Still Not Scared? How About THIS…?

During a closed meeting on this week, Attorney General Merrick Garland met with 35 state supreme court chief justices to urge their cooperation on limiting evictions. Garland praised the Michigan Supreme Court for giving tenants more time to apply for rental assistance by directing courts to stay eviction proceedings for up to 45 days. The AG also saluted the Texas Supreme Court for helping tenants facing lawsuits by sending them notices with assistance options.

The 35 justices should not have accepted Garland’s invitation (or was it a command?) Those who did accept should have ostentatiously walked out as soon as his purpose became clear. To call the meeting inappropriate is itself inappropriate: this was a straight up violation of the separation of powers, and a breach of professional ethics for everyone involved. Garland works for the President: he’s part of the executive branch. He’s also a litigant or a potential one in the matter he was discussing. The is an ex parte communication, as he well knows.

For the White House’s agents to strong-arm, or attempt to, members of the judiciary to allow the President’s party to pursue an unconstitutional policy is one more step to undo the structure of American democracy. This is a pure IIPTDXTTNMIAFB (“Imagine if President Trump did X that the news media is accepting from Biden.”). Creeping autocracy! Democrats and their puppet media would scream. Defying democratic traditions and weakening institutions! Except, you see, Donald Trump never did anything like this, and if he did, I assume all those good Democrats and progressives among the justices would have used the opportunity to call for impeachment, and the Republican chief justices, having respect for the Constitution, would refuse to attend.

At this point, it is not unfair to conclude that Joe Biden, or whoever is pulling his strings, is following the familiar pattern we have seen so often in Cuba and South America, where a politician posing as the foe of a leader he calls dictatorial and a threat to democracy becomes an existential threat to the nation’s democracy as soon as the suckers vote him into power. In July, Gioconda Belli, an exiled Nicaraguan poet and the former president of PEN Nicaragua, wrote an op-ed about the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and his wife. I’m so old, I remember when Ortega was supposed to be a Good Guy. I just read it again: it has an ominous ring. Trump liked to lead “Lock her up!” chants, but his administration never tried to prosecute Hillary, nor did any of his allies in the states. In contrast, Democratic officials are still trying to prosecute Trump; they would love to lock him up. Biden’s corporate allies have effectively censored Trump; now, with Rand Paul and others, they are moving on to other opponents. Capturing the judiciary by using intimidation is a brazen move toward dictatorship. The fact that the justices involved tolerated and participated in such a “closed door meeting” is especially ominous.

Another thought while reading Belli’s piece: she theorizes that losing his first reelection bid in 1990 “scarred Ortega’s psyche,” explaining his sharp shift to the Dark Side, and I immediately thought of Merrick Garland. His record as a judge was far from radical, but having the SCOTUS nomination snatched from him by Mitch McConnell’s unethical maneuver seems to have turned him into an angry avenger. Mitch deserves a kick in the teeth for what he did, but the country does not. Ortega also has a Machiavellian wife who doesn’t just Stand By Her Man, she eggs him on.

The good news is that the one court Biden and his minions can’t bully is the U.S. Supreme Court, despite the wobbly Chief Justice Roberts. Last night the Court granted a request from a group of New York landlords to lift part of a state moratorium on residential evictions put in place at the beginning of the pandemic. The ruling in Chrysafis v. Marks comes three days after a federal district judge in Washington, D.C., heard oral argument challenging to the Biden administration’s federal moratorium on evictions in most of the country.

New York’s moratorium allows tenants in New York to avoid eviction by declaring that they have suffered “financial hardship” as a result of the pandemic. New York extended it through Aug. 31, 2021. From SCOTUSblog:

“The landlords went to federal court in New York to challenge the moratorium, arguing that it violates their right to due process by allowing tenants to put eviction proceedings on hold without any proof that the pandemic has affected them and without giving landlords a chance to rebut their assertions. A federal district court dismissed their challenge, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit turned down the landlords’ request to put the moratorium on hold while they appeal. The landlords turned to the Supreme Court at the end of July, telling the justices that “the courthouse door has been barred to New York’s landlords” for over a year. And when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) recently declared that the state’s “disaster emergency” is over, and the economy is reopening, they contended, the state cannot point to the pandemic to justify maintaining its ban on evictions. Opposing the landlords’ request to block the state moratorium, New York pointed to a decision in late June in which a divided Supreme Court allowed a prior version of the federal eviction moratorium to remain in place for one month. In that case, Justice Brett Kavanaugh provided the key fifth vote to keep the moratorium in place. He wrote that the Centers for Disease Control had exceeded its authority when it extended the nationwide moratorium, but he joined Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s three liberal justices in voting to maintain the moratorium because it was scheduled to expire on July 31. Shortly after that federal moratorium expired, the CDC enacted a new, 60-day moratorium on evictions in areas of the country hardest hit by the Delta variant. The legal challenge to the new federal moratorium may reach the justices soon.”

We’ll see if Justice Roberts is summoned to chat behind a “closed door”…

___________________

Pointer: Other Bill

25 thoughts on “Still Not Scared? How About THIS…?

  1. These are times that try men’s souls. Garland has proven himself to be unsuited for the bench. I don’t care if he is in a different role; now he knows that what he is doing is wrong. If Garland is willing to do wrong in one job he would be just as willing to do wrong in another. The only difference is that the AG position does not require him to appear neutral.

    If we don’t drive them from office next year we will become slaves of the State until all hell breaks loose internally giving China an open door to conquer the U.S.

  2. I am baffled that judges would actually attend such a meeting. They are not beholden to the DOJ, and correct me if I’m wrong, but anything the DOJ does is pretty much out of their jurisdiction.

    So I guess the reason they did so is so that they didn’t anger Biden and his administration. One wonders if those declining the invitation are likely to wind up on some list — tinfoil hat, I know, but nothing about the last seven months has anything to do with what we would normally expect other than the profound government corruption, double-dealing and hypocrisy.

    I agree with you that this looks like a breach of ethics. A judge should never find him/herself in the position of hearing what could reasonably be described as an ex parte argument in favor of a position which, given the available evidence, is straightforwardly unconstitutional and at minimum is a) under dispute and b) likely to come before them in the near future. Even if it was constitutional, how does a judge in good conscience volunteer to be persuaded by the government in an extra judicial proceeding?

    State legal ethics watchdogs should be considering this.

    • I am not sure about the tinfoil hats. I wonder if this was part of a judiciary conference where Garland was scheduled to speak anyway but he decided to use the platform to push what he considers part of his agenda.

      jvb

        • Agreed, but it is just odd that Garland would convene such a meeting of state supreme court justices (who, for whatever reason, decided to attend*) independent of some other event. If he did that, then he is not the moderate, considered jurist we have been led to believe he is. He is a totalitarian in moderate clothing and we dodged a huge bullet when McConnell denied him his day on the bench – perhaps McConnell knew a whole lot more about Garland’s philosophies and used the last year of Obama’s reign to delay/stifle the nomination. Remember, this guy was nominated by Obama. Obama hid his hard-leftist agenda behind a sheen of coolness and a compliant, supplicant media running cover for him. So, if Garland was acceptable to Obama, then I hardly doubt that he was such a moderate anyway. I am going to give McConnell the benefit of the doubt. Any if Garland is punching the nation because he was “passed over” for SCOTUS, then he is even unacceptable.

          As a senator, Biden was a supposed balancer or foil to the hard leftists in the senate (Kennedy, Kerry. etc.). He does’t really have core values, and has been guided by pragmatism – as in what was in Joe’s best interest. He hailed from Delaware, a bastion of corporate citizenry because its state laws were/are very favorable to corporations such as banks, credit card companies, and other financial concerns. Now, as president, he has to tack to the Left because those are the ones causing the most problems, screaming the loudest and doing the most damage. It is not surprising that the would appoint Garland, or Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta to DOJ. They are hard leftists. Garland, specifically, has shown his true colors many times since taking the DOJ head.

