• frontpage-logo
  • NYI-homepage-mobile-logo

  • Protesters gather outside the Supreme Court following abortion repeal. (Photo: John Brighenti)

    Protesters gather outside the Supreme Court following abortion repeal. (Photo: John Brighenti)

    At the risk of using an anatomical metaphor, our Justice system is the heart of our democracy, and the prognosis isn’t good. 

    As always, the rot starts at the top — the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Once held in high regard for maintaining at least a semblance of impartiality, the court today — packed with Donald Trump appointees through various sleights of hand — has sunk to the lowest rungs of public esteem in its history.

    The overthrow of the court by conservatives began when Senate President Mitch McConnell refused to grant a hearing to President Obama’s pick to fill the seat of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in office.

    The seat went to Justice Neil Gorsuch, a hard-right conservative, shortly after Trump took office. Trump followed a year later, nominating Brett Kavanaugh, after the sudden resignation of Justice Anthony Kennedy.

    Related: Is Fox News Finally Holding Donald Trump Accountable or Still Bending a Knee?

    Kavanaugh brought a checkered past to the court, including a role in the investigation and impeachment of President Bill Clinton and allegations of multiple sexual assault during his college days.

    His debts, including $200,000 in credit card bills, a $1.2 million home mortgage and country club fees, were mysteriously paid off before joining the court and the source of the money is still unknown.

    Amy Coney Barrett’s route to the nation’s highest court is the most egregious of all Trump’s picks.

    She was elevated to the court in October 2020 just two weeks away from a national election. The move was in direct contravention to the directive McConnell applied to Obama’s pick — election-year Supreme Court appointments should be put on hold until the outcome is known.

    She has deep religious ties to an obscure, charismatic Christian sect, People of Praise, which advocates for the “end of days,” the apocalyptic, Biblical end of civilization. The group is patriarchal and Barrett served in a subjugated role as a “handmaid.”

    Barrett is also the most inexperienced person nominated to the Supreme Court since 1991, when President George H.W. Bush named Clarence Thomas, then just 43, to replace the legendary Thurgood Marshall.

    But that’s not the worst of it; all three justices swore under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling guaranteeing women abortion rights was settled law.

    But they turned around and overturned the 50-year precedent in June a year ago by a 6-3 vote in the infamous case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

    Related: Donald Trump’s String of Bankruptcies Reveals a Business Career of Recklessness and Ruin

    The court’s reputation began a downward spiral that has only grown steeper since.

    Following Dobbs, the court’s approval rating fell from 70 percent to 44 percent favorable. Today, the majority of Americans, 52 percent, hold a negative view of the court, according to surveys by  the Pew Research Center, and Project 538, a polling company.

    The court’s double dealing over abortion caused an uproar but did little to chasten it or temper its bias. In several subsequent decisions, it has leaned in Trump’s favor as much as possible under the law.

    The majority has effectively neutered the 14th Amendment to prevent states from dropping Trump from primary and general election ballots over his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

    Related: Home Depot Billionaire Begs to Elect Donald Trump in 2024; We Deconstruct His Plea

    The court, by another sleight of hand, has potentially delayed until after the election Trump’s criminal prosecution on Jan. 6 charges. They include conspiracy to defraud the United States, witness tampering, conspiracy against the rights of citizens, obstruction of justice and attempted obstruction of an official proceeding.

    In a one-page unsigned order, the court agreed to hear Trump’s plea for immunity from prosecution for actions he took as president and after, including during the insurrection, even though a federal appeals court unanimously slammed the door on all his thin arguments.

    Related: Israel-Hamas War: Donald Trump Foreign Policy Blunders Set Stage for Conflict, Strife

    The Supreme Court should have rightly refused to review, clearing the way for his trial as early as Feb. 12. Now, the case is on hold until the Supreme Court acts, likely in June. That could push the trial date past the November president election.

    If Trump wins, he can instruct the Justice Department to kill the charges against him, and he’s already vowed to free all Jan. 6 rioters who engaged in violence.

    The Supreme Court has also had a clumsy hand in the legal battle over Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to assert control over the Southern border, despite a century-old precedent that rests that power with the federal government.

    The court has yo-yoed on the state’s effort to arrest immigrants crossing the border, first blocking, then temporarily allowing Abbott to move forward until a lower court can decide the issue.

    Related: Donald Trump Raises Satire to High Art; Behind the Scenes of Classic ‘Queen’ Video Spoof

    In another shock to the system, conservative justices have engaged in a broad pattern of corruption that not only calls into question the court’s integrity, but whether it’s for sale to the highest bidder.

    Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a long-time court critic, highlighted recent instances of unreported ethical lapses that have been uncovered mostly by intrepid reporting.

    In a ProPublica exposé, Justice Clarence Thomas, for almost two decades, has been the beneficiary of lavish vacations and other benefits from conservative billionaires, including a private loan — later forgiven– to buy a six-figure motor home. None of the gifts were reported.

    Justices Alito and Thomas have jetted secretly in private aircraft to exotic vacations worth tens of thousands of dollars, accompanied by wealthy individuals who have a personal interest in the outcome of Supreme Court cases, according to Whitehouse.

    Related: Trump Agonistes: The Rise and Fall of Donald Trump in Three Acts

    Right-wing billionaire, Harlan Crow, one of Thomas’s benefactors has also paid for private school tuition, a family home rental and spousal salary.

    “The extent and frequency of Crow’s apparent gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court,” writes ProPublica.

    “It’s incomprehensible to me that someone would do this,” Nancy Gertner, a retired federal judge appointed by President Bill Clinton, told the organization.

    “Last year, Thomas didn’t recuse himself from cases that touched on the involvement of his wife, Ginni, in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. While his decision generated outcry, it could not be appealed,” it reported.

    Call it what you want– a violation of due process, the slow turning wheels of justice, political favoritism, or outright corruption– at the end of the day, Trump seems to skate, while “We The People” are getting the shaft every time we turn around.

    Related: Donald Trump Disney Robot Shamed: Lincoln Shocked! Gotta See The Video!

    When cases against Trump have gone to trial — New York Attorney General Letitia James’ fraud civil suit and E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit — they have shown the depth of Trump’s culpability for crimes.

    Both cases resulted in devastating judgments, amounting to more than $454 million in illegal profit disgorgement and $90 million in compensatory and punitive damages, respectively.

    Now, imagine if Trump goes to trial on the 85 criminal charges pending against him in four separate cases. A true reckoning would finally be at hand. But whether that ultimately happens remains to be seen.

    The justice system is either bending over backward at every turn to aid him, or allowing Trump to game the system with delays or scurrilous attacks, causing the system to back up like a clogged garbage disposal.

    In Georgia, Fani Willis, who won grand jury indictments of Trump and 14 other for election interference, has had the tables turned on her… for dating someone in her office.

    Georgia Judge Scott McAfee has bent over backward to accommodate Trump. Foremost, he allowed a disqualification hearing based on her relationship with a prosecutor in her office, Nathan Wade,

    Many legal experts said McAfee should have been dismissed out of hand.

    New York University law professor Stephen Gillers told Business Insider the hearing itself “sound[s] like an opportunity for voyeurism or the plot for a modern-day ‘Scarlet Letter,’” adding the defense’s arguments do not support the case for Willis’ removal.

    Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance also doubted the case. “It’s hard to see any basis” for it “unless the Judge wants to bend over backwards out of an abundance of caution,” she wrote in a blog post.

    First, defense lawyers argued the relationship posed a conflict of interest. When that didn’t fly — they’re working on the same side — they tried to claim Wade was being paid by the state and using the money to enrich Willis. The issue ultimately came down to who paid for a vacation.

    McAfee ultimately allowed Willis to stay in the case, if Wade stepped down, but then granted defendants leave to appeal his ruling.

    Prosecutors in three Wisconsin counties declined to pursue felony charges of campaign finance violations against Trump ‘s fundraising committee and a Republican state lawmaker related to an effort to unseat Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

    In Florida, Federal Judge Aileen “MAGA” Cannon, a Trump appointee, is presiding over Trump’s misuse of secret documents; if she were any more pro-Trump, she’d don a pair of Ivanka’s red lingerie. It’s quite possible she’s already wearing it under her robes.

    Once again, delay seems to be the weapon of choice for Trump to fight the charges, and Canon is obliging him at every turn.

    An order Canon issued this week (Mar 20) baffled lawyers and legal experts and suggests the case will not go to trial anytime soon, according to The Washington Post.

    Cannon ordered defense lawyers and the prosecutors in the case to file submissions outlining proposed jury instructions based on two scenarios, each of which badly misstates the law and facts of the case, according to legal experts, the media outlet reported.

    “What she has asked the parties to do is very, very troubling,” Nancy Gertner, a former federal judge in Massachusetts, told The Post.

    “She is giving credence to arguments that are on their face absurd. She is ignoring a raft of other motions, equally absurd, that are unreasonably delaying the case.”

    And, it’s not just the courts.

