Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Notorius RBG

On the night the American people learned of her death,  hundreds of women and men gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court.   A picture shows them sitting holding a giant sign that said, “Honor  Her Wish”  The  large picture was in The New York Times.

She had dictated the words to her granddaughter before she died.  “My fervent wish is that my seat on the Supreme Court will be filled by the next president of the United States. “ 

On the same night, just a few hours after the announcement, Senator Mitch McConnell,  Majority  Leader announced that  a successor to her seat would be nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate.    Minority Leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer responded by quoting Mc Connell’s statement when Barack Obama  nominated Merrick Garland , Chief Judge of the important D.C. Circuit Court   to fill the seat of Justice Antonin  Scalia  after his death.   At that time, McConnell declared  that “The American People should decide who fills that  seat since we will have a national election within the coming year.”   He refused to hold a confirmation hearing and vote in the Senate to confirm Judge Garland during the many months until the next election. Thus, Barack Obama was not able to fulfill his Constitutional role of  nominating a successor to Antonin Scalia.

 This time there will be a national election in weeks and days.  However, Mc Connell said  since  the senate and president are of the same political party, the Constitutional  procedure will be followed.  This explanation was criticized by other respected political figures and commentators .  They   stressed the need for the American People  deciding  the Trump v Biden 2020 election.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been described as an historic  judicial  icon  by many jurists.   Before she was  nominated by President Bll Clinton,  she had forged a reputation  as a lawyer in the  courts supporting women’s rights in all areas of American life. 

  She was one of nine women to enter Harvard Law School in a class of five hundred men in her early years.   When the dean entertained the group one afternoon, he told each woman, “You know, you replaced a man in the class.”  She never forgot that question. 

There are two excellent books about her :  Notorious  RBG  The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg  by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik    and

In My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Her early years and Lighter side.   Major decisions and dissents

Both books reveal  her brilliance as a thinker and writer.  She liked to write at night when she said “my pen is hot”.   Most of  her fellow judges and justices have always praised her humanity and openness.  She appeared tiny in size sitting next to Clarence Thomas on the bench.   His customary silence was a contrast to her strong and  compelling decisions and dissents . 

RBG will be missed  by  all who knew her personally and by the people of the United States. … the women especially.

Post Script:  The response to Mc Connell and Trump rushing to place another woman on the Supreme Court , one who will be a strong Conservative in favor of ending  Roe v Wade has electrified the women of this country.  Seventy percent of women are in favor of Roe , guaranteeing  the right to abortion.  Millions of dollars were donated over the weekend when Mc Connell and Trump made their statements.  Donations to Planned Parenthood and to Joe Biden who supports Roe v Wade as established law.

Prediction:  Mitch Mc Connell who is tied with Amy McGrath, a former Marine Pilot will lose his seat in the Senate when the women of Kentucky vote him out of office.

Donald J. Trump who continues to trail Joe Biden in the national and state polls will lose the re-election  he seeks so desperately,   He announced today that he will strive for a THIRD TERM IN OFFICE!!!

Only Franklin Delano Roosevelt served more than two terms during World War II.  He died during his fourth term and Harry Truman became president.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Joyce S. Anderson

Donald Trump and The Military

Early History:  As a teenager,  Donald was sent to a military school  to learn discipline. He later worked with his father as a young man in the real estate business.  He learned to circle certain potential clients with a large C for those they would not accept as clients.  C meant Colored.

During the Vietnam War,  Donald Trump had a doctor verify that he had “bone spurs in his heels” and used that to dodge the draft .  Years later when that doctor was interviewed, it was not clear if this excuse was valid.

When one of his sons suggested he would go into the service,  Trump said  “ If you do, I’ll disown you.”

Update to 2020:  A record of his statements about the military and actions he took  since becoming president have been reported and compiled.  At present, there is a fierce explosion of comments he made that appeared in The Atlantic reported by their Editor in Chief  Jeffrey Goldberg.  Here are some that are being discussed on Cable News and in The New York Times and TheWashington Post :

Trump was in France in 2018 and a visit to The  Aisne –Marne American Cemetery was canceled , “due to rain”.  Later, he told senior members, “Why should  I go to that cemetery?  It’s filled with  losers.”   A leak to the press was that he did not want his hair mussed up by the rain.

