The Politics Of Impeachment: Nixon’s Lost War Against Establishment Was Not In Vain

The Politics Of Impeachment: Nixon’s Lost War Against Establishment Was Not In Vain

Feature Posts, Legal, News, Opinions, Politics

I’ve seen this movie before. As one who wasn’t born in time to have witnessed the trials and tribulations of Nixon’s presidency, I grew to consume the facts of the story voraciously later in life. There is no sufficient sole source account of Nixon’s odessey. You must commit yourself to a deep and comprehensive exploration of all available accounts and form a consensus from the collective works. If you undertake such an academic journey, you will see a pattern; a pattern of subversive and insidious attacks waged by the establishment on the presidency. I don’t mean to imply merely attacks on the president, Nixon himself, but the entire executive branch. The war plan was executed with brilliant and reckless abandon, creating a pressured environment designed to force Nixon into falling prey to his own fears and insecurities. His battle may have been lost almost exactly 43 years ago today, but his testimony is alive and speaking soft words of caution to this day.

Ellsberg, Rosenberg, Rodino, etc. The names are different, but the games are the same. Congressman Drinan was every bit the crackpot moron in 1973 that Maxine Waters is today. The semblance is only shattered by the persistence of a single James Brown-esque wig. Like Trump, Nixon was also riddled with issues within his own administration. Henry Kissinger routinely violated Nixon’s trust by running to the NY Times, leaking information to undermine Nixon and raise his own profile. Ever wonder how Kissinger has maintained his beloved media status, despite being entrenched in clandestine planning to bomb Cambodia and dispatch false narratives about ending the Vietnam War for political purposes? Well, I’ll tell you: He earned his keep by leaking to the media. A practice to this day he espouses. My word of caution to President Trump, don’t trust that your conversations with the aging and manipulative Kissinger are confidential. And the cantankerous news reporter Dan Schorr, remember him? He swore before Congress that Nixon was deliberately undermining the press and challenging the credibility of the media. He bemoaned this was dangerous to the 1st Amendment. Phooey. Where have I heard that line recently? What is old is new again.

Trump and Nixon share a great deal in common, sure. Both are American idealists. They think in terms of big achievements, and abhor the resistance of bureaucracy. However, they are drastically different people who come from starkly different backgrounds. Nixon was a dirt poor Quaker from agricultural California, his modest upbringing stayed with him until the end. It was a nagging voice of uncertainty in the dead of night, it made him mean and cynical. It also drove him to always, always, take stock of his enemies and their motivations against him. Contempt of the press and the establishment aside, Donald Trump is a different story. We know his story, and we know his motivations in life were not to assume the highest political office in the land. Yet here he is, and here he shall stay.

There is no comparison to the series of bad decisions, conspiracy to obstruct, and other things that led to Nixon’s resignation. Frankly, were I to list them, it would only serve to further impugn Nixon’s character. Suffices to say, they, in summation, bear no resemblance to anything in our current news cycle regarding President Trump. The game plan deployed by the opposition is the only common thread. This time, however, they are missing even the appearance of criminality. It simply isn’t there. There will be no John Dean testimony or explosive Butterfield revelations. In fact, if anything, Democrat voters may be incensed by the deliberate hyper-billing of wrongdoing by Trump that doesn’t exist.

Bobby Mueller is no Archibald Cox, but he’s pretty darn close. Just like Rod Rosenstein is no Elliot Richardson, or is he? This, you see, is the real symmetry to be found in the curious cases of the establishment v Nixon/Trump. Remarkably, Nixon’s acting Attorney General, Richardson, solicited the insanely liberal Solicitor General for Kennedy, Archibald Cox, to be the special prosecutor. It was an incredible development, one largely ignored by history. The hypocrisy was stunning, and the agreed to order was even more so, stating the scope would cover “all offenses arising out of the 1972 election … involving the president…” Like Trump, Nixon was publicly forced to coldly embrace Cox. Behind the scenes, was a different story. Nixon was beside himself. He was quoted as saying, “If Richardson searched specifically for the man whom I least trusted, he could hardly have done better.” History, meet your new Richardson: Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.

It’s painfully obvious now, to myself and the president, that a series of miscalculations from seemingly loyal cabinet members can lead to uncomfortably hot water. How did we get here? We are here because Attorney General Jeff Sessions put us here. There is no debate, no rational excuses to cover this brazen fact. It may not have been purposeful, but if it wasn’t, then it was ineptitude. Like Hillary might say, “what difference does it make?” It doesn’t. We are here. We are stuck with the ultimate establishment swamp warrior in Bobby Mueller. If a man will lie before Congress to justify a war resulting in the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of American military, he will lie about this investigation. If he insists on violating the scope of the executive order by investigating things that have nothing to do with the past election, and everything to do with financial dealings and tax returns from a long time ago, then must be fired. Come what may, letting Mueller play Dick Tracy for a year into the dealings of the president, his entire campaign team and family, is not an option. Mueller is breaking the law. Comey has broken the law. Obama’s entire White House staff has broken laws. And Jeff Sessions, he merely broke our hearts.

Historians love to flippantly refer to Nixon’s demise as “it wasn’t the crime, it was the cover up.” Not so. A cursory perusal through the transcripts of the WH tapes reveal a litany of criminal conspiracies. There is no need for a cover up without a crime. Ultimately, my advice to President Trump would be to give no safe harbor to enemies who would break laws to ensnare you in establishment traps. You have committed no crimes in connection with this election and Russia, sir. In that vein, you are free to govern the investigations accordingly. Should they steer outside of the fold, fire them. It is the lesson of history that tells us: the power of the executive is in the application of its authority. Excise this cancer, sir, before it becomes a metastatic monster that consumes your agenda.

Nixon is speaking to us from beyond the grave. He’s telling us it’s not personal, it’s business. He messed up, and he knew it. You haven’t, and we all know it. In the absence of a crime, only supposition reigns. In such confusion, our enemy thrives; in such shadows, they multiply. History is our roadmap, and our enemies are counting on us to ignore that and forge ahead into the unknown. But we know better, don’t we? We know the longer this drags on, the worse it will get. Fiction becomes fact without the benefit of scrutiny. Who among our media, or among congress, will be so discerning? None.

Mark Felt was Deep Throat. He was a crooked FBI executive who sought only to bring down the president. He made literary heroes out of two lazy journalists, whose only apparent job was to solicit illegal leaks from Felt in parking garages. Felt would later be convicted on multiple charges of violating the civil rights of Americans in the course of his FBI duties. He was a hack, a derelict and a leaker. He was Deep State personified. Has this story been told? No. Is FBI counsel James Baker our current Mark Felt? Is he peddling lies, instead of facts? Is Comey, or McCabe? The Deep State is alive and well, lo after these many years. As we approach the anniversary of Nixon’s resignation, we vow not be victimized by the swamp again.

Impeachment is not imminent. That being the case, it changes little in the way this “investigation” should be handled… Move swiftly, move purposefully and move strategically. Use history as a guide, use it wisely. Most importantly, remember Nixon’s final words to his staff 43 years ago, “always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.”

