Gay Rights

The American Character And Reputation Is At Stake On Tuesday: Can We Come Out Of The Darkness?

With 48 hours to the election, the American character and reputation is at stake on Tuesday, Election Day.

Can America come out of the darkness of the last four years, and restore respect for the Constitution and rule of law, and gain the respect again of the international community?

Will morality and ethics and common decency return, or will America go into the darkness of Fascism, as occurred in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany?

Will civil rights, civil liberties, women’s rights, gay rights, immigrant rights, labor rights, consumer rights, environmental protections, and restoration of international respect for America be resumed?

Or will we go further into the darkness where Donald Trump will be uncontrollable, and the possibility of mass murder of opponents occur, with the backing of the extreme right wing groups, including the evangelicals and various militia groups, who will want war on open mindedness and tolerance and common decency?

As stated at earlier times, this is the most important election in our lifetimes, or at least since 1940, and could be as significant as 1860 and the Civil War!

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!

Women Will Determine That Joe Biden And Kamala Harris Become President And Vice President!

It is a well known fact that for many decades now, women have been heavily Democratic voters.

The question is how to encourage more women to vote, as if they do, they insure Democratic Party victory in November for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

It is clear that suburban white women, African American women, and Latina women are going to commit themselves to voting, organizing, and convincing others to engage in the campaign, as they despise Donald Trump’s racism, nativism, Islamophobia, his courting of white supremacists, and his misogyny.

They despise him also for his support of those who wish to take the right of a woman to control her body away from them, and also his anti gay and anti transgender agenda.

Donald Trump has been a disaster for women’s rights and human rights, and large numbers of motivated, committed, and intelligent women of all backgrounds are united to remove him and Vice President Mike Pence from office!

We Are On The Way To The Most Reactionary Right Wing Supreme Court Since The 1930s

In the 1930’s, Franklin D. Roosevelt had the most reactionary right wing Supreme Court, working to undermine the New Deal.

This led him to promote the so called “Court Packing Plan” in 1937, to add six new Justices for each one over 70, but the Congress, controlled by his own party, but having a strong Southern conservative contingent, promoted its defeat.

Now, eight decades later, America is on the brink of having the most reactionary right wing Court since then, with the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett by President Donald Trump.

Already, the Supreme Court has four Justices appointed by Presidents who lost the popular vote, and now they will have a majority, if Barrett is approved, which is likely.

And Barrett does not believe in the doctrine of “Stare Decisis”, the legal principle of determining points in litigation based upon earlier precedents.

Instead, she has very strong personally held beliefs, tied to her strong Catholic faith, and her involvement in a religious charismatic Christian group called “People of Praise”, which preaches that the man is the leader of the family over the wife.

This is very concerning, because she seems likely to wish to overturn many precedents and laws that have been upheld, in unison with others on the Court who have right wing views, including Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Brett Kavanaugh.

The reliability of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch is uncertain, as both, and particularly, Roberts have surprised on some decisions.

So a potential 6-3 Court on many cases could end up 5-4 in favor of the right wing, or possibly 5-4 with the three liberal appointments on the Court, but it seems more likely that the possible so called “best” outcome is at least 5-4 conservative.

So that means the Affordable Care Act, coming up for review in November after the election, could be gutted.

Also in danger are cases involving women’s rights, abortion rights, gay rights, labor rights, religious issues favored by conservatives, voting rights, Presidential authority, environmental laws, consumer laws, and the overall regulatory state promoted since the New Deal of FDR and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, as well as agencies formed under Richard Nixon and later Presidents through Barack Obama.

So we are involved in a crisis constitutionally which could destroy much of what the federal government has done in the past century of American history, and all brought about by Justices appointed under questionable circumstances by Republicans who do not follow rules except when it favors them, and by Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump, who failed to win the national popular vote, and by Justices who, in the case of Thomas and Kavanaugh had major issues with private behavior with women.

And with Justice Stephen Breyer being 82, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor having issues with her health (diabetes), two of the three liberals on the Court could be replaced if Donald Trump or a future Republican President gains the opportunity!

Republicans Are Out To Declare War On Women’s Rights, Health Care, Labor Rights, Gay Rights, Environment And So Much More!

The Republican Party and President Donald Trump have declared open war on women’s rights, health care, labor rights, gay rights, the environment, and civil liberties.

They have become an extreme right wing party, more like a Fascist Party, disparaging the history of a party that once stood for basic decent principles.

Officeholders in the Republican Party have sold their souls to the most evil man ever to be President, and their future will be one of total destruction, as the nation turns against them in November and in the future, as they did in California after anti immigrant legislation was passed in the early 1990s.

If there was ever a time for all good, decent people to vote, and to be willing to resist with demonstrations, but without violence, it is NOW!

The nomination of Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a complete repudiation of the historic role of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and will galvanize all intelligent and educated women, all those who care about life in the midst of this COVID-19 Pandemic, all gays and lesbians, all environmentalists, and all who believe in racial equality and civil rights, to unite, and hopefully, defeat the forces of evil.

And if the Supreme Court with the evil intentioned Amy Comey Barrett declares abortion illegal and destroys the Affordable Care Act without a replacement, then the Democrats will have to add new members to the Court to upend the evil Trump-Republican strategy to take away basic human rights!

