Supreme Court

Matthew Whitaker Becoming Acting Attorney General Creates A Constitutional Crisis Over Robert Mueller Investigation

The decision of President Donald Trump to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and temporarily replace him with Matthew Whitaker, who has clearly stated his belief in 2017 that there should not be a continuation of the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian Collusion, is an alarm bell in the night.

It is now clear that Trump has decided to take action on Mueller before he can issue a report, and before the Democrats take over the House of Representatives, and start investigations and issue subpoenas to the Trump Administration.

Trump’s bizarre performance in his nearly hour and a half press conference yesterday makes one worry as to what will happen next, as Trump is acting totally bipolar, whether he is or not.

The rumor that Donald Trump, Jr. may soon be indicted by Robert Mueller is probably the reason behind the suddenly rash action by Trump to fire Sessions.

But ordinarily, the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, who has been overseeing the Mueller investigation, and who hired Robert Mueller in the first place, should be the Acting Attorney General.

So many observers think we are on the verge of repeating the “Saturday Night Massacre” of Richard Nixon in October 1973, which led to impeachment by the House Judiciary Committee, the decision of the Supreme Court in US V. Nixon, and Nixon’s resignation in August 1974.

The Attack On Birthright Citizenship And The 14th Amendment By Donald Trump, Mike Pence, And Lindsey Graham

Donald Trump has opened up a new area of attack on constitutional law, claiming that he can, by executive order, end birthright citizenship for infants born of undocumented immigrants, bypassing the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of citizenship for all born in the United States in 1868, exactly 150 years ago.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, for once, is correct when he says that is not possible legally, as executive orders cannot end what is in the Constitution or its amendments.

It is also a fact, despite some, like Vice President Mike Pence, and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham who claim otherwise, that legislation by Congress also cannot end what is in the Constitution or the amendments.

The only way to change what is in the Constitution or its 27 amendments is by another constitutional amendment, as occurred when the 18th Amendment banning liquor (Prohibition) was passed in 1919 and fourteen years later, with much discontent, the amendment was repealed by the 21st Amendment, the only way Prohibition would ever have ended.

If it was that easy to change what is in the Constitution or its amendments, then there would be a move to end the Electoral College, but that will never happen legally unless an amendment is passed by two thirds of each of the two houses of Congress, and three fourths of the states’ legislatures (38 out of 50).

The idea that Lindsey Graham is suddenly a great friend of Donald Trump, after the way that Trump trashed his good friend, the late Arizona Senator John McCain, is infuriating. One can be certain that McCain would fight this idea that Trump has suggested that he has the authority, all on his own, to destroy the language of the 14th Amendment. It is certain that McCain would be angry at Graham for his changed behavior, and it makes one wonder what is going on in Graham’s disturbed mind that he does not know the basic reality of constitutional law.

Of course, those on the Right would say the Supreme Court could justify what Trump wishes to do, and in theory, a lawless Court, which has already made decisions clearly and purely political in the last ten years, could by a 5-4 vote, including compromised Justice Brett Kavanaugh, do such. But it is hard to imagine that Chief Justice John Roberts would wish to be part of a majority that would undermine his reputation and that of his Court in the long run of history.

If such a disgrace were to happen, the Supreme Court would lose its credibility for all time, and would be helping Donald Trump to destroy our democracy, and impose an authoritarian dictatorship on our nation.

There is absolutely no moral or ethical way that this could happen, and be allowed to stand!

And also, the thought that an infant would not have the opportunity for a good life in America, simply because his or her parents were not documented at the time of his or her birth, is to deny the whole point of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and the reality that tens of millions of immigrants, and not all legal, with many “slipping in” through our borders and not realized what they had done, contributed to our nation’s greatness.

Think of the refugees from Cuba and Vietnam who came to a nation welcoming them from their personal tragedies in the past half century, and think of the refugees who came from all over the world over two centuries to a nation that gave them a chance to succeed and prosper, and benefit all of the American people!

One Term Presidents Who Lose Reelection Reassessed

The historical image of One Term Presidents is that it is the worst thing imaginable to lose reelection, and that their historical image is damaged.

Actually, though, it could be argued that a one term Presidency often is a blessing in disguise in the long run.

Let’s examine what happened to the lives of Presidents defeated for a second term.

John Adams lost reelection to Thomas Jefferson in 1800, but went on to live another 25 years, see his son John Quincy Adams be elected and inaugurated President, and die at the age of 90 years and seven months, the all time record until the 21st century, when four other Presidents surpassed him in age.

John Quincy Adams lost reelection to Andrew Jackson in 1828, but went on to live another 19 years, and be elected to nine terms as a Congressman from Massachusetts, engaged in the fight against slavery as the only President elected by popular vote to an elected office after being President.

