filibuster, missouri congressional map, Missouri Political Cartoons, Missouri politics, Missouri Redistricting, Missouri Republican Conservative Caucus, Missouri Republican Party, MOGOP, Republican Gerrymandering
Late yesterday, at the U.S. Supreme Court:
SOTOMAYOR, J., dissenting
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH ET AL. v. AUSTIN REEVE
JACKSON, JUDGE, ET AL.
ON APPLICATION FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
[September 1, 2021]
JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR, with whom JUSTICE BREYER and JUSTICE KAGAN join, dissenting.
The Court’s order is stunning. Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand. Last night, the Court silently acquiesced in a State’s enactment of a law that flouts nearly 50 years of federal precedents.
Today, the Court belatedly explains that it declined to grant relief because of procedural complexities of the State’s own invention. [….] Because the Court’s failure to act rewards tactics designed to avoid judicial review and inflicts significant harm on the applicants and on women seeking abortions in Texas, I dissent. [….]
KAGAN, J., dissenting
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH ET AL. v. AUSTIN REEVE
JACKSON, JUDGE, ET AL.
ON APPLICATION FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
[September 1, 2021]
JUSTICE KAGAN, with whom JUSTICE BREYER and JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR join, dissenting.
Without full briefing or argument, and after less than 72 hours’ thought, this Court greenlights the operation of Texas’s patently unconstitutional law banning most abortions. The Court thus rewards Texas’s scheme to insulate its law from judicial review by deputizing private parties to carry out unconstitutional restrictions on the State’s behalf. As of last night, and because of this Court’s ruling, Texas law prohibits abortions for the vast majority of women who seek them—in clear, and indeed undisputed, conflict with Roe and Casey.
Today’s ruling illustrates just how far the Court’s “shadow-docket” decisions may depart from the usual principles of appellate process. That ruling, as everyone must agree, is of great consequence. Yet the majority has acted without any guidance from the Court of Appeals—which is right now considering the same issues. It has reviewed only the most cursory party submissions, and then only hastily. And it barely bothers to explain its conclusion—that a challenge to an obviously unconstitutional abortion regulation backed by a wholly unprecedented enforcement scheme is unlikely to prevail. In all these ways, the majority’s decision is emblematic of too much of this Court’s shadow docket decisionmaking—which every day becomes more un-reasoned, inconsistent, and impossible to defend. I respectfully dissent.
End the filibuster. Now.
Susan Collins (r) weighs in (September 1, 2021)
Always there (September 1, 2021)
Here we are (September 2, 2021)
S.1 — 117th Congress (2021-2022)
Introduced in Senate (03/17/2021)
For the People Act of 2021
This bill addresses voter access, election integrity and security, campaign finance, and ethics for the three branches of government.
Specifically, the bill expands voter registration (e.g., automatic and same-day registration) and voting access (e.g., vote-by-mail and early voting). It also limits removing voters from voter rolls.
The bill requires states to establish independent redistricting commissions to carry out congressional redistricting.
Additionally, the bill sets forth provisions related to election security, including sharing intelligence information with state election officials, supporting states in securing their election systems, developing a national strategy to protect U.S. democratic institutions, establishing in the legislative branch the National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions, and other provisions to improve the cybersecurity of election systems.
Further, the bill addresses campaign finance, including by expanding the prohibition on campaign spending by foreign nationals, requiring additional disclosure of campaign-related fundraising and spending, requiring additional disclaimers regarding certain political advertising, and establishing an alternative campaign funding system for certain federal offices.
The bill addresses ethics in all three branches of government, including by requiring a code of conduct for Supreme Court Justices, prohibiting Members of the House from serving on the board of a for-profit entity, and establishing additional conflict-of-interest and ethics provisions for federal employees and the White House.
The bill requires the President, the Vice President, and certain candidates for those offices to disclose 10 years of tax returns.
Senator Roy Blunt @RoyBlunt
S.1 was written by one party acting alone.
S.1 was steered through Congress by one party acting alone.
The danger of such extreme changes being made by such tiny, partisan congressional majorities should be clear to everyone.
4:27 PM · Jun 22, 2021
There is much hilarity in the responses:
I wonder if you will remember this tweet when MO Republicans gerrymander US Congressional districts by dividing up Kansas City and leaving only one Democratic district in St. Louis.
Yes, the will of the majority in a democracy would just be absolutely tragic, huh?
