Katurday ReadsPosted: September 10, 2022
Good Morning Sky Dancers!
I’m still not entirely over the hives but mending and exhausted. On top of that, Social Security decided I made too much money and yanked two months of benefits, making me stressed, broke, and panicked about my house payment. I’ve had this happen before, but I’m totally unprepared for it this time. They’ve changed the October benefit for the third time in about 6 weeks. I was happy I could trade with BostonBoomer yesterday, but I’m still not up to a full post, so this will be short.
Our Court System appears as broken as the other branches of government. The Loose Cannon in Florida continues to struggle with her job as the deadline to suggest Special Masters passed last night at midnight. The DOJ insists that the top secret materials be retained by the FBI and NSA while offering possible candidates to take care of the more mundane things Trump spirited out of the White House. This is from Vanity Fair and was written by Bess Levin. “DOJ GIVES TRUMP JUDGE AN OPENING TO TAKE BACK HER ABSURD SPECIAL MASTER RULING. As a reminder, Judge Aileen Cannon was nominated by Trump, and she made clear in her decision this week that she thinks he deserves special treatment.”
In a pair of court filings entered on Thursday, the DOJ asked the judge to reconsider her decision, writing that “uncertainty regarding the bounds of the Court’s order and its implications for the activities of the FBI has caused the Intelligence Community, in consultation with DOJ, to pause temporarily this critically important work.” In her special master ruling, Cannon did allow the continuation of a probe being conducted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to assess the damage done to national security as a result of classified documents being held at Mar-a-Lago. Arguing that the intelligence assessment was “inextricably linked” with the FBI’s criminal investigation, lawyers for the DOJ requested that the judge allow prosecutors to resume use of the classified documents for their investigation, also asking that such documents be withheld from a special master. Both the public and the government, the department wrote, “are irreparably injured when a criminal investigation of matters involving risks to national security” is stopped or delayed. (It’s also worth noting that the DOJ did not take issue with allowing a special master to go through documents not marked classified.)
In its filing, the DOJ warned that it would attempt an appeal if Cannon did not agree to its requests by next Thursday. While some believe she might do so—which would allow her to avoid potentially having parts of her decision reversed on appeal—others are not sure.
So, following that news that BB covered exquisitely last week, we now have the tug of war of who possibly would make a suitable Special Master if Cannon insists on her opinion. This is from today’s New York Times: “Justice Dept. and Trump Legal Team Clash Over Special Master Candidates. The two sides had sharply diverging views of who could serve as a special master and what that person would do.” One Trump recommendation is the husband of another Trump court appointee.
The Justice Department and lawyers for former President Donald J. Trump failed to agree on Friday on who could serve as an independent arbiter to sift through documents the F.B.I. seized from Mr. Trump’s Florida club and residence last month.
In an eight-page joint filing that listed far more points of disagreement than of consensus, the two sides exhibited sharply divergent visions for what the arbiter, known as a special master, would do, and put forth different candidates.
The Justice Department proposed two former federal judges for the position: Barbara S. Jones, a Clinton appointee to the Southern District of New York who performed a similar role in cases involving two personal lawyers of Mr. Trump, Michael S. Cohen in 2017 and Rudolph W. Giuliani in 2021; and Thomas B. Griffith, a George W. Bush appointee who retired from the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2020.
Mr. Trump’s legal team countered with two suggestions of its own: a retired Federal District Court judge, Raymond J. Dearie, a Reagan appointee who sat in the Eastern District of New York and once served as the top federal prosecutor there; and Paul Huck Jr., a former deputy attorney general in Florida who also served as general counsel to Charlie Crist, who was its Republican governor at the time.
Mr. Huck is married to Judge Barbara Lagoa, whom Mr. Trump appointed to the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, which oversees federal courts in Florida. Such an appointment would appear to create a conflict of interest that could require Judge Lagoa to recuse herself from litigation involving the case
Also, we hear from Chief Justice Roberts defending his view of an imperial Supreme Court. This is from Colorado Politics. “Chief Justice Roberts deems it ‘mistake’ to question Supreme Court’s legitimacy based on decisions.”
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. on Friday night pushed back sternly against the notion that a series of controversial decisions over the past term has endangered the legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The court has always decided controversial cases and decisions have always been subject to intense criticism, and that is entirely appropriate,” said Roberts, speaking at The Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs to an audience of lawyers and judges. “But I don’t understand the connection between the opinions people disagree with and the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.”
The remarks from Roberts at the Bench & Bar Conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit came little over two months since the conservative-majority court rescinded the longstanding federal protection for abortion, made it harder to enact gun restrictions and placed new constraints on the ability of government agencies to issue regulations.
The past term also featured an unprecedented leak when POLITICO obtained the draft majority opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that returned the regulation of abortion to elected bodies and triggered restrictions and bans on the procedure in Republican-led states.
Although Roberts did not address the leak or any case specifically, he said he was looking forward to returning to a court without security barriers — erected this term in response to protests.
“It was gut wrenching every morning to drive into a Supreme Court with barricades around it,” Roberts said.
Poor Baby. The Washington Post filed this report on the event. “Roberts says Supreme Court will reopen to the public and defends legitimacy.”
We continue to see these judges do complete turnabouts on established law and rights and, in the case of the Loose Cannon, making decisions not even rooted in law.
“ You don’t want the political branches telling you what the law is. And you don’t want public opinion to be the guide of what the appropriate decision is,” said Roberts, who added, to laughter, “Yes, all of our opinions are open to criticism. In fact, our members do a great job of criticizing some opinions from time to time. But simply because people disagree with an opinion is not a basis for criticizing the legitimacy of the court.”
With the support of three justices chosen by President Donald Trump in the past five years, the Supreme Court now has a 6-to-3 conservative majority. Those justices sent the court on a dramatic turn to the right in the term completed this summer, overturning the guarantee of a constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade, striking a gun control law in New York, limiting the power of the Biden administration to confront climate change, and scoring victories for religious conservatives.
The court’s approval rating has dropped to one of its lowest levels ever in public opinion polls, led by unhappy Democrats and by a lesser extent those who view themselves as independent.
But Roberts said it is the Supreme Court’s job to decide what the law is. “That role doesn’t change simply because people disagree with this opinion or that opinion or with a particular mode of jurisprudence,” he said.
Taking things to the Supreme Court does not mean what it used to mean. The Alito decision overturning Roe was unhinged.
Also, the New York Times reports this: “Two Top Trump Political Aides Among Those Subpoenaed in Jan. 6 Case. Stephen Miller, a senior policy adviser, and Brian Jack, who served as White House political director, are among those who received requests for information this week from a federal grand jury.”
The Justice Department has subpoenaed two former top White House political advisers under President Donald J. Trump as part of a widening investigation related to Mr. Trump’s post-election fund-raising and plans for so-called fake electors, according to people briefed on the matter.
Brian Jack, the final White House political director under Mr. Trump, and Stephen Miller, Mr. Trump’s top speechwriter and a senior policy adviser, were among more than a dozen people connected to the former president to receive subpoenas from a federal grand jury this week.
The subpoenas seek information in connection with the Save America political action committee and the plan to submit slates of electors pledged to Mr. Trump from swing states that were won by Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the 2020 election. Mr. Trump and his allies promoted the idea that competing slates of electors would justify blocking or delaying certification of Mr. Biden’s Electoral College win during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
That’s it for me today! What’s on your reading and blogging list today?