You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

'Jury Duty on Steroids' or 'Senators in the Can'

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 22/03/2016 Joe The Nerd Ferraro
DEFAULT © Provided by The Huffington Post DEFAULT

If a citizen blows off their obligation for jury duty, marshals show up and escort the civic slacker to court.
Why can't the senators be forced to perform their civic obligations?
I think I have a movie concept here. Something like "Jury Duty on Steroids" or "Senators in the Can."
A Supreme Court Justice is dead.
The president picks a replacement.
The president's pick is leader of the second highest court in the land. Everyone on the Supreme Court knows the folks on the second court. Everyone on the second court knows each other. They respect the leader of this tribunal because they have worked with him for years.
The Senate will not even talk to the replacement; I guess because the president is black or something.
The rhetoric goes on for about a month before the president gets an idea. Apply the same rules to the civic slacker blowing off jury duty to the senators blowing off their duty.
It would be a conflict of interest for the president to go to either of the top two courts to make the Senate move. Can't have people who know each other and work with each other making rulings on one another.
The president goes to a member of the third highest court in the land and gets a court order to collect every member of the Senate for an open ended sequestration. The president is going to lock up the Senate until they make a decision.
What ensues is a combination of Big Brother meeting the College of Cardinals.
U.S. Marshals round up every Senator and drop them into the Senate chamber. They get three days of clothes. Food will be shipped in, but no senator may leave. Dry cleaning service may or may not be provided.
TV cameras allow the nation to monitor how the senators act.
First the senators attempt to plead their case to the courts. The courts return with a decision that there is a system of checks and balances. They tell the senators, "Do your job." The judges are actually enjoying the social experiment. They remember the hoops the senators put the justices through to get their gigs.
The population of the country watches intently and it begins to become a reality news TV show out drawing the OJ and Duke lacrosse trials with respect to ratings. At first the population is behind the senators and appalled at the president's action.
The senators are allowed internet access and can see their own preening. They play to the cameras, forgetting why they were sequestered. They begin to form new alliances and personal relationships.
Soon internet memes appear calling the Senate chambers "The Can." Some senators compete for the title Senator Selfie.
Verbal sparring breaks out and actual reasons for bills passed are publicly aired. The vanity of the chamber is fully displayed. The vanities of individual senators are exposed.
What Senator was bought by which big bucked interest becomes a bestselling app.
Then real statespeople begin to emerge.
After one week, a small group of normally ostracized Senators from both parties form an alliance against the power brokers. They call on the population for help.
Seeing the behavior via the internet, the population beings to turn on the senators. The Senate chamber becomes not a prison where they are sent as punishment to force them to do their work, but it becomes the only place in the country where they are safe. Large crowds begin to form outside the Capitol.
Military police are overwhelmed with millions of people arriving in DC to protest. They remain peaceful for the time being. But tensions are high.
A younger, respected senator suffers a stroke from the pressure. As he is taken out the senators see what their job is.
They finally begin to debate the actual merits of the president's nominee and he is approved with no dissenting votes in two hours.
As the senators exit The Can, badly behaving senators see recall challenges waiting for them in their home states. Many retire on the spot.
Remaining senators see the catastrophe's edge. They propose and pass a term limit amendment.
Hey look, it's Hollywood.
Why can't we have a happy ending?

More from Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon