Really Big Girl

Yeah, she was that and everything. RBG became a thing, not just in hip hop, but popular culture.

And she earned every ounce of it.

I once knew Sandra Day. Was she as much of a hero, especially to progressives that I would rather associate with? Nope.

But RBG came to be the successor, and a beyond awesome one. She set the scene. The scene that now lets Sotomayor and Kagan be on the court.

But, now, what? McConnell and Trump have laid clear their intentions. When evil jackasses tell you who they are, believe them.

RBG did not make it to the final lap. But you can. Know what is at stake, and get off your ass. The one thing the Democrats have never taken seriously enough is courts and judicial policy. I have been screaming this forever. So has has Dahlia Lithwick.

It is time for better attention to be paid.

99 replies
  1. hideousnora says:

    Hugs, Rayne, is all I can say right now. I’m freaking out a little tonight. I know a lot of others are too. I was in a bodega in Brooklyn getting beer when I saw it on the TV. Me and an elderly woman looked at each other and shared a tired sigh and turned away from the screen shaking our heads. If it weren’t for Covid I think I would have asked her for a hug.
    edit woops sorry bmaz!

  2. DLup says:

    And the hits just keep coming in 2020.

    bmaz, what’s your take on the possibility of a Pres. Biden and a Democratic Senate majority adding more justices if (after?) a Trump nominee gets pushed through in the next month or during the lame duck?

    Also, if under the current Senate Judiciary rules nine members of the committee, including two members of the minority party, are required for transacting business, why can’t the Democratic members simply not show up for the hearings to prevent the transaction of the business? I am sure Lindsey can change the rules on the fly as needed, but at the least could not the Democratic members force him to do so, fwiw?

    • bmaz says:

      I have no clue as to what Biden could or would do. He is a centrist traditionalist, so he probably would not pack the court. But who knows anymore?

      As to the second question, if McConnell wants this done, and he does, it will get done. Now that is something you can count on.

  3. Ed Walker says:

    I saw Justice Ginsberg twice in the last few years. Her son runs a classical music label in Chicago and his wife is a singer and composer. The first time was a sort of fund raiser for the Lyric Opera, where they gave her the hat worn by the Musetta in every performance at the lyric of La Boheme. She was thrilled. She talked for a while about her love of opera, some of her favorite singers and operas, a word or two about her relationship with Scalia which was over the opera and then answered some questions about serving on the Court.

    The second time she came to hear a premier of a performance of a piece written by her daughter-in-law, which was a cantata on her life. Some of the lyrics were taken from her opinions. Again she talked briefly about classical music nad the role it played in her family’s life. It was fascinating. She was of course knowledgeable about opera and music, but she wasn’t an expert, more of a serious amateur and fan, like many of the people I know through opera. She had a wispy voice, and was quite a lot smaller than I imagined her, especially alongside her rather tall son. But she looked just like the pics.

    I have always admired people like her who combine excellence in their life’s work with a decent family life and absorbing hobbies. She blessed us with her life and work. May her memory be a blessing.

    • Chris.EL says:

      replying to post of Sept. 18, 2020 11:51 pm. Read Ed Walker’s very personal, profound tribute that evening and thought what a wonderful way to give a remembrance to someone who had shared their self with you.
      [Since the moment I heard of Justice Ginsberg’s passing, I was cringing in anticipation of the despicable words that would emit from DJT. And here it is. Now basically calling RBG’s granddaughter a liar. Well, we all know who the liar is, and so does God.]

      … don’t want to disrespect this setting, but it had to be said. It must be said.
      New York Times ran a nice piece, here is an intro…

      “My Unlikely Friendship With Ruth Bader Ginsburg”

      I was a young, African-American Southerner, working in a Republican administration. But I loved Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and that was enough for her.

      By Eric L. Motley

      Mr. Motley is the executive vice president of the Aspen Institute.

      Sept. 21, 2020
      The author and Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2017.
      The author and Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2017.Credit…Collection of Eric L. Motley

      Our improbable friendship began in 2002 at a Georgetown dinner party, and it began with music. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a Jewish urbanite who had just turned 70 and had been appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by a Democratic president. I was a 30-year-old African-American from the rural South who had recently arrived in Washington to serve as a special assistant to George W. Bush.” …

  4. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Well, I left some RGB comments on the previous thread.

    My hunch late on a Friday evening: McConnell has outsmarted himself and been ‘too clever by half’ and … gosh, what would the opera equivalent be, Ed…? Perhaps Rigoletto? Would RGB agree with me? Or would she have had a different operatic tragedy in mind…?

    The ‘hero’, Rigoletto, loves his daughter Gilda above all else. Like McConnell, he can be malicious and thrives on proximity to power. And yet, in the end — as a direct result of his machinations — his actions inadvertently lead to Gilda’s death. It is absolutely tragic, but the logic of the story is immutable: bad motives lead to bad outcomes.

    Thus might the mendacious McConnell set up his own undoing: at present, the court can only be packed by GOP senators. However, if the GOP senate packs SCOTUS with a rushed, conservative nominee, they’ll expose themselves as unprincipled, amoral, avaricious, power-mad thugs in the weeks before an election.

    I like to think that RGB would have been somewhat amused at the perversity of McConnell caught in a web of his own diabolical construction (a la Rigoletto), but perhaps with her more adept knowledge of opera, she’d have have identified a different opera to mirror McConnell’s current conundrum.

