Category Archives: Supreme Court

Justice Coney Clueless Meets The Turtle

Who said that Metry native Amy Coney Barrett has no sense of humor? The Trump appointed Supreme, hereinafter and forevermore Justice Coney Clueless, picked an odd place to declare that the Roberts Court “is not comprised of partisan hacks.”

The place is the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville best known for national championship winning hoops teams under Denny Crum and Rick Pitino. Pitino, of course, was the real crumb…

That’s McConnell Center as in Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell who is the most partisan hack to ever hack me off. As you can see from the featured image, the Turtle was there to cheer on Justice Coney Clueless as she declared that Justices must be:

“hyper-vigilant to make sure they’re not letting personal biases creep into their decisions since judges are people, too”.

Really? Even this guy?

If they named a beer after Kavanaugh, it would be Partisan Hack.

Like Justice Bro, Justice Coney Clueless is a right-wing Catholic who is bound to approve of Louisville’s mascot, which is a Cardinal, not a Turtle. It’s the bird, not a prelate but it strikes me as a significant symbol.

The McConnell Center’s ostensible mission is to:

Founded in 1991, the non-partisan McConnell Center at the University of Louisville seeks to identify, recruit and nurture Kentucky’s next generation of great leaders. Our core principles–leadership, scholarship and service–guide us as we (1) prepare top undergraduate students to become future leaders; (2) offer civic education programs for teachers, students and the public; and (3) conduct strategic leadership development for the US Army.

Something with the Turtle’s name on it non-partisan? They’re not partisan hacks like Mitch? Who knew? Sounds like the cardinal sin of lying to me.

The Turtle went on to cluelessly extol Justice Coney Clueless at the event:

McConnell, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported, praised Barrett for not trying to “legislate from the bench” and for being from “Middle America”. Barrett is from Indiana and, unlike the other eight justices, did not attend Harvard or Yale.

She’s been living in Indiana but she’s not only from Metairie, LA, she’s a graduate of St Mary’s Dominican High School. It’s a hoity-toity girl’s school in an area where you went to high school really matters. You can take the girl out of the Gret Stet of Louisiana, but you can’t expunge it from her soul, such as it is. Ya heard, Mitch?

This is my first non-Ida post since I got my internet access back. I missed the opening round of the Texas abortion ban mishigas. I have two points to make:

  1. SCOTUS acted improperly in allowing the law to take effect since it implicates constitutional rights.
  2.  Roe v. Wade has not been the controlling abortion rights case since 1992 when Justices O’Connor and Kennedy sidelined Roe in Casey v. Planned Parenthood. That case sets the current test for abortion rights.

That’s all for now. I suspect that I’ll be walking the legal beat a great deal as the summer of our discontent turns into autumn.

The last word goes to Ani DiFranco:

If I Were King of the Forest

I’m going to cut to the chase:  the Republican Supreme Court justices are cowards. Their order came out under the cover of night—and on a night where much of the country was riveted by the complete havoc the remnants of Hurricane Ida were wreaking on the East Coast—and it was unsigned.

They didn’t hold a hearing or consult with legal and medical experts. They didn’t address the substance of the Texas law or even attempt to identify any constitutional issues. They gave an unsubstantiated and unrelated reason to deny the request to block the enforcement of the law, and then they skittered back into the darkness like the intellectual cockroaches they are.

People who have the courage of their convictions don’t do stuff in the dark, anonymously, and while everyone else is focused on something else. People who believe in their ideas present them in public, with facts, and take questions and criticism. People who are proud of what they do seek publicity for their actions.

I hate cowardice. I hate it so much when people do something they know is wrong and then they hide away instead of defending their actions.

It’s been a rough week and seeing how much Republican men hate women has been the main reason for it. I don’t know if men can understand how demoralizing, frightening, and infuriating the last few days have been. Right now in Texas a woman who is raped or is the victim of incest has to carry any resulting child to term unless she has a cycle that is 100000% regular.

There is no logical explanation for this apart from an extremely pernicious expression of sexism. I think Adam Serwer had the right take on it and his tweet can have the last word:

 

 

The American Taliban is Ascendant

There’s a new milepost on the country’s journey to be the American version of A Handmaid’s Tale. Last night the Supreme Court allowed a new Texas anti-woman law to take effect. This law prohibits abortions after 6 weeks, and so effectively outlaws most abortions in Texas.

I say “anti-woman” because that is what the anti-choice movement is these days. It’s not actually about stopping abortion. It’s about actively punishing women for being women, and especially for being sexually active without their permission. The movement went mainstream when TFG casually said that if abortion were made illegal, women who had abortions should be prosecuted.

His communications team later told us that he meant the doctors who performed illegal abortions should be prosecuted, of course. And of course TFG, who paid for abortions right and left, isn’t actually opposed to abortion. He was merely parroting the far right hate speech of the dregs of humanity who advised him, and he deliberately said that as a signal to his reprehensible followers.

The anti-woman movement currently holding the GOP in thrall is rooted in the forced birth movement, which itself is centered not on the baby that is born, but on punishing a woman for her sexuality. This in turn is rooted in the legalization of birth control.

There has been a century-long battle for women to regain a modicum of control over their reproductive health. Abortion was legal in this country until 1880 when the efforts of the AMA, coupled with fears of white “race suicide”, and the suffrage movement led–male–doctors to take abortion out of the hands of pregnant women and midwives and move it into the newly emerging “professional” realm. Female reproductive issues were moved from the home to the doctor’s office, women lost their previous autonomy over their own bodies. It’s also important to note that abortion has existed in all cultures since the beginning of humankind.

Part of the rationale the AMA provided for its push to take over women’s reproductive health was how dangerous abortion was, but instead of working to find safe ways to help women to terminate pregnancies, it instead chose to push to ban the practice altogether. This makes sense against a context of where gynecologists–men–were doing things like arbitrarily removing women’s uteri to cure their “hysteria”; i.e., their growing willingness to stand up for themselves. An uppity woman was a “hysterical” woman, and the cure, obviously, was to remove her uterus. Abortion wasn’t legalized again until 1973. Remember, birth control between married couples was ILLEGAL until 1965, and illegal between unmarried couples until 1972.

The introduction of The Pill, and the subsequent decriminalization of birth control, were watershed moments for women (and just think for a moment that birth control was illegal for a long, long time). On a social level, it allowed women to control their sex lives in an entirely new way. No longer afraid of a nearly inevitable pregnancy, single women turned the tables on men and began to make their own sexual choices, shattering the previous dynamic. The ripples from this transformation are still being seen now. It’s the basis for the increase in slut-shaming sexually active women, only now it’s moved from just single women, to now include married women as well.

On an economic level, delaying motherhood allowed women to get college educations and to begin to compete with men in the larger workforce, and not just the pink collar ghetto. The reactionary movement to ban birth control–because that is where the anti-woman movement wants to end up–is rooted in 2 things:  the desires to wipe out the economic gains of women over the last 50 years and to restore the previous sexual dynamic.

Feldt says, “When you peel back the layers of the anti-choice motivation, it always comes back to two things: What is the nature and purpose of human sexuality? And second, what is the role of women in the world?” Sex and the role of women are inextricably linked, because “if you can separate sex from procreation, you have given women the ability to participate in society on an equal basis with men.”