          Steve-O’s comment is pretty brutal and blunt but he is correct.

          The bigger, more frightening issue with this involves the de facto nationalization of private property rights by the federal government, and without just compensation to the landlords/property owners.

          Remember, a rental agreement is simply a contract, an agreement between the landlord and the tenant. That contract has mutual obligations and remedies for a breach of the agreement. The tenant agrees to vacate if the tenant doesn’t pay rent; if the tenant fails to vacate, the landlord may pursue his remedies including eviction. (I will leave aside the issue of the damage the government shutdown did to people’s ability to pay rent because, while it is important to this issue on a policy level, it is tangential to the main point.) By executive agency fiat, un-elected federal agency bureaucrats at the CDC (did your read that? the CDC!!!!!) unilaterally and unceremoniously decided that contractual rights are subject to its jurisdiction. The CDC simply decided it has the power to modify or limit state contractual rights. That means that the federal government, by way of the CDC, just eviscerated 250 years of contract rights of private citizens on some vague theory that evictions are COVID super-spreader events and, as a result, landlords are prohibited from enforcing their rights. Tenants are not required to pay rent under these directives, and the CDC orders threaten to punish landlords with civil penalties ($250,000) and criminal prosecution for pursuing eviction remedies.

          jvb

          *Editor’s Query: Do we have a roster of those in attendance? 35 supreme court chief justices seems like a lot of state supreme court justices, but if other states are like Texas, where there are two supreme courts, one civil and one criminal, then there are at least 100 chief justices; 35 would not be that large in comparison. I know the press release stated chief justices, but if other state high justices attended, and the average number of justices on state supreme courts is, say, 7 (Texas has two supreme courts, a civil Supreme Court consisting of 9 justices. and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, also consisting of 9 justices, for a total of 18 justices across the two courts; Arkansas has 7 justices. I haven’t researched the numbers of other states so I settled on 7, assuming that is the minimum average number of justices), and there are 50 states (excluding territories) , then that means there are at least 350 justices across the states. 35 would mean ten percent, which is significantly lower than then what it seems, right? That percentage could be very important, though, if a number of justices from states like New York, Washington, California, and Colorado, attended because those states wield a lot of political clout in forging policy. If those court determine that landlords are not permitted to evict non-paying tenants, then property rights have just been destroyed.

          Still, it is alarming that the head of the DOJ is “encouraging” states’ supreme courts to do its bidding, and that of the CDC, and interfering on contracts.

            • This is a defensible and rather compelling argument.

              Not that it says good things about the administration or anything. The reverse, in fact.

  3. More of the totalitarian tentacles from President Biden’s administration are reaching out beyond the Washington DC cesspool, big freaking surprise. Who here didn’t expect this kind of thing to happen with the Democrats in control of the White House, the Senate and the House and a fair portion of the Federal Courts across the USA.

    After President Biden was inaugurated I stated “don’t pay much attention to the propaganda styled rhetoric that comes out of President Biden’s mouth, pay attention to his actions”, this is one of those actions that should be payed attention to, it’s signature significant. There are more signature significant actions out there.

    Another very signature significant action is how much effort is being placed by the administration to control the narrative, whatever that narrative happens to be at that moment in time. I’ve been saying it for a while now that the political left has a nearly absolute control over the narratives that are being presented to We the People. After the last 5+ years of blatantly false Pravda like propaganda narratives and outright lies from the “progressive” left and their lapdog media and now the progressives totalitarian control tentacles from social justice warriors have successfully penetrated the wall of the corporate world the progressive wing of the United States government has gotten the corporate world to do its bidding in censoring anything that opposes the progressive narrative. In particular, the ways the narrative surrounding the COVID-19 virus and its associated vaccines are literally being CONTROLLED should scare the hell out of everyone in the USA and the World – I’m dead serious on this point.

