Antonin Scalia

Chief Justice John Roberts Has Lost Control Of The Supreme Court, And His Own Reputation Is At Stake!

The Supreme Court is in crisis, as its reputation, and that of its leader, Chief Justice John Roberts, is at stake!

It is now the most rightwing Supreme Court since the 1920s and early 1930s, as extremism has taken over an institution which is supposed to be moderate centrist!

Past Chief Justices, including John Marshall, Charles Evans Hughes, and Earl Warren, had the ability to impact other members of the Court, and convince them to work toward moderation!

But John Roberts has clearly lost control of a Court which includes three Donald Trump appointees, with only the first choice, Neil Gorsuch, coming across as lacking in controversy outside of the fact that he became the replacement for Antonin Scalia, instead of Barack Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland!

Brett Kavanaugh has a cloud over his head and reputation as a sexual abuser, much like Clarence Thomas, appointed by George H. W. Bush thirty years ago, and having a deleterious effect on the Court for three decades!

And Amy Coney Barrett is clearly not Justice material, and her extreme religious swing to the far Right has besmirched the memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Had she been still on the Court, she would have prevented the atrocious decision of the Court to back the disgraceful Texas abortion law that now Attorney General Merrick Garland is suing to prevent the loss of a constitutional right for women to control their own bodies!

The Supreme Court Reputation Has Been Seriously Tarnished, No Longer Seen As Representing Moderation!

The John Roberts Supreme Court reputation has been seriously tarnished, no longer seen as representing moderation!

By deciding to go along with an extremist Texas abortion law, in a one paragraph middle of the night statement, which includes no exceptions for rape or incest, and allowing private citizens to sue anyone engaged in promoting abortion, the Court has done one of the worst ever actions, which will be compared to such other issues as Dred Scott V Sandford (1857) and Plessy V Ferguson (1896), and a small group of other reprehensible decisions!

Chief Justice Roberts himself recognized how terrible this 5-4 decision was, so despite earlier personal expressions of being anti abortion, he joined the three liberals on the Court in opposition.

Roberts knows his own historical reputation has been permanently damaged, as the Court has become dangerously radical right wing extremist, with the three reprehensible appointments by Donald Trump showing their true colors!

The fact that the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett switched the Court balance from what it was under the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg right before the Presidential Election of 2020 is reprehensible!

But also, the fact that Brett Kavanaugh was the second Court Justice to face accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct, along with Clarence Thomas three decades ago, and now they decided the private lives of women, is totally infuriating!

And the fact that Neil Gorsuch gained an appointment after a full year of no replacement of Antonin Scalia, and that Merrick Garland was denied even a hearing as his replacement, makes all three of Donald Trump’s Court appointments questionable and wanting!

It is further proof that the Supreme Court has lost whatever aura it had, as a fair, reasonable body!

To reverse a decision of nearly 50 years, when the tradition of the Court is to uphold legal precedent normally, and that it has such a dramatic effect on more than half the population, is beyond the pale!

If Hillary Clinton had won the Presidential Election of 2016, which this author and blogger and tens of millions of Americans think is the truth, the Supreme Court today would not be in the crisis atmosphere it is in!

It requires an attempt to add members to the Court, because otherwise, the Court is on a tear to the promotion of Fascism clear and simple, and that cannot be allowed to move forward toward ultimate destruction of the Constitution and rule of law!

The idea that two Presidents, George W. Bush and Donald Trump,who lost the popular vote, could add two and three members to the Court respectively, which otherwise would have been appointees of Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, is simply outrageous and unacceptable for the long haul!

It will permanently destroy the reputation of a very evil man, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who brought about this travesty!

When one thinks back to the mid and late 1970s, we actually had a 7-2 Republican Court by party affiliation, but it included moderate Republicans, which included statesmen, including William Brennan, Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, and Chief Justice Warren Burger!