And today we’re a day closer to that goal.

Coda:  Some commentators are pointing out the bounty aspect of the Texas law and positing that the law will be overturned because that’s clearly illegal. That provision is a Trojan horse, the Harriet Miers dangled in front of you so you don’t smell the poison of the Samuel Alito. The American Taliban is fine with cutting that part out. For now.

And so here are. Bowie gets the final thought.

On Justice Breyer

They haven’t learned anything. The they in this case are progressive pressure groups determined to bully, browbeat, and guilt Justice Stephen Breyer off the court. These tactics didn’t work with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, why would they work with Justice Breyer?

I, too, hope that Justice Breyer retires at the end of the current term. Despite some of the patronizing voices on the left, Justice Breyer is aware that Mitch McConnell has vowed to stop any Democratic nominee from getting through a Republican controlled Senate. FYI, Breyer used to work in the Senate as an aide to Ted Kennedy. He gets it. He’s neither naive nor stupid.

As a Supreme Court Justice, Breyer has tried his level best to be an apolitical technocrat and dealmaker. There’s nothing wrong with that: every court has such a justice. Because of this role, Breyer is uniquely resistant to political pressure. The louder people yell at him, the more likely he is to resist. He does not want to appear to have resigned under pressure.

Slate legal wizard Dahlia Lithwick who knows Breyer discussed him with Rachel Maddow last night:

MADDOW: In terms of the closed court session as we look towards the end of next week, and the court issuing its rulings. A lot of people around the country are looking at the court and wondering if Justice Breyer is going to retire so he can leave on his own terms, and it gives not only the Democratic president but the Democratic-controlled — narrowly Democratically controlled Senate a chance to replace him.

What do you think of all the strum und drang around that?

LITHWICK: It`s such a funny situation, Rachel, because the only person in the end who is the determinant of what he`s going to do is Stephen Breyer and he`s made clear time and again, including in an interview he gave me at Christmastime that he just doesn`t think that court justices are political, and that this is a political question, and it will retire when he wants to retire. But all of these swirling questions about we have a 50/50 Senate. We have Mitch McConnell announcing this week that he`s not going to ever confirm a Biden nominee if he gets control of the Senate. None of that seems to be part of Justice Breyer`s calculus.

And I would say paradoxically, the more he`s pushed, there is a bunch of ads coming out in the next couple of days. A whole bunch of liberal scholars, 18 scholars signed a letter saying please get off the court. The more he is pushed, the more, in some sense, he is persuaded that this all looks really political, so he better stick around.

I’m delighted that Rachel removed her ill-fitting amateur lawyer hat and talked to a legal expert. She should try it more often.

Each generation of justices has their own reasons for retiring. Earl Warren and Richard Nixon had been enemies in California politics, so Warren retired to allow LBJ to appoint his successor. That didn’t work out, so Tricky appointed the pompous Warren Burger to replace the Super Chief.

Bill Brennan and Thurgood Marshall watched Hugo Black and Bill Douglas cling to the bench despite deteriorating health. That led Brennan and Marshall to retire even though Poppy Bush was president. The good news was David Souter. The bad news was Clarence Thomas.

Breyer and RBG watched Sandra Day O’Connor retire earlier than expected because of her husband’s failing health. He died before she left the court. She always regretted that decision. That’s the backdrop to RBG and Breyer’s reluctance to retire while they still thought they could still do the job. Breyer’s majority opinion in the ACA case shows that he can still do the job.

It’s up to Justice Breyer to decide when to retire. I hope it’s at the end of this term, but that’s his choice. He’s a proud man who has accomplished much in life. The louder people yell, the less likely he is to do the right thing. The pressure campaign reeks of ageism, which seems to be the last acceptable prejudice on the left.

Repeat after me: If pressure tactics didn’t work with RBG, why will they work with Justice Breyer?

In other news, the tropical system in the Gulf is finally getting its shit together. It’s likely to be mostly a rain event and hopefully New Orleans will dodge the worst of it. #fingerscrossed

If it becomes a named storm, it will be Claudette like the movie star and the Roy Orbison song. That’s why Roy and Dwight Yoakam get the last word:

Saturday Odds & Sods: I Want To Tell You

The Bird, The Cage, and The Forest by Max Ernst.

It’s been another bad weather week in New Orleans. I’m actually looking forward to what is forecast to be a hot weekend because I’m so tired of rain and being weather-aware. Hell, it’s not even hurricane season yet. Btw, my name is on the hurricane list and I don’t mean my pen name, Adrastos. I’m not displeased, I don’t mind scaring people.

Beatles month continues with one by George Harrison. He wrote this week’s theme song for The Beatles 1966 album Revolver. It was their first record to take a walk on the experimental side, especially in Lennon’s songs. George’s lyrics for I Want To Tell You are somewhat surrealistic hence the Max Ernst featured image. Max is my go-to surrealist.

We have four versions of I Want To Tell You for your listening pleasure: The Beatles original, George live with Eric Clapton’s band, The Smithereens, and Jeff Lynne from the Concert For George.

Like George, my mind is filled with things to say. I’ll share them after the jump.

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Merrick Garland’s Time

We all hoped that Merrick Garland’s time was in 2016 when President Obama appointed him to the Supreme Court. It was not to be. I still hold a grudge over the way the Turtle killed his nomination. He snuck into the judicial nursery and smothered the nomination with a pillow, then claimed it was an act of principle. The hollowness of that claim was confirmed last fall with the Barrett nomination. It’s always about power with Mitch McConnell.

At the time of the nomination, people were fixated on the labels applied to Judge Garland. People on the left fretted because he was dubbed a moderate by the punditocracy. A reminder: Ruth Bader Ginsburg was called a moderate upon her nomination. Labels have a way of peeling off when a nominee becomes a Supreme. That’s neither here nor there in the case of Merrick Garland as we’ll never know if he would have morphed from a moderate to liberal Justice a la Bill Brennan. It’s why I hate labels. They’re almost as invidious as stereotypes.

Merrick Garland’s time is now. The job is different but it’s one for which he’s perfectly suited: Attorney General. Word of Biden’s choice came the day after the Georgia runoff handed control of the senate to Democrats. It was also the date of the Dipshit Insurrection.

After serving as a line prosecutor, Garland became a deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division during the Clinton administration. He found himself supervising two of DOJ’s most important criminal cases ever: the Oklahoma City bombing and the Unabomber. That’s right, Merrick Garland’s remit was the battle against domestic terrorism. That’s why his time is now.

There’s a must-read piece in the WaPo about the impact the McVeigh-Nichols OKC bombing case had on the next Attorney General:

The truck bomb leveled a section of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, killing 168 and injuring hundreds more in one of the deadliest domestic terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. But as Merrick Garland huddled with the lead prosecutor on the case, he urged caution in presenting the massive amount of evidence from the wreckage.

“Do not bury the crime in the clutter,” he said.

Garland, then a top Justice Department official, was encouraging prosecutors to speed the trial along and jettison superfluous findings in their case against Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted of carrying out the 1995 attack and executed in 2001, said Joe Hartzler, the team’s lead attorney. Hartzler said he found the advice so compelling that he wrote the words on a sheet of paper and hung it on an office wall as a rallying cry for his team.