When he returned from the visit, he was so impressed with the military parade in Paris  that he wanted a similar parade here  on Pennsylvania Avenue . He would be saluted when they passed his box.  Another requirement Trump wanted was that “No wounded soldiers would be included in the parade.  It didn’t look good.”  Defense Secretary James Mattis was successful in downplaying the idea of a military parade of any kind in D.C.  Trump had seen one in North Korea and loved it there as well. 

Another incident occurred when he was standing next to  his Chief of Staff ,  Former General   John G. Kelly   at the grave of  his son who had died during wartime . After the service at the military cemetery filled with rows of hundreds of  white tombstones, Trump  turned to him and said “I don’t get it .  What’s in it for them?”  

The first time the president insulted Senator John Mc Cain became an indelible memory for many Americans.  He said very succinctly when a discussion of heroes was being recorded.  “I don’t consider soldiers who have been captured as heroes.  I only like the ones who were not captured.” Those  were his words for Mc Cain who was shot down and tortured for five years by the North Koreans.  After John Mc Cain died,  the staff lowered flags at the White House and Trump complained that he didn’t want them down.  John Mc Cain had “killed his Health Care Bill “and Trump never fore gave him for that.  However, the staff prevailed and the flags stayed down.

The Atlantic article also included  examples of Trump calling soldiers who had died in war , “suckers”.   The response on cable news channels from former military commanders has been harsh   on hearing  this label for the troops they commanded during wartime.  “Disgusting” said one.

Trump has repeatedly called the article and the uproar from military leaders a HOAX…his favorite label .  He denies the quotations  that are affirmed by multiple people in each case.   He has gone on the offensive and said today, “The generals want war. They benefit from combat and the economic boost.”  Yet we know that Eisenhower for example did not want us to enter WW II.  And most generals deny his accusation vociferously.  

This morning, Trump said, “The troops love me. That’s what’s important.” 

Post script:   Senator Tammy Duckworth was a combat helicopter pilot in Iraq,  when an enemy rocket exploded inside the cockpit shooting down the plane. Her co-pilot saved her life, carrying her unconscious to the medics.  Duckworth lost both her legs that tragic day.  She received the  Purple  Heart and retired in 2014 as a Lieutenant Colonel. She is seen as a hero by most Americans.

Donald Trump said of her, “She didn’t know how to handle the helicopter.”   Her response was to create the perfect label for him.   We all know he loves to give unflattering nick names to people he sees as  political enemies.   Duckworth coined “Cadet Bone Spurs”  for Trump, the Draft Dodger.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Joyce S.  Anderson

Republican Convention at The White House

It is important to headline the location of the convention for several reasons.  The White House, known as the people’s house, is where the president and his family live on the second floor.  The  Oval Office on the first floor is the center of the Executive Branch of our government.  It is where the president does his work.  Adjacent offices house important staff members.

When planning took place, Donald Trump decided the four night Republican National Convention should take place on the White House lawn.  This has never happened since The Hatch Act was passed in 1939 and amended in l993.  The Hatch Act makes clear that The White House should not be used for political purposes.

Thus, four nights of a thousand people crammed together on the lawn should not have occurred. We do not know whether the Hatch Act was discussed in the planning process.  We do know that what Donald Trump wanted to happen did happen.  There were several comments in the media when it was announced about The Hatch Act, but they apparently had no effect.

During the convention,  Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo appeared virtually  from Jerusalem, Israel, definitely with a political purpose of support for the president’s  re-election.

A second serious concern about choosing  the White House lawn was that it was a dangerous place to seat the audience for the four nights. Only the people coming for the first two rows were tested for the Corona virus.  Very few people were wearing masks.  The results of this experience on their health are not known at this time.  We do  remember the effect of the Tulsa rally for Trump  when people were seated this way. Herman Caine is the most well known person who died afterward from the virus among others who became ill.

 

Content and Design of the four nights

The focus was completely on Donald Trump and the Trump family throughout the convention.   The president and first lady walked slowly down a curved staircase to applause to open the events.  Each of his adult children took part during the days that followed.   They  spoke on different topics about his  achievements during the first four years. Those in the audience as well as TV viewers  would have to weigh the accuracy of their speeches.   Certain newspapers did fact checking on their speeches as well as the final hour and a half speech Trump gave accepting the nomination.

