Character Matters? Not to This GOP

The majority of people in this country, including republicans, felt the confirmation and swearing in of Amy Barrett was improper and inappropriate, that a nomination should have waited until after January 20th when we have a new (please, please, please …) president. The entire confirmation process was rushed through, and Barrett is not at all qualified for the position, never even having tried a case! She can never fill the shoes of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg … perhaps nobody can, but Barrett damn sure cannot. Our friend Jeff has put into words what I think the majority of us are feeling. Thank you, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

Back during the Clinton years, all you heard from the Republican Party was how important character was for a president of the United States. Now, of course, you’ll never hear that word in any shape or form from the current Republican occupants in Congress. Gee, I wonder why?

It’s a trend that’s been going on for a while now. Embracing the current president as they’ve done for nearly four years shows that the party could give a rat’s you know what about character. They parked themselves squarely in Donald Trump’s orbit, rarely a whisper or a peep of discontent, other than the occasional “privately, many Senators are appalled at the president’s statements.” Privately?

Cowards – every damn one of them.

And while we’re speaking about character, how about we address a certain newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice by the name of Amy Comey Barrett? Can we please talk about her…

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ABOMINABLE!!!

The symbol for the Republican Party is the elephant, and for the Democratic Party is a donkey.  I think somebody got it wrong, for quite frankly every republican in the current administration and in Congress is a Grade-A Jackass, aka a donkey.  They wasted no time last night, not only confirming Amy Barrett to the United States Supreme Court, but also swearing her in right then and there.  The two most unconscionable moves that senate republicans have made this year were giving Donald Trump carte blanche to destroy lives when they failed to do their duty in February and refused to convict him at the end of the sham of an impeachment trial, and this, shoving through a closed-minded, religious freak on to the Supreme Court within short weeks of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.

I echo the words of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer …

“The American people will never forget this blatant act of bad faith. They will never forget your complete disregard for their voices, for the people standing in line right now voting their choice, not your choice.” 

He is absolutely correct … we will never forget what the following jackasses have done to us:

  1. Alexander, Lamar — Tennessee (retiring at the end of this term)
  2. Barrasso, John — Wyoming
  3. Blackburn, Marsha — Tennessee
  4. Blunt, Roy — Missouri
  5. Boozman, John — Arkansas
  6. Braun, Mike — Indiana
  7. Burr, Richard — North Carolina
  8. Capito, Shelley Moore — West Virginia
  9. Cassidy, Bill — Louisiana
  10. Collins, Susan M. — Maine
  11. Cornyn, John — Texas
  12. Cotton, Tom — Arkansas
  13. Cramer, Kevin — North Dakota
  14. Crapo, Mike — Idaho
  15. Cruz, Ted — Texas
  16. Daines, Steve — Montana
  17. Enzi, Michael B. — Wyoming (retiring at the end of this term)
  18. Ernst, Joni — Iowa
  19. Fischer, Deb — Nebraska
  20. Gardner, Cory — Colorado
  21. Graham, Lindsey — South Carolina
  22. Grassley, Chuck — Iowa
  23. Hawley, Josh — Missouri
  24. Hoeven, John — North Dakota
  25. Hyde-Smith, Cindy — Mississippi
  26. Inhofe, James M. — Oklahoma
  27. Johnson, Ron — Wisconsin
  28. Kennedy, John — Louisiana
  29. Lankford, James — Oklahoma
  30. Lee, Mike — Utah
  31. Loeffler, Kelly — Georgia
  32. McConnell, Mitch — Kentucky
  33. McSally, Martha — Arizona
  34. Moran, Jerry — Kansas
  35. Murkowski, Lisa — Alaska
  36. Paul, Rand — Kentucky
  37. Perdue, David — Georgia
  38. Portman, Rob — Ohio
  39. Risch, James E. — Idaho
  40. Roberts, Pat — Kansas (retiring at the end of this term)
  41. Romney, Mitt — Utah
  42. Rounds, Mike — South Dakota
  43. Rubio, Marco — Florida
  44. Sasse, Ben — Nebraska
  45. Scott, Rick — Florida
  46. Scott, Tim — South Carolina
  47. Shelby, Richard C. — Alabama
  48. Sullivan, Dan — Alaska
  49. Thune, John — South Dakota
  50. Tillis, Thom — North Carolina
  51. Toomey, Patrick J. — Pennsylvania
  52. Wicker, Roger F. — Mississippi
  53. Young, Todd — Indiana

The ones in (red) are up for re-election next week … VOTE THEM OUT!  Meanwhile, if you have ever voted for any of the above people, you should first write a letter of apology to We the People, then go bash your head against a concrete wall 50 times to see if you can knock some sense into it!

