July 3, 2018

"Poland’s government carried out a sweeping purge of the Supreme Court on Tuesday night, eroding the judiciary’s independence..."

"... escalating a confrontation with the European Union over the rule of law and further dividing this already riven nation.... For years, the party has demonized judges as unreconstructed Communists and obstructionists. After taking power in 2015, it took control of the Constitutional Tribunal, which is tasked with ensuring that laws do not violate the Constitution, and gave authority over the country’s prosecutors to the Ministry of Justice.... Hours before the purge took effect at midnight, Poles again took to the streets in more than 60 cities and towns around the country. As the sun set in Warsaw, crowds gathered in front of a memorial dedicated to those who died in the city’s 1944 uprising against Nazi Germany, chanting an old but familiar refrain: 'Solidarnosc.'"

The NYT reports on a "new law passed by Parliament requires that judges retire when they turn 65 unless they appeal to the country’s president, Andrzej Duda, who has sole discretion over whether they can remain." Under this law, 27 of 72 Supreme Court justices were forced to retire.

72 Supreme Court justices?! Some American lawprof caught flak for suggesting enlarging the U.S. Supreme Court to 15.

75 comments:

Oso Negro said...

The Poles aren't fucking around. And they aren't having any of the Euro-multi-culti mush jammed down their throats either.

Drago said...

The NYT takes time out from praising democrat/lefty/LLR ideas about enlarging the SC when the dems are in charge to negate the progress conservatives have made to lament the Poles changing the rules concerning their Supreme Court to protect their liberties against communist holdovers.

Discuss.

rehajm said...

SCOTUS was supposed to be the leftie backstop. They had it all figured out. Put our people in and laws don’t matter unless we say they do. Constitution don’t matter unless we say it do.

It was foolproof.

rcocean said...

Wow, reducing the power of un-elected judges.

Truly, Democracy is dead in Poland!

PS - FDR Would've approved.

Rigelsen said...

“Some America lawprof caught flak for suggesting enlarging the U.S. Supreme Court to 15.”

Did he catch flak for suggesting enlargement? Or for insisting that it be enlarged with 6 Democrats, i.e., only when the Dems were fully back in power?

Maybe it’s a sign of how political the courts have become since we left behind constitutionally limited government during the New Deal, but I don’t think anyone would agree to expanding the court when their political opponents were in charge. FDR’s attempt at Court-packing is probably one of the few/only negative things most people have read about him.

But, I’d say that 72 seems rather unwieldy for a Supreme Court, or even 59 as Reynolds suggests. Wouldn’t the dynamics would devolve to that of a legislative body where the fact of the vote would be more important than the quality of the arguments?

Sebastian said...

I think there is some translation error here.

In Poland, "the judiciary's independence" really meant "holdover prog judges thwarting the actual government."

buwaya said...

The interesting word there is "divided".

AFAIK the present Polish government is quite popular.
"Divided" is not the right word, if only a relatively small minority is in opposition. It implies widespread disenchantment.

rcocean said...

So, out of 72 judges, 45 still remain.

Some "purge".

Off Topic: This relates to the Supreme Court in the USA. Under the constitution, every Federal judge and what cases he can rule on - except the SCOTUS - are the creations of Congress. There's nothing to prevent Congress, from getting rid of EVERY district court judge, or stating that D.C. and Appellate Court Judges have no jurisdiction over Abortion, or busing, or any other area.

Further, the NUMBER of SCOTUS judges, their pensions, and salaries are under the control of Congress and the President.

Tomorrow Trump and Congress - if they decided - Could increase the SCOTUS to 25, and pack the Court, or decide that we need only 5, and not replace any of them till we reached 5.


buwaya said...

For what its worth, the Polish government would, in any other case, be considered quite left-wing, and "progressive" having expanded social spending far beyond what any other Polish party or the EU would have considered prudent.

And maybe it is imprudent, I am in no position to judge. They would be considered quite Social-Democratic and "socialist" in European terms, if that sort of thing mattered.

But the Polish government gets no credit for this from the usual suspects, as the real fight here is between the EU as a super-state versus national sovereignty. The Poles are a natural stumbling block for the expansion of international bureaucratic dominance, as they have a particularly large nationalist chip on their shoulders.

rcocean said...

