Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Community Activism · Impeachment Proceedings · Marches and Protests

Impeachment Update, February 4: Call Your Senators and Attend a Reject the Coverup Rally on Wednesday, February 5

Impeachment update, February 4, 2020: Keep calling your Senators, and see if you can get to a Reject the Coverup Rally on Wednesday, February 5.

 

Choose your Core Four for 2020 PLUS a Voting Rights organization to support:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2019/12/27/choose-your-core-four-plus-a-voting-rights-org-to-support-in-2020/

 

If you need to do something NowRightNow to fight against [Fresh Horror]:

https://onethingyoucando.com/want-to-do-more/

 

 

On Friday, January 31, 2020, the GOP-controlled Senate voted against hearing witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, ensuring that it would be a sham.

 

Closing arguments took place Monday, February 3. Final votes to wind it all down take place on Wednesday, February 5.

 

We at OTYCD recommend that you keep calling your Senators. Yes, even now. Because it’s  not over just yet.

 

The GOP-led Senate might be in cahoots with Trump to control the proceedings, and they are hell-bent on bringing this to a close even though there’s a multitude of polls showing that between 72 and 80 percent of Americans want the trial to hear witnesses and consider evidence (you know, like an actual trial would).

 

That doesn’t mean we have to make it easy for them.

 

Be like the spike strips at a car rental place that are there to stop someone from going in the wrong direction. Sure, they can try doing that, and the car might be driveable afterward, but they’ll fuck up the undercarriage and flatten the tires.

 

Make the GOP Senate feel the phantom limb pain where their souls used to be.

 

You should also call if you have Dem Senators who are thoroughly sensible and sane. Their pro-GOP constituents will be bombing them with irate calls. Counter those calls and encourage them to stay steady.

 

Then call your House rep and express support for the House delegation of impeachment managers that argued case for removal. It’s extra-important to call if your House rep is Nancy Pelosi or one of the seven impeachment managers.

 

See the list of impeachment managers here:

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/15/794256540/who-are-the-impeachment-managers-pelosi-unveils-diverse-team-for-trump-trial

 

Before you place your own daily call, check the Twitter feed of Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter), so you can tailor your comment about the impeachment inquiry to the day’s events. 

 

She is quick on the draw with calling scripts–way faster than I could ever hope to be–and will have a template you can use or adapt when making your calls to MoCs.

 

Even if she doesn’t have a specific template, she will retweet and comment on events that you can cite in your new daily call.

 

You can also look to the resources cited in our post on what you can do NowRightNow to fight [Fresh Horror] for fresh news you can cite. The link is above but here it is again:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/want-to-do-more/

 

Know also: Protests against the end of the trial are being planned as we prepare this post.

 

The largest effort appears to be the Reject the Coverup rallies, which are planned for Wednesday, February 5.

 

Protest partners include United We Dream, the NAACP, Greenpeace, NextGen America, MoveOn, Resistbot, Indivisible, Common Cause,and many others.

 

You can see the closest event to you by going to this link. Unfortunately, as of Sunday February 2, when we readied this post, there appeared to be no consensus on start times. Please keep checking the Reject the Coverup website and social media for this info.

 

If there isn’t an event near enough to you, or if there is and you can’t go, do what you can to make it possible for others to go. Offer gas money or bus fare. Offer care-giving services. If you’re a business owner, give your people paid time off to attend the protest.

 

You can also spread the word about the protest and boost the #RejectTheCoverup hashtag on social media.

 

Also continuing are the #SwarmTheSenate protests in Washington, D.C., in the Hart Building. Those have been going since January 6, 2020.

 

Elsewhere in D.C., the #KremlinAnnex folks continue their nightly protests in Lafayette Square.

 

And, apparently separate from the #RejectTheCoverup protests, a #TakeItBack protest will take place in Manhattan at Columbus Circle on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 5:30 pm, EST.

 

If we at OTYCD hear of other protests related to the Senate impeachment trial, we will update this post accordingly.

 

See the main site for the Reject the Coverup protest:

Home – Events

 

And to step back to Celeste Pewter, godddess of call scripts, please show your support for her and her noble work in one of these ways:

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can donate money to her through her Ko-fi:

https://ko-fi.com/A012IFW

 

You can tweet about calling your MoCs, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.

