POTUS V. SCOTUS. What’s the verdict?

POTUS V. SCOTUS. What’s the verdict?

POTUS V. SCOTUS. What’s the verdict?

“The printing press is the greatest weapon in the armory of the modern commander.” Unfortunately British Military Strategist T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), didn’t foresee Twitter. 280 characters of confrontation, consternation, and very likely chaos. It’s timely that we see this quote from T.E. Lawrence at a time when our POTUS has a Twitter account, and can’t refrain from using it. Donald Trump needs to step away from Twitter, and enjoy a Thanksgiving free of thumb cramps. Yesterday he took on Chief Justice Roberts. Unfortunately, it takes more than 280 characters to relay coherent thoughts. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but Twitter really kills me. Even if you’re right, it usually looks wrong. 

Every Family Has a Swinger

The SCOTUS, per the Constitution, is one of three equal branches of US Government. In review on some decisions, they should have made a different ruling. But it’s rare, and they are people. Despite their vastly impressive credentials, they have human shortfalls.  Americans, generally, respect those decisions even it they don’t agree with them. Cases like NFIB V. Sebelius (Obamacare Mandate), and DC V. Heller (2nd Amendment protections) have shown us that there is a trend amongst Justices to vote along ideological lines in how they see the law.

On occasion there are swing Justices who manage to make at least one-half of the population unhappy. Sometimes it’s a surprise like Roberts and the Obamacare (NFIB V. Sebelius) ruling. In the modern court it was often Kennedy. With Kennedy’s retirement, does it make sense to instigate a Twitter battle with the SCOTUS Justice most likely to be the swing vote ? It’s a bold and reckless move to engage a person who can make or break Trump’s impressive agenda. Don’t feed the media trolls, and more importantly, don’t poke the bear.

Less Dysfunctional Than Mine, But a Family

We have potential for major legal issues, and if they go to the SCOTUS will have long term impacts. Birth Right Citizenship, Immigration, and Firearms restrictions to name a few. If anything can be said about SCOTUS, it’s that they see beyond their political differences to appreciate their counterparts. At a time when I can’t follow my overly liberal cousin-in-law on social media, they vacation together. Justices Scalia and Ginsberg are a great example of this bond, as the late Antonin Scalia’s son states succinctly to CNN,

“Ginsburg and Scalia also shared an interest in the law and enjoyed discussing it, he said. They weren’t friends despite their divergent interpretations of the Constitution, Scalia told Toobin and Harlow. “They were friends, in part, because of it.”

~Eugene Scalia on CNN August 2018

If congeniality of Justices is in doubt, the words of Justice Sonia Sotomayor in regard to the new Associate Justice Kavanaugh should be taken to heart. She relays a story (from Justice Clarence Thomas) she told Justice Kavanaugh on his first day at court, “I judge you by what you do here. Welcome.” It’s obvious that this group of 9 people will have ideological differences, but still act as “family.”

“The nine of us are now a family and we’re a family with each of us our own burdens and our own obligations to others, but this is our work family, and it’s just as important as our personal family.”

~Justice Sonia Sotomayor to CNN November 17, 2018

I Got You, Bro

Often said in my family is the adage “you can fight your brother, but if a stranger looks crosswise at him you better have his back!” It’s not that we are especially close knit, or even see eye to eye on most things. But it’s “Family” and even the most ardent of family dramas takes a backseat to interlopers. With a comment about the 9th Circuit Court’s recent ruling on his Executive Orders on immigration, POTUS took on a family.

Was he incorrect in his view about judges being a reflection of the administrations that appointed them? On the surface no, and he’s not alone in this view. Unfortunately, with his blanket statement he poked a bear. Now we have a public throw down between the respective heads in two of our three branches of Government. What insanity is this?! In an interview with the AP on Wednesday, Justice Roberts said,

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.” He added that an “independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

POTUS, not one to let a response escape his thumbs responded,

Happy Holiday Gatherings, Sort Of

It’s possible to be right, and still be wrong. POTUS is correct in his assertion that the 9th Circuit Court historically lands on the liberal side of the family. He’s right that liberal lawyers seeking a sympathetic court will file in the 9th Circuit. They know that the odds are in their favor. In this case two of the four southern border states are within the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit Court, so it’s not as though the lawyers had to do any court shopping. Unfortunately for POTUS, it makes sense that the 9th Circuit hears the case.

