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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Thomas Jipping"

Canaparo and Jipping: Trump is impeached – period. Speaker Pelosi, let Senate do its work

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6117646956001_6117652350001-vs Canaparo and Jipping: Trump is impeached – period. Speaker Pelosi, let Senate do its work Thomas Jipping GianCarlo Canaparo fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc bcba7ac8-70d4-561d-a8ed-9bda79c7ce5a article

One of the Constitution’s clearest provisions is also one of its least-used: the process for removing the president for serious misconduct. Some politicians and lawyers, however, are trying to complicate this straightforward constitutional process, inventing things that simply aren’t there.

The Constitution’s impeachment process has two steps: Article 1 section 2, gives the House of Representatives the “sole power of impeachment” and section 3 gives the Senate the “sole power to try all impeachments.” The House did its part on  Dec. 18, adopting two articles of impeachment. All that’s left is for the House to appoint a few members to act as the prosecutors and, as the Senate’s trial rules put it, notify the Senate that these impeachment “managers” are “directed to carry articles of impeachment to the Senate.”

If this sounds a little familiar, it’s not really different from the indictment and trial you might have watched on any episode of “Law & Order.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., however, appears to be making up a process of her own. She says she won’t appoint impeachment managers or send the articles to the Senate until the Senate agrees to conduct its trial the way she dictates.

DAN GAINOR: TRUMP IMPEACHMENT THRILLS LEFT-WING MEDIA – ‘MERRY IMPEACHMAS!’

In other words, Pelosi is holding the impeachment for ransom, keeping the county in impeachment limbo.

The House has impeached, but the Senate cannot conduct a trial unless it agrees to Pelosi’s demands or is able to change its impeachment trial rules (which requires a two-thirds vote) so it can at least start a trial on its own.

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In response, Harvard law professor Noah Feldman, who argued strongly for impeachment as one of House Democrats’ hearing witnesses, wrote an article objecting to Pelosi’s gambit. Trump, Feldman insists, is not actually impeached until the House sends formal notice to the  Senate.

Feldman is wrong. He claims that, in the past, “‘impeachment’ occurred – and occurs – when the articles of impeachment are presented to the Senate for trial.” But asserting this is all he does. He offers nothing to suggest that America’s founders designed impeachment this way. His claim actually contradicts the language of the Constitution. While the House has the “sole” power of impeachment, Feldman says that impeachment cannot occur without the Senate.

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Feldman tries to blur the lines by saying that “impeachment is a process,” but that’s not really true either. Just like there is a process that results in an indictment, there is a process for producing an impeachment, a process that occurs entirely within the House of Representatives.

But an impeachment itself, like an indictment, is a thing. The Constitution, after all, gives the Senate the power to “try all impeachments.” The Senate’s impeachment trial rules refer to “managers of an impeachment” and their first trial responsibility as “exhibit[ing] articles of impeachment.” In other words, the articles of impeachment adopted by the House are the impeachment.

Now that the impeachment is finished, trying to manipulate how the Senate conducts its trial would only taint this whole drama even more and further distort the Constitution’s impeachment framework.   

The House itself agrees. Its website includes a list of “individuals impeached by the House of Representatives.” The first name on the list is Sen. William Blount of Tennessee. The Senate literally refused to recognize the impeachment as valid, choosing instead to expel him. The House still says he was impeached. The list also includes U.S. District Judge Mark Delahay, who is listed as being impeached even though the House appointed no impeachment managers and the Senate conducted no trial at all.

Feldman’s claim is like saying that, though a grand jury has voted to indict, a criminal defendant is not really indicted until that action is presented to the trial jury.

To his credit, Feldman is correct that an indefinite delay in appointing managers and sending notice that they are ready to participate in the impeachment trial “would pose a serious problem.” The House impeachment process, and the impeachment itself, were purely partisan. Now that the impeachment is finished, however, trying to manipulate how the Senate conducts its trial would only taint this whole drama even more and further distort the Constitution’s impeachment framework.

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Since Feldman is such a strong Trump critic, he likely came up with this novel theory to push the process ahead toward, he hopes, Senate conviction and Trump’s removal from office. His ends, however, do not justify his means.

