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Morning Joe Sees Shades of ‘Dangerous 20th-century autocrats’ in Trump Court Criticism

Morning Joe Sees Shades of ‘Dangerous 20th-century autocrats’ in Trump Court Criticism

Remind us: who’s the only President to rebuke the Supreme Court to its face at a State of the Union?

Morning Joe came down with a bad case of the vapors this morning, clutching its collective pearls [to mix metaphors] over President Trump’s comments about the court currently hearing the case on the executive order on immigration.

Jon Meacham said that Trump was “messing with the Magna Carta,” of all things! Joe Scarborough upped the anxiety ante, saying “the historical precedents are chilling. I don’t even want to mention their names, but some of the dangerous autocrats of the 20th century, their two goals were to, first, undermine an independent judiciary and, second, to undermine a free press.” Gee, wonder with which “dangerous autocrat” of the 20th-century—whose name one dared not speak—Scarborough was lumping Trump?

Note: as you’ll see in the video, Trump quoted part of the 1952 law that gives the President the right “for such period as he shall deem necessary, [to] suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

Note segundo: in addition to his Trump = Hitler analogy, Scarborough also darkly mused that Trump’s criticism of the court might be an “attempt to intentionally discredit them so he can strip them of power down the road.” Just what is Joe suggesting? Some sort of executive coup d’etat against the judiciary? We need to know!

The thrust of Trump’s criticism was that the language of the law was so straightforward that even a “bad high school student” could understand it, whereas listening to the oral hearing on the case, he heard “things that had nothing to do with what I just read.” Even so, Trump was careful to observe: “I don’t ever want to call a court biased, so I won’t call it biased.”

And for this, Trump is accused of being a latter-day [fill in the blank with your most dangerous 20th-century autocrat]?

Hmm, which other recent president also called out courts for not interpreting what he saw as the clear language of a statute? President Obama, of course. Among numerous statements documented here, Obama said, while the King v. Burwell Obamacare case was pending before a court, “Look, this should be a pretty straightforward case of statutory interpretation.

And on an earlier Obamacare case, Obama suggested—while the case was pending before the Supreme Court—that “people’s lives are affected by the lack of availability of health care . . . The law has . . given 2.5 million young people health care that wouldn’t otherwise have it.” Got that, Court? Agree with me or jeopardize the lives of millions!

And speaking of disrespect for an independent judiciary, remind me: who is the only president in American history to have rebuked to their faces members of the Supreme Court who sat before him at a State of the Union address?

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Well, President Trump continues to lob shots at the judicial branch. We await a federal court’s, appeals court’s decision over whether to reinstate President Trump’s order suspending travel from seven countries. And speaking yesterday morning before a convention of county sheriffs and police chiefs, the president called the courts “political.”

DONALD TRUMP: [reading from statute] “He may by proclamation and for such period as he shall deem necessary.” So here it is. People coming in. “Suspend the entry of all aliens,” right? That’s what it says. It’s not like — again, a bad high school student would understand this.

. . .

I watched last night in amazement and I heard things that I couldn’t believe. Things that really had nothing to do with what I just read. And I don’t ever want to call a court biased so I won’t call it biased and we haven’t had a decision yet. But courts seem to be so political and it would be so great for our justice system if they would be able to read a statement and do what’s right.

. . .

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, it’s more than stunning. It is dangerous. Again, for anyone who knows the history of the 20th century, it is dangerous when you have executives trying to denigrate the judicial branch and judicial independence . . .

When you say what said about federal court judges, it either is an attempt to intentionally discredit them so he can strip them of power down the road, or it’s a complete ignorance of the system . . . It is a system of checks and balances that began with Madison and Hamilton, and presidents do not speak this way. And I saw you and I both quoted Jefferson last night in some tweets about the extraordinary importance of judicial Independence.

JON MEACHAM: It’s not even a 230-year tradition he’s messing with here. It’s a thousand years. It’s the Magna Carta

JOE: Again, the historical precedents, Mark Halperin, are chilling. I don’t even want to mention their names, but some of the dangerous autocrats of the 20th century, their two goals were to, first, undermine an independent judiciary and, second, to undermine a free press. This crosses a bright, bright line that conservatives in my party need to start talking about and pushing back on.

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Comments

Ol’ Morning Joe is intentionally ignoring the point that the 9th circuit has inserted itself into a political controversy, even though there is a long precedent for the courts to rule that purely political questions are non-justiciable political questions.

This is WHY the courts were traditionally supposed to be above criticism, because they were supposed to be above politics. But this meant that they had to police themselves and be careful not to jump all over the prerogatives and powers of the other 2 branches.

When the courts start inserting themselves into political questions, they become political players themselves, subject to all of the criticism and enmity that all political bodies must endure.

    Ragspierre in reply to Tom Servo. | February 9, 2017 at 9:28 am

    “This is WHY the courts were traditionally supposed to be above criticism, because they were supposed to be above politics.”

    This is utter bullshit.

    The courts have NEVER “been above criticism”. EVER.

    The courts did not engage in political questions because they recognized those controversies were outside their purview.

    The border has always been ill-defined, but the courts have really TRIED to maintain it.

      IMHO, the only reason we do not see MORE political decisions from the courts, is because, historically, the only way that the courts can maintain their power is to present at least the facade of political neutrality. The courts have no political base for support, nor do they have an efficient para-military arm to impose their rule on the rest of the country. So, they wrap themselves in the black robes of neutrality. However, the courts have become emboldened, during the last 50 years of Progressive rule, to engage in political activities, including legislating from the bench.

