Ten months after his murder, George Floyd’s family received some closure and a form of justice when the jury convicted his killer, former Officer Derek Chauvin, on all three counts of murder and manslaughter charges, after less than 11 hours of deliberation. The evidence against him was so egregious, that outcome should have been beyond dispute, but in such racially charged cases of police misconduct, nothing is certain.
Tag archive: Themis
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
–Ruth Bader Ginsburg
On September 18th, 2020, the US political world was shaken to its foundations by the death of the Notorious R.B.G., Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an associate Justice of the US Supreme Court and liberal icon for almost thirty years. Ginsburg succumbed to complications arising from metastasized pancreatic cancer, after struggling with the disease in one form or another for over twenty years. Ginsburg’s death, coming so close to a US presidential election, completely upends the calculus, energizing both sides, as conservatives scramble to replace her before they may lose control of the White House and Senate, and progressives cry “Foul!” in the face of clear double standards regarding the rules for filling such vacancies.
We last checked in with Trump crony and political adviser Roger Stone eighteen months ago, in January 2019, just after his home was raided by FBI agents, and Stone arrested on seven federal counts of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering. It’s been a long road for Stone, who was convicted on all counts in November 2019, then sentenced to forty months in prison on February 20, 2020, after William Barr’s Justice Department attempted to intervene and lighten his prison term, prompted by tweets from the President characterizing his friend’s treatment as “horrible and very unfair” and a “miscarriage of justice”.
Stone’s incarceration was due to start July 14, but was superseded when Donald Trump commuted his sentence on Friday, 10 July 2020. Short of a pardon, the commutation means that Roger Stone, for now, remains a convicted felon, but will never serve a day in prison for his crimes.
In a surprise 6-3 decision June 15th, the United States Supreme Court ruled that gays and transgendered individuals are in fact protected by Title VII of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, which already prohibits discrimination in the workplace on sexual grounds. Conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the bloc of four liberals in essentially grandfathering in sexual orientation and gender identification to the nearly sixty-year-old law. Well, duh.
The senior Justice in the majority determines who will write the decision, and John Roberts wasted no time in passing this hot potato along to junior Justice Gorsuch, perhaps the unkindest cut of all for conservatives, who have put up with all manner of crudity, ignorance, and anti-Christian-values shenanigans from Donald Trump, all in the name of the justices he would appoint to the Supreme Court, whom they assumed would rule in support of their views. As historian Jon Meacham recently opined, “they sold their souls to Trump for the Supreme Court, and now find that his check has bounced.”
Late on April 3, 2020 US President Donald Trump did a little spring cleaning, throwing out some trash he’d been wanting to get rid of for some time. The offending object was Justice Department Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson, the man whose judicious handling of the Ukraine whistleblower report eventually led to the President’s impeachment. Trump made no bones about his reason for relieving Atkinson of his position, citing the decision to pass the complaint on to Congress as the grounds for removal. With The Donald, everything is either confession or projection.
January 15, 2020 was yet another bad day for Donald J. Trump. Within hours, the impeachment articles against him had been signed and delivered to the Senate for his trial, and an associate, Lev Parnes, gave a devastating interview confirming the President’s direct involvement in the Ukraine aid-for-dirt shakedown. Trump had previously publically denied knowing Parnas, a statement which apparently insulted his henchman, causing him to flip on the boss.