US Supreme Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg And Jimmy Carter: Inspirations For All Decent People Who Care About What Is Best For America And The World!

The news that Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has fully recovered from her fourth bout with cancer over 21 years–pancreas in 1999, colon in 2009, lung in 2018, and pancreas in 2020—is a moment to celebrate.

Ginsburg will be 87 on March 15, and Donald Trump would love to replace her on the Supreme Court with an extremist right wing choice, but Ginsburg is clearly not going anywhere, and will continue to be an inspiration for all decent people who care about what is best for America and the world!

Also, former President Jimmy Carter, now more than three months after his 95th birthday, an all time record for any President in longevity, has had many bouts with illness and injury, and is now more than four and a half years beyond diagnosis of brain and liver cancer, but in remission for four years. He also broke his hip and pelvis in 2019, but has recovered, and continues his good deeds that make his post Presidency the most creative and substantive we have ever seen.

America is blessed by the longevity of both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Jimmy Carter, and we can hope for both to be with us for many more years!

John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon, Seriously Ill With Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer: Need To Pray For Recovery!

It is a shock to learn that revered Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a Civil Rights Icon, who marched with Martin Luther King Jr in 1965, is seriously ill with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.

Lewis is a true treasure, a giant figure, a model for what every member of Congress should be like in public service.

The fact that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg survived Pancreatic Cancer in 2009, and that former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has survived 19 months since Pancreatic Cancer surgery is a sign of the potential for survival, but most people do not last more than a few months, and many celebrities have been taken from us over the years by this cruel disease.

We all need to pray for Lewis, that he will be able to recover and continue his priceless work in the Congress in 2020 and beyond!

The Moment Of Reckoning For The Reputation Of Chief Justice John Roberts And His Court

The time has come for the Supreme Court and Chief Justice John Roberts and their reputations.

Will the Court rule that Donald Trump’s tax returns shall be made public, which will indicate the depth of corruption, Russian Collusion, and reality of just how wealthy Trump is? This is a group of cases which might take months to be decided, but will have the potential to repudiate Trump.

Also, Chief Justice Roberts will preside over the Donald Trump impeachment trial, and while not directly involved in the final vote, Roberts will have an impact with his rulings on procedure.

Roberts is the third Chief Justice to preside over a Presidential impeachment trial, after Salmon P. Chase over the Andrew Johnson Trial in 1868, and William Rehnquist over the Bill Clinton trial in 1999.

Roberts’ reputation is at stake in the long run of history, not only for these issues mentioned here, but for the reality that he has become, effectively, the swing vote on many cases, since Justice Anthony Kennedy left the Court 18 months ago.

Can Michael Bloomberg Ignore Iowa And New Hampshire And Have A Chance To Be The Democratic Presidential Nominee?

The quick answer to the above question is YES, but it would be a tragedy for the nation if simply having billions of dollars fortune, and spending tens of millions of dollars to run commercials, was able to elect a President.

Michael Bloomberg was an effective NYC Mayor for three terms, but he was also controversial with some of his policies, including his dealings with racial minorities, and his trying to control the size of soda bottles and other sugary drinks.

On the other hand, he has promoted gun control, and fought against tobacco and oil interests, and is a big promoter of taking action on climate change.

And he is certainly an arrogant man, who thinks he can “own” his employees and control what his journalists at Bloomberg News report and investigate.

The fact that he has gained a few percent of the vote due to his spending $57 million on commercials, while Kamala Harris was forced out of the Presidential race for lack of funding, is totally infuriating.

This is the result of the disastrous Supreme Court decision in Citizens United in 2011, destroying and corrupting our political system in a despicable manner.

Bloomberg would be a vast improvement over Donald Trump, but seriously, it is hoped that the Democrats will not be manipulated by his commercials to nominate him. His ability to draw attention from voters, without participating in many caucuses and primaries, and avoiding engagement in debates, should NOT lead to his nomination!

Kamala Harris Withdrawal From Presidential Race Changes The Equation

It was surprising that California Senator Kamala Harris withdrew from the Democratic Presidential competition yesterday, something no one could have predicted would happen so early.

Senator Harris said that money took her out of the race, as she is not a billionaire, and that brings up the issue of the absolute necessity to do something to prevent the future political scene only being based on personal wealth, as with Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, who should not have the ability to compete simply based on their personal wealth.

The need for a turnover of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision of 2010, and the passage of another equivalent McCain-Feingold Act is urgent.

For right now, Harris’s withdrawal changes the equation, giving potential new life to New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, as otherwise, there will be no diversity to the Democratic debates coming on December 19 in Los Angeles, plus the future debates in the early months of 2020.

And the question also arises as to where Harris staff will gravitate, with the possibility of them going to South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg or Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, as the most likely campaigns that may gain such support.

The Most Lasting And Destructive Impact Of Donald Trump: 157 Federal Judicial Confirmations For Life Term!

After nearly three years of President Donald Trump, the realization is that the most lasting and destructive impact he has had is the reality that he has seen 157 Federal Judicial confirmations to life terms on the federal courts, including two Supreme Court Justices.

This is due to the efforts of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has made it his mission to make the federal courts as right wing extremist as possible for the next two generations.

That is about a little less than twenty percent of the total number of federal judges, now standing at 870.

Many of these confirmed judges are incompetent, inexperienced, and unqualified for lifetime appointments, but the nation is stuck with them.

These judges will promote the right wing agenda, including favoring corporations, the wealthy, and religious extremists, and working against women, racial and ethnic minorities, the disabled, the poor, and gays and lesbians.

They will also promote more Presidential powers, and undermine the environment, labor interests, and consumers.

This will become more and more a never ending constitutional crisis as the nation becomes a majority non white in 25 years, and as Democrats gain the edge in future elections with reapportionment of seats, likely winning the Presidency once Texas goes Democratic, but having a Supreme Court and other federal courts more conservative than ever since the Gilded Age and the 1920s, and holding back progress and reform.

This reality may lead to a move to add members to the Supreme Court once the Democrats gain control of the US Senate. It does not bode well for the future of constitutional government in the next 20-40 years.

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.

New York Times: 168th Anniversary Worthy Of Celebration

Today, September 18, is the 168th anniversary of the New York Times, the best newspaper in America, and maybe in the world at large.

Founded in 1851, it became famous as the newspaper with the slogan: “All the News That’s Fit to Print”.

The newspaper has had its ups and downs, and has made mistakes, and been controversial, as they are presently for their revelation about Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and sexual harassment, based on a lack of clear cut reporting on a new book on the Justice.

But despite that, there is still a recognition in the journalism profession that the New York Times has been in the forefront of so much important news in detail, and revelations that might not have occurred otherwise.

Despite its lack of perfection, the New York Times is still more to be trusted and revered than any politician, who does not like the willingness of the New York Times to be attacked for mostly telling the truth.

So Donald Trump attacks the news media, and particularly the New York Times and Washington Post, the two best newspapers who have held his administration to the fire in an appropriate manner to preserve our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

No President, no Senator, no Congressman, no public personality in any endeavor can rest, knowing that the New York Times will do what it must do to preserve freedom and democracy for the long run.

So when one might occasionally be angry or irritated by some article in the New York Times, remember they are not here to be popular, but to be our guardian, and so one should always be glad that the New York Times does well, because to imagine the paper’s demise would be a sign of the downfall of the American Republic,

And every scholar, including this one, is indebted to the New York Times, for having been of great assistance in the publication of books and articles. My two books could not have been published without using the New York Times Index, and being amazed at the unbelievable depth of reporting provided in the pages of the New York Times for so long a time frame.

The New York Times has survived many demagogues in the world, and will survive Donald Trump, for certain!

Reflecting On The Age Issue Over Next Decade

America is faced with many crises, but one not much paid attention to is the Age issue.

We are seeing more people in government who are reaching their 70s and 80s, and that is a worrisome trend.

Certainly, people in their 70s and 80s can be active, engaged, constructive, as this author, in his mid 70s is, as an adjunct college professor, lecturer, author, blogger, contributor of articles on history and politics, and participant on radio shows about history and politics.

But this author is NOT making government policy, and is not facing the daunting challenges of dealing with a multitude of challenges in domestic and foreign policy, that affects and will continue to affect hundreds of millions of Americans, and seven billion people worldwide.

We see Donald Trump in his mid 70s, showing signs of craziness and dementia. We see Joe Biden, who this author loves, not quite as swift and alert as he seeks the Presidency. We see Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both seemingly very alert and energetic, but reaching 79 and 71 by January 20, 2021, both older than Trump when he was elected, and with Biden reaching 78 by Inauguration Day 2021.

We see the top three Democrats in leadership in the House of Representatives all nearing 80 in the next couple of years, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and the same with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. There are about four Senators over 80 already, and Dianne Feinstein was elected at 85 in 2018, to serve another six year term to age 91. And at least two Senators will be added to that list over 80 in the next few years.

We have two Supreme Court Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, who are 86 and 81, and their refusal to leave years ago has created the possibility of an extreme right wing Court if Donald Trump wins reelection.

There has to be recognition of the need for younger generations to inherit power, and for older generations to accept that their time has passed.

Justice John Paul Stevens, Longest Lived, And One Of Greatest Supreme Court Justices In American History, Dies At 99 Years Of Age

America has just lost one of its greatest Supreme Court Justices in all of American history, with the death yesterday of retired Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 99.

Second longest serving, after his predecessor William O. Douglas, and second oldest at retirement at age 90, after Oliver Wendell Holmes, Stevens came on the Supreme Court as a conservative, and became more liberal by the year, and was the leader of the liberal wing of the Court in his last years, serving altogether 35 years from 1975 to 2010.

The only appointee of President Gerald Ford, Stevens was clearly the best appointment and best action taken by President Ford in his nearly two and a half years in the White House.

Stevens spoke up for gay rights, abortion rights, gun control, and against the death penalty, and against the Bush V. Gore and Citizens United Supreme Court decisions.

Stevens was a truly decent, compassionate man, a true jewel, a rare public servant who was on the proper side on so many decisions.

We will probably never see another Republican appointed Justice of the caliber of John Paul Stevens, but then again, we will probably not have a Republican President of the basic decency and moderation of Gerald Ford!