Nel's New Day

February 23, 2021

DDT’s Lawsuits ‘the Rest of My Life’

With Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) out of Washington, the U.S. Supreme Court may stay out of his legal messes—at least for now. On Monday, the justices’ refused to block a lower court giving DDT’s financial records and tax returns, both personal and corporate, to New York City prosecutors. The grand jury will have eight years of tax returns, 2011-2018, for a grand jury investigation, and last July, the high court ruled 7-2 against DDT’s claim he was immune from prosecution while still in the Oval Office. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority:

“No citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding.”

This decision not to hear the appeals court case frees Manhattan DA Cy Vance to continue his criminal probe. Michael Cohen, DDT’s former personal lawyer, has claimed the Trump Organization committed insurance fraud, avoided taxes, and jacked up loan collateral by manipulating real estate valuations. New York state AG Letitia James is pursuing the same information for a civil probe. DDT’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, and his bank, Deutsche Bank, said in the past they will release the information if subpoenaed.

Vance recently issued another dozen subpoenas for the investigation, including one for Ladder Capital Finance, one of DDT’s major creditors for commercial real estate holdings. DDT’s $160 million interest-only mortgage with Ladder on Trump Tower comes due in 18 months.  

Taking part in the inquiry is Mark Pomerantz, who both prosecuted and defended mob figures.

In another New York case, Manhattan prosecutors subpoenaed documents from an engineer working on the Trump-owned 200-acre Seven Springs Estate in Westchester County. In the past decade, DDT’s valuation of the property, purchased in 1995 for $7.5 million, ranged from $25 million to $291 million. In 2014, he deducted $2.2 million in taxes by claiming it as an investment property and then claimed a $21.1 million tax deduction for donating a conservation easement for 2015, not “reflected on applicable tax returns.” DDT tried to build a golf course on the property, but quit after local opposition, and then considered a development with 15 mansions.

DDT’s returns may not be public unless they lead to criminal charges. In that case, the documents could be evidence, allowing them to be public. If those charges lead to conviction, DDT can’t escape it with a pardon, even a secret blanket one he might have made before he left the Oval Office, because it’s a state, not a federal, charge.

In another rejection of DDT, SCOTUS refused to consider cases out of Pennsylvania to block a deadline for absentee ballots three days after Election Day which were postmarked by Election Day in cases from a legislator and from DDT to block Pennsylvania’s certification of election results. The disposition of absentee ballots either way would not have affected President Joe Biden’s win in the state.

Thanks to Fulton County (GA) DA Fani Willis, DDT may also face RICO, an anti-racketeering law to prosecute the mob, in trying to change Georgia’s majority to favor himself. Willis successfully used the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in a case against Atlanta teachers accused of organized cheating by falsifying student standardized scores to improve schools’ standing. Former Georgia public defender Ryan Locke said RICO is used “in a case where someone commits a number of crimes that all lead toward one common corrupt aim.” RICO can be used for using a legal entity, i.e., a government agency or public office, to break the law.

More fallout has come from 60+ frivolous lawsuits claiming, with no evidence, fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Both public officials and private companies want to hold DDT and his GQP (Grand QAnon Party) allies accountable for the rhetoric causing insurrection at the Capitol on January 6. Federal rules prohibit lawyer participation in frivolous suits or use of litigation for such improper purposes as to delay or harass. Laws prevent attorneys from lying in court. Judicial sanctions to discourage bad practices could be monetary penalties or references to disciplinary action.

Michigan and Detroit asked a federal judge to sanction attorneys filing lawsuits falsely alleging fraud in the election. Al Schmidt, GOP Philadelphia City Commissioner facing threats with falsehoods about fraud in vote counting, asks for reconciliation. “Moving on isn’t enough,” he said. Last Friday, a federal judge in D.C. referred a lawyer for possible disciplinary action.

In Wisconsin, lawyers representing the state council of the Service Employees International Union requested a criminal investigation about ten false Wisconsin electors who secretly met at the state Capitol in an attempt to appoint themselves electoral voters for DDT. On the same day Wisconsin convened electoral representatives representing the state’s voters, the illegitimate group signed fake certificates of election with DDT’s name and sent them to federal and state officials. The six laws possibly broken include forgery and falsely assuming the role of public officer.

In New York, Stephen Gillers, a NYU law school professor, helped draft a complaint to investigate DDT’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s conduct and possibly revoke his license to practice law in the state. State rules prohibit lawyers from “conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer’s fitness as a lawyer.” A court can suspend the lawyer’s license on an interim basis while the disciplinary process is being resolved, sometimes three to four years.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MI), chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, is suing DDT, Giuliani, and members of two extremist groups, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, on the basis of the 1871 Ku Klux Klan law banning violent interference in congressional duties. His representation, NAACP, said other congressional members may join.

Two election technology companies filed multibillion-dollar defamation suits against DDT’s allies for telling lies about the software and equipment. Dominion Voting Systems, with $1.3 billion defamation lawsuits against lawyers Giuliani and Sidney Powell, has a new $1.3 billion suit against the MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. Dominion claims Powell has been evading service of its suit. Smartmatic’s lawsuits have forced conservative media into reversing its lies.

While DDT prepares for his first speech since leaving Washington for Mar-a-Lago, possibly to announce his presidential candidacy in 2024, he fears he will be sued for the rest of his life—sort of like his life before the White House. A few non-political cases:

Former journalist E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit is still active. After the statute of limitations for rape expired, she is suing DDT for defamation because he said she lied about a rape in a New York department store. Former AG Bill Barr tried to move the case from state to federal court and assign DOJ lawyers to defend DDT, but the new administration dropped that effort.

A one-time contestant on DDT’s former TV reality show The Apprentice, Summer Zervos, has requested a continuation of her suit now that DDT, presently a private citizen, no longer has protection from a deposition regarding alleged sexual assault.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, once a close friend of DDT who advised him for his campaign, is considering a lawsuit because DDT repeated—and falsely—called Scarborough a murderer.

DDT may be in financial trouble despite grifting throughout four years in the White House. Vornado Realty Trust, owning 70 percent of two first-class commercial buildings in New York and San Francisco, may force DDT to sell his 30 percent stake at a discount. With control over DDT’s cash flow, Vornado can withhold money from DDT, who desperately needs the funds to pay for his loan. After a decade, DDT has owned a share worth $784 million with a $285 million share of the debt. Almost $400 million in DDT’s debt partially backed by Trump International Hotel (Washington, D.C.) and the Trump National Doral Golf Resort (Miami) comes due in 2023. Without money to maintain the facilities in good shape, he loses the ability to attract future business.

Since DDT left the White House, members are leaving Mar-a-Lago because of bad food and a depressing atmosphere, lacking even entertainment. Calling DDT an “employee,” however, Palm Beach allows DDT to live at Mar-a-Lago, despite his agreement in 1993 to not stay there for longer than seven days at a time and only three times a year. Neighbors still oppose his residence there.

DDT lost over $120 million in revenue last year, according to his financial disclosure forms, the worst losses at his D.C. hotel, down over 60 percent, and Doral Resort, dropping 44 percent. Revenue amounts for 47 companies declined over 35 percent, and banks and law firms are cutting ties with DDT’s businesses. Gone are three of four banks with DDT’s largest deposits. Even a small event like the triathlon at DDT’s golf course outside Charlotte canceled when the January 6 Capitol attack caused sponsors and vendors to drop out. The event’s founder had canceled another event almost four years after DDT’s comment about “very fine people” among white supremacists,  but he came back to lose again.

And DDT’s supporters think he’s a good businessman.

December 25, 2020

End of 2020: Light from the Dark

On Christmas Day, we should have good news. Here are pieces from the past few weeks.

President-elect Joe Biden has slowed down in making appointments the past week but found a highly qualified replacement for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Connecticut’s commission of public schools Miguel Cardona moved from assistant superintendent in a district of 9,000 students to this appointment in fewer than two years. Born to Puerto Rican parents living in public housing, he first taught fourth-graders before he became the state’s youngest principal at age 28. In 2012, he was named the state’s principal of the year. Billionaire DeVos was educated in private schools, never taught, and focused on giving all her budget to private, preferably religious, schools. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, called him a “very, very solid” candidate.

Cardona’s background includes working to provide technology while pushing to reopen schools during the pandemic. His concern on equity issues led Connecticut to become the first state to require high school courses in Black and Latino studies under his tenure. Biden wants to triple the $15 billion Title I funds supporting high-poverty schools and double the number of psychologists, counselors, nurses, and social workers in schools, provide new money for school infrastructure, and increase federal spending for special education. He also proposed forgiving college debt and making community college free.

California’s governor Gavin Newsom has selected his secretary of state Alex Padilla to replace VP-elect Kamala Harris, making him the state’s first Latino senator from California. The son of Mexican immigrants, Padilla went to MIT, the LA City Council, and the state senate, before his current job. He and Sen.-elect Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) will join four other Latinos in the Senate. With Harris gone, the chamber has no Black woman, but in 26 days the U.S. will have a Black and Indian woman.

The Georgia runoff for two incumbent GOP senators heated up on the day after the general election in early November—court cases to suppress the vote and massive lies from the conservatives. A federal judge agreed on a settlement between civil rights groups and the postal service for measures to guarantee absentee ballots arrive in time for the January 5 election deadline. Georgia postal facilities are required to regularly sweep for undelivered ballots until the election and use expedited delivery services for mail-in ballots, and the plaintiffs agreed to not ask the Washington, D.C. circuit court for any other orders in their cases until after the elections. First class postal service during the past month has suffered serious delays because of Postmaster Louis DeJoy’s attempts, supported by DDT’s DOJ, to dismantle the promptness of delivery services.

A Fulton County judge rejection of a lawsuit permits voters to continuing using drop boxes 24 hours a day until polls close in Georgia on January 6. The county, generally voting Democratic, has a population of over one million. The State Election Board approved the disputed rule earlier this year. Republicans also lost their cases to stop the use of drop boxes, block early processing of mail ballots, and institute stricter signature verification procedures. Plaintiffs were barred from filing new lawsuits, but they can still appeal. Another trauma for Republicans comes from the 76,000 new registrations, 57 percent of them under the age of 35.

Another lawsuit, also rejected by a federal judge, would have removed the ballots of new Georgia residents from the senator runoff in a misreading of the federal Voting Rights Act. That was followed by a demand to the removal of Dominion software and equipment from use in the Georgia election. Conspiracy theorists also claim people are racing to Georgia to vote Democratic.

Over 1.4 million people in Georgia, 132,000 more than in the recent general election, have submitted applications for absentee ballots, down only 4 percent from the number of mail ballot applications at this point in the run-up to the general election. The deadline for requests is January 1. On the first day of early voting, the 168,000 voters had a 27-percent greater turnout than for the first day of the presidential election. Since early voting began on December 14, 2020, 1.3 million people have voted in person, and another 721,000 absentee ballots have also been received. About 5 million people in Georgia voted in November.

DDT has attacked the U.S. people with over 60 lawsuits to disenfranchise their votes, but litigation is now directed at him, for example one accusing him and the GOP of conspiring to violate Black voters’ rights. The case goes beyond a cease and desist; it asks DDT and the RNC to obtain court approval before demanding accounts or other “post-election activities.” A federal judge order barring the RNC from “ballot security” activities was lifted only three years ago after in effect for 36 years. Claims of intimidation, threats, and voter disenfranchisement came from voter roll purges and payment to police officers for patrolling sites in primarily Black and Latino areas. The new lawsuit, under the auspices of the Voting Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act, charges the defendants of purposefully focusing voter challenges on cities with large Black populations.

Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, companies making election voting equipment, also threaten defamation charges against DDT’s attorney Sidney Powell and conservative media outlets, demanding retractions of false claims in rigging the election. Fox, Newsmax, and OAN already played the video refuting the fraud. DDT’s campaign told staffers to preserve documents in preparation for a lawsuit. Dominion’s lawyer, Tom Clare, won a $1 million verdict in a defamation lawsuit after Rolling Stone alleged gang rape on the University of Virginia campus. The case was finally settled out of court.

Eric Coomer, director of product strategy and security for Dominion Voting Systems, in hiding after receiving death threats, is suing not only the lawyers but also the conservative networks and pundits along with evangelical radio host Eric Metaxas for “relentless defamation and ongoing threats.” Another defendant, Joseph Oltmann, founded a nonprofit and media business to uncover Antifa activists and also impugned Coomer. He has been branded a traitor to the U.S. a terrorist, and a criminal of the highest order.

Michigan AG Dana Nessel announced her office will file bar complaints against Powell, DDT’s campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and other lawyers who attacked state and local election officials as well as attempted to disenfranchise voters and overturn the election. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) also plans to file complaints against Giuliani and the other lawyers representing DDT and the GOP.

An attorney opposing one of DDT’s election fraud cases has also filed for sanctions against DDT’s lawyers.

Federal judges can sanction lawyers filing cases “for any improper purpose, such as to harass” or who press “frivolous” claims. They repeatedly called out Powell for failing to follow court rules and rejected her efforts to overturn Biden’s win. Attorneys’ ethics rules include similar language prohibiting lawyers from abusing the legal system and bringing frivolous claims.

Maricopa County (AZ) supervisors refuse to comply with subpoenas from the state Senate Judiciary Committee for over 2 million ballots cast in the November election.

A Delaware Superior Court judge threatened to revoke Lin Wood’s legal representation of DDT’s former adviser Carter Page because Wood’s Georgia suit had “no basis in fact or law” and his Wisconsin suit had “multiple deficiencies.” Page is suing Yahoo! News and Huffpost for defamation.  

Among DDT’s chaos in the past week, Robert E. Lee’s statue has been removed from the nation’s capitol. Virginia chose the traitor as one of its two designated monuments in the federal Statuary Hall over a century ago. He led the failed Confederate army during the Civil War and lost his plantation, now Arlington Cemetery. According to Virginia’s commission, a statue of Barbara Johns may replace Lee. In 1951, Johns, 16 years old at the time, led a two-week walkout protesting substandard educational conditions at her segregated all-Black high school. The following litigation became part of Brown v. Board of Education in which the Supreme Court outlawed school segregation. Virginia’s General Assembly needs to approve the commission’s decision. Mississippi has yet to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis, treasonous Confederate president, and Georgia still has treasonous Confederate vice-president Alexander Stephens. At least six other treasonous Confederates are also honored in Statutory Hall.

A split Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled police must have probable cause for a crime to conduct warrantless searches in the state. Of the 2,000 searches a month, 80 percent have been on Black drivers, but police found contraband only 12 percent of the time.  

A Fairfax County (VA) judge ruled the portraits of White judges must be removed for a Black defendant’s proceedings because he cannot get a fair trial from the implied bias.  

The conservative Gallup poll finds that DDT’s approval rating has dropped seven points since the election to 39 percent. Congress gets 15 percent approval. By contrast, Biden’s approval rating at 65 percent is 27 points higher than DDT’s rating at his inauguration in 2016. He never reached higher than 49 percent approval during his four years and averaged 39 percent over the four years.  

December 9, 2020

DDT Spirals Downward in Court

All 50 states have certified their electoral college votes according to the votes of their populations. President-elect Joe Biden has 306 votes; loser Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has 232 votes. The party totals are exactly the opposite from those in 2016 when DDT received 306 votes. After December 8, 2020, votes cannot be challenged in court or in Congress. Fox network traumatized supporters of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) when Neil Cavuto broke into DDT’s “vaccine summit” programming to announce Joe Biden is president-elect and the Supreme Court isn’t going to put him back into the Oval Office.

Next Monday, December 14, the electors meet in their separate states to vote by paper ballot for president and vice president. After the vote, they sign “Certificates of the Vote” with the list of votes and distribute them to officials along with the Certificate of Ascertainment. Thirty-three states have laws requiring electors to follow the vote of the people; Georgia, with 16 votes, and Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes, are the only swing states without this law. Without those 36 votes, Biden still has the necessary 270 electoral votes to be president.

Tuesday was another marker in losing for DDT. He and his allies passed the marker for 50 lost post-election legal battles, exactly 51, according to Marc Elias, Democrats’ top election attorney. The GOP came out victorious in one minor case allowing them to move from ten feet to six feet away from ballot counters. The icing on the losing cake was a rejection from the U.S. Supreme Court for a request to throw out all of Pennsylvania’s 6.7 million votes. The order from conservative Justice Samuel Alito had no dissents from the conservative 6-3 court—including the three justices DDT appointed to give him the White House in the next term. The case was the first—and perhaps the last—to reach the Supreme Court to overturn Biden’s win. In arguing the Supreme Court case, lawyers tried to use the 2000 decision putting George W. Bush into the White House, but that case overturned Florida’s Supreme Court decision on the basis its ruling “impermissibly distorted [state law] beyond what a fair reading required.” SCOTUS rejected the argument.

The basis of the case, filed by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) was against Act 77, last year’s law to allow unlimited absentee ballots to eligible voters. Republicans passed the law with the belief it would increase Republican voters, but DDT’s belief it would help Democrats drove Republicans to oppose the law that they passed. The state Supreme Court stated that the challenge was filed far too late, after Biden’s 80,000 majority was known. Challengers to Act 77 already ignored the 180-day window set by the GOP legislature to raise any constitutional objections. The GOP goal was to disenfranchise over 2.5 million voters so they could give the state to DDT.

One Pennsylvania state legislator gave an explanation for the recent interest in nullifying election results. Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward said defying DDT’s position might “get my house bombed.” Armed threatening men gathered around the home of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and extremists are posting photographs of the home of Ann Jacobs, Wisconsin Elections Commission chair, and threatening her children.    

After the conservative Supreme Court rejected the GOP’s effort to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump’s supporters are using Parler social media to call for martial law and armed rebellion across the nation. The same people called liberals “snowflakes” in 2016 and accused them of not being able to accept DDT’s victory four years ago. DDT lost both the electoral college and the popular vote to Biden, but DDT’s supporters claim people would not have voted for Biden.

After DDT’s Supreme Court loss came Nevada’s Supreme Court agreement with a lower court of “no credible or reliable evidence that the 2020 general election in Nevada was affected by fraud.”

Arizona’s Supreme Court unanimously rejected the “election fraud” lawsuit from the state’s GOP chair, Kelli “Chemtrail” Ward, who tried to give the state’s certified votes to DDT instead of the popular vote for Biden. The case accused both election workers and foreign countries of manipulating the results. After Arizona’s GOP Gov. Doug Ducey certified the vote for Biden, Ward told him to “shut the hell up.” The state GOP has asked Republicans if they are willing to die in the cause of obtaining the election for DDT. Activist Ali Alexander set the tone when he said he was “willing to give my life for this fight [to put DDT in the Oval Office].” The party sent out Alexander’s statement with the words, “He is. Are you?” with a clip from Rambo. A few respondents said they would, but far more ridiculed the approach.

A Georgia judge denied a lawsuit to force the state’s GOP governor and secretary of state decertify the election results for Biden to give the state to DDT. Desperate to get votes despite their openly fraudulent activities, Georgia’s GOP incumbent senators, up for reelection on January 6, have both signed a statement asking the state to invalidate the vote of the people for Biden.

