Elie Mystal Profile picture
Justice Correspondent: @thenation Alignment: Neutral Good. Str:12 Dex:8 Con:15 Int:13 Wis:10 Char:14 Class: Paladin. Strong Against: Republicans.
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23 Oct
One of the key takeaways I'm left with from this debate is that we fully can't even talk to each other anymore. That was the president of the united states, 11 days out from a general election, speaking in a way that reasonably informed people outside his niche COULDN'T FOLLOW.
It's really, it's gotta be like walking into a mass, knowing nothing about Catholicism, and sitting there and hearing "this is flesh now and you MUST EAT IT TO BE SAVED."

I know there've been ENDLESS articles about how Fox creates its own self-fulfilling cultural ecosystem. I've WRITTEN some of those articles. I get the *general problem* here.

But, just, DAMN. When I was 10 I had a better grasp on what Bush/Dukakis were REFERENCING than Trump.
Read 4 tweets
22 Oct
I finally got around to reading the Rod Dreher dreck and, wow. Wow. What passes for intellectualism among Republicans these days is just, wow.
Consider, at one point the author quotes favorably the hysterical warnings of societal collapse's from a 1947 author worried about family "moral decay."

Then our guy says: "He wrote this in 1947. Zimmerman missed the Baby Boom coming, but otherwise, he was right on target."
How you gonna quote a guy warning about declining birth rates, and then just wave away "HE MISSED THE BABY BOOM." Talk about: Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln.
Read 9 tweets
22 Oct
My ranking of Game of Thrones seasons BY SOUNDTRACK:
Season 3
Season 6
Season 8
Season 1
Season 2
Season 4
Season 5
Season 7
Season 3 is giving you: the best instrumental version of Castomere, the full Chaos is a Ladder theme, the Ironborn theme, the song they actually play during the red wedding, and the mournful aftermath, AND Mhysa AND... FREAKING.. DRACARYS
Season 6 has the best song in the whole show (Light of the Seven) which is so good you can pretty much *SEE* what is happening. Season 8 the music is better than Season 8 the television show, as all its *musical* themes pay off big time, plus the Night King song.
Read 6 tweets
22 Oct
So, here's the thing about the votes @SenSchumer just explained. Both @SenSusanCollins and @lisamurkowski *said* that we shouldn't proceed with a nominee before the election. It was meaningless & cost them nothing.
NOW, if McConnell tries to accept the nomination, they could ACT.
If Lindsey Graham pushes through the nomination without a quorum, Dems will ask the full Senate to reject that nomination. At that point, McConnell needs 51 votes (or 50, not sure if Pence gets to break the tie) to ignore regular rules.
If Collins and Murkowski keep their word, they only need one (or two) more Republican to vote in favor of *regular order*, like John McCain, as opposed to the illegitimate process to rush through a lifetime Supreme Court nominee.
Read 8 tweets
21 Oct
Well... that was new.
Is the FBI arguing that Iran made it look like the Proud Boys were intimidating voters to *help* Donald Trump.

That's... the story... I'm supposed to believe from these people?
I trust Christopher Wray, more or less. Not to investigate his alleged attempted rapist buddy Brett Kavanaugh, but on other things.

It was Trump fluffer John Ratcliffe who said that it was being done to "help Trump" and that I don't believe at all.

Read 4 tweets
19 Oct
In any event, any rule passed by the Senate can be undone by the next Senate. And a constitutional amendment is not happening. So...
Still the hypocrisy of @tedcruz, who voted in favor of killing the filibuster for SCOTUS nominees now wanting a supermajority for court reform is rich.

