Courting Disaster

I like to make the big political story of the week just ended the subject of my Sunday article. Mitch McConnell announced his retirement from Senate leadership last week and that is not the big story tells you how big the big one is. Oh, the federal government narrowly avoiding a shutdown – and I have more to say about that in the future! – has become so commonplace under this dysfunctional Republican-led House that it doesn’t come close to making the cut.

The current Supreme Court has obviously become just another Trump minion and it put it on full display last week. After crushing defeats at the lower court levels Trump asked the Court to hear his inane absolute immunity claim. Anyone who has been paying attention to Trump knows it is just another of his stall tactics. He wants to run out the clock, get reelected and pardon himself or just make the cases go away via a personally loyal Justice Department.

Trump petitioned the Court; they took over two weeks and then in a one page announcement shocked the legal profession by agreeing to hear the case. (Keep in mind the Court grants cert to less than ten percent of the cases seeking it.) Making their assistance to Trump’s delay game obvious the Court scheduled oral arguments for the week of April 22nd. In all the Court gave Trump a minimum nine week delay. That is not counting any time it takes between oral arguments and announcing a decision. Remember the Court has no time constraint like most of us do on our jobs and every day’s delay is a victory for Trump.

Since the Court has proven it is a total sycophant to Trump, I’ll go one step further. What is to prevent them from holding their decision to the last announced one for this term? That would mean it would not be announced until the last days of June or perhaps very early July. Perish the thought that they pull a Citizens United and hold it over for the next term which doesn’t start until October. Yes, that is a possibility.

The DC federal trial (originally slated to begin tomorrow, Monday March 4th) is considered the biggest one for Trump. Judge Tanya Chutkan had delayed it for 82 days pending other court actions and it would only be fair for her to restart the clock at least 82 days after the Supreme Court’s ruling assuming it goes against Trump (more on that below). That takes us into very late August if not September assuming the Court keeps aiding the Trump delay game. Keep in mind Chutkan has been a fair judge to date and we have every reason to believe she will remain so.

The other huge federal trial (and to date this argument hasn’t affected state trials, yes Trump has those in the works too) is in Florida where Judge Aileen Cannon appears to be auditioning for a position in a future Trump administration or a spot on the big bench. You know she’ll delay as much as even marginally legally possible. Any appeal of her ruling (and it wouldn’t be the first one) would itself cause another delay.

Keep in mind I’m not even discussing other delays – frivolity doesn’t matter to Trump or his people – that could come into play. You know that Trump, after he caused the delays, will say that the trial is just election interference. In fact, that argument is already being floated. You have to ask yourself why someone with Trump lopsided losing court record keeps going there if not to delay and scam. (Never discount the money angle with a con artist.)

I no longer have even the slim confidence I had in the current Court as of a week ago. What is to prevent this sycophant crew from finding in Trump’s favor? At that point the only defense is the voters not returning him to office. Outrageous you say? So were the Court’s recent actions.

Politically it can’t be a campaign issue this time around but that does not diminish the fact that we need major Court reform and badly! I hope it’s not too late to avoid the disaster!

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