More than two decades later, Garland, 68, is preparing to lead the Justice Department as attorney general and facing a domestic terrorism threat that has metastasized, with white supremacists and conspiracy-minded anti-government types emboldened by their acknowledgment from former president Donald Trump.

I commend the entire article to your attention, but I posted the first four paragraphs to not bury the article in clutter.

Judge Garland has pledged to make the fight against domestic terrorism his top priority. He’s a man of his word so I eagerly await the end of decades of ignoring right-wing extremists.

Judge Garland has another important task: rebuilding the morale of the Justice Department after four years of political hackery during the Trump regime. It wasn’t just Bill Barr, it was Jeff Bo Sessions and the acting AGs, which sounds like the name of a jug band.

Judge Garland has promised to be “the people’s lawyer, not the president’s lawyer” and I take him at his word. White House meddling was an endemic epidemic in the bad old Barr days. It ends now.

The Garland confirmation hearing was characterized by much bad faith tut-tutting by Republican senators. Tailgunner Ted and Senator Cornhole were particularly sanctimonious in discussing political influence at DOJ. It’s why I could only watch snippets of it. They’re afraid that Trump will be prosecuted by the incoming administration. That’s the politicization they fear. Charges against the Impeached Insult Comedian are a distinct possibility but that will be up to Merrick Garland, not Joe Biden. The president has quite rightly vowed to stay out of it.

There’s been much hand wringing about how hard it will be to restore the apolitical culture at DOJ. Rachel Maddow devoted an entire show to the issue. I love Rachel but she’s the quintessential liberal worry wort, especially on this issue.

Will it be easy? No, nothing worthwhile ever is.

Is it doable? Absolutely.

Why? It’s been done before in 1975 in the wake of Watergate and two Attorneys General going to the hoosegow.

The best appointments made by Gerald Ford during his brief presidency were these two bow-tied Chicagoans:

You probably recognize the guy on the left: Justice John Paul Stevens. The man on the right is the one who turned DOJ around and urged President Ford to appoint Stevens to SCOTUS. His name was Edward Levi.

Like Edward Levi and John Paul Stevens, Merrick Garland hails from the Chicago area.

Like Merrick Garland, Edward Levi was a modest unassuming man.

Like Merrick Garland, Edward Levi faced a difficult task. He did the job, then returned to the University of Chicago where he had previously served as dean of the law school and president of the university.

Like Merrick Garland, Edward Levi was Jewish. He was the first Jewish AG; Garland will be the third. Garland has always been reticent about his background, but Cory Booker worked his magic on the judge:

Senator Booker also elicited this strong statement on racial injustice from the next AG:

Back to Jerry Ford’s attorney general.

Edward Levi is one of the most underrated figures in American history. He not only had to clean up the DOJ, but he also had to reform the FBI, which J. Edgar Hoover had turned into his private police force. He accomplished both in two years. It can be done again.

1975 was Edward Levi’s time.

2021 is Merrick Garland’s time.

The last word goes to Bill Withers:

Self-Pardon Yourself, Donald. I Dare You.

Image by Michael F.

In the wake of the Twelfth Night White Riot, President* Pennywise has resumed his self-pardon musings. I am on the record as believing that a self-pardon would be unconstitutional and unlikely to survive a court challenge. If I were like my former law professor Con Law, I’d drop Larry Tribe’s name at this point. Oops, I did it again. I cannot help myself. It’s one of my favorite stories.

Why am I suddenly advocating an unconstitutional presidential* self-pardon? For two reasons. First, it’s doomed to fail in the courts. There’s no way even the current SCOTUS has a majority that will uphold an action that clearly makes future presidents above the law. It will also have the comedic effect of extending Team Trump’s legal losing streak.

Second, it will oblige the Department of Justice to indict the Kaiser if Chaos on federal charges. The Sovereign District of New York has been itching to indict Trump since the Stormy Daniels payoff case. A self-pardon will make such an indictment inevitable. That should open the floodgates on federal legal action against Donald J Trump and his criminal associates. A president who has acted like a mob boss should be treated like one. I may have to revive my mob boss nickname for Trump: Don Donaldo, Il Comico Insulto. FYI, I’m not adding Impeached to that nickname. I’m also uncertain if I will call him the Impeached Impeached Insult Comedian if he becomes the first person to be doubly impeached. Too much typing.

Enough about nicknames, back to the law.

A test case is not only necessary to test a self-pardon’s constitutionality, it’s imperative. If it is allowed to stand, all presidents would be above the law. President* Pennywise may like that idea but no one else should.

So, Donald, self-pardon yourself. I double dog dare you. One of your presidential predecessors, Ronald Reagan, was fond of quoting Dirty Harry Callahan played in the movies by Clint Eastwood. He gets the last word:

Sycophancy, Not Sedition

I dislike criticizing people with whom I usually agree. I prefer to aim my fire at the other side, especially since it’s currently overpopulated by sycophantic Trumpers. In this instance, it’s the rhetorical overreaction to the futile Texas Twisted election case that leads me to criticize some of my fellow liberals. I suspect my views will be unpopular with many. So be it.

I’m on the record as believing that COUP is the wrong word to describe Trump’s doomed attempt to steal the election. It’s a con, not a coup. It’s one of Team Trump’s most successful fundraising gambits ever. It’s also a vivid illustration of why wingnuts like to “own the libs.” It’s so damn easy. One of the few things they’re good at is trolling. My ironclad first rule of internet interaction is DO NOT FEED THE TROLL.

A new word is in use by those devoted to rhetorical overkill in the post-election period: SEDITION. The Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, described the Texas Twisted suit as such in his brief to SCOTUS. Others have applied the word to the 126 GOP Congresscritters who supported this idiotic and baseless election challenge. I disagree, it’s sycophancy, not sedition.

My objection to the loaded word sedition is based on our historical experience. Its first major use occurred during the partisan slagging match between Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans over the French Revolution. The former supported it and the latter sided with the British in their opposition. This split resulted in the justly infamous Alien and Sedition Acts, which were a massive First Amendment violation. To his credit, President Adams had qualms about the Acts, but still signed them into law. That led to the second president becoming the first to lose re-election.

We’ll skip the War of the Rebellion as the secessionist South was clearly seditious and move on to some 20th Century examples. The word sedition was slathered over every form of “disloyalty” during the post-Great War Red Scare as well as during the McCarthy period. It popped up occasionally during the anti-Vietnam War protests and was uttered on several occasions by Dick Cheney during the Iraq War.

In our national experience, the word sedition has been applied to suppress unpopular, usually left-wing speech. I am not eager to see it used by the left in overreaction to Trump’s post-election con. Do anti-Trumpers really want to keep company with A. Mitchell Palmer and Tailgunner Joe McCarthy? I certainly do not.

The 126 House GOPers who supported the fakakta Texas Twisted suit were motivated by sycophancy, not sedition.  It’s the fear of a primary challenge or the desire to curry favor with President* Pennywise that led them to sign on to Gret Stet Congressman Mike Johnson’s stupid petition. I refuse to dignify it by calling it a filing.

