Excuse me while I do not join the crowd of liberal legal pundits who are jumping for joy at the “good fortune” of the Supreme Court’s decision on the criminal investigation into whether Donald Trump’s Crime Incorporated Group of Cheats and Liars should be found guilty of being major league tax criminals. I believe the technical legal term to describe their decision accurately is “Chicken Shit”. It will be years before this decision will force these rat bastards to disgorge any documents, by which time Trump will probably have died from either overeating or a swollen ego. With all due respect, this is not the first time in the history of the Republic that our vaunted legal system has come out of a huddle and simply fallen on the ball. They have been doing such surrenders since before football was even invented. Perhaps a brief review for perspective is in order.
We begin with the concept of Judicial Notice, a concept inscribed in the Federal Rules of Evidence as Rule 201, a rule based upon an 1858 murder trial of William Armstrong, in which his attorney, a then little known, former Congressman named Abraham Lincoln, used judicial notice to establish that a claim by a witness to having used the moonlight to see events could not have taken place since there was no visible moon that evening. This led to his client, Armstrong’s acquittal.
The rule states that the court may judicially notice a fact that is not subject to reasonable dispute because it:
(1) is generally known within the trial court’s territorial jurisdiction; or
(2) can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.
The rule further states:
Taking Notice. The court:
(1) may take judicial notice on its own; or
(2) must take judicial notice if a party requests it and the court is supplied with the necessary information.
Timing. The court may take judicial notice at any stage of the proceeding.
Why is this concept important?
Donald Trump Junior, in 2008 stated unequivocally and publicly in his capacity as a corporate officer that “In terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” so stated Trump Jr. during a conference in New York in 2008. “Say, in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo, and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
These comments gained a lot of public notice in 2018 when many news organizations, including the New York Times in an op-ed article, by well-known and Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Thomas Friedman, tore into Trump and his lack of response to Russia’s well documented 2016 election interference.
“President Trump is either totally compromised by the Russians or is a towering fool, or both, but either way he has shown himself unwilling or unable to defend America against a Russian campaign to divide and undermine our democracy,” Friedman wrote.
Of course, since 2018 we have had many more instances of Donald Trump’s inexplicable fawning over and overlooking Vladimir Putin’s numerous egregious attacks on our national security, but not so inexplicable if you notice the fact that Donald may be up to his ears in dirty Russian money that he needed to prop up his many failing business ventures…and Mr. Putin is purchasing Donald’s obsequious obedience via blackmail.
The Supreme Court could very easily have taken Judicial Notice of these well-known facts to justify a much stronger decision to compel immediate disclosure of documents necessary to ferret out the reasons for behaviors that threaten our national security. This is not a matter of some two-bit hustler padding his expense account. This is the President of the United States being blackmailed by a foreign adversary, a much more experienced, smarter, and trickier adversary, bamboozling our foolish and reckless “babe in the woods” President to the great peril of our nation.
With all due respect, our cowardly Supremes did not have the balls to provide the American public with the ability to discover why our President, the Commander in Chief, entrusted with the duty to preserve and protect, allows our enemy to put a bounty on the heads of our fighting soldiers; and not a peep of protest (much less sanction) out of our fearful President. And not a peep out of the antique, GOP Senatorial “peanut gallery” For shame.
But again, before we indict for shame too harshly, let us examine for perspective briefly another matter of significance, in which our legal system had failed us; where rationale and logic which are always supposed to prevail, had lost out to passion and politics; as was the case in the matter of Trump’s tax returns.
The concept of “Separate but Equal” was once the law of the land, and at its inception the concept was considered an improvement in our race relations. Plessy v. Ferguson was a landmark 1896 U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation under the “Separate but Equal” doctrine. The case was based upon an 1892 incident in which a black train passenger named Homer Plessy refused to sit in a car for blacks. The Supreme Court rejected Plessy’s argument that his constitutional rights were violated. The Supremes ruled that a law that “implies merely a legal distinction” between whites and blacks was not unconstitutional. Separate facilities could very well be equal, so “no harm, no foul”. As a result, restrictive and racist Jim Crow legislation and separate public accommodations based on race became the law of the land; the accepted legal wisdom of the Supreme Court until 1954; even though everybody could see (take notice) that separate was anything but equal.
Then in 1954 another Supreme Court Case, Brown vs. Board of Education overturned Plessy, calling segregated schools “inherently unequal,” and declaring that the plaintiffs in the Brown case were being “deprived of the equal protection of the laws. But it took at least another 10 years before black folks could share public restrooms with white people, such was the “new found” wisdom of our “legal giants” on the Supreme Court. Separate but equal was still a joke; and a very bad joke if you were a black person who had to suffer the indignities of separate but very unequal facilities. Check out the movie “The Green Book” if you want to know the 1960’s mistreatment of musical artists the likes of Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, etc. ad infinitum; ad nauseum. Or black athletes like Bill Russell or Muhammad Ali; the list is endless. That is why NFL players today had to remind America by taking a knee.
Do not misunderstand. I am grateful for any gains we achieve in becoming a more humane and a more decent society, and I am ever more grateful that we have a judiciary that still has retained some viability to act as the last vestige of a check against the monstrosities of our legislative and presidential branches of government. But my goodness, there is so much work to undo; and then to do. And it is not just Trump. It is hundreds of years of systemic greed and racial injustice that had better stop with a clean sweep in November, because if Trump gets in and the white supremacy, fascistic tendencies that he and his ilk represent, get more control, the aftermath will not be pretty.
These are unprecedented times with real existential issues staring us in the face at one minute to midnight. As Donald’s niece has warned us, as if we did not know already, Donald is not only NOT the person for the job, he is a dangerous fool whose presence will be a major obstacle for moving forward.
So, Chief Justice John Roberts may think that he has done good by advancing the case for holding Donald Trump and other corrupt officials eventually accountable, but in truth he has delayed disclosure; he has delayed accountability; and he has weakened justice.
But I guess we should be grateful for any small gains.