Certain things which the law permitted the previous administrations to do, somehow becomes not permissible under this administration.
Certain things that were wrong - but not noticed - under the previous administrations, became more visible just because Trump is doing it.
I am planning a detailed overview of this phenomenon, but in this particular article I wanted to point out one extraordinary feature of the "Trump litmus test": it has shed a light on the U.S. Supreme Court and what is very wrong about its operation over the last 100 years.
First of all, with the death of Justice Scalia (and unlawful filibustering by the Republican Senate of a nomination to SCOTUS by President Obama) and retirement of Justice Kennedy, Trump has got to fill two seats so far on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Same as President Obama, same as all presidents before him, President Trump has avoided as a plague in fitting the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, the last resort in death penalty cases - candidates with criminal defense background.
The only people who have criminal law experience on that court are former prosecutors.
Of the 9 current justices of the U.S. Supreme Court,
- Stephen Breyer;
- Clarence Thomas;
- John Roberts (The Chief Justice):
- Ruth Ginsburg;
- Samuel Alito;
- Neil Gorsuch;
- Sonia Sotomayor;
- Elena Kagan;
- Brett Kavanaugh,
|Anthony M. Kennedy||McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific||$ 12,500.00|
|Anthony M. Kennedy||Colonial Williamsburg Foundation|
|Clarence Thomas||Horatio Alger Association|
|Clarence Thomas||Creighton University School of Law||$ 15,000.00|
|Clarence Thomas||George Washington University School of Law||$ 10,000.00|
|Clarence Thomas||J. Reuben Clark Law School - Brigham Unviersity||$ 2,225.00|
|Clarence Thomas||The Daily Caller||Salary|
|Clarence Thomas||Liberty Consulting, Inc.||Salary and benefits|
|Ruth Ginsburg||Trust Article Fourth U/W Martin D. Ginsburg, Trustee|
|Ruth Ginsburg||University of Michingan - Tanner Lecturer||$ 10,000.00|
|Samuel Alito||ABA Advisory Committee on the Law Library of Congress|
|Samuel Alito||Member Honorary Board of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in the United States|
|Samuel Alito||University of Kentucky||$ 6,000.00|
|Samuel Alito||Duke University Law School||$ 15,000.00|
|Elena Kagan||Harvard Law School|
|Elena Kagan||President and Fellows of Harvard College||$ 15,000.00|
|Stephen Breyer||Dana-Farber Cancer Institute|
|Stephen Breyer||The Pritzker Architecture Prize|
|Stephen Breyer||Penguin Random House LLC, Royalty Income||$ 116,774.61|
|Stephen Breyer||The authors Registry, Inc; Royalty Income||$ 384.93|
|Stephen Breyer||Penguin Random House LLC, Nonemployee compensation||$5,000|
- no requirements of a minimum caseload;
- a marble palace and a practically unlimited budget - for 9 people to review court cases, for which the same court had, initially, a single room in the Capitol building;
- plenty of time to go, during business hours, to
- talk to law students;
- talk to bar associations (all expenses paid for travel and accommodations);
- write books, sell them and advertise them;
- lecture for money;
- an ability to allow themselves to accept gifts in money and in kind for themselves and for their personnel from parties and counsel in litigation, and from foreign governments and entities -