The People And The Court

Joseph Margulies has made a counter-intuitive argument at the legal publication Justia. The crux of his opinion is that liberals have misread the Supreme Court’s history, and as a result, have placed far too much reliance on the judicial branch.

As I recall, this was also an argument advanced by Kieth Whittington, a legal scholar, a few years back. As I remember the book–and my memory is definitely hazy– Whittington felt that over-reliance on the courts to protect individual liberties led to flaccid and apathetic political participation.

Justice Ginsburg has given the left a great gift, if it knows how to use it. Finally, and none too soon, the popular infatuation with the Court as the Great Protector of Individual Rights can be laid to rest. We will now see the Court for what it has been for most of its history—a reactionary branch committed to the preservation of wealth and the status quo. With the exception of a brief and unrepresentative period from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s, the Court has not been an agent of progressive change. Quite the contrary, it has been decidedly unkind to claims pressed on behalf of underrepresented minorities and the poor. Outside of two short decades, the Court has been timid and conservative, lending its support for progressive policies only after they have already won widespread approval. By the time the Court managed to recognize a right to same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, for instance, it was already the law in 37 states and the District of Columbia

The Court that liberals lionize (or, as Margulies would have it, the myth of the Court that they have constructed) is, as he argues, a product of what he calls “the golden years” that produced cases like Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Roe v. Wade (1973), Miranda v. Arizona (1966) and and Gideon v. Wainwright(1963).

But what so many fail to appreciate is that all the rights and protections established during this period, literally without exception as far as I can tell, have been substantially diluted by the same Court that created them, some nearly to the point of elimination.

It’s hard to disagree with this analysis. The Court has blessed “school choice,” which has accelerated the re-segregation of schools, and has made abortion nearly unobtainable by upholding medically unnecessary and burdensome regulations. Margulies concludes that there is no judicial substitute for the hard work of political activism.

The practice [of taking matters to court] supplants democracy and sidesteps the people. It imagines that there is a substitute for politics, a shortcut that will allow us to achieve an enduring progressive vision without having to engage in the protracted ugliness of partisan politics. We point to past cases because we think it has happened before, but overlook the fact that these decisions did not endure. We put our faith in Oracles who stand atop politics because we are sickened by the emergence of a world in which facts no longer matter, science is ridiculed, and jack-booted racism is on the march. So we look to the Nine for our salvation. But they are not—and in truth have never been—our Saviors.

Win or lose in November, we need to heed this call to arms. Margulies predicts that we will:

As political campaigns well know, nothing motivates a constituency like a sense of threat. After the election of Barack Obama, for instance, the NRA parlayed fear of the new President into “a dramatic increase in membership,” and gun sales surged 60 percent.. ..The same thing happened on the left after the surprise result in 2016. Within months of Trump’s election, membership in the ACLU skyrocketed from around 400,000 to more than 1.8 million and contributions ballooned by $120 million. In the same way, the knowledge that the Court is lost to the left should trigger a groundswell of political and financial support for progressive and liberal candidates, lest the entire architecture of government be controlled by the right. In politics, threat leads to action, and after Friday, the sense of threat has never been so real. The ships have been burned; there will be no retreat to the Court.

Just as [RBG”s] death should invigorate the left, it will enervate the right. Campaigns articulate a vision of success and promise their supporters that all will be right with the world once that goal has been achieved. For the right, success has meant control of the Court. For decades, the right has struggled to achieve a secure majority on the Court, only to suffer one disappointment after another…. Now that victory is at hand, a letdown is inevitable. While threat produces action, victory leads to quiescence.

As my grandmother would have said, “From his mouth [okay, word processor] to God’s ears…”

 

49 thoughts on “The People And The Court

  1. Donald Trump represents a force. The Democrats must have a competing force, A UNITED POLITICAL FORCE. Just being a voter and nothing more, at this juncture, is WORTHLESS.

  2. We’re in the first stages of a war between DEMOCRACY and FASCISM. The Fascists have a FOOL for a leader. Let’s take advantage of him NOW, while we still have a chance.

  3. Wonderful article Sheila!

    Just goes to show, there is more than one way to skin a cat as they say…..

    This is exactly why I feel that Biden should start writing executive orders once his feet hit the ground as president if he makes it that far. Because, when he writes executive orders and those executive orders are adopted by the states, it can completely bypass Supreme Court. So the Supreme Court becomes secondary as far as steering society.