    I don’t expect McConnell to have the introspection to stop himself; he’s obsessed on judgeships for decades. Nor does Trump have the capacity to restrain himself. If cooler heads are to prevail, they’ll have to come from GOP donors, or else from Romney and GOP senators in very, very tough races. Interesting times…

    I hope that RGB is listening to Verdi in heaven. Or Mozart. Or anything that she might prefer; it gives me some solace to imagine it, and if she were in a balcony at the Opera Garnier, all the better.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      As for bmaz’ point about the judiciary and the Dems having been twits all these years about courts and the judiciary, it’s taken me over a decade but I’m finally catching on…

      Yesterday, in the US District Court of Eastern Washington, in Yakima, WA, a federal district court judge called b.s. on the Trump Administration, as well as DeJoy’s subterfuge in attempting to use the USPS to subvert the upcoming elections.

      It is worth noting that Yakima is no ‘liberal enclave’: it is pretty darn ‘red’, full of farms, orchards, vineyards, and people who actually work for a living. Ditto the other counties and cities that fall within this court’s jurisdiction, including Spokane (Fairchild Air Force Base), and the Tri-Cities (Pasco, Kennewick, Richland – includes the Hanford Nuclear Reservation). The wheat and lentil growers are mostly in the southeastern region of this jurisdiction.

      14 states joined with Washington in this legal suit, which I hope RGB is reading on an iPad in heaven. Apart from pointing out that the Trump admin failed to follow federal laws, it also defended the operations of postal service employees, who are well acquainted with how their system works, because they’re the ones who make it function.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Ditto what you said about Yakima. Spokane is more conservative still. Outside of Olympia north to Canada, and a few cities and college towns, Washington is rural. Like most of America, it relies on church, community, the roads, and the USPS. The latter provides more than snail mail. It provides work, a career, and a feeling of connectedness.

        DeJoy, Trump, and the GOP would tear that down to win a single election, and to further the Neoliberal project of atomizing people until they believe the propaganda that they are alone and should care about only themselves.

        RBG knew better. Like Newton, she may have stood on the shoulders of giants, but she was one, too. Absent a miracle, Trump and McConnell will replace her with a rabid FedSoc youth like Neomi Rao. It’s up to us to convince Biden that accepting a fait accompli is not on. It is only the start of a contentious process of rebuilding and reform. Gird your loins.

    • prostratedragon says:

      Or letting her inner diva fly free at last to sing the part of Minnie in La fanciulla del West, as she discusses here. Here’s another where she discusses the letter versus the sense of the law, using an illustration from The Pirates of Penzance.

      • bmaz says:

        Hey Prostratedragon! And you can almost picture her in an opera, she seemed that comfortable in her own skin. Good to see you again.

        • AndTheSlithyToves says:

          Ginsberg and her daughter live/lived in Watergate South, right next door to the Kennedy Center. She has been a neighborhood fixture for decades with the opera crowd. She made her official opera debut in 2016 as The Dutchess of Krakenthorp in Washington National Opera’s production of Donizetti’s “Daughter of the Regiment” but she–along with Scalia and Breyer–had performed as extras in WNO productions over the years.

          • bmaz says:

            Which is pretty awesome.

            I wish there had been more time to put things like that in the post. Not that I knew that specifically or anything, just that there is so much more that could have been said. It was a lame post when I was already disjointed and headed to bed. But was necessary.

            • AndTheSlithyToves says:

              bmaz, your post was excellent. Short and to the point, like Ginsberg herself, and leaving open room for those who knew, knew of, and admired her life’s work and contributions to our legal system the space to add their own thoughts. Her work is done, and what a foundation for the future!

    • J R in WV says:

      I agree that McConnell may have outsmarted himself with his knee jerk announcement so soon after the sad announcement of RGB’s death.

      Here’s a twitter link to a chart of donations to an anti-McConnell fund which was started last October:

      In the chart you can see that over 11 months they raised something just under $5 million. Last night beginning after the combined announcements the total shot past $15,000,000 in less than 24 hours. McConnell may have bitten off more than he can chew. We can only hope.

      Justice Ginsburg was a real hero, fighting to stay alive, to keep her seat, to help forge decisions that will continue to make a difference for perhaps generations to come. We can only hope, and work hard!

      • bmaz says:

        I really hope I am wrong, but McGrath is not a great candidate and stands almost zero chance against McConnell. Again, I would kill to be wrong on this. Harrison against Graham would be a better bet, although that will be tough too. Possible though; KY is not.

        • harpie says:

          This is why it’s called the “get Mitch” fund:
          Vietor’s next tweet:

          This money gets split between 13 Democrats running for the US Senate. The goal is to win back the majority so that future shitty lobbyist Mitch McConnell is no longer in charge.

          This was the original list. I don’t think it’s changed:
          Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, Montana, Iowa, Georgia (both seats!), Alabama, Michigan, Alaska, South Carolina, Texas, Kansas

          • harpie says:

            Your contribution will be split evenly between
            Jon Ossoff, Barbara Bollier, Steve Bullock, Cal Cunningham, Theresa Greenfield, MJ Hegar, Jaime Harrison, Doug Jones, Raphael Warnock, Alan Gross, Gary Peters, Sara Gideon, and John Hickenlooper

            • bmaz says:

              Yep, thank you. Which is a very fine fund and goal. My point is simply that Kelly is in good shape here so far and McGrath is a lost cause, although that was impertinent as to this fund.

