Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Urgent Need To Switch The US Senate To Democratic Control In 2020 And Beyond

The Presidential race is heating up, but one must never forget that the battle for control of the US Senate by the Democrats is urgent.

The Senate has become the place that proposed legislation dies much too often, as now when 395 House passed bills are lying dormant, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to call them up for consideration and a vote.

If any progress is to be made in the next four years on urgent domestic issues, the Senate MUST go over to Democratic control in 2020.

And certainly, the future of the Supreme Court and lower courts is doomed if the Republicans keep control of the Senate and the White House.

At the most basic level, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is reaching 87 this year, and Stephen Breyer is reaching 82, and they cannot go on forever in service.

If they are replaced by right wing Justices, the Constitution and rule of law is in as much danger as a second term of Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

So emphasis on Senate control going to the Democrats is a top priority, and over the next months, this blog will examine the Senate races which will determine the future of American government after 2020!

Ruth Bader Ginsburg And Jimmy Carter: Inspirations For All Decent People Who Care About What Is Best For America And The World!

The news that Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has fully recovered from her fourth bout with cancer over 21 years–pancreas in 1999, colon in 2009, lung in 2018, and pancreas in 2020—is a moment to celebrate.

Ginsburg will be 87 on March 15, and Donald Trump would love to replace her on the Supreme Court with an extremist right wing choice, but Ginsburg is clearly not going anywhere, and will continue to be an inspiration for all decent people who care about what is best for America and the world!

Also, former President Jimmy Carter, now more than three months after his 95th birthday, an all time record for any President in longevity, has had many bouts with illness and injury, and is now more than four and a half years beyond diagnosis of brain and liver cancer, but in remission for four years. He also broke his hip and pelvis in 2019, but has recovered, and continues his good deeds that make his post Presidency the most creative and substantive we have ever seen.

America is blessed by the longevity of both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Jimmy Carter, and we can hope for both to be with us for many more years!

John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon, Seriously Ill With Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer: Need To Pray For Recovery!

It is a shock to learn that revered Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a Civil Rights Icon, who marched with Martin Luther King Jr in 1965, is seriously ill with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.

Lewis is a true treasure, a giant figure, a model for what every member of Congress should be like in public service.

The fact that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg survived Pancreatic Cancer in 2009, and that former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has survived 19 months since Pancreatic Cancer surgery is a sign of the potential for survival, but most people do not last more than a few months, and many celebrities have been taken from us over the years by this cruel disease.

We all need to pray for Lewis, that he will be able to recover and continue his priceless work in the Congress in 2020 and beyond!

Nancy Pelosi Will Be Ranked One Of All Time Greatest Speakers Of The House, As Well As Most Powerful Woman In American History

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is assured a ranking as one of the all time greatest Speakers of the House, as well as the most powerful woman in American history.

She will rank in the category of Sam Rayburn, Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, Henry Clay, John W. McCormack, Nicholas Longworth, Champ Clark, Thomas Reed, Thomas Foley, James K. Polk, and Joseph Cannon. She is already 11th longest serving, and if she remains as Speaker through 2022, her planned date for retirement, she will be 5th longest serving, only behind Sam Rayburn, Henry Clay, Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, and John W. McCormack.

At the age of 79, with her birthday being March 26, she will become the oldest Speaker in American history on February 5, 2020, when she surpasses Sam Rayburn, who died 51 days before his 80th birthday. So she will reach 80 in March, very alert, competent, and totally in charge, and President Donald Trump is very much afraid of her, like he has never been of any other woman.

Understand that Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful woman in American history in her position, two heartbeats away from the Presidency. The highest ranking women otherwise have been multiple Secretaries of State–Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, and Hillary Clinton, all four heartbeats away from the Presidency. There has also been four Supreme Court Justices—Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Additionally, there were two prospective Vice Presidents–Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin. But that is the list, a short list, and only Nancy Pelosi has reached the pinnacle of power, and at a time of a challenge of a corrupt President, who would love to have absolute power, but has been stopped dead in his tracks by the woman from San Francisco!

The Right Wing Supreme Court Seems Ready To Declare War On Abortion, Gay Rights, Gun Rights, Immigration, Separation Of Church And State, And Presidential Power

The new session of the Supreme Court has begun, and the full effect of Donald Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh will now, likely, be felt.

While it is true that Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are not “twins”, to expect any major surprises in constitutional law in this 2019-2020 term are highly unlikely, as right wing law looks in the ascendancy.

What the Court decides ends up as the law of the land, and for progressives, it does not bode well on the issues of abortion, gay rights, gun rights, immigration, separation of church and state, and the growth of Presidential power.

The fulcrum of the Court, Anthony Kennedy, is now retired for a year, and the only hope to avoid extreme right wing judgments is if Chief Justice John Roberts, who has been a surprise a few times in his views on the Court in recent years, becomes the new “swing” vote on the Court this term.

