July 4, 2022
Thank you for the link to Liz Cheney's closing speech. Her vow of fidelity to our country and constitution should be the minimum we expect from all candidates and all those elected to all positions in all levels of government. Instead, she is now the rare exception among Congressional Republicans. A tragedy for our country. But she's showing what is possible. Now it's up to us voters.
Please note what yesterday's WSJ's Morning Report said: "Supreme Court terms don't get much better than the one that ended on Thursday. The Court enhanced First and Second Amendment rights, put abortion policy back in the hands of the electorate, and ended with an important ruling reining in the administrative state. In West Virginia v. EPA, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the 6-3 majority that the Environmental Protection Agency had no authority to use an obscure rule to essentially restructure the country’s electricity grid. The “major questions” doctrine the Court employed is significant for the separation of powers, and the ruling helps restore a proper Constitutional balance in government, explains the editorial board." How frightening! Them's fighting words!
OK, I like your first action to limit the Court's appellate jurisdiction. Now, what exactly do we do to make it happen. Letters to our Members of Congress? Write to the justices directly -- especially the sane ones. Write to the White House for President Biden's endorsement of this. Thanks for the call to action!
With regard to your proposal on limiting the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court I suggest only that it also should require the specification of a penalty for violations. We have seen repeated instances where an absence of penalties has effectively encouraged rather than prevented violations of ethical standards by politicians. I expect no less of SCOTUS Justices. I suggest the inclusion of language in the suggested statute that any decisions by the Court where a Justice participating in the decision has a provable conflict of interest as defined by the statute be automatically vacated.
Thank you so much for your well reasoned and very compassionate newsletter today. In a time when people are consistently reactive in this country, you, along with Heather Cox Richardson, provide context, history, and a way forward. As a cultural historian and psychologist, I am grateful for the information and, quite frankly, the emotional grounding you provide. Although I have just retired, I will continue to share your newsletter with all those in my circle who are helped by your words. You are making a difference in the world and I hope you know that.
Happy 4th of July, everybody...may it not be our last!
I fear the many young voters, especially black and brown, who don’t feel voting matters. It is increasing. Must address this.
How will the word of the SCOTUS members re their "conflict of interest" be examined to confirm that indeed, there is no conflict of interest? We have seen the outcome of "taking them for their word."
While I agree that the performative cruelty of the R party is contributing to its demise, that cruelty will hurt and kill people along the way before it can be undone. Inertia in politics is DANGEROUS!
“This is self-destructive behavior by a party in a death spiral.” Thank you Robert!
I have been maintaining this for a long time. I believe that there are millions of Americans who couldn't possibly become Democrats but who are disgusted and appalled by the behavior of TFG, his acolytes and imitators.
The "big lie" is being obliterated. TFG will be charged with obstructing an election in Georgia and wire fraud on a Federal level. Georgians are backing the politicians who stood up for a fair election. Millions who gave him money for a defense fund that didn't exist will feel betrayed.
I believe there will be a momentum towards a new political party of Conservatives who believe in the rule of law, democracy and working across the aisle to legislate.
I believe that Liz Cheney, regardless of the results of her election - primary or general election - will be a beacon for this movement. Call it the "New Republicans" or the "Real Conservatives". She has "star power" now and she has a mission. She can gain public attention in a flash and she will be able to raise money.
Remember the Whigs? The "Know Nothings"? The "Bull Moose party"? The original Republican Party came out of nowhere but it rose to the moment. It met the needs of a movement.
I could be wrong. It happens all the time. But it felt great writing this. Happy Independence Day!
Support for Robert’s modest proposal:
Whereas, under the Constitution, the Supreme Court only is able to decide most cases because of jurisdiction that Congress has admissibly legislated, I would submit, in light of the tools at Congress’s disposal, that Robert’s High Court ethics reform proposal, indeed, is exceedingly modest. Therefore, I suggest the President exert unprecedented pressure, if necessary, to convince the 50 Democratic Senators to modify their filibuster rule to get to an up or down majority vote on Robert’s handful of unobtrusive ethical exemptions/regulations. Albeit modest, not only do Robert’s provisions afford some protection against the High Court’s hostility to democracy, but they also greatly would help to galvanize the base that sorely needs to see meaningful action from Democrats. As a final point, I imagine it need not be said that if the Senate signs off the House would follow.
Your proposal for regulating Supreme Court justices' behavior is simple, clear, elegant, appropriate and necessary. I am going to forward your post to my representative and two senators and ask them to report back to me with their response.
Appreciate the link to Liz Cheney's closing remarks on Independence day.
She epitomizes integrity, honesty and "chutzpah," at a time it's sorely needed.
We are eternally grateful for your consistent and compassionate eloquence. We will survive.
Very discouraging to think Cheney might lose. It leaves me feeling hopeless even while I disagree with her on many normal policy issues.
Makes sense to me Robert. (a) "Conflict of Interest" ( COI) would have to be fleshed out, perhaps using the ABA Model Rules. (b) Given the powerful impact on appellate jurisdiction, the "affidavit" form would need a push from the SCOTUS Bar. I will send it to Neal Katyal. LIz Cheney: "Truth Matters".