This week Beth and Kelly discuss the current controversy surrounding the June 28th resignation letter from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Was his hand forced? Did his son lend Trump billions? Were the Russians involved? Do liberals need tin foil hats? We talk about all this and more!
So, who is Justice Kennedy?
Justice Anthony Kennedy was sworn into office in 1988 and announced his resignation on June 28th, 2018. He has often been referred to as a reliable swing vote in the SCOTUS, but he has really only taken up that mantle since 2005, when Sandra Day O’Connor retired. That said, Justice Kennedy was not as moderate as many seem to think. FiveThirtyEight explained, "An analysis of Kennedy’s voting record during his three decades on the court shows that he voted with the court’s right wing in the majority of cases — including controversial, closely decided cases — throughout his career."
FiveThirtyEight did some further digging and providing readers with this amazing graph, so you can clearly see just how non-moderate Kennedy was:
Why is Justice Kennedy involved with a fake news podcast, you ask?
Well, pretty soon after his resignation there were several allegations made about Kennedy's son, Justin Kennedy and his involvement with Deutsche Bank making multi-million dollar loans to Trump for his real estate deals. The story essentially boils down to a lot of nebulous conjecture about the possibility of Kennedy's son being involved with laundering Russian money and also loaning Trump money, but there is no evidence (so far) that any of this is true and the timelines add up.
Although it appears as if Trump and the younger Kennedy did have some type of relationship at Deutsche Bank, a 2017 article in Financial Times entitled: Donald Trump’s Debt to Deutsche Bank says, “Justin Kennedy [was] a trader who arrived from Goldman to become one of Mr Trump’s most trusted associates over a 12-year spell at Deutsche." This information has been disputed by MSNBC host and former Deutsche Bank Director, Stephanie Ruhle, who says that they did not interact.
So, is it fake news?
Honestly, it doesn’t seem like this is conspiracy worthy, but the official jury is still out. There are a lot of coincidences, but does it take a conspiracy theory to figure out that an 82 year old conservative wants to retire during a conservative administration? He held some liberal views, but still sided with conservatives over 50% of cases. Perhaps he wanted to insure his replacement was firmly in the conservative side, since he is retiring before the elections this November.
We can’t forget what Dr. Jolley taught us about conspiracy theories. When a big event happens - we have to explain it with an equally big event - so the “swing” vote judge retiring must mean that there is an evil nefarious plan happening - which to be fair *is quite possible* but it is to date unproven.
As Beth pointed out, this isn't the first conspiracy theory about the SCOTUS team. From Clinton supposedly offering Loretta Lynch Scalia's seat, to Scalia's 'suspicious' death, theories always abound when powerful people are involved in this big political games.
And already - the fake news is about to kick in on any replacement to the court…“We all know that President Trump likes to make history, and it is being reported that nominating the first conservative woman to the Supreme Court is something that “intrigues” him. “ Hi Alex - I’ll take Sandra O’Day for 1000 please…the first woman on the Supreme Court appointed by Ronald Reagan - who before she was appointed was an elected official and judge in Arizona serving as the first female Majority Leader of a state senate as the Republican leader in the Arizona Senate. She sounds liberal. What was her record again? Oh yes - more conservative than retiring Anthony Kennedy.
Why does it even matter?
Well, obviously Roe vs. Wade, but also LGBTQ rights could potentially be ruled back if states start placing limits on rights. Minority and civil rights cases, education rights, the Mueller investigation, police enforcement and immigration laws are all closer to being rolled back than we’ve seen in decades.
What can we do?
Vote in November, duh!
Also, call your representative and senators and tell them not to confirm any justice before the election, a precedent set by the GOP themselves as they held a Supreme seat open for almost a year. Merrick Garland was nominated in March of 2016; Neil Gorsuch wasn't nominated until January 2017.
Here's something funny to cleanse your palette:
Trump's grammatical error was noticed by many, but none so hilariously as Mirriam-Webster, who noted:
Beth's Jam of the Week: Angus & Julia Stone - Nothing Else
Kelly's Jam of the Week: Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy
“Night fell upon them dark and starblown and the wagon grew swollen near mute with dew. On their chairs in such black immobility these travelers could have been stone figures quarried from the architecture of an older time.”
A woman bears her brother's child, a boy, the brother leaves the baby in the woods and tells her he died of natural causes. Discovering her brother's lie, she sets forth alone to find her son. Both brother and sister wander through a countryside being scourged by three terrifying strangers, toward an apocalyptic resolution.
Anthony Kennedy Wikipedia
Did Anthony Kennedy Resign from the Supreme Court to Protect His Son?
Justice Kennedy Wasn’t A Moderate
Inside the White House’s Quiet Campaign to Create a Supreme Court Opening
Justice Kennedy Wasn’t A Moderate
Donald Trump’s Debt to Deutsche Bank
REPORT: BILL CLINTON OFFERED LYNCH SCALIA’S SEAT DURING TARMAC MEETING – QANON
Conspiracy theories swirl around the death of Antonin Scalia
PROGRESSIVES SCRAMBLE TO BLOCK POTENTIAL SUPREME COURT NOMINEE AMY CONEY BARRETT BECAUSE SHE IS A COMMITTED CHRISTIAN
Sandra Day O'Connor Wikipedia
J.K. Rowling Just Reminded President Trump About the Difference Between 'Pour' and 'Pore'
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And don't forget - Spread jam, not lies!
Spread jam, not lies.