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Bigoted SD Bills Lose Luster Facing Supreme Court Without Scalia

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead today at a Texas ranch. No, Dick Cheney didn’t shoot him.

SCOTUS minus Scalia

What does the death of our longest serving Justice, appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, and arguably the most forceful conservative on the Court mean for South Dakota?

Republican control of the Senate means President Barack Obama likely cannot secure a raging liberal. But he’ll at least get an Anthony Kennedy or a Sri Srinivasan. The culture warriors trying to use South Dakota as a testing ground for unconstitutional measures like Rep. Fred Deutsch’s transgender-bullying potty bill (violating Title IX) and Rep. Rev. Scott Craig’s statutory discrimination in religious drag (establishing religion) suddenly face a different calculus. Their friendliest face, the Court’s most voluble champion of arch-conservative “family” values, is gone. Any litigation they hope to trigger from the bigoted bills they are pushing through the South Dakota Legislature will face two Clinton nominees and three Obama nominees who will not put up with our abuse of the Constitution (not to mention transgender kids, gays, unmarried couples, women in general…).

Whether that changes any votes in Pierre is an open question. But the cost-benefit analysis for writing patently discriminatory laws and hoping a 5–4 decision will give them an excuse to stand just lost a lot of benefit.

So, President Obama, how about Lawrence Lessig (he was born in Rapid City!)? Or Elizabeth Warren? Or (creeping up the age scale), Bill Clinton?

Or how about a political bombshell: nominate Hillary Clinton. Give the GOP-controlled Senate a chance to make Bernie Sanders the Democratic Presidential nominee. Could Senators John Thune, Mike Rounds, and heck, Bernie Sanders himself pass up that opportunity?


  1. Darin Larson 2016-02-13 17:59

    Cory, I hate to burst your bubble, but the chances of Obama appointing Scalia’s replacement and he/she getting confirmed are at best 50/50. The senate Republicans are going to make the Stalzer stall look like a nanosecond in time. I think I saw McConnell already said the people should have a vote on Scalia’s replacement through the election in November.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-13 18:13

    Darin, let’s invite Don Coyote to come read us the section of the Constitution that says the people get to elect Supreme Court Justices.

  3. Darin Larson 2016-02-13 18:27

    McConnell I think actually said that the new president should get to nominate Scalia’s replacement and that the people should have a vote through there presidential selection. The new president won’t be in office until January 20, 2017. McConnell can’t possibly expect the vacancy to remain open for nearly a year.

    I just heard the longest confirmation was Thomas and it took 107 days, I assume from when he was nominated. We are going to blow the socks off that record!

  4. jerry 2016-02-13 18:29

    Somewhere, in a cave, a vampire bat has just been born.

  5. Cody Johnson 2016-02-13 18:33

    The GOP is already saying Hillary will nominate Obama to the Supreme Court. So, would the GOP rather have Barack appoint or serve.

    If you remember Clarence Thomas was confirmed by a hair!

  6. SDBlue 2016-02-13 18:36

    The reactions to Scalia’s death are interesting. The left is responding with condolences, even though the majority of us didn’t much care for the man. The right is already screaming to not let President Obama appoint his replacement. Apparently, Republicans are perfectly willing to take the last year of the Obama administration off. (They have already refused to even look at his budget.) In my opinion, obstructing a SCOTUS appointment until after the election is not going to put a Republican in the White House. I will enjoy watching them all shoot themselves in the foot though. (A Hillary appointment now or an Obama appointment later. Decisions, decisions…)

  7. Darin Larson 2016-02-13 18:36

    Cory, off the top of my head, I think Elizabeth Warren, who you mentioned, would be a great choice. She is a respected Senator, so it is hard for the Republicans to say she isn’t qualified. Also, if they don’t confirm her, it will be a wedge issue with women in the November elections.

  8. Darin Larson 2016-02-13 18:37

    whom you mentioned Cory, you need an edit capability. I misused there in my first post, as well.

  9. mike from iowa 2016-02-13 18:40

    For those who don’t remember Thomases confirmation,Cody,which hair was you speaking off specifically? Plus you CAN get a gratuitous plug in for COKE.

    Scalia is dead. I am so over him already.

  10. Don Coyote 2016-02-13 18:43

    Hail and farewell Nino.

  11. John K Claussen 2016-02-13 18:58

    This was a loss for conservatives as Douglas’s resignation was a loss for liberals. It is truly the end of the Reagan era as we knew it. No one should wish death upon anyone and all decent Americans I am sure give their condolences to the Scalia family, and should, but life goes on for the “quick” and it is now time for us to live in the 21st century and no longer in the 18th century….

  12. larry kurtz 2016-02-13 18:59

    Scalia’s exit is just one more teaching moment about why Democrats need to control the judiciary and should be a clarion call for Tom Daschle to get in South Dakota’s US Senate race.

  13. Don Coyote 2016-02-13 19:07

    On a personal note, I was so looking forward to seeing Scalia speak at Augustana’s Boe Forum in March.

    FWIW. Fourteen SCOTUS nominees have been rejected in part because of being nominated by a lame duck President with President Reagan’s nomination of Bork being one of them. The longest vacancy was a year and came during the last year of John Tyler presidency when Democrats block Tyler’s nomination (a Whig) of John Read until James Polk (a Democrat) could be elected.