The president’s speech pulled out all the stops , attacking his opponent Joe Biden as a far left Socialist who would harm America with similar themes to the ads that are running on TV.  He warned of chaos in the streets of the cities in Biden’s America.  It was ironic that his descriptions were of the scenes that are happening  right now in his  America.

At one point, he said he favored a woman some day for vice president but  “ Kamala Harris was incompetent.”  He suggested Ivanka Trump would be a good choice.

The final night of the convention brought fireworks that spelled out  TRUMP  in the dark sky.  The spectacle was over.  In the final days of August , polls showed that Donald Trump did not get a bounce from the Republican convention.  In fact,  Joe Biden’s lead had increased in National Polls and Swing States as well.

……………………………………………..Joyce S. Anderson

Snapshots From The Two Conventions

Democratic Convention

First Night

When Michele Obama spoke at the 2016  Democratic Convention, she introduced the phrase,  “When they go low, we go high”.  She told this convention that she had not changed her mind.  She said, “ After four years of President Trump, some might ask ,  Does going high  still really  work?”

“My answer –Going high is the only thing that works, because when we use those  tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that is drowning out everything else.”

Senator Bernie Sanders  also ran for the Democratic presidential nomination as he had with Hillary Clinton in 2016 .  At this convention, although he did not agree with Biden on some major policies, he urged his supporters to support Joe Biden and be sure to  vote.

Kristin Urquiza, a woman whose father died from the Covid 19 virus. electrified the Convention and all of us who heard her that night.  She was quoted in newspapers and on Cable TV  for days.  She said, “ My father, Mark Antony Urquiza . sixty five year old  had no underlying health problems  had voted for Mr. Trump and went out  one day  because he believed the pandemic was under control. “ She said he died isolated from his family.  She  added. Her father’s “only pre=existing  condition was trusting Donald Trump.  For that, he paid with his life.”

 

Second night

Sally Yates, the former Acting Attorney General listed the norms Trump had broken before and after she refused to defend his ban on Muslim people. “His constant attacks on The F.B.I. ,  the free press, inspectors general . They all have one purpose, to remove his abuse of power.  Put simply, he treats our country like it’s his family business— this time, bankrupting our nation’s authority home and abroad. But our county doesn’t belong to him. It belongs to us.”

Formal normination of  Joe Biden to be President  was done with a virtual roll call of the fifty states.  Each state cast ballots and he was officially the choice of the Democratic Party.   His speech was a block buster hard hitting presentation.   Not the  “sleepy Joe”  Trump attacks.  Joe Biden   has the years of experience  as Vice President with Barack Obama to draw upon.

Dr. Jill Biden, his wife gave the keynote speech at the close.  She gave it from a classroom where she used to teach ar Brandywine Highschool in Delaware.   She told the story  of Joe Biden’s life and his resilience in times of  personal tragedy when his young wife and daughter were killed in a car accident.   He was a young newly installed senator at the time.  His two sons Beau and Hunter were at home and he commuted each day from D.C. to Delaware to be there in the morning when they awoke and at the close of the day, returning  on the train to be there when they went to bed..  He became a legend on the train.

She spoke of their meeting and life together.  She also spoke of  Beau Biden who became Attorney General of Delaware and who died of brain cancer when Joe was Vice President.  The book “Promise me Dad” is about his plea to his father to run for president.

Jill Biden drew a comparison between  Joe making a family  whole again and  his qualities to make a nation whole again after the pandemic and Trump’s divisive years.  She stressed that people know Joe as a decent man who can be trusted.

 

Third Night

Barack  Obama  broke a tradition of former  presidents not criticizing their  successors by name when he said, “President Trump has abused his power and shown no interest in treating the presidency as one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

“I did hope for the sake of our country that Donald Trump might shows some interest in taking the job seriously – that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care –but he never did.  Donald Trump hasn’t gotten into the job because he can’t”

Obama’s searing denunciation of Trump was followed by  Kamala Harris entering the stage to address the virtual audience of millions watching on television.  She walked confidently to the podium and began a memorable speech as the first woman of color to be chosen to join a major party’s  presidential ticket.

She recalled her mother, a cancer researcher, who died of the Corona Virus in 2009.  “ I keep thinking about that 25 year old Indian woman, all of five feet tall, who gave birth to me at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland California .  On that day, she would never have imagined that I  would be standing here before you now, and speaking these words.”

