Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall cautioned those who look at skin color as an indication of a person’s views on social justice to remember that a black snake will bite you just as hard as a white snake. Case in point, this extreme right-wing motherfucker:
His warning to his fellow justices, who recently declined to hear appeals of several baseless Trump/RNC hypothetical voting fraud cases, presumably was that since the Supreme Court failed to act there will be millions of votes cast by angry Black people intent on making his side, electorally, the minority party that it is. They will vote by mail, they will march from churches to cast early ballots on Sunday, they will go door to door and organize to bring out a tidal wave of first time voters and even the most surgical GOP gerrymandering in the world, and the strictest voter suppression laws (GOP lawmakers in 43 states have already proposed more than 250 in the first 56 days of 2021) may not prevent majoritarian hoards from voting out Trump loyalist candidates who serve the greater good that Thomas views as the true America. An American meritocracy of color-blind rugged individualism, a nation where a long history of racism has no bearing on the current opportunities for, or grievances of, those long persecuted.
A longer, more detailed and legally-based description of Clarence Thomas’s warning was found in today’s New York Times, in an op-ed entitled The Supreme Court Is Not Finished With Elections . In essence, the most rightwing justices seek to end the ability of state courts (elected statewide, not strictly subject to partisan gerrymandering) to overrule the will of the state legislatures (voted into office in gerrymandered districts) when it comes to state citizens’ right to vote in federal elections. You know, States’ Rights, one of the bedrocks of American conservatism.
On a note related to the many baseless Trump/RNC cases that were dismissed, many after protracted and expensive court battles, I read this late last night and said, aloud, to no-one in particular, “that’s what I’m talking about!”
Georgia lawmakers, too, are advancing measures to slash mail-in voting to protect against voter fraud, even as two counties in the Atlanta area want attorneys’ fees from Trump and the chair of the Georgia Republican Party for frivolous lawsuits designed to overturn the 2020 election. “Given the number of failed lawsuits filed by the former president and his campaign, petitioners apparently believed that they could file their baseless and legally deficient actions with impunity, with no regard for the costs extracted from the taxpayers’ coffers or the consequences to the democratic foundations of our country,” wrote lawyers for Cobb County.source
That’s what I’m talking about!
Courts often sanction lawyers for filing lawsuits that are without merit, trumped up cases brought without evidence and with the intent to harass, intimidate or otherwise use the justice system for leverage or sensationalist publicity. These lawsuits are called frivolous and the penalties courts can impose on attorneys who illegally bring such suits not based on evidence include sanctions and fines against the lawyer, subjecting the lawyer to a disciplinary hearing for filing a vexatious frivolous lawsuit and forcing the litigant who used the court as an expensive bludgeon to pay the legal fees for the person he dragged into court without a legally sustainable reason.
I’ve been wondering when one of the dozens of courts who spent valuable time and resources examining and dismissing dozens of baseless Trump/RNC post-election challenges, and the literally hundreds brought before the election with the intent of making it harder for science believers to vote safely during a pandemic, would sanction someone for subjecting the court, the jurisdiction they were suing and the taxpayers, to the time, anxiety, great expense, of a shameless propaganda spectacle, based in speculation, unsubstantiated allegations and the fear-mongering that these frivolous lawsuits caused. You go, Cobb County!
Hopefully there will be dozens more of these filings, and court-ordered repayment of the massive taxpayer resources wasted to defend against these voter suppression attempts by the most unpopular (and most powerful within his minority party, go figure…) ex-president in American history.
In other news, yesterday President Biden signed an executive order saying, in essence, “I’ve got your ‘anarchist jurisdictions’ right here, asshole.” This order reverses a Trump/Barr policy memo that designated jurisdictions that did not unequivocally support Trump as ‘anarchist’ and attempted to deprive us of federal funds. Presidential in the coolest American sense of the word, particularly during a deadly pandemic, that Memorandum of September 2, 2020 (Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients of Federal Funds That Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities).
Jesus, I hope the next Attorney General will not be a partisan hack/attorney/wingman for the president like that goddamned Obama-sycophant Eric Holder! (As one of the GOP Senators, probably Lyin’ Ted, suggested Garland might be). Oh, speaking of Lyin’ Ted, this gave me a chuckle:
Even Republicans who may vote against him praised Garland.
“In two-plus decades on the court, you have built a reputation for integrity and for setting aside partisan interests in following the law,” said Cruz, before noting that the attorney general job is different.
(from “Clinton News Network” report on Merrick Garland confirmation hearing).
Also, time to update, google:
The 84th and current Attorney General is Jeff Sessions, who assumed the office on February 9, 2017. The attorney general serves as a member of the Cabinet of the President of the United States and is the only cabinet officer who does not have the title “Secretary of”..
Remember Bush v. Gore, the case that decided the 2000 presidential election, in which five justices voted to overturn the Florida Supreme Court’s handling of a statewide recount? That decision was based on a theory of equal protection so wacky that the majority opinion insisted that “our consideration is limited to the present circumstances” — that is to say, don’t dare invoke this poor excuse for an opinion as a precedent.
That didn’t stop Justice Thomas from citing Bush v. Gore in his dissenting opinion on Monday, and he did so in a particularly shameless fashion. The language he cited wasn’t even from the Bush v. Gore majority opinion, but rather from a separate concurring opinion filed in that case by only three of the majority justices, who argued that the Florida Supreme Court had violated the U.S. Constitution by substituting its will for that of the state Legislature.
Justice Thomas invoked that minority portion of the decision to assert that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was constitutionally out of bounds when, citing both the Covid-19 pandemic and the collapse of the Postal Service as its reasons, it added three postelection days for lawful receipt of mailed ballots.
He went on to warn that fraud was “more prevalent with mail-in ballots,” citing as evidence a 1994 Federal District Court case, an article in this newspaper from 2012 and the 2018 Republican ballot-harvesting fraud in North Carolina. Such occurrences, he said, raise “the likelihood that courts will be asked to adjudicate questions that go to the heart of election confidence.” This was the reason, he argued, that the Supreme Court should have taken and decided the Pennsylvania cases before the next election cycle.
In his inventory of ballot fraud, Justice Thomas of course could not refer to fraud in the 2020 election, because there wasn’t any. Not a problem:
We are fortunate that many of the cases we have seen alleged only improper rule changes, not fraud. But that observation provides only small comfort. An election free from strong evidence of systemic fraud is not alone sufficient for election confidence. Also important is the assurance that fraud will not go undetected.
In other words, Justice Thomas would have it both ways: If there was fraud, the court needed to intervene, and if there was no fraud, the court needed to intervene because the fraud might simply be undetected. Despite his disclaimer, the entire structure of his opinion, suggesting that something bad had happened even if no one could prove it, is fairly read as validating the essence of the Trump narrative.
What color snake do YOU prefer to be bitten by?