  14. mike from iowa 2016-02-13 19:18

    Bork was rejected for being way too extreme in his views and for that funny looking hairpiece on his chin.

  15. John K Claussen 2016-02-13 19:28

    “Scalia’s exit is just one more teaching moment about why Democrats need to control the judiciary and should be a clarion call for Tom Daschle to get in South Dakota’s US Senate race.”

    I would agree that Scalia’s passing makes it imperative as Democrats in South Dakota, that we have a US Senate candidate in South Dakota who will fight the fight and not merely fill the slate….

    On a lighter note, Don, are you suggesting that we won’t have a new Justice until January of 2025 at the earliest ;-) ? I say this, because the next President of the United States will either have the last name of Clinton, Sanders, or maybe Biden and the Democrats are going to retake the Senate next fall, too.

    Mike, you are definitely right about Bork and his extreme views, but his “Yes Man” qualities towards Nixon as the third in line Solicitor General who was more than willing to fire Archibald Cox during the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” of the Watergate Era is what really did him in… So Nixon gave us Bork and Bork gave us (Anthony) Kennedy… Oh yes, the “rhyming of history’ lingers on….

  16. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-13 19:40

    President Obama just told the republicans “in your face” and that he will put up an immediate nominee.

  17. Shirley Moore 2016-02-13 19:46

    Last I heard, President Obama said he wasn’t interested. Be interesting to see who Hillary would nominate. Maybe a friend of Henry Kissinger.

  18. John 2016-02-13 20:16

    In the spirit of patriatic harmony President Obama’s nominee should be approved, as was Scalia, 98-0. Try that, repubthugs. Otherwise, allow President Sanders to make the nomination.

  19. Rorschach 2016-02-13 20:23

    GOP party voters are highly motivated to vote in November after 8 years of President Obama. Democrats on the other hand will be facing an enthusiasm gap regardless whether Hillary or Bernie wins the nomination. A lot of Bernie’s votes are just anti-Hillary votes that might not stick through November. And a lot of voters simply don’t trust Hillary.

    So this vacancy is the best thing that could happen for Democrats in November up and down the ballot. The GOP party will obstruct any nominee from President Obama. And GOP party voters were going to show up to the polls in November anyway. But now with immediate control of the Supreme Court at stake – and the need for a Democratic senate – there will be no Democratic enthusiasm gap. So I take this opportunity to yell, “Go Ted! Go Trump!”

  20. Rorschach 2016-02-13 20:28

    If the GOP party were smart it would negotiate for a moderate Democratic nominee and approve that person in the Senate. The worst and most short-sighted thing the GOP party could do would be to obstruct a reasonable nominee through the election and drive Democratic turnout nationwide with one of the crazy ijits as the GOP party presidential nominee. But the GOP party isn’t smart – as we see with their crazy ijits leading the presidential race. So my Democratic friends, this election is going to be a great one for the donkey!!!

  21. Steve Hickey 2016-02-13 21:00

    Hillary would be in jail if she was anyone else. The FBI is navigating how to proceed with her. She has no regard for law or our Constitution.

    Obama nominates himself and Biden finishes his term and runs for reelection.

    Scalia RIP.

  22. Donald Pay 2016-02-13 21:11

    Obama might want to nominate someone from the Senate. They would have a hard time turning down one of their own.

    Or an ex-Senator, like Feingold, though he’s running for Senate again this year. Feingold would actually stand a chance of getting through a Senate vote. He’s bi-partisan, pro-gun, works well with Republicans, and has some libertarian tendencies. Plus his leaving the Senate race would make it more likely that Ron Johnson would survive this election. I could see Feingold getting through.

  23. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-13 21:15

    If Hillary did anything wrong or broke any laws she would have been indicted long ago. Just because you think she broke any laws doesn’t mean she has.

  24. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-13 21:17

    President Obama is not going to appoint Hillary or Biden to the court, that is just silly thinking.
    He will nominate a worthy moderate justice that can senate confirmation, there is too much at stake here to play any silly political games.

  25. larry kurtz 2016-02-13 21:18

    Poppy Bush would be in jail if he was anyone else, so would Henry Kissinger, G. Gordon Liddy and Donald Rumsfeld.

  26. Rorschach 2016-02-13 21:33

    And Reagan would have been in jail for selling weapons to Iran and funding the Nicaraguan Contras, and former CIA director George HW Bush would have been in jail for convincing Iran to hold the American hostages till after the 1980 election in exchange for American weapons. And Dick Cheney would have been in jail for shooting an innocent man in the face right here in South Dakota – if they were anybody else.

    Obama nominates himself? What are you smoking tonight in Scotland, Mr. Hickey?

  27. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-13 21:47

    Speaking of those that should be in jail, if Hickey had any balls he would have demanded a full investigation of EB-5 while serving in the legislature and would have helped secure indictments against Rounds and Daugaard and others responsible for ripping off South Dakota.

  28. Rorschach 2016-02-13 21:55

    Heck, even Hickey would be in jail if his name was Bosworth.

