Opinion: Why The Founders Could Not Have Devised A Trump-Proof Democracy

Writing in 1782, in the aftermath of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine exclaimed, “We are now really another people.”

What Paine meant, in part, was that the new republican form of government required a new and different kind of person, a new kind of citizen.  People were used to being subjects of the Crown, ruled monarchically through fear and force. So, the fledgling republic devoted to freedom faced the challenge of making liberty and some kind of governmental authority compatible.  As noted historian Gordon Wood has noted, echoing Paine, simply transforming the structure and nature of authority, of government, would not be sufficient: “The people themselves,” he wrote, attempting to capture the sentiment and urgency of the time, “must change as well.” read more

Amy Coney Barrett Played Key Role in SCOTUS Decision Barring NY from Reimposing Covid-19 Restrictions on Religious Gatherings

Last night, the Supreme Court voted to bar the state of New York from reimposing Covid-19 restrictions on religious gatherings. The court voted 5-4 in an emergency ruling issued just before midnight. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was just recently confirmed, sided with her conservative colleagues in a crucial swing vote.

In their decision, the majority said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion. The restrictions varied and depended on zone: In “red” zones, zip codes where coronavirus infections are the highest, no more than 10 people may attend religious services. Attendance is capped at 25 in “orange” zones, where the risk of coronavirus infection isn’t as high.

The unsigned majority opinion in favor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America said that Covid-19 regulations are “far more restrictive than any Covid-related regulations that have previously come before the court, much tighter than those adopted by many other jurisdictions hard hit by the pandemic, and far more severe than has been shown to be required to prevent the spread of the virus.”

By contrast, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented: “Free religious exercise is one of our most treasured and jealously guarded constitutional rights,” she wrote. “States may not discriminate against religious institutions, even when faced with a crisis as deadly as this one. But those principles are not at stake today.”

Sotomayor, in particular, said that the Constitution “does not forbid states from responding to public health crises through regulations that treat religious institutions equally or more favorably than comparable secular institutions, particularly when those regulations save lives. Because New York’s Covid-19 restrictions do just that, I respectfully dissent.”

The impact of Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court cannot be denied, signaling that support for Covid-19 restrictions has shifted since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg prompted President Donald Trump and Republican colleagues to speed up a confirmation process in a bid to secure a conservative majority.

The hashtag #AmyCovidBarrett began to trend on social media after the ruling, which renewed calls for President-elect Joe Biden to expand the court once he takes office.

So essentially SCOTUS ruled against what’s happening in the best interest of the state, and by extension, the public interest. Sure, let the religious zealots dictate what’s best. Nice work, #AmyCovidBarrett. Let’s hope Biden expands the Court. It is time. read more

White House to Hold Swearing-In Ceremony for Barrett Despite Coronavirus Concerns

The White House plans to hold a swearing-in ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett later tonight following her expected confirmation to the United States Supreme Court despite coronavirus concerns.

According to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, once Barrett is confirmed by the Senate, “then we expect for a swearing in to happen later this evening if all goes well.”

“We’re doing… the best we can to encourage as much social distancing as possible. It’ll be outdoors if it goes off as planned right now,” Meadows said. “And still continue to do testing in and around those that are critical to the mission to try to get there.”

A Rose Garden event for Barrett last month has been credited as the source for an outbreak of coronavirus in the White House. President Donald Trump tested positive, as did several high-profile members of his staff, including counselor to the president Hope Hicks and Kayleigh McEnany, the press secretary.

Responding to criticisms that tonight’s event could spark a repeat of last month’s event, Meadows said: “

The very first event, while there’s a whole lot of connects that have been made with who was at the event and who came down with it, we’ve been able to look at that and track as many as three different areas where the virus actually infected different people within the White House. So it didn’t all come from that particular event.” read more

Jaime Harrison Mocks “Sad” Lindsey Graham for Ducking Latest Debate

There are a lot of things going wrong for Lindsey Graham right now. The South Carolina senator has been getting crushed fundraising wise and has taken to regularly begging for donations on Fox News.

Graham is also up against a really tough challenger in Jaime Harrison. And Harrison has been getting under the senator’s skin in the worst way.  The democratic challenger when viral during their first debate when he brought his own plexiglass divider.

The men were set to debate again tonight. Graham decided not to participate. The incumbent senator has decided that it is more important to be in Washington DC to concentrate on the Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court nomination process.

Harrison wasn’t about the let Graham live the decision down. He told SiriusXM’s Laura Coates:

“This is probably the most historic Senate race in the history of this state, and to have Sen. Graham ducking and dodging [the debate] is really sad, but it’s a testament to who he is. He believes that he represents the interest in Washington, D.C., instead of representing the interests of the people in South Carolina. And that’s why he’s on the verge of getting that one-way ticket back home.” read more

Your Credibility Dies in This Room: Watch Sheldon Whitehouse Tell GOP They Will Regret Confirming Coney Barrett

News of Ruth Bader Ginsbirg’s death broke just about a month ago. At the time, a giddy Mitch McConnell could barely contain his excitement. The GOP worked to fill the seat.

The many Republican lawmakers who said in 2016 that a Supreme Court Justice shouldn’t be sat in an election year were happy to wear egg on their faces. And the hearing process was furiously pushed, culminating this week.

There is little that Democrats can do to stop Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment. Simply put, the Republicans have the necessary votes. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, hoped to at least give the GOP pause with a stirring speech on Thursday.

