Supreme Court

The Evolution Of Women In American Politics: 1916-2016 And Beyond!

In 1916, exactly a century ago, the first woman, a Republican, Jeannette Rankin of Montana, was elected to the House of Representatives.

In 1932, Hattie Caraway of Arkansas, a Democrat, became the first woman to be elected to the United States Senate.

In 1933, Frances Perkins of New York, a Democrat, became the first woman to be a member of the President’s cabinet, Secretary of Labor under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1964, Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, a Republican, became the first woman to run for President.

In 1972, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm of New York, a Democrat, became the first black woman to run for President.

In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor of Arizona, a Republican, became the first woman appointed to the US Supreme Court.

In 1984, Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro of New York, a Democrat, became the first woman Vice Presidential nominee of a major party.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman chosen as the Presidential nominee of a major party, and will become the first woman elected President in the next 24 hours!

And the fight for women’s right to vote began in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention, and only in 1920, did women gain the right to vote by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

So Hillary Clinton will be our president when the centennial of women suffrage comes about in 2020!

And this all began with Susan B. Anthony, arrested for trying to vote in 1872!

Most Significant Issue Of Entire Campaign: The Supreme Court Future And A Democratic Majority US Senate!

No more important issue is on the plate for this election year than the Supreme Court future, tied into a Democratic Majority US Senate!

The Republicans have made it clear that if Hillary Clinton wins the Presidency, but the Republicans retain the control of the Senate, that NO Supreme Court nominee will be confirmed, and in fact, not even considered in hearings.

This is totally unacceptable, and cannot be allowed to occur for the next four years, as effectively, that is destroying the whole purpose of the separation of powers and constitutional government!

The Supreme Court has been Republican majority since 1972, and finally, the tipping point to a Democratic and more progressive/liberal Court is in the offing.

Such issues as the following could end up before the Court in the next four years:

Abortion
Affirmative Action
Campaign Finance
Class Action Suits
Climate Change
Contraception
Gun Rights
Immigration Reform
LGBTQ Rights
ObamaCare
Redistricting
Unions
Voter ID Laws
Voting Rights

Two Former Democratic Senators On Way To Return To US Senate: Russ Feingold And Evan Bayh!

It seems as if two former Democratic Senators are on their way to a return to the US Senate this November.

Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, one of the very best progressive oriented Senators in all of American history, who lost his seat in the 2010 midterm elections to businessman and Republican Ron Johnson, after serving from 1992-2010, is now way ahead of Johnson, and so we will have a rare rematch. Johnson has been a horrible, extremist right wing Senator, and his leaving the Senate will be a plus for the institution, and re-install the progressive tradition, established by the La Follette father and son, Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. a century ago, and followed up by William Proxmire, Gaylord Nelson and Feingold.

Evan Bayh of Indiana, son of the great liberal Senator Birch Bayh, served in the Senate from 1998-2010, and chose not to run for reelection, but now is coming back to win his Senate seat. Bayh is much more moderate than his dad was, but Indiana is a tough state for a progressive, and Bayh is a plus for the Democrats, as they attempt to win a Senate majority, so important for the Supreme Court future.

The odds of a Democratic takeover of the Senate is growing as we come down to one month to the elections.

Danger Of Civil Disorder If Donald Trump Refuses To Accept Defeat, Which All Previous Losers Have Accepted With Grace And Dignity!

Throughout American history, there has been great emotions as battles for the Presidency go on, but at the end, when the election is over, the loser has always conceded with grace and dignity.

This includes the John Adams-Thomas Jefferson race in 1800, the first time an incumbent has lost to a challenger.

It includes the John Quincy Adams-Andrew Jackson Presidential races in 1824 and 1828.

It includes the Abraham Lincoln–Stephen Douglas–John C. Breckinridge–John Bell four way race on the eve of the Civil War in 1860.

It includes the hotly contested 1876 Presidential race between Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden, resolved by the political deal known as the Compromise of 1877.

It includes the four way contested race of 1912 between Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Eugene Debs.

It includes the upset election victory of Harry Truman against Thomas E. Dewey in 1948.

It includes the John F. Kennedy-Richard Nixon race in 1960, which Nixon thought might have been corrupt, but chose not to challenge.

