Michael Podhorzer Profile picture
Former political director of the AFL-CIO. Senior fellow at CAP.
Sue Strong @strong_sue@mastodon.sdf.org 🇺🇦 Profile picture Leslie Jaszczak (Eserafina@nerdculture.de) Profile picture Perpetual Mind Profile picture Ron Andrews Profile picture 6 subscribed
Jul 16 6 tweets 4 min read
1/ Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision Monday to dismiss the classified documents criminal case against Donald Trump is not merely spurious jurisprudence or an example of incompetence.

In any other country, we would recognize Cannon’s actions—dismissing a major criminal case against a presidential candidate on the first day of his party’s convention—to be part of an ongoing constitutional coup. 

Even more so if that judge had been placed on the court by the defendant after he had lost his re-election bid (and before he incited an attempted insurrection, for which three of his appointments to the Supreme Court immunized him from prosecution two weeks ago.)

2/ Any foreigner would see this as a coup led by a revanchist alliance of plutocrats like Charles Koch and theocrats like Leonard Leo, whose approval is now a prerequisite for any Republican judicial appointment.

This alliance seeks to repeal and replace the 20th century’s major advancements on civil rights and economic justice—doing as much as they can to return America to the era of robber barons and unchallenged white Christian patriarchy.
Jul 9 13 tweets 10 min read
1/ Let’s try a thought experiment.

Suppose you heard that in another country, a defeated former president who had attempted a coup was granted immunity for that coup by six Supreme Court judges, half of whom he had appointed; that this attempted coup included a widely-televised, deadly assault on the nation’s capitol intended to prevent the certification of his defeat in the last election; and that the Court’s immunity ruling came just months before a next election in which this defeated president is once again a candidate, seeking to recover the powers he previously abused.

What would you expect the focus of news reports about that Supreme Court’s ruling to be?

a) Debating whether the ruling itself aligns with the history and traditions of that nation’s legal system, or

b) Explaining the Court’s role in an ongoing authoritarian coup. 2/ Now, let’s add more details to this scenario about our "foreign nation."

Consider that the defeated president’s loss in the last election was:

◾️Decided by the second-largest popular vote margin in the last six elections, and by the defeated president’s loss in five key states he had narrowly won in the previous election

◾️Independently confirmed by the defeated president’s own copartisans at many levels, including:

▪️Monitors at every voting place
▪️Members on every canvass board assenting to the count
▪️Governors certifying the results in both of the key, narrowly-won states where the president’s party held that office

◾️Validated by courts, which rejected over sixty legal cases brought by the defeated president or his allies – with many rulings made by judges appointed by him or his copartisans

◾️Acknowledged as valid by the Senate majority leader, also a copartisan
Jul 1 8 tweets 3 min read
1/ At long last, can we all stop pretending that Alito, Thomas, Barrett, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh are legitimate jurists? They are politicians who were effectively “appointed” to the Court by the Federalist Society, which has turned the Supreme Court into an unaccountable super-legislature.

Their mission is to repeal and replace the 20th Century—to destroy the guardrails protecting Americans from civil rights violations and corporate predations. #Immunity 2/ Alito, Thomas, Barrett, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are the only five of the 116 justices to serve on the Supreme Court to have been confirmed by senators representing less than one half of the US population.

The panel on the left shows how dramatically different that was just 24 years ago, when, with the exception of Thomas, every justice on the Court was confirmed by senators representing at least two-thirds of the US population, and six were confirmed by senators representing 90 percent of the US population.Image
Jun 19 9 tweets 4 min read
Don’t hold your breath waiting for the presidential immunity decision. If you’re wondering whether the MAGA majority on the Court will let Trump off the hook, they already have.

By doing so, they have already interfered in the 2024 elections.

They’ve forced a historic crisis—an irreconcilable showdown between the normal operation of the criminal justice system (which should find Trump in pretrial and trial proceedings for his January 6th crimes over the next five months) and the normal functioning of presidential elections (which should find him campaigning full-time during those months).

It didn’t have to be this way; it’s a crisis entirely of their own manufacturing. Imagine you were told that in another country, a president who had been defeated in a free and fair election attempted a coup, for which he was indicted—but four years later, the very judges he had appointed have helped protect him from standing trial so he could return to office.

Whether it’s in Orban’s Hungary, Erdogan’s Turkey, Putin’s Russia, or now the United States, authoritarian movements consistently attempt to amass and consolidate power by hijacking courts to provide them with post-hoc impunity.

In the US’s case, the hijacking we now confront by the MAGA judges is the result of decades of hollowing out judicial independence by the Federalist Society and its revanchist backers.
May 31 5 tweets 2 min read
Yesterday’s verdict made it clear why the Federalist Society Supreme Court Justices and Judge Cannon are doing everything they can to prevent Trump from facing a jury in the J6 and classified documents cases – it’s because they know that when everyday Americans review the evidence, they will convict him. As I previously wrote, it’s long past time we acknowledge that the only reason Trump’s J6 trial did not start on schedule, and why we don’t have a verdict now, is because of Alito and his similarly conflicted fellow justices.

May 19 10 tweets 3 min read
Alito and Thomas have made clear their insurrectionist connections. So why are we debating whether Alito should recuse himself, instead of demanding Roberts dismiss Trump’s immunity appeal so the J6 trial can begin immediately? (It’s called “dismissed as improvidently granted”—when a court recognizes that they never should have taken up a case in the first place.) It’s long past time we acknowledge and reckon with the following:

1) But for Alito and his similarly conflicted fellow justices, Donald Trump would almost certainly be a convicted felon for J6 by now.

The only legitimate move for the Court to make on the immunity case now would be dismissing it as improvidently granted.
Apr 30 10 tweets 4 min read
While we focus on what SCOTUS means for Trump, we forget what Trump means for SCOTUS. If he wins, he could replace Thomas, Alito, and 40+ federal judges over 75 with young zealots.

Trump is the means to the end of an ongoing Federalist Society coup. That coup, in charts: 🧵 Since George W. Bush, the Federalist Society’s approval has been a prerequisite for any Republican SCOTUS nominee.

The result? More polarizing nominees, confirmed by senators representing fewer and fewer Americans.

First, here’s the average Senate confirmation vote over time: Image
Apr 19 8 tweets 3 min read
One of the most important, and least understood, facts about unions is that unions spread prosperity beyond their membership.

To see how dramatic an effect this has, let’s compare work and life in “right to work” states to work and life in states without these anti-union laws.🧵 To start, workers are over twice as likely to have a union in other states as they are in RTW states. The corporate-government coalition against working people has been so successful in RTW states that only 1 in 25 private sector workers have a union – fewer than before Wagner. Image
Dec 5, 2023 8 tweets 3 min read
My thread yesterday outlining how different life is in America’s liberal Blue Nation and illiberal Red Nation only scratched the surface.

Here’s a deeper dive on how much freer, more prosperous, healthier, and safer Americans living under Blue Nation’s policies really are. Let’s begin with the differences in how Red and Blue state trifectas have redefined voting rules and democracy. Over the last dozen years, Red states have enacted laws to make it more difficult to vote – with the intended result that Black turnout rates have declined. Image
Sep 21, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
Can’t stop thinking about polls showing Trump and Biden tied? You might be suffering from Mad Poll Disease.

Symptoms include anxiety, problems sleeping, and feelings of helplessness about the future of democracy.

Fear not: there is a cure. To cure Mad Poll Disease, we have to focus on the only thing that matters—the ongoing MAGA threat.

Make this your healing mantra: Horse race polling can’t tell us anything we don’t already know about who will win the Electoral College.