Chief Justice John Roberts Rebukes Donald Trump!

 

On Tuesday, November 20, Donald Trump complained about the decision of Judge Jon S. Tigar of the United States District Court in San Francisco.   Tigar had ordered the administration to resume accepting claims for asylum from migrants, no matter how or where they entered the United States.  Trump expressed his anger at this order in long comments, calling Judge Tigar “an Obama judge”.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. rebuked Trump the next day  for calling a judge who had ruled against his administration’s asylum policy “an Obama judge”. He said in a statement,  “ We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges.   Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should be thankful for.”

Later that day, Trump responded on Twitter, “Sorry, Chief Justice  Roberts,  but you do indeed have ‘Obama judges’ and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country.”  Trump always persists in having the last word in an argument.  It appears that he never takes time to consider what the consequences may be for his speech or actions.

The rebuke was the first time since Trump ran for president that the Chief Justice has ever commented upon his previous attacks upon federal judges.  They have been a constant part of his early morning tweets , starting during his run for office in early 2016, when he attacked Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel  of the Federal District Court in San Diego.   Judge Curiel was over-seeing a class –action suit against Trump University.  “They ought to look into Judge Curiel, because what he is doing is a total disgrace”, he said.  Then he added that the judge had a conflict of interest since his family was of Mexican heritage. Judge Curiel, who had been born in Indiana, decided the case in favor of the plaintiffs, former students. They had argued that Trump University had been a sham and had taken large amounts of their money.  Trump settled the case after the election, paying millions to the plaintiffs.

In 2017, after Trump lost one of his travel bans against Muslims, he attacked the judge, James Robart on the Federal District Court in Seattle, calling him “ a so-called judge”.  Roberts made no comment.  When Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first appointment to the High Court called such attacks  “demoralizing” and “disheartening”, during his confirmation process, Roberts again was silent.

During 2016, when Trump was running for office, the Senate Majority Leader,  Mitch Mc Connell had blocked Barack Obama from appointing a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who had died. McConnell had said,  “The people will decide in the next presidential election.  Senate Republicans refused to meet and there was never a vote to confirm or deny in the Senate. Obama did nominate Merrick Garland, Chief of the Second Circuit, the most influential Court in the country next to the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Roberts had only eight justices for a year instead of nine.  Yet, he never commented , while Democrats inveighed against the unfair practice of denying a president his “duty” under The Constitution to nominate a successor when a vacancy occurred. It is certainly possible that Roberts going public at that time could have influenced Mc Connell to ‘follow The Constitution” and have the Senate meet to confirm or deny the nomination.  Garland was a centrist who had been praised by influential Senate Republicans when he was named.  We will never know if he would have been confirmed.

What we all appear to know is that Donald J. Trump will continue to believe that The Department of Justice is there to follow his orders on all matters of state and policy.  He sees the Attorney General as his personal lawyer, there to protect him as “Eric Holder did for Obama and Bobby Kennedy did for J.F.K. “   He does not seem to grasp that we have three branches of the Federal Government:  Legislative,  Executive and Judicial.   They are listed in the Constitution Articles I,  II  and III.  The longest Article is the Congress, since the founders were wary of any leader who might be like King George against whom they fought for Independence.

It will be very interesting to see what happens in January when the Democrats take over the Judiciary,   Intelligence and Oversight Committees in the House of Representatives.  They then have the power of Subpoena to investigate Trump’s tax returns and possible “obstruction of justice” and “abuse of power” during his first two years in office.

Right now, Americans are waiting for Robert Mueller to make his next announcement.  Will there be charges against any members of the Trump family?   Will he specify when the report will be completed and given to the Congress and the Public who can hardly wait to read it?

……………………………………………………………………………Joyce. S. Anderson

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Blue Wave: “The People Yes”

 

After the Midterms were over, the big headline was “The Democrats win control of the House!  There will be a check on president Donald Trump.”  In the days that followed, additional seats were won by the Democrats. Nancy Pelosi appeared to be returning as Speaker of The House of Representatives. Another huge story was “One hundred women elected to the House!” 2018 became the Second Year of the Woman.   In every region of the country, in red and blue states, Democratic women campaigned for the first time and won seats from incumbent Republican men.  It seemed clear that Trump’s misogyny had galvanized women in the suburbs and the cities. The first signal was the huge Women’s March on Saturday after Trump’s inauguration in January, 2017 –the largest march in United States history.

Often, in times of great import, I remember a poem that captures the essence of the moment.  Poets can express the human condition better than psychologists and historians. Carl Sandburg was such a poet. He wrote from Chicago in the first half of the 20th century about the American people — who we are, our struggles and what we strive for. His epic poem, “The People Yes” captures this moment in our history.  Here are excerpts to illuminate what has happened to all of us .

“The people yes”

The people will live on.

The learning and blundering people will live on.

They will be tricked and sold and again sold

And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds,

The people so peculiar in renewal and comeback,

You can’t laugh off their capacity to take it.

The mammoth rests between his cyclonic dramas.

*   *   *    *    *    *    *    *

The people so often sleepy, weary, enigmatic,

Is a vast huddle with many units saying:

“I earn my living.

