353 Comments

Alito's appalling behavior shouldn't divert any heat away from Thomas. They both have to go.

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Roberts has to go as well. His work toward dismantling voter rights is appalling, though he is less public about his right-wing opinions than Thomas and Alito.

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Roberts's right-wing, anti-democratic opinions (Citizens United, anyone?) bother me less than his unwillingness and/or inability to tend to the credibility of the Court. The justices should be (like Caesar's wife) "above suspicion," at least in public, but Alito's and Thomas's antics are down in the swamp. In a backhanded way, however, Roberts may be doing us, and democracy in general, a favor by letting us see just how bad things have gotten.

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Susanna, Roberts is as dangerous as Thomas and Alito and, perhaps more so because he cunningly cloaks himself in a mask of moderation. Citizens United, which you referenced is a prime example, a nonsensical decision that cannot be justified in constitutional law. He was the lead in gutting voting rights.

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OK, but rather than attribute "cunning" to him, I prefer to hold "we the people," our elected representatives, and the news media responsible for letting him get away with it. Plus, as a practical matter, it would be a huge enough challenge to impeach two justices (or otherwise persuade them to resign). Three? That's up there with the square root of –2. <g> Priorities matter if the goal is to actually accomplish something.

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Susanna, I have no quibble with you. Actually, with the current Congress any impeachment would be a heavy lift. Check out Maureen Dowd’s column from Sunday “The Verdict is in On the Supreme Court.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/04/opinion/columnists/supreme-court-alito-flag.html?unlocked_article_code=1.y00.c0vk.hheoZAP7Tg6y&smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare&sgrp=c-cb

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Impeachment would be a heavy lift even in a reasonably sane Congress. The Republicans love to yell "Impeach, impeach, impeach!" The Democrats act as if they're being forced to walk the plank when the subject even comes up for discussion. (I dumped my NYT sub not long after the 2016 election, and I swore off Maureen Dowd before that. Fortunately, to steal a line from a master, I don't need the New York Times to tell me which way the wind blows.)

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Roberts has no authority now. The Fascists are running the court and his stupidity in allowing Citizen United to monetize the Court has sucked up what influence he once had. They are a greedy gang of crooks now and he knows it.

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Thomas should have been disqualified after referring to the confirmation process as a "circus" following Anita Hill's compelling testimony.

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I saw the Anita Hill testimony and I often wonder how she feels and thinks about that entire debacle. If it were today, she would have been seen as much much more credible. She really took a gigantic hit. Disgraceful.

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Not necessarily, Susan. There's still plenty of racism and misogyny in Congress, especially with so many Repunlicans in both houses.

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Yes, there is, but take a look at the Judiciary Committee of 1991: all white guys. The Senate was a little better, but not much. I don't for a minute underestimate the influence of white liberal guilt either. Bush I played that really well: he knew that white liberal men would have a hard time opposing a Black male nominee, *any* Black male nominee, to succeed Thurgood Marshall, for fear of being called racist. Nowadays there are more legislators of color to call BS on that.

OTOH, the way Christine Blasey Ford -- a white woman -- was treated during the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh (a white man) was also appalling. It's worth noting, however, that the GOP had devolved *a lot* from 1991 to 2018, and in 2018 senators like Amy Klobuchar were asking critical questions. And at least in 2018 more of us were aware of the travesty while it was happening than was the case in 1991.

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I thought it would have served Thomas right if Biden had put her on the court. Unfortunately she's almost my age, too old for the appointment.

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Never thought about that! Biden was responsible for keeping her off so, repentence?' Fun to contemplate!

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I saw Anita Hill's testimony. I found her credible and felt Thomas should not have been confirmed. To this day I consider it to have been a tremendous mistake.

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As did I, he really showed his ass.

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I think the only thing driving Thomas has been his burning hatred of Democrats and his never-ending need to get revenge for their giving Anita Hill the opportunity to rat him out as the vile little creep he is.

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The thing that drives Thomas is old fashioned envy. Envy of others for what they have so that you leave your scruples at the door and open yourself to receiving gifts, bribes, honoraria, loans from those that benefit from your rulings. He's no different than many of these pols, he's a simple grifter.

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Thomas once said to his aides that liberals had made his life miserable for 43 years (the age at which he was confirmed), so he was going to stay on the court for 43 years to make liberals lives miserable.

That 43 years is up in 2034.

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He referred to it as a “high tech lynching.” Total bullshit. He was a role model for Kavanaugh’s testimony of outrage dismissing Christine Blassey-Ford. They should never have been approved. Women should recall those moments and vote in 2024 to end their failure to uphold constitutional law while leading a judicial assault on women’s rights, trans rights, voter rights, and… The court is corrupt.

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Clarence Thomas testimony

This is not an opportunity to talk about difficult matters privately or in a closed environment. This is a circus. It's a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.

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I agree about Alito and Thomas, both of whom have overtly and repeatedly violated their obligations. I don't agree about Roberts. His behavior which I don't like does not rise to the level of criminality which is about where Alito and Thomas are.

I disagree with adding Roberts to the mix because it begins to sound like the writer wants all the judges they don't like to be tossed out. If we're serious about Alito and Thomas we have to point out that their actions lie far far outside the norms and boundaries that should bind SC judges.

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But you don't think Roberts gutting the Voting Rights Act because, in his words " Racism has been solved" should cause him to be removed ? Actually, words to that effect.

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I saw this interview on Meidas Touch yesterday. This should be the end of his career, but it won't be. Alito has shown his disdain for this country since 1969 when he dodged the draft (his draft number was 32). He should never have been confirmed to the court. I remember his hearing, I thought he was a scumbag, he has proven it. It's time to expand the court to 13. The solution to pollution is dilution.

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One Justice for Each District

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So I get nervouse about expanding the court. It's a short term solution that can become a non-solution if it becomes lop-sided again. Like a 9-4 conservative majority. Then what? Expand again? The proper solution would be impeachment by Congress. But that also is a non-solution today. The Republican Party has the power to block any impeachment effort, and unfortunately that party has no scruples, no soul, no sense of right/wrong, and will tolerate just about anything if it means they can maintain or gain power. So - we are stuck with an important shortcoming in our constitution, where it seems to not have an answer to a corrupt but powerful political party even if that party is in the minority.

