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  1. #101
    The Undying cubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaleredar View Post
    Because a bunch of doomers falling for the taunting of self-fellating conservatives who have managed to weasel a single branch of the government due to sheer luck are bitching and moaning rather than wanting to actually do anything.
    It wasn't luck - it was 30+ years of planning.
    We aren't being taunted - not sure how little you're paying attention, or if maybe you just don't understand what that word means. Possibly both.
    Still waiting for your solution[s] on what to do. Aside from get out and vote for the next 20+ years.


    I'm not sure you comprehend what has happened here with SCOTUS. Maybe you need to go back and look at the literal reality of what it means for the Neo-Nazi-Conservative-GQP-Right to have comprehensive and active control of the branch of government that interprets our laws.

    They can do anything they want, with no accountability. And one of them was literally a Handmaiden.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by CastletonSnob View Post
    Why does it feel like America is on its last legs?
    Because these recent SCOTUS rulings are a complete reversal of established law. And seem to be only the start of the unraveling of our rights. This is basically Germany in 1932/33. We'll see what the 2022 and 2024 elections bring.

    Right now, outside of "getting out the vote", there is almost nothing the liberal (see also people's) party can do.

  2. #102
    The Unstoppable Force Kaleredar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubby View Post
    It wasn't luck - it was 30+ years of planning.
    If the Supreme Court justices basically hadn’t died in exactly the way they did the GOP would be a politically irrelevant party right now, with no clear return to national power on the horizon.

    I’m not saying they weren’t skeevingly opportunistic enough to jump on such an opportunity. But a Machiavellian work of 5-D chess this was not.

    We aren't being taunted - not sure how little you're paying attention, or if maybe you just don't understand what that word means. Possibly both.
    Admitting to feckless conservatives “congrats, your moral degeneracy let you win, democracy is fucked” is entirely submitting to their taunting. Because all they care about is they they “won” in your eyes and are only bolstered by such comments.

    Still waiting for your solution[s] on what to do. Aside from get out and vote for the next 20+ years.
    That’s precisely what you do. And remind people the stakes of what their apathy are.


    I'm not sure you comprehend what has happened here with SCOTUS. Maybe you need to go back and look at the literal reality of what it means for the Neo-Nazi-Conservative-GQP-Right to have comprehensive and active control of the branch of government that interprets our laws.

    They can do anything they want, with no accountability. And one of them was literally a Handmaiden.
    They can’t write their own laws, only rule on the constitutionality of existing ones by means of challenge.

    States and groups aren’t in lock-step with what the Supreme Court is attempting to ersatz legislate, and as such can affect needling legal challenges that test the fundamentally unsound reasoning the conservative judges are acting on, gumming up the court.

    And of course, justices don’t live forever.

    Again, I’m not saying it isn’t bad, far from it. But defeatism and laying down to let a bunch of jeering conservative baboons have their way isn’t going to make things better.
    “Do not lose time on daily trivialities. Do not dwell on petty detail. For all of these things melt away and drift apart within the obscure traffic of time. Live well and live broadly. You are alive and living now. Now is the envy of all of the dead.” ~ Emily3, World of Tomorrow
    Quote Originally Posted by Wells View Post
    Kaleredar is right...
    Words to live by.

  3. #103
    Bloodsail Admiral tehdang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gestopft View Post
    It's like you're conflating two things here. They cite the state constitution as to their reasoning for declaring the legislature's districts unconstitutional, right? The state statutes allow them to create their own temporary districts after a certain time if the legislature hasn't fixed theirs. The law allows them to do what they did. If you want to quibble about "free and fair," you're arguing against an interpretation, not the scope of what the court did. And "some lawyers cited the wrong thing" wouldn't change the state statutes or constitution...you think the SCOTUS should potentially side with the state legislature not because of what the law/state constitution says but because of bad lawyering? Is that the implication?

    But by all means, continue splitting hairs and ignoring what is actually at stake.
    You're getting distracted and confused. It was Vox's supremely ignorant Ian that made an argument that Moore was odd because of state statutory authority. He alleged there was no conflict, so why would the Supreme Court choose to intervene in this case? It is precisely the fact that the North Carolina Supreme Court grounded their interference in the NC State constitution only. That's the fatal flaw in Ian's reasoning. The ordinary laws aren't even remotely at issue; it's just the constitutional authority. That's the reason why it's a prime candidate to rule on the extent of state court authority over state legislature authority. The judges said they could find in cited sections of the NC State Constitution the ability to rule against partisan gerrymandering, despite "none of those provisions says anything about partisan gerrymandering, and all but one make no reference to elections at all."

    They're interpreting the constitution, not state laws. I see you haven't really filed an opinion about Ian and Vox, so maybe our disagreement is you never read what he said or evaluated what was off about it. I leave that to you. The court is not confused like Ian. They state what they did and why they had the ability to do it; they stated it quite plainly and the Supreme Court will rule on whether that was permissible under the United States Constitution (election clause being the most prominent) and the NC State Constitution. The NC Supreme Court cited 3 provisions, but I'll give an example of the biggest: "When the NC Constitution says 'All elections shall be free,' does that grant the supreme justices of that constitution the right to strike down partisan gerrymandering" or "Does partisan gerrymandering make elections unfree, and thus unconstitutional?"

    If you think it over for a good amount of time, and read the NC Supreme Court decision and the US Supreme Court dissent from denial of stay, you'll find there is no splitting of hairs. There's actually a clear issue to be ruled upon, and Ian gives some wrong legal commentary on it.
    "I wish it need not have happened in my time." "So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaleredar View Post
    Because a bunch of doomers falling for the taunting of self-fellating conservatives who have managed to weasel a single branch of the government due to sheer luck are bitching and moaning rather than wanting to actually do anything.
    Its unlikely the Democrats will hold the house next election. Biden has become a more despised president then trump though not as noisy of one.

    If he runs again it's going to be a lost election. You really have to stop imagining your party as some unstoppable juggernaut especially as it takes devastating loss after devastating loss.

  5. #105
    The Unstoppable Force Kaleredar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tentim View Post
    Its unlikely the Democrats will hold the house next election. Biden has become a more despised president then trump though not as noisy of one.

    If he runs again it's going to be a lost election. You really have to stop imagining your party as some unstoppable juggernaut especially as it takes devastating loss after devastating loss.
    The democrats took the senate, held the house and swept the presidency from an incumbent in 2020. So slow your roll.

    The only people hating on Biden that wouldn’t vote for him over Trump in a heartbeat regardless are the people who were going to vote for trump regardless because they think Biden is an illegitimate president trying to give them coronavirus via 5G towers.

    I’m fairly certain “Let’s go Brandon” memes aren’t as convincing a reason to the independent voter to not vote for Biden as being an already one-time loser mired in criminal and civil investigations based around a failed insurrection in his name are to not vote for trump.
    “Do not lose time on daily trivialities. Do not dwell on petty detail. For all of these things melt away and drift apart within the obscure traffic of time. Live well and live broadly. You are alive and living now. Now is the envy of all of the dead.” ~ Emily3, World of Tomorrow
    Quote Originally Posted by Wells View Post
    Kaleredar is right...
    Words to live by.

  6. #106
    The Undying cubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaleredar View Post
    If the Supreme Court justices basically hadn’t died in exactly the way they did the GOP would be a politically irrelevant party right now, with no clear return to national power on the horizon.

    I’m not saying they weren’t skeevingly opportunistic enough to jump on such an opportunity. But a Machiavellian work of 5-D chess this was not.
    The GQP gained seats in the House in 2020 - when are you going to get that through your head? It went from 233/195/1 (5 vacant) before the 2020 election to 222/211/0 (2 vacant) in 2021 new session. Gaining seats is not an irrelevant party. You need to wake up.


    Admitting to feckless conservatives “congrats, your moral degeneracy let you win, democracy is fucked” is entirely submitting to their taunting. Because all they care about is they they “won” in your eyes and are only bolstered by such comments.
    No, it's not. I have no idea what you mean by this comment. Nothing I've commented on has anything to do with "taunting" from the other side. It all has to do with the new political reality we are facing.