Adam Gingrich

Founder of Wick Media Productions. Worked for Donald Trump's Campaign, overseeing the Pennsylvania region, Adam has been a Political Consultant for most of his adult life.

Enough! Republicans Are Committing Assisted Political Suicide

Enough! Republicans Are Committing Assisted Political Suicide

Corruption, Feature Posts, Legal, Politics

Ever so subtly, the seeds of division are being sown within conservative circles. You, the Trump supporter, are the frog they are bringing to a boil. Sorry folks, this ain’t a hot-tub. Who has their hands on the stove? Some readily known characters like Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Stephen Hayes and George Will; and some surprising new faces like Tucker Carlson, Ann Coulter and Newt Gingrich. The latter group is the most indefensible and dangerous to the cause.

More importantly, and more to the point, the 800 pound gorilla in the Oval Office was never really the Russian adventures into the election. Instead, it is the shadow of a diminutive Jeff Sessions that is actually the culprit of this dreaded and interminable pall. There can be no mistaking this as a fact. Sessions should have removed himself from consideration as Attorney General the moment a Democrat Senator asked about recusal. He never once intimated to the White House he was even considering a recusal in any matter. That’s a dereliction of duty and a betrayal that vastly outweighs any contribution as a surrogate on the campaign trail. I mean, seriously, did we need him to carry Alabama? Loyalty is a two-way street. Trump, in my opinion, held up his end and Sessions has not. But like the infomercial says, “but wait, there’s more…!”

Sessions, and the little known legal insider in DC, Chuck Cooper, also signed off on a disastrous series of decisions. One, again, never even notifying the White House you were considering a recusal was a horrific act of malfeasance. It is, quite literally, responsible for the inception of this entire Russia witch hunt. Next, they settled on an order of delegated power that gave rise to their next biggest mistake: hiring Rod Rosenstein. It’s baffling beyond measure. Here is a quote from someone who worked with Rosenstein in a professional capacity, “Rod would have gotten a Hillary or Jeb Bush position at DOJ, but I never dreamed that our guys would self inflict this wound and give him such a dangerous position.” The president, only now being made aware of Rosenstein’s famously flexible political leanings, was right to blast him in his recent interview. Rod has never held a private sector job and thrives in the seedy underworld of revolving DC doors that produce hideously entrenched bureaucratic monsters.

Jeff Sessions, Chuck Cooper, and White House counsel Don McGhan, owe the president a huge apology. Unwittingly or not, they have given aid and comfort to the undemocratic and unconstitutional Mueller investigation. The absurdity of a president under an all encompassing microscope by his own administration. It’s maddening and I don’t begrudge the president for saying so, either. With every tweet about “I like Sessions, it’s not his fault” or “Sessions is loyal, the president should never have called him out like that,” Trump gets angrier and angrier. This president is boxed in on all sides by the Quixotic misadventures of Bob Mueller, and his supporters are shedding tears for the man who put him there. I couldn’t write this script.

So, by all means, defend Jeff Sessions and rally to the cause of keeping your favorite staffer (insert name here), but you’re not helping President Trump by doing it. Those inside the never Trump circle high-five each other each time they succeed in dividing the ranks of Trump supporters at the base. What we have on our hands is a quiet insurrection. The seeds have been planted, and to grow, they need to be nourished by the discontent and division of the Trump base. Those who will balk at this concept as advocating blind loyalty in the president, take heed, that is exactly what I’m advocating at this point in time. Any less, and we risk giving roots to something malignant and amorphous; something that will be beyond any measure of control. They are hunting the president, and they need republican diversity of opinion to succeed. If that sounds monolithic and reeks of anti-intellectualism, so be it. If they want to hunt the president, they will not do so on my property.

I know this stuff gets confusing. I know we have more people tracking politics than ever before in our history. It’s causing growing pains in the movement and that’s natural. But the democrats are united against Trump, therefore we must unite behind him. Any other scenario spells doom for our political and economic future. There is no winnable formula for republicans without Trump’s base of support. Those who dwell in shadows dreaming of a Pence presidency, know this: we love Mike Pence, but we will never forgive any act, even by omission, that would result in his ascension. Never.

If the president says you are eating meatloaf, grab a fork and smile. If you would rather qualify your support with your favorite pet cause, go right ahead. Be sure to enjoy your self-satisfied stand on principle, because the next meal you get will be rationed by a democrat.

Adam Gingrich

Founder of Wick Media Productions. Worked for Donald Trump's Campaign, overseeing the Pennsylvania region, Adam has been a Political Consultant for most of his adult life.

Standing Alone: How Media Fueled Harassment Charges Are Used To Attack Black Conservatives

Standing Alone: How Media Fueled Harassment Charges Are Used To Attack Black Conservatives

Feature Posts, Legal, News

I was 17 years old when I watched in horror, along with my High School classmates in AP Political Science, as Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas was the victim of a self-described “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks…” It was a scene that helped shape my vision of American politics, and the role that race played in it. All the platitudes and hyperbole that were drilled into our youthful heads about the triumphs over racism in America, faded away like a mirage as white senators on national television chided and condescended a proud, educated and supremely qualified black man. It haunts me still; even more on days like today.

I can think of no faster rising star in conservative media than Charles V. Payne. Frankly, it’s not close. Though he’s been with Fox Business since its inception, he has only recently met his full potential once he was afforded the airtime he deserved. Yet with exposure, comes vulnerability. Payne is perhaps too effective, too articulate, and simply too black to be allowed such an opportunity not properly sanctioned by the powers that be. All of us who represent a new, honest approach to journalism must weigh the risks of notoriety. With that attention, comes the progressive and hateful left; like hyenas they circle and seek, gleefully taking down a target too much for any of them individually. To be more emphatic, let’s call it what it is: a high-tech lynching.

Is there a more effective use of triggering social imagery than a white woman accusing a black man of sexual harassment? I’d argue in the negative. This is the ultimate imagery used in deploying subversive racial animus. In this instance, we see an African-American man quickly reaching status as a national symbol of achievement over adversity. A proud man with an expanding audience, who uses his platform to occasionally illustrate the double standards of the liberal left and explain the endless attacks on black conservatives like Dr. Ben Carson. This, the progressives can’t allow. In turn, they deploy the most destructive weapon they have. A white woman, a CNN contributor, no less, suddenly cries foul and hires a female litigator to leak lies to the liberal LA Times; who then go to print while ignoring Payne’s strongly issued denial. Hand in glove…

Without a scintilla of evidence, and in the weak-kneed tradition of Fox News executives, Payne was unceremoniously suspended from the network without so much an inclusion of his denials. Like O’Reilly, Ailes and others before him, Payne now stands alone. But let there be no mistake, Payne stands in a much lonelier place. A place Clarence Thomas knows well, a place Herman Cain found himself as soon as poll numbers went too high in early 2012 while running for president. The message is clear: stay in your place, boy. This time, though, it is my hope that every African-American who has ever felt the professional sting of these tactics, will take up the cause; all politics aside. This goes beyond politics, to be sure. This must not be considered fair practice in America. Period.

