Friday, May 09, 2003

Six months ago, I wrote,
the day may not be far off when a president and Senate of the same party attempt to ram through a controversial judicial appointment, and the Supreme Court simply overrules their nomination, holding the vacancy open until such time as the executive and legislative branches are willing to do the Court's bidding and select a replacement deemed acceptable to it....The long process of dismantling American democracy, and replacing it with pure judicial authoritarianism, would then, at last, be complete.
Well, I got the general idea right, but the details wrong. Newsday reports that Senate Republicans are considering asking the Supreme Court to rule the Democrats' filibuster of judicial nominations unconstitutional. The petition hasn't been filed--let alone granted--and the idea is certainly coming in for plenty of criticism. Then again, there are also a few voices of at least partial support for the constitutional argument behind the proposed petition.

That's how these things start, of course: an idea is thrown around once, then again, and again, and soon (if there are enough people with a political interest in believing it) it becomes a plausible position to take. All that's needed at that point are a few sympathetic Supreme Court justices willing to run roughshod over democracy (and which of them is not, these days?), and the conversion of the state to effective one-party judicial rule has taken a giant step towards completion.

Remember: you heard it here first.

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