  29. Rorschach 2016-02-13 22:02

    The GOP party is too frickin’ stupid to confirm a President Obama appointment to the Supreme Court. The GOP party is slave to the voters it radicalized who wouldn’t allow it. If the GOP party confirmed a President Obama appointment it could ride that horse all the way to the White House in 2016 by saying, “Look, we just lost the Supreme Court, but give us a GOP party President and a GOP party senate and we’ll take it back because the next President gets to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” But instead, the GOP party will try mightily to win the battle at the cost of the war.

  30. Daniel Buresh 2016-02-13 22:05

    I’ve yet to figure out how anyone can claim to be a democrat and support Hildawg. Much like other people who have been in power and escaped prosecution, she is no different. Disregarding that entirely, I still can’t figure out how anyone can support her.

  31. Rorschach 2016-02-13 22:11

    The US Supreme Court post-Scalia (Catholic) has 8 remaining justices – 5 Catholic and 3 Jewish members. In the interest of balance, it’s time for a new member who is non-Catholic, Non-Jewish. Muslim? Bahai? Buddhist? Hindu? Protestant?

    Might be time for a gay or lesbian member too.

  32. Rorschach 2016-02-13 22:12

    Who’s Hildawg?

  33. larry kurtz 2016-02-13 22:13

    Hillary Clinton has more brains in her middle fingers than the entire Republican field has balls in its collective nut sack.

  34. Rorschach 2016-02-13 22:22

    And anyone who cares to read the obligatory banal press releases from our members of congress praising Justice Scalia, you know where to find them.

  35. Don Coyote 2016-02-13 22:32

    Why would any Democrat/Liberal/Progressive/Socialist/Commie worth their salt want to agree to a political dead end nomination? A nomination that is sure to end in either an embarrassing no action or an embarrassing withdrawal?

  36. larry kurtz 2016-02-13 22:35

    Why is South Dakota’s weather so abhorrent, brutal and unforgiving? Because you miserable bastards deserve it.

  37. Darin Larson 2016-02-13 22:41

    Scalia’s death caused me to review his work in Heller and Citizen’s United, two of his biggest errors that come to mind with lasting effect on all of us. I would have loved to hear him explain himself at the Boe Forum on how Heller was not judicial activism at its finest.

    Scalia, the self-described strict constructionist of the Constitution found in Heller that we should ignore the first stanza of the 2nd amendment before the comma (“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”) Pay no attention to that part says Scalia. Ignore the fact they were worried about state rights to raise militia, not individual rights.

    Also ignored was clear precedent. From Wikipedia, “In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that, “The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence” and limited the applicability of the Second Amendment to the federal government. In United States v. Miller (1939), the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government and the states could limit any weapon types not having a “reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia”.”

    The prominent Judge Posner and I agree that Heller was gathered from the “penumbra” of rights found in the Constitution just as much as was the case in Roe v. Wade. Except the 2nd Amendment is much more clear cut that it is not an individual right. It is the people, ie the states that retain the right.

    Citizen’s United is probably the Supreme Court case that is the biggest threat to our democracy of any decision in history. Citizen’s United basically held that corporations have the 1st amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money as their right to free speech. As the dissent stated in that case, granting this right to corporations with almost endless resources means the rights of everyone else to freedom of speech will be crowded out in the marketplace of ideas. Whoever thought that the framers of the 2nd Amendment contemplated that they were protecting corporations with the right to spend unlimited sums on campaigns and issues? That would be Mr. Scalia!

  38. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-13 22:45

    I understand what you mean about Democrats supporting Hillary, everyday when I catch up on the news I wonder how anybody could be a republican.

  39. Rorschach 2016-02-13 22:46

    This vacancy puts the GOP party between a rock and a hard place. The rock is their own radical base, and the hard place is an electorate that hates obstructionist political games. There is no way out for the GOP party. All is lost in 2016 for them.

  40. Rorschach 2016-02-13 22:48

    Throw your hat in the ring for District 25 legislature, Darin.

  41. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-13 22:52

    If you include President Obama’s campaign from 2007 and his presidential term thus far, republicans have spent 8 years of underestimating President Obama.

  42. Rorschach 2016-02-13 22:53

    Elizabeth Warren could be the first Native American justice.

  43. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-13 22:56

    I just saw where Donald Trump tweeted that he would appoint Judge Judy to the court.

    Seriously, can you imagine what a republican nominee would like in this day and age?

  44. Darin Larson 2016-02-13 22:58

    Rorschach, family and business commitments keep me out of the ring, but I am going to be playing a role in the race. I can’t stand idly by any longer!

  45. Rorschach 2016-02-13 23:07

    Welcome to the arena Darin! Your grandfather would be proud.

  46. John K Claussen 2016-02-14 00:12

    I’ll answer your question, Don. Because such a nomination would once again prove the “Do nothing qualities of our current Republican Congress” to the benefit of Democrats and the American people throughout the land.

