One Week And Two Events Of Historic Significance
In the past seven days, the country has seen two events of historic significance: the explosive testimony of a young woman with impeccable conservative Republican credentials against former President Donald Trump, and an indefensible Supreme Court decision that took away a constitutional right that had been recognized for 50 years.
On Tuesday, a courageous 26-year-old woman told truth to power as she testified before the House Jan. 6th Committee on the events in the White House on and in the days leading up to January 6, 2021.
In the words of the play Hamilton, she was “in the room where it happens.”
In this case, Cassidy Hutchinson was in the West Wing of the White House where she had an office between her boss, chief of staff Mark Meadows, and former President Trump’s Oval Office.
Hutchinson testified with remarkable poise and credibility, providing the following pivotal information: Trump knew there were weapons in the crowd that he urged to march on the Capitol on January 6; he was unconcerned about the weapons and their potential impact at the Capitol because the mob’s “not here to hurt me”; he refused to take any action to restrain the mob as they hunted then-Vice President Pence chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” with Meadows telling Hutchinson that Trump said, “Mike deserves it.”
Hutchinson testified that Trump family members, White House staff, and Members of Congress all urged Trump to call off the mob, but to no avail as Trump let the attack on the Capitol continue for hours before finally calling for his supporters to leave.
Trump incited the attack on the Capitol to disrupt the certification by Congress of Joe Biden as President.
With Hutchinson’s riveting testimony on Tuesday, Trump moved closer to a criminal indictment for obstruction of a congressional proceeding, a violation of 18 U.S.C Section 1512.
On June 24, the Republican-appointed majority on the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and took away the longstanding constitutional right of women to make decisions about whether to have an abortion.
Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, arrogantly attacked the Roe decision as “egregiously wrong from the start.” In doing so, Alito gave the back of his hand to the rights of women and to the numerous Republican-appointed and Democratic-appointed Justices who had written the original decision in 1973, reaffirmed it in 1992, and left the constitutional right in place for 50 years.
Justice Alito and the four Justices joining the opinion had no legitimate legal basis for ignoring the super precedent Roe had become. The only change in 50 years was the new radical majority sitting on the Court. The long-existing standards for overriding a precedent, much less a super precedent, were ignored by the majority.
Even before last week’s decision, the Court’s radical majority had already gone a long way toward destroying the Court’s credibility and integrity.
Justice Clarence Thomas seriously damaged the integrity of the Court by refusing to recuse himself from a case that could have affected his wife’s interests. Recently revealed documents show that Ginni Thomas was an active participant in the attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Justice Thomas had a serious conflict of interest and appearance of a conflict in participating in a case involving the disclosure of presidential documents to the Jan. 6th Committee. The documents may have included those relating to his wife’s activities. Justice Thomas cast the only vote against disclosure of the documents.
A Gallup poll from earlier this month found that only 25 percent of Americans held a favorable view of the Supreme Court — and that was before the Court’s radical decisions overturning Roe and striking down concealed carry gun regulations. In September 2017, as Trump’s presidency was beginning, the Court’s approval rating was 49 percent.
The Supreme Court majority has abandoned any pretense of carrying out its proper judicial role. Instead, today’s Supreme Court is operating as a political institution and doing enormous damage both to the Court and to the country.