Fox Business will no longer be my haven in a world without fair and balanced news. In fact, I will contact their advertisers and I will include this article with my explanation as to why I am boycotting their respective products until Payne is back on set. We are a nation of laws. We are not convicted by our accusers, nor is guilt predicted on our skin color. This is wrong and I won’t sit idly by while the hyenas dance in the darkness around the lion isolated from his pride.

I’m not 17 years old anymore. I will not be content with silence while my angers demands action. More than 25 years after Clarence Thomas triumphed over a political lynching to boast one of the most distinguished careers of any Supreme Court Justice, I will mobilize to ensure Charles V. Payne does not stand alone. Fortunately, we can tweet our support to him @cvpayne and we can let @FoxBusiness know we won’t tolerate this attack.

Payne need not stand alone, if we muster the effort, the compassion, and the courage to stand with him.

Adam Gingrich

Founder of Wick Media Productions. Worked for Donald Trump's Campaign, overseeing the Pennsylvania region, Adam has been a Political Consultant for most of his adult life.

Team Trump’s New Strategy: Vetting More, Betting Less

Team Trump’s New Strategy: Vetting More, Betting Less

Feature Posts, Legal, News, Politics

Wick Media Series Part 1: Rod Rosenstein

I’ve spent the past two weeks peeling back the layers of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein like an onion.  With every layer I peeled back, I found one deep state connection after another.  The network of government lawyers in DC is a dazzling matrix of dinner party pals, Ivy League marriages, and is probably the one place where bipartisanship flourishes; provided you subscribe to naked and uninhibited reciprocity.  It’s here, like a yellowed and over-stuffed rolodex, where you will find the seedlings that sprouted the endlessly and awkwardly enduring government career of Rod J. Rosenstein.

Rosenstein graduated in 1989 from Harvard Law with honors, where he had a spot on the coveted Harvard Law Review. He went to clerk for Judge Douglas Ginsberg, who you might remember as the second successive failed Supreme Court nomination, after Robert Bjork, by Ronald Reagan in 1987. After which, Rod joined the ever so cleverly entitled Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division at the Justice Department. Exactly none of you will be surprised to know that office was run Robert Mueller.  Mueller and Rosenstein go back to 1990.

After serving in a couple related positions in the Clinton DOJ, Rosenstein was hired by US Attorney Lynne Battaglia in 1997.  Battaglia was a former Chief-of-Staff to long-time Democratic US Senator Barb Mikulski, of Maryland, a figure who was seen as crucial in keeping Rosenstein employed later on through the Obama Administration. Next stop on the government gravy train, at the behest of Senator Mikulski, was a nomination to serve as US Attorney in Maryland. A few years later, in this capacity, then Attorney General Eric Holder handpicked Rosenstein to prosecute the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James Cartwright for leaking classified intelligence.  Rosenstein was said to be so “aggressive” in his handling of the case, that the General was forced to accept a guilty plea.  Seems like a lot work considering Obama turned around and pardoned him.

In 2007, Rosenstein had a shot at what most assume to be his ultimate career goal: a federal judgeship.  Bush nominated Rod for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, but it was a bridge too far, even for his political benefactor, Sen. Mikulski, who could not get her colleague Sen. Cardin to drop the “blue slip” against Rosenstein.  The Democrats in the Senate dutifully held the vacancy until 2009 when Obama would fill it.

President Trump nominated Rosenstein to serve as a deputy Attorney General on January 13, 2017.  His Senate confirmation was not until April 25th and was a resounding 94-6 in favor.  His fellow Deputy nominee, Rachel Brand, received no such bipartsan support, passing by a party-line vote.  One look at each of their resumes will tell you, it wasn’t about qualifications that influenced these differentials.

Enough, though.  This isn’t a glorified Wikipedia piece on the life and times of government legal beagle swimming in the swamp for 27 years.  This is about a rare breed whose survival tendencies are more chameleon than cockroach.  I’ve talked with several lawyers, all of whom worked with or near Rosenstein, and they all shared the assessment that the only thing exceptional about Rod was his unbridled desire to remain in the public sector.

It’s not uncommon for the same four or five Washington law firms to provide safe harbor for lawyers of both parties during administration changes. That never seemed to cross Rod’s mind, and for that, most of his former colleagues found him…”odd.”

They weren’t the only ones who had reservations about him.  None other than the infamous king of the cross-ailse cha-cha, James B. Comey, wasn’t comfortable with Rosenstein, either.  According to Lawfare blog editor, and Comey confidant, Ben Wittes, Comey said that “Rod is a survivor…and you don’t get to survive that long across administrations without making compromises…so I have concerns.”  Comey made this alleged admission in late March, mere weeks before his queasiness was proven justified. Somewhat justified; I should qualify.

One particular lawyer who witnessed Rod in action as the US Attorney in Maryland told me, “It was like Rod was running a farm team in the Maryland office for Eric Holder at Justice Main. He sent quite a few top deputies to Holder, including the ultimate fall guy for Holder’s ‘Fast and Furious’ operation, Jamie Weinstein.” But that wasn’t all he said, “Rod is a Lanny Breuer guy, too. Funny how nobody knows Lanny’s name.  Ask Sen. Chuck Grassley, he knows it. He demanded his resignation after ‘Fast and Furious’ hit the House and Senate hearing circuit.” And finally, “Lanny let UBS and HSBC walk with fines…and if those weren’t financial crimes warranting jail terms, then there haven’t been any in my lifetime.”

From there I explored whether or not Rosenstein’s proclivities would lean towards recusal in light of his role in Comey’s firing.  One fellow Bush appointee who worked with Rod opined that “(Rod) is clever enough to know staying in charge is his only job protection, and for the ‘experts’ he likes to keep around him.” Of particular interest, he noted “someone in Congress needs to ask Rod if he’s spoken about the ongoing investigation or the selection of Bob Mueller with anyone from Covington & Burling…that would drain the blood from his face.”

It is no secret to anyone in DC that Mueller and Rosenstein have a relationship.  Nor is it a secret that Mueller and Comey are very, very close.  I was trying to come to terms with this floated notion, made by some, that Rosenstein is a potential “Trojan Horse” that has caused mayhem since his arrival.  I’m no less convinced as to that possibility now, than I was before I made more inquiries.

Not the least of which was a copy of a letter received from a friend on Sen. Grassley’s staff from early March, stating how qualified and upstanding Rod would be as a Deputy Attorney General to Jeff Sessions.  Signed proudly by reputed ‘Fast and Furious’ architect Lanny Breuer, liberal Eric Holder acolyte Mythili Raman and (here’s where my stomach turned) new FBI nominee Christopher Wray.  After my concerned reply, the staffer’s texted response only heightened my anxiety, “LOL…you didn’t know that? Mueller, Comey and Wray were tight back in the day. They all laced the gloves up against Cheney together.  There’s no daylight here, man.  Don’t complain to us.  Call Chuck Cooper…”

With that, I realize the conservative media has failed us.  Maybe I have failed you, too.  I will do my best to get better and keep Trump supporters more informed.  It’s a maze of incestuous, self-serving protectionism.  That doesn’t mean we lay down and take it., though. That’s not how Trump nation turned the tables in 11/9/16 and we aren’t changing.