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Unbridled expansion of the court would be a problem, but living under this skewed court needs a solution. Expanding the court to reflect the number of districts is not a radical solution. Of course I'm referring to a normal republican party not MAGA republicans.

The bigger problem as I see it, is: How do we use the 14th amendment to purge the MAGA traitors (Cruz, Hawley, Biggs, Perry, Loudermilk, Greene, Jordan, et al) from congress?

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The other thing is twenty-year term limits, or something like that.

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I think 12 years is a better threshold. Three presidential terms, not five. I don't think being a justice should be a career, much less a lifetime appointment.

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Perhaps one of the attorneys on this thread can speak to this, Or, Joyce our law professor, if she sees it, but I remember reading an op-ed by Harry Litman and possibly another law professor in the LA Times back in 2017, about three solutions that would be fair, and couldn't be used by the right (wrong) to take over the court. I believe it was a combination of one justice for each district, 17-20 year term limits, and each president was allowed to appoint 2 justices during their terms. I don't recall the way this would be managed, but it made a lot of sense to me. While I understand the flawed logic of lifetime appointments supposedly freeing judges and justices from "politics", like so many other things in government that we've seen them take advantage of ("norms" anyone?), lifetime appointments have allowed these radical justices to thumb their noses at the public.

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Alito and Thomas have both thumbed their noses at the citizens of this country. And with the whack-a-do Congress that does absolutely nothing, we clearly have no recourse. They don’t give a flying f**k. They are the bullies on the playground. The non-maga republicans don’t have the balls to speak up.

If the women of this country don’t get loud and louder, we will no longer have any rights at all. And don’t think that our right to vote won’t be on the chopping block! The goal is a national religion to bolster justification for the loss of bodily autonomy. The greater issue here is the right of women to create their own path in life and not be told what it must be or cannot be.

The number of women in places of power are so skewed as to be almost nonexistent. It is a very scary time we are in and I so wish I could find hope.

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I believe (and someone please check me on this) that once upon a time the number of justices on SCOTUS was pegged to the number of circuit courts of appeals. There are now 13 circuit courts. A case might be made to expand the Court to 13 members, with the provision that further expansion could only happen if the number of circuit courts was increased.

In general, we need to look critically at these nightmare scenarios we like to scare ourselves with, e.g., about expanding the Court, getting rid of the filibuster, etc. We're in the (serious!) mess we're in because for many years -- decades, even -- "we the people," many of our elected officials, and the news media, among others, weren't paying attention to a lot of things. That's how we got the Supreme Court we've got. Let's try to imagine a scenario where enough of us pay close enough attention to keep those nightmares from coming true.

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I am so tired of progressives moaning about the situation and then coming up with excuses why this or that can’t be done. The prime examples are the milquetoasts Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, and Merrick Garland. Republicans suffer from no such limits. They know what they want and go for it. At the least m, progressives need to show some passion for their positions. Messaging!

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The Rs would do it themselves if the majority was six Democrats to three Republicans for the next 30 years.

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damn right Susie.

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Term limits, 18 years max with staggered terms. But that will take a supermajority of Democrats controlling the House and Senate.

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We better get on it

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Try doing that in my home state of Alabama, where the Democratic Party is too busy infighting, all the while the radical republicans are taking advantage of an extremely weak Demo Party. And don't get me started on things like the Alabamfication of states like Ohio, Indiana, (etc. that turned Trump red) that defended the Union againt traitor confederates.

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Yep. And what too many USians don't seem to get is that when all the electoral and legal routes to end gridlock and achieve change are blocked, the alternatives are not pretty.

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I heard Alito's response to his faux in-kind religous zealot on Deadline Whitehouse yesterday. I was shocked, appalled and horrified, to name just a few of the emotions I felt at that brazen, total disregard he has for recusal and impartiality. I am sickened by Alito and Thomas. This court has provided that "stench" that another Justice referred to not so long ago.

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Like Trump, Alito has gotten away with a lot of misconduct and misrepresentation over the years. Alito apparently is confident that he and other Christian nationalists will be able to implement Project 2025 after the November election and impose their authoritarian, reactionary vision for society against the will of the majority.

Project 2025 isn’t a secret; it has its own website, project2025.org, and a PDF of its 920-page plan you can download. Two Substack newsletters analyzing Project 2025 are How to Tell Your Friends About Project 2025 and The Big Picture of May 21, 2024.

It doesn’t take long for a determined person or group to turn a democracy into an authoritarian nightmare, like Hungary. Each of us must stay vigilant and politically active. We must elect people who will defend democracy and protect us from Project 2025’s plans to take away our freedoms.

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At 90 I have voluntarily put my life at risk for my country. I am proud of my country. I believe in fundamental American justice and ethics.

I find it unconscionable that we have Supreme Court justices, including Alito and Thomas, who lack basic ethics. As for Trump, his only relationship to the Ten Commandments is that he has repeatedly violated almost all of them.

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Keith, I, too, value this nation and am appreciative that so many people like you have been defending us. What Trump and Kump are doing is a slap in the face to all who have stood up to the world's bullies on behalf of the American people. They now even throw it in our faces every day that they plan to take over this nation and dismantle everything that makes us the United States of America and our media keeps pretending there is no difference between Trump and Biden. They keep shelling out stats that claim Trump is more fit for office than Biden when that is a bald-faced lie, and they know it. Alito and Thomas do their dirty part in secret, but now more frequently in public with impunity, even taking a case that could give Donald Trump immunity from punishment for his crimes. I hope Biden will note what immunity they give Trump, then use that same immunity against Trump and his cult on behalf of this nation. It is hard to keep our spirits up and stay in the fight when we are bombarded with new threats every day and nothing serious is done to stop any of it.

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Ruth Let’s keeping hammering the truth. Anyone who has served in the military or the Foreign Service is especially aware of our past impact globally for justice and ethics (with some significant bobbles).

We need to upgrade our justice and ethics rather than publicly abandon them in a Trump puddle of poo.

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"Hammering the truth" is what needs to happen, and I don't think it's happening enough!

