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​ 🏛️ ​Official Supreme Court nomination thread - Amy Coney Barrett


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2 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:
16 hours ago, dawgtrails said:

These questions about faith and the law need to be asked. Because they sure as #### would be if there was an atheist or a muslim up for a seat

Could you expand on this a little?  It sounds like you're saying that its a good thing to probe nominees' religious views.  

Let's run with your example of a Muslim nominee.  Imagine somebody comparable to Amy Barrett -- solid educational pedigree, prestigious clerkship, by all accounts a good, distinguished law professor, etc. -- but who happens to be a devout Muslim.  This hypothetical nominee has never decided any cases that raise odd religious issues, has never written any law review articles about injecting religion into the law or anything like that.  He's just a Muslim who prays five times a day, fasts during Ramadan, abstains from alcohol and caffeine (legitimately disqualifying IMO but let's set that aside for now), took a pilgrimage to Mecca, etc.  Are you saying that it would be reasonable and proper for folks to worry that this person wants to impose Sharia law?  Or would you think that people who wring their hands over that issue were being a little xenophobic and weird?

Sharia law? No that is not reasonable at all. If they are a devout anything though, I think it is certainyl reasonable to ask them how their faith guides them in decision making in regards to the law.

 

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7 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Before an election, during the current president's term.

Garland was nominated in March 2016.  Before either party had even selected a candidate, let alone anywhere near close to "shortly before an election"

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3 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Maybe, but it seems kind of odd for somebody to say "In my imagination, Republicans were jerks to my hypothetical Muslim nominee.  Therefore, in real life I'm going to be a jerk to this actual flesh-and-blood nominee.:

Given where we currently are I don't agree that it's odd.  I'd label it unfortunate or maybe misguided.  We've collectively allowed ourselves to get to this point and we will collectively have to get ourselves out of it (if we can).

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3 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

"Ms. Barrett, can you rule impartially and keep your religious views separate from your legal reasoning?"

"Sure."

What more are you expecting? 

The only thing I would add would be to maybe give examples where it could be an issue.  Beyond that I'm willing to take her at her word but I see zero problem with asking it.  I mean what's the point in vetting at all if every question gets reduced to "will you be a good judge?"  I guess we could stop vetting altogether but until we do I think personal held views (religious or otherwise) are fair game to ask about to ensure a nominee can be impartial. 

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1 minute ago, AAABatteries said:

Given where we currently are I don't agree that it's odd.  I'd label it unfortunate or maybe misguided.

It's become standard: yes, we're being horrible, but as long as we project our own horribleness onto the other side as well, our horribleness is warranted as a matter of preemptive retaliation.

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3 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Well, that's actually not hypothetical.  Democrats did actually nominate a justice shortly before an election, and people like me argued that they were right to do so and that their justice should have been confirmed.

It's a mystery to me how you go from that, to "we should grill nominees about their religious beliefs."  Nominating justices when your part holds the presidency is good and a normal part of how the system is supposed to work.  Imposing religious litmus tests for nominees is bad.  These two things are not comparable, and we treat them very differently because they're ethically very different.  

This has always been my view, the President's term is not over until Inauguration Day.  Constitutionally Obama was doing his duty to nominate Garland.  I said it four plus years ago and stand by it now.  It's also Trump's to be able to nominate a choice.  

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2 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

It's become standard: yes, we're being horrible, but as long as we project our own horribleness onto the other side as well, our horribleness is warranted as a matter of preemptive retaliation.

I think there is an interesting discussion/debate to be had about at what point does "turn the other cheek" (my words) become counterproductive.  Probably best for another thread though.

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2 minutes ago, Shula-holic said:

This has always been my view, the President's term is not over until Inauguration Day.  Constitutionally Obama was doing his duty to nominate Garland.  I said it four plus years ago and stand by it now.  It's also Trump's to be able to nominate a choice.  

Same here.  I'm open to arguments in favor of treating post-election lame duck sessions differently, but not some arbitrary period before an election.

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6 minutes ago, Shula-holic said:

This has always been my view, the President's term is not over until Inauguration Day.  Constitutionally Obama was doing his duty to nominate Garland.  I said it four plus years ago and stand by it now.  It's also Trump's to be able to nominate a choice.  

There's a tweet for everything, so I'd wager Trump was vocal four years ago about how a new Justice should not be confirmed within 8 months of an election.