Yes, I’m angry … no, wait … not angry … FURIOUS!

The ignoble Mitch McConnell plainly stated that they did not act in the interests of We the People, nor did they act out of any sort of values or conscience … they acted only because they could, because they had the majority.  Oh, in case you’re interested, Susan Collins of Maine was the only republican to vote “nay”, but don’t give her too much credit, for she has licked Trump’s boots enough times in the past, and by her own admission, she wasn’t actually against Barrett’s confirmation, just against the way it had been ramrodded through against the will of the people of this nation, some 70+% of whom supported waiting and letting the next president nominate the justice who would try to fill the shoes of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Ms. Barrett damn sure cannot fill those shoes!

So, republicans … while we’ve all talked about working together to narrow the partisan divide in this country, you 53 people, and any who support a single one of these unconscionable asses, have just widened the gap even more … something I didn’t think possible.  I hold each and every one of these 53 people responsible for what happens in the future to our right to healthcare, to LGBT rights, and to women’s rights, for Ms. Barrett is against all of those and more.

Until tonight, I have had strong reservations about the next president adding justices to the court, but as of tonight, I do hope that Joe Biden adds a minimum of four more justices and nominates fair, impartial, honest justices, not narrow-minded bigots like Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and now Barrett.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 9/26

I’m a bit late to the party!  I usually re-blog TokyoSand’s Saturday cartoon roundup on either Saturday or Sunday, but I got way behind this past weekend and am just now getting around to it.  These days, the cartoonists have so much material to work with that I imagine they aren’t getting much sleep, but then neither are the rest of us.  Thank you, TS, for another superb collection.


The nation’s editorial cartoonists respond to the week’s top news stories, including the passing of Justice Ginsberg, the Breeona Taylor case, a terrible COVID19 milestone, and Election 2020.

Source: The Week’s Best Cartoons 9/26

An Answer To My Letter …

You may remember the letter I wrote to Senator Rob Portman a week or so ago regarding the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  One thing I will say about Senator Portman is that he always responds to my emails, and this was no exception.  On Saturday I received this response …

rob-portmanDear Jill,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I appreciate your thoughts on the matter and the opportunity to respond.

As the second woman in history confirmed to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg served our country in this important role for 27 years. Her death on September 18, 2020 created a vacancy on the Court.  The U.S. Constitution provides that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint… Judges of the supreme Court.” Considering we are less than two months from a presidential election, there is controversy regarding whether the Senate should take up a nomination before the election.  The Senate’s historical precedent demonstrates that when the same party controls the presidency and the Senate and a vacancy arises during a presidential election year, the Senate almost always confirms a nominee.

In the more than two dozen vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court that have arisen during a presidential election year in our nation’s history, the sitting president made a nomination in every single case.  Leader McConnell has said that he will hold a vote on any nominee President Trump sends to the Senate, and I intend to fulfill my role as a U.S. Senator and judge that nominee based on his or her merits. The president was elected in 2016, in part, based on a commitment to nominate men and women to the judiciary who would fairly and impartially apply the law and protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, not advance public policy goals by legislating from the bench.  Likewise, in both 2016 and 2018, the American people have re-elected a Republican Senate majority to help President Trump fulfill that commitment.

In 2016, when the vacancy occurred following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, I said “the president has every right to nominate a Supreme Court justice … But the founders also gave the Senate the exclusive right to decide whether to move forward on that nominee.” Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposing-party president’s Supreme Court choice when the vacancy occurred in a presidential election year.  In contrast, when the presidency and the Senate are controlled by the same party – as it is today –the precedent is for the president’s nominees to get confirmed. In the occasions that a vacancy has occurred when the President and the Senate are of the same party in a presidential election year, the Senate has confirmed the nominee and filled the seat in every instance but one where there was a bipartisan ethics concern. I look forward to seeing who President Trump plans to nominate and thoroughly assessing his or her qualifications for this important role.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. For more information, I encourage you to visit my website at portman.senate.gov . Thank you, and please keep in touch.