    The Supreme Court should be left to injustice or maybe justice for those web been dealt an injustice. But, how many times do we have to watch the threat of rights being taken away by the Supreme Court rather than to be protected?

    Executive orders Joe, executive orders! The courts giveth and the courts taketh away! So what’s the point of putting all your faith in a court system that will change with the whims of those who place them in their positions? An article in Washington monthly talks about how stacking the court was a disaster for Roosevelt but threatening that very thing had a very positive effect on Roosevelt’s agenda.

    Because, Supreme Court justices are no different than anyone else, they want to feel important! And when Roosevelt threatened pack the courts, they quit overturning his agenda and programs. I believe this could work with the ACA, Social Security, and Medicare, and let’s not forget this school fiasco right now, and or voting rights, amongst other rights and programs. If threatening to make the court moot by packing it, I would bet there would be a great big change in how the court reacts just as it did in FDR’s day.

    https://washingtonmonthly.com/2020/09/26/packing-the-court-might-work-threatening-to-pack-it-did/

    JoAnn!

    I understand that you don’t like my opinions, but that’s just kind of tough is it not? I don’t pretend to be self-righteous, I have more flaws than most. I just point out what I know. And, I would suggest is probably quite a bit more than you do. You see, I don’t live in an echo chamber, and, that goes the same for you Betty! I don’t care who likes my opinions and who doesn’t. The only reason I’m here is because I enjoy Sheila’s blog, but I’ve been doing this blog stuff for 30 years. At least! And, the last 2 paragraphs in my comment concerning you yesterday still stand!

    I don’t believe in evolution, because even in the past couple of weeks evolutionary articles have come out talking about how they’ve now discovered a mass extinct chin event before the rise of any of the dinosaur ages. That goes completely against the previous evolutionary thoughts! So all of the charts and all of the textbooks with so-called absolute knowledge seem to be quite lacking now!

    If people don’t want to believe in religion they don’t have to, and if people don’t believe in evolution they shouldn’t have to! Just like religions believe people will burn in hell or go live in heaven for an eternity, which is not true. Or that the earth was created in 6- 24-hour days, which is not true! Or the earth was created in 6 -1000 year days, which is not true! Bible doesn’t say it, people do! They take it as a truth just like evolution! Teach what is observable, teach what is definitely known, everything else can be done in the home by families depending on what they decide to believe it.

    Nowhere in society should anyone be forced to believe what they do not, facts need to be presented, and conspiracies need to be eliminated! Conspiracies are not part of free speech, so, there is that!

    In a Washington Post op-ed, Richard Stengel pushed for state governments to adopt hate speech statutes to “curb the incitement of racial and religious hatred.” Critical race theorists have long argued that reinterpreting the First Amendment to allow for more robust regulation of hateful speech would help ensure a more tolerant and equal society.

    We also have a convention of states, which can completely bypass Congress by adding amendments to the Constitution. This very thing can further put a cramp in Supreme Court justices who are willing to be political rather than judicial. Supreme Court justices who would rather take away rights of citizens than protect them!

    I like it!

    I guess, when you’re up against the wall, you start digging through that toolbox looking to find something that will make the job easier, and sometimes you find it!

    Thank you for the steering Sheila! Or, I should say your tack, you must be a fantastic sailor! It Biden can tack the prevailing winds of change, will have real change, especially with sister Harris and many of the other women, and I mean all who are in government and out of government, who have much better foresight than any of their male counterparts! When there are no men around, women do a more than capable job, and I think it’s about time to make that change permanently.

    And JoAnn, knowledge is power!

    If one remains ignorant of vast swaths of knowledge and belief, then, done yourself a disservice! Yes, I know Scripture, and yes, maybe I am a Bible thumper, but where is your faith? What do you believe in? Judging by your comments, not a whole lot! So, you can ignore what you don’t know, and that’s your business! That doesn’t mean, I have to fall into the realm of ignorance to be one of the tribe! I’ve let a very interesting diverse existence on this planet for 62 years, and I was shaped by the diversity of my family, which basically has almost every religion under the sun you can imagine and some maybe you cannot. Exposure to belief and knowledge can enlighten a mind those experiences produce wisdom, and, we all need wisdom to survive!

    Proverbs 4:5-7
    “5 Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding. Do not forget, and do not turn aside from what I say. 6 Do not forsake it, and it will protect you. Love it, and it will safeguard you. 7 Wisdom is the most important thing, so acquire wisdom, And with all you acquire, acquire understanding.”