You and I may have been consistent on this point, but if Trump hasn't been, he should rightly be called out for his hypocrisy. McConnell too. And Graham. And basically all Republican politicians, really.

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4 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Same here.  I'm open to arguments in favor of treating post-election lame duck sessions differently, but not some arbitrary period before an election.

I think ultimately what folks are wanting (beyond their "team" "winning") is for things to be fair.  We all should know by now things in life aren't fair and we encounter hypocrisy all over the place.  I know I can be hypocritical about things.  When it's this blatant it can be offensive - it's especially offensive to somebody who is on the other side.  But none of that makes it incorrect/wrong - it just makes the one side #######s.

Edited by AAABatteries
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19 hours ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

None. The issue relevant to recusal isn't "whether a particular defendant will be put to death." The issue is whether I can be impartial. Do you not believe that #1 and #2 can be rather different in that regard?

Yes, it actually is the issue.  That's the whole point of the law review article I posted the abstract from that started the conversation.  The issue is that deciding someone will be put to death is, she argues, against the Catholic religion and she argues that it is something a Catholic judge should recuse herself from.  So, no, I don't believe they can be rather different in that regard.  I'm not sure why you think you think they can.

 

Quote

While mere identification of a judge as Catholic is not sufficient reason for recusal under federal law, the authors suggest that the moral impossibility of enforcing capital punishment in such cases as sentencing, enforcing jury recommendations, and affirming are in fact reasons for not participating.

 

Edited by Henry Ford
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3 hours ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

Affirming what? Affirming that capital punishment is constitutional, or affirming that the district court exercised its discretion properly in sentencing? I can't tell what the context is from the quoted abstract. Do you take issue with what I wrote here?

I take issue with the entire suggestion that an appellate judge or Supreme Court Justice in this country makes a determination about an abstract concept unrelated to a particular case.  There is no ivory tower in which the Supreme Court sits and decides on these issues as simple abstractions.  They're applied to cases.  

Yes, in a purely academic context I agree that for some people one question is easier than the other.  But not for everyone.  And it's a completely irrelevant point because there is no purely academic context in which a judge or justice will sit. If a judge affirms the lower court decision of capital punishment, a person is killed by the state.  That's the moral issue she has weighed in on.  Affirmation at all is an affirmation of a sentence of death.

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6 hours ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

There's a tweet for everything, so I'd wager Trump was vocal four years ago about how a new Justice should not be confirmed within 8 months of an election.

You and I may have been consistent on this point, but if Trump hasn't been, he should rightly be called out for his hypocrisy. McConnell too. And Graham. And basically all Republican politicians, really.

From my recollection McConnell said then that it hadn’t happened with the Senate being controlled in an election year by the opposing party. But we all know he would say whatever he needed to.
 

I don’t necessarily love Mitch McConnell. I personally wish he had handled that differently. I understand people being upset over it. But, do I think Chuck Schumer would have done the same if given the chance?  Absolutely.  
 

After all, McConnell’s current move is made possible from a rule change in the Senate pushed through for partisan reasons by former majority leader Harry Reid. The hyper partisan environment we are in may be worse today than before, but it has been building for quite some time. It hasn’t just appeared out of nowhere. It’s not a good thing but it’s where we are. Whether McConnell maintains control or Schumer takes over, its going to continue on. 

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18 hours ago, Shula-holic said:

From my recollection McConnell said then that it hadn’t happened with the Senate being controlled in an election year by the opposing party. But we all know he would say whatever he needed to.
 

I don’t necessarily love Mitch McConnell. I personally wish he had handled that differently. I understand people being upset over it. But, do I think Chuck Schumer would have done the same if given the chance?  Absolutely.  
 

After all, McConnell’s current move is made possible from a rule change in the Senate pushed through for partisan reasons by former majority leader Harry Reid. The hyper partisan environment we are in may be worse today than before, but it has been building for quite some time. It hasn’t just appeared out of nowhere. It’s not a good thing but it’s where we are. Whether McConnell maintains control or Schumer takes over, its going to continue on. 

No it isn't.  McConnell and the Republicans are the ones who changed the filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees, in 2017, for Gorsuch.

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1 hour ago, Henry Ford said:

No it isn't.  McConnell and the Republicans are the ones who changed the filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees, in 2017, for Gorsuch.

Yeah, but they knew that the Democrats would have done the same thing if given the opportunity, so that's why it's OK.

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21 hours ago, Henry Ford said:
On 9/30/2020 at 11:02 AM, Maurile Tremblay said:

Do you take issue with what I wrote here?