Sincerely,

Rob Portman
U.S. Senator

My response, if I felt inclined to respond, would be to remind him that the United States Supreme Court is intended, by the Constitution he places so much stock in, to be non-partisan.  They are supposed to judge cases by their constitutionality, not by how the results play into the hands of one political party or another.  What I hear in Senator Portman’s response is that he will continue licking the boots of the Ass in the Oval Office and will vote to confirm the nominee, for he hasn’t the cojones to stand up to either Donald Trump or Mitch McConnell.  I hope I’m wrong.

Letter To Republican Senator

What follows is the letter I wrote this morning to the republican senator from my state, Senator Rob Portman.  Feel free to amend and use as a template to send to your own senator, if you feel so inclined.


21 September 2020

Dear Senator Portman …

I am writing to you today to ask that you withhold your vote on the confirmation of any candidate for the Supreme Court between now and January 20th.  I’m sure you have received many such letters, as well as some by those who hold the opposite view, but please hear me out.

First, in February of 2016, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, when President Barack Obama nominated a very moderate judge, Merrick Garland, to fill Scalia’s seat, you stated in part …

“I have concluded that the best thing for the country is to trust the American people to weigh in and to have the confirmation process take place in a less partisan atmosphere. Awaiting the result of a democratic election, rather than having a nomination fight in this contentious election-year environment, will give the nominee more legitimacy …”

To change your mind about that now, when the country is even more divided than it was in 2016, is the ultimate hypocrisy and I must question your motives.  I know that Mitch McConnell is an unconscionable sycophant of Donald Trump, as are many of your other colleagues, but I always thought you were better than that.

Throughout your nine-year tenure as a U.S. Senator representing Ohio, I have seen you as a moderate, and while I disagree with you on some things, I was proud when you changed your mind and came out in support of same-sex marriage and voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.  Granted, I’ve been disappointed by your stance on climate change … too little too late … and other issues such as abortion, but overall you have always seemed one of the better republicans in Congress.

Now, however, you appear to be willing to compromise the integrity of the United States Supreme Court, and I must ask you why?  Do you not realize the implications of a court divided 6-3?  Do you not realize that not only will Roe v Wade be endangered, and thus women’s rights, but also Obergefell v Hodges, thus endangering the rights of the LGBT community?  Do you remember that the Court is supposed to provide checks and balances on the Executive branch, not simply rubber-stamp the president’s wishes?

I would like to remind you that you were elected to represent ALL the people of not only Ohio, but the United States.  Donald Trump appears to believe that he is obligated only to those who slavishly support him, but I would like to think you are a better man than he is.  Please remember that your constituency includes both democrats and republicans, as well as those like myself who are independent.  Your constituency includes people of all races, and people of every and no religion.  You do not solely answer to white, male, republicans, but to every man, woman and child, regardless of party affiliation, ethnicity or religion.

In closing, I ask you to seriously consider what I have said, seriously consider withholding your vote on Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, in order to give We the People an opportunity to have our voices heard.  Thank you.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, citizen, taxpayer, voter

Just Two Things …

On Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg …

rbgIf I had to pick a favourite among the current Supreme Court Justices, it would be Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  The woman is intelligent, has spunk, and her heart is in the right place, unlike some others.  She has gone through a lot, but she bounces back.  Since her most recent bout with cancer, she has returned to the Court, heard oral arguments, authored opinions, and even made a few public appearances outside the courtroom.  But yet …

There are some who claim Justice Ginsburg has been dead for weeks, and that democrats … of course, it’s always the democrats … are covering up her death in order to keep the jackal in the Oval Office from nominating another one of his sycophants for the seat.  Say WHAT???  How can a person who is in the public eye, who goes to work every day and is seen by her co-workers and others, be believed to be dead?  What rock have these people slithered out from under?

According to The Hill

The Supreme Court has been bombarded with Twitter users demanding evidence that Ginsburg is still alive, while some online videos allege her public appearances have been manufactured.

There are also claims that audio of her from recent Supreme Court oral arguments has been doctored and is nothing more than phrases pieced together from earlier recordings of her remarks.