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I wish I could agree that our military veterans recognize the horror that is Trump, and this Project 2025 plan. But I fear the majority are Trump supporters.

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Vaguely, I recall there is a movement to stop Fox News on military bases. Rather than repressing free speech, the point is Fox's misleading and "alternative facts," which rile the troops.

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Keith, you are right and I will keep on fighting for the truth. I agree that we need to upgrade our justice system. How do we get the American people in larger numbers to see that this matters. So many of them think that for example, the punishments given out in our courts are actually always fair and that judges don't bring their personal stuff into the courtroom. They think that probably because they themselves have not had to deal with the courts and only see it on TV, not a particularly good representation.

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Ruth S; The problem as I see it is that the American Right has been corroding our democratic foundations for so long—at least for the last 50-100 years depending on who and what one reads—that our liberal democratic infrastructure has been worn away to the extent that we in pro-democratic America face an impossibly well defended, and relentlessly insurrectionist foe that can not be defeated without significant collateral damage to whatever is left after our existential battle is won, however and whenever that eventuates. But of course, surrender of our constitutional democracy can not be brokered to such an adversary as we now face. We must confront and neutralize each public revelation of the real battlefield we engage with eyes wide open to the inescapable carnage that shall remain even as we ineluctably defend what we must, whatever the price we must pay. So, damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead to thrashing Trumpist, Christian Nationalism at the ballot box this coming November 5th completely unafraid of the right-wing backlash our collective actions seems certain to unleash.

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Albert, you are right. It is too late to look back in sorrow. We do need to push forward and do everything to get the word out to all Americans who actually care. The Brown Shirts are not able to hear anything anymore so we will have to watch them, but not spend too much time, energy, or money trying to connect with them. Their god Baby Donnie is proof that they have lost any semblance of comprehension of what a democracy is. Now, what's our first step from here to eternity?

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The way Trump suckers are going they will end themselves by refusing to get themselves and their children vaccinated. They are too stupid and arrogant to listen.

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I understand that self-interest that tramples everything around it, evil, and greed exist, have always existed. What I don't understand is why those in Congress aren't stepping up to do something about it, even if not successful in combating it and only for the record. If fear and intimation are holding back too many of these voice, then that's its own serious problem. Maybe ads for Biden are clearly showing the dangers and reminding people of all the misdeeds (the truths), and those ads just aren't showing up in the State where I live and that D's are perhaps taking for granted. I like how Keith put it, "Let's keep hammering the truth."

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You would know which he hasn't violated. We don't know if he's killed anyone, and it can be argued his behavior has done that. Which has he not?

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He hasn't killed anyone with his own hands. But I noticed that as president, whenever something didn't go his way, he'd issue permission for another (or two or three) executions to proceed in states that still do them. Even the people who carried them out as part of their jobs spoke of being traumatized by the frequency of the executions ordered by Trump, especially when there were doubts about the verdict. So, yes, he is directly responsible for willful killing.

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Jun 11·edited Jun 11

Trump is a murderer. He has killed 1,000,000+ Americans by depraved indifference for his actions during the Covid-19 pandemic (including 2 of my relatives before the vaccines were produced).

Bleach anyone? Hydroxichloriquine, horse dewormer(ivermectin) or any other such nonsense helped gullible people to be removed from their money. “A fool and his money will be separated.”

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So well said! !!

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Thank you LaurieOregon. For everyone's information, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is focused on Justice Alito's ethical misconduct in a letter from Sen. Whitehouse sent directly to Justice Alioto that was made public last Friday,6/7/24.

For the backstory & update see ZOE RICHARDS' NBC article was published 6/10 about 6 hours ago. A series of ethical conflicts arose out of Alioto's "improper" interview with Wall Street Journal on 7/24/23. The Senator reveals the interview was conducted by Leonard Leo's attorney, DAVID B RIVKIN. A core issue is that Alioto has been offering opinions in matters that are now likely to come before the court ... to come before a partisan who has already chosen the side that will "win".

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28 U. S. C. § 453, reads:

“I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _________ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

28 U.S. Code § 455 - Disqualification of justice, judge, or magistrate judge

(a)Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned..

DOJ has the capacity to investigate. It's also a party in the two pending immunity cases and in a pending abortion case and can ask for an emergency hearing on recusal.

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Then why, in light of the behavior of these Justices Thomas and Alito, has the DOJ not asked for that hearing? Those men MUST recuse from many of the cases going before the court.

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It's just a guess, but Merrick Garlands determination to not appear partisan hampers his ability to prosecute those who unrighteously have no such scruples. He's bringing a hankie to a bazooka fight.

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When Biden wins his second term in November, the first thing he should do is replace Merrick Garland. We cannot keep hoping the voters will be smart enough to vote against the Republican/Trump/Putin craziness and the Republican-led plan to "steal" the election.

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He’d be a great choice for newly re-elected POTUS Biden to nominate for the next opening on the Supreme Court (optimistically predicting that Sammy Alito will attract enough verifiably bad press to warrant an impeachment investigation, if nothing else). As an Attorney General, MGarland would likely be a great Supreme Co. Justice.

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i have a vague and probably inaccurate memory that someone else (Congress? the president?) has to first recommend a case to the DOJ.

i'm also guessing that, given that it's SCOTUS, with which the DOJ has a sibling or even child/parent relationship, the DOJ's actions regarding SCOTUS are even further limited to acting only when a third power pillar in our govt asks it to.

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Yes, why hasn’t this happened?

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Daniel, thanks for the actual oath and law that should impact a justice's recusal. It seems Alito and Thomas in particular and others can't seem to live their oath and follow the law either. I am guessing all are lawyers, so made it through law school and were tested on the basics of the law. I am also sure they were made aware of the laws pertaining to the Supreme Court when they were brought to their hearing. OK, they disregarded the hearing too because they lied through their teeth to the senators. How do we hold those guys to anything like following the laws, recusing themselves when their personal beliefs or attitudes would keep them from judging fairly? Heck, we even let a judge appointed by the defendant sit on a case regarding Trump. There is no recusal there even though her life's career was given her, a person with no experience by the guy whose case she will be hearing. We are now getting to see just how unfair our justice system has become over time and are doing little to stop this beyond talking.