The House has done its part by impeaching Trump. The House must appoint managers and notify the Senate not because doing so is necessary to complete the impeachment, but because it’s the House’s clear obligation under the Constitution.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY GIANCARLO CANAPARO

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6117646956001_6117652350001-vs Canaparo and Jipping: Trump is impeached – period. Speaker Pelosi, let Senate do its work Thomas Jipping GianCarlo Canaparo fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc bcba7ac8-70d4-561d-a8ed-9bda79c7ce5a article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6117646956001_6117652350001-vs Canaparo and Jipping: Trump is impeached – period. Speaker Pelosi, let Senate do its work Thomas Jipping GianCarlo Canaparo fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc bcba7ac8-70d4-561d-a8ed-9bda79c7ce5a article

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Thomas Jipping: Trump impeachment hinges on whether he had ‘corrupt intent’ in taking lawful actions

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Pelosi-thumb Thomas Jipping: Trump impeachment hinges on whether he had 'corrupt intent' in taking lawful actions Thomas Jipping fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article a79db4da-10eb-517c-a80c-f58d3b755ce0

For only the third time in American history, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to impeach the president of the United States. This sounds really bad, but here are a few things to help put it in perspective.

House Resolution 755, which was adopted Wednesday night largely along party lines, contains two articles of impeachment against President Trump – one labeled “abuse of power” and the other “obstruction of Congress.”

Not a single Republican voted for either article of impeachment. Two Democrats voted against the first article, and three voted against the second – while Democratic presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii voted “present” on both articles.

HOUSE IMPEACHES TRUMP OVER UKRAINE DEALINGS, AS PELOSI FLOATS HOLDING UP SENATE TRIAL

It’s important to understand that this is not the first impeachment resolution filed against President Trump by House Democrats.

HR 438, introduced in July 2017, proposed impeaching Trump for hindering the investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election.

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HR 621, introduced a few months later, had five impeachment articles alleging: violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause; “lack of respect for the federal judiciary,” such as by tweeting and criticizing judges; and speaking negatively about the media.

HR 705, introduced in January 2018, said Trump should be removed from office for “sowing discord among the American people.”

In short, the impeachment of Trump appears to be a punishment in search of a crime.

The impeachment process is, next to declaring war, the most consequential thing Congress can do. It would not only nullify the last election – it would prevent a president from running for reelection if he is in his first term.

That means a simple majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate could neutralize the electoral votes of 30 states. That is, it would take no more than 218 House members and 67 senators to wipe out the votes of 63 million Americans who cast ballots to put Donald Trump in the White House.

While the Constitution does not require a particular standard of proof, such as “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the gravity of impeachment and its consequences demands something at that end of the scale.

The House did not impeach Trump for pushing Ukraine to investigate corruption, or for delaying security assistance for Ukraine and refusing to hold a White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Nor did the House impeach Trump for conducting some aspects of foreign policy in an “irregular” manner. By themselves, there was nothing wrong with those actions. The House impeached Trump for what the impeachment resolution called his “corrupt purposes” behind those actions.

The thing that turned permissible presidential choices into impeachable offenses, the House said, is that Trump took those actions to “solicit the interference of a foreign government” – Ukraine – in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Trump’s alleged offense was not his “urging and soliciting Ukraine to undertake investigations,” but the allegation that he “corruptly” did so “for his personal political benefit.”

This is the single most important issue in the entire impeachment drama. The House impeached Trump for his intent – his motive and purpose behind otherwise legitimate actions.

The Senate must now conduct a trial for Trump, serving as both judge and jury. According to the American Bar Association, the jury “listens to the evidence during a trial, decides what facts the evidence has established, and draws inferences from those facts to form the basis for their decision.”

Specifically, senators must decide whether the evidence has established Trump’s intent to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election. Or, as more than one House Democrat has put it, whether Trump tried to get Ukraine to “help him cheat” in the election.

It’s not enough to just accuse Trump of trying to “coerce” Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 election. Saying that over and over simply does not make it so.