    Speaking of that, the Republicans of the land, and especially Senators Thune and Rounds, could take a lesson from former Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota, who supported the nomination of Samuel Alito to SCOTUS to the disappointment of most South Dakota Democrats. He did that I think, it is fair to say, because he understood as the 2008 Republican nominee for President, John McCain, understood when McCain said that “elections matter;” and when you begin to respect our political system as McCain’s comment illustrates then that means you allow it to function and you are no longer a “Do nothing” obstruction to our precious political system – a lesson that obviously many Republicans need to learn from one of their own.

  47. Curt 2016-02-14 02:18

    At first I thought, ‘Why would Pres Obama even bother to submit a nomination, and why would any nominee accept at this point’? But I understand we are a nation of laws, not of men and women. It is the president’s duty to nominate a replacement. And when called upon by the president, who declines?

  48. Curt 2016-02-14 02:21

    Oh, and howdy to Mr Kurtz. It’s much better here when you’re not.

  49. mike from iowa 2016-02-14 06:52 are out of your ever loving mind. Another conspiracy theorist. Must be listening to disgraced,former SOH Tom “Hottub” Delay who has been pushing this FBI baloney. He says if the FBI doesn’t file charges,Delay will take all this so called incriminating evidence public. Of course he never mentions any of the “evidence” he and his FBI buddies supposedly have because they have none.

  50. mike from iowa 2016-02-14 07:01

    John K Claussen,thanks for reminding me about the Saturday Night Massacre and Bork’s role in it. I was sure it was the dead critter on his chin that cost him the job. :)

    Buresh-you can prosecute HRC after you and your friends impeach Nixon,Ford,Raygun, two Bushes and everyone of the Neo Cons and everyone else in dumbass dubya’s cabinet plus Kissinger.

  51. mike from iowa 2016-02-14 07:35

    Straight out the horse’s arse- Trump, a billionaire real estate mogul, said he fully expects Obama to nominate someone and called on the Senate to stop it. “I think he’s going to do it whether I’m OK with it or not. I think it’s up to Mitch McConnell and everybody to stop it. It’s called delay, delay, delay,” Trump said.

    Apparently Trump believes he is in charge of America and Obama should kowtow to Trump. Wingnuts appear to want to honor Scalia’s defending the constitution by trashing it.

  52. barry freed 2016-02-14 07:35

    Everyone wants their own activist Judge for banning guns, abortion, or privacy. If one reads the Federalist Papers and understands, the Framers believed in individual Inalienable Rights, not collective Nanny State Rights Government dispensing Freedoms according to the latest manipulated polls. Scalia lamented the fact that we all leave High School without having read the those Papers, his point often evidenced on this blog. He didn’t fully attain his aspirations in the way of Constitutionalism and fell prey to judicial activism with the death penalty, but at least he could see the goal post. If the Framers thought taking life was fair and usual, they, and Scalia, were wrong. Heller is one of the few times this last Court came close to getting it right, but fell it short in scope. One would hope they would find similarly were the current unconstitutional restrictions of the 2nd Amendment were applied to the 1st. It’s too late for those here proselytizing to read the Papers as beliefs are too deeply held and they would be read with an activist eye.

  53. Rorschach 2016-02-14 07:45

    Yeah those Federalists. The Federalists fell out of favor because they wanted King George back (even while England was trying to undermine the new country that just defeated it) and didn’t trust the rabble to govern themselves – preferring that only the American aristocracy (wealthy landowners) should run the government. Scalia was a Federalist as evidenced by Citizens United.

  54. mike from iowa 2016-02-14 08:03

    Wingnuts have gone beyond judicial activism. It is in a whole new realm under strict constructionist phonies. Scalia was one of the worst activist justices.

  55. Barbara 2016-02-14 08:18

    A more likely name with a SD connection is Jane Kelly appointed with unanimous bipartisan support from the Senate to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals: “Kelly grew up in Newcastle, Ind., and graduated from Duke University in 1987. She earned a Fulbright scholarship to study in New Zealand before enrolling at Harvard, where she and Obama were acquaintances but not friends. She clerked for U.S. District Judge Donald Porter in South Dakota.”
    A more possible path to confirmation also?: Any nominee is going to have to face the Judiciary Committee, chair Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). “Kelly also makes history by having the quickest confirmation process of any of President Obama’s appeals court nominees so far… Kelly waited just 33 days for a confirmation vote, compared to the average 153 day wait for President Obama’s circuit court nominees… Kelly’s speedy confirmation may have something to do with the senators supporting her. Iowa’s Chuck Grassley, who as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee has been instrumental in obstructing President Obama’s judicial nominees, seemed to put aside his obstruction habits for a nominee from his own state.”

  56. Bobby Kolbe 2016-02-14 09:09

    Repeat once again
    You sponsor
    You vote to pass
    Law found unconstitutional
    Cost of defense should be paid
    By sponsor and all who voted
    For said Bill !
    Citizens should not be held financially
    Responsible for legislative high kinks !!!

  57. mike from iowa 2016-02-14 11:14

    Scalia requested cremation. Before that,millions of women will get together to decide what is best for Scalia’s remains.

    Have read this a couple times already today. Don’t know who to give credit to.

  58. W R Old Guy 2016-02-14 11:25

    I think Obama should nominate a “moderate” court of appeals justice who was appointed by a Republican president. That would put the Republicans between a rock and a hard place if they oppose a justice that many of them probably voted for previously.

