George Conway: SCOTUS Opinion Doesn't Even Make Sense

Jen Psaki welcomed George Conway to give his take on yesterday’s convoluted SCOTUS decision.

“You tweeted today, ‘it doesn’t even profess to be interpreting the text,’ ” she said.

“It doesn’t,” Conway said.

“You know, Professor Iffel said that there was a lot of overreach in the majority opinion. I think the problem here is that all nine justices underreached. They simply decided that they were not going to apply the Constitution the way you normally apply it, which is, you read the text and you try to figure out what it means in the context of history and you apply it.

“The plain text of the Constitution provision from here says that Donald Trump is disqualified. So, you know, that was the real problem with today’s decision. I don’t make much of the concurring opinions’ criticism of the majority for having gone too far, because at the end of the day, I don’t see, I can’t see where in the majority opinion it does say that states can’t enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment against federal office holders. The only difference I can see between that holding and what the four concurring justices, the four women, interestingly, said was that they probably would have restricted it to the president, and just the president. Again, there is just no basis, no textural basis, no historical basis.”

“For them not to apply it?” Psaki asked.

“Not to apply it! The only argument that is ever made in any of the opinions as to why you would restrict states from applying the 14th Amendment, the plain text of the 14th Amendment, the 14th Amendment and all sorts of other provisions that apply regardless of whether Congress says — whatever Congress, including the protection clause which prohibits race discrimination, the fact of the matter is that there is no basis to single out Section 3 as being different from these other provisions. They are just making it up. All the justices were making it up,” Conway said.

He says he believes it was because they were terrified of the reaction.

“I think that is clear from Justice Barrett’s concurring opinion. She says all of this stuff, she says the quiet part out loud. ‘This is not the time to amplify disagreement with stridency. The court has settled a politically-charged case in the volatile season of a presidential election, particularly in these circumstances. Writings of the court should turn national temperature down, not up.’

“She’s terrified, and they all were terrified, including the liberal judges, okay? The only difference that I can see between what the liberal judges said and what the majority said was that they probably would have restricted it to the president. If they did that, that opinion would have been even worse because it would have looked like you just cherry-picked the president out of a pile to say that the presidency is somehow special,” Conway said.

“There were other insurrectionists. Look, the bottom line is they were never, ever going to rule against Trump here, and not because it was Donald Trump, but because of the fear that this court with only a limited amount of political capital in these days, and that’s where we would probably disagree on the reasons for that, we agree and disagree. it’s a similar. They don’t have the political capital to all of a sudden drop this ruling on the public and say that Donald Trump can’t appear on the ballot. And they were terrified.”

“Why should they have to worry about political capital? They are the highest court in the land,” Psaki said.

“They are the highest court in the land, but they are worried about political capital! This is a court which basically, and you are going to disagree with some of the reasons for that, of what I’m about to say and agree with some of it, that has basically wasted its political capital on things it should have never been involved in. It should have never been involved in abortion, for example. You will disagree on that but I say that it was a mistake to get involved the way they did. Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg kind of agrees with me on that.

“It was a mistake to get out of it after 50 years, after telling hundreds of millions of women that they have this right. So they have blown a lot of capital on things that they should not have been concerned with because it’s not in the Constitution. This provision, Section 14, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, actually is in the constitution. And it’s clear. They didn’t have to make anything up to apply that. The only rationale they had for not applying it is to say, oh, well, you will get this patchwork. Some states will rule this way. Some states will rule that way. Some states will use different records. Some states will use different procedures. But that shouldn’t be the courts problem! That should be the insurrectionists’ problem. And this guy, as you point out, the major takeaway from this case is that Donald Trump remains because there is nothing in any of these opinions that says otherwise.”

“Adjudicated an insurrectionist, he still that, just as he is already an adjudicated rapist,” Conway concluded.

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