Is this scenario perfectly legal?
One would have to be a lawyer, perhaps a civil rights specialist, to give a definitive answer.
It is 2009. President Hillary Clinton has taken office, and the House and Senate are both controlled by Democrats. President Clinton begins sending judicial appointments to the Senate, and the Democrats, invoking the Frist Nuclear Option, shut down all filibusters and ram the President's appointments through. All perfectly legal.
President Clinton also offers her health care plan. It sweeps through the House easily, and Senate Republicans start a filibuster. Citing the Frist Nuclear Option, Democrats change the rules to prevent all filibusters. The Republicans attempt to shut down the Senate and the Democrats, citing the need to keep the government operating, change the rules to overrule all Republican obstructionist tactics. The House Republicans attempt similar measures and are similarly ruled out of order. It's all perfectly legal.
The Democrats pass a bill making abortion on demand legal throughout the USA, and another bill making gay marriage legal throughout the USA. The hard right goes nuts. There are demonstrations and marches. There are also bombings of abortion clinics and gay bars. The Supreme Court declares these laws unconstitutional. The Democrats expand the size of the Court to 13 seats and add four new justices who now reverse the previous rulings. All perfectly legal.
My guess is that up to this point it is legal. Although legal, the court packing item probably isnít plausible and, in my opinion, isn't desirable. Franklin D. Roosevelt tried it and failed, so we have a historical precedent. I don't like court tampering whether it's packing the court or requiring super majorities. I also have a firm belief in use of legal precedent. I would suggest that my view of this is within the best of consevative thought.
In this superheated atmosphere, a car bomb kills a Democratic Senator and maims two others. Outraged, the President declares that "terrorism of any form will not be tolerated!" and obtains passage of the Domestic Patriot Act from Congress. Under this act, all individuals and organizations associated with right to life activities or who have expressed antipathy to gays are closely monitored. The FBI is authorized to search the homes of such conservatives based on suspicious political commentary they have made in emails or on blogs. Anyone with any connection to any violent right-to-life group can be held for questioning for up to 48 hours without access to an attorney. A number of the more outspoken leaders of fundamentalist congregations are arrested and held without charge. The ACLU mounts legal challenges, but the Supreme Court defers to the Executive Branch in this time of national crisis. All perfectly legal.
Congress begins investigations into "domestic terrorist" contributions to political campaigns. Lo and behold, a great many Republicans are found to have accepted contributions from organizations now listed as "domestic terrorist organizations". Under intense public grilling, many of these Republicans are shown to have had close ties with some of these domestic terrorist organizations. Congress therefore passes a bill criminalizing any financial connection with these organizations. Many Republicans lose re-election because of the investigations; later, others are jailed when complex schemes are discovered that funneled money through intermediaries to the Republican politicians. All perfectly legal.
In the 2012 elections, Democrats sweep away most of the remaining Republicans. The nation stands united against the fundamentalist Christian terrorists, many of whom are now safely held in jail.
At this point we have problems. Christian fundamentalists like Paul Hill need to be punished, but any wholesale curtailing of first amendment and due process provisions should and might be met with actual resistance. We can only push people so far. Such civil rights abuses would only strengthen the para military groups in certain parts of the country.Does it not represent a plausible projection of current trends initiated by the Republicans?
This may be a plausible projection, but I think our history and traditions would stop such actions before they got to that point.
Despite my dislike of our current regime, I do have some faith in the system, if not the persons temporarily in charge of the system. Bush, Frist, Hastert, DeLay and the current crowd are much like Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton--just sort of penciled in. The current crop of Democrats aren't permanent--not even Senator Robert Byrd.
Now, where did I put that eraser.