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Ruth, I don't think anyone who doesn't have a law degree can ever become a judge/justice. Although, apart from maybe not understanding the intricacies of the law, I think that maybe non-lawyers would dispense more real justice??

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Most helpful, I will look at these. This probably answers my earlier posted question. There must be something more our country can do. Should SCOTUS members have terms limits? 12 or 16 years maybe? I fear these lifetime appointments, by a sitting president have become a serious problem.

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Another great substack publisher, Andra Watkins, writes a regular stack, "How Project 2025 Will Ruin Your Life."

Andra breaks down the 920 page tome into digestible (!) pieces in "English" and provides practical examples of what the Project intends to accomplish.

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I am wading through Project 2025. I thought the summaries exaggerated it & I want to write a letter to the editor about it. The summaries are NOT exaggerating. I could use them but I became fascinated with such public descriptions of a radical Christian view.

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Jun 11·edited Jun 11

Laurie, You've touched on the core of the issue, IMO. Recently, I participated in a Zoom book club. The book "The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory" by Tim Albert reflects on the ultra-conservatives' quasi-religious intrusion into politics over the past few decades. Their tactics are hardly Christian. It is they who have given Trump the aura of God's chosen and who must be obeyed. The proposed outcome of Christian fascism (Project 2025) is justified by any means, including destructive, dishonorable, and untrue means.

Recently, the conservative columnist David French was "unchurched" by his faith community by exactly the tactics described in Albert's book. French was a man of integrity and rational thinking, but he was too tolerant for the radicals in his church. (He and his wife adopted an Ethiopian child, which triggered some racism.)

I will get to my point: This movement hides behind "faith," which supersedes a democratic government, just like Alito believes. Regressive and ignorant policies and behaviors are justified by the word Christian. It ascribes to outdated beliefs in white male supremacy; it is racist, misogynistic, and undemocratic. It's meaner than a den of rattlesnakes. Wealth and power are its manifestations. I believe our liberal tolerance of religions has prevented us from calling it out, but we must. Heaven help us—literally— if they prevail.

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`Hope We have experienced a number of ‘evangelical Christians,’ some of whom have $50 million private jets (Jesus only needed a donkey.) This current Trump cult is so falsely ‘Christian’ that its leader is the antichrist. Jesus would be rejected by this cult and Ike would be rejected by the Trumpublicans.

All this reminds me of George Orwell’s 1984, where black was white and white was black, depending on the whims of the high muckimucks.

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Keith, it is really hard for actual Christians, people trying to live the life that Jesus attempted to lay out for us when we see what is going on and having that criminal behavior seen as "christian." The fact that some of the Trump cult think of Trump as their god is very frightening because we remember the crusades and know the violence and pure evil done in the name of their god. The number of guns among that crowd is also scary. I think they like the idea of civil war or something like that because they think it won't be them or their families destroyed, just THOSE people. They are so wrong, but they listen to ignoramuses like Donald Trump and his entourage and think this is like a cakewalk. How do we reach them to let them know what it really could be. They dys veterans and don't want to hear what war is like, assuming those men and women are senile and don't really remember. Heck, they don't believe any of the things they don't like about history including that slavery was evil from start to finish, that Japanese-Americans were for no actual reason put into horrific concentration camps in the worst places that could be found in this country, Black people were murdered with impunity because white mostly men were scared that people would know those they murdered were better people than they themselves were, and the rest. We need some spots on TV, radio, Facebook, Instagram, even Fox, and reasonable media platforms to give people a little bite of what happened in history. That was done during our bicentennial and at some other times and I think it helped people to understand this nation and why we are worth saving. Maybe some stories about people like Mother Jones, the Triangle Shirt Factory fire, the "Negro Baseball Leagues," Black senators and representatives who served honorably before the white supremacists decided to cheat the system and keep all African-Americans out of office. That would be a great start. Have well-respected actors, environmentalists, and just ordinary people present the information with photos and actual narratives from the time. These should be about 2 to 3 minutes in length and maybe be called something like "Living Our Democracy." If done by a non-partisan group, they should avoid specific politicians' mentions, but push how important our democracy is and that there are people now trying to destroy it for their own personal gain. Emphasize that together we can live our democracy with freedom, equality, truth, and justice for all. It might work. Maybe the Democratic Party could produce and pay for these messages. They could always, then put the names of local and national candidates on at the end, even have candidates present people who inspire them. It could work!

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Lindsay, thank you for this excellent and precise description.

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PS.Great job by the woman who got Roberts and the Alitos on tape!!!

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Jun 11·edited Jun 11

I hadn't heard of her until reading Joyce's post. She did an EXCELLENT job! I just had to read it again. Wow! THAT was a wake-up call! EVERYONE who wants our nation to always have leaders who believe in democracy, and who respect our Constitution, should really take this seriously.

Meanwhile, I'm more than a little concerned for Ms. Windsor's safety. Perhaps in another time and place (say, in the 80's), she would have received lots of kudos, and become a "household name." She DESERVES those kudos for getting so much information --- and from the horses' mouths, of all things.

Unfortunately, something inside me makes me distrust Trump even more than usual. The same goes for EVERYONE in his inner circle, as well as the hundreds of thousands who follow the MAGA philosophy. Maybe I was involved with public safety and crime prevention programs a little too long, because when I close my eyes, I'm seeing a lot of red flags/warnings popping up, which is worrisome.

Sorry for putting a damper on Joyce's post, and for getting carried with using all-caps. And bravo, Joyce, for another excellent way to start off a new week!

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Sometimes, like your post, all caps are appropriate. Right on.

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Thanks, Patric, for making me not feel bad.

Right on to you, too! I feel like the late Marvin Gaye is here in this room right now, singing "What's Going On." If you like that song, check out the version he did in 2019. I wish they'd make it into a commercial, but it's almost four minutes long. It's SO appropriate, and real.

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Powerful Dianne - thanks for your recommendation. Here’s the link:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o5TmORitlKk

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Thx runragged. Good way to start my day. If I was rich, I’d buy airtime and play that video w the estate’s approval, and put Joe in at the end “And I approve this message” …boom

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I was thinking about Biden's rallies. He'd be allowed to play that, because there's no time l imitation like on TV.