    Supreme Court Justices also have long record of ruling contrary to what their supporters thought they would do. I would guess that appointment to the Supreme Court means that you are at the “top of the mountain” and no longer have to take political considerations into account.

  59. mike from iowa 2016-02-14 12:20

    That is funny,Owen. :)

  60. Madman 2016-02-14 14:03

    People do realize that if the Democrats gain five seats in the Senate they are back in control of it again. The Senate elections will be most telling. (7 Democrats and 21 Republicans)

    Currently Wisconsin looks to go blue.

    Pennsylvania is leaning blue.

    New Hampshire and Missouri is a dead heat.

    Louisiana is an open seat but leading red.

    Iowa has a strong chance to unseat 83 year old Grassley.

    Illinios and Indiana will be a close race.

    Colorado is currently Democrat but could be a close race as well.

    Seven Republican held seats right now are facing serious challenges while 1 democrat seat is. There are several other elections that currently are not on the hot seat right now but it could change once were through the primary season.

  61. Roger Elgersma 2016-02-14 14:20

    When Obama was inaugurated I was in Houston, Texas visiting my daughter and son in law. I would go to the library every third or fourth day to catch up on the newspapers. When he got inaugurated I had to stand while reading the newspaper since all the chairs were filled with black teenage boys. The roll model thing was huge when an educated black man could become POTUS. But in two weeks they all left. I did not know why blacks in Texas would lose hope so quick. But now I hear that Scalia lived in Texas. Blacks know they do not have a chance in Texas and Scalia through the supreme court kept it that way when they decided not to let them into the best Universities. They simply do not realize(or maybe they do) the value of a very successful black role model. Scalia said that the best black students could make the mediocre universities look good rather than to let the very best blacks be awesome role models for the youth.
    Therefore, I believe it is God’s justice that the prejudiced justice Scalia be replaced by someone chosen by a black president. Does the Christian right actually see God making a difference in the world?

  62. Eve Fisher 2016-02-14 14:39

    If you really want to see the collective conservative world go nuts – nominate Republican Condoleezza Rice. She’s intelligent; she’s [moderately] pro-choice; she’s educated; and she’s a black female. And I think she would make Clarence Thomas squirm in his fetid drawers.

  63. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-14 15:09

    Bob Mercer notices my suggestion that President Obama nominate Hillary Clinton:

    Would President Obama nominate Hillary Clinton? That would significantly change the presidential contest, leaving U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders as the only candidate for the Democratic nomination. Hillary Clinton has been a U.S. senator, having served with many of the current senators, and she went through the vetting process as secretary of state during President Obama’s first term [Bob Mercer, “Will President Obama Nominate Hillary Clinton?Pure Pierre Politics, 2016.02.14].

    Drop that bomb, Barack!

  64. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-14 15:41

    I like Ror’s point that Republican obstruction of a nominee hands Democrats an easy campaign issue. Thune’s challenger can beat him up in every speech—”Why is John Thune standing in the way of a fully functioning Supreme Court?” Thune’s obstruction will play well with his base that’s already turning out, but it will help fire up a Dem base that might have forgotten why they need to show up this fall and remind Independents that the GOP is the party of No and of partisanship over good government.

    Rev. Hickey’s proposal for President Obama to step down and new President Biden to appoint him and run for election would be almost as good a drama as my Clinton appointment, but not as sure a pay-off for Democrats. Obama resigning is a GOP victory right there—shades of Palin, detracting from the legacy. The GOP majority has no inherent motivation to confirm Obama—voting him down would be a perfect way to kick him out the door once and for all. Obama has no reason to take that chance—if he wanted to be a Justice (and as Shirley notes, he probably doesn’t), he stands a better chance of getting on the court via appointment by President Sanders with a new Senate. And Obama and Biden make a less clear impact on the Presidential race, since Biden entering now would have no guarantee of winning the nomination. Heck, he’s already missed Iowa and New Hampshire, he’s probably missed other ballot deadlines, and I’m not sure he brings any value to the Dems’ aspirations for four more years of controlling the White House than Clinton or Sanders. Both Hickey and I are spinning dramas that won’t happen, but my drama is more realistic (and devious! and fun!) than his.

  65. mike from iowa 2016-02-14 15:45

    C Rice can’t read.

  66. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-14 15:51

    Don Coyote, I don’t know what you’re trying to say about Dems signing on to a “dead-end” nomination. See what Ror said about the advantage Democratic challengers to incumbent GOP Senators get from pointing out their partisan obstructionism. No one is going to walk into the polls on November 8 and say, “Oh, I was going to vote for that Democrat, but then she said she supported President Obama’s nomination of Sri Srinivasan, and the GOP majority didn’t confirm Sri, so that Democrat is clearly a bozo and I’m going to vote Republican instead.” Don, that’s just you trying to project some sort of Dem doubt that you’ve cooked up in your fervid imagination onto Dems. It’s not working.

  67. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-14 15:55

    Roger C, I do take seriously your sober assessment of the need for a good nominee and not crazy games.

    And dang—Trump’s preference for well-done steak and his willingness to savage George W. Bush last night almost had me cheering for him. But nominate Judge Judy for the Supreme Court? Nothing more perfectly illustrates the reality-TV unseriousness of Trump’s candidacy.