So action must be taken to expand the Court, as we are in a constitutional crisis that will only get worse if no action is taken!

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Should Retire, For Secure Survival Of Liberal Wing Of Court

It was very disappointing news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has announced he has no plans to retire, as he reaches age 83 on August 15.

Breyer has served long and well on the Supreme Court since being appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994.

Already he is one of the longest serving Justices in American history, 25th longest of a total of 115 Justices who have served.

His arguments for remaining on the Court are that he likes being the Senior Justice of the liberal wing, and that his health will determine how long he stays.

But he fails to recognize that health can change rapidly, and when one is in his or her 80s, he or she needs to consider the impact of a sudden death, as with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s sudden passing, which led to a rapid appointment of a Justice (Amy Coney Barrett) who was rammed through in record time, instead of leaving the appointment to the winner of the Presidential Election of 2020.

With a Court now more conservative and right wing than it has been since the 1930s, it is alarming to think that Breyer is gambling the effect on the liberal wing of the Court by refusing to retire.

Joe Biden should be given the opportunity to replace him, but if even one Democratic Senator dies before 2023, then the Republicans will take control of the US Senate, and prevent any Biden nominee.

And if the Republicans win the Senate in 2022, then Joe Biden will be denied any appointment, even if a vacancy, as Mitch McConnell denied Barack Obama the opportunity to replace Antonin Scalia with Merrick Garland in 2016!

Confirmation Of Justice Amy Coney Barrett Creates The Most Extreme Supreme Court Since 1930s!

The confirmation last evening of new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett creates the most extreme Supreme Court since the time of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s Great Depression, just as we are entering into the Second Great Depression.

The right wing narrow minded view of Justice Barrett is perceived as more so than even her mentor, former Justice Antonin Scalia.

The fifth woman to serve on the Court, she is the anti Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a great woman who we could only wish had been able to live two to three more weeks, preventing an appointment before the election.

And had she lived until December, even a lame duck President could not have replaced her before January and a new President.

This only accelerates the dire need for everyone to vote, and for the Republicans to be resoundingly defeated next week for the White House and the US Senate, and add seats in the House of Representatives.

With a 6-3 extremist Court, the following areas of law are greatly endangered:

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in general
Women’s Rights
Abortion Rights
Gay Rights and Gay Marriage
Labor Rights
Voting Rights
Environmental Reforms
Consumer Reforms
Business Regulations
Separation of Church and State
Firearms Regulation

The answer must be to expand the Supreme Court to 11 members, adding two progressives or liberal voices to the Court, making for a slight 6-5 conservative majority, but promoting the concept that Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch will, at times, side with the liberals.

It does not guarantee progressive and liberal ideas, but that has been that way for a generation, but once either Clarence Thomas (age 72) or Samuel Alito (age 70) leaves the Court, likely in the next four years, a moderate Court will be achieved. And if Stephen Breyer or Sonia Sotomayor were to leave, it would insure a Democratic President choosing their successors.

Voting for Joe Biden and a Democratic Senate insures that the right wing tilt of the Court will be short lived!

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Cancer Crisis Raises Alarm For Supreme Court Future

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been on the Court for 27 years, and is a true icon with millions of fans and supporters of her brilliant liberal perspective on legal matters.

But now, at age 87, she has suffered again a bout with cancer, having survived colon cancer in 1999, pancreatic cancer in 2009, lung cancer in 2018, and pancreatic cancer again in 2019. Now, she is diagnosed with liver cancer, so this is her fifth bout with cancer.

Ginsburg has proved to be a tough lady, doing great sessions with exercise over the past generation, and recovering from conditions most would not have survived.

She is still able to do her job, and is determined to remain, but now, there is fear she might not be able to continue, and could, god forbid, die in office or be forced to resign this fall, giving Donald Trump another appointment to the Court, which would shift it to the far right, a true disaster.

