Here’s a Facebook post from a friend with a tenured humanities professorship:
From my [Harvard] law prof friend Bruce Hay:
Stop despairing. When we take back control of Congress and the White House we can increase the number of judgeships at all levels of the federal judiciary, to offset the rump appointments of this Putin-puppet regime.
That sounds like a crazy idea now. It won’t in a year or two.
It’s the only way to restore some semblance of democracy to a country ruled by a corrupt oligarchy bent on using the courts to entrench itself.
Having already been defriended by a sufficient quantity of the virtuous this weekend, I decided not to respond with “Since you speak Russian, would you mind calling up Putin and finding out which judge he will select to be the next Supreme Court nominee?”
[What was the source of the weekend defriending? I noticed that a bunch of my proudly feminist (male) friends had singled out Senator Susan Collins as a “blowhard,” “traitor,” or “idiot.” The male senators who voted to confirm the convicted-by-Facebook rapist did not spark their ire. To these woke guys’ complaints regarding Senator Collins, I responded with “You are suggesting that she needs a man to tell her how to think and talk?”]
Separately, having grown up in the D.C. area, eventually it transpired that we had a family friend who had gone to Yale Law School and worked on the law review (Yale Law Journal) with Kavanaugh. Though a moderately virtuous Democrat, this person and Yale-grad spouse had nothing but praise for the reviled Kavanaugh and thought that he would do a great job as a Justice. They didn’t recognize the gang rape party organizer portrait of him that Julie Swetnick painted, for example.
I’m still kind of confused as to why Democrats are against the idea of a conservative federal government-limiting Supreme Court. Now that Democrats have mostly sorted themselves into Democrat-governed states, such as California and New York, why wouldn’t they be happy with a smaller role for the evil Trump-led Federal government? It would be a shame, perhaps, for the handful of virtuous Democrats remaining in Georgia or Texas, that the Great Father in Washington wouldn’t swoop in and save them from their Republican overlords. But residents of California would be able to enjoy Democrat-organized government programs to their hearts’ content.
What are ordinary folks (not law school professors) saying on Facebook? Here are a few from my feed:
… while this moral circus plunges American politics to new lows, climate change and global biodiversity loss during this critical moment continued to be thrust into the background. Honestly, at what point should there be a revolt? How bad do things need to get??
Maybe this is the final insult, after decades (centuries!) of injustice that wakes enough people up to the reality of how we are living? … maybe, finally enough people will begin to understand that the system is rigged, that injustice is built in, and that you have to take greedy, power hungry fossil fools at their word, and hence they need to be dethroned, not empowered! Down with Kavanaugh, down with Trump, down with every single senator who votes yes for this travesty, and let’s go elect ourselves a brand new congress next month!
We are doomed… I have lost all faith. More really bad stuff is on the way.
I checked the feeds of the ones who explicitly said that they were thinking globally. None of them had mentioned the recent tsunami that killed at least 1,600 people and rendered more than 70,000 homeless (see “In case you missed it: Catastrophic Indonesia earthquake, tsunami kill over 1,600”)
- “The only thing standing between Trump and authoritarianism: the supreme court” (Guardian, February 2017), co-authored by Bruce Hay: “Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the US supreme court will deliver the final branch of government into Donald Trump’s grasp, and usher in an era of one-party rule. … If the Democrats in the Senate do not fight tooth and nail the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, they will betray millions of Americans who may be stripped of their equal rights for decades to come.”
- “Why Democrats Should Oppose Neil Gorsuch” (nytimes, January 31, 2017): “The change is terribly damaging for the country’s political system. … they should associate him with a constitutionally damaging power grab. … The presumption should be that Gorsuch does not deserve confirmation, because the process that led to his nomination was illegitimate.”
- “Democrats Go to War Over Neil Gorsuch” (Atlantic, March 30, 2017): “Several members of the Judiciary Committee took issue with his performance at his hearings last week, which they found evasive and condescending, if not overly controversial. And others have called for the vote to be put off until the investigations of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia have been completed, warning that a president whose legitimacy might be tainted should not get a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court.”
- “Harvard Faculty Donate to Democrats by Wide Margin” (Crimson): “Each of Harvard’s schools leaned to the left in the contributions made by their affiliates, many by wide margins. Ninety-six percent of donations in the data set from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which includes Harvard College, supported Democratic efforts. That figure was even higher—nearly 98 percent—at Harvard Law School.”