ORIGINALISM VS INTERPRETIVISM

Shoveling Old Words with Cloudy Meaning

We are seeing thousands of people wait in long lines at polling locations in early voting states. Their wait times are as long as eight hours. Terrible. I’m not sure why the Senate Judiciary Committee would decide to have a hearing to consider seating a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of a pandemic surrounded by all the election campaign noise, but let me guess.  Could it be political power?

Amy Coney Barrett, the nominee, has declared she is an “originalist” as it applies to Constitutional law. Okay, what exactly is that? According to many websites describing such things, originalism is a collection of theories calling for adherence to the “original intent” of the creators of the Constitution. Types of originalism include strict interpretation and strict constructionism. I CALL B.S.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Anyone, including Judge Barrett, who has the audacity to claim knowledge about the “original intent” of our founders like John Adams, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson is full of shit. One cannot speak with them to ascertain their thoughts and intents about anything they once wrote, so it’s all about personal interpretation.

Those good United States of America justices who over the years did their best to understand how our founders would have ruled on a challenge given contemporary circumstances, and then wrote opinions about how their decision should be applied to a changed society, were NOT ORIGINALISTS! Thanks to them, voting, serving on juries and being seated in Congress are no longer limited to white, landowning males. Despite the ORIGINAL words of our Constitution, women can vote, and African Americans are no longer counted as three-fifths of a person and subject to slavery.

I liked Antonin Scalia’s use of our language, although some of his “originalist” thinking was absurd. When dissenting passage of the Affordable Care Act, he offered this famous quote, “The Court’s next bit of interpretive jiggery-pokery involves other parts of the Act that purportedly presuppose the availability of tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges.” Okay, we get it. Justice Scalia didn’t like Obamacare and he offered the shiny object of “jiggery-pokery” to distract us. Saying that the Act’s intention to help people with healthcare insurance was somehow “deceitful or dishonest behavior” is totally interpretive. He was not reading the original language in the Act. He was forcing his meaning onto the law and onto us, the people.

The Late Antonin Scalia

The idea of any Supreme Court justice reading 233-year-old decisions and understanding how their authors would apply them today is like reading the old Testament and deciding that any woman who was raped would be sent away into the desert. It’s like originalist doctors draining our blood with leeches when we had a cold. We can read what those in the past wrote, but we will never know what they were thinking or exactly what their words meant to them.

There are incredibly talented people in this world who can shovel words to convince you of just about anything. That’s how we got Trump. The fact that professional and learned constitutional law experts can achieve a lifelong position on the Supreme Court doesn’t mean they will be the best arbiters of conflict. Congress has the power to undo what they’ve done at the court, but those actions can then be challenged as unconstitutional. If Congress said the President of the United States was not permitted to wear makeup, that would be struck down. However, our current President has stolen budget money to build a wall on the border with Mexico. What gives him that right? Congress is supposed to decide where and how money is allocated. Where is the Court on this matter?

I cannot imagine Thomas Jefferson’s response should anyone have approached him with a plan to build a wall on the Mexican border. He might have said, “Why build a wall? We might be able to acquire that land for America.” Modern presidents believe everything is set in sand and old laws must be interpreted according to the current culture in which we live. Should originalists outlaw same sex marriage? Wouldn’t they be deciding the bigotry and small mindedness of our founding fathers was actually high moral ground? Remember, our founders laughed and looked away from gay people. The also looked away from Black people, but that didn’t stop them from buying them into slavery. How can these original transgressions possibly be worthy of continuing?

Amy Coney Barrett is just the latest pawn in the sick game of a set of elite humans determining the rights of lessor citizens. Don’t get me wrong. I buy into the system, but the process of analyzing words, phrases and meanings is serious business. People are funny. Most of yesterday’s social media complaints about nominee Barrett concerned her terrible speaking voice. That’s not to say the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a theatrical tone, but her views were 180 degrees away from Amy Coney Barrett. My thinking is Justice Ginsberg, if alive, might suggest to Judge Amy, “You seem to think you know the answers, but are refusing to give straight answers. Good luck!”

Judge Barrett’s writings indicate she opposes any controls or rules on gun ownership and thinks Roe V. Wade was wrongly decided. Barrett signed a full page ad that said Roe V. Wade was wrong. That was a commitment. She will force her viewpoints on the Court. That is what originalists do. They hide behind dusty word while they put their thumb on the scale moving us toward a more conservative, backward and locked viewpoint. When they use flowery words, we must question their bias.