    Proverbs 15:14
    “14 The understanding heart seeks knowledge, But the mouth of the stupid feeds on foolishness”

    Hebrews 5:14
    “14 But solid food belongs to mature people, to those who through use have their powers of discernment trained to distinguish both right and wrong.”

    I gave up the teat long ago, so I am comfortable with being able to use discernment, concerning knowledge and wisdom! That’s not bragging that’s being confident and having faith in what I know about and don’t know about! I will live by my faith will die by my faith, of that I have no doubt.

    Jesus Christ told his disciples; “This is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.13 No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his life in behalf of his friends.” (John 15:12-13)

    Also JoAnn, this is what faith is about, and those who work against it!

    “If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have both seen me and hated me as well as my Father. 25 But this happened in order to fulfill the word written in their Law: ‘They hated me without cause.’ 26 When the helper comes that I will send you from the Father, the spirit of the truth, which comes from the Father, that one will bear witness about me; 27 and you, in turn, are to bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.” (John 15:24-27)

    Christ also said, to love your neighbor, and to love God with all your heart! He also said, to love your enemy. This is something that the law hangs on; you should read Matthew the 5th chapter, verse 43 through 48!

  4. Marv … Wow! Next to the shortest Scripture in the Bible … “Jesus wept.” … you take the prize for brevity. I understand your points well made and I agree. Sheila, another timely, substantive and worthy post.

  5. The liberals haven’t misread the history of the court at all. But now, it’s going to be good-by to women’s rights, good-by to affordable health care for the poorer among us and good-by to any restraints on saving the environment from the wasteful, greedy corporatists. This will be the endgame for American capitalism. It’ll be CRAZY, RIGHT-WING IDEOLOGUES v. EVERYTHING THAT SERVES HUMANITY.

    John,

    Your comment here makes no sense: “I don’t believe in evolution, because even in the past couple of weeks evolutionary articles have come out talking about how they’ve now discovered a mass extinct chin event before the rise of any of the dinosaur ages. That goes completely against the previous evolutionary thoughts! So all of the charts and all of the textbooks with so-called absolute knowledge seem to be quite lacking now!” There have been at least three mass-extinctions since the recordings of the fossil record have shown. If you’re using the above argument to dispel evolution, then you are accepting the FACTS that support it.

    Evolution is NOT a theory. The evidence and the facts are OVERWHELMING in support of the processes by which evolution occurs. I suggest you read “The Structure of Evolutionary Theory” by Stephen J. Gould. In it you will discover that “theory” has become law, but only the two major processes may be considered theories: Darwinian Gradualism and Punctuated Equilibrium.

    Evolution isn’t something one believes in or not. It is merely word used to describe God’s glorious creation – a creation that is still continuing. God never said it would be easy, but why not give Him the credit for something extremely elegant?

  6. Is this supposed to be a “silver-lining” article about the courts returning to its roots of full Oligarchy power?

    I agree with the contention that our courts have mostly upheld our Oligarchy, mainly because the Oligarchy wrote the constitution. Still, I’m not feeling that it’s time to rejoice since many progressive battles are heading into court and will most likely land in the hands of our SCOTUS. Vernon mentioned several, but I expect the first one will be the 2020 election.

    If Trump loses the EC and popular vote but wins another four years by SCOTUS decision, this country will explode into a Civil War on social media, in communities across the country, and globally. What’s about to happen will go far beyond “activism” since at least one side will be carrying weapons. I suspect both sides will be prepared to use violence, and our Fascist police will be caught in the middle of not doing anything.

    RBG didn’t do any favors to progressive causes when she refused to retire under Obama. Kennedy, for whatever reason, at least made the right call by stepping down under Trump.

    The outrage we are seeing from Democratic officials is fake. With the court comfortably in the hands of the Oligarchy, they can use that as a scapegoat for not pursuing any progressive economic, social, or political changes for generations. Charles Koch and Americans for Prosperity are grinning from ear to ear, and so is Wall Street.

  7. Todd,

    “Is this supposed to be a “silver-lining” article about the courts returning to its roots of full Oligarchy power?”

    No. It’s about political reality. I understand your frustration. But why attack the rest of us because of your loss? That won’t accomplish anything.

  8. Here is what I read: “Quit lazily depending on the courts to do the right thing by our country’s values – that rug has been pulled out from under you by Trump’s appointments.”

    It is time for a DEM – led executive and congress to GOVERN “for the people” instead of for special interests and money. Those that choose to continue to do the latter; vote ’em out in 2022 and beyond.