I take issue with the entire suggestion that an appellate judge or Supreme Court Justice in this country makes a determination about an abstract concept unrelated to a particular case. 

If you think I suggested that judicial decisions aren't rendered in the context of particular cases, you misunderstood what I wrote. I'm not sure whether I can explain it better, but I'll try a different angle.

I have a fictional friend named Lenny. A crime organization once tried to hire Lenny as a hit man, but he declined the position because he's morally opposed to murdering people.

Lenny subsequently accepted a position in the United States Air Force and flied some bombing missions in Iraq in accordance with his orders.

The guy who previously tried to hire him as a hit man was stunned. "You said you were opposed to murdering people!"

"I am. I don't see bombing missions as murder, but as collateral damage. I'm not trying to kill anyone in particular; I'm clumsily trying to uphold world order. I know that I'll end up killing people, and that's unfortunate, but that's part of the overall system of how countries prosecute important disputes, and it's an overall system I don't have a better alternative to. When it comes to assassinating someone as a hit man, though, there's an obviously better alternative: don't do it."

"Maybe in academia it makes sense to talk of collateral damage. But in the real world, every bombing mission in populated areas involves actual deaths. You can't separate the bombing from the deaths."

"I'm not saying that deaths won't occur, or that bombings are merely abstract occurrences divorced from real-world consequences. I'm saying that there's a big moral difference, to me anyway, between, on the one hand, participating dutifully in the overall system of prosecuting international conflicts (with unfortunate deaths as a side effect), and, on the other hand, murdering someone whose death is the intended effect. The overall system of prosecuting international conflicts -- and specifically prosecuting the current conflict in my own nation's favor -- is more important than avoiding however many deaths will occur in the process."

"I take issue with the suggestion that a soldier can do an abstract bombing unrelated to the deaths he causes."

"Let me offer an analogy. Suppose I were a judge and I had to make a ruling about whether there's a constitutional right to abortion."

"I have no idea where this is going."

"I'm pro-life, right? So I definitely don't want any fetuses to be aborted. If I were a doctor and someone tried to hire me to abort her fetus, I would decline. But I'm not a doctor in this analogy; I'm a judge. As a judge, my job isn't to abort anyone and I'm certainly not trying to cause the abortion of thousands of fetuses in my jurisdiction. If I find that the constitution forbids states from prohibiting abortion, and thousands of fetuses die as a consequence of my ruling, it's an unfortunate side effect. But what I'm really trying to do is to uphold the overall system of law in our constitutional democracy. That's more important than avoiding however many abortions might occur as a result."

"I'm not convinced that makes sense."

"Think of it this way. Just as a soldier follows orders from his commander as part of the overall process of protecting national security, a judge follows orders from the constitution as part of the overall process of protecting the rule of law. In both cases, collateral damage might result, but national security and the rule of law are more important in the grand scheme of things. I could intentionally misunderstand my commander's orders if I don't want bombing-related deaths to occur, and I could intentionally misread the constitution if I don't want abortions to occur, but both of those practices would be shortsighted. My personal morality does not require me to be shortsighted."

"Then I don't understand why you'd decline to perform an abortion as a doctor. Isn't that part of upholding the overall system of medicine? For that matter, isn't assassinating people part of the overall system of resolving interpersonal conflicts?"

"No, I think those things are different. I approve of the legal system as a whole, and I believe that the constitution should be followed even when I don't like a specific result. I can't opt out of just one part of following the constitution -- the whole point of the rule of law is that we don't get to pick and choose which constitutional provisions we give effect to based on our personal preferences. It's all or nothing, because if judges start ignoring constitutional provisions they don't like, the whole legal system falls apart. As a doctor, though, I can opt out of just performing abortions without making the whole system fall apart. If every doctor opted out of performing abortions, I would approve of the result. If every conflict-resolution-specialist opted out of doing assassinations, I would also approve of that result."

"You can't imagine any situation in which a judge should refuse to enforce an evil law?"

"I can, but that's not our current predicament in my analogy. We're not talking about an evil constitution that should be rebelled against. We're talking about a good constitution that may not be perfect, but throwing it out would be worse -- and lawlessly chipping away at it amounts to throwing it out. Similarly, I can imagine receiving military orders that should be disobeyed. But the bombing missions I was ordered to run were not in that category."

"So your personal morality would prevent you from assassinating someone but not from bombing innocent civilians?"