Now, anybody got a bottle of aspirin and Chuck Cooper’s cell number?

Adam Gingrich

Founder of Wick Media Productions. Worked for Donald Trump's Campaign, overseeing the Pennsylvania region, Adam has been a Political Consultant for most of his adult life.

“Half an inch of water and you think you’re gonna drown.” John Prine

“Half an inch of water and you think you’re gonna drown.” John Prine

Feature Posts, Legal, Media, News, Politics

Times like these, I hear the rusty old voice of that mailman turned songwriter, John Prine. Let’s face it, those lyrics ring true these days. Who hasn’t felt a little like they were drowning in this wave of fake news? Each day brings a slew of negative media against the president. Stories laden with unnamed sources of “past and current officials” speaking on condition of anonymity. Please. Enough.

But they won’t stop. It’s all they have. Every twelve hours, a cavalcade of conjecture, a tsunami of innuendo and, well, sometimes even two scoops of ice cream ooze from our TVs like primordial slime. The ebbs and flows of insanity and hilarity play off each other like a tennis volley. There we sit, dull-eyed and nauseous, watching the fate of our constitutional republic bandied about like sport. Please. Enough.

This entire narrative is built on lies. The absurdity of our new reality has rendered DC into a caricature of itself. A self-obsessed cesspool of obstinance and obfuscation. If there is no honor among thieves, then I attribute none to Congress. These arrogant and misguided souls are content to carry out guerrilla tactics and choose tactical retreat as a first measure of defense in all instances. Invariably, they all campaign vigorously, get re-elected and then disappear into the oblivion of the beltway. Watching out only for each other and the special interests that fill the war chests of campaign funds. The sunshine of transparency sends them scattering like cave-dwelling albinos. It never ends. They talk. They balk. They point fingers when the day yields nothing. Please. Enough.

As overwhelmed as we feel with the daily onslaught of negative, propped up pieces of propaganda landing in our laps, we must recognize its only two inches of water, we ain’t gonna drown. We control a lot more than we think. Sure, it doesn’t feel that way. We see our champion, our president under siege. We feel helpless, but we are not. Not at all. We can turn our angst and our anxiety onto the closest target: Congress. They were elected to facilitate the agenda of Donald J. Trump. We certainly didn’t send our congressman and women to DC for the express purpose of chasing fruitless investigations into fairy tales about Russia. For the love of all things holy, do your freaking job. Pick a team and play ball. Your excuses are beyond pathetic and we’ve heard them all. Please. Enough.

I would advocate that if your republican congressman isn’t supporting the president, well, you change your congressman. It’s not working. The system is broken. Our majorities have produced little but drama and palace intrigue. They are walking back from supporting the agenda we agreed on. In short, they are acting like congressmen. They won’t change without impetus to do so; and we are that impetus. Call your Representative and your Senator. Tell them you expect them to support the Trump agenda, or you will vow to see them replaced. They will hide from you, they will seek to appease you. They will use phrases like “let’s see how it turns out” and “let’s get to the bottom of this.” Ask them: get to the bottom of what, exactly? This is absurd. Please. Enough.

 

Comey is a shattered civil servant, trapped by contradictory statements between mysterious “memos” and his sworn testimony. It won’t end well for him. Trump is not under investigation. He is, however, the victim of a murderous and reckless media, as well as a staff that couldn’t navigate their way through a game of Connect Four. We can do better. We will. Trump deserves the same shot we’ve given every US president. It’s up to us to see that he gets it. We can’t entrust our liberties and our future to a gutless congress, an activist federal court full of seditious hacks or a bloodthirsty media who will stop at nothing to destroy Trump. Please. Enough.

What can we do? Tell all of your representation in Washington that you expect a fervent defense of the president and you want his agenda moved. Now. If they can’t commit, find a willing primary opponent, or run yourself. I’ll be there to help. I won’t stand by and watch another day of this madness. I choose action over anxiety. I choose to fight for what I believe. If enough of you join me, we will turn the oppressive tide of division and acrimony. We can stand with one voice as republicans and tell our representation…Please. Enough.

Adam Gingrich

Founder of Wick Media Productions. Worked for Donald Trump's Campaign, overseeing the Pennsylvania region, Adam has been a Political Consultant for most of his adult life.

James B. Comey: A One Man Wall of Injustice

James B. Comey: A One Man Wall of Injustice

Feature Posts, Legal, Media, News, Politics

Let’s take a minute, maybe a deep breath, and walk through President Trump’s decision to fire the Director of the FBI. It’s not a walk that makes any sense unless you walk backwards. The established media and beltway democrats will do almost anything to persuade you to do otherwise.

The soul-crushing, ethos crippling power of presidential campaign politics has brought down smarter and better men than James Comey. He is merely the latest cautionary tale detailing a DC bureaucrat who fought out of his weight class. While J. Edgar Hoover may have admired Comey’s taste for playing both sides against the middle, he almost certainly would have advised against dancing with a lame duck devil in Obama. Hoover was keenly aware of the changing seasons in presidential politics and was a master at manipulating that power vacuum to his favor. Comey lacked even the most remote political sense to navigate the turbulent waters he found himself in.

That’s not to infer Comey is a sympathetic figure in all of this. Few FBI directors in the bureau’s history have been maligned as he has by both sides of the political aisle. Prosecutorial politics is the most dangerous game to be played in Washington. You certainly don’t paint a target on a major party presidential nominee and then let them walk away. Not only did Comey commit that blunder, he then informed the world, twice, that he had all the reason in the world to bring charges, but inexplicably did not. Here is where we must tread off the beaten path to trace Comey’s travels to the trash bin of history.

We know the DOJ and Loretta Lynch had zero intention of bringing charges against Hillary Clinton. We also know Comey was explicitly instructed not to refer to the email and server investigation as “criminal” in nature. It was here that Jimbo should’ve seen the writing on the wall. The moves he made subsequently show a tortured vision of personal angst and lack of foresight on Comey’s part. When the NY Times reported on the Clinton basement server, Comey should have realized that he had the misfortune of being at the helm of an un-winnable war: defy the DOJ and conduct an adequate criminal investigation into Clinton’s brazen act against American interests, and be fired, or abide by partisan wishes and lose the faith of the Bureau.

So, essentially, Comey came to a fork in the road. Unfortunately, both the roads ahead led off a cliff. In this instance, there is only one choice: turn around or resign. Instead, he forged ahead in the hopes a bridge could be built by the time he reached the cliff. Not smart. Either way, it doesn’t matter. It’s all proof positive that Comey lacked the leadership ability to run an agency like the FBI. He was compromised, ethically and otherwise, and there was no changing that. It threatened the promise of any apolitical investigation by the FBI in the future. He had to go, and I understand why the president waited to do so. It was clear to me, and most political observers, that Comey was going to string this investigation into Russia out as long as possible to keep his job. It was awkwardly apparent, and was it was aided and abetted by a Congress desperate to keep a strong executive on a leash. A political marriage made in hell for the constitution.

