This is a time when America needs a strong Attorney General who grasps the danger facing our democracy, not an institutionalist
The situation which I fear (and I am certainly not convinced that it doesn't exist) is the preponderance of Trump acolytes who remain in the DOJ. We know that many were there under Trump, defecating all over the Department. An AG cannot do everything himself, so must depend on assistants, deputies and even line staff to implement his policies and responses to a veritable morass of criminality. That has to be overcome if we are to preserve the rule of law and, ultimately, our republic.
I understand your points, sir. I too am concerned and admittedly rather impatient.
Having said that I try to keep in mind that when Garland was interviewed by the committee he said that the wheels were in motion in both DOJ and FBI, and also said that he was unable to discuss any specific details. I was frustrated until I heard him say this.
I also try to remember that Trump left behind some very unsavory characters in both DOJ and FBI. Garland is probably stepping carefully around them until he can indict them too. Any and all of these things are very likely connected.
We don’t know what we don’t know. This thing with Bannon likely has longer tentacles than we might have ever expected. I just try to remember that Garland reports to Biden. Perhaps the question we need to be asking ourselves is not so much “do we trust Garland,” rather “do we trust Biden?” And I do :)
I feel you. I hear you. I relate to all the fears and worries (and I’m impatient by nature). At the same time I think there’s good, solid reason this is taking longer than it normally would. We aren’t in normal times after all. Please keep the faith! 💗🥰
It’s challenging. I worry about the Mueller syndrome, that one in which we collectively imbue super powers into the persona, assuring ourselves that he’s taking his sweet time to build the ultimate case, when in reality he was not up to the task. I worry about that now. It would be devastating for our country is this were the case
We must have only one system of justice. That is true. But we must have one.
The Attorney General serves at the pleasure of the President. The only President is the one in office.
I’m old. I’ve been aware of what’s going on from reading the news for over 5 decades & I’ve studied world history. I can’t remember any country that experienced a violent attempted overthrow of the government that allowed the people responsible for it to continue undermining that same govt. for nearly a year without consequence.
Nancy Ray1 min ago
It took Merrick Garland, through meticulous planning, over two years to convict Timothy McVeigh of bombing the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. (https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/mcveigh-convicted-for-oklahoma-city-bombing)
To get these convictions, especially when the Justice Department is rank with Trump appointees, will take time. He's GOT to get this right! The first time!! Please don't start a counter-coup.
The Mueller investigation flopped, at least it flopped in terms of ridding ourselves of a criminal fraudster in the White House. Part of the problem with that was we didn’t know what the parameters of that investigation were. There were certain things Mueller’s team couldn’t pursue because the DOJ official handling the investigation agreed to not pursue them, but the public didn’t know that. It was a huge disappointment.
Then there was the first impeachment. It too was a disappointment because republicans simply refused to participate, which was I’m sure, a first in our political history. It was also an indication of the GOP’s colossal bad faith as well as their failure to honor their oath of office.
The reason time is so important is because republicans have a long history of stalling and generally refusing to cooperate because it gave them an advantage to do so. If you don’t realize the stalling is part of a very detailed plan to fundamentally alter our government, you don’t get too worked up about it. But that’s exactly what the stalling is about. It’s part of a meticulous, decades-long plan to take over our govt. and write a new Constitution. I generally try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but AG Garland could be more forthcoming and reassuring considering that our entire way of life is at stake.
It took two years for Garland to prosecute Tim McVeigh, but McVeigh was in prison during those two years, not traveling around the country encouraging violence, sedition and further undermining the federal govt like Trump is. Every day that passes further enriches Trump because he constantly asks for money from his supporters. Every day that passes more people are lied to about President Biden, more people die rather than get vaccinated and every day that passes increases the possibility that evidence will be lost. At this rate Trump is more likely to drop dead from a heart attack
than be tried for his numerous criminal transgressions.
I understand that the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and other voting protections makes protecting the right to vote more difficult, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Ideally we should have explicit legislation, but people voted long before the referenced Voting Rights legislation was passed, so it seems to me there must be a way to use that fundamental right to vote to address the legislation limiting and/or suppressing voting in some states. Especially because voting is the single most important right in any democracy. Votes that are suppressed or otherwise not counted violate the inherent, fundamental tenets of democracy. If I learned anything from practicing law its that there are multiple ways to get the desired outcome. We don’t throw our hands in the air and say it can’t be done. I haven’t read the state laws in question, but I know people voted long before the Voting Rights Act was passed. There has to be a way to build on that fundamental right to vote granted by our democracy to strike down those state laws that interfere with it and it’s the DOJ’s job to do that. Granted, it would make it easier if we didn’t have a rogue Supreme Court lurking in the background, but the DOJ can and should go to court over this, because nothing is more important than voting. In fact, it may already be too late to resolve this in court before November. But if no effort is made to do that millions of people could theoretically be prevented from voting and/or having their votes counted. That’s wrong and unamerican. At the very least DOJ may be able to keep those new state laws in a legal limbo long enough for Dems to gain seats in Congress and pass the John R. Lewis Act.