She then paused,– and said with confidence and passion, “I accept your  nomination for Vice President of The United States of America.”

Hillary Clinton,  winner of the popular vote for president in 2016,  had a warning for the viewers.  She said, “Remember,  Joe and Kamala can win three million more votes and still lose – take it from me.  We need numbers so overwhelming Trump can’t  sneak  or steal his way to victory”.Like Obama, she said she had hoped Trump  would rise to the job and she urged people to vote as early as possible.  People have told me, “I didn’t realize how dangerous he was. I  wish I had voted.   Look. This can’t be another woulda,  coulda shoulda election.”

Former Representative Gabriel Giffords speech was an emotional high point for listeners.   She has become  one of the most dedicated advocates for stricter gun control  laws after being shot in the head  in 2011.  Her husband, Mark Kelly , running for the senate seat in Arizona , has worked for years with her to restore her speech.   She still has difficulty speaking from the brain injury  and her speech  was the longest she has ever given.

She said, “I put one foot in front of the other.  I found one word and then  found another.  My recovery was a daily struggle but fighting makes me stronger.  Words once came easily. Today I struggle with speech.  But I have not lost my voice.  America needs all of us to speak out,  even when you have to fight to find the words.”

 

Final Night

The first hour presented the Biden-Harris policy agenda , the programs they would emphasize and others they would bring back after Trump cut them.  ElizabethWarren  spoke about child care from a preschool classroom.  She gave her personal experience as a young working mother when her aunt moved in to help her.   Climate change was discussed by several young activists  in response to Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Pact.  A third area was Immigration policy.  An eleven year old girl,  Estela Juarez whose mother had been deported  told  Mr. Trump in that segment,  “Instead of protecting us, you tore our world apart.” Biden=Harris would insure DACA  would be safe.

Seven former presidential rivals spoke about Joe Biden in the next hour with Cory Booker as host. They gave examples of Biden reaching out to people in need,  his empathy for the millions of families that have lost a member to the Cororna virus, and his “decency”  and  moral character traits.    The contrast with Trump was evident.

Mayor Keisha Bottoms of Atlanta paid tribute to John Lewis of Georgia.  She said, “ The Civil Rights leader’s passion for making “good trouble”  is what  the Democratic Party has been reaching for this past week.”

He walked gently among us not as a Civil Rights icon but as a God fearing man who did what he could to fulfill the unfulfilled promise of America. “

Joe Biden’s  acceptance speech was the finale of the Convention.  He spoke in clear strong words of his goals and plans for the nation.  His tone was positive throughout.   His speech was a direct contrast with current speeches of Donald Trump’s  emphasis on law and order  to control the Black Lives Matter protests occurring after the death of George Floyd.

…………………………………………Joyce S. Anderson

Note:  The Republican Convention will be covered separately .  I am working up to it.  Sincerely, JSA

Harris Joins Biden on Democratic Ticket: A First!

 

Three other women were chosen by Democratic Presidential contenders to be their running mates. Kamala Harris, daughter of a Black father and mother of Indian descent is the first woman of color.  Both parents are immigrants who came to the United States before she was born in Oakland , California 55 years ago.

Joe Biden announced his selection in a text message and in an email to his supporters. “Joe Biden here. Big news.   I’ve chosen Kamala Harris as my running mate.  Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump.”   This happened on  Tuesday , August 11. Biden had said he would pick a woman and interviews of qualified women had taken place.   Susan Rice,  Karen Bass,  Elizabeth Warren, Val Demings and Gretchen Witmer  had been finalists.

Harris has a formidable background  that led to her entry into the 2020 Presidential race in Oakland when 20,000  excited people gathered to cheer her first official speech.  It is ironic  that  Donald Trump ,who is fixated on numbers in crowds commented at the time about her crowd size being amazing.

As a child,  Kamala rode a school bus during  Civil Rights Movement activities.   She grew up learning history first hand and attended Howard University, a leading Black college for her bachelor’s degree.  She earned a law degree and became a prosecutor , developing formidable  questioning skills in courtrooms.  Next, she decided to seek a political career and ran against  the District Attorney  in San Francisco who was her boss.  Kamala won that race  and built a reputation  as knowledgeable , fair and tough on criminals.  Kamala finally  sought the top legal position in California,  Attorney General and won.  During her years as Attorney General of California she became friends with the Attorney General of Delaware,  Beau Biden,  son of Joe Biden.