Since Barack Obama was not allowed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, because it was an election year, by all rights, Trump should not be able to replace Ginsburg. Any appointment should be delayed to 2021. as it was delayed until 2017, when Neil Gorsuch took the Scalia seat, rather than Merrick Garland, the Barack Obama appointee to replace Scalia in 2016.

We must all pray that Ginsburg will, once again, fight and overcome this challenge, and remain on the Court until at least January 4, when the new Congress, hopefully with a Democratic Senate, begins, and the upcoming inauguration, hopefully, of Joe Biden to the Presidency, would occur on January 20, 2021.

Then, we will know that Ginsburg’s Court seat is safely in the hands of a liberal Justice, preserving the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg!

The Most Evil Man In The US Senate: Mitch McConnell Of Kentucky, Setting Out To Destroy The Legal System And Legal Precedents!

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky clearly is the most evil man in the Senate, setting out to destroy the legal system and legal precedents that have been accomplished over many decades and administrations.

He is striving, successfully, to set up a judicial system which will set America back legally for the next thirty years, as his legacy. His refusal to allow a hearing for Merrick Garland, Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Antonin Scalia in 2016, and the rushed confirmation of many unqualified and despicable district court and circuit nominees for life terms in office is insuring a gloomy future for civil rights and civil liberties. And now, he has said he will push the confirmation of a Supreme Court judge if either Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Stephen Breyer were to leave the Court in 2020.

His corruption is out of control, and his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, has clearly been involved in corrupt financial actions while working for Donald Trump. This power couple should not be able to have such power and influence, with the obvious conflict of interest that promotes their support of Donald Trump, and unwillingness on the part of McConnell to challenge the President on his abuse of power and obstruction of justice.

Hopefully, again they will pay the price in legal charges brought against Elaine Chao, and the defeat of Mitch McConnell for reelection in 2020. Mitch McConnell has violated his oath of office and subverted the democratic process. And Elaine Chao has proved she is yet another of the corrupt cabinet officers under Donald Trump!

A Way To Promote End Of Political Polarization: Nominate Merrick Garland A Justice Of The Supreme Court

Assuming that the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court fails to gain a majority of the US Senate, the future of the Court and its reputation remains at stake.

One way to resolve it is for both Republicans and Democrats to work toward the end of polarization, and call upon President Donald Trump to nominate Merrick Garland to the empty seat on the Supreme Court, three years after he was summarily dismissed and ignored by the Republicans, when President Barack Obama nominated him to replace Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.

Merrick Garland was seen by Obama as a compromise choice, whom the Republicans would accept, as he is seen as a moderate, and has a distinguished background as the Chief Judge of the US Court Of Appeals for the DC Circuit, the highest court next to the Supreme Court.

Garland is technically the “boss” of Brett Kavanaugh, and also was of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and both of them have always been very positive in their views of Garland.

Being in his mid 60s. Garland would serve far less than the theoretical 30 years that Gorsuch might serve, and that Kananaugh might serve if he was confirmed.

Garland is perfectly qualified to keep the Court balanced, and would likely replace Anthony Kennedy as the “swing vote” on the Court, and would prevent the kind of polarization represented by an extreme right wing choice for the Supreme Court, keeping it as four liberals, four conservatives, and Garland as the crucial vote, sometimes siding with one or the other side, as Anthony Kennedy did, and earlier, Sandra Day O’Connor did.

Why could not the two parties agree to a truce, to work toward cooperation, and return the US Senate to what it was under Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan, when Senator Everett Dirksen worked with LBJ, and Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill did with Reagan, working across the aisle on many matters?

It is proper that Merrick Garland be put on the Court, as a distinguished, and accomplished man, who deserves, belatedly, three years late, to give his service to our nation’s highest Court.

Supreme Court Longevity An Issue, As Recent Justices Have Stayed Much Longer Than Average, Including Contested Nominee Clarence Thomas

In the midst of the controversy over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is the reality of how long he might serve.