It also includes the Presidential election of 2000, when Al Gore challenged the results in court, but then was graceful once the Supreme Court intervened in favor of George W. Bush.

And it includes the grace and dignity of John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, when they lost to Barack Obama.

But now, we have had indications that Donald Trump will not concede, and will claim a “rigged” election if he loses, and this will only encourage civil disorder, and the potential for bloodshed and violence, and refusal to allow a peaceful transition to the inauguration and administration of Hillary Clinton.

This is not a laughing matter one iota, and a very worrisome matter!

The Growing Threat Of Donald Trump Against The Life Of His Opponent, Hillary Clinton: NOT A Laughing Matter!

Donald Trump has done it again–a threat against the life of his Democratic Presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.

On August 8, Trump spoke of “Second Amendment” remedies, that those who oppose the limiting of gun rights in any fashion, and see Hillary as a threat to those rights, might have a solution to the threat, implying action against Clinton.

He was roundly condemned for this assertion, and Michael Hayden, the former head of the CIA and NSA, said if anyone outside the hall where the speech was given had said such a thing, he would be in a police wagon being questioned, and facing prosecution.

And Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, referring to the Newtown Massacre that killed 24 young children and six teachers in December 2012, said Trump was reckless and would have blood on his hands if such an event occurred.

But Trump went ahead and said on September 16 that Clinton should agree to have her Secret Service team lay down their arms and “see what happens”, so he has not learned from the earlier incident.

Trump should be told now that his freedom of speech does NOT include such reckless language that could endanger his opponent, and that if something untoward were to happen, that he could face prosecution for having presented “a clear and present danger”, under Supreme Court case Schenck V US (1919), which limits freedom of speech.

And this is all happening in the month when there were eight incidents involving President and assassination threats, and also the assassination of Huey Long in 1935, all covered in the chapters of my Assassinations book, which will be in paperback by March 2017.

The Alienation Of Millennial Voters Endangers Voter Turnout Which Could Undermine Democratic Party And Progressive Values

Depending on which public opinion polls one follows and believes, it might be true that many millennial voters are “turned off” by the present election contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and might vote in large numbers for Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson or Green Party nominee Jill Stein in November. Or they might just stay home and not vote at all.

Millennials, defined as those under 30, but also sometimes including those under 35, are hostile to the “Establishment” and the normal way of dealing with politics and government, as represented by the stalemate, gridlock, and paralysis so common in recent years in Congress and in state governments, as the two major political parties refuse to work together and cooperate for the nation’s future.

The problem is that the present situation seems likely to be perpetuated, as the House of Representatives, at the least, still seems likely to remain Republican, maybe with a smaller margin, while the US Senate may go Democratic by a few seats, but not enough to avoid filibusters by the minority. So new people might be in charge, but the overall situation is unlikely to lead to the real possibility of progress on major domestic problems, and controversy over foreign policy may be further enhanced.

The danger is that alienation may bring about the possible election of Donald Trump, which would be a national nightmare, and undermine the Democratic Party and progressive values, including the future direction of the Supreme Court.

The nation can ill afford the possibility of a “loose cannon” with the backing of extremist right wing forces, termed the “Alt Right” by Hillary Clinton this week in a Reno, Nevada speech, gaining power and promoting ideas and programs that would undermine the Bill of Rights; promote confrontation and conflict between races, ethnic groups, and different genders and sexual orientations; and put the nuclear codes in the hands of a dangerous man who could undermine our relations with foreign allies and provoke war due to his lack of discipline and mental stability.

Odds Are Heavy That Democrats Will Regain Senate Majority In November: Crucial For Future Of Supreme Court

With Hillary Clinton running strongly, it seems likely that the Democrats will regain control of the US Senate in this fall’s elections.

The Republicans must defend 24 seats to the Democrats total of 10 seats.

They seem certain to win New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin at the least, and only have one seat in Nevada in danger of being lost to the Republicans.

The Democrats have a good chance also in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri and Arizona.

Of course they will not win all of these seats, but if they gain five and do not lose Nevada, they have 51 members of their caucus, and if they win 4, with Tim Kaine as Vice President, they will gain the majority.

However, having more members is crucial to help promote the future of the Supreme Court, which is likely to have several new members over the next few years.