Another Tuesday event was learning that DDT’s campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, who worked closely with COVID-19 infected Rudy Giuliani, also tested positive for the virus. She had told Fox she was bringing lawsuits to put loser DDT into the Oval Office for “Lord Jesus Christ.” Evidently, God blocked Ellis by giving her coronavirus.

The “safe harbor deadline” has passed, but 17 flaming red states are following Texas AG Ken Paxton in his filing opposition to Biden’s election in the Supreme Court, claiming four states—Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia—for “illegal election results.” DDT needs to get electoral votes from an additional four states to pass the 270-vote threshold for presidential election; he is ignoring the other 46 states.

Paxton’s lawsuit has serious problems. (1) It has no evidence. (2) One state has no standing to sue another state for its election processes. If so, many states could sue Paxton’s Texas for its multiple voter suppression tactics. (3) DDT has joined the lawsuit. Acting “in his personal capacity” as a presidential candidate, DDT wants “to protect his unique and substantial personal interests as a candidate for re-election.”

DDT’s new attorney, John Eastman, is using his birther belief attempting to disqualify VP-elect and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) for both her government positions because she was born in Oakland (CA) to U.S. immigrants. Newsweek ran an article from Eastman and then profusely apologized for having published his highly discredited column. 

Paxton’s lawsuit appears self-serving. After being under indictment for five years for securities fraud, several of his senior officials accused him of “bribery, abuse of office and other crimes.” He may be shopping for a pardon before DDT leaves office.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies turned sour Tuesday when Republicans rejected the customarily pro-forma resolution stating Joe Biden is president-elect in a preparation for him and VP-elect Kamala Harris. With six members on the committee, the resolution met with a tie. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) accused Democrats of getting “ahead of the electoral process [to] decide who we are inaugurating.” He wants them to “adhere to the committee’s longstanding tradition of bipartisan cooperation.” The other two Republicans on the committee, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), look upset about planning a Democrat’s inauguration. 

GOP leaders are giving December 14, the meeting of electors as the end of the elections. Next Tuesday will determine whether Republicans come up with a new personal deadline. Chair of the committee, Blunt indicated it won’t be meeting again. More sabotage of what should be a celebration of democracy. Blunt also said the committee members would accept the president-elect after the Electoral College meets. When the 249 GOP congressional members were asked if they would accept Biden as president-elect after formalization by the electors, only 32 said yes. Two said no, and the remaining 215 wouldn’t answer. The 32 accepting the inevitable is only five more than the 27 who had already agreed with Biden as the president-elect.

Meanwhile, Biden is moving forward with his own inaugural committee. He has appointed five chairs with Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the lead, with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer the co-chair. Others are Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE). At the same time, Ivanka Trump, deposed for an investigation into the misuse of funds for her father’s inauguration called it “a politically motivated demonstration” and “waste of taxpayer dollars.” After the 50+ lawsuits against states because Republicans can’t believe Joe Biden can get over 80 million votes.

U.S. COVID-19 for December 9, 2020: cases – 225,441; deaths – 3,243. Within the next two days, anticipate total cases to go over 16 million and deaths over 300,000.

November 25, 2020

DDT’s Flailing Attempts to Get Votes

Filed under: Judiciary — trp2011 @ 12:08 AM
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With 36 losing lawsuits and eight more pending, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has not yet found any election fraud. He even admitted that he failed by tweeting he “will” find evidence. For the past month, DDT and other Republicans have thrown lawsuits to block Biden from winning, going from county jurisdictions to the federal circuit courts. Media differ on the number of lawsuits, going as high as the 44 listed above. GOP lawyers have tried to prevent counting and certifying votes while changing the rules and just having the electoral votes given to DDT with no justification. All of the cases declare nothing about widespread voter fraud in court; it appears only in the court of public opinion. Sometimes, attorneys claim in court that no fraud exists. By now, all the lawyers are incompetent.

Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn’s failed lawyer, accused Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp of conspiring with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to steal the election from DDT. Rudy Giuliani, still DDT’s personal lawyer and QAnon member Jenna Ellis said Powell doesn’t work on the election cases, but Ellis described Powell as a member of Trump’s legal team and praised her performance at the press conference. Giuliani said that the press conference was “representative of our legal team.” DDT’s campaign claimed Powell is “practicing law on her own” and “not a member of the Trump Legal Team,” but DDT had tweeted the three of them with Joseph deGenova and Victoria Toensing, who DDT refused to hire years ago, are “a truly great team.”

A taste of the recent cases:

Last weekend, a U.S. District Court judge in Pennsylvania dismissed DDT’s case in federal court. Matthew W. Brann wrote:

“In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.”

Fox showed a pre-recorded segment with DDT’s lawyer Jenna Ellis about a promising case possibly going to the Supreme Court—hours after the judge threw out the lawsuit. The Supreme Court has refused to take the case about counting ballots arriving within three days after Election Day but mailed on time.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed five consolidated appeals yesterday in DDT’s attempt to disqualify a few thousand mail-in ballots. The majority ruled the election code does not disqualify votes with no fraud or irregularity. Justice Christine Donohue wrote:

“Failures to include a handwritten name, address or date in the voter declaration on the back of the outer envelope, while constituting technical violations of the Election Code, do not warrant the wholesale disenfranchisement of thousands of Pennsylvania voters.”

In Pennsylvania, officials asked the 3rd Circuit Court to end DDT’s challenge of the election because it has been certified and resolved. The case was about rejecting millions—or at least tens of thousands—of legally cast ballots with no evidence to support the surrounding allegations. Parties were given 24 hours to submit arguments; rejecting DDT’s legal team may close down most of DDT’s ability to contest the election in that state, especially after today’s certification for Biden.

When Brann tossed the Pennsylvania case to remove all 6.8 million ballots from consideration last Friday, he described the case as a “Frankenstein’s Monster … haphazardly stitched together” and the GOP solution “unhinged.” That case led Pennsylvania Republicans to file a petition for the state supreme court which rejected it Monday before the 3rd Circuit Court was willing to take briefs. The same case also led to Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) to declare Biden as the president-elect.

The appeal for the circuit court didn’t ask for a delay in certification or a reversal in the trial court’s motion to grant preliminary relief. All it wants is an order for the district court to decide the case that the judge already called “Frankenstein’s Monster.”

Yesterday, DDT also lost a case in Michigan. A representative from the Brennan Center for Justice said the Michigan decision rejecting DDT’s poll observers to stop the certification could be the end of the road for DDT in that state. Michigan certified its electoral college votes for Biden yesterday. Another Michigan case had been rejected as “defective” for improper filing and was never corrected. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel (Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney’s niece) and state GOP Chair Laura Cox asked Michigan’s state canvassing board to delay certification for 14 days, allowing for a “full audit and investigation.”

Republicans’ Tuesday lawsuit asking the Wisconsin state supreme court to block certification during the recount uses DDT’s typical arguments as well as a repeat of a rejected argument in September that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to “illegally circumvent Wisconsin absentee voting laws” through grants awarded by a nonprofit center he funds. It’s slightly less daring than the Pennsylvania case to eliminate all 6.8 million votes based on hearsay, according to the judge.

A Wisconsin judge refused a request to throw out 60,000 mail-in ballots not associated with a written application in Democratic Dane County—all cast during in-person early voting. DDT’s team also lost the request to eliminate all ballots in which clerks added in a witness’ address information on the ballot envelope. In 2016, the state elections commission told municipal clerks to add that information if it was missing and they could reasonably discern it.

A Nevada district judge denied a former senate candidate her request to stop this week’s certification. The judge also denied a motion to strike down Nevada law allowing mail-in ballots and denied the request from a failed GOP congressional candidate for a revote in Nevada’s biggest county, calling it a “shocking ask.” Another Nevada case is still waiting for a decision, but the case probably won’t affect the state’s vote count.

This morning, DDT promised a “big lawsuit” will be filed “soon.” Last week, DDT’s legal team leader Rudy Giuliani also promised “a major lawsuit in Georgia,” but nothing has yet to emerge. The only lawsuit in Georgia, filed the day after the election, was quickly dismissed.

Miserably failing in court, DDT has developed other undemocratic tactics. Thus far, they have gained no traction other than to lead DDT’s gullible cult followers into rejecting democracy.  

Recounts:  Georgia’s Gov. Brian Kemp, elected with his personally chosen and possibly faulty voting machines, is calling for a second complete hand count of all ballots after the first one shows Biden ahead by 12,670 votes. DDT is also calling for a machine hand count although Georgia has already certified its votes for Biden. In the last hand recount, DDT gained about 1,300 votes. Georgia’s taxpayers will have to finance the second recount.

Too cheap to do a total Wisconsin recount, DDT picked the two heaviest Democratic counties. Observers’ sole goal is to delay the recount past the deadline to certify votes for the state. Never mind that certification from other swing states—Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Michigan—put Biden at 280 electoral college votes, ten points over the required 270. Observers not only break social distancing rules by doubling up at tables but also engage in other illegal activity. One of them questioned every ballot for no reason at all. One refused to wear a mask, and another assaulted a ballot counter when she moved his jacket from a chair. Some observers claiming to be independent or nonpartisan later admitted to the media they were present to help DDT.

State legislatures:  DDT’s campaign said Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Michigan will have public hearings on election, but the states disagree. Pennsylvania’s Senate Majority said the “hearing” is an “informational meeting.”  The other two states won’t confirm any hearing.  DDT’s daughter-in-law said about winning by swaying GOP state legislators, “We’re open to anything.” And DDT lobbied Michigan lawmakers in the White House to give the state to himself.