    That’s precisely what you do. And remind people the stakes of what their apathy are.
    And...what else? Or should I tell you to stop being defeatist as well?


    They can’t write their own laws, only rule on the constitutionality of existing ones by means of challenge.
    They don't have to. But interpreting existing ones as they come for review, they can take away rights.

    States and groups aren’t in lock-step with what the Supreme Court is attempting to ersatz legislate, and as such can affect needling legal challenges that test the fundamentally unsound reasoning the conservative judges are acting on, gumming up the court.
    Yes, they are. There is an argument to be made that the conservative side of the Court leaked the Roe opinion so the Red States could get their Trigger Laws in place.

    And of course, justices don’t live forever.
    Thomas is 74 years old. He could easily go another 15 years before being replaced. AND, since the GQP understands some realities a little better, he will retire when a GQP President is sitting, so the seat can be filled by another 50+ years of life Handmaiden like Barret.

    Again, I’m not saying it isn’t bad, far from it. But defeatism and laying down to let a bunch of jeering conservative baboons have their way isn’t going to make things better.
    Painting a picture of reality isn't defeatism. Even your only solution is "get out the vote". So when I say nothing can be done, I'm somehow defeatist and you're not? Is that because I'm facing reality and you're...doing what again?

    People need to realize this whole situation is VERY, VERY BAD. Seriously bad. And it's going to get far worse before there's even a chance of it getting better. Telling the truth isn't defeatism, it's waking people the fuck up.

  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    The ordinary laws aren't even remotely at issue;
    So we agree that the judges have the authority to write new districts in the event that they deem the legislature's unconstitutional, given that the legislature has time to correct their errors. That's not the issue. I think I was getting confused here; I was under the impression that you were arguing that the courts couldn't provide substitute districts if the legislature failed to provide constitutional ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    it's just the constitutional authority. That's the reason why it's a prime candidate to rule on the extent of state court authority over state legislature authority.
    The constitutional authority for the judicial branch to determine if the legislature's actions are constitutional? As in...the way checks and balances works?

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    The judges said they could find in cited sections of the NC State Constitution the ability to rule against partisan gerrymandering, despite "none of those provisions says anything about partisan gerrymandering, and all but one make no reference to elections at all."
    Yes, constitutions. Those notoriously highly specific documents...

    There are a million things constitutions don't say. Judges still rule based on them. This is why "interpret the law" is kind of...the role of the judicial branch.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    They're interpreting the constitution, not state laws.
    Yes, that is what the judicial branch does. And the judicial branch interpreting the constitution is a problem because...? (The answer is that the NC GOP doesn't like the way they interpreted it so they are throwing a fit over judges "legislating from the bench.")

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    I see you haven't really filed an opinion about Ian and Vox, so maybe our disagreement is you never read what he said or evaluated what was off about it. I leave that to you. The court is not confused like Ian.
    I have read several articles plus the brief you linked, but I can't say for sure if I read that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    They state what they did and why they had the ability to do it; they stated it quite plainly and the Supreme Court will rule on whether that was permissible under the United States Constitution (election clause being the most prominent) and the NC State Constitution.
    And this is batshit insane (and dangerous). The idea that the election clause shields state legislatures from judicial review of constitutionality is utterly bonkers. State legislatures are bodies created by, and bound to the confines of, state constitutions. The GOP seemed to have NO problem when the courts interpreted their districts to be constitutional- but now they are throwing a fit because the NC High court changed their interpretation of the constitution. Pretty sure breaking precedents is...a thing courts do sometimes *cough* Dobbs *cough* Heller *cough* Janus *cough*

    But yes, pretend this is just about resolving a minor conflict between branches of government instead of you know...whether or not politicians are allowed to rig elections.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    The NC Supreme Court cited 3 provisions, but I'll give an example of the biggest: "When the NC Constitution says 'All elections shall be free,' does that grant the supreme justices of that constitution the right to strike down partisan gerrymandering" or "Does partisan gerrymandering make elections unfree, and thus unconstitutional?"
    Seems like "what constitutes a 'free' election in NC?" is a question to be answered by...uhhhh...the courts in NC.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    you'll find there is no splitting of hairs.
    Maybe "splitting hairs" was the wrong term. But from my angle you are very much ignoring the context of this case because you know the implications are egregious and indefensible.
    Last edited by Gestopft; 2022-07-05 at 03:34 AM.
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  8. #108
    Merely a Setback Adam Jensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    By that definition of "ID", literally every State in the USA has required "ID" in elections, at least back through living memory.

    Which should demonstrate why the current push for "Voter ID" is so fundamentally dishonest.
    It's dishonest because disenfranchisement, not ID, is their objective.
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  9. #109
    Bloodsail Admiral tehdang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gestopft View Post
    So we agree that the judges have the authority to write new districts in the event that they deem the legislature's unconstitutional, given that the legislature has time to correct their errors. That's not the issue. I think I was getting confused here; I was under the impression that you were arguing that the courts couldn't provide substitute districts if the legislature failed to provide constitutional ones.
    Both are argued to be powers granted by the state constitution by the NC Supreme Court. They're both at issue.

    The constitutional authority for the judicial branch to determine if the legislature's actions are constitutional? As in...the way checks and balances works?
    It's in question, yes. The judicial branch can't determine what they wish the constitution said, in order to provide a new "check" on the legislature.

    Yes, constitutions. Those notoriously highly specific documents...

    There are a million things constitutions don't say. Judges still rule based on them. This is why "interpret the law" is kind of...the role of the judicial branch.
    Hence, the deeply disputed nature of constitutional arguments. You may be aware of recent court decisions saying previous courts, and lower courts, read the constitution wrongly to rule as they did.

    Yes, that is what the judicial branch does. And the judicial branch interpreting the constitution is a problem because...? (The answer is that the NC GOP doesn't like the way they interpreted it so they are throwing a fit over judges "legislating from the bench.")
    Interpreting the constitution as effectively granting plenary authority is a problem. The phrase in question didn't change in the last 246 years, but justices just discovered it could affect something it hadn't affected in the last 246 years. Sounds like a problem of interpretation to me!

    I have read several articles plus the brief you linked, but I can't say for sure if I read that one.
    Your initial response questioning me was to a post I wrote on what Ian Millhiser said about NC state law. Neither party is claiming anything from state law.

    And this is batshit insane (and dangerous). The idea that the election clause shields state legislatures from judicial review of constitutionality is utterly bonkers. State legislatures are bodies created by, and bound to the confines of, state constitutions. The GOP seemed to have NO problem when the courts interpreted their districts to be constitutional- but now they are throwing a fit because the NC High court changed their interpretation of the constitution. Pretty sure breaking precedents is...a thing courts do sometimes *cough* Dobbs *cough* Heller *cough* Janus *cough*
    You say checks and balances, but apparently all you believe in is courts doing the checking. If you don't believe in limits on what the court is allowed to do under the constitution, then you don't really believe in checks in balances. You apparently believe state legislatures are bound by state constitutions, but state courts aren't actually bound by what the constitution says. They can just write themselves a role. I consider that batshit insane and dangerous. Constitutional interpretation isn't a creative writing assignment.

    But yes, pretend this is just about resolving a minor conflict between branches of government instead of you know...whether or not politicians are allowed to rig elections.
    You must have a pretty blinkered notion of the history of partisan gerrymandering.

    Seems like "what constitutes a 'free' election in NC?" is a question to be answered by...uhhhh...the courts in NC.
    This is quite the revealing remark. It doesn't subscribe to any limits of what the court might consider an issue implicating a "free election." But don't worry, the justices of the Supreme Court are primed to remind people that stretching constitutional language perverts constitutions.