 

And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Community Activism · Marches and Protests

Impeachment Update, February 3: Call Your Senators and Attend a Reject the Coverup Rally on Wednesday, February 5

Impeachment update, February 3, 2020: Keep calling your Senators, and see if you can get to a Reject the Coverup Rally on Wednesday, February 5.

 

Choose your Core Four for 2020 PLUS a Voting Rights organization to support:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2019/12/27/choose-your-core-four-plus-a-voting-rights-org-to-support-in-2020/

 

If you need to do something NowRightNow to fight against [Fresh Horror]:

https://onethingyoucando.com/want-to-do-more/

 

 

On Friday, January 31, 2020, the GOP-controlled Senate voted against hearing witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, ensuring that it would be a sham.

 

Closing arguments begin today, Monday, February 3. Final votes to wind it all down take place on Wednesday, February 5.

 

We at OTYCD recommend that you keep calling your Senators. Yes, even now. Because it’s  not over just yet.

 

The GOP-led Senate might be in cahoots with Trump to control the proceedings, and they are hell-bent on bringing this to a close even though there’s a multitude of polls showing that between 72 and 80 percent of Americans want the trial to hear witnesses and consider evidence (you know, like an actual trial would).

 

That doesn’t mean we have to make it easy for them.

 

Be like the spike strips at a car rental place that are there to stop someone from going in the wrong direction. Sure, they can try doing that, and the car might be driveable afterward, but they’ll fuck up the undercarriage and flatten the tires.

 

Make the GOP Senate feel the phantom limb pain where their souls used to be.

 

You should also call if you have Dem Senators who are thoroughly sensible and sane. Their pro-GOP constituents will be bombing them with irate calls. Counter those calls and encourage them to stay steady.

 

Then call your House rep and express support for the House delegation of impeachment managers that argued case for removal. It’s extra-important to call if your House rep is Nancy Pelosi or one of the seven impeachment managers.

 

See the list of impeachment managers here:

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/15/794256540/who-are-the-impeachment-managers-pelosi-unveils-diverse-team-for-trump-trial

 

Before you place your own daily call, check the Twitter feed of Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter), so you can tailor your comment about the impeachment inquiry to the day’s events. 

 

She is quick on the draw with calling scripts–way faster than I could ever hope to be–and will have a template you can use or adapt when making your calls to MoCs.

 

Even if she doesn’t have a specific template, she will retweet and comment on events that you can cite in your new daily call.

 

You can also look to the resources cited in our post on what you can do NowRightNow to fight [Fresh Horror] for fresh news you can cite. The link is above but here it is again:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/want-to-do-more/

 

Know also: Protests against the end of the trial are being planned as we prepare this post.

 

The largest effort appears to be the Reject the Coverup rallies, which are planned for Wednesday, February 5.

 

Protest partners include United We Dream, the NAACP, Greenpeace, NextGen America, MoveOn, Resistbot, Indivisible, Common Cause,and many others.

 

You can see the closest event to you by going to this link. Unfortunately, as of Sunday February 2, when we readied this post, there appeared to be no consensus on start times. Please keep checking the Reject the Coverup website and social media for this info.

 

If there isn’t an event near enough to you, or if there is and you can’t go, do what you can to make it possible for others to go. Offer gas money or bus fare. Offer care-giving services. If you’re a business owner, give your people paid time off to attend the protest.

 

You can also spread the word about the protest and boost the #RejectTheCoverup hashtag on social media.

 

Also continuing are the #SwarmTheSenate protests in Washington, D.C., in the Hart Building. Those have been going since January 6, 2020.

 

Elsewhere in D.C., the #KremlinAnnex folks continue their nightly protests in Lafayette Square.

 

And, apparently separate from the #RejectTheCoverup protests, a #TakeItBack protest will take place in Manhattan at Columbus Circle on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 5:30 pm, EST.

 

If we at OTYCD hear of other protests related to the Senate impeachment trial, we will update this post accordingly.

 

See the main site for the Reject the Coverup protest:

Home – Events

 

And to step back to Celeste Pewter, godddess of call scripts, please show your support for her and her noble work in one of these ways:

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can donate money to her through her Ko-fi:

https://ko-fi.com/A012IFW

 

You can tweet about calling your MoCs, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.