The Late Great RBG

I find it outrageous to think that any social program passed by Congress with the aim of helping the disadvantaged and maligned minorities is unconstitutional. If you read the Constitution, you will find no mention of taxation being against the law. There is nothing in that document that stipulates the kind of healthcare a citizen must buy. It’s insane that a judge in any court would strike down a mandate by a governor to protect his or her state’s citizens. The attitude of those judges who believe one politician’s goals or rules for safety are different than those of a more conservative bent is ridiculous. They believed an unhinged President about some bizarre invasion coming from Mexico, yet then looked the other way when hundreds of thousands of people were dying. Who are these originalists? Until the aged justices retire or die, get ready for decades of anal retentive, religiously corrupt and politically motivated decisions from the Supreme Court. Once we’re rid of them, we’ll have a rebirth of intelligent interpretation and forward movement. As we have painfully learned, you never now when the next one will pass away or pass out.

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conservation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

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THE LINCOLN PROJECT

Real Political Radicals Against Trump

As a kid, I loved to play pranks on people. The best part, of course, was watching the reaction of my target. I felt great seeing that look of surprise or dismay. Why have only April Fool’s Day when there are 364 other days to have fun?

Some immature and silly people don’t take things seriously and are more interested in the effect rather than the damage. I used to work with some disgusting people in business and I developed a theory. When a kid is bullied at a young age, maybe teased about his or her weight or some other type of profiling, they hold that germ in their soul. When they grow up and get into a position of power or authority over other people, the virus of revenge appears, and they let others have it. I used to sarcastically, and perhaps unsensitively, call it “fat boy syndrome.”

Perhaps Donald Trump was bullied by his father, who was bullied by his father. The putdowns and abuse through generations becomes a never-ending cycle of family members trying to get back at those who hurt them. I’m not saying all Trumps are afflicted in this way, but it certainly appears that Daddy had his way with Donnie.

You may have heard of the Lincoln Project or seen some of its hard-hitting TV ads against Trump. So , what is this group? It’s a political action committee formed in late 2019 by several current and former Republicans, with a goal of preventing the reelection of Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. If you wonder if this is legal maneuvering, you might want check out this decision. The Citizen’s United case was about the free speech clause of the First Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled that it prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for political communications by corporations, including nonprofits, labor unions and other associations. So, if you have money you have a voice.

The people behind the Lincoln Project are George Conway, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver, Rick Wilson, Jennifer Horn, Ron Steslow, Reed Galen and Mike Madrid. These people are truly “never Trumpers;” they HATE DONALD TRUMP. How do I know this? Well, they say they hate him! What more do we need to know?

One of my dear friends, who follows politics like I do, said, “You know, after Trump is gone, they will all go back to being Republicans.” I have no problem with that because a two-party system works only when both parties are honest, fair and promote their authentic platforms. It’s sad, but Donald Trump has destroyed the Republican party. I can’t imagine they will ever win Blacks, Hispanics and educated white suburban people back to the party. So, why are the Lincoln Project people so down on Trump?

Some of them are brilliant tacticians and political operatives who will never be hired by the Democratic National Committee and Trump has forced them out of Republican circles. They are the fat kids getting revenge on the cool kids who put them down in high school, but their deep-seated disdain is more than jealousy. The truly hate our President.

Check out the pitch on their web site. They are raising lots of money because there are millions of people who feel the same way about Donald John Trump. Imagine if there had been a Lincoln Project in Nazi Germany. What would Hitler have done? That was rhetorical; we know what he would have done. If you want to share Lincoln Project ads, you can find them here.

For a lot of reasons, I didn’t think the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court has made America better. In fact, allowing millions of unmarked bills into our political process can be as damaging as Russia manipulating our social media, but it’s too late. The top court in the land has already decided that corporations are people and that money is more important than propaganda. They aren’t wrong, but if they were truly protecting my First Amendment rights how was Twitter able to ban me for life?

Wilson, Schmidt, Conway

I saw a TV interview with key members of the Lincoln Project saying they will continue to bully Trump and work for his removal. They are a force, and even if they don’t raise enough money to dominate the airwaves, they will continue to spread their rebuke of Trump all over the Internet, which is still free.

This is what Lincoln Project founding member Steve Schmidt said of Trump, “When you listen to the President, these are the musings of an imbecile. An idiot. And I don’t use those words to name call. I use them because they are the precise words of the English language to describe his behavior. His comportment. His actions. We’ve never seen a level of incompetence, a level of ineptitude so staggering on a daily basis by anybody in the history of the country whose ever been charged with substantial responsibilities. It’s just astonishing that this man is president of the United States.”   

The list of those against Donald Trump seems to be growing every day, and this is good. It’s not an effort for the fools without masks who drive 800 miles to cheer on Donald Trump; it’s for the moderates, the old-line Republicans who are finally realizing that the Donald screwed them. They voted for him last time because the mob moved in his direction and they believed that mob was a pure revolt against Obama and Democrats. Now they have figured out they got suckered by a con man, and on November 3rd they can take a parting puff of the addiction and blow out the anger.