  68. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-14 16:06

    Barry, I’ll defer to your expertise. Show me the part of the Federalist Papers that envisions a President serving a three-year term.

  69. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-14 16:13

    Jane Kelly for Supreme Court? Four women on the bench? I can work with that.

  70. Eve Fisher 2016-02-14 17:14

    Well, Barry, the Federalist Papers (which I have read) were written in order to prove to the various states under the Confederation the need for a new Constitution that would subsume at least some of their rights under a federal aegis (the Confederation, as I hope we all know, failed because it allowed states’ rights an absolutism that the Confederation could not bear). There were various authors. But Alexander Hamilton wrote the most. His writings consistently took the side of greater federal power at the expense of the states. But then Hamilton believed that “the people” were “a great beast” and said that “their turbulent and changing disposition required checks”. He had no use for the Bill of Rights, saying that it was “not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous.” Hamilton also favored an extremely strong executive, protectionism, and government intervention in favor of business. The Federalist Papers may not have been in favor of the nanny state, but “individual Inalienable Rights” were part of the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, and the framers of the Constitution had far less use for them than they had for a strong federal government.

  71. Madman 2016-02-14 17:29

    Anyone remember the 18th Amendment?

  72. Bob Mercer 2016-02-14 18:07

    Cory, i didn’t read your blog Saturday and saw the Obama/Clinton post just now.

  73. Kurt Evans 2016-02-14 19:00

    I’d like to see some reactions to this:

    Deep-state intelligence operatives murdered Justice Scalia primarily because he was a stalwart defender of the Fourth Amendment. They used an undetectable drug that triggers acute pancreatitis. They used essentially the same method when they tried to murder John Ashcroft in 2004.

    President Obama and James Clapper may not even know.

  74. larry kurtz 2016-02-14 19:04

    Works for me, Mr. Evans.

  75. grudznick 2016-02-14 19:07

    Mr. kurtz and the operatives probably have common breakfastmates

  76. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-14 19:36

    It’s clearly a psychic connection, Bob. :-)

    Kurt: source? Onion?

  77. Daniel Buresh 2016-02-15 13:41

    Hildawg was the name given to HRC by her campaign manager. I find it funny so that is why I use it. Speaking or her, I saw this post today at another liberal site that I found pretty comprehensive on the entire email scandal:

    The fact that intelligence community members have been coming out of the woodwork talking anonymously then publicly about how she is going to be prosecuted means that the FBI or at the very least a group of people in the intelligence community are very serious about this. There is a really great Sorkin line that is apt over here, ” A good matador doesn’t try to kill a fresh bull. You wait until he’s been stuck a few times.” This is what they have done. They have primed everyone’s mind for the coming takedown and if I was Hillary Rodham Clinton, I would be terrified right now.
    Intelligence is very much a parallel world with its own culture and mission to keep the US safe from its threats. A key part of that mandate is ensuring operational security at all costs and is reinforced by the protocols everyone interacting with this community learns. These protocols are vital, because even the smallest of details – such as who someone is having lunch with – can give away the advantage. And make no mistake, all nations spy on each other. All nations are looking at the United States and waiting for a slip up to understand our strategy. It is a very paranoid game that these people play.
    What HRC did is treason in the eyes of this world. She transmitted classified information in the clear. The repercussions of this are so far reaching and profound, it’s likely that lives have already been lost. As I’ve said before, (I’m copying some information from that comment) this might sound like hyperbole, but it honestly isn’t. The security of operational information is only as secure as the weakest link. Secretary Clinton created a weak link on purpose, which sophisticated hackers could and probably did use as an access point to gain access to more secure networks. If you think this is sci-fi, then well this is exactly how STUXNET was spread:
    Once the two elements were married, the entire package might then have been delivered to someone with access to Natanz (or to a related installation). Wittingly or not, this Patient Zero began the infection process, perhaps by plugging a USB flash drive into a critical network. The virus probably spread with the help of foreign contractors and engineers, whose computers were infected during visits to Iranian installations.
    For this very reason, all American intelligence networks (JWICS, SIPRnet, and NIPRNet) are separate from the internet. They are physically separate with an independent infrastructure spanning the globe at the cost of billions of dollars. Highly sensitive information like Special Access Programs exist within these networks with explicit “air gaps” that are created using SCIFs (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) where the nature of these secrets is psychologically reinforced by really burly men and tough women with guns who will shoot you if you act funny. The terminals themselves are isolated from the rest of the world electrically, acoustically, thermally, and electromagnetically. (you’re in a Faraday cage with a known power source and a white noise generator)
    For even greater security, no one individual outside of certain key decision makers have broad ranging access. Information is compartmentalized according to the role and very few people see an entire file, let alone all of the intelligence stored within this system. This is a protocol reinforced at the cost of billions of dollars, because it contains the name of our spies, analysts, what our diplomats are up to, our strategies… The whole works. Hillary Clinton compromised the security of this system so thoroughly that Edward Snowden is a blessing in comparison.
    She acted as a purposeful bridge between JWICS / SIPRNet and an unsecured channel. She purposefully jeopardized the security of every single man and woman involved within American clandestine operations across the world. There are people who might die because of this. It is that serious. In fact, we KNOW that her emails were compromised. Here’s one of my favorite blogs on this matter:
    As for the “security” of Hillary’s e-mails, that train left the station a long time ago. The infamous hacker Gucifer, now cooling his heels in a Romanian jail, first disclosed existence of the back channel system when he hacked into the e-mail account of Sidney Blumenthal, the long-time aide and confidant to the former Secretary of State. While rooting around in Mr. Blumenthal’s e-mails, he found a series of messages sent to Mrs. Clinton. Many contained intelligence information, apparently gathered from Blumenthal’s various contacts. In some instances, he cautioned, the summaries contained “extremely sensitive” information, drawn form sources close to various foreign groups and governments. Details of the e-mails were published at The Smoking Gun, but the information did not include Mrs. Clinton’s responses.
    Obviously, if a lone hacker was able to uncover Mrs. Clinton’s e-mail domain, it wouldn’t be very hard for the intelligence services of Russia, China and other U.S. adversaries to access her messages as well. And it raises legitimate questions about the type of information the former secretary of state was sending via unsecure e-mail.
    If you read through the facts, then there is no other way to put this, she broke the law. She displayed gross negligence when she compromised the security of highly classified networks through her practices. When you handle this information you are taking on the responsibility of keeping this information safe at all costs – something that was explicitly mentioned in the document she signed at the start of her term. She purposefully violated this agreement, because she thought she was above this. This is unacceptable.
    Again, the information she did this with isn’t garden variety classified stuff like details of ports or ships. Her infractions involved Special Access Programs – these are the programs with live operational details and only a handful of people have broad access to them. This handful includes the Secretary of State and POTUS. They are that sensitive.
    She will go to jail.