I make enough to get by

And it takes all my time.

If I had more time

I could do more for myself

And maybe for others.

I could read and study

And talk things over

And find out about things.

It takes time.

I wish I had the time.

*   *    *     *    *     *     *

Man is a long time coming.

Man will yet win.

Brother may yet line up with brother:

This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.

There are men who can’t be bought.

The fireborn are at home in fire.

The stars make no noise.

You can’t hinder the wind from blowing.

Time is a great teacher.

Who can live without hope?

In this darkness with a great bundle of grief

The people march.

In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the

People march:

“Where to? What next?”

…………………………………………………………………………..Joyce S. Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

Midterm Elections Alert: Your Vote Counts on Tuesday, November Six!

Presidential historians, Jon Meacham and Doris Kearns Goodwin have called this election the most important in modern history.  President Donald Trump has created an atmosphere of anxiety, fear and bipartisan enmity throughout the nation with his daily tweets and speeches at rallies. He singles out the Press as the “enemy of the people” and attacks the F.B.I. and The Justice Department on a regular basis.

Trump has promoted fears that immigrants in huge “Caravans” from Central America are bringing criminals and deadly diseases to the United States.  The facts are that parents and children are fleeing dangerous lives in their homelands as they walk hundreds of miles toward  a better future in this country.  They are seeking asylum through legal means. At present, they are over eight hundred miles south of Mexico,  but Trump claimed  he may send  fifteen thousand of our military to the border.  Not the National Guard… the Army!  However, Defense Secretary James Mattis pushed back against that statement, telling reporters, “ We don’t do stunts.”

On October 31, Trump  tweeted, “We will not let these Caravans which are also made up of thugs and gang members into the U.S.  Our Border is sacred, must come in legally. TURN AROUND! “ The next day, he spoke from the Roosevelt Room of the White House  about the “crisis” at the border. He said he had ordered troops to respond to any in the Caravan who threw rocks or stones as if they were weapons.  I told them: “Consider it a rifle.” He said the government had begun to construct massive “cities of tents” to imprison legal and illegal immigrants who try to enter the United States.

In the weeks running up to the midterm elections, The New York Times has been keeping track of the “Litany of Untruths” the president has been telling to aid Republicans running for office.  On November 1,  reporters Peter Baker and Linda Qui wrote an introduction to the  fifteen “most egregious  falsehoods Mr. Trump has told since October 22.”

From their introduction, “ In the past couple of weeks, the president has spoken of riots that have not happened, claimed deals that have not been reached,  cited  jobs that have not been created , spun dark conspiracies that have no basis in reality….rewritten history and contradicted his own past comments.  He has asserted that construction has begun on his border wall (It has not), that he is one of the most popular presidents in history (he is not), that he ‘always’ opposed the Iraq War, (he did not), that his tax cut was the largest in history (it was not), and that the United States is the only country guaranteeing citizenship to those born here (it is not) . At least 30 other countries, including Canada and Mexico,  grant automatic birthright citizenship.

The past weeks have brought two mega deadly events:  First, package bombs were delivered to Democratic critics of the president:  Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, Joe Biden, Maxine Waters, George Soros, Robert De Niro, Tom Styer, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and at the CNN offices in New York, John Brennan and James Clapper.  The bombs were all intercepted, rapidly by F.B.I. and postal workers, sparing the country the assassination of a former president, vice president, secretary of state and multiple intelligence officers, senators. Congress woman,  actor and citizens calling for the president’s impeachment.

The second shocking event was the massacre of eleven Jewish worshipers on the Sabbath at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.  The killer brandished an assault rifle and hand guns as he shouted, “All Jews Must die!”   at the Tree of Life Temple.   The service had been special for the community since a family was celebrating a ‘bris’, naming of a newborn boy.  Many of the dead were elderly and all were closely knit in the larger Jewish community.  The Anti-Defamation League said it was the worst act of terror against Jews in the history of the nation.

In the days that followed the community was split about whether the president should make a condolence call.   He was asked by the mayor to wait until the funerals took place.   The rabbi of the temple said he would be welcome. He decided to come and was not greeted by the mayor or governor.  He came with his wife, daughter and son –in law.  The community split with huge crowds  holding critical signs along the highway.

We now are three days away from voting on Tuesday.  Many senate, house and governors races are extremely close.  “Toss ups” according to the latest polls.   There is no question that the election has become a referendum on Donald Trump as well.  At all his rallies, he says “My name is also on the ballot when you vote on November 6.”

David Remnnick, editor of The New Yorker wrote, “This election is a referendum on Trump, a contest between his base and those who feel that it is in the national interest to establish at least some brake – a new majority in the House of Representatives, a new crop of governors and state legislators—to slow the disintegration of American life and his despoilment of the national spirit.  Two years ago, the prospect of a Trump presidency presented an emergency.  Tens of millions of voters found a reason to stay home.  This year the polls are tight. The stakes cannot be overstated.”

YOUR VOTE COUNTS.

………………………………………………………………………………….Joyce  S. Anderson