trials of strength where the Senate majority holds sway. Donald Trump, who ran on a promise to pick judges explicitly to overturn Roe, further dissolved the idea of judicial independence. All this politicking heaps intolerable pressure on the court.

Conservative Americans, who may not have liked Mr Trump but admire his judges, may retort: so what? Liberals, they argue, broke the court in the 1950s and 1960s, pursuing a programme they could not get past Congress. Roe was shoddily argued and a correction is long overdue. Even if most Americans favour a compromise between a libertarian view and the belief that life begins at conception, judges are supposed to rule on the law, they say, not bend to public opinion.

That is surely right. However, the solution to one activist court 70 years ago is not another activist court today. When the legislature cannot pass laws on the big questions of the age, the courts bear a special responsibility, lest justice itself is poisoned. The court must indeed feel that it can go against public opinion. But in whatever it does it should weigh tradition and precedent and exercise restraint. If the justices take it upon themselves to cut through legislative knots, using their power maximally, they will transform themselves into the lifelong members of an all-powerful unelected third chamber.

Three bad outcomes may follow. The justices might find their judgments ignored. An America where the rule of law was weakened would be less free and more dysfunctional. If the court loses its ability to be the decider of last resort, the role asked of it in the presidential election in 2000—and again in 2020—it could lose its ability to settle disputes peacefully.

Second, if in the name of conservatism the justices start tearing up precedents that have stood for half a century, there will be growing political pressure to remake the court. Packing it is a terrible idea, and currently a fringe position in the Democratic Party. But if the court swings hard to the right, every Democratic presidential candidate in 2024 will be asked what they would do to tame a body in which a third of the justices were nominated and confirmed by a president and senators who represented a minority of Americans. Such proposals could be at issue even while the court had to rule on the outcome of the vote.

Third, America’s divisions into red and blue camps would deepen. The United States is a federal system where states enjoy discretion to write many of their own laws. But unlike the European Union it is also a nation. If state laws became so divergent that nobody in California could own a gun and gay people in Texas could not marry, that would lead to a trampling of the rights of minorities in those states. The only solution would be to move. But an America where almost everyone in one state was Republican and almost everyone in a neighbouring state was Democratic could hardly be expected to come together in any national endeavour. States bound in such an arrangement would hardly be united at all.

The ideal way to avoid this would be for the legislature to rediscover the art of compromise, so that the court could act as the arbiter it was meant to be. Political questions are best solved by politicians, not judges. That possibility looks awfully distant today, but Ireland managed to find a compromise on abortion by creating a citizens’ assembly which issued recommendations to the government. If only America could rediscover the spirit of institutional innovation and participatory democracy, some of the questions that now seem untouchable could be opened.

Until then the court should save itself by acting with restraint. It should also seek to bolster its own legitimacy. Congress is debating an ethics code, prompted in part by the discovery that Clarence Thomas’s wife, a Republican activist, was angling to overturn the election result. Rather than wait, the justices should impose a code on themselves. And, while they are at it, they should announce term limits. Some new members of the court could still be around in 2050. That is asking a lot of them, but unless justices act wisely now, the court will be a different place by then—and America a different country.

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#19692 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-05, 17:27

Linda Greenhouse at NYT said:

https://www.nytimes....rimination.html

In the wake of the mortifying breach that the leak represents, there has been much talk of the Supreme Court’s “legitimacy.” The court has a problem, no doubt, one that barriers of unscalable height around its building won’t solve. But if a half-century of progress toward a more equal society, painstakingly achieved across many fronts by many actors, can be so easily jettisoned with the wave of a few judicial hands, the problem to worry about isn’t the court’s. It’s democracy’s. It’s ours.

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#19693 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-May-05, 17:31

Despite the title "How to save the Supreme Court from itself" (two up) I do not see any practical suggestions in the article as to how to do that. Some problems can't be solved. I do not believe this is going to go well for anyone. Liberals are hardly the only ones who come to difficult situations with unwanted pregnancies. The well-off, whether R or D, will easily cope. They always do. Others, whether R or D, will find themselves in a mess. It is my understanding that before Roe v Wade the country was achieving some decent consensus on reasonable agreements. That is in the past, we don't do reasonable consensus anymore.
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#19694 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-May-05, 18:33

View Postkenberg, on 2022-May-05, 17:31, said:

That is in the past, we don't do reasonable consensus anymore.

