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What is the answer to Elizabeth Warren's question?


What is the answer to Elizabeth Warren's question?  

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As most of you know, Elizabeth Warren asked the following question at the impeachment trial:

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At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?

My hope for this thread is not to debate the impeachment, Trump, Democratic candidates or the appropriateness of the question.  I just want to focus on the question itself.  I suspect most Trump supporters will think it's a laughable question.  Liberals?  I'm not sure but my guess is many will think the answer is no.  

I think the answer is yes.  But I think it's an extremely complicated and interesting question.  The key part to me is what exactly "legitimacy" means here.

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Murkowski said it better than me: 

Murkowski said in her statement: “It has also become clear some of my colleagues intend to further politicize this process, and drag the Supreme Court into the fray, while attacking the Chief Justice. I will not stand for nor support that effort. We have already degraded this institution for partisan political benefit, and I will not enable those who wish to pull down another."

 

One of the republicans on the fence that the democrats hoped to turn in their favor.  This is a GREAT example of how the election will go.  An on the fence republican.  Someone who certainly is not all in on Donald Trump.  But the absurdity that is Russia, Ukraine, and this waste of time impeachment process has even driven her to distance herself from the democrats.

Your undecideds are leaving the party in droves.  

Edited by supermike80
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2 minutes ago, That one guy said:

Weird question...why wouldn’t it be the Senate causing/contributing to perceived lack of legitimacy?

How would the Senate cause a perceived lack of legitimacy in the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court? 

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2 minutes ago, JB Breakfast Club said:

She's making Robert's admit that he's running a sham trial. He hasn't been up to the task of acting on anything, choosing to be a potted plant in a robe instead. 

As a Warren supporter, it tells me she is ready to take on Trump's court if she wins.

We need a supreme court justice that doesnt follow the law.  Great point by America s mother in law.   I hope she wins  the nomination.  But she wont.

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Her question was offensive in the misinformation it implied.  She impugned a co-equal branch of government by the positing of the question.  She should be censored.  We need to reverse the course we are on and it does not help, never has, to sink to new lows with the promise that this will somehow get us to new heights.  She is more of the same malignancy which brought us Trump.  Is she as big of a lump, no, but same cancer.

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whether it should contribute to the loss of legitimacy isn't the same on whether it does in the public eye.  and i don't see how you can argue in terms of the latter that it doesn't, especially in terms of the Constitution.

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58 minutes ago, Mystery Achiever said:

This is not a real question. It is a pressure tactic to get CJ to intervene where most scholars believe he has no right. Plus some bonus campaign material, which was quickly tweeted. The Senate owns this.

yeah, i don't get it.

what standing does Roberts have to force them to call witnesses or introduce evidence?

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Is it a sham trial? Yes.  Would it be problematic for the CJ to intervene?  I'm no constitutional scholar, but it seems that he might be overstepping to make the senate do something it doesn't want to do but he wants it to do.

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1 minute ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

What's the problem that she's part of?

The burn-it-all-down/populist approach to governance.  Elizabeth Warren isn't stupid -- she knows perfectly well that Roberts was not in any position to override the Senate and require witnesses.  But she's happy to impugn the court because she sees it as politically expedient.

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1 hour ago, JB Breakfast Club said:

She's making Robert's admit that he's running a sham trial. He hasn't been up to the task of acting on anything, choosing to be a potted plant in a robe instead. 

As a Warren supporter, it tells me she is ready to take on Trump's court if she wins.

Warren is grandstanding for her campaign.   Smart move even if it fails.

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21 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

The burn-it-all-down/populist approach to governance.  Elizabeth Warren isn't stupid -- she knows perfectly well that Roberts was not in any position to override the Senate and require witnesses.  But she's happy to impugn the court because she sees it as politically expedient.

I don't read her question as saying that Roberts should have done anything differently.  I read it more as "the fact that Roberts has to preside over this ridiculousness diminishes him and our other institutions."  

In any case, in my view there is no hope of consensus any more.  Maybe I'm part of the problem too.  The only thing that will get this country moving in the right direction is the utter annihilation of the current Republican party.  

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57 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

I don't read her question as saying that Roberts should have done anything differently.  I read it more as "the fact that Roberts has to preside over this ridiculousness diminishes him and our other institutions."  

Okay.  I'll walk back my criticism of Warren on this one particular point if that's what she meant.  I haven't seen this reported anyplace and I'm going entirely off my own reading of the OP.

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1 hour ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

In any case, in my view there is no hope of consensus any more.  Maybe I'm part of the problem too.  The only thing that will get this country moving in the right direction is the utter annihilation of the current Republican party.  

