Starting with the good news …
The U.S. Supreme Court made a right and proper judgment on Wednesday (for a change), ruling against the former guy in his attempt to hide evidence of his own and others’ involvement from the House committee investigating the attempted coup on January 6th 2021.
Trump wanted to prevent the Congressional committee investigating the insurrection of January 6, from gaining access to White House records for that day and the days leading up to it, invoking executive privilege. The justices overwhelmingly, 8-1, ruled against him. Executive privilege can only exist while you’re an executive … which Trump no longer is!
The ruling on Wednesday opens up a trove of documents to congressional investigators who have sought them to determine Trump’s actions and mindset in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 attack, as well as what he did as his supporters were rioting at the Capitol.
Among the documents sought by the committee are speech drafts, call and visitor logs, handwritten notes and other files previously kept by senior Trump aides like chief of staff Mark Meadows, adviser Stephen Miller, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and White House associate counsel Patrick Philbin.
The only member of the high court who signaled he would have granted Trump’s request for emergency relief was Justice Clarence Thomas who has proven time and time again that he has outlived his usefulness on the Court. To me, the surprise in this ruling was that the three justices appointed by Trump during his tenure in the Oval Office, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, all voted against his interests and for truth, justice, and democracy.
A half of a thumb-up for the Court for (finally) doing the right thing.
And then, the bad (really bad) news …
The two bills languishing in the Senate that would have protected our constitutional right to vote, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, are DOA – Dead On Arrival, thanks to 52 people … 50 ‘Republicans’ and Joe Manchin and Kyrsten B. Sinema. Given the draconian laws that have been passed in some 40+ states that would disenfranchise Blacks, Hispanics, the poor, the elderly, and the young, voting will no longer be ‘fair and equal’ or just or democratic.
A number of groups have already said they will withdraw their support from Manchin and Sinema over their unwillingness to protect our voices at the polls, but unfortunately neither of them are up for re-election this year. Both will be up for re-election in 2024, leaving us with few choices for removing them from the Senate for another three years.
The United States Constitution gives the Senate the power to expel any member by a two-thirds vote, but given the current makeup of the Senate and the fact that the 50 Republican Senators seem to love Manchin and Sinema (and why wouldn’t they, for both are Republicans at the core), the odds of that happening are slim-to-none and it has not happened since 1862.
I wrote a scathing letter to my own Republican Senator Rob Portman tonight indicating that I was highly disappointed to find that neither he nor any other Republican in the Senate could find even a smidgeon of conscience. Under ordinary circumstances, I would have informed him that I would be actively seeking to ensure his bid for re-election fails, but I cannot do that, because he is retiring at the end of this term.
And so, we are left with few choices and little voice. One thing we can and must do to whatever extent possible, though, is offer to help those who would otherwise be disenfranchised by helping them with unwieldy registration forms, providing transportation, child care, or whatever else they need to ensure they can cast a vote and vote the clowns out of office in November!