              • harpie says:

                Yes, really hopeful for Kelly.
                It would be really GREAT to get rid of Graham.
                And at 9:30 ET last night, the fund was up to 18 Million…not shabby!

                • bmaz says:

                  Kelly has more money than he needs. You should see McSally’s commercials on the local airwaves. To call them craven and embarrassing would be an understatement. Even conservative people around here have cringed.

                  • harpie says:

                    The ads my (finally a democrat after more than 30 years) Rep is having aired against him by his supposedly “moderate” challenger are the same. uggg.

                    • bmaz says:

                      I bet. At this point, the question is why do such candidates think that is a winning strategy? And I have no good answer.

                    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                      I’m not convinced that it’s always the candidates: it’s the political consultant class, and they don’t give a sh!t what kind of mess they leave in their wake. They’re about money and ‘winning’ (in the old Roman sense: “they make a desert and call it peace”). These perverts will smear anyone, for any reason, if they think it will win an election.

                      Stuart Stevens in the last few days, has described the GOP as a cartel: they don’t give a damn what they’re selling, they’re just making money on the transactions. They’ve commodified politics, commodified candidates, and they don’t give a sh!t about anyone’s quality of life. (Perhaps we should start calling them stoneManafortAcolytes.)

                      But the scale of the grift…. I can’t get my head around it. No wonder that viper Roger Stone wanted to stay involved in such a lucrative, Black Money-driven ‘cartel’. He has the ethics of a meth dealer. And that’s how low the GOP has sunk.

                      I suspect that Stuart Stevens, Rick Wilson, and others are doing some soul-cleansing, getting some of this filth out into public view and explaining how perverted a lot of the incentives (and players like Parscale) have become. What I find heartening are the number of former GOP operatives who have started to realize they built the Death Star, and they are familiar enough with the blueprints to take it out. I’m definitely doing my part to cheer them along.

                      Don’t discount McGrath, particularly as McConnell overreaches.

                      Just a reminder: IIRC, RGB cautioned and dissented on Citizens United, which brought us this political hurricane of Dark Money, foreign ops, and criminal filth.

      • Smeelbo says:

        Seeing that the Republican Party appears to be acting as if November’s votes against them will not count, I am taking that at face value. If they unleash all holy hell, no matter how awful or apparently absurd, and simply take the Election by force, then the Republicans will face no electoral consequences. If they can prevent enough urban ballots from being counted, they might keep the Senate, the White House, and the Supreme Court.

  5. Eureka says:

    Thanks, bmaz — I didn’t know you had this post up. I’ll move my comment over to here — it’s mainly on some past-present tensions which are heightened with RBG’s death, Trump-McConnell et al.’s cravenness, and other current events:

    Get ready for the Lochner-lovers. EoH and bmaz will know what I’m talking about, and there’s a particular post (of several) of Ed’s on this topic that I can’t locate right now (scribe would perhaps have more words as well). Very briefly, a 1937 SCOTUS decision informally marking the end of the Lochner era was also known as the ‘switch in time that saved nine’ (i.e. it helped put an end to FDR’s plan to increase the number of SCOTUS judges, as an end-run around their blockade of progressive reforms we now take for granted — including basic labor laws borne of the state/states* imposing things like minimum wage and safety standards).

    Besides an upcoming Trump appointment (among the scores already), this Lochner-revival is topical right now as part of a broader fed soc plan, which just saw fruit in a Pennsylvania replicant judge’s decision to strike as unconstitutional PA’s shutdown order for, in part, infringing on business owners’ rights (a decision which wasn’t expected to survive review, but who knows). It is also germane because of Bill Barr’s resonant (one might say coordinated, of a piece) statement likening a federal stay-at-home order to slavery [to be clear, that speaks to a separate (1A) foundation than Lochner, which is also raised in the PA decision, but which is part of a related trend with similar outcomes, see ** for discussion].

    History rhymes. But I’m not sure this song doesn’t have a different bridge. Or a very long, tortuous interlude.

    *there’s some contrastive state-v-federal interplay Lochner Era 1.0; Justice Roberts’ recent (2015) disavowal of Lochner notwithstanding, expect to hear more of this.

    These are complex topics; for the space of a comment (and tonight… RIP RBG) I’m just raising part of what’s on my mind.

    **Judge Uses The Coronavirus Pandemic to Revive The Long-Discredited Lochner Era – Blog for Arizona

    See also Mark Joseph Stern for a quick review at:

    Trump judge rules Pennsylvania’s COVID restrictions violate employers’ constitutional rights.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Lochner stands for the Robber Baron-era proposition that the Constitution’s sanctity of contracts clause precludes the federal government from actively regulating business, employer-employee relations, work rules and conditions, the environment, banking, and so on. It was law for decades, but has been superseded in practice for generations.

      A growing movement has sought to resurrect that outdated ideology the way it has attempted to resurrect Social Darwinism: to sanctify wealth and ANY activity that will increase it – no matter the harm it causes.

      Recognizing that government creates the market and enforces its terms, it seeks to geld and put blinders on government, to make it placid and able only to drive the coach of wealth. It wants to prohibit government from limiting the inevitable harm caused by privatizing the commons and the work of many and turning it into the wealth of the few.

      • bmaz says:

        When I was in law school, Lochner was a standing joke of what truly shitty law was. Now it is back. What should have remained old is new again.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I’ll bet they cited Traynor and Cardozo’s opinions then, too. Interesting that Cardozo’s decision in Steward Machine marked the end of the Lochner era, with the recognition that the USG had the power to regulate commerce, even against the wishes of individual states. Ironic that he was appointed by the conservative Herbert Hoover. Them days is gone.

