Supreme Court

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!

The “Red State” Democratic Senators, The Midterm Elections, And Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Ten “Red State” Democratic Senators face a moment of great challenge in November 2018.

Running for reelection in states that went for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016, they face the danger of defeat in their Senate races if they do not support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, with a final vote expected in October.

Voting for Kavanaugh will insure the likelihood of a conservative majority on the Court for the next 20-30 years, which will affect many areas of domestic and foreign policy, and the powers of the Presidency.

But voting against Kavanaugh may retire many of them, and insure a Republican gain of seats in the US Senate, from 51 to quite a few more, allowing the Republicans to dominate into the future.

So what should these Senators do? Should they be profiles in courage and risk their seats to delay or prevent a conservative Supreme Court majority? Or should they vote for Kavanaugh and give themselves another six years to fight against Trump, without the burden of facing the voters until 2024?

It seems likely that at least the three Senators who voted for Neil Gorsuch last year—Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana—will end up voting to confirm Kavanaugh if the vote cannot be delayed until after the November mid term elections.

The other seven are seen as unlikely to vote for Kavanaugh—Bill Nelson of Florida, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, with all seven now, except possibly Nelson, considered likely for a successful reelection to their Senate seats despite a negative vote on Kavanaugh.

18 Months Of Donald Trump Presidency, And Crisis Atmosphere Grows

Today marks 18 months of the Donald Trump Presidency.

It has been 18 months of horrors, nightmares, disgrace to the office of the Presidency.

It has seen more corruption and abuse of power than any President in the past, including Richard Nixon.

It has put America into a massive foreign policy crisis, now marked by Trump’s invitation to Vladimir Putin of Russia to come to the White House this fall.

It has put America into a massive domestic policy crisis, as the the New Deal, Great Society, and everything good that Barack Obama did in eight years in office, is being systematically destroyed.

It has created the conditions for a potential Great Depression, with the imposition of tariffs about to explode into inflation of prices, loss of jobs and income, and alienation of all of our major trade partners with his crazy economic policies.

It has created the end of the post World War II alliance system of NATO that won the Cold War, but now the Russian government has declared a cyber World War on America, with a President whose loyalty is clearly with our rivals and enemies.

It has caused disarray among the two major political parties that have been our system since 1854, and now are in danger of total destruction, at least with the Republican Party.

It has demonstrated that the people who are elected and those who are appointed put their own jobs and wealth ahead of the interests of the vast majority of the American people.

It has shown us that our system of government, which allows a Supreme Court for life. It is guaranteed to create social and economic turmoil that will insure the danger of civil war, as the younger generation rebels against the future right wing extremist judicial system, packed with justices and judges who want to take us back to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, and wipe out the 20th century social safety network that has made us great.

It has divided Americans, with many, including this author and blogger no longer communicating with former associates and friends, when we have discovered how disgraceful these people are. This also includes family members, relatives, who make one realize the old saying, that you can pick your friends, but not your relatives.

Donald Trump is clearly out to destroy the United States as we know it, determined to keep his ethical and moral issues, and his violations of the law a secret that only Vladimir Putin knows, and holds over the head of the 45th President.

The danger of a violent civil war, as we had in the 1860s, is becoming more a reality unless somehow we can turn the tide and excise the cancer of Donald Trump. But sadly, Mike Pence is, in many ways, even worse, with his right wing religious crusade in a nation that was based on separation of church and state, precisely because of the religious extremism of Puritanism in our colonial history. The threat of racial and ethnic and even gender conflict is real, and the power of the National Rifle Association, now shown to be allied with the forces of Vladimir Putin, can bring about violence in the name of profits.

It is hard NOT to have despair as to how this nation survives long term, without major damage to the republic!

Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh A Very Political Choice, Reminding Us Of Past Political Wars

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh comes across as a very nice man on the surface, with a nice family, and a long history and record as a Judge on the Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.

He is smart enough and well spoken enough, but that is not enough for the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh is a political “animal”, involved in the Ken Starr Impeachment investigation of Bill Clinton two decades ago, and also engaged in the fight to help George W. Bush stop the vote count in the state of Florida in the Presidential election of 2000.

He also has a clear record of opposition to abortion rights as a devout Catholic who wishes to impose his personal views on the nation, instead of promoting “Stare Decisis”.

He also has a record of opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

So both of these important issues are now in danger as a result of his nomination.

Kavanaugh also has stated that a President should not face indictment and prosecution in office, which makes him a likely ally of Donald Trump in any future possibility of pursuing the President for obstruction of justice, abuse of power, violation of the Emoluments clause, and Russian collusion.

It will be extremely difficult to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination, but the Democrats, if they stay united, and if Republicans Susan Collins and or Lisa Murkowski can be convinced to oppose, it can be stopped.

These are very difficult times for progressives, but it is not time to give up, not yet at least!