Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Gorsuch, McConnell, Trump and Russia: Creating a Constitutional Crisis

The Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings opened yesterday with hours of opening statements by senators that, depending on your interpretation, either foretold a week of tough questioning for the candidate or signaled a Democratic Party in disarray without a unified plan of how to deal with him.
I’ll tell you how to deal with him, and it’s easy:
Dont.
Go ahead: ask him all of the questions you want. Find out what his agendas are, to the extent that he will tell you, since SCOTUS nominees are notoriously tightlipped about anything remotely significant during their confirmation hearings. Ask him about his independence from Trump. Ask him about women’s issues, a topic highlighted this weekend with the notorious letter from one of his former law students. Ask him about his rulings that would overturn years of settled jurisprudence allowing federal agencies to interpret their own rules. Ask him about Citizens United. Ask whatever you want.
And then, if you are a patriotic citizen of this country, filibuster his nomination.
I am not suggesting that Neil Gorsuch is not qualified to be on the Supreme Court; by all accounts he is. However, there are at least two excellent reasons to table this nomination at this time:
First of all, this is a nomination that never should have existed, and we all know that. It is the result of what will in all likelihood be seen by historians as one of the most cynical exercises of partisan politics in American history: the hijacking of a Supreme Court nomination by the Republican Senate under Mitch McConnell from Barack Obama. After President Obama selected a highly qualified, GOP-friendly candidate in Merrick Garland, McConnell orchestrated an unprecedented denial of service: a refusal to hold hearings or even meet with the nominee, with no legitimate reason, eventually acknowledging that what he wanted was to roll the dice and hope Trump won the election and could appoint someone more right wing. An action this brazen should not be rewarded, and if it is, it will taint the Supreme Court forever. It will no longer be the impartial arbiter of the law; it will merely be another partisan branch of the government, subject to the whims of the electorate.
Gorsuch may be a perfectly decent man and an excellent judge, whether I agree with his rulings or not, but there simply should not have been an opening for him at this time. The odds are that this President will have at least one or two more opportunities to nominate him, and that is when he should be considered. Not now.
The second reason is more complex and yet, I suppose, at the same time it is just as fundamental to the Constitution and to who we are as a people and a nation. The Constitution gives the President of the United States the power to nominate Supreme Court justices. Right now, that office is held by Donald J. Trump. But there are legitimate and serious questions about how he got there, and those questions are now under investigations by the FBI and other intelligence agencies. Soon, it seems likely, there will be reason to appoint a Special Prosecutor. And if, as does not appear unlikely, we discover that Donald Trump made his way into the White House by procuring the assistance of a foreign government—not just any foreign government, but our long time enemy, Russia—well, then we have a conundrum: a President whose very election was an act of treason.
Suddenly we are thrown into a Constitutional crisis. We can impeach Trump, yes. But that makes Mike Pence, his Vice President—a man who is only in that office because of Trump’s treason—the President. Do we run the entire election over? How exactly do we handle something like that? The Founding Fathers didn’t give us guidelines for it; we’d be in wholly new territory. But one way or the other, one thing is absolutely clear: if Donald J. Trump is only President of the United States due to collusion with Russia, he should NOT have the ability to appoint someone to the Supreme Court and thus affect an entire generation of American lives.
Therefore: for either of these reasons or both of these reasons, filibuster this nominee if you love your country, senators. If you do it for the second reason and Trump is found innocent of the charges being levied against him, you can always revisit Gorsuch later. But you can’t undo the appointment once you confirm it. Stop it now, in its tracks. It’s your patriotic duty.
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sunsparks

it's your hair that i notice first
streaked with morning
it frames your face
you lying there eyes closed
soft breath not quite there
unmoving
i follow its path as it bends the sheet
and i can touch you there
touch what i feel is you
in the spark of daylight
you'll rise
pull on the wrinkled shirt from last night
say something you think is beautiful
drink some coffee
from behind my paper
and drive away,
leaving a kiss on my lips
and a hole in my heart
where a fire ought to be


Favorite Films

  • The Wizard Of Oz
  • Amelie
  • The Princess Bride
  • Casablanca
  • Annie Hall
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • All That Jazz
  • Citizen Kane
  • Love Actually
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Big Fish
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Almost Famous
  • Bull Durham
  • Notting Hill
  • Apocalypse Now (Redux)
  • Magnolia

All-Time Favorite TV Shows

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Gilmore Girls
  • M*A*S*H
  • The West Wing
  • The X-Files
  • The Daily Show
  • Ally McBeal
  • Picket Fences
  • All In The Family
  • Seinfeld
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • Star Trek
  • Firefly
  • Wonderfalls
  • Northern Exposure
  • Get Smart
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • Twin Peaks
  • The Larry Sanders Show
  • Monk
  • Felicity
  • St. Elsewhere

Current TV Shows I Enjoy (in no particular order)

  • Perception
  • Major Crimes
  • American Horror Story
  • Louie
  • Suits
  • The Newsroom
  • Falling Skies
  • Franklin and Bash
  • Veep
  • Scandal
  • Fairly Legal
  • Girls
  • Don't Trust the B---
  • Justified
  • Portlandia
  • Psych
  • The Middle
  • Person of Interest
  • Happy Endings
  • Hart of Dixie
  • Real Time with Bill Maher
  • Nikita
  • Raising Hope
  • Castle
  • Drop Dead Diva
  • Covert Affairs
  • Elementary
  • Rizzoli and Isles
  • Revolution
  • The Last Resort
  • Alphas
  • SNL
  • Revenge
  • Community
  • Suburgatory
  • New Girl
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Grimm
  • Nashville
  • Downton Abbey
  • Smash
  • Homeland
  • Fringe
  • Glee
  • Haven
  • Community
  • Warehouse 13
  • Modern Family
  • Vampire Diaries
  • The Daily Show
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • The Colbert Report
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Leverage
  • Rachel Maddow Show

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