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It’s also not enough to show that Trump pushed Ukraine to conduct investigations. And it’s not enough to speculate that, if those investigations had occurred, they might have produced information that Trump might have used in his campaign next year.

It is certainly not enough to say, as Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., did in the House Judiciary Committee Dec. 12, that “if it looks like a duck … it’s probably a duck. And I’m afraid that the July 25 call is a duck.” She was referring to a call between President Trump and President Zelensky.

If a criminal defendant is charged with a specific-intent crime, the prosecutor must prove, separately and by the same standard, both the underlying action and the intent behind that action.

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The same should be true during the Senate impeachment trial. The prosecutor’s role will be played by designated House members. Senators should not let them off the hook in terms of proving the central element of the charges they have leveled against the president.

As the American Bar Association put it, does the evidence clearly establish the fact of Trump’s intent – the alleged “corrupt purpose” – that House Democrats say should take from the American people the decision about whether Trump should remain in office? This is the question that every senator must answer.

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Pelosi-thumb Thomas Jipping: Trump impeachment hinges on whether he had 'corrupt intent' in taking lawful actions Thomas Jipping fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article a79db4da-10eb-517c-a80c-f58d3b755ce0   Westlake Legal Group Trump-Pelosi-thumb Thomas Jipping: Trump impeachment hinges on whether he had 'corrupt intent' in taking lawful actions Thomas Jipping fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article a79db4da-10eb-517c-a80c-f58d3b755ce0

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Thomas Jipping: To impeach, can Democrats prove Trump solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election?

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113047348001_6113044976001-vs Thomas Jipping: To impeach, can Democrats prove Trump solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election? Thomas Jipping fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/world fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/jerrold-nadler fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 522d728d-24fb-5b24-b727-29e7bf5db607

As House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., passed the impeachment inquiry baton to the Judiciary Committee this week, he said the central allegation against President Trump is that the president “solicited foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election.”

This accusation will likely be the heart of any articles of impeachment the Judiciary Committee produces against the president.

If that’s the Democrats’ choice, so be it. But choices have consequences. If the Democrats go with solicitation, they’ll have to actually prove it.

GREGG JARRETT: IMPEACHMENT-OBSESSED DEMOCRATS IGNORE LOGIC AND LAW AS 4 PROFESSORS TESTIFY AT HEARING

As House Democrats have pursued an impeachment, they’ve turned to focus groups to find the phrases that will serve them best. This marketing research led them to drop the “quid pro quo” accusation.

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It turns out most people realize a quid pro quo is nothing more than an exchange of one thing for another – something that happened this morning when I filled up my car at the gas station and I paid with my credit card.

As the focus group feedback rolled in, Schiff shifted to words like “bribery,” “extortion,” or “shake-down.” Perhaps Democrats have now settled on “solicitation” for the same reason.

While specific terms may resonate more or less among focus groups, some of them also have specific legal definitions. Under federal law (18 U.S. Code §373), for example, solicitation of a crime of violence requires not only a specific intent but also that the solicitation occurs “under circumstances strongly corroborative of that intent.”

The Justice Department’s Criminal Resource Manual explains that “the Government must establish that the defendant had the intent that another person engages in conduct constituting a felony crime of violence in violation of Federal law. The intent must be shown to be serious by strongly corroborative circumstances. Second, the Government must prove that the defendant commanded, induced, or otherwise endeavored to persuade the other person to commit the felony.”

The whole impeachment ballgame comes down to whether Trump took certain actions in relation to Ukraine for the specific purpose of manipulating the 2020 presidential election. The House Intelligence Committee’s report states as its first finding of fact, for example, that Trump “solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.”

Law professors brought in for Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing made the same claim. Harvard Professor Noah Feldman claimed that in a July 25 telephone call, Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “to investigate his political rivals in order to gain personal political advantage, including in the 2020 presidential election.”

Stanford Professor Pamela Karlan similarly claimed that Trump sought “the aid of a foreign government in his reelection campaign.” Trump, she said, literally demanded “foreign interference in our elections.”

No, an offense does not have to be criminal to be impeachable. But if Democrats are going to frame the case against Trump in terms of a recognized crime like solicitation and if they are going to claim that

Trump acted with this intent, then they should have to prove it.

