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Title: The GOP Is Serious About Impeaching P.A. Judges for Reversing Their Gerrymander
Source: New York Magazine
URL Source: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligence ... out-impeaching-p-a-judges.html
Published: Feb 22, 2018
Author: By Ed Kilgore
Post Date: 2018-02-22 21:05:54 by Gatlin
Keywords: None
Views: 142
Comments: 6

When a Pennsylvania Republican legislator responded to the invalidation by his state’s Supreme Court of the congressional map he and his colleagues had fashioned by introducing articles of impeachment of the five justices involved, nobody was terribly surprised, even though Cris Dush’s argument that the court was defying the sovereignty of God was a bit exotic.

And when Republican U.S. representative Ryan Costello joined the impeachment parade, that, too was predictable: The new congressional map made his relatively safe district highly competitive. Of course he’d respond to this existential threat to his career with every weapon imaginable.

But now the impeachment talk is getting serious, as the Hill reports:

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey (R) called for a “conversation” about impeaching state Supreme Court justices over their new congressional map, which both parties say will benefit Democrats.

At a press conference, Toomey said it was “inevitable” that state lawmakers would consider impeachment over the redrawing of the state’s new congressional maps, which he called a “power grab” by state Democrats.

Actually, to be more precise, Toomey called it a “blatant, unconstitutional, partisan power grab,” and while he didn’t say that it rose to the level of an impeachable offense, it sure sounds like it would were it true.

At the very least, it’s time to figure out if Republicans have the power to reshape the Pennsylvania Supreme Court if they apply to the task the kind of unity they have exhibited in their impressively partisan gerrymandering efforts. The answer is probably yes.

Under Pennsylvania’s constitution, elected officials can be impeached by a majority of the state House and a two-thirds supermajority of the state Senate. Thanks in so small part to the kind of gerrymandering that gave them 13 of 18 congressional seats with a bare majority of popular votes, the GOP has the necessary margins in both legislative chambers.

The bigger question is what happens if the dog catches this particular bus and the five Democratic justices are removed from office. The governor, who happens to be a Democrat, fills vacancies in the state courts. But the governor’s nominees must be confirmed by a two-thirds vote in the state Senate. So Pennsylvania Republicans could be looking down the barrel of a stalemate or even a constitutional crisis that leaves the state’s highest court without a majority of its judges.

Perhaps the impeachment talk is a negotiating ploy, or even an act of intimidation to encourage the five Supreme Court justices to think twice before applying the principles it used to redraw the congressional map to the legislative maps that have perpetuated GOP control. But Republicans really ought to think about how this will come across in the court of public opinion. Sure, their “base” voters are always open to efforts to curb the influence of “activist judges” (so long as the activism in question isn’t of the right-wing variety). But do they really want to go to the mats — and to the electorate —over the claim that they have some sort of divine right to representation in Washington or in Harrisburg that vastly exceeds their share of the statewide vote?

It’s a good question.

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#1. To: Gatlin (#0)

There's something to be said about the parliamentary style of government. All these voting district issues go away.

Pinguinite  posted on  2018-02-23   0:05:40 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: Pinguinite (#1)


As I remember, some military officers were given a couple weeks to set up a government in Japan at the end of the war. They went for the English parliamentary style of government instead of using the American style of government.

Gatlin  posted on  2018-02-23   5:33:33 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: Gatlin (#2) (Edited)

As I remember, some military officers were given a couple weeks to set up a government in Japan at the end of the war. They went for the English parliamentary style of government instead of using the American style of government.

And one party held power for over 60 years, dominating government for 57 years out of the last 62.

Comparable to the shining example of Mexico's democracy.

One-party "democracies" aren't exactly democratic.

The LDP has near continuously been in power since its foundation in 1955, with the exception of a period between 1993 and 1994, and again from 2009 to 2012. In the 2012 election it regained control of government. It holds 291 seats in the lower house and 121 seats in the upper house, with the Komeito the governing coalition has the supermajority in both houses. Prime Minister ShinzM Abe and many present and former LDP ministers are also known members of Nippon Kaigi, a monarchist and negationist organization.[12]

That negationism they mention:

The post-war minimisation of the war crimes of Japanese imperialism is an example of "illegitimate" historical revisionism;[32] some contemporary Japanese revisionists, such as Yuko Iwanami (granddaughter of General Hideki Tojo), propose that Japan's invasion of China, and World War II, itself, were justified reactions to racist Western imperialism of the time.[33] On 2 March 2007, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe denied that the military had forced women into sexual slavery during the war, saying, "The fact is, there is no evidence to prove there was coercion". Before he spoke, some Liberal Democratic Party legislators also sought to revise Yohei Kono's apology to former comfort women in 1993;[34] likewise, there was the controversial negation of the six-week Nanking Massacre in 1937–1938.[35]

Shinzo Abe led the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform and headed the Diet antenna of Nippon Kaigi, two openly revisionist groups denying Japanese war crimes.

Editor-in-chief of the conservative Yomiuri Shimbun Tsuneo Watanabe criticized the Yasukuni Shrine as a bastion of revisionism: "The Yasukuni Shrine runs a museum where they show items in order to encourage and worship militarism. It's wrong for the prime minister to visit such a place".[36] Other critics[who?] note that men, who would contemporarily be perceived as "Korean" and "Chinese", are enshrined for the military actions they effected as Japanese Imperial subjects.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-02-23   9:50:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: Tooconservative (#3)

One-party "democracies" aren't exactly democratic.

And of course our two-party system is really democratic...when the Freedom Caucus with the 30 members it will not name is definitely democratic....since the Freedom Caucus can forever block any law it wishes to. /S

Gatlin  posted on  2018-02-23   11:51:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#5. To: Gatlin (#4)

Well, Japan is far from PA.

At issue is whether a party does or does not possess the right to draw district lines at will following a national census.

Apparently they do have that right unless they're Republicans. Democrats in various states have created districts just as bizarre and contorted as the ones they complain the GOP has created in PA.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-02-23   12:06:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#6. To: Tooconservative (#5)

Well, Japan is far from PA.

Yep, it is.

Gatlin  posted on  2018-02-23   12:48:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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