Sunday, June 4, 2017

Gorsuch* - The Associate Justice With the Permanent Asterisk

This post is all about the "burning question of the day:" 
What can be done about the Supreme Court?

What the Gorsuch* Appointment Has Revealed
Since the Supreme Court has now been officially destroyed,
we need to start thinking about replacing it.

President Trump is being driven to an ever increasing crisis of self-confidence -- if not outright, unmistakable psychopathy -- as his popularity continues to drop daily and he -- painfully slowly -- begins to comprehend and acknowledge not only his own incompetence, but also the "wall to wall" craven incompetence of the Goldman-Sachs and foolishly ideological, Breitbart gang surrounding him. Nonetheless, at some point Trump the "deal maker" has persuaded the Senate Majority Leader and the Congressional GOP's to walk out on the political plank with him by backing The Donald's "fool proof oligarchy" scam.

One of the boards making up this "plank" is the growing necessity of castrating and "de-fanging" the Supreme Court in order to protect Trump from the threats attached to his rapidly approaching cascade of legal problems.

The reactionary Catholics and corporatists who populated the Supremes during the beginning of the Obama Presidency had already effectively gutted the Court's claim to "equal treatment under the law." While the particulars of this which spring to Americans' minds at first blush dealt primarily with decisions which plummeted social/cultural issues in the reactionary oligarchic paradise of the 1950s, the more damaging Court gambits were entirely directed at establishing a permanent judicial advantage to wild, lawless billionaires -- especially decisions opening the floodgate to a permanent intrusion of billionaire money into the democratic politics of the nation.

Day by day, Gorsuch'*s shocking attraction to the "Dominionist theoretics" so brazenly espoused by Scalia will be politically lubricated by the "approval" of the perpetually terrified evangelical and catholic base which elected Trump. Associate Justice Gorsuch* will have an opportunity to make an additional "down payment" on the Trump/Pence sham of "religious liberty" in a few weeks. [Gorsuch Gets Religious Liberty Case For His Opening Week on the Supreme Court/WashingtonEXAMINER]

Comparing Gorsuch* to Scalia
[cartoon - image]
When there was money -- in this case, big money -- changing hands, the Court considered cases as mere inconveniences when they addressed Constitutional liberties and "vitally crucial" when they judicially legitimized any action which might "lubricate" the rise of the oligarchs.

The most rancid of the reactionary, Catholic, social Dominionists to sit on the Court would have to be Antonin Scalia. Scalia's sudden death and potential replacement by Merrick Garland [Obama's nominee] was the underlying cause of the Senate's "extremely bad behavior" in unilaterally prohibiting a hearing for any nominee while Obama remained in office.

Garland's History in the Senate Confirmation Hearings 
as a Federal Judge in the Washington, DC 
[Excerpted from WIKI. Read the entire article here.]

On September 6, 1995, President Bill Clinton nominated Garland to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia seat vacated by his longtime mentor Abner J. Mikva. The American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary gave Garland a "unanimously well-qualified" committee rating, its highest.

On December 1, 1995, Garland received a hearing before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. In Senate confirmation hearings Garland said that the Supreme Court justices whom he most admired were Justice Brennan, for whom he clerked, and Chief Justice John Marshall. Garland also expressed admiration for the writing style of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.. Senate Republicans did not then schedule a vote on Garland's confirmation, not because of concerns over Garland's qualifications but because of a dispute over whether to fill the seat.

After winning the November 1996 presidential election, Clinton renominated Garland on January 7, 1997. Garland's confirmation vote came to floor of the Republican-controlled Senate on March 19, 1997. He was confirmed in a 76–23 vote and received his judicial commission the next day. The majority of Republican senators voted to confirm Garland, including Senators John McCain, Orrin Hatch, Susan Collins, and Jim Inhofe. Senators Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, and Jeff Sessions were among those who voted against Garland. All of the 23 "no" votes came from Republicans, and all were based "on whether there was even a need for an eleventh seat" on the D.C. Circuit.

Garland became Chief Judge of the D.C. Circuit on February 12, 2013. As chief judge, Garland announced in May 2013 that the D.C. Circuit had unanimously decided to provide the public with same-day audio recordings of oral arguments in the court.