 

And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Call Your Members of Congress · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause

Call Your MoCs and Voice Support for Releasing the Mueller Report–to Them, and To Us, and Safeguarding the Underlying Documents, Too, March 27 Edition

Update: March 27, 2019. Not strictly an update, but we continue to beat this drum for obvious reasons. The Mueller Report is still not out, and Barr says he’ll let the White House ‘redact’ it before it goes to Congress.

 

That is, of course, unacceptable.

 

Congress needs to see the full report, without any White House meddling or shenanigans, and we need to see the most complete version of the report that can be released to the public, while also protecting ongoing investigations and national security. With his 19-page memo “audition” for the AG job, which caught Trump’s attention, and with his four-page summary letter released over the weekend, Barr has shown that he cannot be trusted to do right by the American people.

 

We need to keep calling our MoCs and making it unmistakably clear that that is what we expect. Nothing less.

 

Watch the NowRightNow bar for links to those who have the freshest updates.

 

Also watch MoveOn and its No One Is Above the Law protest network. Something is brewing. No dates yet, but in general, you’ll go back to the same spot where you protested a few months back.

 

Original text follows.

 

Call your MoCs and voice your support for releasing the Mueller Report–to Congress, in the most complete form possible, and to us, in the most complete form that can be made available to the general public. Also urge them to safeguard the underlying documents as well.

 

So. Damn near everyone was shocked when rumors swirled about Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivering his long-awaited report on Friday, March 22, 2019.

 

And what do you know, he did so late in the afternoon that day.

 

I’m taking a risk by writing this. It’s early Sunday morning and I’m awake for some goddamn reason (not anticipation of the report, fwiw). Attorney General William Barr, who Trump hand-picked to replace Jeff Sessions, who angered him by recusing himself from the Mueller probe, has the report, and has had it since Friday. He is evidently reviewing it and has promised to apprise Congress of its contents.

 

We expect this to happen sometime over the weekend. As I type this, it hasn’t happened yet. [The risk is I’ll write and queue this and something will happen to render the piece obsolete. I’m going to take that risk.]

 

It appears that neither Trump nor the White House has an actual copy of the report yet. They’re allowed to ask AG Barr for it. Actually giving it to them would pose yet another Constitutional issue. Let’s continue to hope he gives it to Congress first.

 

Trump is holed up in Mar-a-Lago, surrounded by toadies and lickspittles, some of whom have paid to be there. Instead of freaking everyone out with his guanopsychotic tweets, he’s freaking everyone out by NOT tweeting. Yeah. This is where we are now.

 

Anyone who says they know what’s in the Mueller Report, at least as of Sunday March 24, 3:30 am EST, is talking smack. Don’t believe them, don’t retweet them. It’s all speculation.

 

So, aside from engaging in self-care, what can you do?

 

Celeste Pewter, as always, is on it. Shortly after news broke of the report’s delivery, she tweeted:

 

If you’re wondering what we can all do right now? Basically: 1. Call electeds + say you support the report being released to Congress ASAP 2. Ask for a declassified version to be released to the public, 3. Preserving all Mueller-related documents.

 

Some of you have asked when the public gets to see the report. With the understanding I’m not a lawyer, we have to keep in mind Trump might try and cite executive privilege/try something related: [She linked to this Just Security piece titled Executive Privilege and the Public Interest: Why the President Can’t Block Release of the Mueller Report:] https://www.justsecurity.org/60708/executive-privilege-public-interest-president-cant-block-release-mueller-report/

 

In other words, don’t assume there are any guarantees right now. Right now, today, – is the moment to call your electeds and say you support the push for transparency. It’s time to be LOUD.

 

Then she posted this calling script, which covers all three of your Members of Congress:

Script re: the Mueller report - 3/22/2019

 

So, there. You can do that.

 

Another thing to consider is to refresh yourself on where your nearest No One Is Above the Law protest took place. The powers that be at MoveOn are NOT currently calling for a protest over aspects of the release, or the failure to release, the Mueller report, but they’ve signaled that if they do call for a protest, we’re going back to the places we went on November 8, 2018, after Trump fired Sessions and replaced him with Acting AG Matthew Whitaker.

 

After you call, please show your appreciation for Celeste Pewter in some fashion.

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can tweet about calling your MoCs, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.

 

And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Uncategorized

Call Your MoCs and Voice Support for Releasing the Mueller Report–to Them, and To Us, and Safeguarding the Underlying Documents, Too, March 26 Edition

Update: March 26, 2019. Back to this because the Mueller Report is still not out, and Barr says he’ll let the White House ‘redact’ it before it goes to Congress.

