Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tony and Mat are terror-stricken - Brian too

Mat Staver and Tony Perkins with Kim Davis and spouse
Hate group leaders Mat Staver and Tony Perkins with Kim Davis and Spouse
Tony Perkins and Mat Staver, leaders of anti-gay hate groups Family Research Council and Liberty Counsel, respectively fear that an Obama nominee to the Supreme Court might disrupt their plans for oppressing LGBT citizens. While many conservative justices have become more liberal over time, the reverse doesn't seem to happen. The first of their emails to arrive was from Liberty Counsel at 6:13pm on Saturday. Mat Staver is quoted:

With the passing of Justice Scalia, the future of the High Court and the future of America is hanging in the balance. The Senate must not confirm any nominee to the Supreme Court from President Obama. The Senate must hold off any confirmation until the next President is seated. Unfortunately the presidential debates have been more theater and less substance about the real issues surrounding the Supreme Court. The election of the next President has now taken on even greater importance. The future of the Supreme Court and America now depends on the Senate blocking any nominee by President Obama and the people electing the right person to occupy the White House.
Perkins weighed in at 8:06pm:
The Supreme Court has now become the centerpiece in this presidential election. There has not been an election-year nomination in generations and the Senate must not break that trend now. With the election only 269 days away, the people should decide what president should fill this seat.
Sorry Mr. Perkins but the American people did decide who should fill this seat when they reelected President Obama in 2012. The bottom line is that both of these individuals would sacrifice good governance to far right wing doctrine. It is the constitutional duty of the President to nominate a justice to replace Scalia. It is the constitutional responsibility of the Senate to confirm a suitable candidate.

These people have selective memories. In 1988 a Democratic-controlled Senate confirmed President Reagan's nominee, Anthony Kennedy. The vote was 97-0. I doubt that any Democrat suggested that the seat should remain empty until a new president was seated in 1989.

It's not just LGBT citizens with a stake in the next justice. By controlling women's wombs these men seek to control their careers and their very lives. Moreover, the decision in Citizens United has left us with an immense thumb on the scale of political process. Were that insufficient to perpetuate conservative rule, the Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. New justices open the possibilities of new cases to reach the high Court.

I confess to having been on the evil side of a couple of NLRB elections. I was wrong. Unions are vital to reestablishing a thriving middle class which is essential to our economic viability.

In 1977, in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, the Court ruled that public service unions could collect fees from nonmembers to cover costs associated with negotiating and enforcing contracts. In 2013 an anti-union group (the Center for Individual Rights) concocted a new case – Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Assn. – to challenge Abood. The trick was to get it before the Supreme Court while it still had a conservative majority.

To fast track the case the plaintiffs conceded that the lower courts would have to rule against them, being bound by Abood as precedence. This is exactly how conservatives would attack Obergefell if the composition of the Court became more conservative. The Center for Individual Rights has now been undone by their own craftiness. Since the Ninth Circuit ruled against them a 4-4 tie in Friedrichs would sustain the Ninth Circuit and the threat will have been thwarted. With an Obama nominee on the bench, the threat will not only be repelled but the Court's decision would establish precedence.

Similarly Brian Brown's wet dream went something like this: Justice Ginsburg would be the next member of the Court to expire. A President Ted Cruz (my keyboard protests just typing those three words) would nominate a conservative to fill the vacancy in the Court. A new case would then make its way through the federal courts overcoming a problem with Article III standing. Fast forward three or four years and a more conservative Supreme Court invalidates marriage equality.

Things haven't quite worked out for Brian. Apparently God had other plans.

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