There are many who want to punish the House 126 in some way. They will clearly not be prosecuted since it involves speech, not overt actions. Some want Speaker Pelosi to refuse to seat the 126 using the 14th Amendment as a rationale. In theory, that’s possible but it would be unwise in the extreme. Nancy Smash is too smart to go there. The result of such a refusal would be the disenfranchisement of approximately 94 million Americans. (The current ratio of voters per district is 747,000.)

Refusing to seat the 126 would open a second front in this ridiculous cold war between Democrats and Republicans. It would cede the high ground to the latter as they could scream about their constituents being disenfranchised. This notion is first cousin to the “led the red states secede” group. For obvious reasons, I disagree with this damn fool notion as it would banish millions of people of color and me from the Union. What happened in first in Virginia then Georgia proves that red states can evolve, especially those with large black populations.

For those desperate for the House to punish the 126, a less incendiary idea is to censure the ringleader, Congressman Mike Johnson. His actions take the Gret out of the Gret Stet of Louisiana and he’s not even the worst member of our delegation. This is also unlikely to happen, but it wouldn’t have the effect of needlessly turning the 2020 election into another 1876. There’s a clear victor in this election as will be ratified by the electors today.

There’s a public health crisis in this country and Congress needs to take a page out of Bill Clinton’s impeachment playbook. Every time he was asked about impeachment, he’d say something to the effect of “I’m not focused on that. I’m doing the work I was elected to do by the American people.” For the first time, there’s some hope on the COVID front. Vaccine distribution and relief for the American people is what Congress should focus on, not 126 sycophantic House GOPers.

If I wanted to be a member of a party of dick wavers and screamers, I’d be a Republican. I prefer to follow the lead of the incoming Democratic president Joe Biden and be prepared to fight off substantive challenges and shrug off the rest. It’s time for the MSM and the public to expel Donald Trump from their heads. He’s the past. He’s just a troll demanding to be fed. Stop giving him the attention he desperately needs.

Repeat after me: DO NOT FEED THE TROLL.

The last word goes to Mr. Spock:

 

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “STOP – in the name of lawve” edition

So, Freepers – how did that that Ken Pax-Man Supreme Court lawsuit that was going to save The Darnold even better than a Sidney Powell Kraken work out for ya?

 

 

 

SCOTUS Denies Texas
legalinsurrection.com ^ | 12/11/2020 | Staff

Posted on 12/11/2020, 5:37:10 PM by jroehl

Fox news:

155, ORIG. TEXAS V. PENNSYLVANIA, ET AL. The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot. Statement of Justice Alito, with whom Justice Thomas joins: In my view, we do not have discretion to deny the filing of a bill of complaint in a case that falls within our original jurisdiction. See Arizona v. California, 589 U. S. ___ (Feb. 24, 2020) (Thomas, J., dissenting). I would therefore grant the motion to file the bill of complaint but would not grant other relief, and I express no view on any other issue.

1 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:37:10 PM by jroehl
To: jroehl

That’s it then

2 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:37:58 PM by Mmogamer (I refudiate the lamestream media, leftists and their prevaricutions.)

Pretty much, yeah.
To: jroehl

Damn them!

3 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:38:13 PM by Texan

To: jroehl

Then we no longer have a Constitution.

8 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:39:09 PM by Ben Hecks (Don’t Google it – Duck it!)

Nope – I just had a look – it’s still right there in the Rotunda at the National Archives.  Where were you looking?
Under your bed?
To: PghBaldy

Just elect Perdue and the lovely Kelly Loeffler. That will fix everything.

22 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:41:20 PM by lodi90

To: jroehl

To Hell with these black robed demons. It is time to water the tree of liberty.

24 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:41:33 PM by diplomatic_immunity

With the blood of “patriots”?  I agree completely.  Just lean over the nearest tree and open up your veins.
To: o2bfree

Quite believable, actually. Too many keep denying the impact of the Deep State. People were told Trump would never be allowed to be re-elected by the Deep State. No one should be surprised that’s where we’re headed.

35 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:42:30 PM by CatOwner

Well, it’s official.
.
Everyone except The Darnold is now the Derp State.  Took a while, but you finally got there.
To: jroehl
How the heck is this even possible?!?!

Um – one state can’t dictate election terms to any other state? I know it’s a shocker….

 

One thing for certain I will not be voting again, it’s just not worth it!

36 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:42:36 PM by existentially_kuffer

Promises, promises.
To: jroehl

Lawless country. I want a divorce. Irreconcilable differences.

40 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:42:53 PM by rigelkentaurus

Works for me.  Of course, you know she’ll get everything, including your house and car, child support (for all the children torn from their parents’ arms at the border), and a restraining order preventing you from coming any closer than the ten-mile offshore limit…
To: jroehl

The Soap BoxThe Ballot Box

The Jury Box<———you are here

The Cartridge Box<———you are here – fire at will

54 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:44:22 PM by rockrr ( Everything is different now…)

.

Which one’s Will?

.
To: jroehl

Actually, I predicted that the matter of standing would block this case from consideration.My fellow Freepers, while I acknowledge the moral righteousness here and also acknowledge that “no standing” is a typical judicial dodge to avoid making controversial rulings, we have to ask ourselves if one state really has standing to sue over how another state runs its business.

Common sense and morality are not necessarily the basis on how The Law works.

70 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:45:39 PM by Lysandru
To: Mmogamer

No use following laws Should be open season on Commie Dems

74 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:46:03 PM by Renegade

Feel free to try it, shit-for-brains.  But you’ll do nothing, just like you didn’t do anything the last ten times you threatened to grab a gun and start shooting.
To: jroehl

Civil war… the only solution left. Time to mobilize and resist the criminal US Government.

82 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:46:42 PM by DesertRhino (Dog is man’s best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up. …. )

.
WOLVERINES !!!! Mount UP!!!
To: jroehl

OK, well, I don’t know about anyone else, but as for me – I’m going to war.- Mike out.

83 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:46:44 PM by grobdriver (BUILD KATE’S WALL!)
You’re not going anywhere, you blithering buffoon – except to bed to cry yourself to sleep.
.
.
To: alternatives?

Sorry, you’re right. It was the three Trump appointees who stabbed us in the back. So now I do believe that “Justice” Kavanaugh, whom we all fought so hard for to less than no avail, did in fact rape that woman.

99 posted on 12/11/2020, 5:48:10 PM by laconic

Welcome to the party, moron.
More after the “more” thingy

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Texas Twisted: I Told You So

I’ve felt more like a lawyer in the last week than I have in years. Watching the hysteria on the left over the preposterous Texas election case has driven me crazy. It never had a chance. It was a bad joke concocted by someone with no sense of humor.  And now it’s over. I told you so.

In a blunt and to the point order, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected this fakakta case tonight. 7 justices didn’t want to hear it. Alito and Thomas would have heard it on procedural grounds but were unwilling to lift a finger to help their fellow wing nuts. It’s over. I told you so.

I eagerly await the Impeached Insult Comedian’s meltdown. I cannot wait to hear him accuse Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett of disloyalty. He thought that by nominating them, he owned them like Vito Corleone after he granted the undertaker Bonasera’s wedding day request. Handing him the election was the service he expected from them. A little evidence would have helped. I told you so.

