PHOENIX — On a recent Wednesday at 9:47 a.m., two police cars pulled up to Recovery Response Center, a one-story stucco building on a main highway in Peoria, 13 miles from downtown Phoenix.A lanky, sandy-haired man compliantly walked with two officers through an entrance marked “police/EMS drop off.” Three minutes later, the officers walked out, got into their cars and drove away.Ten minutes after that, the 27-year-old was sitting in a small office with a counselor asking him why the police had brought him in. In an even tone, he explained that the government was out to get him, he felt threat...
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The U.S. Supreme Court is facing a legitimacy crisis after overturning Roe vs. Wade and increasing ethics scandals involving Justice Clarance Thomas, whose wife Ginni testified before the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.
"The nine justices have no control over money, as Congress does, or force, as the executive branch does. All they have is their black robes and the public trust. A court that does not keep that trust cannot perform its critical role in American government," The New York Times editorial board wrote on Saturday.
The editorial noted the court's falling standing among the public.
"The actual cause of its historic unpopularity is no secret. Over the past several years, the court has been transformed into a judicial arm of the Republican Party," the editorial board wrote. "This project was taking shape more quietly for decades, but it shifted into high gear in 2016, when Justice Antonin Scalia died and Senate Republicans refused to let Barack Obama choose his successor, obliterating the practice of deferring to presidents to fill vacancies on the court. Within four years, the court had a 6-to-3 right-wing supermajority, supercharging the Republican appointees’ efforts to discard the traditions and processes that have allowed the court to appear fair and nonpartisan. As a result, the court’s legitimacy has been squandered in the service of partisan victories."
The court's new term is set to begin on Monday.
"With a few exceptions, the Supreme Court rarely has been at the forefront of making America a more equal place. But we are not consigned to living under the thumb of a reactionary juristocracy," the editorial board wrote. "To the contrary, the meaning of the Constitution is far more than what the court decrees; it is the result of an ongoing conversation between the court and the American people. Those who protested the loss of their rights after the Dobbs decision, and those who showed their determination to protect those rights, as voters did in Kansas in August, are speaking directly to the court. When the justices stop listening, as they have at other moments in history, the people’s voices will eventually become too loud for them to ignore."
Sunday evening, CNN is set to air a new Fareed Zakaria special titled, “Supreme Power: Inside the Highest Court in the Land.”
On Saturday, CNN published a tease of the special adapted from Zakaria's concluding remarks.
"The Supreme Court of the United States has moved in a direction that has weakened its own legitimacy," Zakaria said. "It might be an occasion to begin a national conversation about what reforms could be put in place to make it less partisan, less divisive and more trusted by the vast majority of citizens. After all, that is the only way its rulings will be truly accepted in a diverse democracy of more than 330 million people."
Oath Keepers claim 'opposite' of sedition because Trump could order militia attack on Capitol: analysis
With opening arguments in the Oath Keepers' seditious conspiracy trial scheduled to begin on Monday, the New Yorker took an in-depth look at the legal argument being put forth by founder Stewart Rhodes and co-defendants.
"In the trial, Rhodes’s lawyers will attempt to sway the jury using an argument rooted in Rhodes’s version of right-wing militancy," Mike Giglio reported. "The Oath Keepers, they will argue, were not at the Capitol to fight with law enforcement on January 6, 2021. They were acting more as an extension of law enforcement, awaiting orders from Donald Trump, whom Rhodes had urged to invoke the Insurrection Act, to prevent Joe Biden from taking power. He implored Trump to call up members of the Oath Keepers and other armed Americans to serve as part of a Presidentially sanctioned militia."
The story noted a pre-trial motion where Rhodes' lawyers wrote, "the Government would like this Court to believe that is sedition, when in fact, it is the opposite. It is loyalty to an oath taken in defense of the Country.”
The co-defendants could face twenty years in prison if convicted.
"After Rhodes’s arrest, Phillip Linder, a well-regarded Dallas attorney, and his partner, James Lee Bright, became his defense lawyers. Sidney Powell, the lawyer who’d spread Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election, reportedly hired Linder and Bright via her new foundation, as well as paid defense bills for another Oath Keeper charged alongside Rhodes; a senior member of the Proud Boys; and other defendants in January 6th cases," the New Yorker reported. "Last month, Rhodes attempted to replace the two attorneys and delay his trial; Judge Amit Mehta, of the D.C. district court, denied the motion, but the new lawyer Rhodes had selected, Edward Tarpley, was added to the defense team. Linder and Bright continue to direct Rhodes’s defense."
Bright said they were aware that Rhodes' defense could potentially be used to justify violence in the future and that Jan. 6 could have been worse, noting “how dangerous Trump was in that moment to America.”
He also noted how Trump incited his followers with giving a clear command for violence.
“Isn’t that where Trump is kind of a genius? He knew what to tell people. He figured it out,” Bright said. “He used the hell out of these people. He knew their fears. He knew their dreams.”
Read the full report.
On Saturday, Donald Trump continued to receive blowback to a post on his Truth Social media platform that is being universally criticized for its blatant racism.
The post, where the ex-president described his former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's "China Loving wife, Coco Chow," was slammed by Alyssa Farah Griffin who also served in his administration as the White House Director of Strategic Communications.
In the post, Trump wrote, "Is McConnell approving all of these Trillions of Dollars worth of Democrat sponsored Bills, without even the slightest bit of negotiation, because he hates Donald J. Trump, and he knows I am strongly opposed to them, or is he doing it because he believes in the Fake and Highly Destructive Green New Deal, and is willing to take the Country down with him? In any event, either reason is unacceptable. He has a DEATH WISH. Must immediately seek help and advise (sic) from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!"
That was too much for Farah Griffin who responded on Twitter with, "This isn’t some crazy person on the internet, this is the GOP front-runner for President if the Party doesn’t wake up & demand better."
She then added, "He’s not even trying to hide the racism at this point. Just despicable."