    And for those ardent Trumpians…the clear message needs to be: “We are moving this country to “life, liberty and happiness ” for ALL -don’t like it? Move to Turkey, Poland, etc.

  9. Have liberals/Democrats depended too much on unelected federal judges enacting their favored policies, instead of going through the Democratic process? Absolutely. In the last several decades, liberals have preferred judges who went outside of the actual wording of the constitution and statutes, as well as the intent of those who drafted the provisions, to enact preferred liberal policies. But what happens when you have conservative judges who are the activists, enacting their preferred policy choices outside of the democratic process? I think we’re about to re-enter (we’ve been there before) that period.

  10. The problem I see is that, while the Democrats aren’t good about reading the history of the courts, they are even worse at retail politics. Nevertheless: Vote BLUE.

  11. John Sorg: Evolution, in the general sense of the word, means change and is observed in just about everything. I’m sure you accept that idea for most human-made artifacts, ideas and institutions, so I would like to know why you do not accept biological evolution? This form of evolution involves changes and diversification of the gene pool of populations over generations that are acted on by natural selection. The common structural denominator underlying all this is the DNA molecule, upon which is based all the life forms on earth (also the RNA molecule in some viral forms such as coronavirus). Many extinctions have happened in the earth’s history, and there have been periods of rapid diversification of species as well. The physical evolution of the earth has been a huge natural selective force on life forms. We don’t understand all of the mechanisms involved in evolutionary diversification (speciation), but the basic proposition (natural selection of favorable traits) put forth by Darwin and Wallace in the latter half of the 19th century has generally proven to be correct. Just my considered opinion.

  12. To be Clear: A Hypothesis a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation. A scientific hypothesis is not the same as a scientific theory.

    American Association for the Advancement of Science:

    A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world.

    The theory of biological evolution is more than “just a theory”. It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ theory of disease. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress. But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted fact.

  13. While some believe tht evolution asserts that a Creator does not exist, I do not believe that. What I see is that some creative force is at work very patiently and persistently. For me there is a Great Mystery that I cannot define and neither can science. Science answers the questions of how, what, where and when but cannot answer the question why. Why is the question that leads us to explore questions of ethics, meaning and purpose. It is the question that deepens our human nature.

    You are right Shiela, the courts have largely been conservative for most of America’s history. We have seen a lot of massive change in social issues since the 60’s. People on the right seem to be highly uncomfortable with these social changes. I heard RBG once say that the SCOTUS should have waited to give women a right to abortion longer, should have waited until more of the states would have given women the right to abortion. That’s what the court did with gay rights. They waited. Perhaps massive amounts of social change in a short period of time only leads to a conservative back lash because so many people are uncomfortable with change that pushes them out of their comfort zone.

  14. “…the Court has not been an agent of progressive change. Quite the contrary, it has been decidedly unkind to claims pressed on behalf of underrepresented minorities and the poor.”

    We are furthering the evidence that Oligarchs wrote our constitution for Oligarchy. The “We the people…” inclusion in our framing document is our first use of propaganda.

    We had slaves for how long in the south?

    Immigrant workers were also oppressed for generations until unions took hold to check the power of the Robber Barons. What has our political duopoly done to unions in this country?

    The Oligarchs have been waging war on progressive ideals for generations and have won battle after battle. They’ve won the war, but at what costs? They can pat themselves on the backs for using their economic power to become rulers once again while eliminating all checks and balances built along the way. But, at what costs?

    FDR saved the goose that laid the golden eggs, but capitalists still wanted more, and they’ve worked very hard to eliminate all barriers or tools to check their power. Those who don’t think our proposed supreme court makeup won’t decide in favor of the Oligarchy, you might want to keep your heads firmly planted in the sand.

  15. For sure the Liberals have relied on the courts to put forth various opinions that support the Liberal ideology. The Warren Court was the high water mark.

    During the late 1970’s and/or early 1980’s I read an article in one of my Left Wing magazines about the danger of the “Courts” leading the way. Essentially, what the court could do, it could be undone by a different court.

    The article went to the heart of the matter, that a Judge is a political lawyer, appointed by an elected official, approved by elected officials. The elected officials are subject to the voters as a design feature. Elected officials in days past and certainly today Must please their financiers so to speak. So it it is not a stretch that the financiers of elected officials would favor appointees that side the Oligarchy.

    The elected officials must also try to please the voters. So if a majority of the voters believe in No gay marriage, No abortions at all, No gun control, or approve of tax dollars collected to subsidize theocratic schools, then judges are selected to reflect these views.