  6. harpie says:

    “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until
    a new president is installed.”
    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg

    I will NEVER forgive the people who put the pieces in place to make SUCH a mess of our country that RBG felt it was necessary to say THIS [!!!] in her final statement to US.

    […besides, YOU could never be replaced, (Notorious) RBG!]

  7. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    She deserved better than the ghoulish feast the GOP is going to turn this into. RIP.

    If there is any silver lining, maybe the timidity of the dem leadership about challenging minority rule will subside when they ram the next reactionary through.

    My only hope is a handful of the Senate gop *know* their grift is toxic and unsustainable, and may be at their core, afraid themselves to entrech it further. Their kids will have to drink the same water, breathe the same air, and experience the same medical issues as all of us plebes after all.

    • Tom says:

      Or they may realize they’ve past the point of no return and that there’s no going back on a deal with the Devil.

      “… I am in blood
      Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
      Returning were as tedious as go o’er.”

      Macbeth Act III Scene iv

  8. Max404 says:


    Their kids will have to drink the same water, breathe the same air, and experience the same medical issues as all of us plebes after all.

    Unfortunately they, and their monied enablers, believe they can air-condition their way through global warming, gated-community their way to physical security, and private-healthcare their way to eternal life.

    • Eureka says:

      … for example as Marcy had retweeted earlier yesterday:

      Eric Geller: “”The United States is undergoing ‘substantial autocratization’…that has accelerated precipitously under President Trump. … Only 1 in 5 democracies that start down this path are able to reverse the damage before succumbing to full-blown autocracy.” [WaPo link]”

    • Eureka says:

      A July 27, 2019, thread by Andrea Pitzer that often comes to mind (I’d shared the bolded portion then; see how it — and the rest — has aged already):

      Trump will take every part of this–corruption, abuse of powers, targeting minorities, doing harm to those he identifies as enemies–as far as he can. He’s limited only by institutional barriers, which are fairly flexible with the current makeup of the Senate and Supreme Court.

      Leaders who ended up instituting concentration camps and other repressive measures weren’t necessarily smart. Even in cases where they were, many have tended to be reactive. They respond to things in the moment. They do as much as they can get away with & wait, & then go further.

      All of which is to say that early on, they themselves often don’t imagine the worst things they will do, or how opening one set of doors will lead to new possibilities of inflicting harm at a later date.

      It’s a strange moment. We can still speak freely in public. Courts can rule as they wish. If the House began impeachment proceedings, the Senate *could* reverse course tomorrow and back them up. But these kinds of institutional interventions seem less and less likely.

      The existence of camps for untried civilians, arrests and detention of several citizens (that we know about), the use of the military on domestic soil–these are terrible indicators. In the past, they have typically signaled much worse things to come.

  9. Vicks says:

    I think it’s important to remember that Trump’s primary focus will be on how he is going to leverage this windfall to his advantage.

  10. Bobby Gladd says:

    This is really bad. I didn’t wanna get up this morning.

    News of her death beeped on my iPhone last night. Within about an hour McConnell released a statement saying a Trump nominee would get a floor vote.


  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    There’s a lament going round that the “most significant consequence of RBG’s passing will not be in jurisprudence but in destroying the Court’s legitimacy.” That would come by way of McConnell’s gross hypocrisy in approving a new S.Ct. nomination, and the probable Democratic response of enlarging the Court to neuter its effect.

    The lament is pearl-clutching. That ship sailed when McConnell refused to act on Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. The ship was manned by Newt Gingrich, and provisioned by the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

    McConnell’s will to power is as unrestrained as Donald Trump’s. He merely reflects the state of his party, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Trump Organization. Were the Democrats to passively accept the seating of Neomi Rao or someone like her on the S.Ct., they would be admitting they are no more fit to govern than the GOP. No action Democrats might take would affect the nature of the Republican party. It treats the Democratic Party as inherently illegitimate. If Democrats win an election, it will refuse to recognize it, refuse to cooperate, refuse any attempt at bipartisan governance.

    The Democrats need to recognize that and govern in spite of it. If that requires increasing the size of the S.Ct. and lower courts, if it means tossing the filibuster, the blue-slip rule, the voluntary sixty-vote majority rule, Just Do It. Do it responsibly and with the objective of good governance, but do it.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Republicans regard the S.Ct. and government in general as their personal property. Anyone else who holds office or wields power is wrong and illegitimate: they are stealing Republican property.

      Imagine the laws and norms that would be thrown on the trash heap if the GOP had a 6-3 majority comprised of members who regard Clarence Thomas as hopelessly liberal. Voting rights, civil rights, equal protection, the ACA, Roe v. Wade. Imagine re-imposing Lochner era limits on the regulation of business, profit-taking, and worker protections, and the near-permanent suffering of people of color, women, immigrants, the LGBT community.

      If McConnell goes there – he must and he will – Democrats need to adjust their game plan and govern despite the GOP’s unrestrained obstruction.

  12. madwand says:

    In 2016 Republicans justified their actual position not to bring up the nomination of Merrick Garland on the grounds that Biden’s hypothetical statement in 1992 and some Republicans called it the Biden rule, more often than not the McConnell rule, the real architect of the non-vote. At the time many Republicans made statements about letting the American people decide and waiting to a new president is elected. In fact in a pique of self-righteousness some Republicans even refused to acknowledge Garland and refused to meet with a nominated judge as is customary. They gambled and won as Trump was elected.