    Maybe "splitting hairs" was the wrong term. But from my angle you are very much ignoring the context of this case because you know the implications are egregious and indefensible.
    You aren't all about the Vox angle and took it in another direction. I sought to determine if you had any notion of limits on court power, as in "there must be some limit on the authority of state courts to countermand actions taken by state legislatures when they are prescribing rules for the conduct of federal elections." You're clearly answered in the negative. (That's kinda a problem for you if justices that don't rule as you like ascend to high courts.)
    Last edited by tehdang; 2022-07-05 at 04:08 AM.
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  10. #110
    Void Lord Elegiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    If you don't believe in limits on what the court is allowed to do under the constitution
    You do realise that the qualifier "under the constitution" (i.e. that thing which can be amended by... wait for it... the legislature) answers your question as to what limits the scope of the judicial branch, yes?
    The Were/Was Army: "Nooo you can't just vaporize my entire armored division, we had such a manly recruitment ad!"
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  11. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    It's in question, yes. The judicial branch can't determine what they wish the constitution said, in order to provide a new "check" on the legislature.
    Blah blah blah "activist judges" blah blah "legislating from the bench" blah blah. You'll have to forgive me the Jeffersonian preference that "the earth belongs always to the living generation." Also from what years of talking to conservatives has taught me, it's only "legislating from the bench" when "liberal" justices do it.

    And yeah: "free elections" is a vague term. It can be interpreted a number of ways. Sometimes the old interpretation doesn't fit with society's values anymore. "New" doesn't always mean "wrong." Amazing!

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    Hence, the deeply disputed nature of constitutional arguments. You may be aware of recent court decisions saying previous courts, and lower courts, read the constitution wrongly to rule as they did.
    Yep. I brought those up...

    Again...this case is a hissy fit by the NC GOP dressed up as "well, do they really have the authority?" Because, again...context exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    Interpreting the constitution as effectively granting plenary authority is a problem. The phrase in question didn't change in the last 246 years, but justices just discovered it could affect something it hadn't affected in the last 246 years. Sounds like a problem of interpretation to me!
    Yeah, man, it's almost as though society changes.

    But again- this is an argument about interpretation, not an argument about authority. The relationship between the courts and the legislature didn't change. The court's interpretation of the state constitution did. Now that the interpretation has changed, suddenly the pressing issue is whether the court has authority? Yeah give me a break.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    You say checks and balances, but apparently all you believe in is courts doing the checking. If you don't believe in limits on what the court is allowed to do under the constitution, then you don't really believe in checks in balances.
    Maybe one shouldn't take this particular case as too much of an indication of what I believe. And again- my point is that the "balance of power between the legislature and the courts" is basically a smokescreen. The only thing that changed in NC was the court's interpretation of the constitution. Both the elections clause and the NC constitution are vague enough that it's essentially impossible for this case about "limits on what the court can do to check the legislature when it comes to voting laws" to NOT be ideological. Because...you know...interpretation.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    You apparently believe state legislatures are bound by state constitutions, but state courts aren't actually bound by what the constitution says.
    Blah blah blah "activist judges" blah blah "legislating from the bench" blah blah.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    They can just write themselves a role.
    Blah blah blah "activist judges" blah blah "legislating from the bench" blah blah.

    Man, originalism is just an "IWIN button" for Conservatives. Wish I had one of those.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    You must have a pretty blinkered notion of the history of partisan gerrymandering.
    Yeah, no. And all the history in the country doesn't mean that it hasn't always been a barrier to free and fair elections.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    This is quite the revealing remark. It doesn't subscribe to any limits of what the court might consider an issue implicating a "free election."
    Yeah, never said that. I just think it's VERY obvious that this is yet another "notice me senpai" case from a Republican state legislature designed to get the policy/legal outcomes they want from a friendly SCOTUS. To borrow a phrase, you must have a pretty blinkered notion of the current GOP. They don't give a flying fuck about "the relationship between the courts and the state legislatures vis a vis election law": if a conservative court struck down a Democratic law that created a nonpartisan redistricting committee they would be celebrating it, not bemoaning the power of the courts to overrule state legislatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    But don't worry, the justices of the Supreme Court are primed to remind people that stretching constitutional language perverts constitutions.
    Oh, the irony.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    I sought to determine if you had any notion of limits on court power, as in "there must be some limit on the authority of state courts to countermand actions taken by state legislatures when they are prescribing rules for the conduct of federal elections." You're clearly answered in the negative. (That's kinda a problem for you if justices that don't rule as you like ascend to high courts.)
    Again, never said that. And the other two branches have recourse when they don't like what the courts rule...the major avenue of "checks and balances" on the court since...what...Madison vs. Marbury has been to control the makeup of the courts? Or write a law overruling a decision? Or change the constitution?

    To me, notion that "the finer points of the relationship between the courts and the legislatures in regards to election law" is what's really at stake here is a) a pathetic smokescreen and b) less important than what the actual effects of this case could be. You know...the implications of this case that you keep avoiding? Because they're so patently egregious?
    Last edited by Gestopft; 2022-07-05 at 05:48 AM.
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  12. #112
    Quote Originally Posted by zEmini View Post
    Whoever it may be I hope the king is slain the moment he puts on the crown.
    I could settle for a jester stealing it, though.

  13. #113
    Bloodsail Admiral tehdang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gestopft View Post
    Blah blah blah "activist judges" blah blah "legislating from the bench" blah blah. You'll have to forgive me the Jeffersonian preference that "the earth belongs always to the living generation." Also from what years of talking to conservatives has taught me, it's only "legislating from the bench" when "liberal" justices do it.

    And yeah: "free elections" is a vague term. It can be interpreted a number of ways. Sometimes the old interpretation doesn't fit with society's values anymore. "New" doesn't always mean "wrong." Amazing!
    You want to accuse conservatives of hypocrisy, but it still doesn't answer to whether or not the judicial branch can determine what they wish the constitution said. In this case, they wish it had said that partisan gerrymandering was an affront to state values and is outlawed.

    Yep. I brought those up...

    Again...this case is a hissy fit by the NC GOP dressed up as "well, do they really have the authority?" Because, again...context exists.
    The context you have to reckon with is that the state constitution harmoniously existed with partisan gerrymandering, and suddenly some folks wearing robes decided it shouldn't.

    Yeah, man, it's almost as though society changes.

    But again- this is an argument about interpretation, not an argument about authority. The relationship between the courts and the legislature didn't change. The court's interpretation of the state constitution did. Now that the interpretation has changed, suddenly the pressing issue is whether the court has authority? Yeah give me a break.
    It's almost as if laws should change through legislatures to follow society changing. All I see is judicial exercise of power changes, and they'll grasp at any straw to justify their aims. Citizens are well able to change the constitution through their elected representatives ... so this sounds more like society didn't change in this respect, but you wanted it to, and you're relying on justices to do it.

    Maybe one shouldn't take this particular case as too much of an indication of what I believe. And again- my point is that the "balance of power between the legislature and the courts" is basically a smokescreen. The only thing that changed in NC was the court's interpretation of the constitution. Both the elections clause and the NC constitution are vague enough that it's essentially impossible for this case about "limits on what the court can do to check the legislature when it comes to voting laws" to NOT be ideological. Because...you know...interpretation.
    You dismiss counterarguments as "activist judges" blah blah "legislating from the bench" and cannot detail any limit on justices regarding legislating elections law. I think you're being clear in your beliefs, even if you resent it.

    Yeah, no. And all the history in the country doesn't mean that it hasn't always been a barrier to free and fair elections.
    My turn to guffaw at your "doesn't mean it hasn't." Cute of you trying to make someone prove the negative.

    Yeah, never said that.
    You just did. Never stated limits when I called for limits. Several times in fact. If you had any limits where you would partially agree with me, you're certainly refusing to say it.

    Again, never said that
    You're trying very hard to avoid the plain meaning of your posts, so maybe you should come out and say "I believe in some limits on judicial power legislating elections, but I refuse to tell you." The man that calls the entire issue a smokescreen and refuses to condone any limits is suddenly trying to dodge the plain conclusion from his words. I've ceased believing you're serious in discussing judicial powers, since you like and prescribe no limits on state supreme courts, and dislike, but prescribe no limits on the supreme court's review. You could've saved a lot of time by responding, simply "State courts should do as I like, and they're allowed to rule as I like" and then "Any discussion of limits is a smokescreen, and we can only discuss the bad bad stuff that will happen if different courts rule as I dislike."

