One-time Speaker of the House Mich McConnell frequently and proudly referred to himself as the Grim Reaper. He claimed he was referring his ability to kill bills unfavorable to the Republican Party thereby preventing them from becoming law, by blocking them from coming to the Senate floor for a vote.
He may have underestimated his impact–it is doubtful that this was due to humility. History very well could remember him as the man who killed the American democratic republic.
Let me shift gears and I promise it will all make sense at the end.
Major League Baseball teams have a feeder system called the minor league. Minor league baseball teams provide an opportunity for players to be evaluated and, if they show promise, they may be able to move up to a Major League position. Minor league teams, may be referred to as farm league or bush league. If you play well for the Toledo Mudhens, it could lead to being a Detroit Tiger.
There used to be a similar situation with the American Judicial System. Judges would move through various local levels, then be appointed as a federal judge, with some proving they had the mettle to move up to the Supreme Court. Generally, positions for Supreme Court Justice positions opened by death or retirement in a pseudo-random manner so that Supreme Court Justices would be appointed by presidents of both political parties.
Enter Grim Reaper McConnell.
Associate Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016 and his replacement nominated Merritt Garland, but Grim Reaper McConnell would not permit the nomination to be voted on because it was an election year, and the selection should be made by the new president 11 months later. Therefore, Neil Gorsuch was appointed to the bench .
Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy decided to retire at the end of July 2018, so his replacement was nominated by donald trump. Legitimately, this was trump’s nomination to make, and he nominated Brett Kavanaugh, even though he had a less than sterling personality. President trump coached him and someone–someone with significant authority–kept the FBI from doing a thorough investigation.
The next Supreme Court vacancy occurred when Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died 18 September 2020, less than 2 months before the election and 4 months before Joe Biden would take office. Even though he had Once again, enter Grim Reaper McConnell who pushed through the vote on Amy Coney Barrett, who had never been a judge of any type before.
Several of these outright lied to questions concerning about respecting precedent during their nomination hearings before the Senate. It gets worse.
Associate Justice Samuel Alito said, “It goes without saying that everyone is free to express disagreement with our decisions and to criticize our reasoning as they see fit. But saying or implying that the court is becoming an illegitimate institution or questioning our integrity crosses an important line.” This seems to place the members of the court on a higher plane than the average American untermensch.
Finally, there is Clarence Thomas, the man who may be doing more to restrict voting by people of color than the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow laws together.
In the trump appointed farm league, there are people like Judge Aileen Cannon, who gives trump lawyers “Do Overs” and is blatantly biased toward the trumpsters.
Although they protest that the federal courts including the Supreme Court are not a bunch of political hacks, they obviously have forgotten certain facts, the most important of which are the first three words of the Constitution–“We the People,” NOT we the supreme court.
- Conduct a mandatory intensive annual review of the US Constitution for all federal judges.
- Like in professional sports teams, those individuals who don’t perform to expectations should be just plain cut.
- Supreme Court Justices who don’t measure up should be sent back to the farm leagues (small state district courts).
- Members of the courts should be damned ashamed of their actions and attitudes.
And, of course, just like in sports, the first one to be fired is always the coach.