    So now, throwing all that self-righteous malarky out the window they will try to nominate a new judge. It is no longer the people’s choice, Republicans by fiat have made the choice for you. What hypocrites. That said Republicans don’t care if they are hypocrites, winning is all that matters. In this Mother Jones article are the statements of prominent Republican Senators (Graham, Cruz, Grassley, Rubio, Inhofe and more) back in 2016, if they are your Senator you should try to hold them accountable.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      I have not yet read John Dean’s latest book, “Authoritarian Nightmare: Trump and his Followers”. It was published in August 2020, and is co-written with Bob Altemeyer, a social psychologist who helped John Dean’s first understanding of authoritarians and authoritarianism.
      Dean summarized Altemeyer’s earlier work, and then applied it to Cheney and others in Bush II’s administration in his remarkable, “Conservatives without Conscience” (2006), which is full of revelations about the psychology of people who are incapable of collegial give-and-take.

      Altemeyer didn’t originally set out to study authoritarians or authoritarianism, IIRC. He kind of stumbled into it because some of his research findings were so perplexing that he dug deeper. Turns out, people with a propensity to authoritarianism are among us all, but a healthy system is able to keep them in check.

      The psychology explains why they don’t care about being hypocrites; they care about dominating, destroying anything they perceive as a threat (i.e., political opposition). They will stop at absolutely nothing, in part because they perceive any kind of attempt at advice or guidance as an insult or a threat. They have a psychological need to anihiliate anything they perceive as a threat. See also: Trump, Donald John.
      Add on narcissism, and you get toxicity on steroids.

  13. Raven Eye says:

    From Politico this morning: “HOW HE’S FRAMING IT TO HIS COLLEAGUES: MCCONNELL wrote this to his fellow Republican senators last night in a “Dear Colleague” and urged caution in how they answer questions about voting on RBG’s replacement: “This is not the time to prematurely lock yourselves into a position you may later regret. … I urge you all to be cautious and keep your powder dry until we return to Washington.”

    The letter:

  14. Jenny says:

    “When I’m sometimes asked ‘When will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court]?’ and I say ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  15. punaise says:

    RIP RBG, a titan of jurisprudence. I am sick but of course not surprised about the GOP hypocrisy on this after Garland.

    A friend’s daughter is working comms for the McGrath campaign. Looks like she is in the right place at the right time (albeit for a wrong new reason).

    It’s going to be an intense whirlwind.

    We had already donated to McGrath’s campaign but may re-up now.

  16. harpie says:

    Rev. Dr. Barber:
    10:27 PM · Sep 18, 2020

    How do you mourn the loss of a great champion for justice like Ruth Bader Ginsburg? You mourn deeply & you vow to continue her work with even greater resolve. Her death must bring us to life.

    No one who loved her work on voting rights, women’s rights, or corporate responsibility can stay home & not vote.
    We must renew our resolve to fight as she fought. […]

    RBG often quoted Justice Brandeis:
    “The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people.”

    May she Rest In Peace.
    We must rise with power!

  17. harpie says:

    [All times Eastern]

    1] 9:16 PM · Sep 18, 2020

    After more than two hours, Trump’s speech in Bemidji, Minnesota, is finally over. He’ll now head back to Air Force One and learn of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing. [VIDEO]

    2] Between 9:16pm and 9:35pm
    8:22 AM · Sep 19, 2020

    Being a White House correspondent is surreal. Last night, shouting over Air Force One’s engines and Tiny Dancer, I asked the president to react to the death of Justice Ginsburg, and he responded as if this was the first he was hearing of it. [VIDEO]

    [Trump’s act here wasn’t very convincing to me.]
    The video Keith links to is posted at 9:35pm on the Trump Campaign twitter account…and Trump RETWEETED it this morning. [Next comment]

    • harpie says:

      3] 9:35 PM · Sep 18, 2020

      President @realDonaldTrump on the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “She led an amazing life…She was an amazing woman, whether you agreed or not…I am sad to hear that.” #RIPRBG [VIDEO]

      [The words Trump says here are definitely NOT his own.]

      4] 10:34 PM · Sep 18, 2020

      Statement from the President [yeah, sure!] on the Passing of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg [screenshot]

      5] Trump retweets the campaign video.

      There is NO way Trump and his people did NOT know that Ginsberg was probably taking her last breath while Trump was RANTING in Minnesota last night. They planned this whole charade to to make him SEEM “presidential”.

    • harpie says:

      Something else about this:

      before 1] 7:36 PM · Sep 18, 2020

      BREAKING: Supreme Court says Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87. Find updates here: [link]

      But the press release from SCOTUS is not actually published until after the Campaign tweets the VIDEO:

      between 3 and 4] 10:28 PM · Sep 18, 2020

      Press Release Regarding Justice Ginsburg [link]

    • harpie says:

      This is the Real TRUMP speaking about RBG:

      6:26 PM · Jul 13, 2016

      Is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg going to apologize to me for her misconduct? Big mistake by an incompetent judge!

      11:09 PM · Feb 24, 2020

      “Sotomayor accuses GOP appointed Justices of being biased in favor of Trump.” @IngrahamAngle @FoxNews This is a terrible thing to say. Trying to “shame” some into voting her way? She never criticized Justice Ginsberg when she called me a “faker”. Both should recuse themselves..on all Trump, or Trump related, matters! While “elections have consequences”, I only ask for fairness, especially when it comes to decisions made by the United States Supreme Court!