    And the other two branches have recourse when they don't like what the courts rule...the major avenue of "checks and balances" on the court since...what...Madison vs. Marbury has been to control the makeup of the courts? Or write a law overruling a decision? Or change the constitution?
    I'm thankful for the endorsement of the Dobbs decision. For this case, you're just going to have to do much better reconciling a case about actual nuance in state court power, without calling it a smokescreen to avoid the issues with your view. Secondly, you have to decide if the law isn't really law, and structural limits don't even merit discussion, if you assert the "effects of this case" are "patently egregious." You would make a lot more sense if this society had no written constitution for justices to rule on, so they had to look at what they liked and didn't like about elections, and just blotted out the bad stuff on their own volition.
    Last edited by tehdang; 2022-07-05 at 03:11 PM.
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  14. #114
    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    You want to accuse conservatives of hypocrisy,
    And dishonesty too.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    but it still doesn't answer to whether or not the judicial branch can determine what they wish the constitution said.
    Because this is a stupidly obvious question. No, they can't wish it into the constitution (which is a really loaded word on your part). But like I said: constitutions tend to be rather vague, allowing for differing valid interpretations. Courts very frequently have to decide on matters that aren't explicitly laid out, and it is completely normal that judges should sometimes differ on how to interpret a particular non-specified issue. It is normal, and I would also argue, necessary, that different generations have differing interpretations than previous generations.

    I'll also add that your loaded insistence that they "wished" it into the constitution reinforces my point that the driving motivation of this case is interpretation, not authority. Again: the only thing that changed was the NC SC's interpretation. The NC GOP didn't like their interpretation and so they want the SCOTUS to strip them of some of their authority. This whole thing is a solution looking for a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    In this case, they wish it had said that partisan gerrymandering was an affront to state values and is outlawed.
    I'm glad a court finally recognized the obvious. Of course, the power to determine what constitutes a free and fair election has been there the whole time; they didn't have to "wish" anything into existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    The context you have to reckon with is that the state constitution harmoniously existed with partisan gerrymandering, and suddenly some folks wearing robes decided it shouldn't.
    Don't make me go into a list of the obviously egregious things that have "existed harmoniously" with the constitutions in this country. This nation has an exhaustive history of being really, really slow to right obvious wrongs, so I'm glad this one is gradually being addressed.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    It's almost as if laws should change through legislatures to follow society changing. All I see is judicial exercise of power changes, and they'll grasp at any straw to justify their aims.
    Constitutions are made of straw?

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    Citizens are well able to change the constitution through their elected representatives
    Yeah, but what if...like...the legislature made up of elected representatives is gerrymandered beyond the capacity for the intentionally disenfranchised to have their voices heard? Kinda hard to change a constitution through a legislature when a gerrymandered majority is in the way of specifically eliminating gerrymandering. Like...intentionally hard. Because they are being intentionally disenfranchised. Maybe someone should do something about that...

    But yeah...if people don't like gerrymandering they should just ask the gerrymanderers who benefit from gerrymandering not to gerrymander! Brilliant logic!

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    ... so this sounds more like society didn't change in this respect, but you wanted it to, and you're relying on justices to do it.
    Awareness of and opposition to partisan gerrymandering has absolutely risen in the past few decades. Society IS changing. Multiple states now have commissions that draw districts. Democrats have passed bills in the House to do away with partisan gerrymandering. I don't prefer justices to do it- I'd much rather have it inscribed in the constitution (and perhaps forcibly tattooed onto John Roberts's forearm)- but in the absence of a reasonable path of redress by the citizens- again, intentionally so- the courts should absolutely step in and defend the principles of democracy.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    You dismiss counterarguments as "activist judges" blah blah "legislating from the bench" and cannot detail any limit on justices regarding legislating elections law. I think you're being clear in your beliefs, even if you resent it.
    Why on earth would I resent my beliefs? What a weird thing to suggest. Projection, maybe? You are the one avoiding the implications of the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    You just did. Never stated limits when I called for limits. Several times in fact. If you had any limits where you would partially agree with me, you're certainly refusing to say it.
    This is only one case. I haven't studied other cases regarding these boundaries to determine what limits I think are reasonable or unreasonable. Maybe there are places where I would agree with limitations, but what they are, or even how consistent they would be I don't know. Now, I could go look up a bunch of other cases, such as those listed in Alito's dissent (iirc), but I've also been clear that I don't think that's the important part of this case. The recent emergence of Independent State Legislature Theory is entirely to facilitate the GOP claiming more power, and working out the minutia of "how much should we let GOP state legislatures get away with?" only facilitates the notion that their behavior is in any way reasonable.

    So I don't really care enough about where exactly the limits are to say what my boundaries would be. Know who else doesn't care? The NC GOP. They just want the SCOTUS to let them have their gerrymander.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    You're trying very hard to avoid the plain meaning of your posts, so maybe you should come out and say "I believe in some limits on judicial power legislating elections, but I refuse to tell you."
    I mean, I did mention the multiple checks against the judicial branch...But as I said, I haven't looked at enough cases to precisely prescribe what those limits should be- or if. Hence the lack of specificity. You haven't specified either, apart from the tired old "legislating from the bench" trope.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    The man that calls the entire issue a smokescreen and refuses to condone any limits is suddenly trying to dodge the plain conclusion from his words.
    It IS a smokescreen. Are you utterly blind to what the GOP state legislatures have spent their time doing since the 2020 election? Context, dude.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    I've ceased believing you're serious in discussing judicial powers,
    You got me there, I guess. I think defending democracy is orders of magnitude more important than the merits of a fringe legal theory pushed by the GOP to enshrine minority rule. "Should a party be able to enshrine minority rule?" is a far more important question than "what exactly is a state court's jurisdiction when it comes to interpreting election laws in the context of a state constitution?"

    And again: this case is only about judicial powers on the surface. The power of the judiciary didn't change in NC. The only thing that changed was an interpretation. You know? That thing judges do? The NC court changed their interpretation of the law, the GOP in NC didn't like it so they screamed "OVERREACH" and now want to strip them of their power based on a fringe legal theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    You could've saved a lot of time by responding, simply "State courts should do as I like, and they're allowed to rule as I like" and then
    Wait, am I being accused of liking things that I like?!

    Man, got me there...

    I have never bought into the notion that courts and their interpretations are somehow above politics and/or ideology- at least when we're talking about the sorts of high-profile cases that make it to the highest courts. That doesn't mean I think courts can avoid justifying interpretations constitutionally, but again: I recognize that constitutions are vague, society changes, and so too can interpretations (even if I don't like them).

    Now of course, what "I like" in this case is fair and democratic representation. I happen to think that's more likable than intentionally disenfranchising voters.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    "Any discussion of limits is a smokescreen, and we can only discuss the bad bad stuff that will happen if different courts rule as I dislike."
    You know how it is to argue with Shalcker? You know the way he obfuscates the obvious by quibbling about minutia and avoiding the main thrust of an argument (in addition to all the whataboutisms)?

    I don't need to know exactly what limits I would prescribe in the relationship between courts and election laws to know that the NC GOP is trying to disenfranchise people that don't vote for them- they have a well-established pattern at this point, and this is just a continuation of their assault on democracy. I don't need to argue the merits of restrictions on judicial review to understand that every GOP-held state legislature is salivating over this case, and that any favorability towards them in the SCOTUS ruling will be used explicitly to disenfranchise voters and grant the GOP disproportionate power. I don't need to have studied the case law surrounding election law disputes to know that the GOP will not stop at just gerrymandering if they get the green light here.

    Maybe you sincerely and deeply care about the implications of the elections clause on the jurisdictions of state legislatures and the courts via a vis election laws. Maybe you're just trying to steer attention away from the disenfranchisement of voters that this case regards. I don't know. But right now, I consider "defend democracy from the GOP" to be the issue of the utmost importance. Perhaps in a future where both major parties actually respect democracy, I'll care more about hashing out the implications of the elections clause.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    For this case, you're just going to have to do much better reconciling a case about actual nuance in state court power, without calling it a smokescreen to avoid the issues with your view.
    It's amazing how suddenly the GOP cares deeply about the nuances here, and the whole idea of reanalyzing the elections clause isn't a totally obvious attempt at a power grab. Reminder again that this case is driven entirely by a court's change in interpretation, and the GOP in NC just wants the SCOTUS to find a "nuanced reason" to tell the NC Supreme Court to go fuck itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    You would make a lot more sense if this society had no written constitution for justices to rule on, so they had to look at what they liked and didn't like about elections, and just blotted out the bad stuff on their own volition.
    Ugh, you're gonna make me bring out the "blah blah blahs" again...

