most anti-court expansion arguments depend on pretending not to notice a 40 year conservative effort to make the judiciary a permanent veto point for progressive lawmaking
“installing right-wing judges is so critical to the conservative project that the entire movement united behind a white supremacist demagogue to accelerate and complete the project and also HOW DARE you try to do anything about it!”
“if a vestigial organ of the constitution unexpectedly gives us power without support from most voters, then of course we have the right to turn a whole branch of government into a permanent redoubt for our partisan & ideological interests & it would be unfair of you to stop us.”
“everything explicitly allowed under the constitution is fair game unless it would stand in the way of our decades-long ideological crusade in which case it is a THREAT TO THE REPUBLIC ITSELF”
anyway let us not forget that when it appeared clinton would win Senate Rs openly discussed keeping the Court at 8 members to preserve a conservative majority which would presumably stand in the way of whatever a Clinton administration tried to do.
my final point is that this isn’t actually a question of principle, it is a question of power. if your view is “the only constraint on our ability to wield power is the text of the constitution” then you have no grounds to challenge your opponents when they say the same.
and critically, no one has to take your objections seriously.

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More from @jbouie

10 Oct
finishing up FORREST GUMP tonight and i forgot that the film makes gump responsible for stopping the watergate break-in
looking forward to the remake of gump in 20 years where it turns out gump did 9/11
Gump makes his way on The Apprentice and tells Donald Trump “you should try being president sometime.”
Read 5 tweets
10 Oct
I’ll note, again, the effort to conflate the entire magazine issue with its lead essay — and really, a single sentence in that essay — a transparent attempt to discredit a host of arguments and observations from historians, artists, & other journalists.…
I’ll also note that the objectors have arguably gone too far in the other direction, so eager to discredit the project as to ignore volumes of scholarship on the ways that the drive for racial control — by way of slavery and expropriation of native land — shaped the revolution.
It is really something to assert that 1776 demonstrates the nobility of the American founding when the Declaration explicitly charges the crown with stirring up slave revolts and preventing Americans from stealing Native land.
Read 5 tweets
8 Oct
the interesting thing to me about this conspiracy is how much it depends on seeing monochrome photography as the exception to the capturing of images and not, until relatively recently, the rule.
it so reminds me that you do have to learn how to “see” a monochrome photo, as it were, same as how modern viewers have to actually acclimate themselves to pre-color films.
right! black and white photography is its own thing and for my part there are ways and circumstances in which it can more effectively communicate a story or feeling than color.
Read 5 tweets
8 Oct
“we have taken away your right to self-government for your own good”
forgot about that time the federal government tried to disenfranchise the citizens of florida under the argument that “we’re a republic, not a democracy”
don’t be stupid. “democracy” in common american parlance means “representative government in which all citizens count equally and the people are sovereign.” no one on these streets is calling for athenian style assemblies or direct plebiscites.
Read 6 tweets
7 Oct
finally wrote out something i have been saying for awhile: trump is bad at politics!…
ignore the pandemic for a moment. trump was an underdog at the start of the year despite presiding over a robust economic expansion! that alone is evidence he’s dogshit at electoral politics!
from a purely cynical perspective, covid was a tremendous opportunity for trump. work with democrats to pass a big bipartisan stimulus and relief package, work with health authorities to contain the virus, coast to reelection after three years of controversy and unpopularity.
Read 4 tweets
6 Oct
destroying the supreme court by using congress’ constitutional power to change the number of justices…
this, to me, represents open fear that conservatives are about to lose 40 years of work. and they should. it’s the only reasonable response to a party that inflicted donald trump on the country and the world.
my case for expanding the entire federal judiciary is just that you don’t get to keep your ill-gotten gains.
Read 4 tweets

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