    Lastly, everyone needs to remember something critical; even though we have a Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) that could override lower courts, there isn’t physically enough time for one SCOTUS to override every single unconstitutional ruling that comes out of the lower courts, they have to pick and choose based on the cases that are presented to the courts; therefore, if the lower courts literally inundate the USA with piles and piles of tyrannical unconstitutional rulings and those unconstitutional rules are not brought before SCOTUS for whatever reasons then SCOTUS can’t physically overrule them all, then we the people will be ruled by the tyrants and their ramrodded laws and there won’t be anything effective that SCOTUS can do to stop it rendering SCOTUS nearly irrelevant. Also as I understand it; the only things that SCOTUS rule on are the things that actually get to SCOTUS, plus there is always a delayed period of time where unconstitutional laws are in place and controlling we the people before they are put on temporary hold or struck down by SCOTUS. If the anti-constitutional progressive left finds a way to defund those that oppose their anti-constitutional moves in the lower courts, then they won’t have the money to take their unconstitutional cases to SCOTUS. Sure SCOTUS is the top court and has the final say but SCOTUS is only one court and there are lots and lots of lower courts rendering judgements upon we the people every single day. If the political left can’t pack SCOTUS with progressive activists right now then they’ll just render it irrelevant until they can pack it. If any part of the opinion I shared on SCOTUS is factually false, please correct me.

  4. I think this is the article you want the first link to be to. Right now it goes to the one about the SCOTUS ruling in NY.

  5. Incredibly brazen, but it’s for such a good cause. God, these elite lefties are insufferable. It must be exhausting being right all the time.

  6. “At this point, it is not unfair to conclude that Joe Biden, or whoever is pulling his strings, is following the familiar pattern we have seen so often in Cuba and South America, where a politician posing as the foe of a leader he calls dictatorial and a threat to democracy becomes an existential threat to the nation’s democracy as soon as the suckers vote him into power. ”

    That’s a pretty serious charge to make, especially in a nation where we have always thought “it can’t happen here.” However, in the past the would-be tyrants were always on the outside. In the past century we watched the rise of the Axis tyrants, watched Stalin gobble up the Baltic States and crush the Finns with human wave assaults (although the first Soviet attempt to conquer Poland failed miserably), and saw Mao take over in China, but we never thought any of that was coming here, and it wasn’t. We also watched Communism rise in Asia and Central America, but in the end we knew none of that was a threat to the homeland. Even Soviet Communism, the biggest threat of all, wasn’t coming here to conquer us, let’s get real. Even Kruschev knew, after he learned it the hard way in Cuba.

    There was never a serious threat to the government here, even in the days of the Weathermen, et al. The last real threat from within was the Civil War, which is the stuff of books and black and white pictures now. We’ve mostly watched tyranny rise from the outside. However, it appears that not too many of us are taking whatever lessons we learned from watching what happened from the outside and applying it to what we are seeing now. Bullying of an independent judiciary was a signature move of tyrants, like the “pink tide” rulers in South America, of whom Hugo Chavez was the most prominent before cancer ended his reign. He, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Correa in Ecuador, and others made a point of leaning on the judiciary and telling them to get with the program or get out. Proxy control of the media and other utilities was also a signature move of tyranny, like in the Soviet Union. Then there’s the issue of de facto and de jure party militia, like Mussolini’s black shirts and Hitler’s brown shirts. While we’re at it, we might also mention Mussolini’s bringing the corporations into the government and making them de facto junior partners.