 

That is, of course, unacceptable.

 

Congress needs to see the full report, without any White House meddling or shenanigans, and we need to see the most complete version of the report that can be released to the public, while also protecting ongoing investigations and national security. With his 19-page memo “audition” for the AG job, which caught Trump’s attention, and with his four-page summary letter released over the weekend, Barr has shown that he cannot be trusted to do right by the American people.

 

We need to keep calling our MoCs and making it unmistakably clear that that is what we expect. Nothing less.

 

Watch the NowRightNow bar for links to those who have the freshest updates.

 

Also watch MoveOn and its No One Is Above the Law protest network. Something is brewing. No dates yet, but in general, you’ll go back to the same spot where you protested a few months back.

 

Original text follows.

 

Call your MoCs and voice your support for releasing the Mueller Report–to Congress, in the most complete form possible, and to us, in the most complete form that can be made available to the general public. Also urge them to safeguard the underlying documents as well.

 

So. Damn near everyone was shocked when rumors swirled about Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivering his long-awaited report on Friday, March 22, 2019.

 

And what do you know, he did so late in the afternoon that day.

 

I’m taking a risk by writing this. It’s early Sunday morning and I’m awake for some goddamn reason (not anticipation of the report, fwiw). Attorney General William Barr, who Trump hand-picked to replace Jeff Sessions, who angered him by recusing himself from the Mueller probe, has the report, and has had it since Friday. He is evidently reviewing it and has promised to apprise Congress of its contents.

 

We expect this to happen sometime over the weekend. As I type this, it hasn’t happened yet. [The risk is I’ll write and queue this and something will happen to render the piece obsolete. I’m going to take that risk.]

 

It appears that neither Trump nor the White House has an actual copy of the report yet. They’re allowed to ask AG Barr for it. Actually giving it to them would pose yet another Constitutional issue. Let’s continue to hope he gives it to Congress first.

 

Trump is holed up in Mar-a-Lago, surrounded by toadies and lickspittles, some of whom have paid to be there. Instead of freaking everyone out with his guanopsychotic tweets, he’s freaking everyone out by NOT tweeting. Yeah. This is where we are now.

 

Anyone who says they know what’s in the Mueller Report, at least as of Sunday March 24, 3:30 am EST, is talking smack. Don’t believe them, don’t retweet them. It’s all speculation.

 

So, aside from engaging in self-care, what can you do?

 

Celeste Pewter, as always, is on it. Shortly after news broke of the report’s delivery, she tweeted:

 

If you’re wondering what we can all do right now? Basically: 1. Call electeds + say you support the report being released to Congress ASAP 2. Ask for a declassified version to be released to the public, 3. Preserving all Mueller-related documents.

 

Some of you have asked when the public gets to see the report. With the understanding I’m not a lawyer, we have to keep in mind Trump might try and cite executive privilege/try something related: [She linked to this Just Security piece titled Executive Privilege and the Public Interest: Why the President Can’t Block Release of the Mueller Report:] https://www.justsecurity.org/60708/executive-privilege-public-interest-president-cant-block-release-mueller-report/

 

In other words, don’t assume there are any guarantees right now. Right now, today, – is the moment to call your electeds and say you support the push for transparency. It’s time to be LOUD.

 

Then she posted this calling script, which covers all three of your Members of Congress:

Script re: the Mueller report - 3/22/2019

 

So, there. You can do that.

 

Another thing to consider is to refresh yourself on where your nearest No One Is Above the Law protest took place. The powers that be at MoveOn are NOT currently calling for a protest over aspects of the release, or the failure to release, the Mueller report, but they’ve signaled that if they do call for a protest, we’re going back to the places we went on November 8, 2018, after Trump fired Sessions and replaced him with Acting AG Matthew Whitaker.

 

After you call, please show your appreciation for Celeste Pewter in some fashion.

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can tweet about calling your MoCs, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.

 

And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause

Call Your MoCs and Voice Support for Releasing the Mueller Report–to Them, and To Us, and Safeguarding the Underlying Documents, Too

Call your MoCs and voice your support for releasing the Mueller Report–to Congress, in the most complete form possible, and to us, in the most complete form that can be made available to the general public. Also urge them to safeguard the underlying documents as well.

 

So. Damn near everyone was shocked when rumors swirled about Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivering his long-awaited report on Friday, March 22, 2019.