While Democrats have repeatedly claimed that Trump solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election, repeating a claim does not prove it.

It is obviously insufficient, for example, to speculate that if Zelensky had done what Trump asked (he did not), it could have resulted in something Trump might have used next year in his reelection campaign.

Legitimate reasons for Trump’s request to Zelensky unrelated to the 2020 election increase the need for concrete, actual evidence of the intent that Trump’s critics claim.

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After all, everything a first-term president does has the potential to affect his reelection prospects. And every first-term president takes actions, or takes actions in a particular way, with an eye toward just that end.

The House Intelligence Committee hearings highlighted that Trump sometimes conducts foreign policy, including with respect to Ukraine, in ways that frustrate professional diplomats and Trump’s critics. OK, but is that evidence that Trump, in Feldman’s words, sought “personal political and electoral advantage over his political rival?”

In the Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, George Washington University Professor Jonathan Turley distinguished between “rage and reason.”

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Trump critics, both in and outside of government, have whipped each other into a frenzy that appears to be affecting their judgment, Turley said.

So far at least, they seem to be substituting “I wouldn’t put it past him” or “sounds like something Trump would do” for evidence that Trump acted with the intent required to establish what they say he did.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113047348001_6113044976001-vs Thomas Jipping: To impeach, can Democrats prove Trump solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election? Thomas Jipping fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/world fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/jerrold-nadler fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 522d728d-24fb-5b24-b727-29e7bf5db607   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113047348001_6113044976001-vs Thomas Jipping: To impeach, can Democrats prove Trump solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election? Thomas Jipping fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/world fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/jerrold-nadler fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 522d728d-24fb-5b24-b727-29e7bf5db607

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Canaparo & Jipping: In impeachment inquiry, ‘whistleblower’ testimony is vital

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6107102995001_6107096256001-vs Canaparo & Jipping: In impeachment inquiry, ‘whistleblower’ testimony is vital Thomas Jipping GianCarlo Canaparo fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/world fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ee61d8c1-c3c3-5657-bac1-3c5a7eacfbd7 article

Democrats and Republicans have been fighting over whether the person who filed a complaint about President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – sparking the impeachment inquiry now underway against Trump – should be called to testify publicly.

We believe the person, who is not technically a whistleblower, should be required to testify before the House Intelligence Committee. Democrats who control the committee disagree. They killed a motion to subpoena the so-called whistleblower, who has said through his attorney that he wants to remain anonymous.

Here’s why the person filing the complaint should testify:

FBI REACHED OUT TO WHISTLEBLOWER’S LEGAL TEAM FOR INTERVIEW, SOURCE TELLS FOX NEWS

Impeaching and removing a president is perhaps the most consequential thing Congress can do, short of declaring war. Impeachment and removal turns our representative democracy on its head, nullifying the last election.

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In the case of a first-term president, impeachment deprives the American people of the chance to pass judgment on his actions and decide if they want to reelect him.

Impeachment is designed to be a constitutional failsafe, a measure of last resort to save the republic from imminent harm posed by the executive.

Public understanding of such a grave step and confidence in its legitimacy demand that Democrats show that the impeachment proceedings now underway are more than simply an exercise of raw partisan politics.

The American people need to know as much as possible about what the president is accused of. Yet the impeachment inquiry against Trump has been marked by secret proceedings, rules favoring one party over the other, and explosive accusations by people who may not even have firsthand knowledge. These are not the marks of a legitimate process. Indeed, they actively undercut the people’s trust.

As then-Sen. Joe Biden said during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998: “We in Congress had better be very careful before we upset [the people’s] decision and make darn sure … that our decision to impeach him was based on principle and not politics.”

Biden, who went on to become vice president and is now seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump for the presidency next year, was right 21 years ago and his position is the right one today. Not surprisingly, Democrats are far more eager to impeach Republican Trump than they were to impeach Democrat Clinton.

As the House moves toward what appears to be Trump’s likely impeachment (followed by his likely acquittal in a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate), Democrats will need to gather all the facts and present them openly and honestly to the American people.

