In my experiencing designing these commissions, 4 things stand out here:

1. Super impressive list. Wow.
2. Way too *many* people.
3. It will get more publicity than average, which is correlated with influence, but only weakly.
4. It looks setup to not propose serious change.
A little more details. First, I can't remember a high-level presidential or congressional commission with this level of subject area talent. Truly impressive. I'd want more political scientists, but it's hard to argue against the talent and intellectual diversity here.
That said, this *is* heavily skewed toward subject-matter experts and practitioners. That's a conscious-choice, and an important one. You're going to get a mix of scholarly and sensible advice here. Stock it with politicians and you get more practical+grandstanding.
Second, this is a stupid *number* of people. I've studied and/or designed hundreds of these things, and 30+ is just not only abnormal, but totally unwieldy. Meetings will be impossible, and there won't ever really be any collective. Twelve would have been better.
Third, I suspect these people and this report will get more attention than most of these commissions, and that's a good thing. But it's not everything, and it won't be enough to really move things. The gold standard is 9/11, and everyone thinks they can duplicate that. You can't.
Half the time, these commissions are ways of avoiding decision-making. That could be the case here. The other half, they are well-meaning but get no traction among policymakers, either in Congress or in the executive (here the judiciary). Very few have serious, high influence.
The 180 day reporting time is pretty fast for an advisory commission, especially one that is allegedly going to hold hearings. They are going to need to staff up quick, and get an executive director who knows what the fuck he/she is doing.
But congratulations to the people I know on the commission; regardless of whether this has a lot of influence or very little, this is a great opportunity to get serious intellectual thinking about the court system into the bloodstream of the political process. Good luck!

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More from @MattGlassman312

9 Apr
Have you heard of Wilmer McLean? He was a Virginian who lived in Manassas. The Confederacy used his house as a headquarters during Bull Run, the first real battle of the war, which took place on his farm. At one point, a cannonball went through his kitchen window. 1/
After the war began in earnest, McLean moved his family further south, in an attempt to escape the fighting. He settled them in Appomattox. 2/
When Lee agreed to surrender to Grant, his aides sought out a place in Appomattox Courthouse to hold the surrender meeting. Totally coincidentally, they knocked on McLean’s door, and he agreed to host the meeting. 3/
Read 5 tweets
7 Apr
I get why GOP thought they’d be able to cut taxes, increase spending, run up deficits, and then get Dems to flinch and cut austerity deals after gaining power—that’s exactly what happened in 80s/90s and 00s/10s.

But now that Dems are proudly deficit spending, GOP seems adrift.
Frankly, I’m pretty surprised myself!

You may not like *what* Dems have wanted to spend on in the past, but there’s no way to look at the last 40 years and not say Dems have been more interested in / cowered into fiscal responsibility.
And this is not an argument to not worry about deficit spending. We really are testing the thesis right now that it doesn’t matter. This last year has been just a ton of spending.

But it definitely feels like a switch has flipped with the Dems, and they aren’t scared to spend.
Read 4 tweets
2 Apr
One of the defining features of the modern House—for both better and worse, but in balance for worse—is the ability of young members to get national media attention and thus viably pursue public sphere political strategies. It’s shaping so many aspects of the institution.
It’s obvious enabling the asshat caucus, but it’s also affecting candidates, the ambition structure, the parties, the retirements, the policy sphere, and the governing capacity, and so much more.
I think it’s pretty directly tied to the retirement of policy-keen members (as outlined in this thread). We’ve always had *some* showhorses in the House, but now there are more, and of a totally different, national character.
Read 5 tweets
16 Mar
One wild thing about the pandemic is that, because of the unbelievable speed and success of vaccine development, decades from now the entire pandemic might come to be seen as largely a huge public health success. 1/
Despite all the various strategic, tactical, and execution failures of 2020---logistical, political, and cultural---and the huge tragedy of half a million dead and counting, we will likely be bailed out by an amazing scientific achievement. 2/
One upshot: be careful how you look at history, especially when using it to judge the present. It's good to remember that even huge successes---like the allied victory in World War II---were on a day-to-day basis complete shitshows. We aren't as inept right now as we appear.
Read 5 tweets
16 Mar
This is, of course, plausible. On the other hand, the filibuster has been nuked---the term came from the threatened and expected reaction of the minority---on executive and judicial branch nominations, and there really wasn't much minority reaction at all.
The other problem with this is that once you nuke the legislative filibuster, it's going to be really easy to change other rules to prevent all the obstruction techniques that currently would, indeed, bring the Senate to a standstill.
There's just no majority party I can imagine that would nuke the filibuster but still leave in place a system that required unanimous consent to conduct routine business if people were taking advantage of it for dilatory reasons.
Read 4 tweets
9 Mar
More broadly, the suspension calendar has always been a place where the minority in the House could express more general grievances. Because suspensions require 2/3 to pass, the minority has always had the power to "shut down suspensions" if they are annoyed about other things.
This looks like it's coming from MTG/Freedom Caucus, but there also appears to be a more general disgruntlement among the House GOP (beyond the usual minority whining), so maybe there's a broader consent to frustrating the suspension calendar. Image
As @JonLipe notes, shutting down suspensions hurts Republicans too, since they get a share of the non-controversial suspension bills. So it's usually just a threat/symbolic move to do it; the pain doesn't simply reside with the majority.
Read 4 tweets

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