      • harpie says:

        Then on March 4, 2020, ROBERTS “rebukes” SCHUMER:
        5:20 PM · Mar 4, 2020

        Chief Justice Roberts issues rare statement rebuking Schumer for his Gorsuch/Kavanaugh comments. […]

        Schumer spox: “For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation of what Sen. Schumer said, while remaining silent when President Trump attacked Justices Sotomayor and Ginsberg last week, shows Justice Roberts does not just call balls and strikes.”

        The ROBERTS Court is just not a “call balls and strikes” kind of court.

  18. harpie says:

    Better bitch than mouse.-Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    The Book Of Ruth Judge Ginsburg’s feminist challenge.
    Jeffrey Rosen
    August 2, 1993

    A few days alter the president nominated her to the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg received a fax from a member of the Rotary Club in Bernardsville, New Jersey. On June 18, the writer reported, one of Judge Ginsburg’s law school classmates had presided over a Rotarian induction ceremony; and during his formal remarks after dinner, the classmate recalled that he and his friends had known Ginsburg “by her law school nickname, ‘Bitch.’” Apologizing profusely, the writer assured Ginsburg that he had asked Rotary Club authorities to ban “sexist and scatological statements” at all meetings in the future. Ginsburg read the fax silently. She then exclaimed, “Better bitch than mouse.”

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Kamala is on the Judiciary Committee. So, at least we can be confident that she will give any potential SCOTUS candidate a good grilling. Maybe we can encourage her to wear her Timbs and imagine humming this tune:

      “These Boots Are Made For Walking” -Nancy Sinatra with lyrics

      “Kamala Harris’ Timberlands-Pearls Combo Has Our Vote”

      • timbo says:

        That could be endrunned too by Mitch and gang. I doubt it will be end-run but it certainly could be >IF< they have the votes. The alternative would be to just wait until after the election. I believe that this is Mitch McConnells fall back position and likely end play prior to Nov. To put it another way: What is in it for McConnell to actually go ahead with a full Senate vote on the nominee prior to the lame-duck session at the end of this Congress? I'm just not seeing all the upsides for Mitch here per se, although perhaps one could argue that it does put another potential Trumpist in power before the election is "decidered"… ugh. Well, let's hope it is postponed until the next Congress if the DP can figure a way to do…

  19. gmoke says:

    I became aware, as a layperson, of the packing of the Federal judiciary during the second term of the Reagan administration and have wondered since why the professional politicians in the Democratic Party have never paid as much attention to it as I thought and still think they should.

    Then I read about the end of the John Adams administration and his rush of “paper judges” into the Federal judiciary to keep the incoming administration (Jefferson’s) from filling them. I was astonished not to know this history and am even more disgusted with the professional politicians of the Democratic Party who have never learned that lesson.

    I will miss Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was unstoppable and indefatigable. May she be remembered well.

  20. J R in WV says:

    My wife and I toasted Justice Ginsburg with Champagne several times during dinner this evening.

    Her memory will last longer than McConnell’s — she has freed the energy of women all over the nation to fight for right. McConnell is just trying to accumulate power in the here and now — Justice Ginsburg fought for underlying principals like equality, freedom, and justice for all…

    Truly a righteous person!!

    • pdaly says:

      Sad news regarding RBG’s death.

      I take some hope in seeing on FB that even Republican female friends posted their condolences on her passing. Haven’t seen the same among male friends who are Republican, however.

      Cannot wait for McConnell to be replaced by a Democrat.

  21. Nehoa says:

    News of her passing was like a gut punch. Not unexpected, but awful nonetheless. In addressing the politics of how she will be replaced on the SC, let us remember that she was a champion of the opportunity of our system of laws to become a better nation. As we fight about who takes her seat on the court, let us not forget that.
    Do not embrace the “McConnell Rule” about no SC appointments in the year before a Presidential election. That was BS then and is BS now. Absolutely shove the hypocrisy in McConnell’s face and every other GOP Senator that wants to vote this year. But don’t legitimize what happened in 2016. Just hammer Lindsey Graham on “use these words against me.”
    Fight tooth and nail against the person nominated for the position. If true to form, Trump will nominate the worst person possible. Attack the merits of a Rao or Barrett. Make clear how extreme (crazy) they are.
    Finally, don’t plan on expanding the number of justices on the SC. Plan on killing (or extremely limiting) the filibuster, adding DC and Puerto Rico Senators, and going after Alito and Kavanaugh for lying to Congress in their confirmation hearings. Then pass laws that are clear about the issues that the majority of Americans care about. If the Dems control Congress and the Presidency, tell a conservative SC that they should read the law.

    • P J Evans says:

      I’d add that members of congress who want their opinions given more weight because they have JDs should also read the laws – and the Constitution. (I’m looking at *you*, Cruz, Hawley, and Cotton.)

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      They should mock the very term ‘McConnell Rule’ and point out why it is only a tool that MoscowMitch uses to keep power. It’s not a ‘rule’, it was a political tactic and it has now put people at risk of losing the ACA, has exacerbated inequality, and perpetuated gridlock.