    Now, since you keep avoiding the topic, some of the things that are actually at stake:
    -what is your opinion on the intentional disenfranchisement of voters by a party in power?
    -should a state court only be able to discern "free and fair" based on categories explicitly named in the state constitution?
    -does a heavily gerrymandered election constitute "free and fair" to you?
    -if the disenfranchisement of voters is sufficient to prevent said voters from obtaining power in their state legislatures, what recourse should there be for said disenfranchised voters?
    -would you support a law that allowed a state legislature to substitute their own slate of electors to the Electoral College?
    Last edited by Gestopft; 2022-07-05 at 09:49 PM.
    "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
    -Louis Brandeis

  15. #115
    Reforged Gone Wrong The Stormbringer's Avatar
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    If they rule on this before the November elections, say goodbye to any hope of ever getting rid of Republicans. Even if it happens afterwards, say goodbye to ever having a fair Presidential elections ever again. This really could be the beginning of the end of the United States.

  16. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by CastletonSnob View Post
    Why does it feel like America is on its last legs?
    america wont die if gqp takes over, but it will eventually be a world issue when it does

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by david0925 View Post
    america wont die if gqp takes over, but it will eventually be a world issue when it does
    It would absolutely be dead if a single political party took over. It would no longer be the United States of America. It might still call itself such, but it would be dead and buried.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gestopft View Post
    And dishonesty too.
    From your posts, apparently for focusing on the wrong things.

    Because this is a stupidly obvious question. No, they can't wish it into the constitution (which is a really loaded word on your part). But like I said: constitutions tend to be rather vague, allowing for differing valid interpretations. Courts very frequently have to decide on matters that aren't explicitly laid out, and it is completely normal that judges should sometimes differ on how to interpret a particular non-specified issue. It is normal, and I would also argue, necessary, that different generations have differing interpretations than previous generations.
    Is 200 years of harmonious coexistence of clauses just a case of "it was vague, so we decided to rule against this specific party?"

    I'll also add that your loaded insistence that they "wished" it into the constitution reinforces my point that the driving motivation of this case is interpretation, not authority. Again: the only thing that changed was the NC SC's interpretation. The NC GOP didn't like their interpretation and so they want the SCOTUS to strip them of some of their authority. This whole thing is a solution looking for a problem.
    It's not in the constitution. You think justices are free to interpret as broadly as they want. So I say that's them wishing it had a provision on gerrymandering. Certainly such an established method of drawing districts would merit some discussion if a state constitution wrote a provision banning it? Right? States have done this in constitutions, when they wanted to, so look it up.

    I'm glad a court finally recognized the obvious. Of course, the power to determine what constitutes a free and fair election has been there the whole time; they didn't have to "wish" anything into existence.
    Quoting what they might've written instead, and responding that they "didn't have to wish anything into existence," is kinda my point.

    Don't make me go into a list of the obviously egregious things that have "existed harmoniously" with the constitutions in this country. This nation has an exhaustive history of being really, really slow to right obvious wrongs, so I'm glad this one is gradually being addressed.
    Maybe you're unfamiliar about secretive processes called "passing a law" and "amending the constitution." Because that's how democratic societies address egregious things that were previously uncovered. You prefer to send some dudes in robes an email saying "Handle it for me."

    Constitutions are made of straw?
    You brought up a "society changing" viewpoint, but retreat when questioned on it. Maybe this is a central problem for you. Society changes, and it's the judges that have to discover it, not elected representatives. But thanks for the non-response.

    Yeah, but what if...like...the legislature made up of elected representatives is gerrymandered beyond the capacity for the intentionally disenfranchised to have their voices heard? Kinda hard to change a constitution through a legislature when a gerrymandered majority is in the way of specifically eliminating gerrymandering. Like...intentionally hard. Because they are being intentionally disenfranchised. Maybe someone should do something about that...

    But yeah...if people don't like gerrymandering they should just ask the gerrymanderers who benefit from gerrymandering not to gerrymander! Brilliant logic!
    "It's too gerrymandered for us to be able to change things" and "the people aren't with me, so I can't change things. I'm forced to rely on justices instead!" overlap so perfectly in your logic.

    Awareness of and opposition to partisan gerrymandering has absolutely risen in the past few decades. Society IS changing. Multiple states now have commissions that draw districts. Democrats have passed bills in the House to do away with partisan gerrymandering. I don't prefer justices to do it- I'd much rather have it inscribed in the constitution (and perhaps forcibly tattooed onto John Roberts's forearm)- but in the absence of a reasonable path of redress by the citizens- again, intentionally so- the courts should absolutely step in and defend the principles of democracy.
    This is the first time I've heard you actually speak about "opposition to partisan gerrymandering has absolutely risen." Now, if you could only just connect that to unelected justices, and a constitution that hasn't changed in the past few decades, that would be great. Otherwise, you're just asserting that some states did something you liked, and other states haven't done something you liked, therefore more should do stuff you liked.

    I don't prefer justices to do it- I'd much rather have it inscribed in the constitution (and perhaps forcibly tattooed onto John Roberts's forearm)- but in the absence of a reasonable path of redress by the citizens- again, intentionally so- the courts should absolutely step in and defend the principles of democracy.
    Absolutely jaw-dropping from you. If the people, and their representatives, don't step up, then justices are forced to step in. You haven't been able to do it the proper way, you know democracy and all, so you're forced to do it the wrong way, anti-democratically, in order to preserve democracy. Absolutely mind-boggling.

    The lack of action towards what you wish would happen is no invitation to forgo the rules to make it happen. This is the justification for despots everywhere.
    Why on earth would I resent my beliefs? What a weird thing to suggest. Projection, maybe? You are the one avoiding the implications of the case.
    You should eventually choose to reconcile the beliefs that contradict each other. But if you're happy to post "activist judges blah blah legislating from the bench," maybe I should say, "judges should have all the power, unless they do things I don't like."

    This is only one case. I haven't studied other cases regarding these boundaries to determine what limits I think are reasonable or unreasonable.
    When you forcefully object to limits, as you do with Alito, maybe you should investigate whether you think any boundaries should exist. If you can't come up with any supported limits on judicial power in elections, don't post so weirdly when people like me point it out.

    So I don't really care enough about where exactly the limits are to say what my boundaries would be. Know who else doesn't care? The NC GOP. They just want the SCOTUS to let them have their gerrymander.
    This is literally a case where judges say the court passed their limit, and should rule on it. That's the question in the case. That's the only reason the Supreme Court took up the case.

    I mean, I did mention the multiple checks against the judicial branch...But as I said, I haven't looked at enough cases to precisely prescribe what those limits should be- or if. Hence the lack of specificity. You haven't specified either, apart from the tired old "legislating from the bench" trope.
    I guess you'll just get back to me when you discover what your opinion is on the subject. Until then, calling someone else's "they passed from ruling on the constitution to spelling out new legislation" as just a "trope" is uninformed and premature. Read up, form your own opinions, and then call other people's opinions "trope[s]."

    It IS a smokescreen. Are you utterly blind to what the GOP state legislatures have spent their time doing since the 2020 election? Context, dude.
    I don't recall electing you to decide that context meant accepting your doomsday scenarios. Remember, despots always say this particular case is special, and an emergency, and requires discarding the usual discussion of checks and balances. Don't act like them. And maybe mull over some "contexts" you've chosen to ignore up to this point.

    You got me there, I guess. I think defending democracy is orders of magnitude more important than the merits of a fringe legal theory pushed by the GOP to enshrine minority rule. "Should a party be able to enshrine minority rule?" is a far more important question than "what exactly is a state court's jurisdiction when it comes to interpreting election laws in the context of a state constitution?"
    Fringe legal theory? As recently as 2015, the relevant NC supreme court declared that a challenge to partisan gerrymandering was "not based upon a justiciable standard." You literally can't even go back a decade before finding justices in the same position declaring lawsuits challenging partisan gerrymandering had no constitutional remedy. You've really got to re-evaluate your understanding of the context. It's miserable.

