Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the supreme court of the United States shall consist of a chief justice and five associate justices, any four of whom shall be a quorum, and shall hold annually at the seat of government two sessions, the one commencing the first Monday of February, and the other the first Monday of August.” – The Judiciary Act of 1789, Section 1
“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Supreme Court of the United States shall hereafter consist of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, any six of whom shall constitute a quorum; and for the purposes of this act there shall be appointed an additional associate justice of said court.” – The Judiciary Act of 1869, Section 1
The GOP understands very well that their victory today has been built with a significant flaw in its structure. They know this weakness can be exploited by a Democratic president and Congress, per the rules afforded them in Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution and the precedents laid out over the course of 80 years. Other acts of Congress between the two quoted above had also raised the number of justices to seven, then to ten, then back down to seven before the statutes landed on nine.
They are terrified that the citizenry will empower the Democrats to do so, first through election and second through popular demand, and annul the last triumph they may see for themselves on the near horizon. This is why minutes after Justice Ginsburg had passed away they had already begun a campaign to demoralize, exercising their current powers of majority at an urgent pace to install a brazenly ideological nominee to the Supreme Court. This is why they will continue to push the narrative that the use of Congressional powers of regulation over SCOTUS is a drastic step, that court expansion is an unfair power grab, that the number nine was writ in stone instead of sand. They understand that the pliable political center of our nation is made very nervous by major changes, which is why they will insist that the remedy is exactly that, and then point to poll after poll that declares the remedy to be unpopular.
They did this with all civil rights bills, all environmental and business regulation bills, all bills seeking to reform our infrastructure and healthcare systems. They have seen throughout history, and know deep in what passes for their souls, that they cannot win the long battle, the battle fought over generations, so they do what they can to lose as little ground as possible and salt the earth of the ground they surrender.
To use a metaphor in a frame I know quite well: The confirmation of Justice Barrett is Grand Moff McConnell demonstrating the power of his fully operational Death Star while knowing full well that the particle exhaust vent is vulnerable. He fires the superlaser cannon because he hopes it will render you paralyzed and unwilling to fight back with all means at your disposal. He tells you that your rebellion is tiny, that your X-Wings are no match for his Star Destroyers, and that your only hope for survival is to capitulate and show obedience to the Empire.
I believe otherwise. The fight will not end on election day, nor will it end on inauguration day, but I do think that, at the very least, we can blow that goddamned space station to smithereens.