I see your fundamental error…

Barracula was a 21st Century autocrat.

But ALSO you use the fallacy of tu quoque.

It was wrong…and we said so…when Obama did it. It’s wrong now.

for anyone who knows the history of the 20th century, it is dangerous when you have executives trying to denigrate the judicial branch and judicial independence

Too bad he didn’t develop this argument. Offhand, I can’t think of any particularly dismal episodes in 20th century history which had any significant causal relationship to denigration of any aspect of the judiciary. I’d be interested to learn of any such incident.

Mark Finkelstein | February 9, 2017 at 10:16 am

I didn’t insinuate and don’t allege that you spell out the f-word. But you do spell out all sorts of foul and degrading insults.

I have no ulterior motives. To the contrary, as mentioned, you make valuable contributions here. I would be sorry to see you go and want you to stay. But it is distressing to see the stream of ugly insults you spew.

Why not simply clean up your act? Of all people here, you are more than capable of making your arguments without resorting to junior-high worthy language and taunts.

    I have.

      Mark Finkelstein in reply to Ragspierre. | February 9, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      Is calling someone’s comment ‘utter bull—,’ as you did on this very thread, spelling out the word, your idea of cleaning up your act?

        I find your VERY selective pearl-clutching and pinky-finger offense at the language people use daily to be less than convincing.

        I criticized your post. Hence, instead of dealing with my very true points as to your argument, you attacked me personally and on the pretext of my terr’ble, terr’ble language.

        Puuuurrr lil’ snow-flake. Censor me, hunnie.

JON MEACHAM: It’s not even a 230-year tradition he’s messing with here. It’s a thousand years. It’s the Magna Carta

Just how old does Meacham think the Magna Carta is ? 810 to 902 yo
… and which one (there were 5).

    Tom Servo in reply to Neo. | February 9, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Not to mention that Magna Carta had absolutely nothing to do with an independent judiciary. At best, you could say that it allowed the Barons to control the courts in their lands, rather than the King. Although of course the Church was in competition with both of them, with its own court system.

    It was a complicated time.

And , of course, the liberals Super hero Franklin Man never had any disparaging comments about a certain group of “Nine Old Men”

Blaise MacLean | February 9, 2017 at 10:35 am

So I have a question. Which is more autocratic:

(a) criticizing judges who may be abdicating their judicial oath, or

(b)threatening to add as many additional Supreme Court seats as necessary to stack it so as to get affirmative answers on New deal litigation?

I´m asking.

    Tom Servo in reply to Blaise MacLean. | February 9, 2017 at 11:39 am

    This may seem a bit counter-intuitive, but if the adding justices to the court is backed by the Congress and authorized by legislation, then so-called “court packing” is not autocratic at all, but simply the other 2 branches of government re-asserting their control over the 3rd.

    I would go farther and say that is exactly what should be done now with the 9th circuit, and there is a bill being introduced which would break it up into the 9th and a new 12th circuit. Undoubtedly, some new justices will need to be added if that change is made, and I hope it is.

      Actually, it should probably be broken into the 9th, 12th, 13th and 14th districts.

      Of that, the current justices of the 9th Circuit should be relegated to hearing cases in the 50 Square miles of Idaho that currently are assigned to the 10th Circuit, which would solve two problems with one elegant solution:

      1.) it would solve the problem with the “lawless” area of Yellowstone. Add ONE District Court Judge (call it the Idaho-Yellowstone District, and make it so it’s solely in Idaho).

      2.) it would relegate the Progressives on the Court that don’t have basic reading comprehension to a small, unpopulated section of the nation where they can’t do any more harm.

There may be two bigger frauds in the commentariat than Jon Meacham and Joe Scarborough, but it is hard to think of who they might be.

So far, Trumps “autocratic” actions have been restricted to ordering that the Executive branch of the Federal Government follow existing law and enforce said laws. To demand that the other branches of our government do the same thing seems to me to be simply common sense.

Judge Robart’s order was totally lacking in ANY legal justifications. He is a federal jurist and is supposed to make decisions based upon FACTS, not FEELINGS. This calls into question his qualifications to be a jurist.

Re-watch the video of the Obama State of the Union attack on the Supreme Court.

It isn’t just what he said, but where he said it and the reaction.

The Democrats shouted like a lynch mob with the intent to physically and emotionally intimidate the justices.

Look at Schumer leaning over and clapping nda yelling right at Alito.

Very ugly – but the MSM did not complain. No protests by Blumenthal et al – who were too busy having fun being being part of the mob.

the leftards are ALWAYS seeing monsters & boogeymen under the bed and in the closets…

Humphrey's Executor | February 9, 2017 at 1:27 pm

Conflict between the President and the courts in the area of national security is nothing new. A good very good read on the subject is “All the Laws but One” By William Rehnquist.

Fascism is always descending on Republicans and landing on Democrats.

Morning Joe claimed this morning that they are required to report ad nauseum on every little thing Trump misspeaks or tweets, too, instead of reporting in depth on his policy moves. Like they don’t control the narrative and he does. Pardon me if I don’t give a crap what Morning Joe thinks.

Breaking up the 9th is pointless unless all the progressives are herded into one district. Otherwise you have 3 or 4 new districts that are just are crazy-liberal as the previous single district.

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