WRONG!!! The real danger is the GQP enacting voter suppression bills all across the nation where the states are held by the GQP!! If this is truly a nation of government for and by the people, then voting is a right for ALL the people, not just who the GQP wants to vote!!!
Excuuuuusse me! When I cheat, it’s unacceptable for anyone to hold me accountable unless _I_ lead the charge in making sure I follow the rules!
Things like stacking the Supreme Court? Actions have consequences
It is hard not to see this as disingenuous when you have never once spoken out against Republican partisan voting rights led legislation that were down by one party acting alone
S.1 was written by one party alone because the other party refused to even talk about such a thing. Don’t put the blame for that on the Democrats, but on the Republicans, where it belongs.
The fact that you hate it. Proves it’s good for the country.
What? Yeah man they’re trying to protect the elections from YOU, why do you think you’re owed a say in that protection?
Republicans represent a minority of Americans. Majority rules.
The changes are not extreme. They are trying to protect America from turning into a failed state like Missouri.
Because the other party won’t give up trying to prevent people from voting. That’s your party, senator.
Stop tweeting this shit
Well, gee Roy. Maybe if you voted to bring it to debate you could have fixed some of that. /s
We all know who’s playing partisan games, Roy.
Choosing not to participate was the partisan part, Roy. That’s on you.
Why don’t you want all Americans to be able to vote?
Our Vote is our Voice.
I think your referring to the Republican agenda
Thank God you are not running for re-election.
Probably should have voted to debate it then
You refused to even debate it.
That would be too much work.
Are you still there?
Now do Supreme Court Justices!
Debate your points on the floor then. What are you afraid of?
I don’t think Republicans have a lot of credibility on this particular topic. Your dark-of-night, hidden session partisan bills are legendary.
All of the GOP voter suppression laws in the many states were written by the GOP acting alone. The GOP supported insurrection acting alone. The GOP refused to convict a rouge President – acting alone. The GOP packed the courts – acting alone.
no Republican wanted to participate in the process of ensuring that all voters’ rights are protected, and you think this is a negative of the legislation and not your party?
They’re funny that way.
I didn’t realize you were comatose for the Trump tax package and the failed Obamacare repeal.
That’s funny. Tiny majority. I guess you only like progress if it’s YOUR progress. Would be cool if you weren’t a sore loser. I mean if you had the heart to accept the will of the people and the will of a majority vote. What’s the danger?
C’mon Roy. You’re full of it and you know it.
Yeah, like Republican efforts to suppress voters isn’t partisan. If you can’t win on the issues, you gotta cheat, right? That’s the Republican way.
Tiny, partisan congressional minorities? You mean like leader McConnell refusing to give a sitting Presidents SC nominee a fair hearing? Or ramming thru another nominee 3 weeks prior to an election? Wow. The audacity of your statement is stunning.
Baloney. Republicans have had the opportunity to contribute through it all. And they have steadfastly refused to vote on anything even after negotiations. You know that. Why lie, Roy?
It’s in his nature.
Like the 2017 Tax cuts? Did you object then?
The GOP is acting alone in suppressing voters’ rights across the country. Did you object then?
That only the Democrats care about voters’ rights is an indictment on you, not them.
The GOP REFUSES to work on making access to voting easier for Americans.
Doesn’t that say more about the Republican Party than anything else?
You’re intentionally mischaracterizing the situation. Stop it.
You don’t get to complain after voting against the Jan. 6 commission. Take a seat Roy.
Somebody might take you seriously if they forgot that the only reason the party exists is to stop the Democrats. As if the GOP has acted in good faith bipartisan negotiations this century…
If your position is so strong, why won’t you engage in debate and prove it to the country?
The fact that you won’t even engage in debate implies that your case is not that strong, and perhaps the danger is not as large as you state.
S1 is a bill to make sure everyone who is legally able to vote is able to cast that vote. Why are you against making voting accessible to as many people as possible. Why do make a Democracy worse? Why are you content with diminishing the role of minorities in voting?
Either you believe in democracy or you don’t. Looks like we know what side you fall on. Missourians deserve better.
You’re too damned afraid to even debate it on the senate floor. Don’t spew your lies on Twitter. It’s bipartisan when YOU take part. You voted NO. Because you don’t want to be bipartisan. We got your number Roy.
AGAIN, Lying. The Democrats have been trying to reach across the aisle. Your party has blocked any attempt at bipartisanship. You are actively trying to slice up voter rolls and gerrymander minority rule. Don’t tell me this is harmful to democracy when you want pick your voters.