The only issue that I'd see, should Biden do that, would be that he'd need volunteers to hand out little boxes of Kleenex to everyone coming in.

What a humongous difference his rallies would be, compared to Trump's ego-building, rebellious rallies.

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That's an excellent idea! I bet Steve Schmidt would do it! His Substack has had some very good ones lately.

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Thank you. Makes me just cry....

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Same here. What made me really sad was finding out that his own father killed him. He did NOT deserve that. At least he left behind this song for us to always remember him.

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Jun 11·edited Jun 11

Thanks, Runragged. I tried sending it to Patrick, but I'm not that computer-literate. After watching the video a few times, once I was able to wipe my tears away, I wrote it down, letter by letter, and still couldn't figure out. So glad you put it out there.

I always liked Marvin Gaye.

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Thank You Dianne.

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Glad you liked it, too.

Wouldn't it be great if a new version of "We Are the World" could be done, with the singers who are still with us, along with some of today's young singers?

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And thank YOU for sending the link.

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I understand your concern for Ms. Windsor's safety. I am familiar with her, and she has done this a few times before and with people in powerful positions. That doesn't mean someone at some point won't react to her dangerously; it's just that I am wondering what kind of safety plan she has in place. I doubt she hasn't thought about it carefully.

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I don't think she is naive either about what she is doing or the position it puts her in. It scares me, but at the same time, it is people like her taking risks to expose wrongs who make it possible for the rest of us to stand up and speak out. Like you, I think she has given a lot of thought to how she can keep herself safe. Generally, the response to the kind of thing she is doing is to try to discredit or slander. That sort of thing is getting harder to do, especially when what she does is so openly documented. Still, it is unnerving.

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She IS a brave and gutsy woman! I do feel a little better knowing that she's aware of what's going on around her.

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Someone mentioned the movie "The Pelican Brief." That's a real eye-opener. We already know that Trump and his "syndicate" plan to turn our country completely upside down, if he wins. Should that (God forbid) happen, we're going to need more journalists like Ms. Windsor, who will be willing to do whatever's necessary in order to get to the truth.

There have been a few true-story movies about cover-ups done by government agencies at all levels. If anyone has time, and they haven't seen them, I'd suggest these: "Silkwood," "The China Syndrome," and "Erin Brockovitch."

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Joy Reid interviewed her and played the recordings, which are easy to find. She seems a very unremarkable, earnest young women with a sweet sincere voice, and is very disarming.

She brings exactly what is needed to expose this dishonesty. Some criticize her techniques, but this is war. It clearly is in the opinion of the thugs on the Christian nationalist side.

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Jen, you're right. This IS war. There's probably other journalists who go out there all the time, always aware that this war is HERE, as well as abroad.

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I never used X, even when it was Twitter. Even back then, it was too complicated. If I search hard enough, maybe I can find Joy Reid's previous broadcasts.

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Jun 11·edited Jun 11

Unfortunately, though the link to the recordings are easy to find, they are available only on X. I've never been a big user of twitter except to check references, but after Musk took over, I dropped it. For a while I could still view, but now I cannot get in at all, even by disabling my ad and tracker blockers as the site requested. Hope eventually the tapes will be picked up on some other venue. I don't know how X has set up ownership or restrictions on content. I understand why journalists use X to follow news, but I sure wish that the many news outlets who still use it on their websites would find some other way to display audio/video.

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I think we can safely assume that she's already been threatened repeatedly.

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Hear hear Margaret!!!!

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Exactly! It would be really strange if a journalist was able to get into the minds of Mr. and Mrs. Vacations for Free.

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I think we are reaching the edge of appropriate disapproval here. I have a hard time criticizing judges for their personal beliefs. As a matter of fact, I *want* justices who operate from a position of philosophy rather than political expediency.

The job of a justice is to make decisions that adhere to the established body of law and precedent, and that alone. The problem with the originalist stance is that it relies on a justice's own understanding of the words of the Constitution instead of the body of law developed over 200+ years that refines and applies them. Individual understanding of Constitutional wording is hampered by changes in the meanings of words over time, personal experience with the beliefs the document expresses, the degree to which a justice has studied the writings of the Founders to understand how they used phrases and logic, and, most of all, by the justice's own moral code and its alignment with Constitutional principles.

The problem with Alito is not that he thinks that these are difficult times or that he believes in a deity, but that he seems to believe that the solution is (1) that his beliefs are superior, not equal, and (2) he has the right to enforce his beliefs on others. Those thoughts are antithetical to both the goals and the balances in the Constitution. His 100% record for/against cases certainly supports the opinion that he is not interpreting the Constitution but his own agenda. Keep fighting? Yes, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

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KEM, well said.

One of the problems I see with the originalist stance regarding the Constitution is that it comports with the Biblical Creationist view of the origin of the Universe. In both instances, the assumptions are that the writing of the Constitution and the cosmology described in Genesis were both complete and perfect at the beginning.

Important changes have evolved over time. Women won the right to vote only two years before my mother was born. Some of us are working on the idea that Nature should have a right to be heard in Court. There have been advances in medicine, improvements on the physical legacy of our biological ancestors, such as the manipulation of RNA and DNA to thwart the propensity for certain inherited genes to cause diseases that shorten a person's life, or make life miserable.

Many of us, I believe, want more rights, not fewer rights.

The Universe is still evolving, and our laws and our rights should continue to evolve as well.

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The conservative Christian-informed view of the Constitution seems to include false beliefs and statements about the aims of the founders ("originalism"). The founders were by and large more religiously liberal and tolerant than the recent appointees to the Supreme Court, and these recent appointees are straining to falsify the Constitution to conform to their religious beliefs. "Originalism" is a false judicial philosophy which avoids the obvious intent of the founders, in addition to pretending that the evolution of Constitutional principles is impermissible. It's only impermissible if you're narrowly focused on preventing the Constitution and the law from adapting to social change, i.e. hostile to progress. And incidentally at odds with attempts to make the United States a more democratic and community-oriented country, like Canada and many European states.

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Originalism coupled with insistence on a single religion also conveniently ignores the fact that the colonies were settled by people seeking freedom from religious persecution. Why aren’t more people pointing that out?

