Thorns & Roses: The Worst, Best & Most Absurd (4/15)

Thorn: $4.6 million later, regrets?

New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer’s latest, “How Mitch McConnell Became Trump’s Enabler-in-Chief,” contains so many nuggets of outrageousness and despair-inducing reporting that you must read it in its entirety. But here is one illuminating passage. She reports that the late Humana founder David Jones had long backed McConnell. He and his company’s foundation collectively gave $4.6 million to the McConnell Center. Three days before he died, “Jones and his two sons, David, Jr., and Matthew, sent the second of two scorching letters to McConnell, both of which were shared with me. They called on him not to be ‘a bystander’ and to use his ‘constitutional authority to protect the nation from President Trump’s incoherent and incomprehensible international actions.’ They argued that ‘the powers of the Senate to constrain an errant President are prodigious, and it is your job to put them to use.’” And, she wrote: “Imploring McConnell ‘to lead,’ they questioned the value of ‘having chosen the judges for a republic while allowing its constitutional structures to fail and its strength and security to crumble.’” The Joneses are just figuring this out?

Thorn:  mixing faith with the law

Speaking of stacking the court, McConnell’s latest effort is to boost Judge Justin “R is for Wrong” Walker, the millennial marionette, onto the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia District. Why not? Walker, a judge for just over five months, was deemed “not qualified” by the American Bar Association for not having practiced law long enough. Now, Walker is in the middle of Mayor Greg Fischer’s battle to keep people from dying. Fischer said he was “emphatically asking” a local church to not have a drive-in church service after a previous one demonstrated churchgoers just could not contain themselves to stay apart. Walker issued a temporary restraining order flush with hyperbole and reading like (what we are told) a law student’s callow work. He wrote: “On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration of Easter.” He said that “Fischer ordered Christians not to attend Sunday services, even if they remained in their cars to worship – and even though it’s Easter.” First of all, Fischer never ordered anyone — he asked — and he never  threatened law enforcement action, thus no criminalization. Second, Walker did not speak with Fischer before issuing the ruling, despite the mayor’s efforts. Wouldn’t a judge want to hear from the accused? And third, and perhaps most telling, why would Walker mention: “even though it’s Easter”? Why does it matter to the ruling that it was Easter? That reasoning alone is proof Walker can’t separate religiosity from legality.