Roberts might also preside over an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, who he, clearly, has been critical of in a number of ways, and the Court could limit Trump’s Abuse of Power, beyond Roberts presiding over an impeachment prosecution.

Since Roberts is worried about the image of “his” Court, some surprises may be in the offing, and of course, progressives will be watching the health and stability of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now 86, having survived a third and fourth cancer, and wondering if she will be able to continue on the Court into the next Presidential term in 2021.

Reflecting On The Age Issue Over Next Decade

America is faced with many crises, but one not much paid attention to is the Age issue.

We are seeing more people in government who are reaching their 70s and 80s, and that is a worrisome trend.

Certainly, people in their 70s and 80s can be active, engaged, constructive, as this author, in his mid 70s is, as an adjunct college professor, lecturer, author, blogger, contributor of articles on history and politics, and participant on radio shows about history and politics.

But this author is NOT making government policy, and is not facing the daunting challenges of dealing with a multitude of challenges in domestic and foreign policy, that affects and will continue to affect hundreds of millions of Americans, and seven billion people worldwide.

We see Donald Trump in his mid 70s, showing signs of craziness and dementia. We see Joe Biden, who this author loves, not quite as swift and alert as he seeks the Presidency. We see Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both seemingly very alert and energetic, but reaching 79 and 71 by January 20, 2021, both older than Trump when he was elected, and with Biden reaching 78 by Inauguration Day 2021.

We see the top three Democrats in leadership in the House of Representatives all nearing 80 in the next couple of years, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and the same with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. There are about four Senators over 80 already, and Dianne Feinstein was elected at 85 in 2018, to serve another six year term to age 91. And at least two Senators will be added to that list over 80 in the next few years.

We have two Supreme Court Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, who are 86 and 81, and their refusal to leave years ago has created the possibility of an extreme right wing Court if Donald Trump wins reelection.

There has to be recognition of the need for younger generations to inherit power, and for older generations to accept that their time has passed.

The Most Evil Man In The US Senate: Mitch McConnell Of Kentucky, Setting Out To Destroy The Legal System And Legal Precedents!

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky clearly is the most evil man in the Senate, setting out to destroy the legal system and legal precedents that have been accomplished over many decades and administrations.

He is striving, successfully, to set up a judicial system which will set America back legally for the next thirty years, as his legacy. His refusal to allow a hearing for Merrick Garland, Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Antonin Scalia in 2016, and the rushed confirmation of many unqualified and despicable district court and circuit nominees for life terms in office is insuring a gloomy future for civil rights and civil liberties. And now, he has said he will push the confirmation of a Supreme Court judge if either Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Stephen Breyer were to leave the Court in 2020.

His corruption is out of control, and his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, has clearly been involved in corrupt financial actions while working for Donald Trump. This power couple should not be able to have such power and influence, with the obvious conflict of interest that promotes their support of Donald Trump, and unwillingness on the part of McConnell to challenge the President on his abuse of power and obstruction of justice.

Hopefully, again they will pay the price in legal charges brought against Elaine Chao, and the defeat of Mitch McConnell for reelection in 2020. Mitch McConnell has violated his oath of office and subverted the democratic process. And Elaine Chao has proved she is yet another of the corrupt cabinet officers under Donald Trump!

Nancy Pelosi, The Most Powerful Woman In American History; And Ann Coulter, A Domestic Terrorist Who Should Face Charges Of Promoting Insurrection Against The Welfare Of The American People

Two women stood out this week, one displaying her true greatness, and the other demonstrating that she is a disgrace who wishes ill for the American people.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stood up to President Donald Trump, and refused to bend on the Border Wall, and Trump has now caved in totally, not only on the criminal shutdown of the federal government, but also on delaying the State of the Union address.

She has proved to be, easily, the most powerful woman in American history by far, and the best Speaker since Thomas “Tip” O’Neill (1977-1987), and makes former Republican Speaker Paul Ryan look pitiful by comparison, having no guts or courage to stand up to Donald Trump.

When one thinks of other women who have played a major public role in American history, we can think of Hillary Clinton, who would have been the most powerful and influential woman in American history, had she not been robbed by Russian collusion of winning the Electoral College.

We can refer to several woman US Senators with longevity—such as Margaret Chase Smith, Barbara Mikulski, Diane Feinstein–and several Congresswomen, including Jeannette Rankin, Marcy Kaptur, Patricia Schroeder, and Nita Lowey—and Supreme Court Justices such as Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

But none have had the impact and significance that Nancy Pelosi has had in 33 years of service, and with a successful four year term as Speaker from 2007-2011.

At the same time, Ann Coulter has proved once again that she is a dangerous radical, out to undermine American government, through sowing hate and division, and proving she has no empathy for anyone except the extremely wealthy and powerful right wing forces in America.