In closing, this is just another shot fired in a deep state war that will not end soon. Trump is in the fight for keeps and, frankly, so is his opposition. Who is the opposition, you ask? Everybody. The president has at his disposal two main weapons in this war: his powers as president, and the hearts and minds of the American silent majority. The opposition seek to disarm him of both. It will take vigilance and a constant pushback by those who support President Trump to stop this from happening. James Comey put himself, time and time again, ahead of the interests of the American people. It was for that reason he was fired. Trump righted a wrong. A wall of injustice has been removed, but the remodeling is far, far from over.

Adam Gingrich

Founder of Wick Media Productions. Worked for Donald Trump's Campaign, overseeing the Pennsylvania region, Adam has been a Political Consultant for most of his adult life.

Can the Trump Administration Sanction Sanctuary Cities?

Can the Trump Administration Sanction Sanctuary Cities?

Feature Posts, Immigration, Legal

Some cities and counties in the United States refuse to cooperate with Federal immigration authorities.  This lack of cooperation takes several forms, including prohibiting the local authorities from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status, refusing to notify Federal immigration enforcement personnel of wanted illegals or refusing to detain illegal immigrants, at the request of Federal authorities, who are arrested for local criminal violations beyond their release date.  The cities and counties employing these tactics are collectively referred to as “sanctuary cities.”

President Donald J. Trump made “de-funding” sanctuary cities a cornerstone of his Presidential campaign.  The incidence of illegal immigrant criminal activity, coupled with high profile illegal immigrant murders, rapes and robberies too numerous to recount here, propelled the popularity of his proposal to stop sending Federal funds to these jurisdictions.  Yet, the term “sanctuary city” is not defined in Federal law.  The meaning ascribed to the moniker in popular culture simply refers to a city or jurisdiction which harbors illegal immigrants in defiance of the law.  For purposes of the Trump Administration’s policy to withhold Federal funds, however, the term “sanctuary jurisdiction” has the very specific meaning set forth in President Trump’s Executive Order on the issue.

In this brief, I will explain why the Federal government CAN (at least to some extent) de-fund sanctuary jurisdictions.  I will explain the inherent powers of the Federal government in the field of immigration, the corresponding State’s Rights or Federalism issues, the Trump Administration’s current policy regarding “sanctuary jurisdictions,” explore the current legal challenges to this policy and explain, as best I can, in layman’s terms the Constitutional and statutory issues, and legality, of the Administration’s policy.  The issues involved are quite complex, so I ask my readers to bear with me.  I will break the issues down to the basics and, hopefully, leave my readers with a better understanding of the law and Trump Administration policy.

Immigration Law and the Constitution

First and foremost, the United States Constitution grants the Federal government “. . . broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and status of aliens.”  Arizona v. U.S., 567 U.S. 387 (2012).  Arizona v. U.S., is the landmark case which arose during the Obama Administration wherein the Federal government challenged an Arizona State law which sought to make violations of Federal immigration law violations of State law and imposed criminal sanctions on illegals who worked in Arizona (among other things).  The United States Supreme Court invalidated most of the Arizona statute as issue.  In so doing, the Court found the Federal government’s power over immigration was broader than most commentators previously believed.

The Supreme Court found, on immigration, Congress had the power to “pre-empt” State law.  The Court further found the Congressional acts on immigration, coupled with the extensive Federal regulations bearing directly on immigration, resulted in the Federal government “occupying the field” of immigration.  This is known as the doctrine of “field pre-emption.”  See Arizona v. U.S., 567 U.S. 387 (2012).  Field preemption results when the Federal control (through statutes, regulations, etc…) of an area of the law is so widespread, no room remains for any State law.  The Court found this to be the case regarding immigration law in the Arizona case.

Likewise, when the Federal government undertakes a valid exercise of its power as a sovereign nation, state laws which conflict with Federal law are pre-empted.  As the Court stated in Arizona, this principle includes “. . . those instances in which the challenged state law stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress.”  (I don’t want to bog my readers down with too much information on preemption doctrines, but this is a type of implied preemption called “conflict preemption.”)

The end result is States are not at liberty to legislate regarding immigration.  They are not even authorized, on their own, to make violations of Federal law a violation of State law.  This practice was specifically rejected in Arizona v. U.S.  (The repudiation of this practice surprised some legal experts, simply because in other areas of exclusive Federal jurisdiction, this practice is allowed.  Any duck hunter will know the Federal government sets the rules and bag limits, but the State game wardens can charge a hunter for violations of the law and the State can prosecute the hunter in State court.)  Thus, the power of the Federal government over immigration is complete.

The Violation of Federal Law at Issue and the Effort to Strip Funding

In 1996, the Republican-controlled Congress passed a statute specifically directed at sanctuary jurisdictions.  The statute is 8 U.S.C. §1373.  While I doubt many of you want to read statutes, a portion of this one is worth reproducing.  Section 1373 provides, in part:

Notwithstanding any other provisions of Federal, State or local law, a Federal, State or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.

8 U.S.C. §1373(a).  It is this specific provision forming the basis of President Trump’s Executive Order on sanctuary jurisdictions.  President Trump signed the Executive Order at issue, entitled, “Enhancing the Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” on January 25, 2017.  Section 9 of the Executive Order deals with Sanctuary Jurisdictions.

Section 9 states it is the policy of the executive branch to ensure States and political subdivisions of States comply with 8 U.S.C. §1373.  Section 9(a) requires the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that “jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. §1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary.” (Executive Order)  This provision, coupled with the applicable statute, forms the basis of the effort to strip funding from sanctuary jurisdictions.

Importantly, as I write this, the Trump Administration is yet to actually strip any city or State’s funding for any violations of 8 U.S.C. §1373.  Nonetheless, a couple of cities, including San Francisco, filed suit in Federal court seeking to stop any effort to strip their Federal funding.  Oddly enough, San Francisco seeks a declaration it is not in violation of the 8 U.S.C. §1373.  (San Francisco Complaint)  The city claim its sovereignty and 10th Amendment rights are potentially going to be violated.  What to make of these contentions?  Let us take a look at that.

The Exercise of the Federal Spending Power and State’s Rights

Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution grants Congress the power to “. . . lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general welfare of the United States; . . .”  This provision is commonly referred to among Constitutional scholars and the Supreme Court as the Taxing and Spending Clause.  It forms the basis of the Federal Government’s Spending Power.

If my readers will harken back to high school civics class, one may recall the Federal government is one of limited, enumerated powers.  Congress does not have the right to legislate over anything and everything.  The Federal government only possesses the powers set forth in the Constitution itself.  Nevertheless, the Spending Power has been used by the Federal government to make States pass laws and undertake actions the Federal government otherwise did not have the power to force on the States.  The United States Supreme Court expressly held the Taxing and Spending Clause “. . . empowers Congress to authorize expenditures of public monies for public purposes not limited by the direct grants of legislative power.”  U.S. v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1 (1936).

