Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Only One Party?

Jonathan Chait writes in TNR:

But nobody who recalls Bush v. Gore could completely rule out five Republican justices deciding on a wildly activist ruling on a high-stakes political fight.

Since as far as I know, SCOTUS justices have no political affiliation, I decided to do a Google hit count:

  • “Republican Justices”:  16100
  • “Democratic Justices”:  3880

Not as bad as I expected, but pretty bad.

Bleg: can someone explain to me how this is supposed to work? If you had asked me, I would have said that legislation passed by Congress – not "deemed passed", but actually passed – had to be identical in both their House and Senate versions; if they were not, then the legislation went to a House-Senate conference to hash out the differences.  Now the House is attempting to pass the Senate’s version of Obama care “with changes” as part of a “rule”.  Doesn’t the Senate have to vote on those changes?  And if so, does it not require a 60% cloture vote?

This is all supposed to be part of a process called “reconciliation”, but Byron York’s attempt at explaining that process contains sentences like this:

On August 2, 1989, the House adopted a rule (H.Res. 221) that automatically incorporated into the text of the bill made in order for consideration a provision that prohibited smoking on domestic airline flights of two hours or less duration.  [Emphasis added.]

SweetMotherofJesus, is that even a complete sentence?  What is that bold-faced clause that seemed to have parachuted into the middle of sentence in which it doesn’t actually belong!

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