So why hasn't the Congress - since Reconstruction - reigned in the Judiciary? It'd be easy for them to do so.

They hold all the power. Yet, they seem strangely deferential.

Answer: They WANT to Judiciary to hold power. It allows the power elite to do an end run around the Democracy. And of course, every Senator/congressman who secretly agrees with some unpopular SCOTUS Ruling, can then go out and publicly denounce them.

Sebastian said...

""Divided" is not the right word, if only a relatively small minority is in opposition."

Sorry, no. This is not a Polish translation error, just an American vocab thing.

"Divided" = "progs are opposed"

Just as "controversial" = "stuff progs don't like."

Ambrose said...

Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi taking notes for the Democrat Restoration.

Paul said...

72 Supreme Court justices... no wonder Poland is going broke. Gotta pay salary for all of them and their clerks!

Oso Negro said...


Buwaya said "The Poles are a natural stumbling block for the expansion of international bureaucratic dominance, as they have a particularly large nationalist chip on their shoulders."

Yeah, funny how that happened.

Paul said...

But I do love the idea of term limits. SCOTUS, House of Representatives, Senate, etc... yea, good idea! Age cutoff of 65 for SCOTUS and the others have that AND 12 years in office.

Michael K said...

they have a particularly large nationalist chip on their shoulders.

All the countries formerly occupied by the Soviet Union are that way.

Remember it is usually the reformed drunk who is the most against alcohol.

They know what it was like unlike the Democratic Socialists of American who have now decided that ":Communism is Good."

Olivia Katbi Smith, who is the co-chair of the Portland DSA chapter, tweeted the following message on Saturday:


Olivia Katbi Smith🌹أوليفيا كاتبي
@livkittykat
As a DSA chapter co-chair I just wanna set the record straight for a minute: communism is good

4:38 PM - Jun 30, 2018
1,472
398 people are talking about this
Twitter Ads info and privacy
That tweet prompted several other DSA leaders to chime in approvingly:


molly 🌹
@socialistdogmom
as a dsa chapter co-chair, i would like to cosign this pro-communist statement.


Inga might show up to endorse this, as well. Note the Arabic in the twitter handle.

etienne said...

For every Justice, there is a huge office staff (clerks, secretaries, etc, etc).

It's a complete welfare program. Washington is not exempt, just not as big.

The best way to fix this, is force the justice to use his pay to fund his staff.

buwaya said...

Poland is not yet lost

Guildofcannonballs said...

ha.

took mr 4 see nds.

enzo, the akdr

What does he bake, well, the name Enzo (Ferwrri in American film fandom.

Enzo the baker bakes wedding skes.

Poland bakes basked-ut drujges.

Lucien said...

I had been ready to suggest that leftists should cut back on criticism of President Trump for transgressing “norms”, so that they will be ready to rediscover the virtues of court packing if they are ever in power again.

Too late.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"moderation then never"

Speaking my language this lack of prkper "and" after moderation is making me totally excusable toward andorgoeny-worship.

Douglas B. Levene said...

Glenn Reynolds suggested I his USA Today column that the Court be increased to over 50 I sticks, each to to be nominated by a governor and confirmed by the Senate, and serving fixed terms. A larger Court would be less susceptible to the whims of individual justices; it would function like what it really is, a super-legislature; it would be more diverse in the education and experience of the justices; and it would have less prestige and influence.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"the comments moderation function"

I get there ain'nt be neexed no damn apostrophe''s.

'cept when I don't.

YoungHegelian said...

@lucien,

I had been ready to suggest that leftists should cut back on criticism of President Trump for transgressing “norms”, so that they will be ready to rediscover the virtues of court packing if they are ever in power again.

Oh, that would take waaaay too much self-introspection.

Introspection, like you know, not having the paper of record publish articles about how we might want to seriously reconsider this whole Freedom of Speech thing. It would seem to me that in a country where the Repubs control 35 (?) state governorships, both Houses of Congress, the Supreme Court, & an Executive Branch that routinely discusses how the press are the enemies of the people, it isn’t exactly a bright idea at this moment to promulgate the idea that maybe Freedom of Speech is overrated. And I'm not even counting living in a country where your opponents own the lion's share of 325 million guns in private hands.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I love Reynolds' court-packing idea, because he leaves it up to each of the governors of the 50 states, subject to Senate approval. Well, 33 of 50 governors are currently Republicans, so if they don't make insanely partisan decisions that will be voted down, the SCOTUS will be dominated by Republican picks. And if he really does want a SCOTUS that "looks like America," there's no better way to get one. By "looks like," I don't mean in the Benetton sense.

sane_voter said...