Gorsuch*, himself, was a "Republican dream" candidate for the Court. He has a long record of very dependably tilting judicial decisions toward the benefit of corporate interests -- even at the expense of more "traditional" legal objectivity. Beyond his checkered record of unsettling pro-monied class decisions, Gorsuch* was a "valiant defender" in support of Bush W.'s torture program. [Neil Gorsuch Helped Defend Bush Era Torture Policy/NYTIMES and Gorsuch Questioned Early on Torture Memo/USNEWS]

A Brief Visit With a Traditional of Judicial "Normal"
GOP Senate thugs permanently wreck the "Supreme" Court with
 a not particularly subtle "winner takes all" mugging.

Through the history of the US democracy there have been more than a few really horrible types parked on the country's Supreme Court. One of the "unwritten" traditions created to limit this republic destroying phenomenon was planted [fairly deeply] in the protocol of the Senate. Because the Senate was charged with the deliberative responsibility of approving nominations to the high court, there gradually developed an informal understanding that at least 2/3's of the body should somehow find a way to vote for a President's nominee.

This practice accomplished a number of "stability boosting" effects. A President, knowing that this would be the environment he could expect in the Senate, would, naturally, be inclined to avoid truly incendiary choices in his nominations. Further, good natured, patriotic Senators were likely to approve a candidate with theoretically appropriate judicial credentials even if the nominee's personal ideology were to be utterly repugnant to them.

Additionally, just about any "momentary collection" of Supremes has always been a geriatric "Wheel of Fortune" for a nominating President. The denizens of the Supreme Nine have generally been old enough to literally drop dead without any warning, suddenly casting the Constitutional process back into the quagmire of "nominations" and "Senate approvals" but also suddenly casting any established ideological proclivities of the previous Court into an abrupt reformation.

Finally, there has never been a case when the Senate simply refused to consider any nominee from a sitting President. Previous to what occurred recently, everybody involved quietly acknowledged the necessity of performing the Constitutional role corresponding to their position to maintain functioning Supreme Court.

McConnell and Gorsuch*: Strange bedfellows unite to sabotage the democracy.
Just a Couple of Really Stinky, Quick Items About the
Current Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell
Abandoning the Constitution for racist Fun and Profit

The tragi-comedy unfolding in the Senate following the Trump election loss and Inauguration has cast some unexpected, grotesquely strange "bedfellows" together as the chief players in what Steve Bannon has termed "deconstruction of the administrative state." Although practically none of the Trump supporting voters had any idea what this meant during the campaign, events since then have begun to fill out the painful details and fully illuminate the term's definition. [Here are two links to provide additional reading on this subject Bannon vows a daily fight for ‘deconstruction of the administrative state’/WashingtonPost and What the 'deconstruction of the administrative state' really looks like/CNN]

McConnell [WIKI]
Item One:

Senator Mitch [R - KY] shoe horned himself into the seat of Senate Majority Leader after the Republicans took control of the Senate in the 2015 election. We can make use here of the WIKIPEDIA recap of McConnell's recent political ascendancy. [WIKI links in the article remain enabled. Link to the WIKI pag here - WIKI]

Pay close attention to the last part of the WIKI material. It represents "Really Stinky Item One."

"Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. (born February 20, 1942) is an American politician and the senior United States Senator from Kentucky. A member of the Republican Party, he has been the Majority Leader of the Senate since January 3, 2015. He is the 15th Republican and the second Kentuckian to lead his party in the Senate. McConnell is the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history.

During the administration of President Barack Obama, McConnell was known to the left as being an obstructionist, while opinion on the right was sharply divided. Some on the right praised him for tenacity and courage, while others criticized him for being part of the political establishment and not keeping his promises to conservatives.

From early 2016, McConnell refused to schedule Senate hearings for Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, to replace Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. Garland's nomination remained before the Senate for 294 days, from March 16, 2016, until it expired on January 3, 2017, more than double the time of any other Supreme Court nomination. Later, McConnell used the nuclear option to lower the threshold for overriding filibusters for Supreme Court nominees to a simple majority, with the aim of confirming Neil Gorsuch to the Court."

Without any doubt Donald Trump is heading for an inevitable impeachment. Although the despicable interloper has already done significant damage in a multitude of areas, the impeachment will most likely be driven by specific financial "improprieties." Even though most Americans consider the secret connections to Russia the primary issue, these sordid revelations are deemed "second class" evidence for the Congressional Impeachment process. 

Congress clearly intends to "get this done" by "following the money."