Twitter:  Since DDT’s abdication of any responsibilities, he has unlimited time to rant and rave over Twitter although his tweets are sometimes flagged for “misinformation.” Tomorrow is another day with no public events scheduled after he pardoned two turkeys and had a 63-second press conference today.

Re-vote: DDT retweeted this message from Randy Quaid, adding Republicans should take note:

“We need an in-person-only-paper ballot re-vote, especially in the States where flagrant irregularities have occurred. No accuracy, no democracy!”

AG Bill Barr, DDT’s fixer in the past, has maintained two weeks of silence without taking any action in the fake election fraud accusation. The U.S. Supreme Court has also shown no interest, already turning down one appeal.

Months ago, DDT began his strategy of telling his supporters the election is rigged and filled with fraud. Now those same supporters may boycott the Georgia election on January 5 to select two senators for the 177th Congress, senators who could give the Senate control to Democrats. The PAC connected to Roger Stone, DDT’s friend who Barr saved from part of his prison sentence, calls for Republicans to avoid the runoffs. On social media Parler are posts such as “Don’t vote! Don’t be part of the corruption.” Lin Wood, a DDT campaign worker in Georgia, tweeted, “I will NOT vote in GA runoff.”

November 24, 2020 – U.S. daily COVID-19: 175,168 cases (hitting over 13 million tomorrow); 2,194 deaths (hitting over 266,000 tomorrow).  

November 8, 2020

DDT Looks to Courts for His Winning

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) using the court system to stay in the Oval Office is like a Keystone Cops movie. In this case, however, the humorously incompetent cops are replaced by people like Rudy Giuliani who is still trying to dig himself out his relationship with a Russian agent while searching for dirt on Joe Biden. Now Giuliani’s under DOJ investigation while trying to find dirt on half the voters of the United States. DDT figures he can stay in the Oval Office because Jeb and George W. Bush convinced Florida to get him there in 2000, but by now Joe Biden has leads in several states, not just one. On Fox network, Rudy Giuliani said ten states conspired to throw the election to Joe Biden. DDT has had to use a number of excuses for suing them. 

With no evidence of election fraud, the lawyers’ activities were even more ludicrous. DDT picked Pam Bondi, who he bribed to drop the Florida suit against his corrupt university, and Corey Lewandowski, who got in trouble for violent actions while briefly DDT’s campaign manager, for Pennsylvania. DDT’s former acting intelligence director Richard Grenell went to Nevada in a search for “dead people voting” with Matt Schlapp, part of George W. Bush’s team in 2000. Neither one would answer any questions at a press conference, not even their names, and they ran away in a van. 

Even classier, DDT announced a “big press conference” in Philadelphia on Saturday at the Four Seasons. Instead of the posh hotel, however, the location was in the industrial area at the parking lot of the Four Seasons Total Landscaping, next to an adult book store offering “Dildo Sales” and across the street from a cremation center. At least the event seemed to have no cases of hypothermia or heat stroke. In the middle of the press conference, Giuliani discovered that the presidency had been called for Biden.  

Buzzfeed News breaks down the claims leading to lawsuits: unverified, misleading, and flatly false. DDT can’t even get some of his claims into Twitter without their being flagged as false:

  • A video supposedly of a man rolling a ballot box into a Detroit (MI) vote counting center that turned out to be camera equipment.
  • Over 138,000 voter “magically found” in Michigan came from a “simple error” being changed for the accurate tabulation. 
  • The report of more votes in Wisconsin than registered voters was just plain false.
  • “Sharpiegate” bringing out armed mobs came from the rumor of people alleging their votes were invalidated by the use of Sharpie markers given them by poll workers; they were flat-out wrong—the votes were counted.
  • The lie from DDT’s son Eric Trump and his press secretary Kayleigh McEnany that DDT had won Pennsylvania ignored the 500,000 votes still not counted last Thursday.

DDT has filed lawsuits to stop ballot counting in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin although the ballots were received legally on or before election Day. With no evidence of statutory or constitutional violation, the accusations are only “a tweet without a filing fee,” according to Justin Levitt, professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He said judges have “actually demanded facts and haven’t been ruling on all-caps claims of fraud or suppression.” University of Chicago law professor David Strauss said:

“He has the same attitude toward the Supreme Court that he has toward the rest of the government—that it works for him, not for the American people.”

DDT has at least 13 “nuisance” lawsuits in just Pennsylvania, partly because of his obsession with Philadelphia. Thus far, DDT’s only success has been moving poll watchers from ten feet to six feet away from ballot counters. His goal is to block the ballots postmarked by Election Day from being counted; Biden has already won the state without those ballots.

A Michigan judge dismissed DDT’s lawsuit accusing the counting of absentee ballots without bipartisan observers and challengers. She stated the lawsuit was filed a few hours before the end of ballot counting against Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, the wrong person to sue.

A Georgia judge dismissed DDT’s lawsuit alleging about 50 late ballots mixed with on-time ballots, citing no evidence.

DDT has decided Arizona’s results of fewer than 13,000 separation between Biden and DDT are close enough to attack. His suit alleges Maricopa County incorrectly rejected votes from Election Day because poll workers told voters to press a button because the machine detected an “overvote.” DDT’s campaign claimed the order disregarded voters’ choices which could prove “determinative.”

Twice, a federal judge rejected GOP attempts to block the use of a signature verification machine for mail ballots. Two law firms representing DDT’s campaign may have violated USPS regulations and privacy law in the course of advocating for a voter fraud case in the state of Nevada. Originally, the Nevada suit was filed by a “credentialed member” of DDT’s new favorite right-wing media One America News as senior adviser to the Nevada GOP and congressional campaign for Nevada Republicans Dan Rodimer and Jim Marchant.

The charge of faulty signature verification and observer access to ballot counting mentioned “over 3,000 instances of ineligible individuals casting ballots.” DDT’s campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh then involved AG Bill Barr through a law firm sending information from the USPS change-of-address database, a violation of federal law. Anyone accessing the data may use the data only for mailing reasons, and disclosed records without a written request violate the Privacy Act of 1974. In addition, Clark County voters, however, to not need to live in the county to cast ballots there. The firm has only one employee, Shana Weir, an official delegate for the Nevada GOP.  She opened the firm nine months ago and “legally advised” poll watchers. The other involved law firm worked for Sen. Ron Paul (R-KY) in 2016 to protect his deputy campaign manager who pled guilty to hiding campaign payments through a third-party vendor. DDT has the same problem with its own campaign.

In other DDT criminal activity, his campaign is trying to persuade Wisconsin voters to contact DDT’s Pennsylvania supporters to add late submissions to mail-in ballots. The reason is to claim Election authorities are not correctly sorting late ballots. A multi-state conspiracy to engage in election fraud is a crime. DDT’s campaign officials and Minnesota Republicans are trying to get DDT’s supporters to falsely claim ballot fraud. The Minnesota GOP chair told DDT activists the recruiting plan for all states came from the RNC chair Ronna McDaniel in another act of election fraud.

After a second court order for USPS to find ballots, the postal service delivered about 40,000 ballots last Thursday, after 150,000 went out on Wednesday. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy ignored the first order. At least 1,700 were discovered in Pennsylvania and had to be delivered by last Friday to be counted. Another 15 states have this deadline during the coming week—Nevada and North Carolina by Tuesday. DeJoy has deliberately delayed postal service since DDT put him in charge of USPS late last spring despite his promises to stop the practice and deliver ballots on time. According to government assets, DeJoy and his wife hold over $75 million in assets with USPS competitors. 

As for election fraud, Michael Georg Link, a German lawmaker who heads an observer mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Europe, told German public broadcaster rbb they found no evidence of election fraud in the mail-in voting process.

“We looked into this. We found no violations of the rules whatsoever.”

He said they found some errors but “no systemic interference or even manipulation with the postal ballots whatsoever.”

Ongoing litigation includes permission in North Carolina and Pennsylvania to count votes arriving after Election Day if the ballots were mailed by Election Day. Those ballots have been segregated and won’t be counted until the courts approve. DDT wants the Supreme Court to decide because he thinks at least three of the justices are under his control. Another litigation concerns “cured” ballots in several counties, ones in which individual voters fixed deficiencies.

Giuliani promised a flood of new lawsuits tomorrow, including ones with already failed allegations. One of them is a supposedly “recorded” vote by a dead woman in the Pittsburgh area among 350,000 votes from Allegheny County. “Recorded” may not mean counted. The woman planned to vote for DDT.

The reason for DDT’s lawsuits? He’s raising funds to pay for his campaign debts. He’ll wait to concede and beg, but he won’t leave the White House as long as he can live there in style and do no work. For months, he’s made promises for “when I become president” as if he isn’t at this time. He’s desperate to stay in the Oval Office to avoid prison. Donating to DDT’s recount fund? Half your money goes to erasing his campaign debt.

Today, Joe Biden worked on a transition, DDT rage tweeted and golfed, and his son Eric demanded a manual recount for every ballot in the United States—“right now!”

November 4, 2020

DDT’s Claims Indefensible

Like over half the people in the United States, I woke up this morning with a feeling of dismay and apprehension after almost 70 million people voted to “take the country back” instead of supporting democracy. This column by Alexandra Petri helped me pull myself together.

“I’d Like to Announce Right Now That I Have Won the 2024 Olympics,” by Alexandra Petri

[“’With millions of votes yet to be counted, President Trump falsely asserted election fraud, pledged to mount a legal challenge to official state results and made a premature claim of victory. … In remarks at the White House early Wednesday, Trump claimed that he won several states that are still counting ballots.’”— The Washington Post, Nov. 4, 2020]

“Hello, everyone! As long as we are announcing we’ve won things we haven’t won, I would like to share now that I have won the entire 2024 Olympics. I was surprised, too, given that I do not do any sports, and the Olympics have not concluded—or even started—yet, but, well, there it is. You had better cover my announcement, because I think it is big news for one person to win the entire Olympics of 2024, the Summer Olympics, the better of the two Olympics!