    Let’s face it the Indiana Legislature in recent years would not have permitted “Gay Marriage”. The Tyranny of the Majority was something we became accustomed to having the Courts intervene against.

  16. Marv,
    the tea party stuff was a fallout from the anti tax movement in NoDak,gordon khal.. the violence was the downfall, but the same anti tax group,started the teabaggers..except they used the new social forums. dems, are as limp wristed as they come,schumer is a limp biscuit.pelosi is backed by a failed locale that wouldnt help its own. if the dens want to take off the gloves,then you would have to teach them how to punch a bag..ive been a life long dem/progressive with a trump like attitude,except im street raised,and dont mince words. ive got battle physical scars from street fights,and a soft hand for lifting someone up..the over run by social media has made any attempt to gather a momentum impossible,since that momentum is stuck like a worn tire in the mud..people are too lazy to read,when headline news was the new media word, everything else went into the garbage.. the cell phone has made you a chained, now gotta have it slave, and the boss knows what your doing on social media,you have allowed this,and hence,become the tagged group for direct confrontation with a algorithm.. we can focus on words and reason,,,to spread them,ya gotta get on the street,and make that march so big, that it overruns the medias hype on how its just another fringe element proposing,whatever that corprate media decides it is…the fact is, the monied factions in this country are next to making America their very own buisness..profits for them,economic salvery for the working class,backed by laws that will determine that the citizen will be a sole function for profit,,capitalizm, the new capitalizm 101.., the supreme court will become useless,and wall street will determine,in any way they want… rewrite the laws, and make the argument,for their greed, and whats to argue? sound far fetched? take a look at how the fair credit reporting act of 1984/86 and what has evolved,with computer info, freely given by the masse,privacy is not a guarantee, its invaded by laws to keep,your interests,fair game to anyone, any government. social media has taken up your time, algorrithms make you think outside the bubble ,and your a fringe element,looking to cause trouble.(make that a check for the DOD) i read opinions,journalism and follow people who write and have written for decades, they have atrack record,and if ya didnt notice,step out of line,and your dishonored..(mike daisy) those few journalists and few,outlets,are the last lines of keeping democary front and center.. now if you can figure out how to press abutton or two, and get some of these jackasses to read,ill follow the suit..
    best wishes Marv and all we are at the cross road, supreme whatever,and trumps free media bonanaza.. hes still spewing shit,and Biden is drowning in it, thanks to corprate media,and its paid for carney barkers..

    commondreams.org. story, read it,and rememeber 2016 and trimps,free press..
    “this is how you normalize a madman,scolars,press watchdogs call on corprate media to treat trump like the autoritarian threat he is..”

  17. Partly correct – historically, the Supremes have been a bunch of conservatives, except for a brief period of “Camelot” –

    Yes, “liberals” have ignored politics, hoping that the courts would protect them. That was stupid and would continue to be stupid, regardless of the makeup of the court.

    But (and Paul has noted this) – have we had a period in history were the Justices were appointed based upon being (1) unbending ideologues and (2) young –
    For two centuries we understood that a “well regulated militia” had a meaning going back to the Articles of Confederation and probably before, but the activists said that half of the second amendment is a comment or something – Corporations were created as legal fictions that exist at the sufferance of the state – now, they are people? Was stopping a recount in 2000 — I could go on

    So the courts have been historically conservative – historically graft was rampant, as it is in Trump’s America and is a fact of life in China – we hope for better – we even have a model – eight years of Obama – Do we accept another phrase that your grandmother probably also used, “gornisht helfen” – nothing helps – or do we echo Bobby Kennedy misquote of Shaw –

    There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?

    Why not a court that protects the “people” from the “bullies”, that pursues Justice
    We started this country proclaiming that “all men are created equal”, but didn’t come close to that ideal – slowly, we are getting closer – so too with the courts – maybe they can reach the ideal of equal justice –

    I still can dream

  18. After reading many of these statements regarding evolution I am positive that evolution has and is happening. And not always with the best results. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  19. No matter how we label our factions it seems to me that the most informative way is to accept that one side feels that they have had an entitled past and they are loath to leave it. Recreating it would bring it back and life in the future will be like life was in the past including their entitlements. The other side accepts that the past is not sustainable in the future. In what’s coming the culture we had is obsolete and a different culture is required for a different future which must be refocused on making our huge and growing population and average lifestyle sustainable.

    Those are very stark contrasts and are clearly not compatible. One side or the other will emerge as a majority and democracy will create government compatible with their views from above. We as a country are no longer able to talk it through and find a compromise.