"If the civilians aren't the targets, yes, just like my morality would prevent me from personally performing or ordering an abortion on its own merits, but would not prevent me from acknowledging that abortions are legal. When I strike down restrictions on abortion, I understand that it will result in the deaths of specific fetuses -- but those fetuses are not targets."

"They're mere abstractions then?"

"They're not abstractions. They are individual human lives. I could never decide that their deaths are good in and of themselves. I could never decide that their deaths are deserved. If that were the question before me as a judge, I would have to recuse myself because I am unable to give a fair hearing to the pro-death position. But on the question of whether their deaths are legal, I can give an objective answer that is not unduly colored by my personal views. I can follow the normal test for deciding whether a law passes constitutional muster; whether I think a particular fetus's death is good or is deserved is not a prong of that test."

"And if you were judging a capital murder case? Affirming that a defendant deserves the death penalty is like being a hit man while affirming that the death penalty is constitutionally permissible is like being a soldier?"

"Something like that."

"Sounds dumb."

"Sorry."

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On 9/30/2020 at 8:17 AM, sho nuff said:

IF the person had never showed one single notion of imposing sharia law?  Had not been a part of some fringe group that pushes or supports it?  No...I would not find that reasonable.

The same generic questions about putting faith above the law that we are discussing for ACB is what I am getting at.  I think people are raising the issue because of the group she is associated with.

This is not dissimilar to when JFK was running and they were questioning him on whether or not the Pope would have influence over his decisions because he was Catholic.

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On 9/29/2020 at 1:09 PM, gianmarco said:

In general, along with discussing politics, I dislike discussing religion even more.  I hate how married the two have become with one another.  And, while I might be mistaken, the biggest reason for that is the entire pro-life vs. pro-choice stance.  For many, many Christians, it's the single biggest issue that determines who they vote for.  And the reason I have such a big problem with it, even though I understand why they are choosing how they choose, is summed in in the following quote almost 20 years ago from a Benedictine Nun:

"I do not believe that just because you are opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, a child educated, a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."

For me, claiming to be pro-life/anti-abortion yet still endorsing policies that don't support families, education, and generally "pro-life" things for people who are actually living on the planet and in need is a hypocritical stance to take.  So when those politicians/lawmakers who are Christian are supporting policies such as separating families through deportation or denying healthcare to those who need it the most or any other number of things that generally don't jive with the true idea of "pro-life" are the ones that Christians are voting in, I similarly have a hard time believing they are truly following Christian ideals in being pro-life.  I find it to be the exact opposite.

ETA -- Here's a link to her quote and further comments on it

So the compassionate solution to children who MIGHT lack food, education or housing is to terminate the life?  

I am both pro-choice and anti-abortion.  I just believe that a women's choice occurs PRIOR TO conception.  Once there is another lifeform growing inside of her, whatever you want to call that lifeform, it has an unalienable right to life.  

 

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On 9/30/2020 at 11:46 AM, Maurile Tremblay said:

There's a tweet for everything, so I'd wager Trump was vocal four years ago about how a new Justice should not be confirmed within 8 months of an election.

You and I may have been consistent on this point, but if Trump hasn't been, he should rightly be called out for his hypocrisy. McConnell too. And Graham. And basically all Republican politicians, really.

Funny that you single out Republicans.  THEY'RE ALL HYPOCRITS.  Whatever positions best suits their side is the position that they take on the given subject.  

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1 hour ago, The Z Machine said:

Yeah, but they knew that the Democrats would have done the same thing if given the opportunity, so that's why it's OK.

For the millionth time, getting rid of the filibuster is good.  It was good when Reid got rid of it for lower-level judicial appointments.  It was good when McConnell got rid of it for SCOTUS appointments.  It will be good when the next senate gets rid of the legislative filibuster.  

Most of the norm-breaking that has taken place during confirmation fights has been bad.  Dialing back the filibuster has been the main exception.  (Getting rid of "blue slips" was also a good step).

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2 hours ago, Henry Ford said:

No it isn't.  McConnell and the Republicans are the ones who changed the filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees, in 2017, for Gorsuch.

Yeah Harry Reid just did it for all other executive branch nominees so let’s blame McConnell. At least be intellectually honest here. 

Edited by Shula-holic
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34 minutes ago, Snotbubbles said:

I am both pro-choice and anti-abortion.  I just believe that a women's choice occurs PRIOR TO conception.  