There’s little chance the Ginsburg conspiracy theory is going away anytime soon, experts say, mainly because the biggest proponents are unlikely to accept any proof that she’s alive.

I have a solution.  Invite them all to visit the court at a specified date and time, then let Justice Ginsburg go ‘round the room and poke each one of them in the eye with a stick.  Perhaps that will convince them.

It seems, though, that Donald Trump is hoping for Justice Ginsburg’s demise, for he has already decided on a nominee for her replacement:  Judge Amy Coney Barrett.  Barrett, not surprisingly, is known as a “superstar” among the religious right.

Barrett is young (46) and has vociferously made known her willingness to overturn Roe v Wade, which, along with Obergefell v Hodges seem to be the only thing the religious right cares about when it comes to the Supreme Court.  Take away women’s rights and take away the rights of the LGBT community, and Trump’s biggest fan base will be happy.

Personally, I hope that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stays healthy for at least another two years.


Not tough enough???

Kirstjen-Nielsen.jpgThe big news of the day is that Trump apparently forced the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.  Now, I’ve never liked Nielsen, always considered her to be rather a cold, heartless bitch, but apparently she wasn’t heartless enough to suit Trump, and that should concern us all.  It will likely thrill his base of white supremacists, however, who would like nothing better than to line the southern border with armed guards who are told to shoot first and ask questions later.

Bruce Plante Cartoon: DHS Secretary Kirstjen NielsenRumours abound, as they will when facts are not made available.  One, the most probable one, is that Trump is eager to reinstate his horrendous child-separation policy, taking children from their parents when they cross the southern border.  Ms. Nielsen rejected the plan, in light of the fact that a federal judge struck down the policy last year.

Another theory was proposed by Josh Campbell, the former FBI agent turned CNN national security analyst.  Mr. Campbell believes it possible that Ms. Nielsen was the author of the anonymous OpEd in the New York Times last year that caused such a stir.    The basis for his conclusion is stylistic similarities between Nielsen’s letter of resignation and the OpEd.  Not much to go on, but if she was the author of the OpEd, now that she has resigned from her position she has nothing to lose by coming clean, so … maybe?

I’m still stunned, though, that she wasn’t ‘tough enough’ to please Trump, even after she authorized the use of tear gas to repel a large crowd attempting to break through a border fence on New Year’s Day.  I’m also stunned that Trump has plans to defy Judge Dana Sabraw’s order and reinstate his cruel, inhumane child separation policy.

Are there no longer any restrictions or limitations on the power of the presidency?  Has Donald Trump, in fact, become the dictator he always wanted to be?  He shuts the government down in an attempt to get his way.  That doesn’t work, so he declares a state of national emergency to get his way.  That hasn’t worked yet, so he demands the resignation of the Secretary of Homeland Security to replace her with a man who is even more cruel and heartless.  Where does it end.  When do We the People finally say we have had ENOUGH???  Or do we keep burying our heads in the sand, believing that somehow, in some way, it will all work itself out.  Believing that our Constitution, or next year’s election will stop him.  Think about it.

Happy Birthday Justice Kennedy … PLEASE DON’T LEAVE US!!!

I have always believed that people should, if they wish to, be able to retire while they still have enough time and energy to do some of the things they always wanted to, whether it be to travel, take up golf, write their memoirs, garden, or just spend more time with their family.  I was fortunate to be able to retire early, actually did not have much choice, but it has worked out well for me and the family.  That said, here I am about to advocate that an 81-year-old man stay on the job for at least another 4 years!

Anthony-KennedyThe man is Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.  On July 23rd, he will celebrate his 81st birthday, and rumour has it that he is giving serious consideration to retiring in the near future.  Back in February I wrote a post  about this very thing, noting that in addition to Kennedy, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (84) and Justice Stephen Breyer (78) were of an age to retire should they decide to do so.

Why does any of this matter?  Let us set aside the labels of ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ for the moment, and speak only of the issues and voting histories.  Kennedy has provided the swing vote in a number of cases in favour of human rights, civil rights, and social issues.  His was the vote that formed a majority in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, clearing the way for same-sex marriage.  The others were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law and the Constitution grants them that right,” Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion.

Kennedy voted to reaffirm the core holding of Roe v. Wade in 1992. According to Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center. “Replacing Justice Kennedy with a Trump nominee would almost certainly sound the death knell for Roe, just as candidate Trump promised during the 2016 campaign.”