Nonetheless, this is precisely what is motivating McConnell's "para-Constitutional" perfidy. [If "perfidy" is not on your common vocabulary list, just substitute "traitor."] Not surprisingly it has become very important tactically to groom the Supreme Court to make it much less likely to "be a problem" when Trump's Impeachment is contested.

McConnell and the billionaires who own the Republican Party were demonstrating rare foresight when they concocted the scheme to 1. deny Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, so much as even a Senate confirmation hearing, and 2. suddenly [and recklessly] change the Senate rules to approve Neil Gorsuch* on a simple majority although the nominee's reputation and credentials could not elicit the traditional 2/3's majority.

Even though the scheme was deplorable on its face, the lasting damage arises from the fact that McConnell's twisted, anti-democratic process will now become the norm. Still quite bruised and scabbed by McConnell's maneuvering to unilaterally prevent Garland's nomination hearing, MeanMesa suspects that there is far less "decency" or "well intentioned Senatorial protocol" remaining on the Democratic side to ever undo the damage.

The "die has been cast." Henceforth, every Supreme Court Justice will be a "ruthlessly partisan survivor," wielding fealty to the party currently in power. [There may still be a recovery plan for this dark development. MeanMesa will provide a link at the end of this post.]

Item Two:

Senate Majority Leader,
Mitch McConnell [R-KY]
MeanMesa's expression of such a bold political statement may be unusual for the blog's usually mild mannered content, but in the case of Senator McConnell it could not possibly be more justified. The Senator has thoroughly demonstrated that he is criminally dangerous to the Republic.

As the Russian election campaign attack was just beginning to come to light, then President Barack Obama was being routinely briefed by US intelligence about the scheme's scope, scale and likely effectiveness. Alarmed, Obama called the leaders of Congress to a classified meeting where he could inform them of the intelligence data and consult with them about informing the American people. Unhappily, -- and not surprisingly -- this was all occurring during the heat of the Presidential campaign. It was Obama's intention to inform the public as much as possible to prevent the Russian intelligence service's cyber "mind bots" from swaying the opinions of US voters.

At this meeting of Congressional leaders, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, specifically told the President that if a decision to release the information to Americans were taken, he and the billionaires who own the Republican Party would aggressively "counter attack" in a well financed, political attempt to shade the revelations by deeming it as a Presidential "partisan election scheme."

The full scope of this GOP anti-democracy scheme is now becoming more clear everyday. The treasonous perfidy has a thousand moving parts, and every one of them stinks. [Treasonous Mitch McConnell Refused To Oppose Russia Election Meddling For Trump/PoliticusUSA]

Absolutely Nothing Can Be Done, Right?
After all, it IS the Supreme Court.
Not So Fast.
Remember, so far the common citizens are still somewhat in charge.

Understandably, the founders, as they were creating the Constitution, expressed a very clear intention that the new nation's Supreme Court would be as removed as possible from the momentary political pressure and influence on a given day. The term of service for one of the Court's Justices would therefore, be a lifetime appointment.

This worked fairly well for some time, but the modern Court -- as noted in the account of what Senator McConnell and his Senatorial cronies in the current GOP majority just "pulled off" -- has metamorphosed into a partisan political "prize" which is just as alluring to those obsessed with the purloining of power and power as a nice pile of heroin is to a stumbling, shuddering drug addict.

Well, it's not like that the Republicans, still utterly inebriated with the sudden power of the Trump ascendancy, have even the slightest "impulse" to restore the Court to some semblance of its intended state. Control of the Court is so politically immense that we can, very comfortably, propose that it has a very definite "cash value."

Unable to actually win an election but still "quivering under the lash" of the Party's demanding billionaire owners, McConnell and his gang have denied a sitting President his legitimate role in the selection of Scalia's replacement and then stolen the seat in this crazy Senatorial "power grab"  while ignoring [recklessly changing] the rules. Further, post-Constitutional opportunists such as McConnell clearly have no interest in restoring the Court to any condition resembling its intended, Constitutional design.

Here, MeanMesa can, in fact, offer an alternative. The old, traditional form of the Court is gone, probably for good, but "What can possibly replace it?" The country still requires the function of issuing high court decisions on matters conflicted and contradicted y lower courts.

Please prepare a nice cup of tea, set the cell phone on "vibrate only," and spend a few [more] minutes considering MeanMesa's proposal. With the prevailing malaise now coating the nation, you deserve a flicker of hope!

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