Then you aren't pro-choice. Since that isn't a reality.

And again, the compassionate solution if you are pro-life is to REALLY be pro-life and help those in need that are actually alive and present.  When you aren't willing to commit tax dollars there, then you aren't pro-life.  Turning that around to describe your "compassionate solution" is obfuscating from the idea that those claiming to be pro-life don't back that up by their treatment of those in need.

Edited by gianmarco
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11 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Then you aren't pro-choice. Since that isn't a reality.

And again, the compassionate solution if you are pro-life is to REALLY be pro-life and help those in need that are actually alive and present.  When you aren't willing to commit tax dollars there, then you aren't pro-life.  Turning that around to describe your "compassionate solution" is obfuscating from the idea that those claiming to be pro-life don't back that up by their treatment of those in need.

This argument has all the same intellectual force as "You're not really pro-choice because you're not giving the unborn child a choice in whether they're aborted or not."  It makes two fundamental mistakes:

1) You're taking a little political label that people use for convenient shorthand (pro-life/pro-choice) and trying to read into it a bunch of stuff that the speaker himself doesn't intend.  That's obviously an invalid move.  

2) You're conflating two different issues that nearly everyone sees as being distinct (whether a fetus has rights that merit protection / whether income can justly be redistributed).  There's no particular reason why a person couldn't reason their way to all four different combinations on those without making any obvious logical errors.

Edited by IvanKaramazov
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15 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

This argument has all the same intellectual force as "You're not really pro-choice because you're not giving the unborn child a choice in whether they're aborted or not."  It makes two fundamental mistakes:

1) You're taking a little political label that people use for convenient shorthand (pro-life/pro-choice) and trying to read into it a bunch of stuff that the speaker himself doesn't intend.  That's obviously an invalid move.  

2) You're conflating two different issues that nearly everyone sees as being distinct (whether a fetus has rights that merit protection / whether income can justly be redistributed).  There's no particular reason why a person couldn't reason their way to all four different combinations on those without making any obvious logical errors.

I don't view them as fundamental mistakes. I respect your opinion on that but disagree. 

I find the political position to support candidates that are "pro-life" that also do not support services to help disadvantaged children inconsistent and hypocritical. You can separate the issues if you'd like. I do not. Reread the quote I posted as I agree completely with it. 

You can find that argument "bad".  I don't.

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22 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

This argument has all the same intellectual force as "You're not really pro-choice because you're not giving the unborn child a choice in whether they're aborted or not."  It makes two fundamental mistakes:

1) You're taking a little political label that people use for convenient shorthand (pro-life/pro-choice) and trying to read into it a bunch of stuff that the speaker himself doesn't intend.  That's obviously an invalid move.  

2) You're conflating two different issues that nearly everyone sees as being distinct (whether a fetus has rights that merit protection / whether income can justly be redistributed).  There's no particular reason why a person couldn't reason their way to all four different combinations on those without making any obvious logical errors.

How does society effectively get involved into protecting the life of a fetus without redistributing income to that cause?

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50 minutes ago, Shula-holic said:

Yeah Harry Reid just did it for all other executive branch nominees so let’s blame McConnell. At least be intellectually honest here. 

I mean, if we are being intellectually honest here then you need to lay the blame at McConnell's feet who filibustered everything, then once in the majority, prevented anything from going through. Now, he is planning to seat a justice in an election year. Let's not lay this at the Dem's feet. 

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25 minutes ago, rcam said:

I mean, if we are being intellectually honest here then you need to lay the blame at McConnell's feet who filibustered everything, then once in the majority, prevented anything from going through. Now, he is planning to seat a justice in an election year. Let's not lay this at the Dem's feet. 

Sounds like McConnell is the hero in this story.  By your telling, he forced the Democrats into abandoning the filibuster when they were in charge, he whittled it down even further when he had the chance to do so, and he's set the stage for it to be abolished altogether in the near future.  Good for him.  

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"Pro-life" means opposing legal access to abortion.

"Pro-choice" means supporting legal access to abortion.

Neither term implies any position regarding tax policy, gun control, term limits, farm subsidies, border security, campaign finance reform, fracking, prison overcrowding, military spending, or infrastructure.

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On 9/29/2020 at 11:57 AM, Joe Bryant said:

Christians can be some of the worst when it comes to fighting amongst themselves. Super discouraging. And why I said I have no interest in going down that path here. 

Matter of perspective as to what some of the worst means. 