People on my side of the fence need to forget the process and focus on the result. It doesn’t matter how many state AGs and Congresscritters sycophantically followed Trump off the cliff like lemmings. It’s over. They can go fuck themselves.

The media needs to kick its Trump addiction. He’s the past. He’s just a loudmouth sore loser whose words should bear no weight whatsoever. It’s over. He can go fuck himself.

Just in case my title isn’t clear enough, the last word goes to Gore Vidal:

Tweet Of The Day: Mama Told Me To Not Come

My friend James Karst worked at the Picayune for many years. One of his specialties is digging up obscure items from the newspaper’s morgue. This one is a doozy:

In case you can’t read Linda Coney’s letter in the tweet, here it is in all its dubious glory:

So much for Judge Coney’s claim to be open-minded about Roe v. Wade. She learned her views at her mother’s knee.

I’m not going to belabor the obvious pun in the post title other than quoting the song: “That ain’t the way to have fun, son.”

Instead, I’ll give the last word to Three Dog Night. Wilson Pickett, and the man who wrote the song, Randy Newman.

Three Dog Night put Not To Come in parenthesis. I’m sticking with Randy Newman’s take. He wrote the damn song, dammit.

FYI, Newman never released the song as a single hence the omission in the featured image. Mama told me to add that.

Why I’m Not Watching The Barrett Hearings

I hate Senate hearings, especially illegitimate ones. I’m usually the guy who says, “don’t boycott.” But this time I wish they had. I understand the reasons for Democratic members participating but I don’t want any of them catching COVID from the senator we know has had it, Mike Lee, or the senators who refused to be tested, Graham and Grassley. It’s not worth it, y’all.

I have a personal reason for hearing avoidance: the junior senator from the Gret Stet of Louisiana, John Neely Kennedy. I cannot stand watching him hick it up and sound like a hillbilly ninny. He’s the second phoniest man in American politics. Repeat after me: John Neely Kennedy can go fuck himself.

As to the process itself, it’s a rush job to cram an extremist judge down our throats. We all know that she’s itching to reverse Roe, but they keep denying it. I may not be watching the hearings but I’m reading about them and watching the clips. You could cut the sanctimony in that room with a knife.

I’m baffled by the Republican focus on the “injustice” done to Justice Bro. Why do they want to relive that nightmare? It’s not going to help them politically. Just ask Runaround Sue Collins. They know they’re losing, that’s why they’re putting their hypocrisy on parade.

I wish they weren’t there, but I agree with the Democrat’s focus on health care. The ACA and COVID are winning issues for Team Blue. Since this process is strictly political, they should milk it for all it’s worth.

The clips I’ve seen from day two show an over rehearsed almost comically evasive nominee. It’s the same act that GOP nominees have been doing since John Roberts, but he did it with style and panache qualities that Judge Barrett lacks.

I’m glad committee Dems are scoring points but life’s too short to invite Ted Cruz into my living room. I don’t want to traumatize Kitty Claire Trevor.

A brief thought about “court packing.” I think it’s high time for SCOTUS reform, but I wish our side would STFU about court packing. It’s a pejorative term that was used by FDR’s enemies during his attempt to reform the high court. Call if reform, call it anything else but don’t call it packing. Words matter. I agree with the headline of a recent Josh Marshall post: It’s Not ‘Court Packing.’ Don’t Be A Moron and Call It That.

It’s time to gavel this post to a close. In an attempt to inject some levity into the proceedings, we have two judge songs for your listening pleasure:

After Justice Ginsburg

Krewe of Mishigas Float, 2019. Photo by Dr. A.

The news came on a Friday night. Because of the pandemic, most of us were home. It lit up new media and old, social media and anti-social media. Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died at the age of 87.

This frail-looking and petite woman was so mentally and morally tough that some thought she was immortal. I’ve spent a lot of time around people over 80 in the last decade, so I was not surprised. It was a nearly unparalleled act of will for her survive the sort of major illnesses that would have finished off lesser beings. As depicted by the Krewe du Vieux sub-krewe of Mishigas in 2019, Justice Ginsburg was a fighter,

There have been many marvelous tributes to Justice Ginsburg. Here’s a brief list:

Pierce made an apt comparison between Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall. As a litigator, Ginsburg followed the trail blazed by Marshall and fought to establish important rights for women. Thurgood Marshall, however, was a reluctant judge. He preferred being on the other side of the courtroom. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was just as distinguished a jurist as an advocate. Those two skills rarely coincide. She was a remarkable person who led an exemplary life both personally and professionally. Above all else, she was a fighter.

While I wish that Justice Ginsburg had retired while Barack Obama was still president, her reasons were based on her experience as a Justice. Each generation of Justices learns a different lesson: Bill Brennan and Thurgood Marshall retired when they did because of the negative example set by Hugo Black and Bill Douglas who stayed on the Court too long. Ruth Bader Ginsburg saw her friend and colleague Sandra Day O’Connor regret her retirement to care for a husband who died while she was still on the court. That was a major turning point as her replacement was Samuel Alito who is an unbending member of the conservative bloc whereas O’Connor was the ultimate swing vote.

We’re on the cusp of another turning point with Justice Ginsburg’s death 46 days before the election. Those of us who admire Justice Ginsburg should follow her example, get off the floor, and fight back. I heard despair and defeatism this weekend. That’s a shitty way to honor a tough old bird like RBG, Dahlia Lithwick said it best:

America has lost a warrior, and it’s OK to be crushed. I am flattened. And I will mourn, because she deserves to be mourned. But we are also facing an almighty battle that will rage in the coming weeks, with attempts to fill her seat in an unseemly and grotesque manner. It will be hard and painful, but if you find yourself feeling hopeless and powerless, then you are emphatically doing it wrong. Because if anyone had a right to say “nah,” it was the woman who couldn’t get a job or a clerkship after graduating at the top of her class. But she pushed on, and then she pushed forward. She stepped into the fight of the phenomenal women who paved the path before, and now, well, it’s time to step into her fight and get it finished. I think the Notorious RBG would have peered owlishly out at all of us tonight and asked what the heck we are waiting for. And I think we can probably honor her best by getting to it.

The confirmation battle is joined. The most cynical man in politics has already discarded the rule bearing his name. The Turtle plans to move a Trump nominee through the Senate. I suspect he’ll do the most cynical thing imaginable and hold the vote in the lame duck session. To do otherwise, would doom the only thing that McConnell cares about as much as SCOTUS, his Senate majority.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham has already flip-flopped on his pledge not to push a nomination through in an election year. Nobody should be surprised. In 2016, Graham called Trump “a kook and a con man” among other ephemeral epithets. Now they’re golfing buddies.

The Democratic minority should announce a concrete and specific Court reform plan. (Don’t call it court packing, that evokes FDR’s failure in 1937-38.)  It should expand the number of Justices to eleven. They should also pledge to abolish the filibuster if a Trump nominee is rammed through. It’s time for it to go.

I saw some despairing tweets that a SCOTUS battle would decide the presidential election in Trump’s favor. Color me skeptical. Conservatives who care about SCOTUS and abortion sold their souls to President* Pennywise long ago. In 2020, it’s more likely to galvanize Democrats. A reminder that the Kavanaugh Mess did NOT turn the 2018 mid-terms in the GOP’s favor. The number that counts is this: 204,122 and counting dead of the novel coronavirus.