There are limits on the exercise of Federal power, including the Spending Power, to be sure.  These limitations are based on the nature of our Republic, imposed by the Constitution.  The United States Constitution established a system of dual sovereignty between the States and the Federal government.  Printz v. U.S., 521 U.S. 898 (1997).  As the Supreme Court observed, “Federalism, central to the constitutional design, adopts the principle that both the National and State Governments have elements of sovereignty the other is bound to respect.”  Gregory v. Ashcroft, 501 U.S. 452, 457 (1991). The existence of two sovereigns (the Federal government and State governments) leads to the “. . . possibility that laws can be in conflict or at cross-purposes.”  Arizona v. U.S., 567 U.S. 387 (2012).

Some States, in connection with this issue claim, requiring them or their political subdivisions to cooperate with Federal immigration authorities infringes on their rights as separate sovereigns.  They further argue that conditioning receipt of certain Federal funds on such cooperation further violates their rights.  This is the fundamental basis of the disagreement.

Central to this disagreement are Supreme Court cases holding the Federal government may not “compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program.” New York v. U.S., 505 U.S. 144 (1992).  Similarly, the Federal government cannot “circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the State’s officers directly.”  Printz v. U.S., 521 U.S. 898 (invalidating portions of the Federal Brady Act which required State law enforcement officials to conduct background checks on gun purchasers.  Importantly, this case involved an exercise of Federal power under the Commerce Clause.)  These cases also form the basis of the local government’s challenge to compliance with Federal immigration law.  Yet, one must be mindful of what the Court did NOT decide in Printz. The Court refrained from “. . . deciding whether other purely ministerial reporting requirements imposed by Congress on state and local authorities pursuant to its Commerce Clause powers are similarly invalid.” Printz, at 936 (Connors, J., concurring.)  Furthermore, the Court was not faced with an exercise of the Federal government’s inherent powers (such as the power to regulate immigration).

The Supreme Court noted, in specific reference to the exercise of the Spending Power, that “The framers explicitly chose a Constitution that confers upon Congress the power to regulate people, not States.”  New York v. U.S., 505 U.S. 144 (1992).  The Supreme Court’s case law on this issue requires the Federal government to give notice to the States of the “strings” attached to the receipt of Federal funds, such that the States “voluntarily and knowingly accept the terms.”  National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebellius, 567 U.S. 519 (2012).  Further, the financial inducement offered by Congress may not be so “coercive as to pass the point at which pressure turns into compulsion.”  Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, 301 U.S. 548 (1937).  Also, Congress may not change the rules retroactively on the States (after the fact).  Bennett v. New Jersey, 470 U.S. 632 (1985).  Another important limitation on the Spending Power is the grant to the States must be “germane to the federal interest in particular national projects or programs.”  South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987).

These principles led the Supreme Court to invalidate the provisions of the Affordable Care Act which authorized the Federal government to strip ALL Medicaid funding if the States did not adopt the mandated Medicaid expansion.  The Court found stripping millions and millions of dollars from the States for failing to agree to expand the program at the cost of millions and millions of dollars to the States was not an “inducement,” it was a “gun to the head” and went too far.  See National Federation, 567 U.S. 519 (2012).

How do these principles apply to the current “Sanctuary Jurisdiction,” Federal funding issue?  First of all, the Federal government has complete, unfettered authority to regulate and control immigration.  Arizona v. U.S., 567 U.S. 387 (2012).  Importantly, The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution provides, in part, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby. . .” Article V, Clause 2, United States Constitution.  Clearly then, 8 U.S.C. §1373 is a Constitutional exercise of Congressional authority.

Importantly, sanctuary jurisdictions cannot now claim to be “surprised” by the funding issue, at least with respect to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program.  This is because the Obama Administration put the participating jurisdictions on notice of the requirement that they be in compliance with 8 U.S.C. §1373 as of July 7, 2016.  This was done at the behest of Republicans in Congress (specifically Rep. John A. Culberson, R-TX).  (Obama DOJ Notice)

(If you are interested in biased reporting, you will not be surprised to learn when the Obama Administration decided to notify sanctuary cities of the potential for their Federal funding to be stripped, the press was much more favorable.  (Fake News) Not a word about lawsuits or unconstitutionality, nothing of the kind.  How about that?)

Anyway, can the Trump Administration start stripping some of the funding from sanctuary cities?  Sure, after all, the Supreme Court approved of Congress using the Spending Power to entice States adopt unemployment compensation laws, See Steward Machine Co., v. Davis, 301 U.S. 548 (1937), to make States change their legal drinking age, See South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987), to adopt coal mining standards, Hodel v. Virginia Surface Mining & Reclamation Assn, Inc., 452 U.S. 264 (1981), and to adopt environmental standards, Arkansas v. Oklahoma, 503 U.S. 91 (1992)(case involving the Clean Water Act), to name a few.  On what grounds can the States refuse to comply with the Law of the Land on immigration? If the States can be compelled to create unemployment compensation schemes (something FAR beyond the power of Congress to do itself) by creative use of Federal funds, why can’t the Federal government require States to comply with 8 U.S.C. §1373 (which requires nothing more than communication) or lose Federal law enforcement grants?

A review of the applicable Supreme Court cases reflects the Federal government would NOT run afoul of any of the limitations imposed on the use of the Spending Power by stripping Federal law enforcement grants from Sanctuary Jurisdictions.  The States received notice of these obligations.  The States are not being “coerced” to the point of having a “gun” to the head.  The rules are not being changed after the fact.  And the funds to be withheld are germane to the Federal interest of law enforcement.

Where the Administration might be on shakier ground is if it tries to withhold funds without notice or unrelated to the Federal programs of which the local jurisdictions are on notice.  Can the Federal government simply pull ALL Federal funding from Sanctuary Jurisdictions?  Probably not.  That might be the proverbial “gun to the head” right?  The Department of Justice, however, could greatly expand the programs and Federal grants upon which compliance with 8 U.S.C. §1373 are required.  That would allow the Federal government to target all manner of other funding (education, prisons, housing, SNAP, etc…).

One last significant point of note on this issue is this: the Federal government could sue the local jurisdictions and obtain Federal court orders requiring compliance.  Federal courts have authority under the Supremacy Clause to order State officials to comply with Federal law.  See Washington v. Fishing Vessel Ass’n, 443 U.S. 658 (1979); Griffin v. School Board of Prince Edward County, 377 U.S. 218 (1964); City of Tacoma v. Taxpayers of Tacoma, 357 U.S. 320 (1958); Puerto Rico v. Branstad, 483 U.S. 219 (1987).  The Federal government could literally use the judicial power and have Federal courts order State officials to comply with Federal law.

Congress clearly had the power to enact the applicable statutory law. The Executive Branch clearly has the power to enforce it.  In fact, the Federal Spending Power is typically used to get the States to do things the Federal government could not ordinarily make the States do.  Stated another way, the Federal government can use the Spending Power to compel the States to act beyond the Federal government’s enumerated powers.  That is why conservatives oftentimes oppose the use of the Spending Power.  (Does anyone see the irony here of conservatives arguing for the Spending Power, while the City of San Francisco files a suit claiming its “State’s Rights” are violated?)  Here, the Federal government has complete authority to make the law and make the States comply with it.