 

And what do you know, he did so late in the afternoon that day.

 

I’m taking a risk by writing this. It’s early Sunday morning and I’m awake for some goddamn reason (not anticipation of the report, fwiw). Attorney General William Barr, who Trump hand-picked to replace Jeff Sessions, who angered him by recusing himself from the Mueller probe, has the report, and has had it since Friday. He is evidently reviewing it and has promised to apprise Congress of its contents.

 

We expect this to happen sometime over the weekend. As I type this, it hasn’t happened yet. [The risk is I’ll write and queue this and something will happen to render the piece obsolete. I’m going to take that risk.]

 

It appears that neither Trump nor the White House has an actual copy of the report yet. They’re allowed to ask AG Barr for it. Actually giving it to them would pose yet another Constitutional issue. Let’s continue to hope he gives it to Congress first.

 

Trump is holed up in Mar-a-Lago, surrounded by toadies and lickspittles, some of whom have paid to be there. Instead of freaking everyone out with his guanopsychotic tweets, he’s freaking everyone out by NOT tweeting. Yeah. This is where we are now.

 

Anyone who says they know what’s in the Mueller Report, at least as of Sunday March 24, 3:30 am EST, is talking smack. Don’t believe them, don’t retweet them. It’s all speculation.

 

So, aside from engaging in self-care, what can you do?

 

Celeste Pewter, as always, is on it. Shortly after news broke of the report’s delivery, she tweeted:

 

If you’re wondering what we can all do right now? Basically: 1. Call electeds + say you support the report being released to Congress ASAP 2. Ask for a declassified version to be released to the public, 3. Preserving all Mueller-related documents.

 

Some of you have asked when the public gets to see the report. With the understanding I’m not a lawyer, we have to keep in mind Trump might try and cite executive privilege/try something related: [She linked to this Just Security piece titled Executive Privilege and the Public Interest: Why the President Can’t Block Release of the Mueller Report:] https://www.justsecurity.org/60708/executive-privilege-public-interest-president-cant-block-release-mueller-report/

 

In other words, don’t assume there are any guarantees right now. Right now, today, – is the moment to call your electeds and say you support the push for transparency. It’s time to be LOUD.

 

Then she posted this calling script, which covers all three of your Members of Congress:

Script re: the Mueller report - 3/22/2019

 

So, there. You can do that.

 

Another thing to consider is to refresh yourself on where your nearest No One Is Above the Law protest took place. The powers that be at MoveOn are NOT currently calling for a protest over aspects of the release, or the failure to release, the Mueller report, but they’ve signaled that if they do call for a protest, we’re going back to the places we went on November 8, 2018, after Trump fired Sessions and replaced him with Acting AG Matthew Whitaker.

 

After you call, please show your appreciation for Celeste Pewter in some fashion.

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can tweet about calling your MoCs, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.

 

And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Action Alerts

Tell Your MoCs That You Saw Their Social Media Posts

When you talk to your members of Congress, make sure to cite specific posts they’ve made to their social media accounts.

 

We live in the world of Facebook and Twitter, but our members of Congress don’t–at least not to the extent that we do. To them, phone calls are real, and letters are real, and email and faxes and postcards are real.

 

Social media posts are not as real to them as those other forms of communication. If you tweet at your MoCs or comment on their Facebook posts, they don’t take those statements as seriously as if you had phoned them or mailed them.

 

There’s a lot of reasons why this is so, and they’re long and boring and not really the point of this post. The point is that when you contact your MoCs by the means that are real to them, you should mention, and quote back to them, specific things you saw on their social media accounts.

 

Facebook, Twitter, and the like will start to become more real to your MoCs, and more like letters and phone calls and faxes in their minds, when you show them that you, their constituents and supporters, pay attention to social media.

 

The best way to do this is when you are contacting them to thank them for doing something: “Hey Senator (Lastname)! I saw you tweet about signing the Congressional letter condemning Trump’s pulling out of the Paris accord. Thank you for doing that!’ Linking social media with positive feedback will help move us closer to the day when social media becomes as accepted as all those other forms of communication.

 

Call Your Members of Congress · Ethics · Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)

Support Elizabeth Warren’s Call to Create a Code of Ethics for Members of the Supreme Court

Note from Sarah Jane: I wrote and queued this post before Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to SCOTUS. Senator Warren’s call, and the bill drafted by Senators Blumenthal and Murphy are that much more needed now.