That means that the complainant needs to answer important questions like:

How did you learn about the Trump-Zelensky call?

Did you have any firsthand information?

Who provided you with second-hand information?

Why did you think this person or persons were trustworthy?

Did the accounts you heard from those sources differ from the memorandum of the call released by the president?

Many more questions need to be asked, of course.

The complainant’s attorneys have said he is willing to answer questions in writing, but that’s not sufficient. The American people need to weigh his credibility. Pieces of paper can’t answer questions.

And there are a lot of questions. As the intelligence community Inspector General noted, the complainant had significant ties to one of the current Democratic presidential candidates.

According to some media reports, the complainant is a registered Democrat who worked for then-Vice President Biden in addition to former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

If any of these and other unverified reports about the so-called whistleblower are true, then there is good reason to think the complainant is more like a partisan double agent than a true whistleblower.

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And especially because it appears the complainant lacked firsthand knowledge of the events he complained about, there’s the question of who did. And why did they seek him out to pass their information along?

Motive matters. If impeachment is to be anything other than a partisan assault on our democracy, a bipartisan consensus must agree that politics was not the animating factor behind the complaint as well as the subsequent impeachment inquiry.

Current House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., had some good advice back in 1998, when he was already serving in the House.

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“There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment, when impeachment is supported by one of our major political parties and opposed by the other,” Nadler said 21 years ago.  “Such an impeachment will produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions.”

Congress should heed that old but wise and very relevant advice of Joe Biden and Jerrold Nadler today.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY GIANCARLO CANAPARO

Thomas Jipping is deputy director and a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6107102995001_6107096256001-vs Canaparo & Jipping: In impeachment inquiry, ‘whistleblower’ testimony is vital Thomas Jipping GianCarlo Canaparo fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/world fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ee61d8c1-c3c3-5657-bac1-3c5a7eacfbd7 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6107102995001_6107096256001-vs Canaparo & Jipping: In impeachment inquiry, ‘whistleblower’ testimony is vital Thomas Jipping GianCarlo Canaparo fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/world fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ee61d8c1-c3c3-5657-bac1-3c5a7eacfbd7 article

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Jipping and von Spakovsky: Dems improperly play politics with Supreme Court, threatening its independence

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-cef6b41d9a654632837b840f8b483898 Jipping and von Spakovsky: Dems improperly play politics with Supreme Court, threatening its independence Thomas Jipping Hans von Spakovsky fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 8551ac37-b3c9-5466-8238-8348b735cf82

In an extraordinary and outrageous move endangering the constitutionally mandated independence of the U.S. Supreme Court, five Democratic senators are threatening political retaliation against the court unless it denies the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers in its first gun case in a decade.

Not since 1937 – when newly reelected Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt proposed adding additional justices to the Supreme Court in a blatant move to produce decisions more favorable to his New Deal agenda – has there been such a serious attempt to change the way the judicial branch of government operates in order to change the outcome of its decisions.

In fact, going back even further in history, the threat the Democratic senators are posing to the judiciary’s independence is arguably the greatest since that made by Britain’s King George against the 13 British colonies before they became the United States. Our Declaration of Independence lists these threats as one justification for the American Revolution.

SENATE DEMS DELIVER STUNNING WARNING TO SUPREME COURT: ‘HEAL’ OR FACE RESTRUCTURING

Back in 1937, the Senate Judiciary Committee – led by Roosevelt’s fellow Democrats – refused to go along with what became known as his court-packing scheme. This committee stated in a report on Roosevelt’s legislative proposal that it was “nothing more than the declaration that when the Court stands in the way of a legislative enactment, the Congress may reverse the ruling by enlarging the Court.”

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Fast forward to today’s similar situation. Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Richard Durbin of Illinois, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have replaced Roosevelt in the role of trying to manipulate the Supreme Court.

The Democratic senators are threatening the independence of the Supreme Court because they are determined to curtail the constitutional right of Americans to keep and bear arms in a case called New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York.

The legal brief filed in the case by the senators not only threatens the independence of the judiciary – it threatens the rule of law. The senators are engaging in a form of extortion, warning justices that grave harm will befall the Supreme Court if the justices don’t rule the way the senators want.