Right now, many Republicans are running ahead of Donald Trump, so it may be that the Democrats will have trouble gaining more than a minimum majority, but the situation is very fluid, and no clear cut prediction as to the makeup of the Senate next year is possible yet, with 75 days to go until the election.

Historians Organize Against Donald Trump: Is That A Proper Role? YES!

More than 600 historians and scholars, including myself, have joined a group of Historians Against Donald Trump to register our concern about the possible election of a man who is perceived by just about all people in the field, except a few, to be a danger to America and its future.

There are those observers who think historians should not get involved in political races, but this is a constitutional crisis in the making, as many see it, and it is essential that people versed in the history of leadership, both good and bad, worldwide, speak their minds and warn Americans of the threat that they face, were Trump, somehow, magically able to win.

This is not a usual election, but instead is a turning point in American history that will have a vast effect on the future of the nation.

And now when Donald Trump hints at “Second Amendment remedies” against Hillary Clinton, if she wins the election, to prevent Supreme Court appointments, it is even more necessary than ever to have historians speak out about the threat of violence.

And as the author of a book on Presidential and Presidential candidate assassinations, this blogger feels a need to speak out openly of the threat of Donald Trump.

Later today, my thoughts on Trump, implying an assassination of Hillary Clinton might be a “Second Amendment remedy”, are being published on HNN, History News Network website.

The South’s Continuing Impact On Impeding Democracy With Voter Restriction Laws

The South lost the Civil War, but they continue to dominate American politics.

It used to be that the South was Democratic, and that they promoted slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and lynching.

Then, we had a Southern President, Lyndon B. Johnson, who accomplished the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, with the Southern wing of Democrats in Congress bitterly opposing it, and many of them, plus much of their population, abandoning the party and going to the Republicans.

Under Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, they found a home, and worked to undermine voting rights and civil rights, often with the support of those Presidents.

The state governors and legislatures became Republican controlled, and worked to limit civil rights and voting rights, and the Republican majority Supreme Court in 2013 cut back on enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

As a result, Southern states and many midwestern and mountain states under Republican governors and legislatures started to pass new restrictive laws designed to undermine voting of minorities, particularly African Americans and Hispanics-Latinos.

This led to law suits and now decisions by federal circuit courts in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas, and earlier, Texas, to declare such restrictive laws unconstitutional, a major victory which could affect the Presidential Election of 2016.

There will likely be an appeal to the Supreme Court, a clear cut reason to make sure that the Democrats win the White House and the US Senate, as the outcome for this election is uncertain, and the future of the Court and voting rights in the future hangs in the balance.

It seems likely that the present Court might split 4-4 without Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February, and that would uphold the lower court decisions declaring such laws to be unconstitutional, but no certainly of that.

The South is crucial in our nation’s politics as they hold 22 seats in the US Senate, 31 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives (138 out 435), and 162 electoral votes in the Presidential race. And this does not include the Border states such as Kentucky, West Virginia, Missouri, and Oklahoma, which tend to the same politics of exclusion toward minorities and voting rights.

18 Weeks Until The Election Of Hillary Clinton As The 45th President Of The United States!

The news today that the FBI has cleared Hillary Clinton of any illegal, criminal activity, regarding her Email controversy, is the clincher of the election 18 weeks from today!

Sure, the GOP will jump on the FBI’s statement that Hillary Clinton showed very poor judgment on the security matters of her email usage, but that can be seen as simply human error, as all leaders make mistakes, but not on the level of George W. Bush and the Iraq War, Afghanistan War, Hurricane Katrina, and the Great Recession of 2008!

No one is saying that Hillary Clinton is perfect but then Donald Trump is much more imperfect in an extreme fashion.

We are not electing God, or a perfect human being, as no such person has ever existed.

But we know President Hillary Clinton will shape the future of the Supreme Court and promote progressive reforms, building on Barack Obama’s path breaking changes in domestic affairs.

And we know that Hillary Clinton has the foreign policy expertise, and connections and respect from foreign governments, including friends and foes.

And now, today, Hillary Clinton can finally campaign without a cloud over her head, and arriving in Charlotte, North Carolina on Air Force One with President Obama, and later this week speaking in Scranton, Pennsylvania with Vice President Joe Biden!

So the future is bright, and there is no way, other than millions stupidly staying home and not voting, to prevent our first woman President of the United States!