Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

No, The Constitution Doesn’t Protect Coronavirus Deniers

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.

In the annals of American jurisprudence, few legal adages have gained wider currency or proven more adaptable to changing times and circumstances than the phrase, "The Constitution is not a suicide pact."

While the exact provenance of the dictum is unclear, the expression is most often attributed to a dissenting opinion written in 1949 by the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Robert Jackson in the case of Terminiello v. Chicago.

Read Now Show less

Trump Has Too Much To Fear — And Won’t Leave Quietly

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.

The presidency of Donald John Trump is collapsing. Unwilling or unable to confront the deadly realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed more than 138,000 American lives, the president's job-approval ratings have plummeted. The ravages of the virus, in turn, have triggered a deep economic slump, pushing unemployment rates to levels not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. There is a growing perception that our 45th commander in chief, never known for his intellectual acuity or moral rectitude, is unfit to lead the nation in this moment of extreme crisis.

Read Now Show less

Will Roberts Reject Trump’s Legal Assault On Obamacare?

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.

If you're one of the 23.3 million Americans who depend on Obamacare for your survival, brace yourself for a looming disaster: In the midst of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump is trying yet again to take away your health insurance, and this time he may succeed.

Having failed to persuade Congress to repeal Obamacare in 2017 (remember the historic "thumbs down" vote cast by John McCain), Trump now is asking the Supreme Court to reexamine the law, formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and declare the entire statute unconstitutional in a new case—California v. Texas. The case, which began as a federal lawsuit filed by Texas and a group of other predominantly Republican-led states, has been added to the court's docket for the 2020 term, which starts in October.

Read Now Show less

Black Lives Matter Lawsuit Holds Barr Personally Liable In Civil Rights Violations

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.

No attorney general since John Mitchell has gotten away with assaulting the rule of law more than Bill Barr. But unlike Mitchell, who served 19 months in prison for his role in the Watergate scandal, Barr has yet to be held accountable for his ever-expanding laundry list of outrageous misdeeds and derelictions.

To be sure, there have been several efforts to bring Barr to heel. Last July, for example, the House voted to hold both Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt for refusing to turn over documents related to the Trump administration's attempt to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census. But in an act of defiance that surprised absolutely no one, the DOJ, which Barr heads, refused to pursue charges against either cabinet member, leaving the House with no means of enforcement.

Read Now Show less

Will Trump Make America A Failed State?

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.

There are no universally accepted definitions of either a "failed state" or a "constitutional crisis." Good arguments can be advanced, however, that we are suffering from both disorders at the state and national levels in the midst of the lethal COVID-19 pandemic.

In a May 19 article, Guardian columnist Nathan Robinson argues that Wisconsin is beginning to resemble a failed state, which he defines as "one that can no longer claim legitimacy or perform a government's core function of protecting the people's basic security." The Wisconsin GOP, Robinson writes, is a minority party, but after years of extreme gerrymandering, it wields de facto dictatorial powers, enabling it to gut public-sector unions and advance the privileges of business interests and the wealthy.

Read Now Show less

Supreme Court Must Decide Whether Trump Is Above The Law

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.

"L'état, c'est moi" ("I am the state") —Declaration attributed to Louis XIV, King of France

Article II of the U.S. Constitution vests the executive power of the federal government in a president, not a king. Kings rule by fiat. The president is supposed to govern with the consent of the people and in coordination with Congress and the judiciary, the two other co-equal branches of government.

Donald Trump, our 45th president, has never accepted our constitutional structure of checks and balances, asserting instead, as he did in a speech last July, that under Article II, "I have the right to do whatever I want as president."

Read Now Show less

Trump Escalates His Angry Assault On The First Amendment

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.

Donald Trump is at war with the First Amendment and the free press. The war is on full display nearly every day in his rage-filled press conferences on the COVID-19 pandemic, in which he regularly condemns the "fake news" media and bashes reporters who dare to ask the slightest probative questions about his handling of the ongoing public-health crisis.

Trump's war is also longstanding. And it is waged not only on television and in angry tweets and at campaign rallies (which have been put on hold because of the coronavirus), but also in courtrooms across the country in the form of defamation lawsuits designed to shame, silence and punish his critics.

Read Now Show less