And HIGHLIGHTS the problem. Republicans think "Republican Win Always" should be the actual law.
Read 5 tweets
17 Oct
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but if any black man would like to learn the difference between a Joe Biden federal court and a white supremacist one, I’m here.
This stuff is confusing and if you want to learn instead just of repeating bullshiit, I’m happy to help.
There are THREE branches of government. Not 1. It’s not about 1 man. Never has been. If you don’t understand how a president will help you, understand how Congress can. Understand how liberal courts will
SEE THE WHOLE BOARD like a Queen, not the space in front of you like a pawn.
Apparently, instead of asking me questions my tone was too "condescending" for some so, to be clear, I WOULD LIKE TO ANSWER BLACK QUESTIONS about a Biden Court instead of a Trumpy one. Since apparently Ice Cube thinks that only 1 branch of government is important to black people.
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
All right, I'm giving up for the night. Have a good night everybody except Diane Feinstein. You helped to CREATE Amy Coney Barrett with your ineffectual questioning for her 7th Circuit post, and have treated this week as YOUR civility redemption tour instead of a desperate fight.
This week wasn't supposed to be about you, or her, or Lindsey freaking Graham. It was supposed to be about a deeply wrong and hypocritical attack on the democracy carried out by a Republican party hell bent on ensuring minority rule against the will of the people.
I'm sure you'll sleep feeling like YOUR reputation as a "fair minded" and "civil" legislator has been redeemed. But, like Bob Mueller, Dean Baquet, and so many, many other "institutionalists," your myopic focus on your own reputation has cost us another chance to fight back.
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
Court question!
Ugh. Again. Stephanopoulous "The president is president for all four years."
Biden "yes, but after an election has started."
Wrong answer.
Biden again surfaces the idea that the problem with court packing is that it will be done by the other side if they get a chance.

HOW IS THAT WORSE THAN WHAT WE HAVE NOW? Republicans want a 6-3 court NOW, and I'm supposed to worry about a 60-30 court in 10 years?
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct
Harris is now explaining Shelby County v Holder to Amy Coney Barrett who pretended to not know what the case was about.
OKAY, ACB is being intellectually dishonest about the holding. She's saying that the preclearance coverage formula was struck down, but "congress could pass a new formula." That's technically not a lie, but what she's not telling you...
is that Roberts struck down the preclearance formula in such a way as to make it unlikely that ANY preclearance formula could be legislated that would pass constitutional muster.
Read 7 tweets
14 Oct
Welp, Josh Hawley actually just blew up Barrett's entire point.

Barrett argued that she couldn't give an answer on Griswold because it's an active controversy. But Hawley just had her admit to that there was no active litigation about Griswold for the past decades.

Either Griswold is SETTLED and she can take a position on supporting it (if she did) OR it's a live issue and her views on whether WOMEN CAN GET BIRTH CONTROL is kind of important.

PICK A RULE, HAWLEY, but you can't have it both ways.
Honestly, if these hearings matter what @HawleyMO did was one of the DUMBEST things he could have done. I really hope one of @TheDemocrats picks up on this.
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct
Barrett says that Griswold (the right to contraception) is "unlikely to go anywhere" and suggests that it would take a statute to take it away.

This answer is full of crap because HOBBY LOBBY HAPPENED which denied contraception to women working there.
She says Griswold involves substantive due process. That's a tell. You can defend Griswold under the right to privacy, if you believe it exists, WHICH AMY CONEY BARRETT DOESN'T
Again, this is an example of Barrett TAKING A POSITION ON A CASE, while saying that she's not.
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct
Strap in, @amyklobuchar is up.