That is what is so disheartening to me. Both sides are dug in to "my way or the highway". Middle ground is obviously obsolete.
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#19695 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-05, 19:16

From Who Gets Abortions in America? at NYT/Upshot:

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Much of the political debate about abortion in America focuses on abortions performed late in pregnancy, but the overwhelming majority of them occur in the first trimester. Forty-three percent of all abortions occur in the first six weeks of pregnancy, and 92 percent in the first 13 weeks.

In 1973, the Roe decision provided a constitutional right to abortion before fetal viability, around 23 weeks. If it’s overturned, at least 22 states are likely to ban abortions altogether, or much earlier in pregnancy.

The Mississippi law before the Supreme Court concerns a ban on abortions after 15 weeks. In the 47 states with available data, about 21,500 women a year, accounting for 4 percent of American abortions, had the procedure after that time. The women who receive later abortions are more likely to be poor or young or to have serious health complications.

During oral arguments on the Mississippi case, Chief Justice John Roberts seemed interested in changing the legal standard to protect some abortion rights but allow a limit like 15 weeks. No other justice appeared interested in the solution, and lawyers on both sides declined to suggest how a compromise could work legally.

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#19696 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-05, 19:43

View Postkenberg, on 2022-May-05, 17:31, said:

Despite the title "How to save the Supreme Court from itself" (two up) I do not see any practical suggestions in the article as to how to do that. Some problems can't be solved. I do not believe this is going to go well for anyone. Liberals are hardly the only ones who come to difficult situations with unwanted pregnancies. The well-off, whether R or D, will easily cope. They always do. Others, whether R or D, will find themselves in a mess. It is my understanding that before Roe v Wade the country was achieving some decent consensus on reasonable agreements. That is in the past, we don't do reasonable consensus anymore.

To your point, it's not like Roberts hasn't tried to get his colleagues to act with restraint or that Alito & Co have shown any interest in stepping back from the brink.
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#19697 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-May-05, 19:50

View Posty66, on 2022-May-05, 19:16, said:

From Who Gets Abortions in America? at NYT/Upshot:

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92 percent in the first 13 weeks.

FWIW I find that completely reasonable. Hopefully the voters in Georgia, Texas, and other states can convince their legislators to adopt the Mississippi version (15 weeks). The "fetal heartbeat" laws stink in my opinion. From what I read a fetal heartbeat can occur before a woman is absolutely sure she's knocked up.
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#19698 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2022-May-05, 20:18

View Posty66, on 2022-May-05, 19:16, said:

From Who Gets Abortions in America? at NYT/Upshot:

Quote

During oral arguments on the Mississippi case, Chief Justice John Roberts seemed interested in changing the legal standard to protect some abortion rights but allow a limit like 15 weeks. No other justice appeared interested in the solution, and lawyers on both sides declined to suggest how a compromise could work legally.


Considering that the Mississippi law sets a limit of 15 weeks, one might think that the lawyer arguing the Mississippi side might have a suggestion of how that could be done legally.
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#19699 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-May-06, 04:43

View PostChas_P, on 2022-May-05, 19:50, said:

FWIW I find that completely reasonable. Hopefully the voters in Georgia, Texas, and other states can convince their legislators to adopt the Mississippi version (15 weeks). The "fetal heartbeat" laws stink in my opinion. From what I read a fetal heartbeat can occur before a woman is absolutely sure she's knocked up.


In the UK, it's 24 weeks which I think was set because that was about the limit of when they could have a baby survive when the law was set. I believe the survival limit is lower than that now (I have acquaintances with a baby born at 23 weeks), but the standard scan that picks up abnormalities is at 20 weeks and tightening up the abortion limit would either pressure a horrible decision or prevent a wanted/needed abortion.
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#19700 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-May-06, 04:53

View PostCyberyeti, on 2022-May-06, 04:43, said:

In the UK, it's 24 weeks which I think was set because that was about the limit of when they could have a baby survive when the law was set. I believe the survival limit is lower than that now (I have acquaintances with a baby born at 23 weeks), but the standard scan that picks up abnormalities is at 20 weeks and tightening up the abortion limit would either pressure a horrible decision or prevent a wanted/needed abortion.


20 weeks is half way through the pregnancy.
Neural tube defects can now be detected with modern ultrasound in the first trimester.
In any event the question of when life begins is something that religious people feel very strongly about.
At the moment of conception?
At about 20 weeks?
Or when the dog dies and the kids leave home?

If it was me that was making the decision I wouldn't want Dr Strangelove from Texas telling me what to do.
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