“It’s especially impressive when you consider that I am not an athlete! I used to run, but only when late for a train, and I don’t do that anymore. And yet it did not matter: I won the 2024 Olympics! Incredible! I won the pole vault and I won the gymnastics (floor and balance beam) and I also won all the events that Katie Ledecky usually wins, which should be impossible, but I guess it was not, because I must have believed in myself. A pretty inspiring story, I think, and big news. I hope America will hasten to get behind me and acknowledge my victory with various parades and jet flyovers and things of that nature.

“Please stop saying I haven’t won the 2024 Olympics and we won’t know who won the 2024 Olympics until 2024, at the very earliest. This partisan sniping tears America apart! We all know that the realest, most important part of the Olympics has already happened: the part where it was announced and I decided I would like to have won it.

“All the indications are pretty clear, now, before the races have concluded or even begun, that I am the clear winner in all the Olympic events. My shot-put performance was especially impressive! This overwhelming show of strength by me speaks for itself. Please don’t be distracted by the calls of the so-called athletes to “wait for the Olympics to begin, transpire and conclude before we declare a winner.” That would be divisive, the last thing we need right now, when we should all be rallying around me, the clear winner of events which, were they to have been won by someone else, would be illegitimate and thievish.

“My gymnastics victory was especially impressive. And let me say now: If my gold medal for floor events is stolen from me and given to Simone Biles, simply because in four years’ time she showed up and competed in the actual event, performed a better routine and received a higher score, that will be stealing. Stealing is wrong. What I am doing is not stealing; I just won and am saying so. Two totally different things!

“My victory in the 2024 Olympics was so overwhelming that I can also announce, right now, that I received a Nobel Peace Prize, for being so humble about it. Wow! And a — oh my gosh, the Pritzker Prize, for architecture? You shouldn’t have! Huge story right here, my winning this Nobel Peace Prize that I definitely won, and also this entire Olympics, single-handedly, and this Pritzker, and — an EGOT? This is incredible. If I were the sort of person who could get tired of winning … but fortunately, I’m not.

“All I had to do was believe in myself, it turned out! Congratulations to me, the clear victor, and thank you for giving me the media coverage I so lavishly deserved for my unparalleled achievement, which definitely is real and most certainly happened. Bring me my gold!”

Once I read Petri’s column and finished my breakfast, I almost regained my sanity, ready to put on my mask for grocery shopping and other errands. I’m still watching the results, maybe hopeful for Joe Biden, and ready to go back to the news. DDT’s insane lawsuits: 

DDT uses lawsuits as an outlet for his anger—at least 3,500 in fewer than 50 years. He started out in the early 1970s as a defendant when he violated the nation’s Fair House Act by discriminating against Blacks in his apartment building. DDT’s ghostwriter for The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz, said the housing case represented a “classic example” of DDT as a “counterpuncher”: to any accusation, DDT “goes back at them with all guns blazing…. And admits nothing.” If Trump loses, he will “declare victory.” Of the 3,500, he was defendant in 1,450 court cases and 1,900 as plaintiff. Of the 3,500 lawsuits, Trump or one of his companies were plaintiffs in 1,900; defendants in 1,450; and bankruptcy, third party, or other in 150. Trump was named in at least 169 suits in federal court.

Possibly losing the 2020 presidential election, DDT is running true to form. After DDT lied about his victory, his campaign announced a legal blitz to stop counting votes in Pennsylvania and Michigan, do a recount in Wisconsin, and challenge the handling of ballots in Georgia. This afternoon, Biden was the projected winner of Wisconsin and Michigan as well as running behind by only 44,000 votes in Georgia and possibly having a path to a Pennsylvania win. AP gives Biden a lead of 264 Electoral College votes over DDT’s 214, although the Arizona governor has still not conceded its 11 votes to Biden. A winner needs 270 votes.

Back to DDT’s litigation. In addition to the above lawsuits, the campaign claims it will challenge voter ID rules’ guidance in Pennsylvania and sue Chatham County, home of Savannah (GA), for mixing ballots arriving after the 7:00 pm deadline with eligible ballots. Early Wednesday morning, DDT said that he was going directly to the Supreme Court, but he needs to first take his problems to lower courts. Last night, the Nevada Supreme Court unanimously rejected the Nevada GOP and DDT campaign request to stop counting ballots in Clark County, home to Las Vegas, a failed tactic forcing the polls to stay open until 11:00 pm and delaying the release of results. Nevada is not rushing the counting process, and all mail ballots postmarked by Election Day are accepted until next Tuesday, November 10.

A federal judge in Pennsylvania looked askance at the GOP lawsuit to eliminate all ballots in a county where voters could fix—or cure—mail-in ballots. State election law doesn’t prevent this from happening; it just doesn’t specifically say they can. The county has done for years, but the GOP waited until after Election Day to file its suit. The George W. Bush judge said, “I do not understand how the integrity of the election was affected. He may issue his ruling on Friday.

After DDT’s legal assaults, he again announced he had won the presidency.

Armed federal officers are not permitted to be stationed at polling places, but they can take their guns into counting rooms, according to AG Bill Barr’s deputy, raising the concern of interference and intimidation. Barr spent the last month listing the most outrageously false examples of possible voter fraud, even “misrepresenting” (aka lying) about nonexistent cases in Texas. The Constitution describes elections as a state matter with no interference from the DOJ.

Counting votes in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania has lagged behind other states, thanks to GOP-controlled legislatures. They refused to permit mail votes to be even processed before Election day, perhaps hoping DDT would be successful in claiming the invalidity of any votes counted after November 3. Most states count mail ballots early, and the few that don’t at least prepare them for counting before Election Day.

Georgia, with DDT about 40,000 ahead, suffered from software problems in counting batches of absentee ballots in large county and a broken water pipe at the ballot processing site in Fulton County, the middle of Atlanta. 

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the D.C. Circuit Court, also known for his fierce preservation of law in AG Bill Barr’s protection of Michael Flynn to support DDT, won’t accept USPS Postmaster Louis DeJoy’s refusal to follow Sullivan’s court orders. “Someone may have a price to pay for that,” Sullivan said when DeJoy didn’t sent postal inspectors to find 300,000 missing ballots yesterday. Now he has disenfranchised 300,000 voters. DeJoy, DDT’s friend and donor, deliberately slowed mail delivery from the beginning of his appointment last spring. In a Senate hearing last summer, DeJoy said under oath that ballots would arrive on time. Sullivan said, “The postmaster’s going to have to be deposed or appear before me. I’m not going to forget it.” The ballots received entry bar code scans at processing facilities, but not exit scans. This map shows how missing ballots impact voting results.  

Good news! COVID-19 is over in the United States. That’s what Trump supporters said. Coronavirus is a hoax and ends on November 4. Except the number of cases yesterday for the U.S.—even Trump supporters—was 108,389, headed toward 10 million toward the end of the week. In addition, 1,201 people died—from COVID-19. Maybe tomorrow won’t have any cases, and this chart will magically drop to zero.   

October 29, 2020

More Voting Decisions Cause Chaos

The U.S. Supreme Court may wait until after Election Day to disenfranchisement voters, but the 8th Circuit Court thought doing it right now was just dandy. Today, just four days before Election Day, two federal judges, George W. Bush’s and DDT’s appointees, changed the date when ballots must be delivered in Minnesota, moving the goalpost up by seven days—a full week. The extension was made almost three months ago because of COVID-19, and it was the understanding of all the voters. The opinion stated, “There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution.” Two of three judges on a panel told voters to make different plans if they haven’t already mailed their absentee ballots. Although the ruling merely ordered the separation of ballots received after Election Day, the intent to remove them is clear. The disenfranchisement comes from deliberate delays in the USPS to suppress the votes. Tim Walz, the state’s governor, said, “It speaks volumes when your goal is to make it more difficult for people to vote.” 

You have to give Republicans persistence. After failing to definitely reduce extension time for returning North Carolina ballots yesterday, they went back to the Supreme Court. The majority again denied the GOP appeal with Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Samuel Alito again dissenting. The 1.4 million voters requesting absentee ballots in the state are seven times more than in 2016, and Democrats are twice as likely as to vote by mail as Republicans.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh had to correct one part of his error-riddled opinion denying Wisconsin its extension time for returning ballots after a Vermont official complained. Kavanaugh had used Vermont to show how “ordinary election rules” were not changed in spite of COVID-19. Earlier in the year, however, Vermont had authorized mailing ballots to all registered voters and processing them before Election Day—just like all the other successful vote-by-mail states do. After Vermont Secretary of State’s office formally requested a correction, Kavanaugh’s new opinion was changed to “ordinary election-deadline rules.” Although a minor change, it shows the sloppiness of Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court statements. In Vermont, mail-in votes are still due by Election Day if dropped off at polling places, but ballots are mailed out at least 45 days before Election Day—plenty of time for the two to three weeks needed for voters to receive and return them even with the GOP-orchestrated USPS delay.

Slate listed other Kavanaugh mistakes, but the most horrifying may be Kavanaugh’s belief that states formally declare elections on the night of the election deadline. He maintained any ballots after that time will “flip the results of an election,” a completely erroneous perspective with no legal standing. Justice Elena Kagan had to remind him, “There are no results to ‘flip’ until all valid votes are counted.” No states “definitively announce the results” on election night, as Kavanaugh declared, no matter how impatient people might be.