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There is a good book on the subject of the religious beliefs of the founding authors: "Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic", by Matthew Stuart. Well worth reading, and re-reading. Many, or most, of the luminaries of the American Revolution were Deists.

From google query: "...[the] belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe. The term is used chiefly of an intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries that accepted the existence of a creator on the basis of reason but rejected belief in a supernatural deity who interacts with humankind."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism

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The existence of a creator is not based on reason, unfortunately. But the founders were on the right track.

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Here is a definition of "teleology" in philosophy: "...Teleology or finality is a branch of causality giving the reason or an explanation for something as a function of its end, its purpose, or its goal, as opposed to as a function of its cause."

We may ask "Why THIS universe?" What led to its creation? It is impossible to conceive of something arising out of nothing -- also known as "creation ex nihilo". We must conclude that "something" has always existed -- call it "the eternal state of being" or "The Eternal Being". Imagine that the Eternal Being is the only thing that exists. Imagine that it exists in the middle of nowhere. There is no light or dark, there is no cold or hot. It just IS. Seems lonely and boring. Now imagine a sunny summer Sunday afternoon, with nothing to do except to enjoy the day, perhaps with family or friends or just by yourself, listen to music, enjoy a cool drink of water and your favorite summertime meal.

Which would you prefer? Being the only thing that exists, in the middle of nowhere? Or a comfortable life here on Earth for a typical human lifespan? If the latter seems better, then think about the people who are trying to mess up this happy life here on Earth. Hint: the Democrats are not guilty of trying to mess up this happy life (and of course we know that not everyone is happy, but that's not the point of this story).

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That is actually the definition of a "conservative". I forget who called it standing in the middle of the road of progress screaming "STOP!"

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Whoever said that was right on!!! It's sad that being conservative means you are allergic to change of any sort. That speaks to me of a very basic insecurity.

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Wm. F. Buckley, Jr. coined it as the initial (1955) mission statement for The National Review.

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Sorry, how can Congress help ? Can they stop funding one or more individuals ? Or the whole rotten now concept ?

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They could but they won't. The senate can increase the seats on the court. The House could refuse to fund it. Neither will happen unless there are 60 votes in the senate.

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The originalists and textualists have taken a ‘scripture only’ approach to the constitution. Protestant denominations did this with the Bible. The problem is, this made the Bible a matter of personal interpretation. There are now 10k+/- Protestant denominations. SCOTUS, following this approach, has become unmoored from tradition and precedent.

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“The problem with Alito is not that he thinks that these are difficult times or that he believes in a deity, but that he seems to believe that the solution is (1) that his beliefs are superior, not equal, and (2) he has the right to enforce his beliefs on others. ”

Exactly, KEM!

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Well said! The other problem with "originalism" -- which seems alarmingly flexible to meet the needs of certain justices -- is that we are not the same society as when the Constitution was written. The conservatives say that abortion is not mentioned in the constitution - and that's correct -- but the right to privacy is inferred in many places and I agree with those who found reason to adapt the core meanings to modern day. Arrogant Alito wants to drag everyone back to a previous time. I am so sick of self-righteous "Christians" whose beliefs are manifest in intolerance and bigotry.

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Yes. Originalism makes this a personal interpretation of the constitution. SCOTUS leaves behind generations of argument and decisions handed down from those who wrote the constitution. Decision making becomes a fist fight between people representing different political factions. It replicates political arguments rather than creating unique insights.

Regarding Alito and Thomas… its interesting that they are so focused on gender related issues. Alito is Catholic. Catholic thinkers like Chesterton believed economic governance should follow distributist principles. Belloc supported small business and guilds (unions). I don’t see any of this from Alito, Thomas or any other of the religious right. Its all about sex.

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Jun 11·edited Jun 11

Thank you.

I can recommend Justice Breyer "How To Read the Constitution". Perhaps Alito should try it.

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Thanks for the reminder. I purchased the book and have not plunged in yet.

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People are entitled to hold their own religious beliefs, but the justices are not entitled to legislate them ON the citizens of this country. If they cannot separate the two, they are a danger to each and every one of us.

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Isn’t Justice A just grand at handling that shovel? He mistakenly thinks it’s the media/presses’ fault the court has fallen to such low approval ratings & high disregard.

Instead it’s the behavior of him, Mr Thomas, even John Roberts (Citizens United infamy) who refuses to do Anything to admonish this behavior by these privileged yet bitter old men. Look in the mirror fellas. It’s YOU who are the culprits - no one else!

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Dear Joyce! Am I correct in understanding that, no matter the punishment imposed on T, basically, nothing will come of it, due to the appeals that will follow? If that is correct, why is everyone hoping for jail? It looks like The Thug, will dodge whatever is meted out.

It really is a gross miscarriage of justice,in my opinion. He has been convicted. But, he will walk AGAIN.

I am also disgusted by the SCOTUS. The justices need to put pressure on the Alito and Thomas.

I am growing increasingly tired of the perks that the wealthy and powerful get away with.

Thank you for offering a place for me to vent!

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Jun 11·edited Jun 11

Margaret, I agree with you. It's like you've been reading my mind!

If we didn't have this kind of opportunity to vent, my head would have exploded by now! (And I say that literally, because I fell and received a concussion the other night. Thank goodness the CT said there was no fracture.)

Assuming that kids in the future will be allowed to learn about American history or take civics classes, they'd be telling their teachers that all this stuff was made up!

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Dianne, I hope you are better after your concussion. Those are very concerning things to experience. I go into high alert if I suspect someone had one; it sounds like you did get checked out due to CT, and you were observed to prevent a loss of consciousness after that. Pardon my excessive words, and I want to let you know I hope you feel better and any residual tenderness has mostly subsided.

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Ditto. All the BEST, Dianne.

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Thanks, Mary Pat. I appreciate your kind note.

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Jun 11·edited Jun 11

Thank you for your kind words, Kathy. Unfortunately, this wasn't the first.