Kamala Harris finally ran for the United States Senate and won.  Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey who has known her for over two decades, said,  “ There was no path laid out  for her.  She had to be savvy to find her way through the set of obstacles  that most people in the positions she’s held have not had to deal with.  Cory Booker, who served as the Black mayor of Newark, New Jersey, the largest city in the state, knows exactly what those obstacles are:  racism and prejudice.

As a senator, Harris serves on The Intelligence Committee as well as The Judiciary Committee.  Different important hearings were held when her questioning skills became known to the American public during televised hearings.   William Barr the Attorney General of  the United States was questioned by her  about his introduction of Robert Mueller’s  400 page Report about Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.  He had submitted a four page cursory overview and she asked him if he had read all of it including footnotes.  He hemmed and hawed and finally said he had not read everything.  She had cut him down to size before millions of viewers.  Some of us never forgot that.

Kamala also was a fierce questioner of Brett Kavanaugh when he was Donald Trump’s second nominee to the Supreme Court.   When Joe Biden introduced her, he said “She is the best person to take the fight to Donald Trump.”

Now, we see that Donald Trump  has created a second Birther Lie…..   He is saying that she was not born in the United States.   Her mother was born in India, NOT KAMALA…. GOT THAT DONALD….. Your grandfather was born in Germany… not Sweden as you lied for years.   Stop creating BIG LIES ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>     Joyce S. Anderson.

The President is Not Above The Law

 

On  Thursday,  July 9,  Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a 7-2 decision, “No citizen, not even the president,  is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding.” The court’s four liberals voted with him as well as Donald Trump’s two conservative appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.  Justices  Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.

Trump immediately attacked the decision on Twitter, “ This is all a political prosecution. I won the Mueller Witch Hunt and others and now I have to  keep fighting in a politically corrupt New York . Not fair to this Presidency or Administration.”

Justice Kavanaugh had said it a different way, “In our system of government, as this court  has often stated,  no one is above the law. That principle applies, of course to a president.”

Trump had claimed “absolute immunity” from investigators seeking his tax returns.   For years, he had said that he was under audit, therefore he could not give his tax returns.  That tired excuse no longer was valid.

He also had boasted at the failed Tulsa rally that he had appointed two “great justices to the Supreme Court”.    Their votes with the majority made clear that they were independent in their new positions.  In recent weeks, the court defied the president in  cases on gay rights, DACA  immigration, and abortion.  Two years ago,  Roberts rebuked Trump by saying there were “ No Obama judges and Trump judges” .

The landmark 7-2 decision was Trump  v.  Vance that New York prosecutors  could seek Mr. Trump’s financial records.

……………………………….Joyce S. Anderson

Hillary Clinton Won The Popular Vote in 2016

I am becoming angry with TV commentators who refer to Hillary Clinton’s poor campaign”. Were they seeing the same Democratic women that I saw wearing “I’m With Her” Shirts? Did they see Hillary sit through thirteen hours of grilling by a hostile Republican oversight committee and never lose her cool. Or watch the four debates with Donald Trump where she was judged as the WINNER of all by the judges? Even of the one where he loomed behind her in a threatening manner and she continued talking to the audience? Do these TV political “experts” remember the New York Times endorsement which described her as the most qualified nominee in the modern era. As Secretary of State for Barack Obama, she had traveled the world and laid the foundation for the crucial Nuclear Treaty with Iran that Donald Trump refused to honor when he took office.

Early in the campaign, Trump gave her the nickname “Crooked Hillary” which had no logical foundation since she was a lawyer. Then Michael Flynn, Trump’s buddy started the “Lock her Up” chants that caught fire at his rallies.

Hillary Clinton campaigned on a platform that reached out to all people to build togetherness and strength in our society. Her use of her personal server became an issue Trump magnified. Remember when her debate opponent Bernie Sanders said, “I’m sick of your damn emails” and broke up the audience. However, she never did anything illegal.