In addition, Kavanaugh was wrong when he stated the Supreme Court “has repeatedly emphasized that federal courts ordinarily should not alter state election laws in the period close to an election.” No majority opinion has ever made that rule. Kavanaugh also quoted, out of context, an article New York University law professor Richard Pildes to support his personal opinion about late-arriving ballots causing crisis, an article supporting time extensions for states’ receiving ballots in opposition to Kavanaugh’s position. He also violated his rule that only legislatures have constitutional authority to make voting rules by preserving Alabama’s ban on curbside voting never addressed by the legislature.

No other justice signed on to Kavanaugh’s misguided statements.

Voters at Texas polls had to wear masks for under one day after a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court blocked an order for mask-wearing at the polls. A lower court found the governor’s not requiring masks at the polls violated the federal Voting Rights Act’s disallowance of discriminatory voting practices based on race. The appeals court said the lower court would have jurisdiction to order changes, probably after the election and people already contracted the virus.

Missouri may have the most restrictive laws in the nation for absentee voting. Justification for mail-in voting is narrow, ballots must be mailed and not dropped off (risking not being counted because of GOP-caused postal delays), be received by Election Day, and have a notary authorize the signature. The last item creates a poll tax with the cost of hiring a notary.

Three notable law professors wrote an opinion piece asking federal courts to stay out of state court rulings protecting voting rights under state law. DDT’s judges refuse the federalist argument to honor only decisions from state legislatures and refuse state courts to interpret state law. The conservative “originalists” hope that DDT’s newest justice will give them a comfortable majority to disenfranchise voters across the country although 56 percent of people in the polls want Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself from any cases connected to DDT’s reelection attempt. Calling Bush v. Gore a disgrace, the authors bluntly state:

“Federal court have no business interfering in state-law matters.”

The Supreme Court rationale moving George W. Bush into the White House was already rejected by Arizona Legislature v. Arizona Redistricting Commission (2015): “legislature” in Article I of the U.S. Constitution means the lawmaking process set up by a state’s constitution. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that nothing in the federal Constitution “instructs, nor has this court ever held, that a state legislature” may regulate “federal elections in defiance of the provisions of the state’s constitution.” This rule also applies to Article II which empowers each state “legislature” to regulate the manner of picking presidential electors but does not empower a state “legislature” to ignore the state constitution creating that legislature, or the state supreme court that authoritatively interprets that state constitution.

A state court interpreting a state election statute to align it with a state constitution is in alignment with the authorization of the federal constitution. States use uniform rules for both state and federal elections; states should not be forced to develop separate rules because of a Supreme Court decision. State legislatures also deputize state courts to oversee elections to conform with state constitutions. One of the authors, Neal Kumar Katyal, is also a former acting U.S. solicitor general.

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) began his strategy of voter disenfranchisement through disinformation during the 2016 election. Eric Prince, brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, explained the project, “We merely need to dampen turn out [sic]. … A shift of a few points in the right places can swing this election.” And it did. All it needed was the standard DDT barrage of lies, over-the-edge rhetoric, and disinformation, called “flood the zone with shit,” by DDT’s former adviser Steve Bannon—this year a heavy use of QAnon conspiracy theories. Rolling Stone writer Andy Kroll used “internal documents, tax records, and interviews about [Roger] Stone and Prince’s efforts [to] illustrate how a lax campaign-finance system and an overtly racist voter-suppression effort created the perfect opportunity to follow Bannon’s directive.”

For donations, DDT’s campaign leaders created a front, the Committee for American Sovereignty Education Fund and Project Clintonson, to develop the false scenario of Bill Clinton’s Black son, hoping to smear DDT’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. The Committee used a UPS store for its address, failed to incorporate with California listed as its legal domicile, had no employees or board members, and declared no “direct or indirect political campaign activities” despite its objective to depress the Black vote. DDT bragged to a group of prominent Blacks he won the election because fewer Blacks voted in the 2016 election.

Nine Supreme Court election rulings between April and October 26 were unsigned orders with no explanations, no full briefings, and no oral arguments. Some of these decisions concerned absentee voting during the pandemic in three states and the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of people with felony convictions in Florida. Nicholas Stephanopoulos, a Harvard law professor, compared the decisions to a “shadow docket”:

“If courts don’t have to defend their decisions, then they’re just acts of will, of power. They’re not even pretending to be legal decisions.”

Judge Frank H. Easterbrook wrote in 2000 that explaining is the difference between judges and politicians:

“The political branches of government claim legitimacy by election, judges by reason. Any step that withdraws an element of the judicial process from public view makes the ensuing decision look more like fiat, which requires compelling justification.”

Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, attributed the growth of the shadow docket to DDT’s administration which filed 36 “emergency” applications in three and a half years. Administrations of George W. Bush and President Obama filed only eight of these applications in 16 years.

Three reasons for giving reasons from Rick Hasen:

“Reasons will help lower courts use the right standards in election cases, rather than having to try to read tea leaves from unexplained court orders…

“[Reasons] bolster the legitimacy of the court in the eyes of the public, something especially important in controversial cases, such as election cases…

“[Reasons] may also discipline justices into deciding similar cases alike, regardless of the identity of the parties.”

DDT’s judges are suppressing votes, but he needs every vote he can get to win swing states, all of them hot spots for COVID-19. Pennsylvania, with 20 Electoral College votes, has a 50-percent increase in the past week. The highly infectious zones roll from northern Mississippi to the Canadian border. New U.S. cases in the last 24 hours, 91,530, and 1,047 more deaths that DDT doesn’t find concerning.

October 26, 2020

Congressional Civil War: A Play in Three Acts about the Supreme Court

Today, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) proudly showed off his new Supreme Court justice, showing the country that she is his third Republican member of the high court who join another three right-wing “justices” for a radical-right supermajority. To prove which side she’s on, he orchestrated her swearing-in at the White House as he did for his first two confirmations. No president has done that.

Act One of the Supreme Court drama began only 38 days ago with the death of wise, intelligent jurist Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The action moved quickly with DDT nominating Amy Coney Barrett almost immediately, before the nation had any time to mourn. With raw bullying power, Senate Republicans rapidly moved her confirmation proceedings through before the public could learn more about her background, and GOP senators deemed her brilliant because she could spout judicial jargon and supposedly care for a family of seven. Their fixation on her children looked like an interview for teacher or day-care worker. None of the “brilliance” came from her answers: she answered almost no questions although admitting that she knows little about science when asked about climate change.

Much was said about her willingness to overturn women’s rights to their own bodies because of the right-to-life positions, preserving life from fertilization to birth. Rights for persons after that are up for grabs except for corporations. Barrett supports the rights of felons to own as many guns as they want but not to vote. Workers lose in her court, but police are rewarded for excessive force. In a dissent from the entire 7th Circuit Court, she argued for a “separate-but-equal” arrangement in a discrimination case. Barrett’s defenders claim no evidence for her rulings against Roe v. Wade, giving women the right to an abortion in the first trimester, but she made two decisions opposing a woman’s right to choose.

Barrett’s religion, the 1,700-member People of Praise “covenant community,” requires “submission” to both its leadership and her husband. As a member of the off-shoot evangelical Catholic group,  Barrett served on the board of its private schools banning children of same-gender parents and refusing to hire openly gay and lesbian teachers. Knowing her discrimination against LGBTQ rights, including her ties to the anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, same-gender couples have been lining up to get married before he confirmation. For example, a St. Louis (MO) pastor offered four days of “pop-up elopements” in which 16 same-gender couples married. Florists, bakers, photographers, and other vendors offered free services. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito have already written about their opposition to marriage quality, claiming Obergefell v. Hodges had “ruinous consequences for religious liberty.”

The hypocrisy of Barrett’s appointment and confirmation was well documented in the media, complete with videos of several senators who claimed four years ago that “the people” should make the decision this soon before an election. Two extremely conservative lawyers who served for Ronald Reagan and W. Bush called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) a hypocrite after he demanded, four years ago, “the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice.” They accused Republicans of politicizing the high court modern-day and undermining public trust in the Supreme Court.

Despite massive protests against the Senate process at this time, Act One ended today with her swearing in by Clarence Thomas, Barrett’s choice.

Act Two began today when five of the eight Supreme Court justices refused to reinstate a lower court order mandating the counting of mailed ballots received up to six days if postmarked by Election Day after the 7th Circuit Court, Barrett’s old home, put the order on hold. The Supreme Court has refused to make decisions about voting within months before Election Day because of the “confusion.” That was when it might benefit Democrats; now all cases benefiting Republicans can be heard in court—even one week before Election Day.

Brett Kavanaugh supported DDT’s myth about “chaos … if thousands of absentee ballots flow in after election day….” To them, late ballots make people believe “the election has been stolen,” instead of understanding that voting is not to be taken lightly and voters are not to be disenfranchised. Justice Elena Kagan responded to Kavanaugh:

“But there are no results to ‘flip’ until all valid votes are counted. And nothing could be more ‘suspicio[us]’ or ‘improp[er]’ than refusing to tally votes once the clock strikes 12 on election night. To suggest otherwise, especially in these fractious times, is to disserve the electoral process.”

Kagan also wrote:

“On the scales of both constitutional justice and electoral accuracy, protecting the right to vote in a health crisis outweighs conforming to a deadline created in safer days.”

“Must have final total by November 3,” DDT tweeted after he slowed down the mail delivery to ensure late ballots cannot be included in the vote, according to his Supreme Court. Neither Kavanaugh nor DDT has any proof for their conspiracy theories. Eighteen states plus DC have allowed ballots to be delivered after Election Day for decades with no problems before DDT began ranting. The six-person Supreme Court radical right could overturn all those laws to put DDT back into the White House. Or make other decisions for the same end.