 

Support Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call to create a code of ethics for sitting members of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

 

It might surprise you to learn this, but the nine judges who serve the Supreme Court are not bound by an explicit, formal code of ethics.

 

As with so many other things in a small-d democratic government, norms prevail. It is simply assumed that Supreme Court judges would conduct themselves impeccably, and would not do anything that would make them look partisan.

 

Well, guess what? Not all of them do, and the problem predates the Trump administration.

 

The late justice Antonin Scalia attended political retreats run by the notorious right-wing donor Charles Koch. He dined and hunted with then-Vice President Dick Cheney and declined to recuse himself from a SCOTUS case that involved him. He accepted more sponsored trips than any of his contemporaries on the court, and when he passed away in 2016, he was found dead in bed at a Texas hunting lodge owned by someone who had recently been involved in a potential SCOTUS case.

 

Warren complained after Neil Gorsuch, the man Trump appointed to Scalia’s seat after the GOP schemed to prevent hearings on President Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland, spoke at a September 2017 lunch at a Trump-branded hotel that was sponsored by the Fund for American Studies, a conservative group.

 

Without an ethics code in place to guide him, Gorsuch was free to say yes, but it would have been smarter for him to decline. It had ‘bad optics’ written all over it.

 

The fact remains, however–judges on lower courts are bound by ethical codes, but SCOTUS members are not. The example of Scalia, a smart man who stupidly dismissed claims of conflict of interest in the case involving Cheney by saying, “I do not believe my impartiality can reasonably be questioned,” and “If it is reasonable to think that a Supreme Court Justice can be bought so cheap, the Nation is in deeper trouble than I had imagined.”

 

You can be the most principled, ethical person who ever walked the earth and if you enjoyed the extracurriculars that Scalia did, it’d still look hinky. Because dammit, they look hinky. Why even go there?

 

With Trump stampeding norms like they’re houses of cards and Jenga stacks, it’s probably time to spell out, explicitly, what so many other past and current SCOTUS members understand without needing explainer documents. It’s time for a SCOTUS code of conduct.

 

Back in April 2017, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, along with House Rep Louise Slaughter, introduced the Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2017. If passed, it would address the problem. The bill is S. 835 in the Senate and H.R. 1960 in the house.

 

Sample script for your MoCs: “Dear (House Rep/Senator Lastname,) I am (Firstname Lastname, of town, state). I am calling to ask you to support Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call to create a formal code of ethics for sitting members of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), and to ask you to support bills now in Congress that would create the code. Both bills are named the Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2017. In the Senate, the bill is S. 835, and in the house, it’s H.R. 1960.

We live in charged times, and Neil Gorsuch agreeing to speak to a conservative group at a Trump hotel property is the sort of thing he can do, but shouldn’t. His accepting the offer shows bad judgment on his part, and the last thing we want in a SCOTUS judge is bad judgment. Surprisingly, while members of lower courts are formally bound by a code of ethics, the nine who sit at SCOTUS are not. Given the off-duty adventures of the late Antonin Scalia and others, I think it’s time to support the creation of a set of binding guidelines that detail what SCOTUS members can and can’t do. It would improve the reputation of the court by giving it a means to show the public that it is fighting partisanship and the perception of partisanship. Thank you for listening.”

 

 

Read about Gorsuch’s speech, Senator Warren’s reaction, and calls to create an ethics code for sitting SCOTUS members:

http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/352920-gorsuch-speaks-at-trump-hotel-event-despite-criticism

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/358163-warren-gorsuchs-links-to-koch-brothers-are-an-ethics-problem

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/01/supreme-court-ethics-problem-elizabeth-warren-opinion-215772

 

 

Visit the website of Fix the Court, a nonpartisan advocacy group that calls for ethics rules for SCOTUS:

https://fixthecourt.com

 

 

Like Fix the Court on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/FixTheCourt/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@FixTheCourt

 

 

Donate to Fix the Court:

https://fixthecourt.com/donate/

 

 

See the GovTrack entries on The Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2017, both the Senate and the house versions:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1960

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s835

 

 

Read about the late Antonin Scalia’s adventures away from the court, and his refusal to recuse himself in the Cheney case. In particular, see the 2016 New York Times article that included a sidebar that showed how often the nine justices travel:

http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/03/18/scalia.recusal/