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Sen. Chuck Grassley

Photo by Ninian Reid/ CC BY 2.0

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Early on Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Grassley announced that he was quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19. By late afternoon, Grassley released a statement announcing that he had tested positive for the virus, saying "I'll be keeping up on my work for the people of Iowa from home … and I look forward to resuming my normal schedule when I can."

This is big news for a variety of reasons. One obvious reason is that the Republican Party, its terrible handling the COVID-19 pandemic, and their members' bad public health examples have led to the very real threats of sickness and death within their ranks. The other reason is that Chuck Grassley, up until today, had not missed a Senate vote since 1993. Being in actual COVID-19 quarantine will mean that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's attempts at further packing the courts during the lame duck session of Trump's tenure as corrupter in chief will not include Sen. Grassley's vote.

Losing Grassley today means that the loss McConnell took trying to get Judy Shelton (Trump's loony toon nominee for the Federal Reserve) through has been further hampered.

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Photo by Village Square/ CC BY-NC 2.0

Reprinted with permission from The American Prospect

The barriers to amending the Constitution are so high that I've long thought it pointless to pursue any reform that way. But after four years of Donald Trump, I've changed my mind. In fact, I'm suffering from a bout of what Kathleen Sullivan in 1995 in these pages called "constitutional amendmentitis."

Sullivan—later dean of Stanford Law School—used the term for conservatives' feverish advocacy of amendments in the mid-1990s. The amendments would have, among other things, imposed a balanced federal budget, limited congressional terms, authorized laws banning flag-burning, given the president a line-item veto, and outlawed abortion. It was a good thing those amendments didn't receive the necessary two-thirds approval in both houses of Congress, much less ratification by three-fourths of the states.

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