Time For Democrats To Play Hard Ball: Plan To Change Senate And Supreme Court If They Win White House And Congress

With the Republicans and Donald Trump moving ahead to fill the seat of Ruth Bader Ginsburg with so little time until the election, when it should be left to the winner of the Presidency on November 3, it is time for the Democrats to play hard ball IF they win the White House and both houses of Congress, which at this point seems likely.

What can the Democrats do?

Move to create two new states that are territories now, but should be made states—Washington, DC and Puerto Rico! That would add four new Democratic seats to the Senate and about one seat for DC and four seats for Puerto Rico to the House of Representatives, most likely all or mostly Democratic members.

Get rid of the Senate filibuster that requires 60 votes on major legislation, and make it 51 votes, as the House is based on majority rule.

A third idea is to increase the Supreme Court to 13 members if the present Court becomes 6-3 conservative.

While these are seen by many as “radical” ideas, it may be the only way to promote the saving of health care; women’s rights; labor rights; gay rights; climate change legislation; criminal justice reform; aid to Americans as the Covid-19 Pandemic continues; and many other progressive reforms!

46 Years Since Richard Nixon Resigned, And Nation Would Benefit If Donald Trump Did The Same, But He Is No Richard Nixon!

In 1974, on this day, August 9, the 37th President of the United States resigned from office, succeeded by Gerald Ford.

That was a great day, as a lawless, corrupt President, Richard Nixon, pressured by Republican leaders in both houses of Congress, willingly left, still a believer that he had been wronged, but ending a constitutional crisis, and giving us a President, Gerald Ford, who was certainly not without faults. But Ford was far better than the horror if Vice President Spiro Agnew had not been discovered for his corruption and forced to resign in October 1973, as Agnew would have been even worse than Nixon, so America was saved.

Now we have a President, even more lawless and corrupt than Richard Nixon, a willing accomplice of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, a scenario that never would have crossed the mind of Richard Nixon. Donald Trump is working to destroy our whole constitutional system of government, and manipulates and distorts and lies, willing to do anything to gain absolute power by being reelected this November.

Richard Nixon had real accomplishments, despite his evil nature, and some of his greatest accomplishments are being destroyed by Donald Trump, who wishes to undo all good done under both Democratic and Republican Presidents in the ninety years since Franklin D. Roosevelt came to the Presidency during the First Great Depression.

Now, Donald Trump is presiding over a Second Great Depression, even more heartless and lacking in empathy or concern than Herbert Hoover.

And his Vice President, Mike Pence, is a religious extremist, with no principles, and hoping to impose his and his wife’s evil, narrow minded views about women’s rights and gay rights upon the nation in the future. He wishes to promote the extreme right wing views of disgraceful hypocrites, such as Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Jr, Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins, and others who want a theocracy in America.

So on the 46th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation, the nation is faced with a crisis that may become worse, with the US Postal Service being politically manipulated to attempt to undermine mail voting. This is occurring in a time of a massive CoronaVirus Pandemic that the government on the national level and in many Republican states, including my resident state of Florida, are failing to deal with. This is creating an even greater health crisis that makes America the embarrassment of the entire world community!

The Unpredictable Supreme Court Due To Republican “Maverick” Appointments

The history of the Supreme Court since 1953 has been one of unpredictability, due to Republican “Maverick” Appointments, who surprise conservatives who thought having a Republican President insured their narrow minded views of the Constitution and the law.

America has been fortunate that every Republican President from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Donald Trump has made an appointment that surprised the nation, and promoted social progress long term.

Eisenhower appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren and Associate Justice William Brennan.

Richard Nixon appointed Chief Justice Warren Burger and Associate Justice Harry Blackmun.

Gerald Ford appointed Associate Justice John Paul Stevens.

Ronald Reagan appointed Associate Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy.

George H. W. Bush appointed Associate Justice David Souter.

George W. Bush appointed Chief Justice John Roberts.

Donald Trump appointed Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch.

So ten appointments in the past two thirds of a century have made a dramatic difference in so many ways, including racial integration, school prayer, abortion rights, ObamaCare, gay rights, and other significant areas.

The Right Wing Supreme Court Seems Ready To Declare War On Abortion, Gay Rights, Gun Rights, Immigration, Separation Of Church And State, And Presidential Power

The new session of the Supreme Court has begun, and the full effect of Donald Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh will now, likely, be felt.

While it is true that Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are not “twins”, to expect any major surprises in constitutional law in this 2019-2020 term are highly unlikely, as right wing law looks in the ascendancy.

What the Court decides ends up as the law of the land, and for progressives, it does not bode well on the issues of abortion, gay rights, gun rights, immigration, separation of church and state, and the growth of Presidential power.

The fulcrum of the Court, Anthony Kennedy, is now retired for a year, and the only hope to avoid extreme right wing judgments is if Chief Justice John Roberts, who has been a surprise a few times in his views on the Court in recent years, becomes the new “swing” vote on the Court this term.

Roberts might also preside over an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, who he, clearly, has been critical of in a number of ways, and the Court could limit Trump’s Abuse of Power, beyond Roberts presiding over an impeachment prosecution.

Since Roberts is worried about the image of “his” Court, some surprises may be in the offing, and of course, progressives will be watching the health and stability of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now 86, having survived a third and fourth cancer, and wondering if she will be able to continue on the Court into the next Presidential term in 2021.

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!