Now that the Supreme Court has ruled against conservatives, the usual hue and cry about “reining in” an “out of control court” is rising up from the right-wing fever swamps. Rick Santorum, as usual, has an absolutely incoherent and contradictory position based upon his own rank ignorance of the subject.
He starts by complaining that the Supreme Court has injected itself into politics. Funny, but he didn’t mind that one bit when the court overturned campaign finance reform in Citizens United. On the legal challenges to Obamacare, Santorum demanded that the court inject itself into politics. The Supreme Court considers lawsuits filed against legislation that has been passed, often in politically controversial cases. It isn’t even hypothetically possible for the court not to be involved in politics. Even better, guess what his solution is to make sure the Supreme Court stays out of politics? He says Supreme Court judges should face retention elections every few years. Oh yeah, that will keep them out of politics, having to face elections. Are you really that dumb, Rick?
Given his next position, I’m afraid the answer has to be yes. His next reform is that Congress should pass a law requiring the Supreme Court to take every single appeal that is filed. Rick, how about stepping out of that fantasy world you live in and joining me in the real world for a minute, a world in which the Supreme Court gets about 7000 cert petitions a year. They accept about 1% of them. The Supreme Court’s term is nine months, or about 190 or so working days. If they were required to take every case, that would be about 36 cases per day. If they worked 12 hours every day, they would be able to devote all of 20 minutes to each case — for oral argument, reading the lower court records and briefs and writing their opinions. That’s an ingenious idea you got there, Rick. Just brilliant.
This man thinks he should be president. I wouldn’t hire him to run a night shift at Taco Bell.