That Harvard Law "Prof" who wants to pack the US supreme court is actually not listed as a member of the Harvard faculty, visiting or lecturer. He is in his early 30's.

He was on Tucker Carlson tonight and was a smug self promoter and smooth talker. Tucker seemed to like him in that he spewed his BS so smoothly he had to appreciate it.

Rick said...

Forced retirement was the fig leaf justification for Roosevelt's judicial intimidation and court packing threats.

Anonymous said...

"Poland was once a beacon for countries struggling to escape the yoke of the Soviet Union and embrace Western democracy. But it is now in league with neighboring nations, like Hungary, whose leaders have turned to authoritarian means to tighten their grip on power, presenting a grave challenge to a European Union already grappling with nationalist, populist and anti-immigrant movements."

New(speak) York Times dictionary:

"Authoritarian": democratically elected government carrying out policies progs don't like.

"Democratic": top-down rule by unelected supra-national bureaucracy, pushing polices the demos doesn't want.

Can't quite put my finger on why, but I just don't consider the NYT to be my trusted source on what's what in Eastern Europe these days.

Lucien said...

Just think of what would happen to the FMV of a SCOTUS clerkship if you made 3,000 new ones every year.

Bay Area Guy said...

Poland needs to purge all Ex-Commies still lurking in the crevices of the government.

Hagar said...

The American Supreme Court is an institution peculiar to the United States Government and its development since the Constitution was adopted. It should not be confused with the courts of other nations with similar names.

Stalin determined the boundaries of present day Poland following WWII. The boundaries of Poland prior to WWII was set by the Versailles Treaty, where I suspect ethnic Poles did not have too much input, since for the 120 years before that there was no Poland.

Drago said...

In other commie news, Venezuela, a tropical paradise with plenty of freshwater sources and sitting on a sea of oil is out of energy and water.

Robert Cook will be along shortly to tell us why this is the fault of some decision made by some American some time back.

ARM will pretend its not happening.

Inga will provide a link to an article from 1958 which tells of an awesome Venezuela paradise.

LLR Chuck will explain how Trump should not have promised something to do with ice cream bars when he was 5.

gilbar said...

this is Horrible!
So, they went through; and Fired every opposition judge that was past their new retirement age?
Wait a minute; you mean they Fired EVERY judge that was past their new retirement age?
Not the same thing

Drago said...

NYT definition of "Authoritarian": Opposing communists.

William said...

There's something to be said for the forced retirement of elderly judges, especially the ones who are bowel and bladder incontinent. The incontinence imposes a particular burden on their fellow judges during closed door meetings.

Known Unknown said...

"72 Supreme Court justices?!"

I wonder if they are all virgins.

Ken B said...

Am I missing something? 27 judges over 65 retired, this was because of a new law that came into effect. Purge is a misleading word here isn't it?

Dave in Tucson said...

> Some America lawprof caught flak for suggesting the next Democratic president enlarging the U.S. Supreme Court by 67%

FTFY.

CWJ said...

The supreme court of New York for example is not the highest court in the state. Add to that the vagaries of translation, plus whether or not Poland even has a court performing the same role as that of the SCOTUS, and I'd be less than certain that Poland's several dozen justices map one on one with SCOTUS' nine.

Roughcoat said...

I spent the most part of a decade interviewing veterans of the Polish resistance in World War II, primarily those who served in the Home Army and took part in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. I got to know and understand their views and attitudes about Communism, Russians, Polish national sovereignty, and associated issues. I'm entirely sympatico with them. I like Poles and Poland -- being from Chicago I'm conditioned to like them, but my work with the veterans further reinforced this sentiment. I like the fact that they twice saved Western Civilization from the forces of darkness, in 1693 at Vienna and in 1920 in the Battle of Warsaw.