Which is not to say that I agree with all of Kennedy’s views.  He supported Citizens United, which as we now know was a horrible decision, he has voted for stronger gun rights, and in 2013 voted to strike down two key provisions to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, thus enabling more widespread racial discrimination in the voting process.  But overall, I believe he is a fair judge, an experienced judge, and I believe he will serve the rights of the people of this nation far better than anybody Donald Trump might appoint.

I am not alone in my opinion.  Comedian, actor, director and writer Carl Reiner (and father of Rob Reiner) penned a letter that ran in the New York Times Friday, 07 July, titled Justice Kennedy, Don’t Retire.  The letter begins …

Dear Justice Anthony Kennedy,

I would like to start with congratulatory wishes on your forthcoming 81st birthday.

As someone who has almost a decade and a half on you, I can tell you this: It may well be that the best part of your career has just begun. As a nonagenarian who has just completed the most prolific, productive five years of my life, I feel it incumbent upon me to urge a hearty octogenarian such as yourself not to put your feet up on the ottoman just yet. You have important and fulfilling work ahead of you.

When I turned 81, I had finished “Oceans Eleven” and was gearing up for “Oceans Twelve” while also writing another book, which led me to a cross-country book tour.

I know what it means to be your age. I know the problems that come with the journey. But these are not ordinary times, and you, sir, are anything but an ordinary man.

The country needs justices like you who decide each case with fairness and humanity, and whose allegiance is to the Constitution of the United States of America, not to a party line. You have always voted your conscience, and defended the rights and liberties of all our citizens.

I’m sure you’ve considered the various options, as we all do when we reach a certain age. After all, although our lives are different, I’m sure there are similarities. I get up in the morning, and if I’m not in the obits, I eat breakfast. You get up, meet with your clerks and engage with them in spirited discussion about the constitutional ramifications of the important cases at hand. I engage in spirited discussion with my publisher about the release order of my next three books.

You have lunch and I have lunch. You return to your chambers and I to my desk. At day’s end, you go home to ponder the important decisions you will be making tomorrow. I go downstairs and join my friend Mel in front of the television, and we ponder out loud how many steps Vanna White will take when walking over to the letter board tonight after leaving Pat Sajak’s side. (F.Y.I., it is usually six, sometimes seven, rarely eight, but never nine.)

Imagine if you retired from the bench. What would your days be like? Here’s a scenario: You revisit your carefree years, rent a red Volkswagen and travel through Europe, stopping in Paris for coffee and a croissant on the Champs-Élysées, then on to the Amalfi coast, where you’ll sail to the waterfalls of Marmorata and the Emerald Grotto.

How would you feel, while reading your newspaper, seeing a headline that read “Roe v. Wade Overturned”? Do you see how this could ruin a good meal? A good life? A great country?

I believe I’ve made my case. It’s now 1 a.m., and I am going upstairs to my computer to tweet out my thought of the day, because I can. I have the freedom to do that because of people like you who are committed to protecting our liberties and our Constitution.

I thank you, as all our fellow citizens will.

Respectfully,

Carl Reiner

Given the way Trump’s mind works, when it does, it is impossible to predict who he would nominate to replace Kennedy if he should retire, but most likely one of the remaining 10 from his ‘short list’ back when he nominated Neil Gorsuch to replace Antonin Scalia.  Among pundits, the most likely first choice appears to be Thomas Hardiman, a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit who resides in Pennsylvania.

Since all this is speculative, and we can hope that Kennedy will stick around for at least 4 more years, I won’t go into much background, but a few of Hardiman’s more notable rulings bear looking at:

  • In the 2008 case Busch vs. Marple Newton School District, Hardiman wrote an opinion in favor of parents who described themselves as Evangelical Christians and were barred from reading from the Bible during a kindergarten “show and tell” presentation.
  • In the 2010 case Kelly v. Borough of Carlisle, Hardiman ruled that a police officer had qualified immunity because there is no clearly established First Amendment right to videotape police officers during traffic stops.
  • In the 2016 case Binderup v. Attorney General which related to the issue of felons owning firearms, he ruled that “only dangerous persons which were likely to use firearms for illicit purposes” could be barred from owning firearms.