I laugh when I hear the President going on and on about radical groups of Democrats ready to burn down the suburbs. The real radicals are former Republicans ready to burn Trump’s house down. Take the opportunity to hear an interview with any of these guys and you will understand. They sound like 1960s radicals against NIXON. Let’s love them! If the Lincoln Project can bring 3% of the moderates over to Biden, Trump will be a one-term president and then we’ll have to get to work to fix all he has broken.

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JUDGES, JERKS & JURISPRUDENCE

The Manipulation of Donald Trump

There are times when I laugh at our President. He lies, yes, but he also has a repulsive arrogance about his “power.” It’s another myth held by this imbecilic fat man. He isn’t picking the judges; they are being picked for him. I doubt that Donald John Trump has taken the time to read the writings and decisions of his nominees. They appear on a list put together by hard-core conservatives and people who run the Heritage Foundation, and Trump blindly follows.

The Heritage Foundation is a think tank based in Washington, D.C. which claims their primarily function is influencing public policy. The foundation was behind much of what spewed from the mouth of Ronald Reagan because, as a former Democrat and union leader, he was “taught how to be a conservative.” For all his conservative badges, Regan was a tax raising lunatic. The Economic Recovery Act of 1981, known politically as the “Reagan tax cuts,” was indeed the largest reduction since the previous 70 years. But, as the man said, “The large print giveth; the small print taketh away.” It’s a fact that those “cuts” produced tax increases. Some say the increases were bigger than the cuts. Thanks, Ronnie.

Most presidents feel a need to kowtow to those who give them money. Some candidates attempt to put together a fan base by combining smaller groups with specific goals that can be easily massaged or gratified. Trump used a simple ploy by bonding with the evangelicals and claiming he is pro-life, even though he’s never held that belief. He claims his loyalty to the Second Amendment, and the NRA buys ads for him. He ignores some fundamental words of that amendment “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

First, what does “well regulated” mean? I’m not sure why that term was not hyphenated, but that doesn’t change its meaning. A judge, especially a Supreme Court justice, should not pump meaning into a set of words. Instead, they must pass judgement on a wide range of challenges to our laws. Jurisprudence, an interesting term, deals with the theory or philosophy of law and, digging deeper, we see that philosophy is the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline. If you think any of the Supreme Court justices can throw off all their biases and viewpoints based on their own personal reality, then you are a fool. However, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to be impartial.

A bad decision or poorly worded dissent from the Supreme Court lasts forever. People will read those rulings for decades, even centuries. Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee to the Court, is morally opposed to abortion or the right of a woman to choose, but that is why she was picked. It’s quite a strange reason. Why are we packing the court with people philosophically against previously decided law? Well, it’s because our system is deficient and our highly imperfect President is messing things up even more. Justice Barrett won’t be a bad judge, but she will be an intolerant judge because she is an intolerant person. Read what she has written and said about Roe Vs. Wade. Check out her thoughts about why a convicted felon, no matter what the charge, should be able to own a gun. She’s prejudiced regarding some established laws and traditions and unable to see the better good by keeping existing laws intact.

Angry Single Senator from S.C.

The circus that Senator Lindsey Graham will chair in the Judiciary Committee is not necessary. The Republicans will get their woman and, if the Democrats take over, they will add justices to the court. Then, as the more conservative, older judges retire or die, the Court will go back to nine justices. It’s the way politics work.

Possibly the first case Judge Barrett will encounter will be deciding whether the Affordable Care Act should be stuck down. Even though this Act has already cleared other Supreme Court decisions, it could be ended in a Supreme Court ruling which would eliminate the healthcare insurance of 20 million people. Wouldn’t that automatically send 20 million voters to the other guy running for President? We’ll see.

Donald Trump hugs the flag and constantly lies about his beliefs. He evaluates all situations based on whether or not they are good for him. Our Adolescent in Chief doesn’t have the intellectual depth to comprehend the impact of his words. I think he genuinely wants to tear everything down before he leaves. By the way, he will leave, if not in January 2021 then four years later.

The Great Divider

My feelings are simple. I would like our nine Supreme Court justices to NOT be forces of religious belief. They should be unbiased to a fault and non-political. Sure, you can get in there and overturn Roe Vs. Wade but will Congress then increase healthcare services for women and funding to help unwanted, possibly unloved, babies achieve a “Christian” upbringing. These “highly religious” types are hypocrites who want to control a woman’s choice but will look the other way when single moms need help. They will talk about pulling oneself up by their bootstraps. What a shitty thing to say.