Back to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was an inspiring figure who will be missed, especially by the young women she inspired to fight the good fight. Women will decide the 2020 election. My hope is that they will be inspired to keep fighting until Democrats recapture the White House and Senate. Vote like the fate of the Republic depends on it. It does.

The last word goes to RBG’s close friend Nina Totenberg with a tweet for the ages:

Split Decision

The Summer Of Sam Fuller continues here at First Draft. The new Fog Of Scandal image is how the murder of Tolly Devlin’s father was shot in today’s PFT film noir, Underworld U.S.A. What’s more noir than shadows? Not a damn thing.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with the ruling by SCOTUS in the Trump tax cases. Not a damn thing. Don’t jump my shit or I’ll have a Tolly Devlin moment:

 

The post title is not 100% accurate but it’s what I predicted yesterday so I’ll stick with it:

 

I’ve never been compared to a Dutch seer before. I kinda like it. Thanks, Paul. Hmm, I wonder if the Dutch Dude wore seersucker…

The following analysis is as instant as it gets.

There was a clear victory for the Manhattan DA’s office in its case, which re-established the obvious principle that any POTUS is NOT ABOVE THE LAW. Trump’s legal team made preposterous arguments that made him either a king or a deity. The Kaiser of Chaos is neither; that nickname notwithstanding.

Both the New York case and the Congressional case have been remanded to the lower courts to address the details of the complaints so as Yogi Berra probably never said, “It ain’t over until it’s over.”

We may not see the records as soon as we might like but President* Pennywise is a loser in the long run. And he hates losing. Neener, neener, neener. I never get tired of Trump losing.

Other than the rule of law, the real winner today was Chief Justice John Roberts who, like any sensible Chief, prefers to stay out of the political thicket, which is as thick as it’s ever been. Thanks to a president* who is truly as thick as brick, which means as smart as a lump of shit. Make that orange shit and it fits…

Even Justice Bro believes that presidents DO NOT HAVE ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY. The Impeached Insult Comedian is already whining like a stuck pig, but he hasn’t attacked Kavanaugh. Yet. The clock is still clicking.

The cases have been remanded to the lower courts to handle the details. Congress may still prevail if they narrow their subpoena. Btw, that’s a word I can never spell without resort to a spell checker. The mere thought gives me a series of Tolly Devlin moments:

Finally, here’s summation of the case written in the style of Mongo of Blazing Saddles fame:

 

The last word goes to Steve Winwood with Joe Walsh:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Bolton out of the pack edition

SO.

MUCH.

WINNING!!!!

Ex-adviser John Bolton risks facing charges if he publishes book
DW ^ | 16 June 2020 | DW

Posted on 6/16/2020, 5:21:26 AM by Cronos

Donald Trump said his former National Security Adviser John Bolton may face a “criminal problem” if he goes ahead with the publication of his book that is expected to be highly critical of the president.

US President Donald Trump said on Monday that his former national security adviser, John Bolton, could face criminal liability if he doesn’t halt the publication of his new book that is expected to provide an insider account of the Trump administration.

“I will consider every conversation with me as president highly classified. So that would mean that if he wrote a book and if the book gets out he’s broken the law,” Trump said. “That’s called criminal liability. That’s a big thing,” he said.

Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security adviser for about 18 months, is a controversial figure in Washington. He is a Republican policymaker known for his hawkish stance on foreign affairs. Bolton was fired by Trump in September 2019 over simmering differences on a range of foreign policy issues, most notably North Korea and Afghanistan.

‘Addicted to chaos’

In the book, titled “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” Bolton writes that almost every decision by Trump was motivated by domestic politics, and that he committed impeachable offenses even beyond the charges related to Ukraine.

“I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” Bolton writes in the book, according to a statement by the publishers, Simon and Schuster.

The book describes Trump as “a President addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government,” the statement said.

Pre-publication review

Trump has accused Bolton of not completing the clearance process required for a book by former government officials who had access to sensitive information. While Trump admitted he had not read the book, he said the problem of revealing conversations with the president “becomes even worse if he lies about the conversation, which I understand he might have in some cases.”

“We’ll see what happens. They’re in court or they’ll soon be in court,” Trump said.

US Attorney General William Barr also raised concerns over the pre-publication review process, and added that the Trump administration was “trying to get them to go through the process and make the necessary deletions of classified information.”

Bolton’s lawyer Chuck Cooper has contradicted these statements, saying that his client had painstakingly worked with classifications specialists at the White House National Security Council to ensure classified material is not published.

“This is a transparent attempt to use national security as a pretext to censor Mr. Bolton, in violation of his constitutional right to speak on matters of the utmost public importance,”according to Cooper. “This attempt will not succeed, and Mr. Bolton’s book will be published June 23.”

**********************

Bolton should stop this publishing action now. What is he trying to do??And look at Bolton’s lawyer pulling out nonsense from his hat

1 posted on 6/16/2020, 5:21:26 AM by Cronos
HEY ROCKY!!!
HeyRockyRINO
RINO ALERT!!!
To: Cronos

 

Bolton is like a JILTED GIRL!! He’s going to do anything he can to RUIN TRUMP!

6 posted on 6/16/2020, 5:44:24 AM by Ann Archy (Abortion……. The HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)

The Darnold ruined himself, a long time ago.
To: Cronos

 

The book describes Trump as “a President addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government,” the statement said.

Boltons’ book is a lying hit piece straight out. Bolton is a piece of shit who deserves a curb-stomping.

10 posted on 6/16/2020, 6:05:26 AM by TalBlack

CURB-STOMPING ALERT!!
.
Also, you can just say “shit” on Free Republic now?
.
Cool.
To: Leaning Right

 

“John Bolton risks facing charges

You mean like Strok and Paige or Comey or Brennan or Clapper or Schift or Rosenstien or McCabe? You mean that kind of risk? You mean because he stole pages of notes from meetings he attended with Trump and others and used them to write his book. Risks my ass, nothing will happen to him.

14 posted on 6/16/2020, 7:18:40 AM by abbastanza

WeHaveAWinner2

To: Cronos

There was a time when I liked  every Freeper worshiped  John Bolton.

FIFY.

It’s discouraging how many public figures I believed in, only to find out that they were actually a globalist, a Leftist, and/or part of the Deep State.

20 posted on 6/16/2020, 4:29:54 PM by KittyKares (Drain the Swamp)

Well, since nothing (including his disastrous cabinet picks) can ever be The Darnold’s fault, whose fault IS it??
To: McGruff

 

The people who convinced PDJT is hire Bolton in the first place need to sacked immediately. And they have already been so, there(sic) names need to be made public.

4 posted on 6/18/2020, 9:08:57 PM by Armscor38

Wait for it…
To: Armscor38

 

I’d like to know who promoted Bolton to Trump.

9 posted on 6/18/2020, 9:10:56 PM by McGruff

Wait for it…
To: McGruff

 

Hannity and Mark Levin apparently both helped.

11 posted on 6/18/2020, 9:12:37 PM by Aria

To: Armscor38

 

Hannity was one.

12 posted on 6/18/2020, 9:14:02 PM by sheehan (DEPORT ALL ILLEGALS.)