I have a business colleague I've known for many years that spent the first 2/3 of his life in Pakistan.    Sunni killing of Shiite is very real thing.    Shiite killings of Sunni is a very real thing.    These things have impacted his family in dramatic ways. 

I'm trying to recall the last time there was a significant religion inspired slaying of Presbyterians by Baptists.   Or bombing of the homes of Methodists by overly devout Catholics.  

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9 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

"Pro-life" means opposing legal access to abortion.

"Pro-choice" means supporting legal access to abortion.

Neither term implies any position regarding tax policy, gun control, term limits, farm subsidies, border security, campaign finance reform, fracking, prison overcrowding, military spending, or infrastructure.

That's what it has come to mean in a political sense.

But the actual words "pro-life" just aren't appropriate, IMO, when the policies the same group typically are in favor of do not support the well-being of those lives. Whether that's through lack of funding for basic needs like food and housing or by policies that tear apart those lives from their families, the term "Pro-birth" seems more applicable.

Especially when viewed in the context of being a Christian position when these other policies from the same politicians aren't very Christian. That's the hypocrisy for me.

And while I understand they are separate issues, they typically go together from a political standpoint.

I just wish those that so vehemently protest at abortion clinics the "right to life" would similarly vehemently oppose children going hungry in this country, for example.

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29 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Sounds like McConnell is the hero in this story.  By your telling, he forced the Democrats into abandoning the filibuster when they were in charge, he whittled it down even further when he had the chance to do so, and he's set the stage for it to be abolished altogether in the near future.  Good for him.  

I think by abolishing the filibuster, we step even further toward a minority party holding legislature hostage.  The GOP could conceivably hold the Senate with 35% of the population voting for their POTUS and House candidates.  I don't think that's a good situation as the will of the people would very much be thwarted by this minority.  At least with the filibuster, they were forced to work across the aisle (sometimes) in the Senate.

Look, just s-can the whole thing, make it a unicameral parliament with multi-rep districts and a prime minister and be done with it.

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2 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

I think by abolishing the filibuster, we step even further toward a minority party holding legislature hostage.  The GOP could conceivably hold the Senate with 35% of the population voting for their POTUS and House candidates.  I don't think that's a good situation as the will of the people would very much be thwarted by this minority.  At least with the filibuster, they were forced to work across the aisle (sometimes) in the Senate.

Look, just s-can the whole thing, make it a unicameral parliament with multi-rep districts and a prime minister and be done with it.

So just to be clear, if the Democrats win the senate, you will be opposed to any further filibuster reform?

I'm genuinely surprised that you and I disagree on this one.

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1 minute ago, gianmarco said:

But the actual words "pro-life" just aren't appropriate, IMO, when the policies the same group typically are in favor of do not support the well-being of those lives.

No political labels are etymologically impeccable, but we still need them as shorthand. Are "pro-choice" people in favor of letting corporations choose how much pollution to dump in the pond? I guess they're not really pro-choice then. Except of course that's not what "pro-choice" means. It's short-hand for a position on abortion, that's all.

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I don't link to Vox very often, but I think this article does a pretty good job of breaking down most arguments in favor of the filibuster.  I'm not a majoritarian.  I support the bill of rights, bicameralism, the presidential veto, and judicial review.  But I also think the new filibuster -- where everything just automatically takes 60 votes to get through the senate -- is taking counter-majoritarianism too far.  

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11 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

Look, just s-can the whole thing, make it a unicameral parliament with multi-rep districts and a prime minister and be done with it.

It would probably take a violent revolution, which may be more trouble than it's worth and may not end up the way we want anyway. But if we had a magic wand, switching to a parliament seems like a good idea.

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26 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

That's what it has come to mean in a political sense.

But the actual words "pro-life" just aren't appropriate, IMO, when the policies the same group typically are in favor of do not support the well-being of those lives. Whether that's through lack of funding for basic needs like food and housing or by policies that tear apart those lives from their families, the term "Pro-birth" seems more applicable.

Especially when viewed in the context of being a Christian position when these other policies from the same politicians aren't very Christian. That's the hypocrisy for me.

And while I understand they are separate issues, they typically go together from a political standpoint.

I just wish those that so vehemently protest at abortion clinics the "right to life" would similarly vehemently oppose children going hungry in this country, for example.

You are upset with something called Cause Branding.  They made a smart choice (pun) and it stuck.  There are plenty of example of this from both sides to get upset about. 

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