Score one … no wait, score two … for justice today! The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on two separate cases this morning that I’ve been watching.
The first is the case brought by District Attorney Cyrus Vance of New York, seeking access to eight years of Donald Trump’s financial and tax records. This case has been tied up in the courts for years now, often hindered by U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, who served as Trump’s lapdog and protector. But today, the Court denied the motion by Trump’s attorneys to keep his tax records hidden in a one-sentence order with no recorded dissents.
The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.
Music to the ears! What this means is there are no further appeals and the accounting firm Mazar’s will turn over the subpoenaed tax records to Cyrus Vance’s office within a matter of days. Last year, the New York Times obtained more than two decades of tax return data of Trump and his companies and published a series of articles about them. Trump, the articles said, sustained significant losses, owes enormous debts that he is personally obligated to repay, has avoided paying federal income taxes in 11 of the 18 years the Times examined and paid just $750 in both 2016 and 2017.
The scope of Mr. Vance’s inquiry is not known. It arose partly from an investigation by his office into hush-money payments to two women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump, relationships the president has denied. But court filings by prosecutors suggested that they are also investigating potential crimes like tax and insurance fraud.
Vance responded to the court decision with a three-word tweet: “The work continues.”
The second Supreme Court ruling that gets a thumbs-up is in what should be the next-to-last case challenging the 2020 election results. This one sought to throw out a portion of the postal votes in the state of Pennsylvania, based on the fact that some were received and accepted in the three-day period after election day. Never mind that this was Trump’s own fault, for placing Louis DeJoy in the position of Postmaster General with the sole goal of slowing the mail to a snail’s pace so that postal votes would be delayed. The Court basically told Trump to sit down and shut up, and even Justices Alito, Gorsuch and Thomas acknowledged that the number of ballots received after Election Day would not have been enough to threaten President Biden’s victory margin over Trump.
The next and final case challenging election results will be heard on March 5th, challenging the use of ballot drop boxes in the state of Wisconsin. I have no idea why these cases have not been dropped, for all claims of widespread voter fraud have been disproven time and time again over the past four months, and there is no case that would have changed the outcome of the election. It’s a complete waste of both time and money when the Court has more important things to concern itself with.
And in upcoming legislation …
You may remember the Equality Act, a bill that would significantly expand LGBTQ protections. The bill was passed by the House in 2019, but languished in the Senate where then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to even bring the bill to the floor. Last week, Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island re-introduced the bill, which is expected to pass in the House, but may face an uphill battle in the Senate.
The bill, if passed and signed into law, would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to include LGBTQ Americans, prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity for housing, education, employment and in other areas. A no-brainer, right? But … well, the congressional republicans claim it will interfere with religious freedom!
None other than Marjorie Taylor Greene, a freshman representative who has already stirred up trouble more than a few times since taking her oath of office last month, opposes the bill calling it “an attack on people of faith.” BULLSHIT! If “people of faith” are so bigoted that they would deny equal rights to people in the LGBT community, then I suggest they re-evaluate their ‘faith’. Greene tweeted earlier today …
“Just to make myself clear, I WILL BE VOTING NO TO THE DISGUSTING, IMMORAL, AND EVIL #EqualityAct!!! It has nothing to do with stopping discrimination against the LGBT community, that could be done easily without this. It has everything to do with attacking God & believers.”
My own representative, Warren Davidson, made the same claim on Twitter just this morning. Are all republicans homophobes, then? Are they all bigots? Perhaps they should have a big “B” tattooed on their foreheads, ala The Scarlet Letter.
If the Senate refuses to pass this one (it will require a 60-vote majority to avoid a filibuster), then I suggest that every single senator who votes against it be shown just what discrimination feels like. Let them be denied service next time they go to a restaurant. Let them be shunned in public. Cross to the other side of the street to avoid them. Give them just a taste of what it’s like to be discriminated against. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
It should be noted that members of Congress represent ALL the people in their district/state, not only straight, white, Christian males!