Fox News once used the inappropriate tag line “Fair & Balanced.” It was a total lie, but people believed it. If the Supreme Court can rule that your doctor is not allowed to provide the care you want, then maybe the government should have told Donald Trump that he couldn’t have that experimental COVID treatment. He could have pulled himself by the bootstraps and toughed it out. Of course, he’s more important than that girl who was raped on campus and needs to abort that damage, that unwanted memory of the pain and crime. Does Ms. Barrett understand the issue of rape and how she should protect women from the state’s overreach? We don’t have a militia to protect those women, but maybe that will become their plan should their rights be taken away.

SMART TOUGH GIRLS are coming to America. Get ready.

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ANGRY SPOILED BRAT

Trump, Worst President & Patient Ever

It makes no sense that the man who runs the most powerful nation in the world is exploiting his illness for political gain, but that is who Donald John Trump is. He’s a fool and a bully who is testing fate, or is the whole thing a scam?

The reports say that the Donald is bored watching TV and angry at the way his hospital stay is being covered. My objective observation is the reporting should have been managed from the beginning by Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows. On second thought though, maybe not. He seems dazed and confused and maybe this is all too much for him.

Mark Meadows

Much will be made of the little joy ride Trump took around the hospital to wave at his cult members gathered outside, and I’m sure the President doesn’t care if one of his Secret Service members gets a COVID infection. After all, the virus is only a hoax. Trump’s drive-by stunt shows his addiction to adulation. I’m sure the attention of his fans made him feel better, but it’s a spit in the face to those families who were locked out of seeing their loved ones while they were being killed by this virus. This narcissistic, old chump’s lack of empathy has been noted.

The press have had to pull the facts out of the President’s doctor, Sean Conley. He’s a Navy man following the commands of his Commander in Chief to obfuscate the facts and confuse us. We learned that Trump has received, so far, the steroid Dexamethasone, the experimental, monoclonal antibody treatment Remdesivir, the anti-acid Famotidine, along with Zinc, Vitamin D, Aspirin and Melatonin. Some of these treatments are full-blast drugs which typically would be administered to a seriously ill patient in the ICU. Knowing Trump, it’s not hard to imagine that his macho syndrome probably drove him to bully his doctors into administering everything that is available, you know, “the works.” He thinks he knows everything, including proper medical procedures.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of this spoiled-brat, 14-year-old president who probably doesn’t raise the toilet seat before he pees. In a recently released interview with Bob Woodward recorded back in March, Donald Trump was asked if he sat down with Dr. Anthony Fauci to discuss the realities of the COVID-19 infections. Trump replied, “I really don’t have time to do that.” Does that sound like a man who cares about the health and safety of the American people? It’s clear the virus is a low priority for him. What a failure.

I truly believe the 45th President of the United States is infected with the coronavirus, but we don’t see videos of his wife, the First Lady, on TV talking about how she is doing. She hasn’t been visible at all, which might be more vanity than a statement. However, there is a question here. Why would Melania not be getting the same intense treatment as her husband? True, she has only a mild case, but the disparity seems somewhat sexist. Oh yeah, she’s much younger than Trump, ah, too snarky?

Fool in the car with little hands

Donald Trump thinks that his only jobs are making sure we don’t panic and insuring he is presented only in the best possible light. I laughed when people said that Donnie looked rather pale when leaving the White House headed to Walter Reed Hospital. Of course, he looked ashen; he wasn’t wearing two layers of that nasty orange makeup. For once, he didn’t look like a French hooker.

Studies from Italy and Europe show that a person over the age of 70 has only a 26% chance of death or extended ICU treatment. If the President stays in the hospital, he’s going to have 24-hour surveillance and care. If he is released back into the wild, stressful world of the White House, he will return to his role as a free-range infector, making absolutely no effort to protect others from this virus. If anyone who attended the Rose Garden event last week dies, their blood will be on Trump’s hands.

Here’s a side note. Why would we want a new Supreme Court Justice who didn’t have the care or good sense to cover herself, her husband and her children at a White House event while the coronavirus pandemic is pounding our country? She had the virus a few months ago and allegedly recovered, but what if there is a lingering infection? Shouldn’t Amy Coney Barrett be disqualified as a court appointment to prevent her from killing Clarence Thomas?

It’s a given that more people will die from COVID-19. We are at almost 210,000 deaths so far, and what has Trump done to make us better? Zip. Nada. Zilch. He cannot take care of himself, so why would we trust him to give us medical advice about this global pandemic? If he makes you as angry as he makes me, let’s VOTE HIM OUT OF OFFICE. If he makes you feel sorry for him, I must ask why. Why would you waste your emotional energy on a thug, thief, liar and clown? You wouldn’t stay with an abusive husband or wife, so why remain loyal to this sadistic, destructive, divisive piece of shit? Okay, that’s too far but, hey, he’s killing my friends. How can that be good?

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