The Supreme Court has refused to make decisions about voting within months before Election Day because of the “confusion.” That was when it might benefit Democrats; now all cases benefiting Republicans can be heard in court—even one week before Election Day.

That’s Act Two.

Act Three? With the confirmation, Democratic senators pointed out to their Republican “colleagues” they had lost all rights to complain if Democrats take the majority and change rules. In 2017, Republicans dropped the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, knowing they couldn’t get 12 Democratic votes for any of DDT’s nominees. In 2019, Republicans reduced the debate time for lower court and executive picks, the only way they could get 215 of DDT’s judicial appointments confirmed. Barrett’s confirmation has picked up support within the Senate for expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said:

“Do we just unilaterally stand down and not choose to use the same tools that Republicans did in the majority? … I think there are now new rules in the Senate, and I think Republicans have set them.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) warned:

“With this vote, my Republican colleagues forfeit their right to call procedural fouls.” 

And that could be Act Three of DDT’s Supreme Court drama.

McConnell’s win for the Supreme Court and loss of all ethical reputation was at the loss of any stimulus help for the vast majority of people in the U.S. in need. His decision wasn’t good for today’s stock market, DDT’s sole marker for his economy; by closing the Dow Jones clawed its way from a 900-point drop to only 650 points below its opening. In addition to no assistance, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are soaring. Oil prices also dropped because of the world’s rising infections. Investors may move their money to Europe where countries are using methods to limit the coronavirus.

The petri dish named White House saw an outbreak of five members of VP Mike Pence’s staff, two of them close to him—his chief of staff and his “body man” whose job is to accompany him 24 hours for help with multiple duties. Pence’s task force requires quarantine for exposure to the virus, but DDT declared Pence an “essential worker” because he flies across the U.S., campaigning for DDT while infecting people in the airplane and at the rallies. Even staunch Republican and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie thought Pence should be in quarantine. Christie spent a week in the hospital, experiencing COVID-19 first hand. Although Pence claims he tested negative, he uses rapid testing equipment, wrong about 30 percent of the time.   

Another disaster over the weekend was an admission from the White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that the White House has no plan regarding COVID-19. He said the administration isn’t “going to control the pandemic.” The plan to just quit trying to stop the killing of hundreds of thousands of people happened the day before GOP senators confirmed their Supreme Court appointee who will kill health care for tens of millions of people. Tomorrow, the U.S. will surpass 9 million reported cases and kill over 230,000 in the United States.

The official GOP policy regarding coronavirus: It is what it is. No relief for suffering people and no health care for the afflicted, but a new “Christian” in the Supreme Court to push her religion onto everyone. Meadows also said that the White House was hiding the positive virus cases of Pence’s staff.

Pence has a history of not wearing a mask, and he intended to go to the Senate today for Barrett’s confirmation vote. After widespread criticism, he decided to not go.

Shorts of the whining DDT on last Sunday’s Sixty Minutes show his whining and constant interruptions of interviewer Lesley Stahl. as he constantly interrupts and tries to direct interview Lesley Stahl. President Obama said, “If you have to walk out of a 60 Minutes interview, you’re never going to stand up to a dictator.” DDT tried to defend his health plan by giving Stahl a four-inch thick volume—that had no plan. Both DDT’s and Joe Biden’s Sixty Minutes interviews are here. 

October 23, 2020

Barrett: Polar Opposite of RBG, Part II

Two notable liars in GOP leadership made news yesterday—Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). DDT survived his last, and second, debate by interrupting the moderator far fewer times than in the first debate and talking more calmly. The last debate set his performance bar so low some people ignored the incessant lying and inability to answer questions. No compassion for people, no concern for the country. Just covering up all his problems in the hopes that people will change their minds about him and put him in the White House again, like he did in his interview with Lesley Stahl.     

The second event broke Senate rules by moving the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court justice to the Senate floor despite rules requiring the presence of at least two members of the minority party for a quorum. All ten Democrats boycotted the Judiciary Committee meeting. Graham waived the rules and approved Barrett. One third of the GOP committee members—Graham, Joni Ernst (IA), Thom Tillis (NC), and John Cornyn (TX)—facing difficult reelections and a shortage of campaign funds may receive funding from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for delivering Barrett by the Election Day deadline.

Graham’s dishonesty in supporting the confirmation before people select a president and Senate members, made four years ago when he refused President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland, is now followed by his ignoring  rules. He claimed the boycott did a “disservice” to Barrett to not consider her vote under two weeks before the election but ignored Garland for almost nine months before Election Day. People have already submitted is already over one-third of the total vote four years ago; voting in the general election started over three weeks before Graham gaveled in the Judiciary Committee hearings for Barrett.

According to Graham, Democrats are responsible for the dissension surrounding Supreme Court justice confirmations after objecting to Ronald Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork in 1987. Republicans aren’t to blame for objections to bigoted nominees, according to both Graham and McConnell.

Former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) said about Bork:

“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, school children could not be taught about evolution, writers and artist could be censured at the whim of government.”

Steve Benen wrote:

“Bork, who developed an unfortunate reputation stemming from his role in Nixon’s ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ in 1973, was on record defending Jim Crow-era poll taxes, condemning portions of the Civil Rights Act banning discrimination in public accommodations, and arguing against extending the equal protection of the 14th Amendment to women.”

Even six Republicans voted with Democrats against Bork, and Reagan nominated Anthony Kennedy, confirmed by a unanimous 97 votes. He served with honor until his alleged deal to resign if DDT put highly-flawed Brett Kavanaugh on the high court. Three years after Anthony, David Souter, nominated by GOP President George H.W. Bush, was also unanimously confirmed by a Democrat-controlled Senate. 

By 2016, radically-right GOP Senators followed McConnell in denying middle-of-the-road Merrick Garland the decency of listening to him and giving him a hearing within eight months of the general election. Yet they pushed Barrett in an ill-considered and rapid process starting three weeks and one day before a decision for a president and almost one-third of senators.

Thus far, 47 Democrats and Independents are committed to voting against Barrett along with possibly two or three Republicans. If VP Mike Pence breaks a 50-50 tie, she would be the only Supreme Court justice in history to be confirmed by a vice-president who used undue power in selecting a justice nominated by his president. McConnell dropped the Senate requirement for a Supreme Court confirmation to a simple majority because DDT’s first two nominees couldn’t achieve 60 votes: Neil Gorsuch was confirmed 54-45 and Brett Kavanaugh, 50-48. Even a strong DDT supporter like Alan Dershowitz expressed concerns about future, greater divisive politicization caused by fewer than 51 senators putting a person, particularly a young one, on the Supreme Court for a lifetime job, especially a person obviously selected and confirmed for purely political right-wing reasons.

Barrett is anti-abortion, anti-IVF, anti-contraception, anti-LGBTQ rights.  She dodged questions about the constitutionality of Medicare and Social Security, legality of voter intimidation, need for absentee voting in a pandemic, and presidents’ pardoning themselves, unilaterally changing the date, and staying in the White House through judicial decisions. She expressed ignorance about climate change although she will rule on climate cases. She also can’t remember that the right to protest is covered by the First Amendment. 

In addition, she’s anti-worker, ruling 85 percent of her time on the 7th Circuit Court for corporations. With five conservative justices, Barrett can destroy workers’ rights of unions, collective bargaining, and safety. She already twisted the law to rule against workers for corporations, maintaining the law prevented truckers assigned to yard duty from overtime from overtime (interstate commerce) and blocking minimum wages and other benefits to delivery drivers (identification them as contractors). In the first case, she said driving short distances makes them transportation workers; in the second she said driving short distances doesn’t make them transportation workers.

In another anti-worker opinion, Barrett follows Janus v. AFSCME decision when the right-wing faction of the Supreme Court trashed four decades of precedent to public sector workers don’t have to pay dues or even small fees to unions still forced to represent them.

Barrett tried to conceal her pro-business past as one of two lead attorneys in a six-month case defending a Pittsburgh steel magnate charged with helping drive a major Pennsylvania Hospital System into bankruptcy. The $1.5 billion settlement was one of the largest nonprofit bankruptcies in U.S. history and resulted in several investigations as well as a criminal probe. The Senate questionnaire requests ten cases and their descriptions; Barrett provided only three cases, saying she couldn’t remember any others.

Following the “pro-life” position of protection ends at birth, Barrett deported an immigrant seeking asylum from an El Salvador MS-13 gang after he witnessed them shooting his friends and killing one of them. A dissenting judge on the appeals court called minor discrepancies in the refugee’s story “trivial,” but Barrett sent the terrified man back in hiding. Barrett lacked the decency to comply with his request to redact his name in the decision to keep the El Salvadoran corrupt local police and the vicious gang from learning he was being sent back. 

In a dissent, Barrett upheld DDT’s “public charge” rule, objecting to immigrants’ permanent residence status if they use any public assistance—Medicaid, food stamps, etc. for over 12 months in a three-year period. The time is computed by one type of safety-net program: two different programs in one month accounts for two months. She tried to cover for her opinion by saying she was only ruling on immigrants not affected by the rule, but the majority opinion was addressing the group with restrictions.

In her dissent for Kanter v. Barr, she argued a state doesn’t have the right to ban a felon from buying firearms but can ban them from voting. Several times, she sided with felons in gun cases, using “history” as her justification. 

Barrett overturned a district court finding damages for a Wisconsin county after a prison guard repeatedly raped a pregnant teenage prison inmate hundreds of times before and after she gave birth because the sexual assaults were outside the guard’s official duties. In a similar case, however, she joined a majority of the 7th Circuit Court, finding another Wisconsin county liable in a case in which a jail guard assaulted five women hundreds of times.