Except for a bad one in 2018, I've always had stupid reasons for falling. I fell headfirst into my flower garden while trying to pull weeds. Fortunately, some big perennials cushioned some of the fall. The other night, I fell while changing my cat's litter box. (Don't ask!) I was trying to smash a centipede with my shoe and slipped on the bottom of the broom, which was like ice skating without skates!

As it turned out, it was the same doctor both times! He said that I need to get a medical alert necklace --- with a fall detector --- as soon as possible!

My advice is that anyone who plans to grow old in one piece should stay away from vicious flower beds, and sneaky centipedes!

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Dianne, I have done two face plants in my old age - the last one in 2022. Fortunately, the ER doc did a good job of stitching up my bloody face, and the CT scan showed nothing wrong. What I did is trip on a slightly raised sidewalk slab, while looking at something across the street. That has taught me to slow down when I walk, and I also now wouldn't be without a walking stick, which helps keep my attention focused. I'm glad you didn't fall into any of the things I'm growing - prickly yuccas and cacti…

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Susan, we must be related somehow! I must say that YOUR unfortunate "garden experience" was a lot worse than mine. I walk slower and try to look down as much as possible. I've found several pennies and two or three four-leaf clovers (still no good luck, though) along the way.

I have about 15 or 20 garden books. Not one of them mentions anything about Garden Safety!!!

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My books don't mention it either. My garden gets me when I'm moving the hose around from our evaporative cooler (which is how I water my front yard plants), especially the Torrey yuccas, which have very strong leaves with very sharp points on the end which sting and draw blood when they touch your skin. I grew them from seed, so it will be a while before they become the trees they are supposed to be. Fortunately I have less issue with the cacti.

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The Arab culture has a proverb, “You are master of the word you have not said”

I wish Justice Roberts who we do have to remember saved the Affordable Care Act would step up to his position and hopefully we will see this given his comments to this reporter. Thanks Joyce!

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Given his silence on the MAGA attacks on judges and juries, don’t expect much of him. https://substack.com/home/post/p-145376899?source=queue

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Like Michael Cohen, maybe he will rise to the occasion, I hope so.

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Don’t bet on it

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Christopher, thank you for sharing that proverb. I just wrote it down in my "book of good sayings."

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I keep a book like that, too! I like how you title yours. Mind if I borrow it?

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Jun 11·edited Jun 11

It's fine with me! I sometimes wonder what someone would think if they found it. Like, would they understand?

Just glad to find that I'm not the only one who does that. I always have scrap paper with me or nearby when I'm watching TV, reading something online, or even hearing a stranger say something that makes me want to remember, so I can add them in my booker later on.

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Would enjoy reading an excerpt of this, Dianne. -just followed you...

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That really is an excellent idea, although some of the best ones have no good attribution. They’ve evolved over time become the best versions of the original quotes.

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Kathy, I never thought about that.

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When I read I always write down in my notebooks thoughts and ideas so I can remember them.

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Christopher, I should add my thoughts and ideas (especially at my age). Thanks for the great idea!

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That's a great quote. It goes both ways, as in holding your tongue when you should, and unleashing it when you must not.

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There have been times when I accidentally said something before I was able to stop myself. Saying that those little blurts are very awkward would be an understatement!

Once it's been said, you can't "undo" it.

I like that quote, too. Maybe I'll put that proverb on my refrigerator, along with some others. One that I have front and center says, "We only regret what we don't do in life."

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Despite the apparent "correct" response from Chief Justice Roberts to Ms. Windsor, the responsibility is on Mr. Roberts. And if Justice Alito or Thomas lack the honesty and respect for the Court that, for example, Justice Fortas had that pushed him on his own to resign, then it is absolutely the duty of Justice Roberts to force the recusal and potentially the resignations of these two men. And other Justices must now speak out in the same vein.

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While Justice Roberts certainly should make an effort to rein in the impolitic pronouncements of Alito and Thomas, I don't believe he can be considered a moderate. He has supported the gradual introduction of dark money into presidential elections and the wasting away of voter rights that are guaranteed (maybe not explicitly enough!) in the Constitution. I don't have high hopes for him to rescue the court from the appearance of corruption and political favoritism.

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Appearance? Really, appearance?

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Thank you, John. My thought exactly.

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Thank you❤️

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It seems both Alito and his wife said the quiet thing out loud. I am interested to see him wriggle out of this one. For once major news picked this up but not FOX. No surprise there.

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Jun 11·edited Jun 11

If what I read about Bannon, Project 25, and the radical religious coupers is correct, destroying all our institutions is what they are trying to do. In that case Alito is on course, doin' his part-- destroying trust in our courts.

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And Roberts, The Judicial Baby Sitter, is ignoring their bad behavior. Tsk, Tsk, Justices will be Justices!

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Mary Pat...sadly...I agree. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

By looking away, by doing nothing...the bad behavior you speak of will only embolden Roberts to do nothing.Why rock the boat? My confidence in Mr. Roberts has been eroded.

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Sadly...

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Normally, I would find this variation of "ambush" journalism as practiced by Ms. Windsor distasteful. But the people and times are anything but normal or even, controversial or contentious. I'll take controversial and contentious any day. We're dealing with a clear and present danger not to just some liberal notion of society, but the very foundations of democracy. And that far too many of the enablers and apologists think their present loyalty will allow them somehow to benefit, shows an alarming ignorance of authoritarianism. The rising tide of fascism sinks all ships, not just the blue ones.

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My feeling too.

But timidity in the face of this is cowardice. I'm sure Garland expected Drumpf to do the "normal " thing and disappear quietly. It's a bit shocking thst a man who has adjudicated pure evil, like Timothy mcveigh, could be so naive.

There IS something he can do. The DoJ seems to be the only body that has a small amount of power here. He needs to redeem himself for the delays in the Jan6 matter by taking on Thomas and Alito.

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Well said, Dale. I found myself wondering if what ms. Windsor was doing was ethical, but I appreciate her ability to expose the truth.

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“The rising tide of fascism sinks all ships, not just the blue ones.”

Dale, May I quote you on this? Nice rejoinder to the trickle down mantra.

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Be my guest. Might throw in a reference to the "Night of the Long Knives" when more than 150 formerly loyal Nazis were murdered or arrested by the SS and Gestapo at Hitler's direction, in emphasizing that point.