I actually don't disagree with you on this point.  This incarnation of the Republican party should be burned to the ground and we should salt the earth where it once stood.  

Where you and I probably do disagree is that I don't think that implies a wholesale move to the left.  In the same way that Hillary's various shortcomings didn't justify Trump, Trump's shortcomings don't justify a lurch to somebody like Warren.  I know you start from a spot where you like Warren on the merits, but for folks like me this is a poor alternative.  

Edited by IvanKaramazov
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24 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I actually don't disagree with you on this point.  This incarnation of the Republican party should be burned to the ground and we should salt the earth where it once stood.  

Where you and I probably do disagree is that I don't think that implies a wholesale move to the left.  In the same way that Hillary's various shortcomings didn't justify Trump, Trump's shortcomings don't justify a lurch to somebody like Warren.  I know you start from a spot where you like Warren on the merits, but for folks like me this is a poor alternative.  

Unfortunately  for you.  Your version  of the Republican party is what got burned.

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Just now, quick-hands said:

Unfortunately  for you.  Your version  of the Republican party is what got burned.

Well, that's true.  I will concede that I have been wrong over and over about the Republican party.  I thought they would never nominate Trump.  I thought they would marginalize Trump or push him into normalcy, and I thought they would toss Trump overboard at the first reasonable opportunity to get back to business as usual.  Wrong on all counts.  You guys won.  I fully expect the 2024 GOP nominee to be a more eloquent alt-righter regardless of what happens in 2020. It's your party now.

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1 minute ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Well, that's true.  I will concede that I have been wrong over and over about the Republican party.  I thought they would never nominate Trump.  I thought they would marginalize Trump or push him into normalcy, and I thought they would toss Trump overboard at the first reasonable opportunity to get back to business as usual.  Wrong on all counts.  You guys won.  I fully expect the 2024 GOP nominee to be a more eloquent alt-righter regardless of what happens in 2020. It's your party now.

I dont love trump.  He drives me nuts.  I just despise  the socialist leftist  Dems.

 

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4 hours ago, Juxtatarot said:

I think the answer is yes.  

The answer is no.  Roberts isn't representing SCOTUS here - he's a mediator for the Senate proceeding.  The fact that we see this two faced argument is typical, but hypocritical.  She wants this run and treated as if it was a court proceeding, but if it was she and three others would surely need to recuse themselves as being intractably biased and not suitable to be a juror.  It's rich that she's the one positing this question.

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The most shameful episode in the history of American government since the end of Reconstruction, far worse than anything this President has done (and i believe he has violated RICO statutes every day of his term).

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1 hour ago, IvanKaramazov said:
2 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

I don't read her question as saying that Roberts should have done anything differently.  I read it more as "the fact that Roberts has to preside over this ridiculousness diminishes him and our other institutions."  

Okay.  I'll walk back my criticism of Warren on this one particular point if that's what she meant.  I haven't seen this reported anyplace and I'm going entirely off my own reading of the OP.

I'm pretty much with you on this one IK.....I read it like you did, but FG makes a reasonable case for a different interpretation.  Regardless, this circus has nothing to do with Roberts.  He's forced to stand in the center ring with the top hat on.  I am absolutely confident he'd rather be across the street hearing cases and working with his colleagues.  

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58 minutes ago, Sand said:

The answer is no.  Roberts isn't representing SCOTUS here - he's a mediator for the Senate proceeding.  The fact that we see this two faced argument is typical, but hypocritical.  She wants this run and treated as if it was a court proceeding, but if it was she and three others would surely need to recuse themselves as being intractably biased and not suitable to be a juror.  It's rich that she's the one positing this question.

Well, there are MANY that would need to recuse themselves if your standard is "intractably biased".  The rest I generally agree with.

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4 hours ago, JB Breakfast Club said:

She's making Robert's admit that he's running a sham trial. He hasn't been up to the task of acting on anything, choosing to be a potted plant in a robe instead. 

As a Warren supporter, it tells me she is ready to take on Trump's court if she wins.

😂 @ if she wins. She has the least chance of all running to win. 

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5 hours ago, Ditkaless Wonders said:

Her question was offensive in the misinformation it implied.  She impugned a co-equal branch of government by the positing of the question.  She should be censored.  We need to reverse the course we are on and it does not help, never has, to sink to new lows with the promise that this will somehow get us to new heights.  She is more of the same malignancy which brought us Trump.  Is she as big of a lump, no, but same cancer.