James Comey, Director of The F.B. I., decided to hold a press conference without consulting his boss, the U.S. Attorney General to report on their investigation of her emails. He was breaking the rules by doing this. He reported that she and her staff were “careless” in their work. He did not mention that the F.B.I. was also investigating Donald Trump and his staff at the same time. This label harmed her reputation. James Comey was to hold other press conferences about Hillary Comey at crucial times in the campaign that affected the outcome. After the Access Hollywood tapes occurred that revealed Donald Trump as a molester of women, Comey held a press conference to share that he was investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails again. Then in November on the Sunday before the Tuesday election, he again spoke about her campaign.

While she was in Philadelphia with Barack and Michelle Obama with all the political experts predicting a huge victory, Russian cyber experts were working to affect the vote counts in key states of Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. They did their work well. Hillary won the popular vote by over two million votes.

But Donald Trump won the Electoral College with the necessary 272 votes for President of The United States. He did not expect to win and neither did the experts.

Now, as we prepare for the election in November, we know what that result has meant to the country and all of us. We know that Trump is a very different president from his predecessors. He does not read or listen to the PDB each morning. The President’s Daily Brief that is compiled by our Intelligence experts. We also know he favors Twitter for his communications and has told over sixteen thousand false statements and lies, documented by a reporter at The Washington Post. He is a very different president from the Hillary Clinton we knew before and during the campaign.

I think of how she would have handled the Pandemic and the Russia crisis of paying the Taliban to kill our soldiers. I know she would have had the right advice from her military and state department officials. She would have been a very different president from Donald J. Trump.

Let’s hope that Joe Biden wins the election in a landslide in November.

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

Chief Justice John Roberts Becomes The Swing Vote !

From June 15 to June 29, 2020,  The Supreme Court released three  decisions that revealed a major shift in the balance of the Highest Court in the United States.  New York Times banner headlines the next  days  heralded the story.

LANDMARK DECISION PROTECTS L.G.B.T. WORKERS June 16

JUSTICES IN BLOW TO TRUMP, REJECT PLAN TO END DACA,  June 19

ROBERTS SWINGS COURT IN TOPPLING AN ABORTION CURB,  June 30.

June is always the time when major decisions often  are reached and revealed to the public. This year produced three very significant decisions on subjects that were of great import to the nation.

The Supreme Court ruled in  the first decision that gay and transgender Americans workers are protected under a landmark Civil Rights law. Before this decision,  it had been legal in more than half of the states  for employers to fire gay, bisexual and trans gender workers.  Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority in the 6-3 ruling.   The liberal bloc: Ginsburg,  Kagan, Breyer and Sotomayor were joined by conservatives Gorsuch and Roberts.  The three dissenting  Justices were Thomas,  Alito, and Kavanaugh, all  conservatives.   Opinion and Dissent covered l68 pages.

Same sex marriage was approved by the Supreme Court in 2015.  However, an employee who married a same sex partner could be fired that afternoon. There were major flash points in culture wars about use of bathrooms,  sports teams and locker room usage that involved gay and transgender men and women.  This decision protects people under the long standing 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The role of Chief Justice Roberts joining the liberal bloc was the second time he took part in a major case that affects millions of Americans.  The first was when he saved The Affordable Care Act for the American people by voting against the Trump led offensive to destroy it   It should be noted that Donald Trump  continues to go to court to  try to overturn Obama Care as it is often called.  His lawyers have filed another lawsuit at this time aimed at taking it away from twenty million Americans during the escalating pandemic.

DACA was the subject of the second major Supreme Court decision in June.  There are 700,000  ‘Dreamers’,  men and women who were brought to the United States as children by  their parents who immigrated to The United States.   They have grown up and  many attended college, found jobs and paid taxes.

Under Obama,  a bi partisan group of House members and Senators developed a plan for them to become citizens.  That plan is called DACA.  It  has been put on hold under Trump who has moved from supporting them at one time to calling for an end to DACA .  He talks of” sending them back to where they came from. “

The Second Supreme Court Decision was a 5 to 4 ruling that kept protection for the ‘Dreamers’  against deportation.   Chief Justice Roberts wrote the majority decision himself that upheld  the executive action by President Barack Obama that established the program.  DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.  He did write that the decision was based on procedural issues and could be raised again by the administration..

Trump responded with an angry attack upon The High Court on Twitter.  “These horrible and political decisions coming out of The Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people who are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives.”

