Tag Archives: U.S. Supreme Court

A constitution designed to preserve slavery now undermines our democracy

America’s original sin, slavery, continues to define our society and political institutions to this day. This is because the U.S. Constitution, which was designed to preserve slavery, now undermines our democracy.

If Americans believe in democracy — and one of our two major political parties, the Party of Trump fka the Republican Party, decidedly does not — we must move to amend the Constitution to remove the lingering vestiges of slavery and usher in a revival of American democracy.

Voting is a privilege of citizenship under the Constitution. There is no express guarantee in the Constitution that the franchise to vote is a fundamental constitutional right. This has allowed the states to disenfranchise and to discriminate against its citizens denying them their vote in a myriad of creative ways. An amendment guaranteeing the franchise to vote is a fundamental constitutional right is necessary to fight GOP voter suppression efforts.

The electoral college is a lingering vestige of slavery. There is no direct popular vote election of the president and vice president, as in every other modern democracy in the world. Americans vote for electors who then vote to elect the president and vice president. There have been five United States presidential elections in which the electoral college winner lost the popular vote, twice since 2000, favoring Republicans. It is long past time to amend the Constitution to repeal the electoral college and adopt the direct popular vote election of president and vice president as in every other modern democracy in the world. Republicans are likely to oppose repeal of the electoral college because they have lost the popular vote in six of the last seven elections.

Continue reading

Kavanaugh confirmation advances to a final vote

Senators voted 51-49 to end debate on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, setting up a final vote to confirm Kavanaugh for Saturday afternoon. Kavanaugh advances in key Senate vote:

Kavanaugh’s nomination got a last-minute boost when Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME) voted to end debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Manchin was the only Democrat to vote yes.

Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), however, voted against advancing the nomination, the only Republican to do so.

Senate Republicans acknowledged ahead of time that they might not know the outcome of the vote by the time it started — an unusual move for a leadership team that likes to keep a tight grip on floor action.

* * *

This doesn’t guarantee they will each vote to confirm him. Collins (Maine) voted to end debate but isn’t expected to make an announcement on if she will vote to confirm him until 3 p.m., setting up a must-watch moment on the Senate floor.

Republicans hold a slim 51-seat majority in the Senate, which allows them to lose one vote from their conference and still confirm Kavanaugh without Democratic help.

Continue reading

Despite massive opposition, Republicans are set to confirm the most unpopular judicial nominee in American history

More than 2,400 law professors sign letter opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation:

Signatories included Martha Minow — the former dean of Harvard Law School, where Kavanaugh taught a popular course — other law school deans and former deans, and some scholars who previously supported Kavanaugh.

“As someone who knew and liked Brett Kavanaugh when we clerked together, I have tried very hard to stay out of this process and to give him the benefit of the doubt,” said Mark Lemley, a professor at Stanford Law School. But Kavanaugh’s behavior at the hearing last week “was not what we should expect of a Supreme Court Justice. Telling obvious lies about his background, yelling at senators, refusing to answer questions, and blaming his troubles on others is not appropriate behavior.”

* * *

Another letter, signed by about 900 female law professors, asked the Senate to reject Kavanaugh’s appointment. As a law professor, “it is my responsibility to teach my students the highest standards of professionalism and decorum,” Karla McKanders, a professor of law at Vanderbilt University Law School, said in an email. “Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony undermines the legal profession and would undermine the authority of the Supreme Court.”

In an unprecedented move, life-long Republican and Former Justice John Paul Stevens said Judge Kavanaugh is not qualified to sit on the court:

Justice Stevens said he came to the conclusion reluctantly, changing his mind about Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination after the second round of the judge’s confirmation hearings last week. Judge Kavanaugh’s statements at those hearings, Justice Stevens said, revealed prejudices that would make it impossible for him to do the court’s work, a point he said had been made by prominent commentators.

“They suggest that he has demonstrated a potential bias involving enough potential litigants before the court that he would not be able to perform his full responsibilities,” Justice Stevens said in remarks to retirees in Boca Raton, Fla. “And I think there is merit in that criticism and that the senators should really pay attention to it.”

“For the good of the court,” he said, “it’s not healthy to get a new justice that can only do a part-time job.”

Continue reading

A ‘rigged’ FBI investigation in the Kavanaugh coverup (Updated)

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake called for a thorough FBI background investigation while speaking at an event in Boston. “It does no good to have an investigation that gives us more cover, for example,” he said. “We actually have find out what we can find out.”

While the Twitter-troll-in-chief lied his ass off in tweets and press statements that the FBI could follow any lead and speak to any witness, White House legal counsel Don McGahn, a longtime friend of Judge Kavanaugh’s, made certain the background investigation would be severely restricted. To borrow Trump’s favorite phrase, the FBI background investigation was “rigged.”

Bloomberg News reports that the FBI did not even interview the principals involved. FBI Lacks White House Approval to Talk to Kavanaugh and Ford.

NBC News reports that the FBI has not contacted dozens of potential sources in Kavanaugh investigation:

More than 40 people with potential information into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have not been contacted by the FBI, according to multiple sources that include friends of both the nominee and his accusers.

[S]ources close to the investigation, as well as a number of people who know those involved, say the FBI has not contacted dozens of potential corroborators or character witnesses.

More than 20 individuals who know either Kavanaugh or Ramirez, who has accused the nominee of exposing himself to her while the two attended Yale University, have not heard from the FBI despite attempts to contact investigators, including Kavanaugh’s roommate at the time and a former close Ramirez friend.

Continue reading

Maricopa County prosecutor Rachel Mitchell’s unprofessional memo

Republican strategist Rick Wilson authored the book Everything Trump Touches Dies.

This is likely to include the professional legal career of Maricopa County prosecutor Rachel Mitchell.

Hired to be a “human shield” for Republican senators in questioning Christine Blasey Ford last week, she proved to be ‘not effective’ in questioning Ford.

Mitchell had barely begun asking questions of Judge Kavanaugh when she zeroed in on his July 1 calendar entry which might corroborate Dr. Blasey’s recollection of a party. Republican senators insulted her by summarily dismissing her, never to be heard from again.

Eleven old white men didn’t want to hear from any woman, even their hired gun.

Mitchell has since compounded her catastrophic performance by providing a partisan political memo to the GOP senators who hired her. Her memo violates the rules of professional conduct for attorneys and prosecutors. Her desire to be in the national spotlight may wind up costing her.

Continue reading