Last year Barrett helped college students accused of sexual assault more easily sue their universities. She wrote that the university officials may have chosen to “believe Jane because she is a woman and to disbelieve John because he is a man.”

Barrett also supports giving religious schools the ability to fire anyone they want on the basis these employees are “ministers.” One school fired a woman with cancer to save money on insurance.

On her questionnaire, Barret failed to divulge her involvement in putting George W. Bush into the White House. Twenty years ago, she worked with Bush’s legal team to find thousands of Republican absentee ballots in Bush v. Gore. Martin County officials permitted Republicans to fill in missing information on ballot request forms—a procedure that DDT and Republicans opposed in Iowa and eliminated 70,000 absentee ballot applications. With an appointment on the Supreme Court, Barrett would join two other sitting justices who participated in Bush’s Supreme Court win. John Roberts advised the Bush campaign and prepped a lawyer appearing before the Florida Supreme Court for the election dispute, and Brett Kavanaugh oversaw a manual recount of about 200,000 ballots in which voters failed to properly fill in the bubble next to a candidate’s name.

When asked at last night’s debate for his plans regarding COVID-19, DDT made his usual comment the coronavirus had “rounded the corner” and was getting much better. Today, the United States recorded its highest one-day number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic with at least 82,600 new infections. The surge is across the nation with drastic increases in central and western states such as South Dakota, and Wyoming. In the past two weeks, 24 states broke their records for single-day highs. Over 170 counties in 36 states were designated as having rapidly rising hotspots. DDT blames high numbers on testing, but COVID-19 hospitalizations increased in 38 states last week. Today, the U.S. recorded 8,746,953 cases and 229,284 deaths. Thus far this year, over 300,000 more people than average died in the U.S. All COVID-19 cases are classified as pre-existing conditions, and Amy Coney Barrett wants to do away with the Affordable Care Act. If she succeeds, people with pre-existing conditions, including those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, can be denied health insurance.

October 18, 2020

The Blank Amy Coney Barrett

After four excruciating days last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barrett is over. Voting to move her name from the committee to the Senate floor is on October 22, supposedly the same day as the last debate between presidential candidates Joe Biden and Dictator Donald Trump (DDT)—if DDT doesn’t back out. Barrett claims to be an “originalist,” meaning she theoretically bases all her decisions on the words from the Constitution. She was found a bit lacking in her knowledge of the Constitution, however, when Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) asked her the five freedoms in the First Amendment. Barrett said:

“Speech, religion, press, assembly. I don’t know. What am I missing?”

Sasse said, “Redress or protest” and asked, “Why is there one amendment that has these five freedoms clustered? Why do they hang together?” Barrett responded, “Um, I don’t know what you’re getting at.” Sasse asked her to reflect on the “glories of the First Amendment.”

Barrett’s failure to remember the right to protest in the Constitution is particularly notable at this time because she is ruling on the issue at this time for the 7th Circuit Court and, if she moves to the Supreme Court, will then be the final say for people to have this right.

In the first three years after DDT’s inauguration, lawmakers introduced 100 pieces to block people’s right to protest if they aren’t conservative, and 23 became law. These include no liability for officers who harm protesters, require demonstrators to pay for hiring police, increase protesters’ penalties, and even make mask-wearing illegal. In Portland (OR), a court ruled the media must obey the curfew for protesters. Fortunately, that decision violating the two First Amendment of freedoms of the media and to protest was recently overturned. As Nora Benavdez wrote in The Atlantic, “The First Amendment is no good if it is used to protect one side of the political spectrum but disregarded for the other.”

What else is Barrett missing? At this time, we can only guess because of her frequent refusal to answer questions. Her excuse came from the “judicial canon of ethics,” and she took the words of former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose position she is auditioning for, out of context. Her dodges may show how conservative she would be on the Supreme Court, possibly to the right of Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. No answers:

Are Medicare and Social Security unconstitutional? [The Supreme Court could wipe out these vital social programs with a scratch of the pen.]

Is the 1965 ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut allowing married people contraceptives correct? [Barrett’s mentor, the late Antonin Scalia, thought that the case was wrongly decided. Barrett first expressed ignorance of the case, then said she couldn’t say although it wouldn’t be brought up, and finished by saying that it laid the groundwork for Roe v. Wade—which she virulently opposes according to earlier writings.]

Did Barrett agree with Scalia that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided? [Barrett couldn’t say, despite her anti-abortion writings.]

Is the banning of in vitro fertilization constitutional? [Barrett won’t answer, but fertility doctors, for the first time, oppose the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee. Over 8 million babies were born through IVF since 1978, and 12 percent of married women have trouble getting or staying pregnant. All gone if the U.S. follows Barrett’s religion.]

Is separating migrant children from parents to deter immigration to the U.S. wrong?

Should same-gender couples should be able to marry, as decided in Obergefell v. Hodges? [Once again refusal to answer, but her earlier writings opposes marriage equality. She also claimed not to discriminate on the basis of “sexual preference,” an outdated term indicating that all LGBTQ people are acting out of choice, not biology—a belief used to rule against LGBTQ rights.]

Should sodomy laws have been overturned in Lawrence v. Texas? [This 2003 Supreme Court ruling decriminalized non-heterosexual relationships among consenting adults, legally opposed by the anti-LGBTQ  Alliance Defending Freedom that has also supported forced sterilization of trans people abroad. Barrett has strong ties to the group and has spoken at their conventions several times.]

Can the president legally delay an election? [Constitutionally, he can’t, but she wouldn’t give that answer.]

Is voter intimidation illegal? [This is against the law, but she couldn’t answer.]

Are absentee ballots an essential way for Americans to vote in a pandemic? [She responded, “That’s a matter of policy on which I can’t express a view.]

Do DDT’s business transactions with foreign patrons and governments violate the Constitution’s emoluments clauses? [Originalist Barrett wouldn’t say.]

Can the president pardon himself for a crime?  [“So far as I know, that question has never been litigated,” she answered.]

Should presidents commit to the peaceful transfer of power? [Barrett can’t answer.]

Does she agree with Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion in demolishing part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (Shelby v. Holder) that “voting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that?” [Barrett’s answer: “These are very charged issues.”]

Would she recuse herself from a Supreme Court decision to put DDT into the Oval Office for another four years? [She’d have to think about it.]

“Do you believe that climate change is happening and threatening the air we breathe and the water that we drink?” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked. [Barrett called the issue “contentious” and “a matter of public policy.” Asked later about climate change by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), Barrett answered, “I’m not a scientist.” People in the “I don’t know” category about climate change are down to 20 percent of the U.S. population. She added, “I’ve read things about climate change. I would not say that I have firm views on it.” In another answer, she said, “I don’t think that my views on global warming or climate change are relevant to the job I would do as a judge nor do I think I have views that are informed enough.”  

Beyond all the cases the EPA is creating by attempting to overturn the Clean Air and Water Act, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by Royal Dutch Shell and other huge oil companies being sued by cities and states for the damage that the corporations create. Barrett’s father was a longtime lawyer at Shell Oil. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, supporting the oil companies in their lawsuit, endorsed Barrett’s confirmation and lobbied lawmakers to put her on the high court. When Harris asked Barrett if she would “defer to scientists and those with expertise” before giving judgment in a climate-related case, she said she would consult with the “agencies”—the same administration hacks who won’t let real scientists in their department give information.

Barrett even waffled on an answer to Kennedy’s question about who does the laundry in her household.  She also said the Supreme Court has no way to make the president obey the court’s orders.

In addition to the number of prejudices her past writings bring to the court, Barrett has written about her belief that faith rises above the law in making legal decisions, as Michael Stone wrote:

“[Barrett] wrote specifically about the duty of judges to put their faith above the law in an article entitled ‘Catholic Judges in Capital Cases.’ Among other things, she strongly criticized Justice William Brennan’s statement about faith, in which he said that he took an oath to uphold the law, and that “there isn’t any obligation of our faith superior” to that oath. In response, Barrett wrote: ‘We do not defend this position as the proper response for a Catholic judge to take with respect to abortion or the death penalty.’”

If confirmed, Barrett would make the sixth Catholic judge on the Supreme Court.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/POOL)

Despite her past writings, speeches, signatures on petitions, etc., Barrett tried to present herself as a blank slate in almost all matters. The only Supreme Court cases she endorsed are Brown v. Board of Education (school desegregation) and Loving v. Virginia (legalizing interracial marriage). (Barrett has two adopted Black children.) Yet she could not give Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) an answer about an interfaith couple. He responded:

“You seem to honor the precedents that are enough to protect discrimination against African Americans, interracial couples, but you stop on saying that unequivocally about people stopping on religious discrimination against a Muslim couple or interfaith wedding?”

Barrett went so far as to hold up a blank notebook to “prove” her open mind while she smiled and used technical legal jargon throughout the four days of questioning. Her completely support by the Federalist Society, which thoroughly vets their candidates for far-right views, guarantees a conservative philosophy. As Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) showed the committee and the television audience, dark money, the Federalist Society, and the Judicial Crisis Network are filling the Supreme Court with justices who will serve only them, their success made possible by the Supreme Court case Citizens United. The transcript of Whitehouse’s 30-minute presentation is here.

If confirmed, Barrett will continue the GOP approach of further dismantling the Affordable Care Act, build up gun ownership, block almost all abortions even if necessary for women’s health, prevent in vitro fertilization, eradicate LGBTQ rights, destroy immigration, support wealthy business interests over workers, support DDT’s re-election to the point of leaving him in the White House, and use conservative Christianity for her Supreme Court decisions.

As Robert Reich wrote in The Guardian, “Republicans won’t tell Americans to wear masks to beat Covid, but will say what women and gay people can and cannot do.”

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