Young ‘Dreamers” said they were surprised and delighted to know the High Court Ruled in their favor at this time.

Donald Trump’s polling  numbers are sinking nationally  and in many of the swing states at this time.   The ‘Dreamers’  continue to keep their hopes alive, counting on Joe Biden who has been a strong supporter winning the November election and making their dreams come true.

The third Supreme Court ruling was 5-4 again with Roberts siding with the liberal bloc of Justices.  The case was about a Louisiana 2014 law that required doctors performing abortions to have admitting principles at nearby hospitals.  The Pro Life activists have succeeded in passing laws in different states that chip away at the Roe V. Wade Supreme Court decision that upheld the right of a woman to have an abortion.  Most of the states are in the South and Midwest.   There are five states that have only one abortion clinic left:  Missouri,  Mississippi,  West Virginia,  North Dakota and South Dakota.  States continue to add to the list, dozens of laws have been passed in recent years.

Poor women lack money to travel to nearby states.     They often felt forced to resort  to desperate measures  to stop the pregnancy if they already had children to raise and feed.  It should be noted that most women seeking abortions  are married , not single.

This Supreme Court decision is a victory  for Roe v. Wade. The Pro Life movement has a long list of cases they  are bringing to abolish the 1973 Supreme Court decision that gives women control over their bodies.

John Roberts as Chief Justice voted to extend federal protection to American women through Roe v. Wade.  Conservatives  reacted with  anger.  Ted Cruz, Republican senator from Texas said  on Twitter, “  Chief Justice  John Roberts is at it again.  This time he has sided with abortion extremists who care more about abortion on demand than protecting women’s  health.:”

Justice Stephen Breyer writing for the four liberals who joined Roberts in the majority said, “that the Louisiana law was almost word for  word identical with the one from Texas that the Supreme Court struck down in the 2016 decision. “

The legal right to an abortion remains a hot issue in senate races for 2020.   The Chief Justice voting as he did in the Louisiana case gives Republican senators including Mitch McConnell  a tough subject to  deal with during the months ahead as they campaign for reelection.

Donald Trump is angry with the Chief Justice for his support for all three Supreme Court Decisions.   He has clashed with him before and would be wise to avoid any clashes with him at present.   The president has had a bad month in the polls.  Taking on Chief Justice Roberts would be a very foolish mistake on his part.   Women’s votes, crucial to his election are falling fast in all national and state polls.

…………………………………………Joyce S. Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Barr’s Pervasion of Justice

May 9, 2020: the lead editorial in The New York Times was  “ William Barr’s Perversion of Justice”.   Against a black background,  Barr’s face  appeared behind a large red Scales of Justice tipped unevenly. It was a shocking picture introducing a shocking tale of a United States Attorney General who has been tipping the scales to benefit President Donald Trump rather than protecting the Justice system and the American people.

Prologue:  

After the Watergate Scandal, President Richard Nixon resigned to avoid Impeachment.  United States Attorney General John Mitchell and over ten other members of the Nixon administration went to prison.  Watergate led to reforms to ensure an independent Justice Department faithful to the law rather than the president. Among the reforms were greater transparency and ethics rules like the creation of independent inspectors general to rid the  executive branch of waste, fraud and abuse.  There were also new limits on presidential power in the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act.

Donald J. Trump Administration   Donald Trump has already fired four Inspectors General in different areas of his administration.   He also broke the Congressional Act when he withheld hundreds of million dollars of aid to Ukraine.

After Donald Trump had been elected, he went through some months of interviewing men and women for cabinet positions .  William Barr sent him a very  long letter of introduction where he discussed his years of service to Republican presidents. He believed presidents should have maximum authority with little oversight.  Donald Trump chose William Barr to be United States Attorney  General .

Barr was confirmed by the Senate and only a month later he introduced the Mueller Report on Russian Interference in The 2016 Presidential Election.  Robert Mueller and his team of F.B.I investigators had worked for almost two years on the 448 page documented report.  The event was covered by all cable and major stations .  National interest was high since no leaks had occurred of the major findings.