Martin Van Buren lost reelection to William Henry Harrison in 1840, but went on to live another 21 years, and be the Presidential nominee of the Free Soil Party in 1848, winning about 10 percent of the national popular vote, the first such third party to have an impact on a national election.

Grover Cleveland lost reelection to Benjamin Harrison in 1888, but came back to the White House by election in 1892, and later served on the Princeton University Board of Trustees after his retirement.

William Howard Taft lost reelection to Woodrow Wilson in 1912, but went on to become the only President also to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1921-1930.

Herbert Hoover lost reelection to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, but went on to the longest retirement of more than 31 years, only surpassed by Jimmy Carter in 2012, and Hoover having growing respect for his post Presidential activities, and dying at the age of 90 in 1964, only five months less lifespan than John Adams, and the second President to reach that age.

Gerald Ford lost election to Jimmy Carter in 1976, after succeeding Richard Nixon under the 25th Amendment, but went on to growing recognition and respect in his nearly 30 years after his Presidency, setting the record for longevity until 2018, dying at the age of 93 and five months.

Jimmy Carter lost reelection to Ronald Reagan in 1980, but went on to become the most outstanding former President in his activities and commitments to public service, and has had the longest retirement of any President, nearly 38 years, and has just reached the age of 94, being 111 days younger than George H. W. Bush.

George H. W. Bush lost reelection to Bill Clinton in 1992, but went on to see his son, George W. Bush be inaugurated and serve two terms in the Presidency, and growing respect as he set the all time record of age 94 in June 2018.

A Moment To Celebrate The 167th Anniversary Of The New York Times, America’s Leading Media Source, Helping To Keep Us Free And Informed!

In the midst of the sustained attack on freedom of the press going on in 2018, today is the 167th anniversary of America’s leading newspaper, the “newspaper of record”, the NEW YORK TIMES.

Since 1851, the New York Times has published and challenged the American government, foreign governments, and powerful economic forces, who have tried to limit the ability of that paper to report the truth of the news, and the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. Its motto is “All the News That’s Fit to Print”. It has the notable New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, and the Sunday Review, all part of its Sunday edition.

The New York Times has not been perfect, anymore than any institution, as it failed to report accurately the Holocaust going on in Europe in World War II; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East over the past number of decades; and has been accused of distortion about the Iraq War, and the US-Iran relationship. The newspaper also has been accused of engagement in plagiarism by certain journalists, and accusations of bias, and public perceptions of lack of credibility and accuracy, including attacks by Right Wing propaganda groups, and President Donald Trump, who talks about the “Failing” New York Times, which actually is in very good financial shape.

Any researcher in just about any field of knowledge uses the former NY Times Index, as this author has done, and now available in the TimesMachine, the Online Archive of every issue of the paper since 1851.

The New York Times was extremely significant in promotion of the truth, when it won the right to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971, in the Supreme Court case of New York Times Company V. United States, winning over the attempt of President Richard Nixon to prevent publication of the documents that traced the US involvement in Vietnam after 1945 through the late 1960s.

So let us all applaud the courage and determination of the brilliant journalists of the New York Times, who are now, in 2018, doing their job exposing the corruption and illegal activities of Donald Trump and his Presidency, alongside the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal, along with other media sources, including cable news channels CNN and MSNBC, along with ABC, NBC, and CBS.

The truth shall set us free and protect American democracy and the Constitution!

The Kavanaugh Supreme Court Battle Increases Chances Of Democratic Controlled Senate In 116th Congress

The battle over the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, who now faces further scrutiny, due to sexual assault charges, improves the chances of the Democrats being able to win the US Senate for the 116th Congress.

As a result of this situation, none of the ten “Red State” Democrats need to feel political pressure to back Kavanaugh, as three of them did for Neil Gorsuch in 2017.

And it seems highly likely that two Republican women Senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, will now be able to justify refusing to support Kavanaugh, if he does not withdraw.

Even two Senators who are leaving at the end of the year, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona, might also reject Kavanaugh if he comes up for a vote after next week’s hearings for his accuser, as well as for Kavanaugh himself.

So it now seems likely that there will be no new Supreme Court nominee before the election, and probably not before the new Congress, and if the Democrats can win Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas, or at least two of those states, and keep all 49 of their Senators, then they have the ability to tell Donald Trump, that they will refuse to accept any appointment to the Court, except Merrick Garland, who was denied a hearing in 2016.

Since Garland is a moderate centrist, and in his mid 60s, his appointment to the Court would be shorter in duration, but it would keep a balanced Court, and allow a good man to gain what he was entitled to two years ago.

So there may be yet some justice in this whole situation, or else Trump may have to live with a long term eight member Court.

Looking Back 17 Years To September 11, 2001, And This Day A Tuesday, Not To Happen Again Until 2029

It is hard to believe, but it has been 17 years since the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Today is a Tuesday, the actual day of the week of the attack, not to be repeated again until 2029.

