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[2020-11-22 00:56:05] <Lucifer_arma> Z-Man: all federal judges are lifetime appointees. State judges are different, because those are defined by the states. In Texas, we elect most, if not all, of our state judges. That has a different set of problems, of course, where criminal justice proceedings can be made based on public opinion rather than the rule of law
[2020-11-22 00:56:45] <Lucifer_arma> anyway, Mitch McConnell has managed to gain a huge amount of control over the judiciary nomination process to where he's been dictating who gets nominated and then running them through the senate and getting them confirmed.
[2020-11-22 00:57:17] <Lucifer_arma> He's been choosing partisan judges. The official source of the list is some Really Big right-wing think tank, the same people who same up with the three supreme court justices we got.
[2020-11-22 00:57:59] <Lucifer_arma> now, the lifetime appointments are supposed to protect the judges from partisan politics, but that doesn't matter if the person confirmed to the position is partisan for their own reasons
[2020-11-22 00:58:47] <Lucifer_arma> we've been shorthanded at the federal level for decades. Judges resign or die all the time, and if it's during a period where the senate is controlled by the opposition, they may or may not try to block those appointments
[2020-11-22 00:59:35] <Lucifer_arma> Going back to Clinton, the senate quit confirming lower-level judges after the sex scandal, and the republicans had already been fighting as hard as possible. When the dems took the senate under W, they responded in kind.
[2020-11-22 01:00:12] <Lucifer_arma> that particular little war extended into Obama's presidency, of course. Trump made the deal with the republicans that was basically "I'll give you the judges you want, and you support me."
[2020-11-22 01:00:44] <Lucifer_arma> Mitch McConnell did the math and figured he could use a couple of years to railroad through as many judges as possible, and he signaled this intent when he held open Scalia's seat back in 2016
[2020-11-22 01:01:34] <Lucifer_arma> the appellate judges have limited power, to the extent that the supreme court rides herd over all of them. Except the supreme court can only take a handful of cases a year, which gives the appellate courts a HUGE amount of power
[2020-11-22 01:02:01] <Lucifer_arma> it's balanced by the fact that an appellate court's opinion only serves a precedent in their district.
[2020-11-22 01:02:45] <Lucifer_arma> but really, the fight over the judiciary goes back to Reagen, and it's been pretty bloodthirsty and cutthroat, as far as such things go in a non-Roman empire
[2020-11-22 01:04:36] <Lucifer_arma> the way forward, of course, is to actually enlarge the supreme court. Do it in a way where you add enough seats to swing it liberal to spank the republicans for their so-called lame duck appointee views, and then add new justices every four years and let the elections pick the president that appoints them
[2020-11-22 01:05:30] <Lucifer_arma> a 27-person supreme court could then hear cases with a panel ranging in size from 3-9 justices, which would increase the throughput of cases the court can hear dramatically, and thus lessen the power of the subordinate courts
[2020-11-22 01:06:12] <Lucifer_arma> they could still choose big monumental cases to hear en banc, and then there'd be a 27 member court to hear it, and I don't need to tell you what that would do to the decision-making just mathematically
[2020-11-22 01:06:46] <Lucifer_arma> that would go a very long way towards taking partisan politics out of the federal courts
[2020-11-22 01:07:45] <Lucifer_arma> personally, I'd add a federal retirement age where all federal employees, including elected and appointed, have to retire at a certain age. There may be a way to do that without changing the constitution and still have it apply to the judiciary.
[2020-11-22 01:08:15] <Lucifer_arma> it would prevent individuals in their 70s from having too much individual power that they spend 50 years amassing by simply telling them to go home.
[2020-11-22 01:09:48] <Lucifer_arma> also, none of this even starts to address the money in politics issue. I'm definitely in favor of doing things that make our government better without addressing the money in politics issue because the money in politics is powerful enough to stop many efforts thrown directly at it
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[2020-11-22 11:18:51] <Z-Man> Lucifer_arma: before, had there been a understanding between Republicans and Democrats to appoint judges both sides could agree on?
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[2020-11-22 14:11:32] <ct|kyle> Lucifer_arma: yes, votes should have thr question as to weather we should remove judges from the highest court, I have that locally, also get to vote on them
[2020-11-22 14:47:40] <Z-Man> Huh, I don't know where our little judges come from. Lemme check.
[2020-11-22 14:49:26] <ct|kyle> in my county I can vote to appoint, but also so retain judges to our county level court. I think that would force it to be less partision, maybe. though thougth parties are stupic and very cult like anymore
[2020-11-22 15:02:47] <Z-Man> Maybe, but you still have the problem that the voters are polarized into two camps (with additional internal polarization...) in the US. In a direct vote, a centrist/moderate candidate probably still would not have much of a chance.
[2020-11-22 15:04:07] <ct|kyle> Ya, that's the big problem, they think there are and can only be 2 sides
[2020-11-22 15:04:16] <Z-Man> Found it. Normal judges are first just selected by their University grade at law school. Essentially, if you're a good enough student according to your profs, you can become a judge. After three to five years, if you haven't been removed for gross incompetence or anti-constitutional activity, you get to be judge for life.
[2020-11-22 15:05:52] <Z-Man> Half our supreme court members are elected by the Bundestag and Bundesrat, a 2/3 majority is required. Their terms are limited to 12 years or until they turn 68, about normal retirement age.
[2020-11-22 15:06:57] <Z-Man> Judges here have less actual power to establish politics, mind. Our laws tend to be very explicit and usually don't leave much room for interpretation, because Germany.
[2020-11-22 15:08:14] <Z-Man> Other European states rely even more on self-governing of the justice system, I read.
[2020-11-22 15:10:56] <Z-Man> Which in theory is vulnerable to a hostile takeover; imagine a sneaky authoritarian force swamping the law schools with students who study really hard and get the good grades and some get profs themselves so they effectively select the next generation of judges, while others just become judges. And blammo, four decades later you only have judges from that organization.
[2020-11-22 15:11:20] <Z-Man> Heh. Probably takes way more effort than they'd be willing to make :)
[2020-11-22 15:15:03] <ct|kyle> I just hope soon enough in the US no president will get the required 270 electorials
[2020-11-22 15:16:48] <ct|kyle> way too much Groupthink across the nation though
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