After the death of Associate supreme court justice Antonin Scalia on February 13, 2016, it was up to President Barack Obama to choose a successor to replace the hard right, Scalia.
President Obama had almost a full year left in the white house.
It was the prerogative of Presidents before the 44th president Barack Obama to appoint candidates to fill vacancies on the nine-member court. Obama had filled two previous slots with the court’s first Latino American, Sonia Sotomeyer and another woman, Elena Kagan.
It is the prerogative of the Senate to advise and give it’s consent to the choices a president puts up for confirmation. Through the process of open hearings and personal meetings, the Senate gets to vote yea or nay on the president’s pick to fill the court’s vacancies.
President Obama chose Merrick Garland a centrist jurist who should generally sweep through the process to sit on the nations highest court.
Judge Garland was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals in April 1997 and became Chief Judge on February 12, 2013. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1974 and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1977.
Following graduation, he served as law clerk to Judge Henry J. Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and to U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. From 1979 to 1981, he was Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States. He then joined the law firm of Arnold & Porter, where he was a partner from 1985 to 1989 and from 1992 to 1993. He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1989 to 1992, and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1993 to 1994. From 1994 until his appointment as U.S. Circuit Judge, he served as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, where his responsibilities included supervising the Oklahoma City bombing and UNABOM prosecutions.
Chief Judge Garland has published in the Harvard Law Review and Yale Law Journal taught at Harvard Law School and served as President of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University.source(https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/home.nsf/Content/VL+-+Judges+-+MBG)
Judge Merrick Garland is currently the chief judge of the DC Circuit.
The Republican Majority leader in the US Senate had other ideas. Mitch McConnell decided against all norms, that despite the fact that there was almost a full year left in President Obama’s term he would subvert the authority of the president by refusing to even give judge Garland a hearing.
This McConnell did using the spurious argument that with a presidential election imminent it makes sense to have the people decide which president should select a replacement for Scalia.
Precedent was out the door and a new precedent established by the hyper-partisan Kentucky Republican. McConnell was rewarded for his ghastly behavior with the elevation of Neil Gorsuch, a right-wing jurist appointed by Trump.
Donald Trump, conversant of the role the courts can play in advancing the policies of the fundamentalist right, has been on a tear packing the courts with right wing fundamentalist actors, many of whom have openly expressed racist views.
Many of the candidates Trump placed on the federal bench have been deemed to be blatantly unqualified by the nation’s bar association.
Mitch McConnell has crowed that the presidency of Donald J Trump has been the greatest period for Conservatism since he has been involved in politics.
Yesterday the US Supreme upheld Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, in a 5 – 4 decision the court agreed that Donald Trump may discriminate against immigrants based on their religious belief.
Feeling the heat from the scathing dissent of Associate justice Sonia Sotomayor Chief Justice John Roberts wiped away the ignoble supreme court decision which legitimized the internment of Japanese Americans during the second world war.
See Article explaining the berth of what happened during world war11.(https://www.nps.gov/articles/historyinternment.htm)
After the supreme court’s decision upholding the travel ban, the Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell trolled the nation by posting a picture of his meeting with judge Neil Gorsuch.
The publication the [Hill.com] a conservative publication, gushes, quote [ Justice Neil Gorsuch’s genuine conservatism, his faithfulness to the original public meaning of the Constitution and legal texts, is also demonstrated by his joining with Justice Clarence Thomas in all but three of the cases decided by the Court. That should be good news for any conservative court watcher”.] That assessment ought to give every progressive a chill down the spine.
Writing for the [dailybeast] Michael Tomasky ask this pertinent question.
Back in 1974, Watergate special prosecutor Leon Jaworski issued a subpoena ordering Richard Nixon to turn over some papers and tapes relevant to the investigation. Nixon turned over some material, but not all, hoping that would satisfy Jaworski. It did not. Nixon’s lawyer, James St. Clair, went to the DC Circuit, and specifically to Chief Judge John J. Sirica, who became a household name in that year of 1974, to quash the subpoena. Sirica refused.
Would today’s Supreme Court rule similarly? We must start thinking about this now.
Thus far the Media has held against Donald Trump’s onslaught, the courts have held to some degree, the Congress has not. During the second world war, Japanese Americans were summarily rounded up and placed in camps.
The anti-Japanese movement became widespread around 1905, due both to increasing immigration and the Japanese victory over Russia, the first defeat of a western nation by an Asian nation in modern times. Both the Issei and Japan began to be perceived as threats. Discrimination included the formation of anti-Japanese organizations, such as the Asiatic Exclusion League, attempts at school segregation (which eventually affected Nisei under the doctrine of “separate but equal”), and a growing number of violent attacks upon individuals and businesses.source[https://www.nps.gov/articles/historyinternment.htm]
One of the key players in the confusion following Pearl Harbor was Lt. General John L. DeWitt, the commander of the Western Defense Command and the U.S. 4th Army. DeWitt had a history of prejudice against non-Caucasian Americans, even those already in the Army, and he was easily swayed by any rumor of sabotage or imminent Japanese invasion.
The site named above, gives anyone wishing to have a better idea of what happened in America to Japanese Americans based on bigotry, racial animus, and plain ignorance.
These events are disgustingly shameful events which still haunts America today.
Chief Justice Roberts sought to wipe away the supreme court’s decision which legitimized these atrocities, even as he voted to give a racist demagogic president carte blanche to do the exact same thing as laid out in justice Sotomayor’s scathing dissent.
Imagine how much harm can be done by a president with wide unchecked power, then learn just how it has happened time and time again right here in America.