Roy Blunt (r) doesn’t care.
Also on Friday:
Ilhan Omar @IlhanMN
We have the Senate, the House and the Presidency.
Stop negotiating with a losing insurrectionist party who are trying to sabotage our democracy, pass the infrastructure package through reconciliation and abolish the filibuster.
4:48 PM · May 28, 2021
That would be a good start.
Failed State (May 28, 2021)
The simple math:
The Heartland POD @TheHeartlandPOD
Today the Senate voted 54-35 on a measure, and it didn’t pass. Seriously think about that. 54. Nearly 20% more YES than NO votes. In any other form of “democracy” that’s a blowout win.
1:58 PM · May 28, 2021
Today in the U.S. Senate:
Roll Call Vote 117th Congress – 1st Session
Question: On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture Re: Motion to Proceed to H.R. 3233)
Vote Number: 218
Vote Date: May 28, 2021, 11:24 AM
Required For Majority: 3/5
Vote Result: Cloture Motion Rejected
Measure Number: H.R. 3233 (National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act )
Measure Title: A bill to establish the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex, and for other purposes.
Not Voting 11
Blunt (R-MO), Not Voting
Hawley (R-MO), Nay
The Fascist pig:
Elizabeth Warren @ewarren
The filibuster has got to go.
1:07 PM · May 28, 2021
Cory Booker @CoryBooker
Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection. Continuing to ignore facts and avoid pursuing the truth will do nothing to stop this from happening again.
12:18 PM · May 28, 2021
Bernie Sanders @SenSanders
It’s a painful day for American democracy that Republicans blocked the creation of a commission to investigate the Jan. 6th insurrection. I applaud the six Republicans who voted for the commission, but I am saddened that so many are too intimidated by Trump to do the right thing.
12:14 PM · May 28, 2021
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand @gillibrandny
Filibustering a bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly violence of January 6th is absolutely shameful. Every single one of us who works in the Capitol — from the Senators to the support staff to the Capitol Police officers — deserved better. We need accountability.
1:00 PM · May 28, 2021
Get rid of the filibuster.
Insurrection and Sedition (May 19, 2021)
Yesterday, via Twitter, from Representative Vicky Hartzler (r):
Rep. Vicky Hartzler @RepHartzler
I agree with @realDonaldTrump. As long as 60-vote rule is in place the GOP Senate Majority cannot act like the majority. #changetherule
8:18 AM – 29 Jul 2017
How convenient. Where was Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) on this in January of 2011? [crickets]
Well, she could run for the U.S. Senate in 2018 to do something about that. Oh, wait.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) will be supporting the filibuster and voting “no” on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Senator McCaskill’s (D) statement:
This is a really difficult decision for me. I am not comfortable with either choice. While I have come to the conclusion that I can’t support Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court — and will vote no on the procedural vote and his confirmation — I remain very worried about our polarized politics and what the future will bring, since I’m certain we will have a Senate rule change that will usher in more extreme judges in the future.
I cannot support Judge Gorsuch because a study of his opinions reveal a rigid ideology that always puts the little guy under the boot of corporations. He is evasive, but his body of work isn’t. Whether it is a freezing truck driver or an autistic child, he has shown a stunning lack of humanity. And he has been an activist — for example, writing a dissent on a case that had been settled, in what appears to be an attempt to audition for his current nomination.
Then there is Citizens United, the single most corrupting force in the history of politics in this nation. I cannot and will not support a nominee that allows dark and dirty anonymous money to continue to flood unchecked into our elections.
I reject this nomination because Judge Gorsuch would continue an activist position that states that corporations have the same rights as people. The men who wrote our Constitution would reject that nonsense, since they were highly suspect of corporations as the tools of royalty. Corporations don’t cry or laugh or marry or worry about sending their kids to college. Judge Gorsuch’s allegiance to corporations disqualifies him from the highest court in the land.
And finally, this judge does not reflect the promises that Donald Trump made to Missourians. The candidate Donald Trump farmed out this important decision to a right-wing group that fronts for large corporations and special interests. Donald Trump promised Missourians that he would look out for the little guy, for working people, for the forgotten. He promised he would drain the swamp of the special interests, the lobbyists, and politicians who have overlooked the working people in this country. This judicial nomination breaks those promises.
The President who promised working people he would lift them up has nominated a judge who can’t even see them.
You’ve just got to love the comments on social media from right wingnuts asserting that Claire McCaskill has lost their vote because of this. As if they ever have or would vote for her.
