Trumpster's Last Stand?
By Philip Drucker
In a pair of stunning 7-2 decision, and I only say stunning as both should have been 9-0, the US Supreme Court upheld one of the pillars of American democracy, namely that no one, not even the President of the United States is above the law.
The question now becomes, what do these rulings mean in terms of application and where do we go from here? Politically speaking, I think it is fair to say we can now assume the following regarding the actual nature and likely future of the current Supreme Court.
1. John Roberts has read the tea-leaves and is tacking to center-right as he intends to leave the Court with his legacy of judicial integrity intact. Funny part is with a few more rulings like today, he might actually get there. We'll see.
2. Clarence Thomas needs to retire. To say he is out-of-touch with mainstream Constitutional interpretation is an understatement of the highest magnitude. In essence, his "dissent" waxes and wanes about something I think he calls "original intent" of the framers, a position that would in my humble opinion need nothing short of a colonial Ouija board to validate. Oh, he hits all the right 18th Century buttons, the yeah I shot Hamilton, so what? He had it coming! case involving Aaron Burr, treason and similarly weighty matters.
He cites Federalist No. 69 for some strange reason. Plenty of references to John Marshall, Thomas Jefferson, you know, a lot of fairly baseless inferences involving what these esteemed dead guys might have thought about Trump, but without the clarity of actual spiritual intervention, it's Thomas' word against the dearly departed.
With all aspersions to judicial chicanery and legerdemain aside, I also suspect Thomas' insane right wing Evangelical deathy-culty how is that working out for you wife threatened to withhold her sexual favors if he didn't vote to make Trump king of the lost tribe of Israel or whatever the H-E-double hockey sticks she may have seen in a vision at that moment. Either way, Clarence gotta go.
3. The other dissenter, Alito, is just an idiot. Maybe he's the one who always brings coffee cake to the Supreme Court's deliberations. that's my best guess. For the record, Sammy makes some barely understandable arguments about allowing individual states to tromp all over Trump, executive guy, like this would be a bad thing. I would argue if Trump is a crook, we need to know. Alito, not so much. You'd think he was about to hit New York on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper for treating Trump as the criminal he is.
My best guess going forward is Sam the Sham(my) is a reliable vote for big and even bigger business, hyper-partisan when it comes to all issue including voter suppression, including hidden and unconstitutional poll taxes, gerrymandering and he doesn't seem like too much trouble, unlike that Kavanaugh guy, so the powers that be will probably keep him around as long as they can.
4. Speaking of our good buddy and completely unqualified for his position Brett, doesn't it strike you as odd he voted against his lord, master and liege (is personal savior is in the mix?) the Golden Really Fat Cat Presidential Calf of Chaos? I take this as a sign it wasn't Trump that paid off his credit cards, mortgage and country club fees.
If that is so, who is he working for? And perhaps of equal or more importance, where's Brett's Bud Light Super Bowl commercial cameo appearance? Time for a new manager I tell you, preferably one with criminal law experience or at least one that knows how to arrange for a bail-bond or two. With the Rethuglican Ruptured Never 2 B Raptured Death Cult (don't forget the Covid-19 virus, kinds in cages, etc...) soon out of power, I doubt America, or at least the American Woman (great song) is done with Brett yet. Time will tell and I doubt it's on Brett's side.
5. The wild Tarot card here seems to be Neil Gorsuch. A quick review of the 68 pdf page decision finds his name appearing twice. He joined in the Majority opinion authored by the Chief justice and signed onto Kavanaugh's for the most part if not entirely useless concurrence. Maybe Neil owed Brett a "solid", or a liquid (alcoholic in nature I bet) or perhaps he wanted to show someone on the Supreme Court doesn't think he's a complete joke. Who knows?
I single out praise not for Neil’s possible sympathy friendship with Brett, or his previously well-established anything that business wants, including murdering their employees without any legal recourse what-so-ever, for his decision regarding Trump's potential anointment. but for his majority opinion in the "other" case that came out today. You have to love a guy who just wrote an opinion that as much as half of Eastern Oklahoma is Tribal Land.
In McGirt v. Oklahoma, a case involving the rights of the Muscogee Creek Nation to their Tribal lands, approximately three million acres, including Tulsa, ceded to them by the United States as part of the Trail of Tears "re-location" program (genocide), that co-incidentally during the reign of Trump's favorite psycho-in-chief to ever hold the presidency, Andrew Jackson, in siding with the four liberal justices, Neil speaking for the majority answers the following question in the affirmative.
"Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law,"
At first glance, it doesn't have the look of a saucy, savory or even fattening case, but it's implications to Tribal sovereignty in the state of Oklahoma is potentially earth shaking.
In short, if Tribal authority is intact, and it is, then federal criminal law would take precedent over the current state authority to prosecute enforce the criminal laws of Oklahoma on Tribal land. This decision could have the potential effect of overturning thousands of cases currently in Oklahoma courts and perhaps even undoing any number of previously decided cases. Getting better?
In ruling for the Tribe, it puts into question the many other Tribal land treaties Congress has refused to honor. Like the one in which Mount Rushmore resides? Tribal land? Previously sacred site? Getting better?
Curiously, John Roberts in his dissent argued that through various actions, Congress had all but "extinguished" Tribal rights, apparently without explicitly saying so. His other "argument" being the ruling would now cause a great deal of administrative headaches to Oklahoma just to honor that darn treaty. Seriously. What will happen going forward? Definitely a let's wait and see moment.
Oh, as for the Trump he's running out of places to hide scandal/case going forward? Now that the issue of whether the SDNY can get the requested financial records, associated evidence and transcripts, unless there is something I'm missing, I suspect the Manhattan prosecutors will file criminal charges against Trump before the election.
This would cede to the maniac who would have been king and his good friend Bill Quasimodo Barr yet another distinctive badge of dis-honor, namely that of the first sitting president to campaign while under criminal indictment and investigation.
As I have often said, politics are as predictably unpredictable as they are funny. Or are they?