They're very pro-American, btw. Long live Poland.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I had ** "+-#$%&#**$ poppin' demons making their prescription nce kniwn.

Guildofcannonballs said...

a at lasr deffeine Conservative as Lewis' Buddy' Toilken, J. R. R.?

why ain't Tolkien Conservatie if especizlly so it be definonito to be?

Roughcoat said...

I have found, growing up and living in the Chicago area, that rather a large and certainly disproportionate number of Polish and Ukrainian women are stunningly beautiful: blond, buxom, and blue-eyed, yowza.

n.n said...

Just the black letter of the law, please. No appeals to voices from the twilight fringe, or judicial overrides of democratic processes. Not an order that is selective, opportunistic, and congruent.

Guildofcannonballs said...

we!lnes welled wellifly.

tim in vermont said...

I don't know or care about the buxum, or even the blonde and blue eyes, blond and brown eyes maybe, but yeah, there are a lot of hot Polish women.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Wellness welled wellfly.

mikeski said...

So, out of 72 judges, 45 still remain.

Some "purge".


Decimated!

And decimated again!

And again!

And a fourth time, even!

(This rant brought to you by the Society to Restore the Original Meaning of "Decimated".)

Guildofcannonballs said...

I hate few things more than being sorry: BP you are a man who sees shat thst ougjt be more drunkenly convival.

Pleassahll.

I major biological Marxisr. Hate me.

Thank you.

Michael K said...


Blogger Roughcoat said...
I have found, growing up and living in the Chicago area, that rather a large and certainly disproportionate number of Polish and Ukrainian women are stunningly beautiful: blond, buxom, and blue-eyed, yowza.


My high school girlfriend was Polish and her grandmother, who did not speak English, did not like me because I was not Polish.

She had black hair but was great looking. She went to Purdue and we never got back together, but she got a BS in Chemical Engineering in 1960, when not many girls were doing that.

She was recently Honored by Purdue and still looks pretty good for 80.

Guildofcannonballs said...

my dov is smarter, tape worms etc.

steve uhr said...

15 seems about right. The trick is to figure out when and how to add them.

cubanbob said...

steve uhr said...
15 seems about right. The trick is to figure out when and how to add them."

Now would be the right time.

Lucien said...

On second thought, adding six new justices is such a good idea that President Trump should demand its immediate enactment.
That way he can nominate seven at one time and Kennedy’s retirement won’t seem like such a big deal.

Think the Dems will go for it?

Guildofcannonballs said...

Ratley McBastardson.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Better than anh lawyer, and no matter how drunk more sober too, Ratley hopes your debt is never yet always paid by yo' kids.

Tina Trent said...

So in Poland, it is reasonable to assume that the younger professionals are less calcified in communist ideology. That's a good thing.

Just as there is no such thing as atheism because athiests worship atheism, there is no such thing as anti-nationalism, because anti-nationalists all worship some more colossal form of universal government, be it the EU or the communist collective or the UN. And along with that goes all the trappings of nationalism, from flags to songs to standing armies to grey soul-sucking bureaucrats. The leftist despair at allegedly terrifying national pride is nothing more than sour grapes that we haven't all decided to substitute national boundaries with some perfect Star Trek version of intergalactic model UN.

Are Polish supreme court judges much like ours? In some European systems, judges receive separate training and serve the role jurors serve in the U.S. They literally are "judge and jury."

FIDO said...

I am guessing that Poland has had a bellyful of 'Hawaiian Judges' stopping any government their Ruth Bader Ginsburgs don't like.

It seems that like the Constitution, a Supreme Court is also not a suicide pact. Ol' Giddy...you are replaceable. EASILY replaceable.

So Conservatives have taken a lesson on how to deal with an obstreperous Supreme Court.

Does anyone think the Dems have taken any lesson about the cultural destroying idiocy of judicial overreach into legislative areas? Bueller? Bueller? Chuck? Inga?


Me either.

FIDO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FIDO said...

Harvard Law Prof wants 15 SC justices?


Sure. We can do it next week. Six new staunch original constructionist Conservative justices.

Oh, NOW you have issues with that?

Hmm! Civility bullshit alert.

Oso Negro said...