The perspective of the 1959 opinion by Justice Douglas is key. “Undoubtedly, the right of suffrage is a fundamental matter in a free and democratic society. Especially since the right to exercise the franchise in a free and unimpaired manner is preservative of other basic civil and political rights, any alleged infringement of the rights of citizens to vote must be carefully and meticulously scrutinized. Any unjustified discrimination in determining who may participate in political affairs or in the selection of public officials undermines the legitimacy of representative government. . .
Statutes granting the franchise to residents on a selective basis always pose the danger of denying some citizens any effective voice in the governmental affairs which substantially affect their lives. Therefore, if a challenged state statute grants the right to vote to some bona fide residents of requisite age and citizenship and denies the franchise to others, the Court must determine whether the exclusions are necessary to promote a compelling state interest.”
“And, for these reasons, the deference usually given to the judgment of legislators does not extend to decisions concerning which resident citizens may participate in the election of legislators and other public officials. . . . [W]hen we are reviewing statutes which deny some residents the right to vote, the general presumption of constitutionality afforded state statutes and the traditional approval given state classifications if the Court can conceive of a ‘rational basis’ for the distinctions made are not applicable.”
Using this analytical approach, the Court has established a regime of close review of a vast range of state restrictions on the eligibility to vote, on access to the ballot by candidates and parties, and on the weighing of votes cast through the devices of apportionment and districting.
“Undoubtedly, the right of suffrage is a fundamental matter in a free and democratic society. Especially since the right to exercise the franchise in a free and unimpaired manner is preservative of other basic civil and political rights, ANY ALLEGED INFRINGEMENT OF THE RIGHTS OF CITIZENS TO VOTE MUST BE CAREFULLY and METICULOUSLY SCRUTINIZED. ANY UNJUSTIFIED DISCRIMINATION IN DETERMINING WHO MAY PARTICIPATE IN THE SELECTION OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS UNDERMINES THE LEGITIMACY of REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT. . . . Statutes granting the franchise to residents on a selective basis always pose the danger of denying some citizens any effective voice in the governmental affairs which substantially affect their lives. Therefore, if a challenged state statute grants the right to vote to some bona fide residents of requisite age and citizenship and denies the franchise to others, THE COURT MUST DETERMINE WHETHER THE EXCLUSIONS ARE NECESSARY TO PROMOTE A COMPELLING STATE INTEREST.”
In San Antonio School Dist. v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 34–35 nn.74 & 78 (1973), ……..CITIZENS HAVE A CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN ELECTIONS, which is PROTECTED by the EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE. Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330, 336 (1972). The franchise is the guardian of all other rights. Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 562 (1964).
“[W]hen we are reviewing statutes which deny some residents the right to vote, the general presumption of constitutionality afforded state statutes and the traditional approval given state classifications if the Court can conceive of a ‘rational basis’ for the distinctions made ARE NOT APPLICABLE.”
“Using this analytical approach, the Court has established a regime of close review of a vast range of state restrictions on the eligibility to vote, on access to the ballot by candidates and parties, and on the weighing of votes cast through the devices of apportionment and districting.”
So even without the pertinent Voting Rights Act clauses that have been struck down or otherwise removed from the Act, the DOJ has a duty to review the new state laws
designed to suppress the vote for a compelling state interest that justifies them. If they don’t find a compelling state interest, the new laws are unconstitutional.
At the very least, the DOJ should be reviewing all of the new state laws in question to determine whether they exist due to a compelling state interest. In addition, since some states are already holding primary elections, the DOJ must have the court(s) temporarily suspend the state laws pending the DOJ review.
Every citizen’s right to vote and have their vote counted is the underpinning upon which all other rights exist. Voting is the single most important aspect of every democratic government. It’s importance is therefore monumental. To allow state laws affecting the vote to become effective without serious review by the DOJ is unsupportable malpractice.
President Biden needs to replace Merrick Garland with an AG who is a radical supporter of democracy! Garland has already shown us that he’s incapable of defending democracy from the most dangerous threat it has ever faced. He needs to go. A
I've written to Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand (and Congressman Tonko) several times about AG Garland's apparent reluctance to act. I have heard nothing from my senators or congressman, all Democrats. They need to realize that BBB is dead for now and they should take up a more pressing issue that demands immediate attention - prodding Merrick Garland on a daily basis, I agree with Steven's last sentence of his opinion piece above, "If Merrick Garland can’t step up—to seize this moment—then President Biden should find an Attorney General who can."