Slate Writer: Republicans Furious After Scalia’s Death Ruined Their Plan to ‘Screw’ and ‘Destroy’ Obama

Eight Is Enough was a popular television series in the late 1970s and early ’80s. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick hinted in a Saturday article that a show about Republicans’ sour attitude toward the current Supreme Court situation might be called Eight’s Not Enough, with the key role played in absentia by Antonin Scalia.

Lithwick theorized that for Republicans, “the 2016 term was meant to be the Supreme Court’s year to destroy Obama…Had [Scalia] lived until July the docket was full of poisoned pills and silent time bombs that would have exploded in President Obama’s face this summer…GOP senators aren’t just angry about losing Justice Scalia’s seat. They are angry because the court as the weapon of choice to screw the president has been taken from them, and they want it back.”

From Lithwick’s piece (bolding added):

Fights about the Supreme Court are not simply about what is or what may be, but also about what could have been…The borking of Robert Bork…explains the extent to which seating [Clarence] Thomas—even if it meant destroying [Anita] Hill—became a Republican priority. In [Republicans’] view, that seat belonged to Bork and it was stolen.

This same coulda, shoulda imperative is crucial for understanding the derangement that simmers beneath the GOP obstruction of hearings for Merrick Garland…What should have been, for Senate Republicans, is quite simple: The 2016 term was meant to be the Supreme Court’s year to destroy Obama…

…If Antonin Scalia had lived until July the docket was full of poisoned pills and silent time bombs that would have exploded in President Obama’s face this summer…GOP senators aren’t just angry about losing Justice Scalia’s seat. They are angry because the court as the weapon of choice to screw the president has been taken from them, and they want it back.

[The immigration case] United States v. Texas…is Exhibit A for this proposition…

Most of what you need to know about the challenge to Obama’s executive actions here is that…it is not really in grievous doubt that the president is allowed to do what he did. Even the opponents to his actions concede much of that…

Because Chief Justice John Roberts has…doggedly guard[ed] the courthouse doors from frivolous plaintiffs bringing silly suits…supporters of Obama’s executive actions are counting on him to stand firm on the principle that hating the president really, really hard is maybe not sufficient reason to confer standing to the plaintiffs here…

…This entire term was intended to do away with Obama’s immigration action, and Obama’s climate action, and “one person one vote,” and public-sector unions, and the right to choose, and Obama’s birth-control subsidy, [but] that isn’t going to happen. Moreover, with Roberts now tasked with making sure that the court looks like the branch of government that isn’t in need of a diaper change, the term will surely play out with quiet dignity, where it once might have been a GOP romp.

Judiciary Garland Nomination Congress Immigration Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Slate Texas History U.S. Supreme Court Dahlia Lithwick John Roberts (Justice) Barack Obama Antonin Scalia


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