“Don’t think when you have established the rule of ‘because we can,’ that should the shoe be on the other foot, you will have any credibility to come to us and say: ‘yeah, I know you can do that, but you shouldn’t,’” Whitehouse began. “Your credibility to make that argument at any time in the future will die in this room and on that Senate floor if you continue.” read more

Chris Christie Admits he Should Have Worn Mask at Amy Coney Barrett Event

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Donald Trump have long been friends. They had a bit of a hiccup during the 2015 Republican presidential nomination process.

Christie said that Trump was completely unqualified to be the president. Trump said much worse about Christie. But soon after dropping out, Christie fully back Trump.

And since that moment Christie has been a member of Team Trump. He’s gained little from his support. While he was suggested for numerous cabinet positions, that has never actually come to fruition.

Still, Christie has been at Trump’s side, prepping him for his disastrous first debate with Joe Biden. The former New Jersey governor was also at the White House’s Amy Coney Barrett event. That is where he figures he contracted the coronavirus.

Christie, who was recently released from the hospital is hoping that his reckless decision to attend the event without a mask can help to teach others.

The Republican said in a statement:

“I believed when I entered the White House grounds, that I had entered a safe zone, due to the testing that I and many others underwent every day. I was wrong. I was wrong not to wear a mask at the Amy Coney Barrett announcement and I was wrong not to wear a mask at my multiple debate prep sessions with the president and the rest of the team. I hope that my experience shows my fellow citizens that you should follow C.D.C. guidelines in public no matter where you are and wear a mask to protect yourself and others.” read more

Jaime Harrison Rips Lindsey Graham Over his “Good Old Days of Segregation” Comments

Lindsey Graham has typically had an easy road to reelection since joining the United States senate in 2002. But his toadyism towards Donald Trump has made him one of the most unpopular lawmakers in America.

Graham’s race against Jaime Harrison is now being watched by people all over the country. Incredible amounts of money are coming into the Harrison campaign which has led to Graham repeatedly begging for money on Fox News.

And now, with this being such a high profile race, every move the South Carolina senator makes is scrutinized. Graham certainly didn’t help himself with comments he made during Wednesday’s Amy Coney Barrett hearing.

The South Carolina lawmaker asked the Supreme Court hopeful, “Do you think Brown vs. Board’s Super-precedent. Is that, you’re not aware of any effort to go back to the good old days of segregation?”

Harrison quickly seized on the matter, sharing a video of the comments on his Twitter page. The Democrat wrote, “Lindsey Graham just called segregation ‘the good old days.’ The good old days for who, Senator? It’s 2020, not 1920. Act like it.”

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.@LindseyGrahamSC just reminisced on “the good old days of segregation.” Listen to him. And then chip in to #SendLindseyHome: https://t.co/scMbSQEm43 read more

Democrats Shatter The Republican Facade As Barrett Refuses To Answer On Roe v. Wade

Barrett dodges on Roe v. Wade

Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Amy Coney Barrett if she thought Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, and Trump’s SCOTUS nominee refused to answer.

Feinstein asked, “On something that is really a major cause with a major effect on over half of the population of this country who are women, after all, it’s distressing not to get a straight answer. So let me try again. Do you agree with Justice Scalia’s view that Roe was wrongly decided?”

Barrett dodged, “Senator, I completely understand why you are asking the question, but, again, I can’t pre-commit or say yes I’m going in with some agenda because I’m not. I don’t have any agenda. I have no agenda to try to overrule Casey. I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.”

Feinstein pressed, “Well, what I’m — as a person I don’t know if you will answer this one, either. Do you agree with Justice Scalia’s view that roe can and should be overturned by the Supreme Court?”

Barrett wouldn’t answer, “Well, I think my answer is the same because, you know, that’s a case that is litigated, it could — you know, its contours could come up again, in fact, do come up. They came up last term before the court.”
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It speaks volumes that Barrett wouldn’t even given the standard boilerplate answer that Roe v. Wade is settled law.

Trump and his party have been trying to run the ruse that Barrett is going to be a neutral umpire who will judge the cases before her on a constitutional standard. The reality is that Barrett has already made up her mind on cases that range from Obamacare to Roe v. Wade, and voting rights.

Sen. Feinstein blew the lid off the sham. Republicans are in rush to get Barrett confirmed because they are on the verge of getting wiped out at the ballot box in a few weeks, so they want to install their unpopular ideology on the highest court in the land before they are asked to leave power.

For more discussion about this story join our

Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group. read more

Amy Coney Barrett Could Be Going Down As 2nd Judiciary Republican Has COVID

Schumer accuses White House of writing impeachment trial rules

The Trump COVID outbreak could be taking down Trump’s Amy Coney Barrett nomination as Sen. Thom Tillis became the second Republican on the Judiciary Committee to get COVID.

Chuck Schumer tweeted:

We now have two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who have tested positive for COVID, and there may be more. I wish my colleagues well.

It is irresponsible and dangerous to move forward with a hearing, and there is absolutely no good reason to do so. read more

Fox News Analyst: Trump’s Supreme Court Gambit Removes “All Pretense About Justices as Impartial”

Fox News analyst Juan Williams says President Donald Trump nominating Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court is “a power grab,” noting that his “actions remove all pretense about justices as impartial, learned people upholding the law.”

“What we have now at the very top of the American judicial system are nine politicians wearing the robes of Supreme Court justices,” Williams wrote in an op-ed for The Hill.

“This fits with Trump transforming the Centers for Disease Control from a trusted source of information on heath to a political agency being used to minimize his failed handling of a pandemic,” he wrote. “It fits with Attorney General William Barr read more