Enough Already

December 2020

It is finally over. The Supreme Court, The Electoral College, The States have all weighed in. The Supreme Court, in a simple sentence, said “No Standing” to Trump’s latest attempt to overturn the vote in the Presidential election. “No standing” is an interesting legal concept especially in that the Supreme Court has unlimited jurisdiction to hear cases brought before it. The Court found that the plaintiff, the State of Texas as represented by the Attorney General had no basis in making the claim. The Court never considered the merits of the claim, sidestepping the evidence submitted. Notwithstanding the unlimited jurisdiction rule, the Supreme Court found that Texas had no standing to attack, in a court of law, the voting in other states.

I assert the “no standing” objection often in my land use work when a neighbor from outside the block complains about an applicant seeking a variance or other relief before a Zoning or Planning Board. The concept is a basic rule of law. Texas should have no say in the voting in Michigan—they are “outside the block.” The Supreme Court invoked “no standing” to relieve the nation of Trump’s continued challenges to the legitimacy of the vote, and his undermining of our Democracy.

We are told that most of the Republican Party believe that the 2020 election was “rigged,” including 126 Republican Congressmen who co-signed Texas’s lawsuit. How can that be? The States themselves have recounted. The Lower Courts have ruled. And now the Supreme Court has said “Enough.” Trump knows, Rudy knows, Jared knows. Barr certainly knows and has finally put on his “man pants” and said so, after which he resigned so Trump could pre-empt coverage of the Electoral College votes confirming Biden’s win. So, what is the true agenda? Some say fundraising is the real story and this money –millions of dollars—will go to Trump’s pockets. This scheme cannot be true. I know from experience that lawyers have the capacity to keep litigating for delay purposes, but to use litigation to raise funds to support attacking the election when it is clear and established by the Supreme Court and Trump’s own Attorney General that election was won by Biden goes too far!

Our judicial system is not designed to put litigation on a path to finality. There is always another theory or an appeal from an appeal. Even with the Supreme Court’s “no standing” decision the system still allows for more litigation. One needs only another filing or court appearance to keep moving forward and to generate donations. Courts continue to accept filings of unfounded matters attacking the election. The funding will never stop because the appetite is insatiable.

Untold numbers of op-eds, columns and books will be written, laying out the events of the 2020 election. Our democracy will survive, and voters’ confidence will return. The conspirators will continue to spit out their claims. Let’s hope common sense will soon prevail.


December 2020

I grew up reading obituaries. There were very few books around my home, but we always received newspapers. The few books we did have were Christmas gifts to my father from employees at the Scrantom’s Books and Stationery emporium on Main Street in Rochester, New York. My father ran the parking lot concession for them, and they obviously did not know that he, an immigrant from Ukraine, could not read or write in English. He brought home the latest bestsellers, which were simply added to our bookshelf. I was fascinated by them and remember trying to tackle Les Misérables a dozen times, but at age five or six it was far too advanced–it wasn’t until high school that it finally made sense to me. My mother could read a little English as she had taken classes at night school to gain citizenship. She admired FDR and loved reading about him in the newspaper. Soon she and I were slowly poring over the articles together, polishing our reading skills, side by side. I was soon drawn to the obituaries, which were in both the morning and evening papers, so I had my fill reading them, each and every word. I do not believe, looking back, that I fully comprehended what I read in many of them –the background of the Kodak executive that died meant little to me. My interest was piqued by the battlefront deaths of the real-life young men who served and died in Europe and the Pacific and later the WWII veterans with their colorful military records. They were and still are heroes to me.

Eventually, I was able to ride my bicycle to the public library and my obsession with obituaries was sidelined by a new passion: books. Ever since then, reading has been one of the “structures” in my life, as essential as food and water. These days I read every evening before falling asleep. During the pandemic, book sales soared due to the stay-at-home life. Of course, many people are busy streaming on their smart TVs but reading books has gained momentum. Books are always my first choice for gift- giving, and I try to keep my local bookstore in business rather than using the online bookselling behemoth. Dan, the salesman, knows my taste and always recommends good current fiction and non-fiction. He also goes to the monthly used book fairs in Fort Lauderdale, where he finds copies of the out-of-print books I am looking for—many of which I discovered through the obituaries of famous authors who have died. The inventory at the book fairs come from libraries, private collections, and estate sales. I am often amazed at what people write in their books: comments about the author, notes on the writing, highlights, and underlines, even a shopping list. I continue to read the obit section regularly—unfortunately they keep coming–and quite often, especially in today’s political environment, it is still the most interesting section of the newspaper.