    I personally don’t think that there is one. The human race is at a crossroads with one path leading as far as we can see into a future and the other path leading to a dead end of destruction.

  20. As as far as evolution is concerned the two sides are: decide based on evidence and science or decide based on faith which is what we each decide to assume in the absence of evidence that we are aware of and understand and accept.

    Personally I accept the scientific explanation as explained by “Big History”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqc9zX04DXs

  21. If you actually read the bible and don’t just isolate quotes [John actually reads], you will see everything you need to know is available to you. But, it is also available to criminals, racists, anti-semites, interlopers, grifters, all of the isms, autocrats, oligarchs….etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    ~This is a quote from the REAL Wizard of Oz.

  22. Robin,

    I have to agree that there some sort of intelligent design! Because, if things were just left to evolve from a one celled organism, then wouldn’t we all be identical? Because one cell organisms, especially the 1st one celled organism would have procreated by Mitosis, or asexual reproduction. Basically dividing itself making clones.

    Meosis or sexual reproduction, combines the DNA from 2 separate individuals, half and half so to speak. This is extremely complicated, much more complicated than Mitosis!

    We were told that we all came from a primordial soup, and is gave rise to amphibians and then dinosaurs! Now we learn that there was an extinction event before the dinosaurs, something that was unknown to science a few months ago. And, the scientists are the ones saying themselves, there has to be a new chart line concerning evolution!

    So, we can see that evolution evolves, it’s very malleable to incorporate any and all incompatible situations and events. The square peg can always fit into the round hole!

    Now that we are able to peer deeper into the universe, we realize that physics are not the same in different parts of this universe. It wasn’t so long ago that we were told by the scientists that proposed the Big Bang the universe is contracting and eventually it all will start over again. But now, they come to believe there is dark matter, dark energy, rogue galaxies emitting energies that are unknown, and the like. Including exactly what are black holes?

    So, science seems to really know a lot about what they don’t know, that doesn’t mean science is incorrect, science very often is correct! But science and scientists are not infallible.

  23. Lester,

    If, you have some knowledge that I’m not aware of, or a level of wisdom through your educational processes, please impart it to me! Read my comment to Robin!

    Evolution is one thing adaptation is something completely different! Evolution produces a new species from one specie. Adaptation changes certain characteristics of a specie to allow survival! In other words adaptation doesn’t make anything new.

    Mitosis versus Meosis is a biggie. Or, Asexual versus Sexual reproduction! The difference between these 2 forms of reproduction is like horse and buggy versus Star Trek! How would one evolve from the other? And, if, one was actually compatible with the other, considering the filth and depravity of humanity, there would be a lot of horse men and women, sheep men and women, and every sort of creature on the face of this planet would be able to mix with any other if it all was descended from the Mitosis form of procreation! But that doesn’t happen.

    We won’t even get into the amino acids and proteins that make up not only complicated single cell organisms but even more so in advanced lifeforms. The probabilities of all of these things happening by chance is really incalculable.

    So Lester, if you can explain these things to me, feel free! But I think I’ve mentioned this before and you seem mute, so your opinion to me is moot! But, everyone is free to believe what they like, no matter how unpalatable or nonsensical it may be, I think Robin hit the nail right on the head!

  24. Both physical evolution and adaption, natural selection, and human cultural progress result from random trials. Most experiments don’t have a future but some actually are better in environments that also constantly change out of our control.

    The collective effects of many tiny experiments by DNA occasionally are in total profound enough to result in a parallel new species competing with its predecessor and both survive.

    In the case of human cultural evolution we call that a gender gap.

    In both cases the old and new sometimes compete for “territory” or range.

    That’s what’s going on here and now.

  25. David,

    I can see your point! But, it’s not something that seems that could have possibly materialized by accident.

    Look at proteins, and look at complex proteins, these are made up of one many chains of amino acids linked by their peptide bonds! Scientists around the world have been attempting to produce life in the laboratory for over 100 years, and they’ve never come close! Every time the claim is made that there is a breakthrough, it falls flat on its face.

    Proteins are built as chains of amino acids, which then fold into unique three-dimensional shapes. Bonding within protein molecules helps stabilize their structure, and the final folded forms of proteins are well-adapted for their functions.