But the next stop is SCOTUS. A court that is decided by a swing vote, likely to be Justice Roberts. We have a good idea of how the other 8 Justices will vote, and most likely it will have an ideological bend. But the bigger question is, will Justice Roberts sit with his more liberal “family” as a rebuke of POTUS comments regarding the lower court and its judges? Not all issues require an immediate action, and Twitter is a terrible way to craft a thoughtful response.

It’s my ardent hope that this Thanksgiving finds you well and happy amongst your family. Chosen or given, it’s a time to take the high road. Watch the Cowboys V. Redskins, and remember that the reason you are so engaged about the future of our Nation is sitting across the table from you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Featured Image: Pool photograph by Win McNamee

Written by

"CC" to her friends, she's dreaming of warm weather and open spaces. She's lived all over the USA and overseas. These opportunities are great, but she believes that the USA is the most amazing country, and we are so fortunate to have our Constitution and Bill of Rights. She's always happy to have a debate, so long as the participants understand "Feelings are NOT facts". Bring a fact based viewpoint, a good dose of courtesy (Respect is earned, Courtesy is given freely), a bit of thick skin, and fluency in sarcasm. She's happy to chat about anything from Ron Paul, to Ronald Regan. A bit of warning, she has a dedication to General Jim Mattis, and a low threshold for BS. Professionally, she spent almost a decade working in the Defense Contracting industry.

10 Comments
  • One would hope that Roberts would vote according to what the Constitution and law actually say. But you might be right, he may well be the sort who would rather adjust his vote to rebuke the President. Ever since Obama laid in to him in front of Congress for the Citizens United decision, he seems to have been cowed by the left.

    There’s no question that federal judges have egregiously overstepped their proper bounds and are both legislating and designing policy. The ought to be removed from office when they do. Except for Trump’s tweets, no one in govt seems to be saying anything about this.

    • scott says:

      It’s also interesting how Chief Justice Roberts did NOT respond nearly as strongly when Obama attacked him (and Trumps comments were not a direct attack, and much more accurate than those of the Previous Occupant)…

      • Again, the relationship is different between POTUS O and POTUS T. Obama was/is a gifted orator (as you can tell by reading his speeches, versus listening to him perform them), and his gilded style softens his words. Trump is unarguably less gilded in speech, and quicker to respond (albeit with more direct substance than Obama). I’d disagree that he didn’t call out Roberts, as he was specifically named in the Tweet. My point is that Trump may have been better served by just letting it go, and not responding.Especially with the condescending second Tweet (Roberts knows how many overturn verdicts the SCOTUS has for the 9th).It’s a questionable act, and it may be a high cost those of us who wish to have a more conservative court. Strategy wins wars, and this seems like a risky approach.

        • scott says:

          Craig, you are correct that the President did call out Roberts in his second tweet (though not the first), and I definitely agree that the President should have let it go, because I could see Roberts doing exactly what the President stated, instead of objectively ruling on the subject.. (ACA anyone?) I was just pointing out that for all his pontificating, Justice Roberts was much more likely to defer to the empty suit that used to occupy the Whitehouse (and I’d disagree on his capabilities as an orator… without a teleprompter, he comes across as the bumbling fool that he is (though with him, he reminds one of a dark skinned Hitler, who was in fact a great orator, regardless of how heinous his policies were, though some of them are not that far from todays left…)
          All in all, I agree that the Presidents approach was a risky one

          • Orator as in one who speaks well. Not necessarily one who does it well adlib. I found that during the 08 election I was unable to listen to Obama speak. His cadence and tone was annoying. I started to read transcripts of his speeches, and found them lackluster at best. Uninspired and lacking substance, they were basically platitudes strung together by “Blue Mountain Arts” verses (those wretchedly sappy & popular 00’s cards….). In reading it I found what made the words seem inspiring and believable was him saying them. It takes a true talent to make a pile of BS into a Mecca. 😉

    • I think our Country can benefit from a review of some Schoolhouse Rock. Sen Ben Sasse is my new hero. There is no doubt that we will see how impartial SCOTUS is in the future, and if they are able to exercise the adage “with great power comes great restraint.” We’ll of course be watching from our VG sidelines.

  • Charles N. Steele says:

    And Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Tim says:

    If Justice Roberts becomes the swing vote against POTUS based on the criticism from him, Roberts proves his point.

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