America lost whatever innocence it had on that day, when we lost 3,000 innocent human beings, and then lost 4.500 in the unnecessary Iraq War, that was planned as an excuse to go after Saddam Hussein, as well as the endless war in Afghanistan, where we have lost 2,400.

Additionally, about 2,000 firefighters, police, and rescue workers involved in the recovery have died from inhaling dust at the World Trade Center site, and many more are dying of cancer, so soon, we will have more victims in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks domestically, than actually died on that day.

Sadly, Osama Bin Laden, although later tracked down and killed in 2011, has triumphed in dividing the nation into a polarized state, and taken away our freedom and sense of security, under attack not only from terrorists, but also from right wingers who want to destroy our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Their willing ally is President Donald Trump, who wishes to be President for life, and is systematically destroying our rule of law and constitutional order, without any intervention or opposition from the Republican party that nominated him. Now, he is being further assisted by the contested nomination of a Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, who seems ready to back Trump in any legal action, and prevent prosecution of a President who has committed Treason, and engaged in collaboration with Vladimir Putin of Russia, to fix his election, despite losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.

America is in a constitutional crisis far greater than Watergate and Richard Nixon, with only the Civil War a greater event in its significance, and the crisis must be overcome by patriotic Americans who realize how dangerous Trump is, and MUST elect a Democratic Congress, and start the resistance to what Trump has been doing, in order to save everything decent that America represents.

It Is Time For Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, And Red State Democrats To Put Nation Ahead Of Their Own Senate Seats

It is perfectly understood that all people who work like to keep their jobs and earn their income.

But there is no member of the US Senate that is “desperate” and “needy” to keep their jobs.

What is needed now is, as John F. Kennedy wrote, “Profiles in Courage”.

Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, so called “moderate” Republicans, need to stand up and say, “NO WAY”, would they support Brett Kavanaugh to fill the available seat on the Supreme Court, since he clearly has a record of being anti abortion, and both women Senators claim they are pro choice, so they must refuse to support him.

It is clear that Brett Kavanaugh has committed perjury a number of times in earlier hearings before the Senate while under oath, and he should not be promoted to the Supreme Court, with his record of pursuing Bill Clinton with Ken Starr 20 years ago; his advocacy of torture in the Iraq War; his promotion of an anti gay marriage amendment under George W. Bush; and his unwillingness to say he would recuse himself from any case involving Trump and the scandals that have erupted in the past two years.

But even if Collins and Murkowksi were to back off on Kavanaugh, the requirement also is for Red State Democrats, who are running for reelection, to vote against Kavanaugh in unison, even if it leads to their defeat, which seems unlikely in the present political climate.

So that means West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, Montana Senator Jon Tester, and Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill MUST save the nation from a Right Wing extremist Supreme Court, even if they lose their seats, putting the nation ahead of their own ambitions.

Supreme Court Justice Predictability Not So: Nine Cases From Felix Frankfurter To David Souter

As the hearings continue on the nomination of Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the question has arisen over whether Supreme Court Justices are predictable in their evolution on the Court.

The argument is that most Supreme Court Justices are “pegged” when they are considered for the Court, and do not disappoint the President and the party which nominated them for the Court.

But history actually tells us that there are quite a few exceptions to this perceived thought.

Felix Frankfurter (1939-1962), appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, migrated from an earlier liberal, almost radical view, to a clearly conservative view, disappointing many Democrats in the process.

Earl Warren (1953-1969), appointed Chief Justice by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, and thought to be a conservative oriented person, turned out in the mind of many Republicans “a flaming liberal”, totally surprising Eisenhower and many pleased Democrats and liberals.

William Brennan (1956-1990), appointed by Eisenhower, and a rare Catholic on the Court, and thought to be a conservative, turned out to be even more liberal in his jurisprudence, and lasted twice as long as Warren on the Supreme Court, stunning many conservatives and Republicans.

Byron White (1962-1993), appointed by John F. Kennedy, was thought to be a liberal, but was a consistent conservative in his years on the Court.

Harry Blackmun (1970-1994), appointed by Richard Nixon, started off as a conservative, along with his so called “Minnesota Twin” and colleague, Chief Justice Warren Burger, but veered sharply left more and more, diverging dramatically from Burger as the years went by, and honored by liberals as a great Supreme Court Justice.

John Paul Stevens (1975-2010), appointed by Gerald Ford, was thought to be a moderate conservative, but dramatically moved left in his jurisprudence, and remained on the Court for 35 years, third longest of any Justice in history, retiring at age 90, but still active at age 98 (the longest lived Justice ever), and still promoting liberal viewpoints.

Sandra Day O’Connor (1981-2006), appointed by Ronald Reagan as first woman on the Court, turned out to be far less conservative, veering toward the center, and seen as a balance on the Court, unpredictable during her tenure on the Court.