As they fashioned our unique system of government, America’s founders singled out several elements they considered critical to its success. Alexander Hamilton, for example, wrote that the “independence of the courts” is “peculiarly essential.”

The five senators would be wise to heed Hamilton.

In fact, going back even further in history, the threat the Democratic senators are posing to the judiciary’s independence is arguably the greatest since that made by Britain’s King George against the 13 British colonies before they became the United States.

This case before the Supreme Court that has prompted the senators’ move against the high court challenges a New York state law that allows a licensed gun owner in New York City to transport a handgun (even if locked up and unloaded) outside his or her home only to one of a few shooting ranges in the city.

The five Democratic senators want the high court to uphold the law, even though it clearly makes a mockery of our Second Amendment rights. But they can’t demand that result just because they want it.

The brief filed by the senators asserts: “The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it.”

The lawsuit by the senators cites polls supposedly showing that a narrow majority of Americans believe that Supreme Court decisions are “motivated by” or “too influenced by” politics.

The final paragraph of the senators’ legal brief concludes with this ominous warning: “Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’ Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.”

There you have it. These legislators have fired a shot across the judiciary’s bow. Change your ways, ignore the constitutional protections that we don’t like – such as the Second Amendment – or we will change you. Start making decisions that further our political agenda, or we will create a judiciary that will.

Compared to these senators, King George and President Franklin Roosevelt were amateurs in their attacks on the judiciary.

The warning from the senators comes on the heels of growing calls to pack the courts – as Roosevelt tried and failed to do – and an obviously unconstitutional proposal to “rotate” Supreme Court justices in and out of the high court, analyzed here and here.

These – and the five senators’ not-so-subtle threat to “restructure” the judiciary – are not about appointing judges who follow a particular approach to deciding cases. Every president does that.

No, the threat here is to literally manipulate the structure of the judicial branch itself, to reconfigure it to deliberately produce more desirable results in certain cases based on politics – not the law.

In August 1997, then-Attorney General Janet Reno spoke to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, warning against “heated rhetoric” about the judiciary, including criticism that can “undermine the very credibility of the judiciary.”

The ABA took up the cause, creating a commission on judicial independence that held hearings on the issue. Its report warned about criticism that, even if it does not influence court decisions, can undermine “public confidence in the judiciary and judicial independence.”

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Where is the ABA today? If it was concerned about criticism undermining judicial independence, how can it be silent when senators threaten to restructure the judicial branch to obtain the decisions they want?

Don’t be misled by the spin from those like the five Democratic senators, who today threaten a hostile judicial takeover. They define decisions they don’t like as proof that the judiciary has been “politicized” because that sounds better than saying they want judges who will deliver the political goods no matter what the law says or what the actual facts are in a case.

Four of the five senators threatening to restructure the judiciary today are current members of the Judiciary Committee – the same committee that killed Roosevelt’s court-packing scheme.

Suppose that we, as lawyers, filed a friend of the court brief in state court where judges are elected, threatening to work against them in their next election unless they ruled our way. We would justifiably be subject to severe sanctions. Yet the five Democratic senators are hiding behind the authority of their elected positions to do the very same thing.

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Judicial independence, especially from political manipulation, remains “peculiarly essential” to the system that provides the liberty we all enjoy. It remains, as the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist said, one of the “crown jewels” of our system of government.

All Americans, as well as judges on any court, should reject such attempts to manipulate the judicial system for political gain.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY HANS VON SPAKOVSKY

Hans von Spakovsky is a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-cef6b41d9a654632837b840f8b483898 Jipping and von Spakovsky: Dems improperly play politics with Supreme Court, threatening its independence Thomas Jipping Hans von Spakovsky fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 8551ac37-b3c9-5466-8238-8348b735cf82   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-cef6b41d9a654632837b840f8b483898 Jipping and von Spakovsky: Dems improperly play politics with Supreme Court, threatening its independence Thomas Jipping Hans von Spakovsky fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 8551ac37-b3c9-5466-8238-8348b735cf82

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