      Meanwhile, with SCOTUS hearings all over the news, Trump and the GOP have a gift — what’s off the top of the news:
      — Stone, Manafort, Mueller investigation
      — Assange’s apparent coordination with Russia to sabotage US elections
      — USPS and DeJoy’s subversion of elections
      — Trump’s attempts to delegitimize US elections
      — failure of GOP to provide assistance to states and cities
      — failure of GOP to refresh unemployment and a variety of other COVID-related costs
      — COVID deaths, COVID risks, parents having to figure out ‘school’
      — an economy that is showing signs of real struggle
      — millions of us on the West Coast choking in smoke, and some cities incinerated in forest fires
      — massive habitat loss that cannot be reconstructed in our lifespans

      I could go on and on, but… here’s hoping the Dem candidates and the Dem senators ensure that the news is filled with all the other horribles in the time of Trump.

      Someone had a screenshot of the Christmas ornament they’re getting for 2020: a dumpster with flames coming out of it. (I will probably get the same damn things for my kids, but I’d sure rather get a ‘Blue Wave’ ornament for 2020! If anyone has links to an RGB Christmas ornament, that might be a fitting thing for the younger family members…)

      • duck says:

        rotl ~ This I found searching “Blue wave Christmas ornament” among which is a design of a blue wave cresting over and about to engulf a large numeral 45 in its curl. (Also available on pillows T-shirts, etc.) (link is broken due to tracking ?mark ~ Rayne, clean up on aisle 45… thanks!~)

        https:/ /

  22. e.a.f. says:

    How very sad that she has passed. the American judicial system will miss her greatly. She was amazing.
    My condolences to the American people.

  23. Rugger9 says:

    I saw this over at Salon, which makes an interesting case for Pelosi to restart another round of impeachment proceedings, and she has a lot to use even from just the last month of DJT’s statements and actions. It will force the GOP to stay in DC, force any nomination to the back of the line (although it would wipe out the opportunity to beat the vulnerable GOPs for their votes). FWIW I don’t think nomination process will move past naming Amy Coney Barrett if McConnell is on his game, to avoid any votes for Collins and Gardner, et al that they will regret later in the general.

    • ducktree says:

      Any that sly puss Lisa Murkowski has said only that the SC vote should “not take place before the *election*.” Bless her cold little heart.

    • Rugger9 says:

      With the GOP it is always what they do that is important. Case in point, Biden went to church today, and DJT went golfing for the 278th day.

  24. Davidhigh says:

    Question, (please be a little forgiving as I’m just a dumb farmer), but given the house controls the purse strings, couldnt the house defund the government over this? Normally I’d think this would be silly, but given the stakes, well, this is the only situation I can even think of that I’d ask this question.

    • P J Evans says:

      That may be one of the things Pelosi had in mind this morning. But I don’t know if she’s really serious about doing something more effective *this* time. (Given that money and power seem to be all the GOP-T understand any more, it should be one of the bigger hammers in her toolbox.)

      ETA: The “Get Mitch or die trying” fund is now over $21 million. They’re trying to flip the senate.

    • timbo says:

      The House would have to be willing to go down to the Treasury and forcibly turn off the printing presses. So far, they seem to be more for the opposite of that…

      • michaelhigh says:

        Wouldn’t that just defund that banks? Isn’t tax money collected just #’s in a database some where, (well, with safe guards in place, paper trails ect), but the fundamental question was if the government was defunded, can the Senate still function? Can the Election still occur? And I knew an upcoming deadline was due. I’ve not followed the news so much today, as there is only so much opinion I can stand, which seems to be the normal, vs fact, so well, look to a community that places facts first for understanding (while understanding, may still have opinions, but opinions backed by facts). * I’m a US business owner, yet only on a visa, so I’m still learning.

        • timbo says:

          Interestingly, it is through state governments that the bulk of federal elections occur. The Federal government’s involvement is only on the infrastructure and legal code level, and much of that is about equal enforcement/access, and facilitation of absentee voting for service members, etc. So, yes, even if the Congress allocates no funds, or if the Executive branch of the federal system stops funds that are election related, the upcoming Federal election can and does still occur at the level of individual states; each state gets to decide how it consists its own Congressional House and Senate representatives… within the frameworks of the Bill of Rights, etc.

  25. Nehoa says:

    I have read about how she tried to get close to Kavanaugh. The SC is like a forced family. She was trying to make him a better person. Can’t change his past, but maybe make a better person going forward. That was just wise…and kind. Bless her.
    One of the books I have read that made a great impression on me was the Autobiography of Malcom X. How he grew as a human being was impressive and inspiring. RBG seemed to have the same drive from a whole different dimension.

  26. P J Evans says:

    This morning, someone put a lace collar on “Fearless Girl”.
    And there’s an immense pile of flowers in front of the Supreme Court.

  27. Rugger9 says:

    It appears that DJT has mentioned why he wants his SCOTUS justice now-now-now-now-now, because that is going to be part of his Election Day plan to declare victory and prevail in all of the litigation to follow. All the more reason for rational people to say “nyet”, but since the GOP is in just as much deep doo-doo (as Poppy would say) for their ongoing footsie with Vlad and his allies, they’ll do the deed to try to save their own skins from jail.

    However, as already seen in some of the fundraising reports, the Ds are more motivated now as well and opening their wallets while DJT’s official campaign is sucking wind. As noted in the news there does seem to be coordination with non-permitted actors (like the NRA) and running stuff on the internet is less costly. Plus the daily coronavirus “briefings” work just like rallies.

  28. Eureka says:

    Rayne: I hope all’s well w/ your Dad, been thinking of you.