    These proteins that are formed by the innumerable chains of amino acids fold, eventually, they reach their final form and are stabilized. And, when you look at it, those thousands upon thousands of noncovalent bonds between the amino acids, (peptides and polypeptides) produce the functionality of the final forms concerning the proteins. Whatever they are to do, they are well equipped to do. Interestingly, proteins are part of the cellular cytoplasm, but, those substances necessary for the life of the cell which are not water-soluble are engulfed inside of the cytoplasm and not on the surface. All accidental? I’m not thinking so!

    Amino acids are very complicated, and those complicated amino acids have to form an even more complicated protein, and that complicated protein is responsible for the dissemination of cellular DNA. And since you are an extremely knowledgeable person, I can tell by what you written, you should know how difficult that is.

    Not only is the linking of all these amino acids by peptide bonds improbable by accident, because they have not been able to be duplicated in the laboratory for over 100 years, all of those amino acid chains forming proteins is equally improbable, and those proteins being able to function in and form cellular life is even more improbable! And, all of the single cellular life to move from Mitosis to Meiosis is even more improbable than any of the others!

    And, this newly discovered extinction event, which must make the evolutionary chain that we’ve had had in textbooks most of our lives, has to be changed also! Was there multiple extinction events? Absolutely! Were there new life forms from these extinction events on the planet, it seems so, it’s not against Scripture, so I don’t see a problem with that scenario. But, all of these things could not have kept happening by accident. The improbability is not even calculable! Intelligent design, yes! Order from chaos? Intelligent design would not allow chaos in the 1st place. Adaptation and evolution like I said earlier are 2 different things.

    Adaptation takes a specie and makes it more comfortable and its environment especially if that specie is spread across the globe.

    Evolution, makes and takes one specie and forms a completely new life form or specie. That, you cannot get from fossils! Intelligent design would did note using available materials on this planet, therefore lifeforms are made up of elements here! Hence, a similarity in cellular construct to a certain extent.

    Are there other lifeforms in the universe? Probably so, Scripture doesn’t speak against it, and those lifeforms might not be similar to ours. Those lifeforms probably will be created and nurtured on the planets which they exist, some might not be like ours at all.

    Scientists have faith that what they believe is correct! They have faith in things that they have not seen, they have faith in building a puzzle with 90% of its pieces missing. So, I have faith in what I see here and learn, we don’t see cross specie breeding. We don’t see cows and goats, giraffes and lions, and even the breeding of lions and tigers causes crippling maladies which lead to early death of those offspring. Coyotes and dogs? Wolves and coyotes? Those are all the same specie. Hence, their offspring. The same thing concerning different breeds of cattle. There are so many birds, but you don’t see chickens and turkeys producing offspring, nor Cardinals and Blue Jays, nor Eagles and Hawks, nor geese and ducks, anyway, you get the picture.

    But if we all came from one single cell organism, the easiest way for advancement would be giant single cell organisms procreating by Mitosis!

    This is my opinion, but, I believe it’s based in fact, and, I have the faith that my understanding is correct.

    But I could be wrong, we all could’ve been descended from some primordial soup, I just think that argument is lame and impractical.

  26. I apologize, I didn’t mean to get onto the subject of evolution, but, if one is to have any sort of credibility whatsoever, one should be able to support their own argument! Yes?

    But to the crux of the situation concerning Sheila’s article, the threat of expanding the court should have the same effect on the court that it did in the days of FDR.

    And a convention of states are a way to bypass the court system altogether and Congress if necessary. That’s the problem with letting the GOP have their way with state governments. You can’t to be 2 or 3 moves behind in a chess match and expect to win on a consistent basis. You need better chess players, or, make the other side play checkers with you!

    Thank you, and I apologize for my initial comment being so long, I was actually using my phone to dictate, while I was making breakfast for my father-in-law and giving him his shots and changing his adult underwear. I was a bit distracted.

  27. We are having this discussion because Mitch McConnell believes that if you accumulate enough power you make rules not based on anything other than gathering more power.

    Mitch represents the Republican culture well and we are rightly angry about where that culture inevitably ends up.

    We either end the power play now or live with the inevitable consequences for decades. It’s clear that we’ve seen the consequences already and we can’t afford them.

  28. I well remember the halycon days of the Brennan and Warren courts, and especially the Brown v. Board case. I was a senior in law shool at the time and we students has been waiting breathlessly for the court’s decision – which was great. It was the same year that I was justice of my law fraternity and (against alum pressure) initiated the first black student ever into the local chapter of our fraternity. The world didn’t end and Bob became a successful lawyer in Indianapolis.

