Stipulated that much of politics is symbolic. Why else would a high court judge come to work in a burkha and often cover his head with a white mop tying it all up with a Christmas bow? But in this revolution dedicated to stamping out untruth, symbols slip.
Whether Kenya, South Africa or the U.S., if the tables were turned, I’d push through Amy to the court. It’s the law.
The last greatest untruth to be guillotined is the notion that our courts are impartial. Read history. Everything from slavery to child labor to women’s suffrage struggled to be liberated from our courts. Bush V Gore was political, not chadded. It’s the way it is – worldwide, because the ideal of an impartial judiciary is a fiction.
Kenya and South Africa both originally modeled their governments after Britain’s and America’s, including the composition of courts. Original appointments come from the executive, confirmed by a chamber of the legislature.
Both of those countries, however, went through modern revolutions in the last few decades, and both then revised slightly how they choose the judiciary.
The total prerogative of the executive to appoint judicial candidates was altered. Each country now has a Judicial Services Commission (JSC) tasked with vetting appropriate candidates, from which the executive then has her pick.
That’s laughable, I think. Appointments to the JSC are as political as ever.
Kudus where due, however. The Kenyans require mandatory retirement at 70 years old for any judge, and the position of Chief Judge is limited to 10 years regardless of his age. South Africa’s High Court judges are now limited to terms of 11 years.
You simply can’t get politics out of the judiciary. Amy Coney Barrett is just as qualified as Roger B. Taney or Edward Douglass White. There’s no reason to presume she wouldn’t think a corporation is a person.
The democrats blew the last decade, so elated were they with Obama. They lost the Senate so they lost Garland. Lincoln delayed his supreme court appointment because he was losing the election; it was a clever political move not some moral setting precedent.
I feel as dismissive and cynical about packing the court. Why not? Elections have grown like a wizened tree into the stratosphere of “national will.” Electoral colleges, what on modern earth is that? Voting rights? You mean we have to define that? Fillibastard? Jerry mattered?
Perhaps the most telling failure of the modern age of government was in 1980 in Zimbabwe. A long civil war finally ended with an arrangement that guaranteed a sixteenth of the population that was white a legislative veto of virtually any law for ten years. Fillibuster Extremis.
Wise Britains believed that would give enough time for tempers to cool down and reason to prevail.
Reason does not prevail in power struggles, except as the ends of the means. Wise Britains are today self-destructing in a pandemic icing of an incendiary bottle of champagne of empire destruction: Brexit, or is it No Brexit. As the Irish war begins again, all Britain will leave behind as its legacy is pubs and Monty Python.
You get my point, I’m sure. There’s nothing inherent nor pure about any part of government. So long as everybody plays by a certain set of rules, that’s government. Nothing moral or fair about it.
In my life time conservatives made the rules and progressives accepted them.
It’s so ludicrous the way Americans fall back on their “constitution” – a document in old English that was written before Google could do it for them. Two hundred and fifty years of cultural change, centuries of “interpretation” has removed even the best of that document from serious meaning in today’s world.
I’d go even so far as to suggest the attempt to defend that desiccated document leads to the kind of malicious interpretation that rips babies away from their parents forever, pays lobbyists to pave the way for QAnon conspirators to ascend to Congress unopposed, hooks 40 million sick people on drugs that preserve the billionaire elite, or melts the ice cap from the hot air of malaria medicine.
It’s all so absurd. So calm down, progressives. You did it to yourselves. There’s a chance now to make it right. I worry it might not be possible this late in the game, but it’s worth a try.
Vote. Yeah, it might kill you, so what’s new?