The Rules of Law

by Wade Rathke

New Orleans  The rule of law has been getting a rough ride during Trump time. Now with Supreme Court decisions dropping like flies all around us with one mixed message after another, many are not sure where we stand. Are they confirming the rule of law when it comes to the administration, or are they simply saying there are “rules” of law depending on who is in power, how deep the pockets, and how many obstructions and delays lawyers are able to create?

One of the rules of law in Supreme Court world is that women are still second-class citizens. The right to their bodies and equal protection of them is a catch-as-catch-can affair. Louisiana can’t close all abortion centers, but up to 120,000 women can have their coverage for birth control under the Affordable Care Act taken away. At the same time the Court has ruled that there can’t be discrimination in employment for the LGBT community. It’s a crapshoot, no matter what the pundits say, when it comes to predicting a decision.

The Court convincingly setback President Trump’s claim to royal prerogatives and immunity from the law when it came to his finances and requests from New York prosecutors for his tax records, but passed the buck on Congressional subpoenas forcing a lower court to diddle around with the issue for the foreseeable future. Some observers are claiming it as a win for Trump, because the big reveal won’t be until after the election, but that’s really not the case, and he knows it. He’s already screaming like a stuck pig. Having to disclose his financial records at any time, including in what hopefully is his post-presidency is going to be wildly painful to the Great Narcissist. It will hurt him not being a faux emperor anymore, but it will be even worse for Trump to be forced to reveal how few financial clothes he will be wearing then. It will be interesting to see if his empire can survive. Oh, the shame!

We can only hope that the resounding thud of these 7-2 decisions will end the efforts of Attorney General Barr to assert the special privileges of his theory of the imperial presidency, but that’s doubtful, and that’s where the “rules” of law prevail. As long as they can run the clock out of this nightmare, Barr and his cronies at Justice will feel they represented their client, Trump, without pretense that their real obligations are in fact to the American people and to the service of justice itself.

It used to be that whenever someone said to me, “Let me speak frankly,” it was a tell that a whopper was coming. Now, whenever I heard someone say they care about the fact that the USA is a country following “the rule of law,” what I really hear is a tell that they are about to break or twist the law to suit themselves.

America, what a country!


 

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