William Barr was sworn in and seated to make his presentation.  He had only four pages to consult as he read  that “No collusion had been found between the president’s administration and Russia and There had been no obstruction of Justice.”  At the White House, there was jubilation as Trump and everyone watching were celebrating “ complete exoneration. “

The next day, The New York Times had a front page list of Volume 2 of the Mueller Report Obstruction of Justice ten examples.   Critics of the president were suspicious of Barr’s interpretation. The complete report was not available for weeks to Congress or the American public. Robert Mueller made public a  letter to William Barr raising questions and objections to the presentation. Barr never answered him.

When the report was finally available to the media, there were immediate responses on cable and major news channels by critics  who had read the entire report.   Barr’s interpretation was widely held to be biased.  However Barr stuck to his original analysis and conclusions.  He referred to the investigation as “spying” and ordered a criminal inquiry into its origin. On Fox News, he called the Russia Investigation “One of the greatest travesties in American History.”

During the following months and years,  William Barr appeared on the side of the president when they  were involved in legal troubles and trials.  He helped Roger Stone a long time friend of Donald Trump receive a lighter sentence.  Most recently,  he was instrumental in former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn being completely freed of charges of lying to The F.B.I.

This latest reversal of serious charges against the leader of Trump’s entire security team brought the May 9 editorial described at the beginning of this blog.  Flynn had been very close to Trump when he ran for office.  He created the famous “Lock her up” chant during rallies as he stood next to him.

The reversal of charges then moved to  U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan who could validate or question the move.  He has a reputation as a “tough  experienced judge” and showed that with an order reported on May 12 .  The order required both legal sides in the lifting of charges to present evidence and revisit the original case.  William Barr’s decision will now be moved to a higher authority.

A final note : Over two thousand former federal prosecutors responded to Barr’s decision to drop the charges against Flynn by calling for William Barr’s resignation as Attorney General of The United States.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mitch McConnell: Donald Trump’s Henchman!

 

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader of the United State Senate, has done harm to our Justice  System.  McConnell knows the complex Senate rules by heart and has used them to further Conservative Republican objectives whenever possible.  He has faithfully supported Trump through his years in office.

During the last years of the Obama administration , Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia , the leader of the Conservative wing of the High Court, died.   President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, Chief of the Washington D.C. Second Circuit Appeals Court to replace him.  This appointment was praised by Republicans as well as Democrats.  He is a middle of the road Justice , neither liberal nor conservative.

However,  Mitch McConnell said it was too close to the next Presidential Election to hold the customary interviews with the Senate and votes to confirm or deny the appointment.   Despite enormous criticism from the Obama administration and Democratic members of the Senate and Congress,  McConnell succeeded in keeping the seat vacant for over a year until the 2016 election took place.  This had never happened before!  Chief Justice John Roberts never commented upon McConnell blocking President Obama’s Constitutional  power  to  nominate a Justice to fill the vacancy.

During those months, The Supreme Court had to function with only eight members.  Although McConnell came under criticism from legal and government figures as well as presidential scholars,  he never budged from his position.   When Donald Trump was elected,  one of his first priorities was to nominate a conservative Republican, Neil Gorsuch, to the High Court.  McConnell guided him through confirmation to his seat on The Supreme Court.

On May ll,  in an interview with Lara Trump, the president’s daughter in law,  McConnell said, “Obama should have kept his mouth shut” referring to a leaked account of Obama’s private call to former members of his administration when he described Trump’s handling of the pandemic crisis as “an absolute chaotic disaster.”  McConnell added, “You had your shot—you were there for eight years. “  It is important to note that McConnell fought the Obama administration on immigration, health care, the environment and gun safety throughout the eight years.

McConnell has also tried to shift blame to Obama by saying his administration never left behind “any kind of game plan” for dealing with a pandemic.  In response, Ron Klain, who ran the Obama administration response to Ebola, said, “We literally left them a 69 page Pandemic Playbook that they ignored.  “

McConnell stood with Trump during the Impeachment trial in the Senate. He led the Republican senators who refused to allow witness testimony and voted to acquit him of all charges.  The Republicans have a slim majority , but it was enough to end the Trial with Trump’s Acquittal.

Mitch McConnell, up for re-election in November, is running against Amy, McGrath, a Marine fighter pilot and Mom.  The latest polls give him only a one point advantage and she appears to be gaining momentum.  If McConnell loses the election, Trump will have lost a very important ally.

…………………………………………Joyce S. Anderson