    And again: this case is only about judicial powers on the surface. The power of the judiciary didn't change in NC. The only thing that changed was an interpretation. You know? That thing judges do? The NC court changed their interpretation of the law, the GOP in NC didn't like it so they screamed "OVERREACH" and now want to strip them of their power based on a fringe legal theory.
    An interpretation that expands judicial powers implicates judicial powers. I don't think you can get around this by screaming partisanship.

    Wait, am I being accused of liking things that I like?!
    Since you're having trouble stating your standards, and grounding them in law...

    I have never bought into the notion that courts and their interpretations are somehow above politics and/or ideology- at least when we're talking about the sorts of high-profile cases that make it to the highest courts.
    ... yet you spend all your time without stating a single facet there courts aren't above politics and ideology.

    Seriously. You can't keep on putting forward every way that courts can overrule legislatures and expand constitutional meaning, and come back to say you don't believe courts and their interpretations are above politics and ideology. Read what you wrote. You've spoken about the vagueness of constitutional meaning, but that vagueness has got nothing on your own opinions regarding the limits of court decisions.

    Now of course, what "I like" in this case is fair and democratic representation. I happen to think that's more likable than intentionally disenfranchising voters.
    You happen to think whatever you declare is "disenfranchising voters" must be accepted by people that think it's nothing of the kind...

    You know how it is to argue with Shalcker? You know the way he obfuscates the obvious by quibbling about minutia and avoiding the main thrust of an argument (in addition to all the whataboutisms)?
    From the guy that literally types "blah blah blahs," maybe you should use yourself as the example here. Yes, I've talked to Gestopft, and sometimes he responds to points with XXX blah blah blah YYY.

    I don't need to know exactly what limits I would prescribe in the relationship between courts and election laws to know that the NC GOP is trying to disenfranchise people that don't vote for them
    I'm less convinced that you are prepared to tackle the tension between courts and legislatures if you're so prepared to dismiss the issue based on "but the legislature is composed of bad people that want bad things." I'm sorry to say that your accusations of malintent don't persuade me that you can dismiss constitutional and legal interchange on those grounds.

    Maybe you sincerely and deeply care about the implications of the elections clause on the jurisdictions of state legislatures and the courts via a vis election laws. Maybe you're just trying to steer attention away from the disenfranchisement of voters that this case regards. I don't know. But right now, I consider "defend democracy from the GOP" to be the issue of the utmost importance. Perhaps in a future where both major parties actually respect democracy, I'll care more about hashing out the implications of the elections clause.
    I'm not willing to wait until you decide "we're in the future where both major parties actually respect democracy" to rule on the limits of court power. I never gave you the power to decide when democracy isn't threatened, and I know a ton of bad actors that preach they're allowed to ignore laws because they determine there's a threat to the order itself.

    It's amazing how suddenly the GOP cares deeply about the nuances here, and the whole idea of reanalyzing the elections clause isn't a totally obvious attempt at a power grab. Reminder again that this case is driven entirely by a court's change in interpretation, and the GOP in NC just wants the SCOTUS to find a "nuanced reason" to tell the NC Supreme Court to go fuck itself.
    If the SCOTUS tells a lower court that it's way out of line effectively writing the laws on the legislature's behalf, that would be the exact opposite. You can't really say you support a court's change in interpretation, but if the Supreme Court disagrees, it's telling the lower court to "go fuck itself." Or maybe you do want to hear back, "The NC Supreme Court told the legislature to go fuck itself, and the SCOTUS reminded it that it's a co-equal branch with checks on it's power too."

    Ugh, you're gonna make me bring out the "blah blah blahs" again...
    If you can't muster a response...

    Now, since you keep avoiding the topic, some of the things that are actually at stake:
    -what is your opinion on the intentional disenfranchisement of voters by a party in power?
    -should a state court only be able to discern "free and fair" based on categories explicitly named in the state constitution?
    -does a heavily gerrymandered election constitute "free and fair" to you?
    -if the disenfranchisement of voters is sufficient to prevent said voters from obtaining power in their state legislatures, what recourse should there be for said disenfranchised voters?
    -would you support a law that allowed a state legislature to substitute their own slate of electors to the Electoral College?
    All answered in the previous post, if you choose to read it, and some of it is in sections you prefer to call "blah blah blah." We obviously disagree on what constitutes the "intentional disenfranchisement of voters," but the rest has been answered in my response, should you choose to evaluate it against your questions. I admit it's long, but it would only make it longer if I reposted sections after your questions to remind you that they address their questions. For the last one, it's my turn to call Electoral College questions a strange smokescreen for what's really at stake here.
    Last edited by tehdang; 2022-07-06 at 04:33 AM.
    "I wish it need not have happened in my time." "So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

  19. #119
    Ugh, forced page reload deleted my entire reply when it was almost ready.

    Take 2:

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    Is 200 years of harmonious coexistence of clauses just a case of "it was vague, so we decided to rule against this specific party?"
    My point is that courts break precedent sometimes. It's a thing they are allowed to do. Like the SCOTUS. They've been doing a lot of that lately. And if people don't like that, there are checks on the courts.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    It's not in the constitution. You think justices are free to interpret as broadly as they want. So I say that's them wishing it had a provision on gerrymandering. Certainly such an established method of drawing districts would merit some discussion if a state constitution wrote a provision banning it? Right? States have done this in constitutions, when they wanted to, so look it up.
    As I said: LOTS of things aren't in the constitution. Was Heller decided incorrectly? Self-defense isn't in the Constitution after all. Seems like Scalia made a pretty broad interpretation there...(I think that was within his rights, even if I disagree). Oh, and should SCOTUS overturn all laws pertaining to defamation, threats, campaign finance, inciting violence, and public nuisance because restrictions on free speech "aren't in the constitution?" Is that what the implication is?

    It's utterly embarrassing that Alito uses this same "but it's not specifically in the constitution" line, when he knows damn well that there are mountains of precedent and constitutional law regarding situations not actually found anywhere in the Constitution.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    Maybe you're unfamiliar about secretive processes called "passing a law" and "amending the constitution." Because that's how democratic societies address egregious things that were previously uncovered. You prefer to send some dudes in robes an email saying "Handle it for me."
    No, I don't prefer that. The context here is the NC GOP which is obviously attempting to limit the power of roughly half of its populace in a manner I consider egregious. You don't get to extrapolate out of this one situation to assume that I don't believe legislatures to be the primary and preferred course of action. But if legislatures don't act within the constitution, they get checked. This particular check on the legislature was in defense of democracy, which I value.

    Also, reminder that Brown vs. the Board of Education was decided a whole decade before Congress ended segregation. Many of the rights that Clarence Thomas personally wants to overturn were also conferred in such manner. It's not like there isn't precedent for courts acting in defense of rights when a legislative body won't.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    You brought up a "society changing" viewpoint, but retreat when questioned on it. Maybe this is a central problem for you. Society changes, and it's the judges that have to discover it, not elected representatives. But thanks for the non-response.
    Perhaps you should look up public opinion polling on partisan gerrymandering. You'll find that "the people" (including majorities of GOP voters) agree with me (and it's not just gerrymandering, there are plenty of issues where the GOP policy is broadly unpopular). It's almost as though a legislature designed to not actually be representative of "the people" might not agree with the people! It's also...theoretically...possible (*wink*) that a legislature could pursue its own power in a way that would limit the voters' capacity to check them. Seems like a bad thing, eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    "It's too gerrymandered for us to be able to change things" and "the people aren't with me, so I can't change things. I'm forced to rely on justices instead!" overlap so perfectly in your logic.
    Alright my dude: what recourse is there for a populace disenfranchised by gerrymandering? Please tell me that "nicely ask the gerrymanderers that benefit from the gerrymandering not to gerrymander anymore" is gonna work. I could use a good laugh. (Also, to reiterate what I said above, the people are with me.)