She should have a complete collapse in her book sales, and should be ignored by the news media and cable tv shows, as she is effectively a domestic terrorist sowing insurrection, and she should be facing charges and spending years in prison for her anti American actions that are equivalent of treason.

For sure, when the history of recent times is written, Nancy Pelosi will stand out in a positive fashion, while Ann Coulter will be condemned to the dust heap of history, of traitors to America and its advancement.

Supreme Court Longevity An Issue, As Recent Justices Have Stayed Much Longer Than Average, Including Contested Nominee Clarence Thomas

In the midst of the controversy over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is the reality of how long he might serve.

There has been a trend whereby recent Supreme Court Justices serve much longer than historically traditional.

Right now, contested Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who was confirmed in 1991 despite strong testimony of Anita Hill, has served 27 years on the Court, and is already number 24 in longevity of service out of 113 members of the Court in American history. He will be number 17 in two years and number 13 in four years. In May 2028, he would break the all time record of 36 years and nearly 7 months of Justice William O. Douglas, and Thomas would be just about a month short of age 80, and can be seen as likely, if he stays healthy, to accomplish this goal.

If one just looks at the top fourth of all Supreme Court Justices in longevity, a total of 31 out of 113, all 24 years or more of service, we find the following recent Justices, all appointed since the 1950s, are on the list:

John Paul Stevens
William Brennan
William Rehnquist
Byron White
Anthony Kennedy
Antonin Scalia
Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Sandra Day O’Connor
Harry Blackmun
Stephen Breyer
Thurgood Marshall

In the earlier history of the Supreme Court, the average length of service was about 15 years by comparison.

That is why the idea, proposed by this author two days ago, that a future Supreme Court Justice be limited to an 18 year term, allows for turnover, and prevents dominance by an ideological minority for decades, as now is threatened by Brett Kavanaugh, or another extreme right wing appointment by Donald Trump.

The Trump Juggernaut Overrunning Moderate Democrats: Between A Rock And A Hard Place!

The Democratic Party is at a crossroads, and moderate Senate Democrats are “between a rock and a hard place”, with the Trump juggernaut about to run them down!

There are 10 Democratic moderates who are running for reelection in states won by Donald Trump.

If they all remained loyal to their party, and IF Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski joined them, a Supreme Court pick could be stopped, but that is asking for too much to be assured.

And if they do not support the Trump nominee, it could kill their chances of reelection.

But of course, if they vote for the Trump nominee, many Democrats and moderates might decide it is not worth voting, and they will lose their elections anyway.

So what to do?

Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota voted for Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, last year.

All three are in great danger of losing their seats, with or without the Supreme Court nominee controversy they now face.

Then we have Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Jon Tester of Montana, also in great danger of losing their seats.

The other five “Red State” Democrats are probably safer, and unlikely to lose their seats—Bob Casey Jr of Pennsylvania (who however is anti abortion in his background); Sherrod Brown of Ohio; Debbie Stebanow of Michigan; Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin; and Bill Nelson of Florida (but his seat will be the most expensive race ever, with opponent Rick Scott spending tens of millions to defeat Nelson).

So if one is to promote the left wing Democratic view, we would say to hell with these Senators, whose voting record is far from ideal, but the alternative to staying united no matter what these ten Senators decide to do on the Supreme Court nominee of Trump, is to see the Republicans gain more seats and lock up the Senate for the long haul.

That is why it seems to this blogger that to promote or expect a left wing Democrat as the Presidential nominee, while ideal in theory, is likely to kill off any chance of the Democrats winning the Presidency in 2020, after what could be a Democratic debacle in the Senate races this year.

What seems likely to happen is that the three Democrats who voted for Gorsuch will vote for the Trump Supreme Court choice and will survive, and the other seven Democrats—particularly the three women—McCaskill, Stabenow and Baldwin—will vote against and yet survive as well. Casey will be conflicted but probably vote NO and survive, as well as Brown. And Tester should still be able to win another term as well.

The toughest seat to keep will be Bill Nelson in Florida, but it seems likely he will vote NO on the nominee.

So at the end, the likely vote will be 53-46, all 50 GOP Senators, including Collins and Murkowski, with the exception of the absent John McCain, and Manchin, Donnelly, and Heitkamp, with anger and disgust by Democrats, but the only likely road to those seats being saved.

So IF all seats are saved, except possibly Florida, and then IF Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and maybe Texas are gained, the Democrats MIGHT have a 51-49 or 52-48 Democratic Senate, and the battle against Trump will have another day and more to fight, the best possible under present circumstances.

Of course, all progressives have to pray for the good health and continued life of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, to serve until 2021, a tall order, as if that does not happen, the Supreme Court is lost with a certainty until close to 2045-2050, past the lifetime of this blogger and probably all of my readers.

This is a gloomy reality, but we have to do whatever we can do to promote a Democratic majority in both houses, and accept that not all Democrats will be progressives, but will at least be of the party persuasion!