If it were me, if Dems win the WH and Senate I'd have her lead the judiciary committee next Congress.
Oooh, and it's "I've had enough of your bullshit" Klobuchar. :)
"Minnesota Nice" Klobuchar > "Let hunt elk with beer" Klobuchar
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct
What's weird about Grassley is that he's a person who believes in conservative legal principles in a way that exists *outside* of being a FedSoc schill. Like, he's from an era before the FedSoc completely captured the GOP and told them how to talk about the law.
It's not like Grassley *disagrees* with FedSoc. It's just that he comes to his beliefs a little differently than the FedSoc group think, and it shows in his presentation (of views I think are wrong)
It's hard to explain the daylight between a Grassley approach and a FedSoc one, but, it's a little about intellectual honesty (FedSoc purposely misleads people while Grassley really is that dumb, if you will).
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct
The other day, I remarked on how time feels like it's slowing down as we approach the election. I think I understand why:
It's natural for humans to plan ahead. We set markers for when we'll do things, and we notice when those markers get closer and closer. Time progresses.
But right now, at least for me, I can't plan past Nov 3rd. I have no idea what the world will look like. Literally, my calendar usually gets filled up with "engagements" at least a month out. But I have NOTHING in my calendar past 11/3, I'm not even trying to think past that.
So, that's temporally distorting. I have nothing to look forward to, nothing I can really plan to do. As the Oracle says in the Matrix, we can't see past the choices we don't understand. And so it feels like *infinite* time b/w now and 11/3, b/c I can't comprehend "after it" yet.
Read 4 tweets
13 Oct
God, @KamalaHarris is so freaking good at this
She finally got Barrett to say that it would be Barrett and BARRETT ALONE who decides if she refuses
And now Harris gotten Barrett to say plainly that she’s assuming the mandate is unconstitutional. Which is a position on a live issue
Read 4 tweets
13 Oct
Amy Coney Barrett is pretending not to know every word of her dissent in the case Klobuchar is asking about (and Durbin asked before).

I say "pretending" because, at this level, these people know EVERY WORD they've written and likely to come up.
By "at this level" I wasn't talking about Kavanaugh, who probably doesn't remember what he writes while black out drunk.
Read 7 tweets
13 Oct
Amy Coney Barrett is trying to make an IMPOSSIBLE parse here. She's admitted to saying that she thought the dissent got the better of the argument, but she's trying to not say that she would have (wait for it) agreed with the dissent.
In part, this is the reason it's useless to go toe-to-toe with Barrett, or any nominee, on the law. Because there's literally no penalty for them for obfuscating their positions.
On the other hand, Amy Coney Barrett is probably the most ON THE RECORD judge about LIVE issues in front of the Supreme Court that we've had since Bork. Her future opinions are baked in, based on her past writings. Her acting like she hasn't already decided is dishonest.
Read 4 tweets
13 Oct
Also, for all those wondering "why don't the Democrats have a Federalist Society equivalent" well, @SenWhitehouse is indirectly explaining why.

We don't HAVE this web of dark money influences propping up our nominees, and holding our politicians to account.
If we did, the GOP would have never gotten away with Garland because literally every liberal group would have shut down the government. They wouldn't have gotten away with Kavanaugh, and they wouldn't be doing this.
And court expansion wouldn't be an "idea" it'd be the actual mandate and demand of the Democratic party (much like universal health care is now). We'd differ about how many, not whether to or not.
Read 4 tweets
13 Oct
We're back and @SenWhitehouse said that the hearing is "puppet theater" and now he's going to trying to show the strings and I am here for it.
Whitehouse making the very simple case that the Republicans are acting with intellectual hypocrisy when there OWN PLATFORM DEMANDS that they nominate judges who will do all the thing Barrett is suggesting she maybe wouldn't do.
ALL @SenWhitehouse is doing is playing the Republicans OWN WORDS while Republicans try to pretend that they never said them.
Read 4 tweets
13 Oct
On with @chucktodd, @ProfMMurray (who would be a FINE choice for the Supreme Court), is great explaining the legal slight of hand Barrett is engaged in right now.
Talking about the Guns dissent, Chuck Rosenberg says that he disagrees, but thought her dissent was thoughtful and clear.

Yeah, it was CLEAR that she wants to take away voting rights, not gun rights, from non-violent felons.
Now @PeteWilliamsNBC says that Barrett said that just "disagreeing" isn't enough to overturn precedent.

That's true, she's SAID that today.

But she's WRITTEN that judges should overturn precedent whenever THEY BELIEVE the precedent conflicts with the Constitution.
Read 4 tweets