Let us just hope that Carl Reiner’s letter gives pause to any notions of retirement Justice Kennedy might have had!

The Supreme Court — Our Best Hope

scotus-2

Now that Congress has ‘fallen into line’ and is pandering to Trump’s every whim, licking his boots and kissing his posterior, there is one last bastion of justice remaining:  the United States Supreme Court. Last year, after the untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the Republicans in Congress effectively blocked President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, by refusing to hold even preliminary confirmation hearings.  Thus, the position remained open when Trump took office, and it is now up to him to fill.  More about that in a bit.

scotusThe U.S. Constitution does not specify the number of Supreme Court Justices.  Article III of the Constitution established the Supreme Court, but left it to Congress to decide on the appropriate number of Justices.  The Judiciary Act of 1789 set the number at six: a chief justice and five associate justices. In 1807, Congress increased the number of justices to seven; in 1837, the number was bumped up to nine; and in 1863, it rose to 10. In 1866, Congress passed the Judicial Circuits Act, which shrank the number of justices back down to seven and prevented President Andrew Johnson from appointing anyone new to the court. Three years later, in 1869, Congress raised the number of justices to nine, where it has stood ever since. It has mostly worked well for 148 years.

Many of us are understandably concerned about the composition of the court these days.  There is already one vacancy for Trump to fill, a position for which he has nominated Neil Gorsuch.  But there are three other justices who are likely to retire from the court soon:  Justice Anthony Kennedy, a moderate-conservative who is 79, Justice Stephen Breyer, a liberal who is 78, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also a liberal who will be 84 next month.  The problem arises when we consider the way these justices tend to vote. All three have voted consistently in favour of human rights, civil rights and social issues.  If Trump had the opportunity to fill all three of these positions, in addition to the one already vacant, the court would be comprised of 7 conservative justices and only 2 liberal-leaning.  This would spell disaster for the LGBT community, for African-Americans, for immigrants, for women … for all of us, really.

 

On a positive note, tonight I was reading about an interview Justice Ginsburg gave to the BBC this week where she said … well, I will let her tell you in her own words:

“I read the Washington Post and the New York Times every day, and I think that the reporters are trying to tell the public the way things are. Our legislature – which is the first branch of government – is right now not working. I am optimistic in the long run. A great man once said that the true symbol of the United States is not the bald eagle. It is the pendulum. And when the pendulum swings too far in one direction it will go back. Some terrible things have happened in the United States but one can only hope that we learn from those bad things.”

Of the Women’s March on Washington, 21 January, she said:

“I’ve never seen such a demonstration – both the numbers and the rapport of the people in that crowd. There was no violence, it was orderly. So yes, we are not experiencing the best times but there is reason to hope that that we will see a better day.”

But the important part was …

“At my age you have to take it year by year. I know I’m OK. What will be next year? I’m hopeful however, because my most senior colleague the one who most recently retired, Justice John Paul Stevens, stepped down at age 90. So I have a way to go.”

ginsburgAt an appearance at George Washington University on Thursday night, Justice Ginsburg said, “we are not as mindful of what makes America great.”  So very true! Ginsburg stopped short of mentioning Trump or his policies directly, as she got into some hot water for that last year when she gave an interview critical of Trump and was taken to task for her candor:

“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president. For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that. He is a faker. He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”

I always did like this woman!  She sees clearly the damage that is being done by the current administration, sees the unwillingness of Congress to stand against Trump, and is determined to try to stay on the court a few more years.  Let us hope that Kennedy and Breyer will do the same.  Though Kennedy is considered a moderate-conservative, he leans toward liberal in most social issues, so even if Gorsuch is confirmed, as is expected, we should still have a fairly well-balanced court.  For now. At least well-balanced enough to keep from overturning such important issues as voting rights, same-sex marriage, and Roe v Wade, which Trump has sworn to see overturned after 43 years.

gorsuchAs for Gorsuch, I suspect he will be conservative on most issues, but then so was Scalia.  But like Scalia, he is known for also being thoughtful and fair, so if Breyer, Kennedy and Ginsburg are able to stay in good health and willing to remain on the bench for a few more years, we should be alright.  But if one dies, retires, or otherwise vacates, all bets are off.  At present, all hope for maintaining the civil and social rights we have fought so hard for lies in the hands of the Supreme Court.