BanHimHannity
.
Much much more, including The Revenge Of The Supremes!

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The Return Of The Kavanaugh Mess

Last fall, I devoted much of my blog-tention to the Kavanaugh Mess. I wrote some 20 posts about it and even created a category devoted to all things Justice Bro. I’d effectively retired the category until today when it roared back to life like the monster in Son Of Frankenstein.

The New York Times broke the latest Kavanaugh story in an op-ed which is an offhand way to do it. The headline was on the squishy side, but the story was not:

There was additional agita about the story but I’d rather beat up on Republicans than the NYT today so read this TPM piece to be fully informed on the latest mishigas.

The details of the correction and tweet deletion aren’t important. What’s important is that this story reaffirms that Kavanaugh committed perjury during his confirmation testimony. Josh Marshall re-posted this tweet from last year to reinforce the point:

Lying may be commonplace in the Trump era, but it shouldn’t be rewarded with a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court. The Republican response contains no surprises. It’s best summed up by this meme:

Where do we go from here? We know that Justice Bro will not resign and that his colleagues are unlikely to pressure him to do so. Justice Thomas lied at his confirmation hearing as well and he’s been a Supreme for 28 years.

Impeachment is popular in many quarters including among Democratic presidential candidates. While I’m favor of impeaching the president* in what would be a symbolic act, I’m not inclined to support a move against Kavanaugh when there is NO CHANCE of his removal from office. 17 members of the current Senate are unlikely to admit they screwed the pooch on the Kavanaugh confirmation and vote to remove him.

Impeachment is an arrow that should be kept in the quiver until the Democrats control the Senate and White House along with the House. It may happen sooner than many think.

Sometime soon, I’ll share my 1980 In 2019 theory but right now it’s underbaked and I don’t want to post it until there’s the possibility of a Hollywood handshake. That’s Paul Hollywood of Great British Baking Show fame, not the town in Southern California. Who wants to hear the dread phrase soggy bottom?

I agree with everyone who is outraged by the return of the Kavanaugh Mess. BUT I think we should resist smart and focus like a laser beam on ousting the Kaiser of Chaos and Moscow Mitch. As much as Kavanaugh deserves to be impeached, it should wait until there’s a chance for removal or perjury charges to be filed. The earliest possible date is January 2021. Mark your calendars.

Repeat after me: revenge is a dish best served cold.

Finally, please support annual fundraiser to keep the stuff and nonsense flowing. Click here for the details from the Boss Lady.

Trumper Incitement Speech

Just when we thought things couldn’t get any uglier, the Insult Comedian doubled down on his egregious bigotry. He briefly stepped back from the brink after Republican blowback over his remarks about “The Squad,” but he cannot help himself and was soon back to inciting the red-hatted hordes. It’s just the latest offensive language offensive by the party of Trump.

Trump’s latest racist comments led me to me ponder two legendary Supreme Court cases. In the first case, Schenck v. United State, Oliver Wendell Holmes (surely the best name in SCOTUS history) enunciated the “clear and present danger test.” 50 years later the Supremes limited that test in the case of a Klansman named Clarence Brandenburg, not to be confused with Clarence the goofball angel in It’s A Wonderful Life. In Brandenbeurg v. Ohio case, the Court held:

… that speech advocating illegal conduct is protected under the First Amendment unless the speech is likely to incite “imminent lawless action.”

When it comes to the First Amendment, I’m down with the late Justice Hugo Black who was a free speech absolutist. BUT just because incitement speech can be legal does not make it socially or politically acceptable. We cannot ban it unless it directly provokes violence BUT we can attack it at its source: the Trump regime and the GOP.

We’re seeing the effects of the Current Occupant’s vicious and racist attacks spring to life among his supporters. Rhetorical bombs are being tossed across the country.

Across the Big Muddy from Adrastos World HQ, a veteran Gretna police officer showed classic internet courage by first posting, then removing a Facebook thingamabob about Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez:

The Times-Picayune reported this weekend that police officer Charlie Rispoli had posted a threatening message about Ocasio-Cortez, who used to work as a bartender, on his Facebook page.

“This vile idiot needs a round…and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve,” Rispoli wrote in a caption above a fake article headlined with “Ocasio-Cortez On the Budget: ‘We Pay Soldiers Too Much’”

The cop seemed livid about the article, even though the site Taters Gonna Tate describes itself as a “satire” website and Ocasio-Cortez has never said that soldiers get paid “too much.”

A Trumper falling for a “fake news” article? Imagine that. Of course, anyone who has fallen for the Insult Comedian’s shtick is a fool and/or a poltroon.

Meanwhile, this happened in the Land of Lincoln:

Internet courage was also displayed by this group: they removed this offensive image as well as its even more offensive caption, “Political jihad is their game. If you don’t agree with their socialist ideology, you’re racist.”

That is, of course, Geoffrey Hughes’ character, Onslow, from Keeping Up Appearances, not one of the Illinois GOP honchos. But now that I think of it, all you have to do is add a Bears or Cubs hat and Bob’s your uncle. Your uncle, not mine.

They justified the racist image with this gobble-de-gook:

State Republican Chairman Tim Schneider responded to what he called the “bigoted rhetoric” in a statement, according to the Tribune.

“My intense disagreement with the socialist policies and anti-Semitic language of these four congresswoman has absolutely nothing to do with their race or religion,” he said. “I urge everyone who opposes them to keep the rhetoric focused on policy and ideology.”

Instead of gobble-de-gook, one might call this an Illini lie. Schneider is a German-sounding name, perhaps he should go back to Germany. Of course, German law takes a dim view of incitement speech for obvious reasons. Been there, done that.

The current political environment is ugly and getting uglier by the nano-second. Trump and his supporters will stop at nothing to keep him in office. I am genuinely concerned that this will result in even more politically inspired violence than we’ve already seen.

Like Pontius Pilate, Trump will wash his hands of any responsibility the next time someone gets hurt, especially if it’s one of The Squad. I have no sympathy for that devil, y’all.

And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Trump and his followers are stirring the pot with their incitement speech. At the risk of sounding like an entry in the dictionary of political cliches, they will eventually reap the whirlwind and pay for their actions in the fall of 2020. But it will take hard work and persistence. And Boris Badenov and ilk may help Team Trump just as they did in 2016:

Repeat after me: Republicans lost the popular vote in the mid-terms by 9 points. Their only hope for victory is to depress Democratic turnout by hook or crook and pray for protection from the electoral college.  Never forget: massive turnout by the people Trump is trying to otherize is the cure to what ails the country.

Since bomb throwing is the metaphor of the day, the last word goes to 10cc:

UPDATE: The Gretna, Louisiana cop mentioned above was fired.

John Paul Stevens & Jim Bouton, R.I.P.

You’re not hallucinating. That is indeed a signed John Paul Stevens baseball card. It was created by David Mitchner who mailed it to Justice Stevens during the 2016 World Series. You know, the Cubs’ first championship since 1908. Justice Stevens returned the signed card and the rest is history. The photo of Stevens in Cubs gear dates from 2005 when he threw out the first pitch at a Cubs-Reds game in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

You’re probably wondering why I paired Justice Stevens and pitcher/author Jim Bouton in a tribute. They’re both people I admired who died recently, that’s why. Besides, I’m notorious for my oddball combinations. Stevens and Bouton were both genial, kindly men who loved baseball. It’s time to uncouple this Odd Couple; one that’s almost worthy of the late Neil Simon.