    Trouble is, as Sheila suggests, cases such as Brown and Roe have been shorn of their holdings bit by bit so that their citations in cases today are virtually meaningless in view of subsequent cases hollowing out their central rationales. The answer in Roe is, of course, as Senator Warren suggests, a federal statute protecting the original finding and rationale therefor. The answer in Brown is more complicated given the local supervision of education nationwide (and with such as DeVos in charge), but a solution to discriminatory mistreatment of minority shools could be found which, for instance, through federal withholding of funding, for instance, depending upon whether black and other minority schools are being mistreated financially and otherwise by state and local school authorities in matters of funding, facilities, and other areas that deprive such students from first-class educational opportunities. Perhaps this could be done by policy decision rather than statute, but however, with Brown on the wane, we need a whole new look at education and race, by whatever means, and we can start with removing Trump (and thus DeVos) from positions of power come November 3 for these and myriad other reasons.

  29. Sheila –

    You may not be Nostradamus, but you’re the closest thing we’ve got. Please enlighten us on what we have to look forward to as the Supreme Court moves into the most antediluvian and troglodytic and ideological period in its history.

    John – You raise for me what has always been the world’s most interesting question: How can erudite people have minds that are half filled with drivel that cannot be substantiated except by saying: “That’s the way it is because that’s how I say it is. Full stop.”

  30. Terry, you might be right!

    I’ve been around long enough, I’ve always been a pretty uneducated lout but I do have some interest in certain things. Science is one.

    I’m grateful because I have a fairly decent memory so I retain what I read, I also enjoy the scientific magazines. I still have my first edition of omni magazine when it came out in the ’70s. Scientific american, popular science popular mechanics and the galaxy, I still read those magazines.

    I also like religion, I’ve read the Bible five or six times, both the old and new testament. I’ve read the Quran, I’ve read The Tevrat, The Incel, the targum of Jerusalem, and several others. One thing that’s interesting, a lot of these religious books from different times in history, have very identical specific ideas arrived at, from different sources. Of course, we have to realize that there are those of the religious ilk that are in it for self-glorification and material wealth. But that’s no different than scientists who sometimes see themselves as gods, and they’re in it for their notoriety,. Sometimes I don’t think either side is looking for the actual truth, because their stances are already staked out and they’re not going to change.

    So it’s up to everyone to make up their own minds, but conspiracy theories especially are something that are really out of bounds and should be identifiable by every single person on this planet. And, those type of things are really supposed to be against the freedom of speech in the first amendment.

  31. Irvin,
    I don’t think you have a clue to what Terry was referring to, and it must be a very miserable existence, waiting in the weeds to snipe!

    May I make a suggestion? learn something, anything, even if others don’t like it! Get knowledgeable about it, then, make your pitch. Don’t rely on everyone else, it’s not a good look.

  32. Actually Irvin,

    Since you’re so excitedly agreeing with his comment maybe you should enlighten me, after all, what do I know? Am I right? Then maybe you can enlighten me on your contributions to your fellow man! That way, you can stick the dagger in me! Maybe you could tell me about how compassionate you are or maybe empathetic! Previous racist comments that you have espoused kind of prove otherwise! It’s a shame that a person can be so miserable that they have to live in the past. My father fought in korea! He was also a member of the honor guard, guarding the American General in Germany. He also was a military policeman! I still have all of his medals, quite extensive I might add. So maybe you can enlighten me on your experience over there, I’d be curious! I’m sure you have amazing stories of heroic endeavors that would shock the average mortal.

    Although, I’m wondering what turned you into such a bitter and tagonistic old man?

    The diversity of my family gave me a different view of mankind and how to interact with them on this planet. And everyone is entitled to their opinion and beliefs, including you! But when those ideals come and direct conflict with the respect of someone else’s existence, that is really lonesome.

    Weather humankind evolved from some sort of primordial soup or was created by a superior intellect and authority, we are all from the same stock then regardless of your point of view. So why hate a piece of yourself?

    I feel sorry for you, you must have had a miserable existence, I’ve known Snipes before, and, they are truly loathsome people.

    So, you have a good night irving, maybe you should try saying your prayers?! You never know, someone might be listening! After all, I don’t think there are any atheists in the foxhole, at least that’s not the way my father nor my uncles expressed it.

  33. John to Irvin, “It’s a shame that a person can be so miserable that they have to live in the past. My father fought in korea! He was also a member of the honor guard, guarding the American General in Germany. He also was a military policeman! I still have all of his medals, quite extensive I might add.”

    Just in case it’s important to live in the past?

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