Supreme Court, United States, Senate discussed on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell


Some of whom end up on the united states supreme court and they end up on the supreme court by successfully navigating the politics of the confirmation process. Something they begin navigating. When they're in law school navigate that process in the united states senate which is in and of itself an anti democratic institution. Each state gets two senators that leaves republicans over represented in the united states. The united states senate creates an asterix but must appear at the end of every sentence that calls the american government of democracy. The number of united states supreme court. Justices fluctuated until eighteen. Sixty nine when the number was set at nine in federal law. Those nine judges were the final judicial authority in a country of thirty eight million people and only thirty seven states in eighteen sixty nine. We now have three hundred and thirty. Two million people whose legal issues are far more complex than the legal issues that face the thirty eight million people who were served by the nine justices of the supreme court in eighteen sixty nine if we had increased the supreme court in proportion to our population increases over time. We would not have eighty-one supreme court justices when the congress chose to have nine supreme court justices eighteen sixty nine. There were only seventy four senators. If we had increased the size of the supreme court in proportion to the united states senate we would now have twelve supreme court justices so the reasonable number of supreme court justices in two thousand twenty one as opposed to eighteen. Sixty nine is somewhere between twelve and eighty one but we still have nine and the political pressure on those nine. Very precious seats has intensified every day since eighteen sixty nine and they are lifetime appointments and so the most important laws in the united states are written and rewritten depending on when elderly people on the supreme court die the death of a supreme court justice has become even more politically significant than momentous than the death of a president when president franklin delano roosevelt died in office in nineteen forty five is vice president harry truman carried on and one world war. Two on the same schedule at fdr would have won the war and president john f. kennedy was assassinated in nineteen sixty three vice president lyndon johnson carried on the kennedy administration's agenda and its legislative agenda was possibly even more successful because of the emotional outpouring and the aftermath of the death of president kennedy but when ruth bader ginsburg died she was replaced as quickly as possible by a judge who could spend even more years on the court than justice. Ginsburg did and spend every day on the job. Trying to undo ruth bader ginsburg's life's work on a supreme court justice dies hundreds of millions of people. Do not know what that means for the rights. The supreme court has been protecting for them and supreme court justice dies. Americans do not know what rights they might lose because of that and so tonight because some supreme court justices retired at the right time and are the supreme court justices died at the wrong time women in texas who have been raped women in texas who are pregnant because their fathers or their uncles or their brothers made them pregnant will not be able to end those pregnancies because the judges put on the supreme court by george w bush donald trump have shown no concern for what happens to the victims of rape and incest in texas. This is exactly what republican presidents have all run on since roe versus wade. If you voted for george w bush if you volunteered to work on his campaign. This is what you voted for. This is what you worked for if voted for donald trump if volunteered to work on his campaign. This is what you voted for this. Is you worked for those politicians and everyone of the voters who supported those politicians. Put the politicians on the supreme court who are threatening your rights tonight leading off our discussion tonight. Cecile richards the former president of planned parenthood federation of america. She's currently co.

Coming up next