@Roughcoat - I have found, living in Ukraine, that a large percentage of Ukrainian women are stunningly beautiful. Many afternoons, I have sat in my favorite corner cage in Odessa and admired the women walking past. But not in the creepy Balthus way, of course. And here is a BIG and interesting fact - their minds are unpolluted by progressivism or feminism. It is like a paradise for men. Oh, and they are almost entirely WHITE people just like in Poland. Imagine, white people living full lives, free of pity for the unfortunate swarthy masses.

Oso Negro said...

Heh - corner cafe, not cage. But what a typo!

Narayanan said...

Enact 9 as quorum.
Vegetables can sedentate in one forum, spry ones can flit.

Browndog said...

Polish Lawmaker to Cathy Newman: 'We Won't Take Even One Muslim Illegal Migrant'

His notion that the elected government must carry out the will of the people is a bold, new concept.

FIDO said...



Poles, too stupid to realize that the asserted principles of government are just a con. They actually believe them.


So let's elect a lot of folks with lot's of vowels in their names.

stephen cooper said...

This is firefly season here in Northern Virginia (this is the last week of it, apparently) and a couple nights ago I was praying that part of the Rosary during which we meditate on Mary as "Queen" of Heaven (Queen in quotation marks for those who are not Catholic and do not understand that Mary is a creature of God and that God's kingship is not limited), and while praying I was walking outside on one of those paths with a lot of fireflies in the bushes and trees and there were hundreds of them, and they looked just as pretty in the late twilight as they would (will?, do?) in Heaven.
A couple hundred fireflies, if you watch them long, begin to seem innumerable, particularly as the night gets darker.
Who knew Polish Supreme Court Justices were similar, at least in numbers if in nothing else?

Roughcoat said...

Oso Negro:

I'm envious!

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Bitching about mandatory retirement? They should line those Commie holdovers against a wall and shoot them in the back of the head.

The EU can go fuck themselves, the Poles and Hungarians are not going to become slaves to foreign powers again.

Marc said...

This is a good place to plug Ryszard Legutko's The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies. I don't imagine that the powers that be at the NYT et alia read much Legutko. I'll bet that Judge Barrett has, though, and that Judge Kavanaugh hasn't.

hstad said...

Hagar said...
:.....since for the 120 years before that there was no Poland.7/3/18, 8:42 PM

Not sure where you get your facts, but Poland, in some form has been around for a long time. Borders have changed, and yes for awhile Poland was absorbed by other countries, empires, etc. But they've always had resistance fighters just like other countries and their respective history. Try this on for size!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Poland

wildswan said...

"since for the 120 years before that there was no Poland."

The Poles would never, never accept that as their history. There were invaders - yes. But the Poles had hundreds of ways of maintaining Poland without borders and Poland under Communism and probably they have some good ways to maintain Poland under EUism. We could learn from them about resisting propaganda. But recently over here the choice has been to demonize half the country. Over here a large group (with wealth, most of the weapons and most of the territory in terms of most of the political offices including the Presidency) is target of a propaganda campaign consisting of a narrative in which they are the villains. Of course the group will see through the campaign. Such a campaign might hope to divide, it can never hope to win. So I think that must be the goal - to divide. That would be a goal of foreigners. So let's not turn on each other, let's try for digital independence where we aren't controlled by foreign propaganda without a goal - neither justice nor domination - aiming merely to divide so as to weaken the last best hope.

Rusty said...

Blogger Guildofcannonballs said...
Ratley McBastardson.

7/4/18, 1:32 AM


That's going to be the name of my boat.

Rusty said...

Had it not been for the poles europe would be muslim.

RichAndSceptical said...

How about if we put a 20 year limit on Supreme Court justices?

Rich Rostrom said...

Hagar said...
The boundaries of Poland prior to WWII was set by the Versailles Treaty, where I suspect ethnic Poles did not have too much input...

The boundaries of interwar Poland were established by ethnic Poles in a series of uprisings and wars against neighboring powers. Russia had collapsed in 1917, and Germany and Austria-Hungary followed in 1918.

The only impact of Versailles on the borders of Poland was that it required Germany to recognize the Polish seizures of Pomerelia, Posen, and Upper Silesia. (Versailles also provided for the final border in Silesia to be determined by plebiscite. After the plebiscite, and rioting between Polish and German paramilitaries, the area was partitioned.)