    Now we have obvious executive leaning on the judiciary, an internet that silences disagreement, BLM and Antifa thugs trashing cities, and a few powerful utilities becoming de facto government partners. Not only that, but half the country thinks this is GOOD, because we got rid of that orange creep who spouted mean tweets and was pantophobic (phobia of everything). Here’s the thing: in Cambodia the Khmers initially welcomed the Khmer Rouge, because they thought they would bring peace, and in Cuba they actually welcomed Castro, thinking he’d bring equality. The masses welcomed Lenin in the Soviet Union too, since he promised “peace, bread and land.” So, how’d that all work out? Not too well, as I recall, none of it. That’s before we even talk about The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution that trashed most of Chinese culture and killed 1.5 million outright, hundreds of thousands if not millions more due to starvation.

    All this revolutionary stuff sounds good, until violent thugs come knocking on YOUR door and there aren’t any police to stop them because they’ve been defunded, just like it sounded good in Cuba until Castro’s guys showed up and said you worked for them now, and in Cambodia until guys in black pajamas armed with machine guns told you the city needed to be evacuated NOW, take only what you could carry, and a day later you were put to work in the rice paddies, to be clubbed to death with a pick or hoe if you faltered.

    I’ve been pointing at all this for almost seven years. Unfortunately, it appears most of the liberal leaning people’s first loyalty is to the Democratic Party, or at least to whoever opposes Trump. It isn’t to the Constitution or any other guiding principles of this nation. Why should it be, when all that stuff is considered tainted and bad because of slavery?

    I don’t think this is the end for this nation. I think eventually the general public is going to see through all this, just like the Russians and Cambodians saw through it – a few generations down the line. Too late for a lot of folks who lost their lives or saw them greatly altered, and not for the better. The key at this point is not to let the yoke of tyranny become so heavy we injure ourselves when we throw it off.

    • Even Nazi Germany had to deal with the court system. Judges in the early days of the Third Reich kept releasing political prisoners from concentration camps and ruling against the authorities. Until Hitler took on the judiciary and replaced them all with people who would vote his way, they were…to use a popular term…problematic.

      On the other hand, even the Fuhrer could be outraged legitimately. One day, he opened his paper and read the story of a man who’d beaten his wife so severely that she later died. The man was tried, convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. Hitler called the court, incensed that the man had gotten so paltry a sentence.

      • I couldn’t find a list either. But I did run across the DOJ’s press release which contained this:

        “The Attorney General also heard from the Chief Justices about the obstacles their courts face in combating the crisis and committed the Department of Justice to doing everything it can to support their efforts. He emphasized that the federal government has made funds available to state courts that are seeking to implement eviction diversion programs, including the $350 billion that the American Rescue Plan allocated to state and local governments and the $46.5 billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The President of the National Center for State Courts spoke to the Attorney General about the work the Center has done to support eviction diversion efforts, including creating a diagnostic tool that helps courts fashion diversion programs that best suit their jurisdiction.

        The Attorney General asked the Associate Attorney General and Chief Justices to continue working together on this critical issue and to identify obstacles that the federal government can help address.”

        Wow! The state courts are now part of the federal executive branch and are implementing (unconstitutional!) federal policies at the behest of the President! Did any of these state justices take tenth grade civics, never mind Constitutional Law? And the DOJ is crowing about what it’s doing.

  7. Landlords don’t like to evict it is expensive. Landlords simply want to get paid so why are tenants the ones who have to apply. There is no fire burning under them to act expeditiously when there is an eviction moretorium. How do ensure that funding will be directed in ALL cases to unpaid rents? Why is the funding channeled to the tenants or through the courts? Cut out the middleman and let the landlord apply for current and back rents. That way there needs to be no court hearing which would allow expediting many other more important cases.

    • Chris; My thoughts exactly. I have a friend who owns several rental properties in the Atlanta area. She has had only two tenants get seriously behind on rent during the Wuhan Plandemic. One of these she knows for a fact worked normally throughout the pandemic restrictions but chose not to pay anyway, and another who was laid off near the end of the restrictions but declined to pay his rent or return work until his enhanced unemployment benefits ended. She should be the one getting relief from the feds, not those two deadbeats.

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