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    This is the first time I've heard you actually speak about "opposition to partisan gerrymandering has absolutely risen." Now, if you could only just connect that to unelected justices, and a constitution that hasn't changed in the past few decades, that would be great.
    1) North Carolina elects their Supreme Court justices. If the voters don't like their decision in this case, there are two Democrat-held seats up for grabs. Hey, they have an opportunity to check the court!
    2) The US constitution hasn't changed recently either. That hasn't stopped the current SCOTUS from breaking precedent frequently in the past several years. Very "convenient" how Alito's deep concern for precedent is rather selective, isn't it?
    3) NC GOP isn't arguing that the state court overreached the state constitution; their petition for a stay is based on the US Constitution's Elections clause. This is literally a case of the NC GOP asking the SCOTUS to make up new guidelines that would strip power from state courts (and thus nullify a ruling they don't like).

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    Otherwise, you're just asserting that some states did something you liked, and other states haven't done something you liked, therefore more should do stuff you liked.
    I do like things that I like. Like warm chocolate chip cookies. Mmmm. Maybe states should do chocolate chip cookies.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    Absolutely jaw-dropping from you. If the people, and their representatives, don't step up, then justices are forced to step in. You haven't been able to do it the proper way, you know democracy and all, so you're forced to do it the wrong way, anti-democratically, in order to preserve democracy. Absolutely mind-boggling.
    Are courts not part of the Democratic process now? Was the court's decision in Brown the "wrong way?" Are courts not allowed to break precedent?

    Also, should people living in a democracy be able to vote democracy away? Should courts defend the constitution and democratic principles therein of a country or state? Because if you let democracy wither, you find yourself in a situation where "the right way" doesn't fucking matter anymore. Shouldn't a country that values democracy make point of preserving it? I'd rather "free and fair representative democracy" than "hollow shell of a democracy, but at least we did it the 'right way.'"

    But again: I don't consider the NC court's actions to be "the wrong way." They interpreted the state constitution, which is their job. If the people of NC don't like it they can put new justices on the bench. And I'll add that I'm also not advocating that courts take more power than they already have- they always had the power to make this decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    The lack of action towards what you wish would happen is no invitation to forgo the rules to make it happen. This is the justification for despots everywhere.
    Despots: working hard for fair representation of all citizens! Despots: renowned defenders of checks and balances! Despots: staunch opponents of gerrymandering and other ratfuckery! Despots: proudly supporting the right of people to vote them out of office! Despots: known to always uphold the rights of the minority! Despots: stalwart paragons of free and fair elections!

    Yeah?

    And uh, courts interpreting the constitution isn't "forgoing the rules." That's "following the rules."

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    This is literally a case where judges say the court passed their limit, and should rule on it. That's the question in the case. That's the only reason the Supreme Court took up the case.
    The NC GOP is claiming that the NC court violated the US constitution's electoral clauses based on guidelines that the SCOTUS will now determine after the fact. They are asking the SCOTUS to create new precedents explicitly to diminish the checks against the legislature. The limits that the court theoretically passed don't exist yet. The GOP has seized on Independent State Legislature Theory and wants the SCOTUS to limit the courts' ability to check their legislation vis a vis election law because the GOP wants to pass election laws that a court could reasonably decide violate the state's constitution. Don't just read Alito's dissent; read the actual petition for a stay. The NC GOP clearly grounds their case in the Elections Clause

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    I don't recall electing you to decide that context meant accepting your doomsday scenarios.
    So apparently you are utterly blind to what the GOP has been doing recently. To give just a fraction: in 2020, the GOP, rather than helping ensure that people could vote safely during a pandemic, spent the lead-up to the election telling their people not to trust the legitimacy of an election that hadn't happened yet (keep in mind that their nominee was Donald Trump, who in 2016 was saying "if I lose, it was rigged." You know: a statement that totally respects democracy). Then, there were claims post-election through the end of the year of rampant election fraud (with no evidence), which were spread by conservative news media and GOP politicians (most of whom have faced no consequences for spreading said lies). To this day it's STILL hard to get a Republican to admit on camera that Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election. In 2021, there was the whole uh...January 6th thing...which most in the GOP still downplay these days (even if they previously condemned it). There were plots to literally keep Biden from being certified. Then after their election loss, they spent another good chunk of 2021 proposing/passing election-related legislation, much of it very clearly designed to make it harder on Democrats. And now, there are even candidates running on creating an "electoral college" for state-wide offices, a proposal obviously intended to amplify the power of their rural constituency. And even before all of that, don't get me started on GOP legislatures stripping powers from Governor's offices during lame duck sessions after a Democrat has been elected, or declaring emergency sessions of congress to override their state's own voters, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    Remember, despots always say this particular case is special, and an emergency, and requires discarding the usual discussion of checks and balances.
    The GOP isn't on the side of 'checks and balances' here. They are explicitly asking SCOTUS to limit the checks that state courts have on election laws. I've been on team 'checks and balances' the whole time.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    Fringe legal theory? As recently as 2015, the relevant NC supreme court declared that a challenge to partisan gerrymandering was "not based upon a justiciable standard." You literally can't even go back a decade before finding justices in the same position declaring lawsuits challenging partisan gerrymandering had no constitutional remedy. You've really got to re-evaluate your understanding of the context. It's miserable.
    And then the NC GOP spent the intervening years from 2015 until now making it clear that they want to minimize the power of their opposition, whether through more gerrymanders, or through multiple attempts at stripping the Democratic governor of various powers. They've had a reeeeaaal problem making district maps that fit the constitution...perhaps the court noticed that?

    Also, the makeup of the court changed in those years too. I've heard that when the makeup of a court changes, precedents are sometimes changed. I dunno, maybe we've been having this discussion at the national level, where conservatives are celebrating the SCOTUS's routine thrashing of precedent? Seems like a relevant thing to point out. But go ahead and tell me why the conservative SCOTUS majority's skewering of precedent that has just so happened to coincide with Trump's nomination of three justices (and also just happens to coincide with GOP policy preferences) is TOTALLY not at all similar.

    And yes, the Independent State Legislature Theory that they are basing their case to the SCOTUS on is a fringe legal theory. It's something that has been mostly ignored for a long time, but the GOP dredged up rather recently because they have number of swing states gerrymandered in their favor.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    An interpretation that expands judicial powers implicates judicial powers. I don't think you can get around this by screaming partisanship.
    Just because the GOP is trying to shrink judicial powers doesn't mean I'm pushing to expand them. I'm not sure "powers" is even the right word there, though. Because by your apparent definition of "powers," every case where the court decides what is or isn't "protected speech" would be an expansion of judicial powers. Or any case where they have to interpret the Establishment Clause. Every case where a judge has to make a determination in the absence of specificity would seemingly "expand judicial powers," but I don't think that's really the right way to phrase it. Laws are often vague. Constitutions especially so. Defining limits that aren't explicitly spelled out is just...a thing that judges do. And by necessity, I would add. I don't think changing the reasoning for defining the limits is necessarily an "expansion of power" in the way I would use the phrase. It's not exactly a secret or a scandal that different courts interpret the relevant constitutions in different ways. Legislatures can write a law to overrule the precedent or revisit a constitutional provision to make it more explicit if they think the interpretation is grossly off-base.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    Seriously. You can't keep on putting forward every way that courts can overrule legislatures and expand constitutional meaning, and come back to say you don't believe courts and their interpretations are above politics and ideology.
    What do these have to do with each other? I'm not seeing how they are connected or in conflict.
    -Courts check the actions of the legislature against the constitution as they interpret it. This is their job. If the people/legislature/etc. feel strongly enough that the court has interpreted incorrectly, there are steps that can they can take to change that
    -Courts and their interpretations are not above politics and ideology. I hold this true for justices of all stripes, and say it not as a positive or a negative, but as an observation of the way things are. Should judges think of themselves as ideological and/or political actors? No, of course not. They should strive always to ground their deliberations within the relevant law(s) and the constitution. But every judge deciding a high profile case is going to be in some way affected by their own ideology and/or the politics surrounding the decisions they make. These factors are going to affect the way they interpret constitutional and legal provisions. This is just unavoidable.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    You've spoken about the vagueness of constitutional meaning, but that vagueness has got nothing on your own opinions regarding the limits of court decisions.
    I am not a constitutional scholar, nor have I been to law school (which is a rare thing you likely have correctly assumed about me). I can't say that I have enough information to know where I would place those limits. What I do know is that people with extensive legal and constitutional study and extensive experience can have very significant disagreements about interpretation, but each can still have well-reasoned conclusions with constitutional grounding. I'm sure I could find potential interpretations that I think go beyond any semblance of constitutional grounding- but those don't usually come up because they are too far out of the mainstream, so I don't have a lot to go on. Like...if a judge found that the constitution permitted Joe Biden to enact the Green New Deal (a thing that I like the general thrust of) via executive action, I would consider that to have clearly crossed a constitutional line. In the NC districts case that we're discussing here, if the court had maintained its precedent that partisan gerrymandering is a non-justiciable standard, I would disagree with the decision on ideological grounds, but recognize that the decision was clearly within reason for the court to make (it probably wouldn't have become a thread for discussion, though). But instead, they decided that partisan gerrymandering was justiciable based on the standard of free and fair elections- which is an opinion squarely within the mainstream in this country and I also think is within reason. As a bonus, it defends democracy from those that would distort and disrupt it, so I think it's not just reasonable, but also good. At the end of the day, the high courts get to decide where the limits of interpretation are. And although it can be quite difficult, the people in a functioning democracy can tell them where to shove it if they don't like that.