Besides, the republicans in the U.S. Senate have already established the precedent that a president shouldn’t nominate an individual to a vacancy in the U.S. Supreme Court during the last year of their term in office.
McCain didn’t call out our own Senator Roy Blunt by name, but the implication is clear; the shoe is clearly measured to fit Blunt and he’ll just have to wear it. So how did Blunt who is usually very careful to try to appear reasonable when he’s in front of adults (his Republican base is another matter – witness the Obama “monkey” comments) earn the vituperation of the admittedly often vituperative McCain?
Remember back when Democrats who had had enough of GOP obstructionism changed the requirements for approval of presidential appointments to a straight-up majority vote rather than a super majority of 60 votes? The change only went so far; it didn’t apply to legislation or to appointments to the Supreme Court. And it took lots of provocation and unfilled positions before Harry Reid was moved to act:
It represented the culmination of years of frustration over what Democrats denounced as a Republican campaign to stall the machinery of Congress, stymie President Obama’s agenda and block his choices for cabinet posts and federal judgeships by insisting that virtually everything the Senate approves be done by a supermajority.
And do you remember what Republicans said at the time? I believe that there were accusations of “irreparably damaging” the Congress and disregarding “constitutional prerogatives” along with threats of a bad outcome for Democrats down the line. Our own Republican Senator Roy Blunt echoed Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s sinister threats of bad times ahead for folks who dared stymie GOP obstructionism:
“The last time the Democrats decided they were going to do something all by themselves it was Obamacare,” said Senator Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican. “And I’m pretty sure they regret doing it that way and my guess is they’ll regret this at some point too.”
Now that it’s proving successful, I doubt that there are many Democrats who regret Obamacare, but Blunt, who apparently never forgets a grudge, thinks that he can insure that Democrats regret changing the filibuster rules. Along with fellow Republican Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, and Mike Leeof Utah, Blunt is proposing a similar change to the approval process for Supreme Court nominees.
Oddly, though, as Politico notes, not all Democrats are as disturbed by the proposed expansion of the rule change:
“We’re witnessing a massive flip-flop in slow motion,” said Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). “Democrats appreciate the vote of confidence from Republicans in the wisdom of our rules change.”
It seems that whether or not our pols approve of changing the rules that govern congressional approval of judicial nominees depends on how confident they are that their party will take the White House and Senate in 2016. And many Democrats aren’t necessarily sure that 2014 presages a GOP victory in a presidential election in which most of the Senate seats that are up for grabs will be, contrary to the last election, in less GOP-friendly states. And of course, they’re also watching with glee the gathering of rightwing clowns, ethically-challenged governors and GOP establishment retreads who are now declaring their presidential ambitions.
In fact, the most outspoken condemnations of the Blunt/Alexander initiative comes from a Republican:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) warned his colleagues about the “sheer hypocrisy” of such a move. “We said this was outrageous what they did,” McCain said. “Not only how they did it, but what they did, OK? Some of my Republican colleagues seem to have forgotten that. Some selective amnesia.”
Sheer hypocrisy! Hear that Roy Blunt? John McCain is shocked by your sheer hypocrisy. Of course, lots of us here in Missouri could have told him all about how Blunt rolls a long time ago. But it’s not a bad thing to have Blunt outed by one of his own party, even if it is coming a bit late. As Eric Posner observes in Slate:
… . When senators argue about the filibuster, they appeal to the public interest, but if their position on the rule always reflects their political interests, then they are, essentially, lying. It all seems like a game.
A game. Indeed. But, of course, it’s a game with potentially deadly consequences. It’s just too bad that nowadays the GOP can’t find any players that aren’t plain and simple liars and hypocrites. I know why Democrats had to change the initial rule; I also know why Republicans are proposing to expand the change. The reasons aren’t even remotely similar. I’m with John McCain on this one.
A majority of the members of the U.S. Senate can change their procedural rules. Today that body did just that, in a reaction to republican minority obstruction, in ridding the body of the filibuster for district court federal judgeships, appellate court judgeships, and administration appointments subject to Senate approval. Bear in mind, a majority of senators must still approve these appointments.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) was one of the members of the Senate who finally had enough of the unprecedented republican minority obstruction and who voted for the rule change.
Meanwhile, a few people have come down with a case of pearl clutching vapors, via Twitter:
@clairecmc I’ll remember your vote on the filibuster rule when election day is here. You’re Harry Reids vote, right? 2:42 PM – 21 Nov 13
Uh, you’re gonna have to wait until 2018. It’s going to be a while.