I will conclude by observing the Federal government has the power to compel reluctant States to comply with Federal immigration law.  The Federal government may use the Spending Power, as long as the conditions imposed by the Supreme Court are observed.  In my opinion, the Federal government could also use the judicial power and have Federal courts order such compliance.

Compelling compliance among the more radical jurisdictions may require the Trump Administration to bring all available means to bear.  Stripping Sanctuary Jurisdictions of the right to receive a share of a few billion dollars in Federal law enforcement grants may not be enough.  To expand beyond those funding sources, the Federal government will need to implicate other Federal programs, such as housing, supplemental nutrition assistance and other benefit programs and provide States with notice of the need to comply with Federal legal requirements to exclude illegals from participating in those programs as well.

There is more than one way to “skin the cat,” so to speak.  If the Trump Administration intends to break the will of the leftist “resistance” in cities like Chicago or New York, it will need to use every means at its disposal.

Randy Street, Esq.
Monroe, LA
April 11, 2017

Randy Street, Esq.

Hunting, fishing, gun toting Louisianian. Republican. Attorney. Pro-gun. America First. Donald J. Trump is my President. #MAGA

JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH: Antonio Scalia or David Souter? A Brief Examination of his Record

JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH: Antonio Scalia or David Souter? A Brief Examination of his Record

Feature Posts, Legal, News

Justice Antonin Scalia cast an enormous shadow across the legal landscape of this Country. Throughout his nearly 30 years on the Supreme Court of the United States, he applied his conservative, “originalist,” “strict constructionist” judicial philosophy to the Court’s decisions. He profoundly impacted the Court and shaped its opinions. He is widely regarded as one of the Court’s most influential justices in modern times. His untimely death in February 2016 left a tremendous void on the Court; a void newly-elected President Donald Trump promised to fill with a like-minded conservative jurist.

Virtually every person in America read or heard about President Donald Trump’s first nomination to the United States Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch. Judge Gorsuch is a Federal Appeals court judge serving on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Among the questions posed by many court observers, commentators and conservatives following this nomination are: (1) did President Trump keep his word to appoint a conservative jurist to replace Justice Scalia and (2) if Judge Gorsuch is conservative, will he stay that way or is he another David Souter?1 Numerous friends and family members asked me these same questions. I decided to make an effort to answer these questions and, now, share these answers with you.

Questions such as these are not the easiest to answer, particularly the questions over the concerns the judge might turn out to be a “secret” liberal, like Justice Souter. To satisfy myself of Judge Gorsuch’s conservative bona fides, I delved into his background, biographical data and court decisions. I also reviewed opposition research and opinions, as well as portions of the judge’s confirmation testimony (both at the original confirmation and the hearings going on as this is written). My conclusion is simple: Judge Gorsuch is a principled Constitutional conservative jurist. Unlike Justice David Souter, Judge Gorsuch is the real deal. While trying to divine how a Supreme Court nominee will rule once he or she is actually a member of the Court is inherently speculative, the “tea leaves” indicate President Trump selected a man well-suited to picking up Justice Scalia’s mantle on the United States Supreme Court. Allow me to explain how I reached these conclusions.

Neil McGill Gorsuch was born in Colorado in 1967. Anne Gorsuch, the judge’s mother, served in the Colorado state house of representatives and, later, served as the Administrator of the EPA in the Reagan Administration. He was raised Catholic and attended Catholic prep schools, graduating from Georgetown Preparatory School in Maryland in 1985.

Neil Gorsuch earned his bachelor of arts from Columbia University in 1988, where he graduated with honors. He obtained his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he also graduated with honors in 1991 (he was classmate of former President Barack Obama at Harvard Law). He also obtained a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University in England in 1995 (his dissertation was written on the right to assisted suicide). Gorsuch clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, then for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court, ending in 1994. He was then in private practice from 1995 to 2005, followed by a short stint at the U.S. Department of Justice during George W. Bush’s administration. President Bush 43 appointed him to the court of appeals. He was confirmed on July 20, 2006.2

Those of you concerned over Judge Gorsuch’s conservative credentials will be well pleased to learn Judge Gorsuch is from a conservative Republican family. He enjoyed a conservative, religious education. He remained true to his conservative upbringing throughout college and law school. From there he remained a conservative lawyer and judge.

A conservative reader might question the Judge’s college education. After all, just how many “conservatives” are produced by Columbia University? Columbia is one of the bastions of leftist academic thought in America. But, what did Neil Gorsuch do at Columbia? He challenged the liberal/leftist orthodoxy at the University as a writer for the school paper, the Columbia Spectator. He defended conservative principles and conservative leaders. For instance, he wrote an eloquent defense of President Ronald Reagan’s involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal, entitled, “Let’s let the commander in chief lead.See Here

While studying at Columbia University he also co-founded a paper, The Federalist, and a magazine, The Morningside Review. The far left Alliance for Justice contends these publications were founded by Gorsuch to “counter . . . what he . . . saw as the predominance of liberal political views at the University.” See Here Leftist campus radicals even attempted to organize a boycott of The Federalist newspaper for alleged connections to the Coors family (of Coors beer fame). See Here

The significance of Judge Gorsuch’s college years is to demonstrate that even at a young age he was a principled, courageous conservative. Why characterize him as courageous? This writer can assure you holding oneself out publicly as a conservative at an institution like Columbia University takes tremendous courage. The pressure, ridicule and potential retribution he endured, or subjected himself to, from campus leftists, student groups and professors most certainly required courage.

While his college record is important, and impressive, the single most persuasive piece of information I uncovered about Judge Gorsuch is a tribute he made recently to the late Justice Scalia. The tribute was made as part of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 2016 Sumner Canary Memorial Lecture. It is entitled, “Of Lions and Bears, Judges and Legislators, and the Legacy of Justice Scalia.” You may find it here: See Here

The lecture is a powerful, moving tribute to Justice Scalia. In it, Judge Gorsuch focused on the differing roles of judges and legislators in our form of government and what Justice Scalia did to remind us of those differences. Judge Gorsuch stated:

But tonight I want to touch on a more thematic point and suggest that perhaps the great project of Justice Scalia’s career was to remind us of the differences between judges and legislators. To remind us that legislators may appeal to their own moral convictions and to claims about social utility to reshape the law as they think it should be in the future. But that judges should do none of these things in a democratic society. That judges should instead strive (if humanly and so imperfect-ly) to apply the law as it is, focusing backward, not forward, and looking to text, structure, and history to decide what a reasonable reader at the time of the events in question would have understood the law to be—not to decide cases based on their own moral convictions or the policy consequences they believe might serve society best.

Hon. Neil M. Gorsuch, 2016 Sumner Canary Memorial Lecture: Of Lions and Bears, Judges and Legislators, and the Legacy of Justice Scalia, 66 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 905, 906 (2016).