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Hi Joyce, I know this is semantics, but had an immediate reaction to your opening sentence: “ There was more bad news for Justice Alito today.” Actually the bad news was “about” the Justice because none of this bothers him. He knows Roberts will do absolutely nothing and Congress doesn’t have the votes to make change. I suspect Alito is reveling in all the attention and happy to finally be able to say the quiet part out loud. Vote.

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Thank you, Joyce, for speaking out forcefully regarding Alito's unfitness to serve on the Court.

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The worst part of Alito's worldview (which he probably shares with too many of his majority colleagues) is not that it's a legitimate conservative viewpoint, but that it's part of a modern day Crusade, where the "law" (and most often the constitutional guarantee of Free Exercise) is simply a pretense to impose certain theocratic principles on a secular society.

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Dale, while reading your comments, an idea occurred to me. With the advent of AI, we could invent machinery to replace the human Justices. There probably should be several of them, manufactured by various companies, to try to ensure diversity of "thinking". They would be programmed to understand the principles of law and precedent, and would be able to offer an encyclopedic history of prior judicial thinking on any subject, from common law through the whole history of legal thinking and precedents in the USA. It would be illuminating to listen to the machines argue with each other, and perhaps accuse each other of bias encoded into their machinery.

Justice Alito appears to be a theocrat. That's not what we want or need. Maybe Bender from Futurama could play Justice Alito. It could be fascinating to listen to Bender discussing "godliness".

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Somebody still writes the code for AI. There will be a puppet master.

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Well, yes, and no.

For example: https://www.programai.co/

My understanding at this point is that it is easier to teach a machine how to write code, by far, than it is to teach a machine how make inferences like humans do. One AI writer I've been following on Substack offered a story about how one leading company's AI could not answer the following question: "John is Mary's son. What is Mary's relationship to John?" The machine could not answer. It's early days.

We have humans among us who are demonstrably unable to sit on the Supreme Court and set aside their own opinions while they endeavor to interpret law and precedent. The cause of justice is thereby compromised, and our nation suffers for it.

In a future moot court contest between humans and AI, which side will deliver the most interesting opinions?

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Curiously, I have often thought that computers could make better decisions than people -- or at least possibly more egalitarian, but now that it is upon us, I am not so sure.

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I enjoy thinking and conversing about it. I've been reading science fiction since I was 10 in the late 1950s. Isaac Asimov was one of my favorites. I also majored in philosophy, so I was particularly interested in the "Mind-Body Problem" and the "Problem of Freedom" aka Free Will. Briefly, if we do have freedom, then we must think about how that is possible in a Newtonian universe wherein everything that has evolved since the inception, the Big Bang, is the latest result of an "inevitable chain of causation". I believe we do have freedom, and I think I can offer a plausible way to explain how it is possible. In any case it is an interesting point to ponder. Our understanding of computational machinery is that there is a complex set of switches that open or close to produce answers to questions, or whatever. It is difficult to imagine how a machine could have an original thought, or dream, or experience emotion. Such things could be simulated, but at this point it still looks to me that it will only be a simulation of thinking, but always in the context of machine logic. I think that our bodies, and the bodies of all living things, have brains and "minds" that have capabilities that the machines may never be able to achieve. On the other hand, it's easy to imagine that one machine AI could produce a movie, and another AI could watch the movie and interpret what the movie is about, and perhaps say the same things a human would say.

Lately I've been thinking that it would be interesting to build a class of AI machines devoted to deal with mitigating the effects of climate change while we humans work to repair the damage we've done to our home planet.

There's certainly lots to talk about.

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Alito is just the one arrogant enough to say it out loud.

And at this point the purpose the delay on the immunity question before the court is obvious. To get the orange turd back in power.

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Senators Durbin and Whitehouse have ample cause to take action regarding Justice Alito and ample evidence to support them. Justice Alito has lied repeatedly and publicly. Most significant are his lies for the purpose of obstruction of justice. Justice Alito committed at least one federal offense. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. 1001.

In his letters to Congress on May 29, 2024, Justice Alito lied about--and knowingly violated--federal law governing SCOTUS justices. See "The Clear Appearance of Impropriety in Justice Alito's Conduct" https://blackcollarcrime.substack.com/p/the-clear-appearance-of-impropriety?r=30ufvh. See also "More Lies and Deceit in Justice Alito's Recusal Refusal" https://blackcollarcrime.substack.com/p/more-lies-and-extreme-deceit-in-justice?r=30ufvh.

Even before that, Justice Alito lied to obstruct matters within the jurisdiction of Congress. Justice Alito lied about the Constitution to obstruct Congress's efforts to regulate SCOTUS. Justice Alito knowingly misrepresented that the Constitution did not empower Congress to regulate SCOTUS. See "Speaking of Justice Alito's Lies" https://blackcollarcrime.substack.com/p/speaking-of-justice-alitos-lies?r=30ufvh. See also "The Framers Would Be Shocked, Even Horrified by Justice Alito's Scheme" https://blackcollarcrime.substack.com/p/the-framers-would-be-shocked-even?r=30ufvh.

Senator Whitehouse just sent Justice Alito a letter about his statement: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/top-democrat-probing-justice-alito-s-improper-wsj-interview/ar-BB1nYeKv?ocid=BingNewsSerp

Justice Alito also lied about flying the U.S. flag upside-down outside his home, and he knowingly violated federal law. See "Justice Alito’s Flag Flying, Flagrant Lies and Violations of Federal Law and His Own Opinions" https://blackcollarcrime.substack.com/p/justice-alitos-flag-flying-flagrant?r=30ufvh. See also "We Just Saw Justice Alito Lie With Our Own Eyes" https://blackcollarcrime.substack.com/p/we-just-saw-justice-alito-lie-with?r=30ufvh.

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They can try.

But the republicans in the Senate who represent less than 40% of the population-- those who agree with Alito, by the way, the ignorant and angry-- will prevent it. It explains the helplessness we see.

The red state witless will not see that someday the ones they want in power may come for them.

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Why aren't his colleagues stepping in, at least the ones who still embrace and follow the code of ethics?

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Yes! There are only three of them...a minority.... and women!

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There are only three of them

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