11 December 2020 ~ 2 Comentarios

The Supreme Court again on trial

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

The news is chilling. Donald Trump, Texas and 17 states had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate elections in four states in which Joe Biden, at the head of the Democrats, narrowly won. The signatures of 108 Republican congressmen went with the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs didn’t care that Biden had received the largest number of votes in US electoral history–81 million votes. Seven million more than Trump, who got 74 million, which is not bad at all.

Those four states (Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) gathered 62 electoral votes, enough to deprive Joe Biden of his 306-232 victory in the Electoral College. The majority is 270. If the Supreme Court would have accepted the gross deception, Biden would only have gotten 244 electoral votes.

The argument for perpetrating the scam has to do with voting by mail. As we are in the times of Covid-19 there were many mail-in votes and mainly for the Democrats. The plaintiffs wanted those ballots to be eliminated. The pretext was that the disproportion contained the trap made by the Democrats.

It’s not true. Trump voted by mail in Florida, where he won. The disproportion only revealed the attitude towards face masks and social distancing. Many Trump followers believed that the virus was a fantasy tale. A lie of the “weak” Democrats.

William Barr, the nation’s Attorney General, who was appointed by Trump, found no significant traces of a plot to deprive Republicans of his triumph. The same happened to the FBI or Chris Krebs, former director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, who was fired for saying the same thing.

Luckily, Trump and his accomplices didn’t obtain the Supreme Court’s collaboration. A few days ago, that institution voted unanimously against Trump in the attempt to invalidate the elections in Pennsylvania. It voted according to law. Otherwise it would have been prevaricating.

The three judges appointed by Trump –Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett– proved that it is one thing to be a conservative and quite another to be a puppet in the hands of the one who appointed you. They proved that they were serious jurists and not terrified officials.

After all, there is a long tradition of independent judiciary in the United States. In 1954, a few months after being appointed by Eisenhower as Chief Justice, Earl Warren ruled against racial segregation in schools, despite a special request from the country’s leader.

The Judicial Power is the most important branch in any State under the rule of law. I have written it before; kings in the medieval world were the head of the State because they “said law” in their “juris-diction”. They judged and did justice. In Castile, during the time when they had no seat, they roamed the kingdom with the codes stored in carts. That was admirable.

I remember with emotion the elections of the year 2000. It seemed that the country was on the brink of civil war. Republicans and Democrats were at odds. Fools called for conflict. A legion of lawyers debated the intentions of the voters when they unsuccessfully punched the ballots in old machines.

The Supreme Court ruled and suddenly everything calmed down. Al Gore acknowledged his defeat, the lawyers withdrew, and the madmen put away their knives. The whole of society accepted the ruling, even if they didn’t like it.

What was the ruling? Simple, the judiciary could not decide who would win or lose the elections, but it was within its competence to establish whether the rules by which the elections had been called had been complied with.

No one could know for sure the intentions of the voters, but the rule stated that the ballots that raised doubts should be discarded. Thus, George W. Bush had won by 538 votes in the State of Florida and became the nation’s president.

That reasoning, impeccable from my point of view, was contrary to Trump’s designs; it was up to each State to determine the voting procedure. So those who have decided to vote by mail have complied with the rule. Therefore, it wasn’t the task of the Supreme Court to void those millions of votes. The blow was seen coming. [©FIRMAS PRESS]

*@CarlosAMontaner. CAM’s latest book is Sin ir más lejos (Memories). Published by Debate, a label of Penguin-Random House, the book is available through Amazon Books.

By Carlos Alberto Montaner*

(FIRMAS PRESS) The news is chilling. Donald Trump, Texas and 17 states had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate elections in four states in which Joe Biden, at the head of the Democrats, narrowly won. The signatures of 108 Republican congressmen went with the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs didn’t care that Biden had received the largest number of votes in US electoral history–81 million votes. Seven million more than Trump, who got 74 million, which is not bad at all.

Those four states (Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) gathered 62 electoral votes, enough to deprive Joe Biden of his 306-232 victory in the Electoral College. The majority is 270. If the Supreme Court would have accepted the gross deception, Biden would only have gotten 244 electoral votes.

