Overturning Roe: Practical Fallout

This week, SCOTUS issued a significant decision which was as significant as the original Roe decision. Clearly, there are passionate opinions across the political spectrum. More such a momentous event, I will do something almost equally as rare and share thoughts from a strictly non-political perspective, but yet thoughts that each of us, no matter where we are on the political spectrum, need to hear.

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Biden Can’t Get Out Of His Own Way, Politically

On Friday, President Joe Biden nominated current Appeals Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the next Supreme Court justice, fulfilling his promise to nominate a Black woman.

Biden had previously shared a list of those being considered for nomination. Liberal Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC), a very influential figure in his home state and whose endorsement of Biden in 2020 is widely credited with helping Biden get his campaign back on track, endorsed Justice J. Michelle Childs, another Black woman who currently is a US District Court Judge. Childs was also endorsed by conservative Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), seemingly being someone who would get bipartisan support. Additionally, Childs would have provided increased diversity on a court where all of the justices got their degrees from Ivy League schools. Childs got her degree from a public law school.

Biden, who said that he would bring the country back together, instead choose a nominee that appears to be destined to draw controversy and continued the exclusivity of the Ivy League on the Court. He had a clear choice, a Black woman who had bipartisan support and was qualified enough to be on his own short list of candidates. Instead, he walked away from bipartisanship at the exact time he needed something to bring the country together, as he faces several challenges in the international arena and needs a united voice. Instead, he went another way.

SCOTUS Justice Breyer Retires

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced his resignation from the Court today. Nominated in 1994 and, in a less partisan time, confirmed by a unanimous vote, Breyer served for almost three decades.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and several other network’s commentators immediately trumpeted how Breyer’s move was timed so that President Biden would be the one to nominate his successor. Yet, that is not what Breyer said. In an interview on Fox News in September, Breyer said that politics would not be the motivating factor in determining when he retired and went on to say that the Supreme Court was not and should not be political. The Court’s only job is to interpret laws that others make.

All of the things that went into Breyer’s decision can only be known by him. Yet, in a day when the media—social and mainstream-are constantly telling us how interpreting our laws is a political exercise in spite of the fact that the Court’s ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives’ often vote against their medial-labeled reputation, it is a credit to Justice Breyer that he has sought to maintain the integrity of the Court and fought to uphold the credibility of our justice system in the public’s eyes. For that, and for his years of public service, we owe our gratitude to Justice Breyer.

Rittenhouse Verdict In Kenosha

This columnist has deliberately waited a while after the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict to comment on anything related, because that trial and verdict has been so polarizing, and people just know the headlines and what they are told on social media.

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Sotomayor Reminds Us Courts Do Not Make Laws

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke yesterday at a virtual conference of law students sponsored by the American Bar Association. In her remarks, Justice Sotomayor reminded students that Courts do not make laws and sometimes that is frustrating to individual judges. But the way to change the law, is through the legislature and not the courts.

“There’s going to be a lot of disappointments,” said Sotomayor, who was appointed by President Obama and has served on the Supreme Court for twelve years.

“As you study cases and look at outcomes you disagree with, it can get frustrating.” Referring to a recent Court case on a Texas law, Sotomayor commented “I can’t change Texas’ law but you can. You can and everyone else who may or may not like it can go out there and be a lobbying force to change laws they don’t like.”

Thank you Justice Sotomayor for reminding us of our basic civics class, and that courts should not be political and do not make law, no matter how individual justices may disagree. That is the job of the officials elected by the people.

Lawmakers Against Democracy

When you try to prevent the will of the people and the rules of the electoral system because it does not match your will, then you simply don’t believe in a government that is representative of the people. Have we elected people who are against democracy?

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The Biggest Lesson from the Election? The System Worked

At no other time in US history have we had an election like this one. Not only did Donald Trump, in an effort to keep power, claim that dozens of judges, and hundreds of Republican state legislators in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia conspire with Democrats to steal the election from him but his supporters attacked the very seat of our government and forced lawmakers (including Trump’s own Vice President) to flee for their lives. Trump’s former National Security Advisor even suggested that he declare nationwide martial law.

Despite all that-a time that will make an indelible mark in the history of our country-the biggest lesson coming out of the election is that the system worked.

Despite the periodic rants from the radical left about the need to re-write the Constitution and the character flaws of the ‘Founding Fathers’, their wisdom showed itself in the last three months-possibly in ways never so clearly expressed. Yes, the people who wrote the Constitution were human and had flaws, some of them serious flaws. Yet that does not take away from the careful foundation laid for our country and the wisdom that not only has endured for two and a half centuries but was the foundational document for developing democracies worldwide for over two centuries.

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Trump’s Final Election Lawsuit

In a decision on Saturday, the US District Court serving Wisconsin rejected a lawsuit brought by the Trump campaign. The judge was a Trump appointee.

A number of Trump supporters have echoed his claims of election fraud. But when you read the details of Trump’s legal briefs, you wonder how many of those people have actually read any part of the court filings.

Below is a link to an article from the conservative magazine National Review (which was founded by William F. Buckley), that gives some background and detail around the lawsuit and the ruling in that final case before the Electoral College met today. It’s worth the read.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/12/a-stunning-passage-from-the-latest-court-rejection-of-team-trump/

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