Let’s take them in order of demise. We’ll use the time-honored Odds & Sods device of the New York Times link thingamabob as subject headers/dividers.

 

I failed to pay proper tribute to Jim Bouton last week because of the Wednesday flood and the approach of Whatever That Was Barry. He had a mediocre career highlighted by two fine seasons with the New York Yankees in 1963 and 1964. He blew out his arm in 1965 and by 1969 was trying to make a comeback as a knuckleball pitcher with the expansion Seattle Pilots. The Pilots lasted one year before being sold and moved to Milwaukee where they ditched the awful uniforms and became the Brewers.

1969 was the dividing line in Jim Bouton’s life. It was the year that he recorded the diary entries that would become the sensation that was Ball Four. Bouton was pilloried by the stuffy, ultra-conservative baseball establishment for admitting that ballplayers were human beings. Mickey Mantle drank and played hungover? A huge shocker in 1970 but no surprise to anyone who actually knew the Mick.

Along with Catch-22, Burr, and Breakfast of Champions, Ball Four was my favorite book of that era. Heller, Vidal, and Vonnegut were pretty lofty company for a washed-up pitcher to keep. But all four books were irreverent and hilarious; influences I try to put to good use as a writer.

Teen-age me was thrilled to learn that someone who played my favorite sport was an anti-war liberal with a wicked sense of humor. Ballplayers pretended to be apolitical paragons in those days. Bouton was a breath of fresh air.

One of the best tributes I’ve read to Bouton is by my friend Vince Filak. He focuses on Bouton’s unique voice and exceptional story-telling ability. It’s a helluva good read.

I’ll give Jim Bouton the last word of the segment:

“A ballplayer spends a good piece of his life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.”

Let’s move on from a former Yankees/Pilots/Astros/Braves pitcher to a zealous Cubs fan.

John Paul Stevens always maintained that he was a conservative and that SCOTUS had moved so far to the right that he looked like a liberal in contrast. I think of Stevens as the sort of liberal Republican that is largely extinct in 2019.

He grew up in Chicago, which was a town dominated by a corrupt Democratic political machine. The natural thing for an independent minded lawyer was to become a liberal Republican in the tradition of fellow Supremes Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan Stone, and Earl Warren. Stevens’ appointment was by far and away the best thing that Jerry Ford did during his brief presidency.

As a Supreme, Stevens was an independent force with a fervent belief in the rule of law. I think Jeffrey Rosen best summed up Stevens’ credo as a judge:

In our conversation, three consistent themes in his jurisprudence emerged: his belief in the duty of the government to be neutral; the duty of judges to be transparent; and the need for judges to interpret the Constitution in light of the entire scope of its history, including the post–Civil War amendments, rather than stopping in the founding era.

Those are themes that all judges should aspire to but are sadly lacking among today’s conservative justices who are eager to gut precedents they dislike. That’s what John Paul Stevens meant when he called himself a conservative. He wanted to conserve what was best in the law and reform the worst.

Circling back to our baseball theme. As a young lawyer, Stevens was involved in Congressional hearings that addressed baseball’s anti-trust exemption. There’s a swell piece in the archives of the Atlantic about how Stevens changed baseball.

That concludes this odd couple tribute to two men I admired. Jim Bouton and John Paul Stevens made the world a better and livelier place. They will be missed.

Alabama Goddam

Photo via @ALostrich.

The Alabama lege has gone there by passing a bill that effectively bans safe, legal abortion. It confirms the asterisk placed on the state motto in the featured image above.

The Guardian nailed it with this brilliant headline: These 25 Republicans-All White Men-Just Voted To Ban Abortion In Alabama.

Governor Kay Ivey hasn’t announced whether or not she’ll sign the bill BUT she’s a blue-haired right-winger from central casting so she’s expected to do so. That will be the day that stars really fall on Alabama.

Anti-choicers have been “praying” for this ever since Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. It’s why they support Donald Trump who has pledged to only appoint judges who will strike Roe down. Unfortunately, it’s the only promise he’s kept.  Thanks, Mitch.

I’m usually cautiously optimistic that Chief Justice Roberts will land on the side of precedent since he’s a genuine judicial conservative as well as an institutionalist. Unfortunately, institutionalism is on the run in the Trump era. Besides, the Chief’s record on abortion rights issues is clear: he’s apt to be just as eager to reverse Roe as his wingnuttier colleagues.

Justice Stephen Breyer issued a warning last week about the current court’s willingness to disregard precedent. Here’s an excerpt from a piece by Slate’s fine legal writer Mark Joseph Stern:

In dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer acknowledged as much. Overruling precedent typically requires a “special justification,” Breyer wrote, but “the majority does not find one.” Instead, it merely decides that Hall “was wrongly decided” and should go. “The law has not changed significantly since this Court decided Hall,” Breyer pointed out, “nor has our understanding of state sovereign immunity evolved to undermine Hall.” All that has changed is the composition of the court. He added:

“To overrule a sound decision like Hall is to encourage litigants to seek to overrule other cases; it is to make it more difficult for lawyers to refrain from challenging settled law; and it is to cause the public to become increasingly uncertain about which cases the Court will overrule and which cases are here to stay.”

It is “dangerous,” Breyer concluded, “to overrule a decision only because five Members” of the court disagree with it. “Today’s decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the Court will overrule next.” And if there were any doubt which cases Breyer was alluding to in this dark denouement, he cited the portion of Planned Parenthood v. Casey that explained why Roe should be upheld. The justice has hoisted a red flag, alerting the country that the court’s conservative majority is preparing an assault on the right to abortion access.

Justice Breyer rarely writes such scathing dissents: he’s usually the soul of moderation and courtesy. That’s why we need to take him seriously. Shit meet fan.

I am not eager for the Alabama law to reach the Supreme Court but that’s its likely destination absent an unlikely veto by the Governor. We’re on our own now.

Massive Resistance

Massive resistance to desegregation was a thing after the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. The Supremes erred by using Felix (The Hot Dog Man) Frankfurter’s phrase that desegregation should be implemented “with all deliberate speed.” What followed was deliberate delay, not speedy progress.

Team Trump is following its own path of massive resistance in regard to Congressional subpoenas. The Insult Comedian has bragged that he runs the “most transparent administration in history” when, as always, the opposite is true. Projection thy name is Trumpy.

The Trump regime specializes in lies, cover-ups, and delay. They’ve made an art of kicking the can down the road in an audacious attempt to delay the president’s* day of reckoning. I halfway expect Rudy to use the phrase “with all deliberate speed,” he’s surely heard of it. Trump just as surely has not. Nothing exists if it doesn’t involve him.

The law is on the side of the House oversight committees but not only is the law an ass, it’s a slow ass. It’s one of the few things Trump knows: litigation is tantamount to delay. It’s why he *always* threatens to sue whenever things go against him. The good news is that Congress has deep pockets but the process is inherently slow. In fact, it moves “with all deliberate speed.”