Right. It’s a terrible question. 

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5 hours ago, Ditkaless Wonders said:

Her question was offensive in the misinformation it implied.  She impugned a co-equal branch of government by the positing of the question.  She should be censored.  We need to reverse the course we are on and it does not help, never has, to sink to new lows with the promise that this will somehow get us to new heights.  She is more of the same malignancy which brought us Trump.  Is she as big of a lump, no, but same cancer.

Hopefully Warren will retract her statement.  I keep wondering if Trump has brought others down to his level?  Or were they always that way but now they have been outed.

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Substantively, it was a weird question. The Chief Justice really doesn't have much of a role in impeachment other than literally presiding: calling the trial to order, reading questions, etc. So it's odd to call Roberts out at all.

Politically, it was a disaster. The takeaway for every single Democrat from this past week should be a) it's more important than ever to defeat Trump this fall or else he will have managed to escape all accountability for his misconduct, and b) we must replace the cowardly Republican Senators who voted to protect him. Why in the world would you muddy the waters by dragging Roberts into it? 

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6 hours ago, supermike80 said:

Murkowski said it better than me: 

Murkowski said in her statement: “It has also become clear some of my colleagues intend to further politicize this process, and drag the Supreme Court into the fray, while attacking the Chief Justice. I will not stand for nor support that effort. We have already degraded this institution for partisan political benefit, and I will not enable those who wish to pull down another."

 

One of the republicans on the fence that the democrats hoped to turn in their favor.  This is a GREAT example of how the election will go.  An on the fence republican.  Someone who certainly is not all in on Donald Trump.  But the absurdity that is Russia, Ukraine, and this waste of time impeachment process has even driven her to distance herself from the democrats.

Your undecideds are leaving the party in droves.  

As can be seen in my previous post, I was no fan of Warren's question. But I'm getting a little tired of all the pearl clutching from moderates like Murkowski, acting like Democrats forced her hand by being so dern mean to her.

For one thing, I happen to believe it's all a load of crap: The fix was in, and minus a couple hall passes to Collins and Romney, the Republicans were never going to vote for witnesses or anything else the Dems were asking for. 

But let's say for the sake of argument that I'm being too cynical, and we should take Murkowski's words at face value. If so, she has admitted to being utterly morally bankrupt. Either she thinks Trump has committed an impeachable offense or not. If she doesn't, she shouldn't vote to prolong the trial, and the Dems' actions are irrelevant. But if she does, she's saying that she's so petty she's willing to sell out the Constitution just because the Dems were being mean to her.

I'm reminded of Barney Frank's quote when some Republican Congressmen initially voted against the 2008 emergency bank bailout, blaming their no votes on the speech Pelosi gave immediately before roll call:

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Give me those twelve people’s names, and I will go talk uncharacteristically nicely to them, and tell them what wonderful people they are, and maybe they’ll think about the country.

Anyway, you may be right that this will ultimately hurt the Democrats politically. I don't see it that way (and think the principle would be worth standing up for even if it did cost them), but neither of us can see the future. But when it comes to moderates and their feelings,  I'm not losing any sleep over their emotional well-being.

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When I heard it life, it was my belief she was making a point that she felt the CJ should step in. 

That OR if the vote on witnesses came up 50/50, she wanted him to step in.  

In any event, it was incredibly poor taste.

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The pearl clutching in here in the face of what we're seeing today is mind-blowing to me.

You better start fighting alongside the people actually willing to fight or sooner or later there won't be anyone left to join forces with.

Imagine a Trump 2nd term where he knows he's got 50+ Senators willing to [bannable] every time he tells them to, backed up by seven Republican judges on the Supreme Court?  What do you think he wouldn't do?

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2 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Imagine a Trump 2nd term where he knows he's got 50+ Senators willing to [bannable] every time he tells them to, backed up by seven Republican judges on the Supreme Court?  What do you think he wouldn't do?

Did you type "[bannable]" or did the moderators alter your post?

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1 minute ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Self-censoring FTW

OK, I thought so, but had to make sure. Because that would have been a new one for me. 

And yes, I agree that the past week has made obvious just how dramatic the stakes are for November. If we lose, that [bannable] [bannable] is going to royally [bannable] every one of us. He deserves to be [bannable] by his [bannable] until he [bannable].

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12 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

In any case, in my view there is no hope of consensus any more.  Maybe I'm part of the problem too.  The only thing that will get this country moving in the right direction is the utter annihilation of the current Republican party.  

Or wait 20 years as demographics change and young people continue abandoning the church.

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