The argument for perpetrating the scam has to do with voting by mail. As we are in the times of Covid-19 there were many mail-in votes and mainly for the Democrats. The plaintiffs wanted those ballots to be eliminated. The pretext was that the disproportion contained the trap made by the Democrats.

It’s not true. Trump voted by mail in Florida, where he won. The disproportion only revealed the attitude towards face masks and social distancing. Many Trump followers believed that the virus was a fantasy tale. A lie of the “weak” Democrats.

William Barr, the nation’s Attorney General, who was appointed by Trump, found no significant traces of a plot to deprive Republicans of his triumph. The same happened to the FBI or Chris Krebs, former director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, who was fired for saying the same thing.

Luckily, Trump and his accomplices didn’t obtain the Supreme Court’s collaboration. A few days ago, that institution voted unanimously against Trump in the attempt to invalidate the elections in Pennsylvania. It voted according to law. Otherwise it would have been prevaricating.

The three judges appointed by Trump –Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett– proved that it is one thing to be a conservative and quite another to be a puppet in the hands of the one who appointed you. They proved that they were serious jurists and not terrified officials.

After all, there is a long tradition of independent judiciary in the United States. In 1954, a few months after being appointed by Eisenhower as Chief Justice, Earl Warren ruled against racial segregation in schools, despite a special request from the country’s leader.

The Judicial Power is the most important branch in any State under the rule of law. I have written it before; kings in the medieval world were the head of the State because they “said law” in their “juris-diction”. They judged and did justice. In Castile, during the time when they had no seat, they roamed the kingdom with the codes stored in carts. That was admirable.

I remember with emotion the elections of the year 2000. It seemed that the country was on the brink of civil war. Republicans and Democrats were at odds. Fools called for conflict. A legion of lawyers debated the intentions of the voters when they unsuccessfully punched the ballots in old machines.

The Supreme Court ruled and suddenly everything calmed down. Al Gore acknowledged his defeat, the lawyers withdrew, and the madmen put away their knives. The whole of society accepted the ruling, even if they didn’t like it.

What was the ruling? Simple, the judiciary could not decide who would win or lose the elections, but it was within its competence to establish whether the rules by which the elections had been called had been complied with.

No one could know for sure the intentions of the voters, but the rule stated that the ballots that raised doubts should be discarded. Thus, George W. Bush had won by 538 votes in the State of Florida and became the nation’s president.

That reasoning, impeccable from my point of view, was contrary to Trump’s designs; it was up to each State to determine the voting procedure. So those who have decided to vote by mail have complied with the rule. Therefore, it wasn’t the task of the Supreme Court to void those millions of votes. The result was to be expected.

2 Responses to “The Supreme Court again on trial”

  1. Manuel 14 December 2020 at 3:14 pm Permalink

    Trump visited Georgia recently, for a rally in Valdosta, and told the crowd, “They cheated and they rigged our Presidential election. But we will still win!” There is a contradictory logic to having the person who just lost the Presidential race in the state campaign on behalf of people hoping to win Senate seats there—especially in the case of Perdue, who got more votes statewide in November than Trump did. The effect could be to further demoralize the Republican electorate.
    All this points to a supreme irony confronting Georgia as early voting begins, on December 14th. Last year, the House of Representatives passed H.R.1, the For the People bill, which includes the most comprehensive election-reform measures in recent history. Among its provisions are new mechanisms to govern voter-roll purges, oversight of standards for electronic voting machines, and measures to prevent foreign interference in American elections.
    Like much other legislation, it has been stalled by a Senate controlled by Republicans under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. This means that, for those Georgia Republicans who believe that Trump was the victim of fraud in their state, returning Loeffler and Perdue to office would actually further postpone a remedy to their alleged problem. American elections are vulnerable, just not in the ways that some Republicans in Georgia are claiming. (The 2018 gubernatorial race that delivered Brian Kemp to office was itself marred by irregularities.) An argument for electing Warnock and Ossoff is the fact that the biggest obstacle to preventing “rigged” elections in the future is the Party complaining about rigging in the one that just happened. ■

  2. Manuel 15 December 2020 at 6:52 am Permalink

    “ The relationship between reader and writer is reciprocal in a way. We co-create each other. We are constantly emerging out of the relationship we have with others.”
    —Ruth Ozeki


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