Eight-Dimensional Chess

As if the stakes of the election weren’t high enough, the added complication of a Supreme Court vacancy left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg has turned divisive politics into an all-out war. President Trump is set to nominate a candidate on Saturday, and on Sunday morning (8-9am PACIFIC), I’ll discuss breaking news with analysis from Josh Blackman – a law professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston, adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, and prolific blogger at Reason’s Volokh Conspiracy.

Blackman says “This is like a game of eight-dimensional chess,” because of all the moving parts. First, there are questions of legality. Second, questions of legitimacy. Third, questions of practicality and political gamesmanship.

With Kamala Harris presiding over the Senate Judiciary Committee, the sparks will fly in the nomination hearings. If a new justice is confirmed, what will happen after the election? Some have dared to consider the dread possibility that the Supreme Court must intervene to decide a contested election. In that situation, would the new justice have to recuse him or herself? And what about Clarence Thomas? He has certainly not forgotten the mistreatment he suffered at the hands of then-Senator Joe Biden during his confirmation hearings.

As I told Craig Roberts recently, this is the stuff that Academy-Award movies are made of. It might be entertaining, if it weren’t so anxiety-provoking.

I’m thrilled to welcome Professor Blackman to my show for the first time to discuss his recent writings and commentary on the vacant Supreme Court seat. We’ll discuss the precedent for appointing a nominee in the final month’s of a president’s term, as well as the political calculations for Republicans and more importantly, Democrats, who have entertained the idea of packing the courts should they return to power.

Joe Biden himself has said this is a slippery slope, but how long can he withstand pressure from the rest of the Democratic Party? Is court packing a foregone conclusion if the Democrats take power?

Benjamin Franklin once said: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."