Monday, December 9, 2013

Elsewhere: SCOTUS, ALEC, ACA, more

I did a radio spot on KPCC today on the question of whether Justices should retire strategically or not, and also on term limits for SCOTUS. I'm still ambivalent on the latter; I think the last time I wrote about it I bailed by saying that since staggered 18 year terms aren't going to happen, I don't need a position on it. On balance, I think I'm perhaps a bit more for than against, but I'm really undecided. On the main point, however, I think it's pretty clear that if older justices want to preserve the principles they believe in during a time of strong partisan polarization, then they should retire strategically. Which means Ginsburg and Breyer should retire now -- if they care about what they've worked for, as oppose to caring about doing the work. If you want to listen, the link will be here when they post it.

Other recent ones:

ALEC and democracy

No, a Republican president won’t sabotage Obamacare. Well, mostly not.

One more time: The bottom line on government-funding deadlines

Obamacare and 2014


  1. The other advantage of term limits is there will be a lot more retired Justices tooling around, and looking at O'Connor, they can make themselves useful in one form or another.

  2. Re ALEC and your point about funding government staff: I've watched the capabilities of government be systematically starved since Reagan, and so domination by monied interests is not only no surprise--it was always part of the point. The rhetoric was always false, to motivate the gulls who may actually believe government is always the enemy while monied corporations and people are the gods and artistes of our society.

    Beyond the trends and intent there are problems to solve. State legislatures and governments are peculiarly (and traditionally) sites for corruption, so care must be taken that more money for staff etc. doesn't end up in personal pockets. But the fact of it: that legislators must depend on bills written for them by business interests, is about as clear a sign of the decaying of democracy as any out there. Decaying as in decadence.


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