    In regards to the new justice, my only real concern deals with the 2nd amendment. I don’t believe they will every confiscate guns, but if they do, they will lose probably more than half of our military members overnight. Not to mention, how many of those people left are going to enforce such a thing when they are the people living right next door to them? We don’t have weapons to protect ourselves from animals uprising, we have them to keep our leaders in check. That is the reason why we have such natural rights. I don’t believe for one second that the people in power couldn’t find a way to justify such violations against their own people that it will never be an issue. History has proven it time and time again. If push were to come to shove, I don’t think our citizens would have any problem with standing up against those who wish to do that and the results may mean there will be a lot of bloodshed.

  78. Daniel Buresh 2016-02-15 14:06

    Eve, Those ways started to change when we decided senators should be elected by the people, when in reality, Senators were essentially created to protect the states from overbearing citizens trying to extend the states beyond their means. That is an argument in and of itself that we could get pretty deep into. However, I feel the bill of rights merely reinforces our unalienable natural rights and does nothing more because you can’t grant us something that was already ours.

  79. bearcreekbat 2016-02-15 14:40

    DB, when you say “We don’t have weapons to protect ourselves from animals uprising, we have them to keep our leaders in check,” you are labeling yourself as delusional or as a cold blooded murderer.

    It is delusional for you to believe that you and your neighbors guns will somehow overpower the US military, National Guard, and law enforcement, with all their tanks, bombs, drones, etc, etc.

    If you realize that you cannot overpower the forces of our military, etc, but still need a gun “to keep our leaders in check,” you are essentially saying you want to kill as many of our leaders and the people who defend them as possible before you are taken out, which makes you a cold blooded killer bent on murder and suicide.

    Which is it DB, delusions or homicidal thoughts?

  80. mike from iowa 2016-02-15 15:06

    And we have half the US Sinate sided with Israel against their own country and Potus and have interfered with foreign policy,which is the domain of the CIC Obama, Have given comfort to ISIS by bucking the Potus, and tried to derail the nuclear agreement with Iraq and a number of our trusted allies. If I was the Sinate,I’d keep my pie hole shut and hope Obama and his drones are in a forgiving mood.
    One day real soon,Libs are gonna grow a spine and take out the traitors to America.

  81. Daniel Buresh 2016-02-15 15:17

    BCB….You are attempting to label me as such….and as the coward that you are, I will not clarify such statements. I don’t have time for people like you who try to marginalize those who hold beliefs unlike yours with such outlandish statements. We are the military, the national guard, and law enforcement.

  82. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-15 15:46

    When was the last time the U.S. attempted to take away anyone’s guns?

    With less than a year to go before President Obama leaves the presidency, does he have time to take away citizen’s guns?

    What threats have the government made to you Daniel that you feel the need to arm yourself from your protectors?

    I have heard arguments over the 2nd Amendment such as yours for well over sixty years and have yet to see the government remotely challenge your right to own a gun.

    In fact, from what I understand, it would be an impossibility for the government to confiscate all the weapons in this country due the huge volume of private ownership.

    Bear is right Daniel, you are one creepy scary guy.

  83. jerry 2016-02-15 15:49

    What branch of the military did you serve DB and when?

  84. bearcreekbat 2016-02-15 16:04

    DB, my apologizes as I did not realize you were the military, the national guard, and law enforcement – but since that is the case don’t you have a duty to protect our leaders rather than gather weapons “to keep our leaders in check?”