Anthony Kennedy (1988-2018), appointed by Reagan, and just retired, thought to be a hard line conservative, turned out to be the second “swing” vote with O’Connor, and then the true “swing” vote on the Court, joining the liberal side one third of the time.

David Souter (1990-2009), appointed by George H. W. Bush, was thought of as moving the Court to the Right, after William Brennan retired, but many Republicans and conservatives were severely disappointed in his unpredictability, and often his siding with the liberal view on many issues, more than one would have expected.

Notice, however, that seven of these nine cases, all but Frankfurter and White, were of Republican appointments that turned out to be much more “liberal” than one might have imagined, with only Frankfurter and White turning out to be more “conservative” than perceived at the time of their nominations to the Supreme Court.

The Record And Views Of Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Could Determine Constitutional Law To 2050!

Tomorrow, the contentious hearings on the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

These will be the most controversial set of hearings since 1987 and Robert Bork, and 1991, with Clarence Thomas.

On both of those occasions, the Democrats controlled the Senate, and Bork was rejected by a vote of 58-42, while Thomas was confirmed by a vote of 52-48.

The effect of Justice Clarence Thomas for the past 27 years has been profound, with many future potential Circuit Court or Supreme Court candidates having clerked for him.

Thomas has been trying to take us back to the Articles of Confederation in many ways, but also admiring Presidential power at the same time.

This is the danger of Brett Kavanaugh, that he would take America domestically back to the Gilded Age, wiping out the New Deal, Great Society, and everything Barack Obama changed.

He comes across on the surface as a pleasant, nice man, but it is all very misleading.

This is a man who worked for Ken Starr in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and now Kavanaugh has changed his view of Presidential power 180 degrees.

This is a man who worked in the White House for George W. Bush, and helped to plan the idea of an anti gay marriage amendment, that was part of the campaign of Bush in 2004. And now, Donald Trump has used executive privilege to prevent 100,000 documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House from being made available, which is another controversy now created, as why should the Senate be unable to examine all pertinent material about a nominee?

This is a man who worked to deny September 11 victims the ability to sue for damages, limiting unsuccessfully that intent.

This is a man who in his Circuit Court decisions has come out against abortion rights, against ObamaCare, against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, against labor union rights, and willing to support limitations on voting rights.

This is a man who might be able to vote on whether Donald Trump can be indicted or prosecuted, and should recuse himself on any such matters as a conflict of interest, but likely will not do so. Justice William Rehnquist, when new on the Court as an Associate Justice, recused himself from the US Vs. Richard Nixon case in 1974 (after which Richard Nixon resigned), because Rehnquist had worked in the Justice Department under Nixon. So that famous and significant case was 8-0, not 9-0 or 8-1, and at the least, a Justice Kavanaugh should recuse himself from any case involving possible legal action against Donald Trump.

Kavanaugh could affect future decisions on campaign finance, climate change, election gerrymandering, and travel bans, and regulation of guns.

He would also create a right wing conservative Court, unlike any since 85 years ago.

And being only 53, he could be on the Supreme Court until 2050, when he would reach 85 years of age.

This would be the most long range effect of Donald Trump, no matter how much longer he remains in the Presidency, along with the 26 and more Circuit Court confirmations already accomplished by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The Democrats’ only hope would be IF all 49 Democrats hold fast (highly unlikely); Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowksi (both pro choice on abortion) abandoning the party ties on this vote (highly unlikely); and the person who replaces John McCain in the Senate (maybe Cindy McCain) joining the two women Republican Senators in voting against Kavanaugh (highly unlikely).

The Time Has Arrived For Republicans In Congress To Denounce, Repudiate, And Abandon Trump: Will They For Their Reputation In History?

The time has arrived for Republicans in Congress to denounce, repudiate, and abandon Donald Trump, after the double whammy of the guilty plea of Michael Cohen, and the conviction of Paul Manafort, within an hour of each other yesterday.

There is no justification, none, for Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, and all other GOP Senators and Congressmen, even if they are running for office this November, to continue to back a President clearly involved in corrupt actions.

Either they do this now, or they will go down in history as collaborators.

One could say that they felt party loyalty before these events, but now there is no way to defend supporting Donald Trump.

Yes, they accomplished a massive tax cut for the top one to two percent.

Yes, they accomplished a massive attack on government regulation, trying to destroy the New Deal, Great Society, even Richard Nixon reforms, and Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

Yes, they managed to force right wing judges on us hurriedly, but should not be allowed to foist Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on us, at a time when the President is under investigation.

But now, the game is up, and they need to put America ahead of their own positions, and they still would be likely, in many cases, to win their seats again, particularly the House Freedom Caucus membership.

America First, NOT Donald Trump and party first!