There has been a trend whereby recent Supreme Court Justices serve much longer than historically traditional.

Right now, contested Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who was confirmed in 1991 despite strong testimony of Anita Hill, has served 27 years on the Court, and is already number 24 in longevity of service out of 113 members of the Court in American history. He will be number 17 in two years and number 13 in four years. In May 2028, he would break the all time record of 36 years and nearly 7 months of Justice William O. Douglas, and Thomas would be just about a month short of age 80, and can be seen as likely, if he stays healthy, to accomplish this goal.

If one just looks at the top fourth of all Supreme Court Justices in longevity, a total of 31 out of 113, all 24 years or more of service, we find the following recent Justices, all appointed since the 1950s, are on the list:

John Paul Stevens
William Brennan
William Rehnquist
Byron White
Anthony Kennedy
Antonin Scalia
Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Sandra Day O’Connor
Harry Blackmun
Stephen Breyer
Thurgood Marshall

In the earlier history of the Supreme Court, the average length of service was about 15 years by comparison.

That is why the idea, proposed by this author two days ago, that a future Supreme Court Justice be limited to an 18 year term, allows for turnover, and prevents dominance by an ideological minority for decades, as now is threatened by Brett Kavanaugh, or another extreme right wing appointment by Donald Trump.

Supreme Court Membership Could Be Increased In Future By Democratic Party Senate Majority, Perfectly Legal

Progressives have developed the idea that in the future, when Democrats gain the majority of the US Senate, they may move toward increasing the membership of the Supreme Court, playing hardball as much as the Republicans have under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell refused to allow hearings for Merrick Garland, Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee to replace the dead Antonin Scalia, saying it was an election year, and improper to allow an outgoing President to make an appointment.

This was preposterous, as John Adams named John Marshall Chief Justice in 1801, after losing reelection to Thomas Jefferson; Andrew Jackson chose Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney in 1836, his last year in office; and Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison and William Howard Taft chose Justices in their last year in office; and Herbert Hoover chose Benjamin Cardozo in 1932, his last year in office; and Dwight D. Eisenhower chose William Brennan in the year of his reelection campaign; and Ronald Reagan chose Anthony Kennedy in his last year in office in 1988.

We have had differing numbers of justices. up to ten, and there is no constitutional barring of adding more Justices, as Franklin D. Roosevelt wished to do in 1937.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander, as the saying goes, and this might be a way to wield power on the part of the Democrats to create a balanced Court, as otherwise, we will have the most extremist Court since the 1920s!

The Tough Battle Ahead On Supreme Court Replacement For Justice Anthony Kennedy

The retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative but moderate on such issues as gay rights and gay marriage, abortion, affirmative action, flag burning, and the use of the death penalty, leaves the Senate in a tough battle for confirmation of whoever Donald Trump appoints as his replacement.

The fair thing to do would be to postpone the appointment and confirmation hearings until after the midterm elections of 2018, just as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell prevented hearings and a vote on Barack Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, a Presidential election year. But it is clear McConnell has no such intentions to treat this situation in the same manner as he did two years ago.

So the question is whether there is any possibility of stopping a Trump appointment, and it seems pretty gloomy and very little chance to intervene and delay or prevent a confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice.

With only 49 votes, the Democrats need one or two Republicans to join them in opposition, and for all Democrats, including more moderate and conservative members of the caucus, to stay loyal, even in an election year where 10 Senators who are running for reelection are from Trump carried states.

The saddest part of all this is that now we will have FOUR Supreme Court Justices–two by George W. Bush and two by Donald Trump–selected by Presidents who massively lost the popular vote in the elections in 2000 and 2016 when the Electoral College went to them.

Six of the last seven Presidential elections have seen the popular vote won by Democrats, all but 2004 since 1992, but the power over the future of the Supreme Court has been lost for the long term, for the next 30 years, beyond the theoretical lifetime of this author and blogger, and of many people who are 40 or over right now!