    For example, the military oath for the army provides in relevant part:

    “I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) . . . that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

    As for the National Guard, 32 U.S.C. 304 provides in part for this oath:

    ““I, ________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) . . . that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of ______ and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to law and regulations. So help me God.”

    I didn’t see anything in these oaths about gathering weapons “to keep our leaders in check.” Indeed your statement that you need weapons to keep our leaders in check seems a direct violation of the oath. What am I missing?

  85. Daniel Buresh 2016-02-15 16:06

    For —-‘s sake. My belief that if you continue to give the ruling class more power without some sort of fear of revolt, they will do as they please, whether that is 10 years from now or 500 years from now. I was not allowed in the military because I have too much metal in my body. I tried. When I said we are the military, the national guard, and law enforcement…I meant that as the citizens of this country who fully support the 2nd amendment, we compose those things. It’s not some foreign enemy who lives outside of our society. The gov’t has never made such threats, even though they have used drones against citizens within this country. Those cases were highly frowned upon. We are seeing more authoritative decision making all the time as people decide what they can and can’t do in their elected positions. Do I think it is possible for such atrocities that have happened elsewhere are possible here if given enough time…yes. Do I feel that the fear of the the largest standing army in the world, the american public, does hold some weight, yes. You guys read way too far into things. Delusional is what I call people who think good people can’t commit the same sins of the past if given enough power. Our founding fathers believed such, and so do I. Is it likely to happen…no. Is it possible…yes

    Roger, you are clearly as delusional as BCB. You can go ahead and give up your freedom for security, I won’t stop you.

  86. Daniel Buresh 2016-02-15 16:07

    “What am I missing?”


  87. bearcreekbat 2016-02-15 16:21

    DB, thanks for the clarification. I withdraw the apology.

    That apparently brings us back to square one – you think your weapons will either (1) enable you to defeat those who are sworn to protect our leaders, including the most powerful military in the world, which seems to make you delusional, or (2) help you kill as many government workers and defenders as possible during your violent revolution, knowing it will not succeed due to the overwhelming force of our military and law enforcement, which seems to be rather homicidal.

  88. Eve Fisher 2016-02-15 17:05

    Actually, there is no mention of inalienable or natural rights in the Constitution outside of the Bill of Rights. The term was used in the Declaration of Independence. It would be very hard to argue that humans have “natural rights”, simply because for most of 5,000 years of recorded history, humans had none. The “inalienable” rights that we have in this country are provided by the Constitution and other the laws of this country.

    Regarding natural rights, Thomas Hobbes famously wrote in his 1651 “Leviathan” about “the state of nature”:

    “In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently, not culture of the earth, no navigation, nor the use of commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

    The ancient Greeks, who invented democracy and government, called man a political animal precisely because he lived in a polis, a city, and considered man outside of a polis as an idiot (literally: the ancient Greek word ἰδιώτης, idiōtēs, meaning a private person, a person who is not actively interested in politics;). In his day, Plato (a very bright, farseeing man) said that the four main weaknesses of a democracy were:
    1. the average man was uneducated in foreign policy, economics, etc., and often couldn’t care less about them
    2. leaders were elected for stupid reasons like their looks, their wealth, and/or their family background
    3. it’s all too easy to degenerate into anarchy — “The citizens become so sensitive that they resent the slightest application of control as intolerable tyranny, and in their resolve to have no master, they end up by disregarding even the law, written or unwritten.”
    4. a tyrant can take over by either promising to plunder the rich for the benefit of the poor OR stirring up foreign wars so that everyone feels that they need a strong leader to protect them.

    Some things never change.

  89. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-16 07:19

    Uff da! That went off on a different track.

    Guns, like bigotry, are convenient distractions from statecraft in Pierre. Even if I embraced Daniel’s position of guns as bulwark against tyranny, I’d be raging against the bills our legislators offer to allow themselves to carry guns in the Capitol (require the tyrants to be unarmed so revolution will be easier, right?). But I recognize that guns are as ineffective as potty bills, abortion bans, and state sanctioned religious fatwas against gays and single moms in protecting practical liberty. As a matter of fact, all of these bigoted bills that Scalia’s passing makes less tenable are extensions of tyranny over segments of our population, and all the guns in Daniel’s closet and everyone else’s that Obama hasn’t taken aren’t doing jack to check that jackboot march.

    We are past the point where our peashooters will stop a tyrant from taking power. Gun politics, like sex politics, distract the masses while Richard Benda, Joop Bollen, Scott Westerhuis, Rick Melmer, and other friends of friends pick our pockets. The proper response is not to shoot anyone. The proper response is to blog and vote and take Pierre back by legitimate means.

  90. leslie 2016-02-27 08:08

    “Companies whose positions are based more on political philosophy than on interpretation of the law worry when the majority philosophy in sway at the court changes,” said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s business and law schools who teaches classes on mass torts and class-action cases.

    “It is unlikely that any nominee will be as favorable to business as Justice Scalia was,” Gordon said in an e-mail. “The anti-business wing will carry more decisions.”

    scalia luv’d his guns. his legacy… gadoudaheha

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