Night No. 2 of the Democratic presidential debate was kinda’ sad, what with all those relatively young people beating up on two elderly men who looked like they’d rather be at home in floppy slippers enjoying a bowl of soup and watching old reruns of “Murder She Wrote.”
What made it all worse, though, was that Sen. Bernie Sanders, 77, and Joe Biden, 76, looked out of it, lost in a fog, stammering and stuttering as they tried to make their brains remember all the talking points their debate coaches have been cramming into their heads for weeks.
Even President Trump, in Japan for the G20 summit in Japan, couldn’t help but notice, dubbing the pair of septuagenarians “Sleepy Joe” and “Crazy Bernie.”
“I am in Japan at the G-20, representing our Country well, but I heard it was not a good day for Sleepy Joe or Crazy Bernie. One is exhausted, the other is nuts – so what’s the big deal?” the president said in a post on Twitter.
All that said, then, it makes perfect sense that Sanders, the Democratic socialist from Vermont who is making a career out of running for president, unveiled his wackiest idea yet: Rotating judges on and off the Supreme Court.
“I do not believe in packing the court,” Sanders said. “We’ve got a terrible 5-4 majority conservative court right now. But I do believe constitutionally we have the power to rotate judges to other courts and that brings in new blood into the Supreme Court and a majority I hope that will understand that a woman has a right to control her own body and that corporations cannot run the United States of America.”
Of course, the question posed to Sanders was about what he would do as president if a conservative-leaning Supreme Court struck down the landmark abortion ruling Roe V. Wade, but never mind that.
Now, we’ve read the Constitution, and we can’t find a word about being able to rotate the players like they do in a volleyball game. The Constitution does say that Supreme Court justices can hold their seats on the court “during good behavior,” which most have interpreted to mean for life, if they so choose.
But Ol’ Bernie thinks between the lines the founders meant to say that justices can be swapped out at anytime — and he’s made the claim before. “What may make sense is, if not term limits, then rotating judges to the appeals court as well,” Sanders said in April. “Letting them get out of the Supreme Court and bringing in new blood.”
Reaction to the claim did not go well on the interwebs.
“@BernieSanders wants to rotate SCOTUS justices to other courts? I’m missing something,” Preet Bharara, a former U.S. attorney, wrote.
“No, Bernie Sanders, You can’t just rotate Supreme Court justices until you get the mix you want. That was a really, really, really, really wacky idea …” wrote a professor at Illinois State.
“I think Sanders needs to go back & read the Constitution, thats not possible currently. How can he be in DC 25+ years & not know these basics?” wrote another critic of the rotation plan.
Earlier this week, Trump vowed to nominate a justice should a vacancy in the court come up — even if it was three days before the election. “We have the Senate. We have a great Senate,” the president told The Hill. “We have great people. If we could get him approved, I would definitely do it. … If there were three days left, I’d put somebody up hoping that I could get ’em done in three days, OK?”
But if Bernie wins the White House, he’ll swap out all nine justices out for, and we’re just guessing here, the starting lineup of the Boston Red Sox.
That’s gotta be in the Consitution somewhere!