    But what are your limits? As best as I can ascertain, they follow the notion of "must be found in the constitution (since that seems to be your biggest bugaboo with this case)," which as I have already gone over, is a notion divorced from reality. If you want more concrete limits from me, perhaps I can bounce off of yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    You happen to think whatever you declare is "disenfranchising voters" must be accepted by people that think it's nothing of the kind...
    Gerrymandering is definitionally disenfranchising voters. The explicit intent of it is to maximize the power of one group, proportional to their numbers, while mimimizing the power of another. It lowers the degree to which a legislature needs to be responsive to its voters and the degree to which is can be held responsible by its voters. Take Wisconsin for example: in the State Assembly election of 2018, the Democratic candidates got over 200,000 more votes than the Republican candidates did, which was an 8-point margin. But Wisconsin is heavily gerrymandered, so despite winning the majority of votes, the Democrats not only didn't have the majority in the State Assembly- the GOP was only three seats (out of 99) away from a supermajority. In order to actually win a simple majority, the Democrats would essentially have had to win 60-40 in the statewide vote. Do you really think this an acceptable distortion of the will of the people? Do you not think the Democratic majority of voters were disenfranchised by that? Are you going to tell me that yes, in fact, minority rule is acceptable? That it's ok that the party preferred by the majority of voters should have to win 60% of the votes to actually "win?" (Perhaps "disenfranchise" isn't the precise word since gerrymandering doesn't literally deprive an individual's right to vote, but I think you get what I mean...)

    Also- are you someone who supports the Electoral College? Are you the kind of person that would bring up concerns about the "tyranny of the majority" if we were having a discussion about whether or not to get rid of the Electoral College? I don't want to assume your views, the way you do mine, but you do seem fairly prone to defending institutions as they are. Anyway, I do think it's only logical that a person who supports the Electoral College, and maybe says things like "New York and California shouldn't get to decide things for everybody" would be against Gerrymandering on principle, because gerrymandering is nothing if not the tyranny of the majority- or in some cases, minority.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    I'm less convinced that you are prepared to tackle the tension between courts and legislatures if you're so prepared to dismiss the issue based on "but the legislature is composed of bad people that want bad things." I'm sorry to say that your accusations of malintent don't persuade me that you can dismiss constitutional and legal interchange on those grounds.
    This is "constitutional and legal interchange" that has been mostly ignored for the last century or more, and now that the GOP suddenly rediscovers it and finds it favorable to their interests, I'm supposed to take it seriously? Are you hopping on the Independent State Legislature Theory bandwagon now that it's cool?

    But to be clear: fuck ISL. The notion that specifically election laws shouldn't be subject to judicial review, or should limited in that manner as compared to other laws is indescribably nuts. Law that determine how elections work are uhhh...pretty much the most important laws in a democracy, and should absolutely be measured against a state's constitution. Yeah, I'll probably take some lumps when a conservative-leaning court decides that an election law I like is struck down for 'reasons-' but I will certainly take "checks and balances" over "barely-if-at-all-checked legislative power."

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    I'm not willing to wait until you decide "we're in the future where both major parties actually respect democracy" to rule on the limits of court power. I never gave you the power to decide when democracy isn't threatened
    Now you're just being dramatic. All I said was that I think there are more pressing concerns than "how should the Elections Clause should be interpreted."

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    I know a ton of bad actors that preach they're allowed to ignore laws because they determine there's a threat to the order itself.
    Oooh! I know this one! Trump! He's one of them!

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    If the SCOTUS tells a lower court that it's way out of line effectively writing the laws on the legislature's behalf, that would be the exact opposite.
    That's not what they're ruling on though. Reminder; SCOTUS is being asked to determine post facto whether or not (via the Elections Clause) the NC SC has the authority to overrule districts at all. Whether or not the court's interpretation of "free and fair" to include partisan gerrymandering isn't actually the focus of this case, despite Alito mentioning it in his dissent. The petition filed by the NC GOP clearly frames its grievance in the context of the Elections Clause. (The richest part is that they whine that the NC court "asserted the power to override and replace" the General Assembly's maps, despite the law containing a process for exactly that.)

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    You can't really say you support a court's change in interpretation, but if the Supreme Court disagrees, it's telling the lower court to "go fuck itself."
    Why not? First of all, the Supreme Court isn't really ruling on the court's interpretation vis a vis the NC state consitution, they're ruling on the court's authority vis a vis the Elections Clause, as I just specified. And second, I think the Supreme Court has every right to tell the NC court to "go fuck itself" even if I don't like it. Supporting one court's decision while recognizing the other court's capacity to overturn it isn't contradictory.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    If you can't muster a response...
    Can't? Nah. But after hearing for conservatives imply- if not outright insist- for the entire span of my political awareness that 'liberal' judges "legislate from the bench" whereas their own preferred judges somehow don't, I tend to consider those implications too stubbornly ingrained or ignorant to be worthy of more than a hand wave. If you, however, are willing to indicate you don't think your own preferred judges aren't subject to the same criticism, then I retract.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    All answered in the previous post, if you choose to read it
    Let's go with "I'm a few drinks in at this point" or "we've been back and forth for a while and it's a lot to keep track of." Either way would you mind being more direct?
    -As best as I can tell, you either don't think gerrymandering is a disenfranchisement of voters (which as I said earlier is simply definitional), you don't think it's a problem that needs to be solved, or perhaps you think the solutions would be worse than the problem?
    -As best as I can tell, you either think courts should respect established precedent, or refrain from ruling on issues not specified by the relevant constitution? I addressed both of those above.
    -I would like to hear your opinion of whether you consider gerrymandering to be in the spirit of "free and fair," apart from any precedent, existing law, or lack thereof. Separate it from this case. Opinion on gerrymandering in a vacuum.
    -Still want to know if you have a more realistic option to counter gerrymandering than "maybe if you just wish upon a star, and vote hard enough, the party intentionally weakened by gerrymandering will win out," but I already asked this above.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdang View Post
    For the last one, it's my turn to call Electoral College questions a strange smokescreen for what's really at stake here.
    This was me wondering what your limits are. It was intentionally the most extreme of the questions. It's probably unlikely that the SCOTUS would allow this, but I just wanted to gauge your opinion on the far end of the implications of this case.
    Last edited by Gestopft; 2022-07-07 at 05:33 PM.
    "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
    -Louis Brandeis

  20. #120
    Quote Originally Posted by Gestopft View Post
    This was me wondering what your limits are. It was intentionally the most extreme of the questions. It's probably unlikely that the SCOTUS would allow this, but I just wanted to gauge your opinion on the far end of the implications of this case.
    The answer to this question is obvious he has none just like every Trump supporter they don't really care about this country or its people just what they see as "winning".

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