    President Biden’s biggest mistake ever in office may be appointing Merrick Garland as Attorney General.

    Garland took more than a year after an attempted violent coup before moving against the participants and the plotters. He acted only after a Congressional committee, one with no prosecutorial authority, made it all-but-impossible for him to ignore.

     Congress is so beyond broken, so full of cowards and stone-cold traitors that half of them should be prosecuted, themselves, for aiding/abetting insurrection – among other things. But, they won’t be.

    These arrogant, dystopian hacks seem to be doing everything they can to afford the most treasonous president in history, by a landslide, every possible accommodation, in the hopes he ends up back in the oval before he can be held accountable for his actions.

    Let’s not forget the man of the hour, Kentucky Sen. McConnell, aka “Moscow Mitch,” aka “The Great Obfuscater,” aka “Trump’s fixer.”

    If McConnell had showed as much loyalty to the nation as he did to Trump, he could have ended this nightmare. He had not one, but two opportunities with Trump’s impeachments.

    Yet, he failed us. History will not be kind, but as far as any real repercussions/accountability for a lifetime of treachery and corruption, don’t hold your breath.

    Fox News continues to beat the drum for Trump, despite paying $787 million to settle a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Services. Fox pilloried Dominion with falsehoods about election fraud. The claims were not only not true, but they also knew they were not true… and did it anyway.

    Fox’s woes are far from over. A New York judge, earlier this year, gave the green light to Smartmatic, another voting machine company, to proceed with its defamation lawsuit.

    The suit charges that Fox repeatedly gave airtime to far-right figures who promoted outrageous and debunked claims that Smartmatic rigged the presidential election. Other suits are also pending.

    Yet, the cable network continues to operate with impunity, as if nothing happened. Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Jesse Watters, Greg Gutfeld and others continue to push blatant right-wing lies and talking points on behalf of Trump.

    Special Counsel Jack Smith, the “Lancelot” of this saga, has charged Trump, the architect of the coup that saw thousands sentenced to prison.

    But no one, much less Trump has been charged with the actual crime of insurrection, which by definition is “a violent uprising against an authority or government.”

    Under 18 U.S. Code § 2383 – Rebellion or insurrection, anyone “who incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto,” has committed the crime of insurrection.

    They face fines and up to 10 years in prison or both and are barred from holding any office under the United States.  

    If anyone fits that definition, it’s Trump and the insurrection’s planners.

    Trump’s indictment identifies six co-conspirators, four attorneys, a political consultant, and “a Justice Department official who worked on civil matters.,” according to ABC News.

    None have been charged with insurrection.

    Justice Thomas’s wife, Ginni, may be one of the unnamed insurrection co-conspirator. But it doesn’t move the needle an inch.

      No recusal. Zero accountability. Zero concern.

    For Goodness sake, there were calls to execute Vice President Mike Pence, as well as the then-Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and now, it’s all but forgotten. A blip on the radar.

    New information has also come to light that Trump’s Attorney General, Bill Barr, not only tipped the scales of justice in Trump’s favor, but sat on them.

    “It’s been evident since he assumed the role of attorney general that William Barr was more concerned with advancing the political interests of President Donald Trump than with serving the cause of justice in America,” wrote USAToday in a stinging editorial.

    It was Barr who  ordered the dispersal of peaceful protesters dispersed with pepper balls and rubber bullets, so Trump could stage a photo-op outside a church, clutching a Bible (upside down) outside.

    Barr also leaned on Special Counsel John Durham to find wrongdoing in his investigation of the origins of the Russiagate investigation.

    “But after almost four years — far longer than the Russia investigation itself — Durham’s work collapsed without uncovering anything like the deep state plot alleged by Trump and suspected by Barr,” according to The Times. His only two prosecutions ended in acquittals.

    Ironically, Barr has since pulled a 180-degree reversal. He’s now one of Trump’s sharpest critics. What’s more, he insists, while in the White House, he forcefully called Trump’s 2020 election claims “bullshit” to Trump’s face.

    The American people have a front row seat on this “zero accountability” sideshow, as our bumbling, stumbling judicial system flails about like the Keystone Cops after a few beers.

    They’re chasing the biggest scammer and con-artist in history down the rabbit hole of legal loopholes, false narratives and glaringly obvious guilt.

    If Justice is blind, there is no doubt, our Justice System is Helen Keller. You’d think we are intentionally protecting one man’s interests over an entire nation, while an apathetic public, an obtuse media, and massive inexplicable inaction dulls the senses and causes eyes to glaze over.

    Hear that sound?  That’s our nation, flat-lining.