Tessa M. Harper @TessaHarper2
@clairecmc Today you put another nail in the coffin of your political career 7:23 PM – 21 Nov 13
Again, it’s a long wait to 2018.
It’s so comforting to know that republican senators agree that the filibuster is one of the most important and inviolable constitutional prerogatives of that body. Oh, wait…
Almost three years ago we asked Senator McCaskill (D) about filibuster reform:
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): a conversation with bloggers in Kansas City (January 20, 2011)
….Blue Girl: One in nine federal judgeships, first question here, uh, they, you know, Congress, the hundred eleventh adjourned before the Senate could even consider hundreds of bills, uh, nothing’s been getting done, uh, this did not happen because it takes sixty votes to break a filibuster but because the minority can force the entire Senate to waste up to thirty hours ever, ever, every time the Senate holds a vote. What reforms do you support to stop this obstruction of even the most uncontroversial business?
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): Um, well the good news is that we did get twenty-two of them through, um, judges through, uh, by, by unanimous consent right before we adjourned. So, that’s good. Um, I do think the secret hold thing is really important because if you own it then you gotta explain it. And what happens is these guys hold these things secretly and then they, of course, vote for the nominees when they’re for, forced to.
Blue Girl: Right.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): So, you having the ability just to gum things up without anybody ever taking ownership is a huge problem. I am optimistic that we are gonna get the rule change on secret holds. Um, I think that is really hard for the other side to justify as they’re preaching transparency and accountability. I don’t know how they don’t accept a change in the rules to do away with the secret hold. And I think you do away with the secret hold it has an amazing ability to clean some of this stuff up. Now, do we make the changes in the filibuster? I would love to see the people who are filibustering have to be the ones to produce the forty. I’d love to see the people who are doing the filibustering have to hold the floor. I’d love for the people to see an actual filibuster.
Blue Girl: Yeah.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): Instead of the procedural way they’ve done it, which is they quietly object and then they kind of skulk off and the majority is left there to hold the floor and, and for the thirty hours and the staff [crosstalk] is there and so [crosstalk]…
Blue Girl: They should read about the Polish Sejm.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): Uh, yeah. So, so, um, but the question is, are we willing to break what has been traditional precedent in the Senate and change the rules by a simple majority vote? And once we do that then we need to realize that it can always be done. And that means that the Republicans could do the same thing if they took the majority in two years. And we have to realize the rules they may want to change may not be as reasonable and modest as the rule changes we want. [crosstalk]
Michael Bersin, Show Me Progress: But does, but does anybody expect that, you know, given their past behavior that they wouldn’t do that anyway?
Blue Girl: Yeah.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): I think it’s really hard for them to do that anyway. I think it’s very hard. I think, um, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s kind of what happened with the nuclear option. As you remember, there was a group of Republicans that wanted to do this when Democrats, uh, were blocking Bush’s judicial nominees. And it was in fact a group of moderate Republicans that said, no, we’re not gonna do this. And it didn’t happen. If it had happened I don’t know, you know, we probably would have had some significant rule changes along the lines that a lot of people are talking about now. You know, the Republicans make the point, and it is a valid point, how often we fill the tree. Um, we have filled the tree a lot. We have not given the Republicans an opportunity to offer amendments and so it’s almost like an escalating warfare here. Um, and the reason that we fill the tree is because they’re, I think the leadership thought it was a good idea to keep us from having to waste time on voting on amendments that were not germane. What I affectionately call the gotcha amendments. And [crosstalk]…
Blue Girl: Poison pills.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): The, yeah, poison pills. Um, at the end of the day. It’s probably what you signed up for when you go to the United States Senate, that you’ve got to cast difficult votes. And I’m one of the senators that is encouraging leadership to not always fill the tree, to allow open amendment process. Um, so, we’ll see what happens on the rules. But I, I’m gonna be surpri, we’ve all signed a letter saying we want these rule changes. And I am supporting these rule changes. And I’m hopeful these rule changes happen. Um, but if they don’t I think we’ve got to, you know, decide, um, how far are we willing to go and what are the consequences of that long term for the Senate and for the minority, not just in the current scenario….
Here’s the thing, anyone who thinks a republican majority in the Senate wouldn’t get rid of the filibuster (for everything) at their first opportunity is delusional.
It took long enough for the current Democratic majority to realize just that.