    Bmaz: “Somebody Told Me” is a _much_ better song, though– a rocker.

    PA election news update; important PA Supreme Court decisions last Thursday (17th). Green presidential candidate is off the ballot. We get to have our drop boxes, and ballots postmarked by election day but received through Friday will be accepted (so an extra 3 days in the mail…lordy do not rely on that). But — and it is a big ‘but’ because we are newbies to mass-mail balloting — the Court ruled that “naked ballots” lacking secrecy envelopes (besides the outer mailing envelope) are to be rejected. No real idea of how many this might impact, but the few estimates from this year’s primary are not encouraging, given Trump’s 2016 margin.

    Lai thread (links Thursday’s thread and article as well):

    Jonathan Lai 🙊 賴柏羽 : “Could mail ballot envelopes determine who wins the White House? PA Supreme Court last week said “naked ballots” w/o secrecy envelopes should be thrown out. That could be 100K+ rejected ballots, Philly’s elections chief warns, in a state Trump won by 44K: [link]”

    Also Trump (and PACs) are hammering metro Philly with TV ads and mailers. (“Metro Philly” can include DE and South/parts Central NJ, depending on the ad buy.)

    • Eureka says:

      …They also ruled out poll watchers from outside their respective counties, and disallowed the turning in of any ballot but one’s own (like you can’t drop off your spouse’s/kid’s’/roommate’s’) (counties were inconsistent on this practice, among others, during the primary). But I figure PA residents will get this type of info on the rulings elsewhere… (click Lai’s twitter above — his pinned tweet links to an updating, and very fine-grained, FAQ on voting in Pennsylvania. You can also ask questions there).

    • Eureka says:

      “lordy do not rely on that”:

      Jonathan Lai 🙊 賴柏羽 : “The Republican Party of Pennsylvania and top Republican lawmakers (who control the state legislature) have asked the PA Supreme Court to stay its ruling extending mail ballot deadlines so they can appeal that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.” / thread/screenshots

      Because PA SC ruled that ballots without a postmark after election day could be counted ’til Friday (meaning affirmative postmark on or before; no postmark; or illegible postmark), I bet this gets modified.


      Jonathan Lai 🙊 賴柏羽 : “A lot of comments/replies have been about how easy it is to know to use the secrecy envelope. A child could do it; it’s not rocket science; how dumb do you have to be; etc. Here’s part of an email a Penn professor sent me shortly after my story published yesterday:[images]”

      My .02: it’s partly a problem because the commonest place people encounter ‘extra’ envelopes is with things like formal (wedding) invitations, which get tossed. They just need to label the farking envelopes, “DO NOT DISCARD — This is your secrecy envelope — you must first place your ballot in this secrecy envelope, and then place this secrecy envelope in the outer mailing envelope, OR YOUR VOTE WILL NOT BE COUNTED”. Or whatever.

      • Chris.EL says:

        off topic, has anyone read Bolton’s book?

        Wondering what Trump administration’s so scared of:

        …”Mr. Bolton’s book presents an unflattering account of Mr. Trump’s conduct in office, including providing new evidence supporting the accusations that led to his impeachment by House Democrats but acquittal by Senate Republicans: that he abused his power over the nation’s foreign policy to try to obtain personal political benefits.” …

  29. Chris.EL says:

    IANAL – could voters fabricate their own secrecy envelope by wrapping a plain sheet of paper or plain white envelope around their ballot? [or maybe voters leave them out because they see them as redundant and don’t know the significance. In which case the secrecy envelopes should be phased out – like what’s the point?]


    Since the appointment of a replacement Supreme Court Justice is to accomplish having a “full” panel, in anticipation of litigation over a possibly disputed election (involving the candidate doing the nominating), should not that replacement justice have an inherent conflict and, therefore should said replacement justice recuse one’s self?

    Additionally, didn’t Trump call for the other FEMALE Justices to recuse themselves because they had been mean to him?

    Perhaps SCOTUS should not hear the case of the disputed election and the slithy ballots.


    Regarding Trump’s tax and insurance frauds: yet another Judge has written:
    “Justice requires an end to this controversy.” How?? Who is going to end it?? HELP — a cry to the great beyond.
    p.s. didn’t realize I misspelled Ginsburg. Apologies. Ginsburg is correct.

  30. Wm. Boyce says:

    I’d like to hear your opinion. It appears, barring some miracle, that the fix is in and the creature will get a person on the Supreme Court. Ms. Barrett looks like a total disaster, a right-wing Catholic who has never (from what I could read in the Times) argued a case in court.
    Ms. Lagoa, the other-mentioned candidate, is a right-wing Latina, but she seems to have had lots of real-world experience in the courtroom, as well as being a judge. It is also not clear from her rulings how she views abortion rights, which “concerns” right-wingers.
    Your thoughts?

    [Hey Wm. Boyce – comments are closed on this post now, so I am editing in my answer in your comment. ACB has little to no useful actual courtroom experience arguing as a lawyer, but she has been a sitting judge on the 7th Circuit for three years. And, yes, she is the exactly the ultra right wing conservative religious zealot she has been painted to be.

    Legoa I know far less about, but she has worked as an AUSA, as a judge on the Florida Supreme Court, and lately as a federal appellate judge, even if not for long. The rumor is that she is not as hard edged as ACB, but that she is still plenty to the right. Either one is a nightmare, but my guess is that ACB is the choice.] – bmaz

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