Judge Gorsuch goes on to elucidate the reasons why he is a “believer that the traditional account of the judicial role Justice Scalia defended will endure.” The Judge undertakes a powerful defense and explanation of the Constitution, of the Separation of Powers created by the Founders in the Constitution, of the unique nature of the Judicial Power granted to judges by Article III of the Constitution, how that power is different from the legislative power and why Justice Scalia was correct about all of the above.

This writer does not want to turn this short paper into a lengthy, esoteric discussion of complex (and uninteresting) legal and Constitutional issues and theory. For those who enjoy such things, read the entire tribute made by Judge Gorsuch. Simply stated, this tribute provides a detailed insight into Judge Gorsuch’s own ideas about the role of judges in our Constitutional Republic; insights the public will not often get of a nominee to our Nation’s highest court. This insight displays the judge’s deeply held conviction that Justice Scalia’s approach to the exercise of the Judicial Power, including the late Justice’s approach to Constitutional and statutory interpretation, is the correct approach.

Additional writings from Judge Gorsuch provide further insight into his philosophy. One such writing is an article published in the National Review. The article is entitled “Liberals and Lawsuits,” and in it he decried the use of courts by the left for social reform. See Here This article is a good read and Judge Gorsuch makes a good case why the left’s “addiction” to constitutional litigation is bad for the country, the judiciary and the left itself. The article is a forceful indictment of the Democratic Party’s use of litigation.

On the bench, Judge Gorsuch displayed a decidedly conservative bent in his decision-making. He voted with the majority in Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, 723 F. 3d 1114 (10th Cir. 2013), which held a closely held corporation could sue under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (42 USC §2000(bb)) to stop, on religious grounds, the Federal DHH regulations requiring the company to provide certain types of contraception. (This decision was ultimately affirmed by the United States Supreme Court, see Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014)).

In another case involving an action under 42 U.S.C. §1983 (commonly used in police brutality cases to bring a Federal claim against State law enforcement), Judge Gorsuch concurred to address the potential for abstention (a Federal court not exercising its jurisdiction) where the issue isn’t waived and where state court would afford a remedy. See Browder v. City of Albuquerque, 787 F. 3d 1076 (10th Cir. 2015). This case involved a cop who raced down the street on a personal errand (not on police business) and caused an accident, injuring someone. Noting such cases usually result in state law civil litigation, Judge Gorsuch concurred observing that in an appropriate case, where the defendant did not waive the issue, “comity” and “federalism” might lead the court to not decide a similar case.3

In other cases, Judge Gorsuch expressed skepticism about what is known as Chevron deference, referring to Chevron USA, Inc. v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984). In this case, the United States Supreme Court ruled Congress could grant an agency of the Executive branch authority to interpret an ambiguous Federal statute, even if that interpretation conflicts with a court’s interpretation of the same statute. On principled Constitutional, Separation of Powers grounds and on practical grounds, Judge Gorsuch questioned the wisdom of Chevron deference. See Gutierrez-Brizuela v. Lynch, 834 F. 3d 1142 (10th Cir. 2016).4

In another case touching on the Right to Bear Arms, involving a violation of the Federal statute barring felons possessing firearms, Judge Gorsuch affirmed the conviction (the man was erroneously instructed by a judge who presided over a previous guilty plea that he was not going to be a convicted felon as a result of the plea), but noted, our country has a “long tradition of widespread lawful gun ownership by private individuals,” that the United State Supreme Court ruled these rights were protected by the Second Amendment and “may not be infringed lightly.” See U.S. v. Gaines-Perez, 667 F. 3d 1136 (10th Cir. 2012).

In literally case after case, Judge Gorsuch took what one could properly characterize as a conservative position. See Druley v. Patton, 601 Fed Appx 632 (10th Cir. 2015)(case denying constitutional claims by a transgender inmate); U.S. v. Adame-Orozco, 607 F. 3d 647 (10th Cir. 2010)(case affirming a lower court’s interpretation of immigration law); Garcia-Carbajal v. Holder, 625 F. 3d 1233 (10th Cir. 2010)(case narrowly construing arguments presented by immigrant in lower court and finding arguments not preserved for appeal); Green v. Haskell County Board of Commissioners, 568 F. 3d 784, denial of rehearing en banc, 574 F. 3d 1235 (10th Cir. 2009)(where Judge Gorsuch dissented to denial of rehearing en banc in a case in which the 10th Circuit found an First Amendment Establishment Clause violation by the county allowing a Ten Commandments display on the courthouse lawn); American Atheists, Inc. v. Duncan, 616 F. 3d 1145 (10th Cir. 2010)(where Judge Gorsuch dissented to denial of rehearing en banc in a case in which the 10th Circuit found an First Amendment Establishment Clause violation by the state allowing crosses to be erected on public property in honor of fallen State Troopers); Wilderness Society v. Kane County, 632 F. 3d 1162 (10th Cir. 2011)(adopting a strict interpretation of Article III “standing” resulting in the dismissal of litigation brought by an environmental group); Shook v. Board of County Commissioners, 543 F. 3d 597 (10th Cir. 2008)(denying class certification to a proposed class action brought by inmates); Harvey v. Segura, 646 F. Appx 650 (10th Cir. 2016)(rejecting an inmate’s claim that his Free Exercise rights were violated by being subjected to a search by a member of the opposite sex and by confiscating religious head covering).

There are many more such cases, but hopefully the point is made. Cumulatively, the Judge’s background, upbringing, education, writings, experience and judicial decisions depict a staunchly conservative Constitutionalist. This writer could find nothing at all in the Judge’s background, public utterances or decisions to indicate to the contrary. President Trump most assuredly kept his word and appointed a worthy successor to the late Justice Scalia. Whether Judge Gorsuch continues to follow the same path on the United States Supreme Court, only time will tell, but the “tea leaves” indicate he will. The concerns of those worried about the legacy of Justice Scalia and the direction of the Court should be assuaged by this nominee.

Randy Street, Esq.
Monroe, Louisiana
March 28, 2017

1  To the uninitiated, former Justice David Souter was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to the Supreme Court in 1990.  Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu was President Bush’s Chief of Staff at the time and was instrumental in obtaining Souter’s nomination.  Governor Sununu assured conservatives at the time that Souter would be a terrific appointment.  Souter was “conservative” in his early years on the Court, but eventually turned out to be one of the Court’s most liberal members.  Souter even stayed on at the Court long enough to allow President Obama to name his successor in 2009, rather than retiring earlier when President George W. Bush could make the appointment.  Given Souter’s deception, conservatives everywhere worry whether conservative nominees are going to remain so once they get on the Court.

2  In the interest of brevity, citations to this biographical data are omitted.  I will provide those upon request.

3  To those who may be unfamiliar, “comity” in this context is the principle by which courts of one jurisdiction (here the Federal government) give effect to the laws or decisions of another jurisdiction (here, state court). “Federalism” refers to the allocation of power and governing authority between a national government and local governments.

4  The reader may also note, Judge Gorsuch discussed Chevron deference in his tribute to Justice Scalia as well.

Randy Street, Esq.

Hunting, fishing, gun toting Louisianian. Republican. Attorney. Pro-gun. America First. Donald J. Trump is my President. #MAGA