The U.S. Supreme Court Is A Tragic, Pathetic Joke

18 06 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The U.S. Supreme Court just issued its decision in Gamble v. United States, and “left the door open for state prosecutors to prosecute Trump campaign officials regardless of whether federal officials have already done so.”[2]  In his dissenting opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch—President Trump’s first appointment to the Court—wrote: 

A free society does not allow its government to try the same individual for the same crime until it’s happy with the result. Unfortunately, the Court today endorses a colossal exception to this ancient rule against double jeopardy.  My colleagues say that the federal government and each State are “separate sovereigns” entitled to try the same person for the same crime. So if all the might of one “sovereign” cannot succeed against the presumptively free individual, another may insist on the chance to try again. And if both manage to succeed, so much the better; they can add one punishment on top of the other. But this “separate sovereigns exception” to the bar against double jeopardy finds no meaningful support in the text of the Constitution, its original public meaning, structure, or history. Instead, the Constitution promises all Americans that they will never suffer double jeopardy. I would enforce that guarantee.[3]

Our Supreme Court has been a tragic, pathetic joke for years, certainly since it blessed infanticide in Roe v. Wade—and the killing of more than 55 million American babies.[4]  Also, Chief Justice John Roberts constitutes the second worst decision that former President George W. Bush made during his eight-year presidency—other than the senseless Iraq War in which more than 5,000 Americans died and many more were maimed, and trillions of dollars were wasted, for nothing.[5]

Perhaps an editorial of The New York Sun described the Gamble decision best:

How is it possible that, after all the tumult over the Supreme Court, the only two justices to grasp the plain language of the Constitution in respect of double jeopardy are — wait for it — Neil Gorsuch and Ruth Bader Ginsburg? It’s amazing enough that there are but two sages for the bedrock prohibition on double jeopardy. More amazing still that the question unites the right- and left-most justices.

The case, known as Gamble v. U.S., involves an ex-con named Terance Martez Gamble. He was pulled over in a traffic stop in 2015 at Alabama. A gun was found in his possession in violation of both Alabama and American law. Gamble pled to the state charges and drew a year. Then the federales turned around and charged him again for the same offense, drawing additional time for the same deed.

The justices rejected his appeal in an opinion — by Justice Alito — that reminds us of President Clinton’s hemming about how it depends on what the meaning of “is” is. In this case, it depends on the meaning of the word “offense.” The justices reckon there were two offenses, one carrying the blasted gun in Alabama and the other the same gun at the same time in the United States. Could the United Nations also charge him?

. . .

Justice Thomas, sage of what Myron Magnet, in his new book, calls the “lost Constitution,” manages to concur with the majority’s ruling against Gamble while attacking stare decisis. The ink wasn’t even dry on his concurrence when the press started warning that Justice Thomas was — yet again — prepping the ground for overturning Roe v. Wade. Others were more focused on the implications of Gamble for Paul Manafort.

New York, after all, is preparing to bring charges against President Trump’s former campaign manager even while Manafort sits in the Big House hoping for a pardon on federal charges. It’s not so clear, though, that New York will throw at Manafort the same charges Mr. Mueller levied. To discern differences between the federal and state cases against Gamble, though, one would need an electron microscope.

Our own interest in this case is neither stare decisis nor Paul Manafort nor Ms. Roe nor Mr. Wade. It is the plain language of the Fifth Amendment, where the prohibition against double jeopardy is laid down. Our national parchment was supposed to be a bar against such injustices as the state appealing acquittals or the law chasing someone from one court to another.

This is beautifully marked by both Justices Ginsburg and Gorsuch in two dissents. Justice Ginsburg, citing precedent about the separateness of federal and state laws, warned of “frittering away” Gamble’s liberty “upon a metaphysical subtlety, two sovereignties.” Thundered Justice Gorsuch: “A free society does not allow its government to try the same individual for the same crime until it’s happy with the result.”

It is not our intention to suggest that there can never be, say, a federal prosecution after a state acquittal. During the Jim Crow era, southern juries often ignored the facts. In those cases, though, the argument would be, and was, that the accused racists were never in genuine jeopardy in the first place. That is not what happened in the case of Terance Gamble.

All the more inspiring that the two dissenting judges from opposite ideological ends of the bench came together on this bedrock. It doesn’t suggest the confirmation battles are about nothing. It does remind all of us not to panic. The thinness of the vapors at the altitude where these justices breathe makes it hard to predict how they will behave. History teaches that great dissents have a way of getting vindicated over time.[6]

We can only hope that Justice Gorsuch’s dissenting opinion becomes the law of the land, which is not very promising given the 7-2 ruling—or for Paul Manafort and others who tried to help President Trump and may be caught in the insidious web of double jeopardy.  We have to thank our Supreme Court again for the perpetuation (or creation) of tragic injustices.[7] 

 

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-19-4-29). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://www.thedailybeast.com/scotus-reaffirms-double-jeopardy-exception-allowing-trump-campaign-officials-to-be-tried-by-state-feds (“Supreme Court Reaffirms ‘Double Jeopardy’ Exception With Mueller Probe Implications”—”The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday reaffirmed a 170-year-old exception to the Constitution’s double-jeopardy clause, and left the door open for state prosecutors to prosecute Trump campaign officials regardless of whether federal officials have already done so. The case, Gamble v. United States, has drawn attention for its potential effect on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s federal prosecutions on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Had the ‘dual sovereignty doctrine’ been repealed, states would not be able to pursue investigations parallel to the federal government. . . . State prosecutors in New York have brought charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort Jr., who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, in the event that President Trump pardons him”).

[3]  See Gamble v. United States, p. 64 (emphasis added), by clicking on the following link: https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/gamble-ussc-decision.pdf (or by downloading the decision).

[4] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/#comment-17243 (“Finally, More Abortion Bans Are Coming”—”Roe v. Wade unleashed a holocaust of epic proportions, which ranks with the greatest holocausts in human history—including the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust and Mao’s Chinese Holocaust. Indeed, more human beings have been killed as a result of abortions—since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in 1973—than in each of the other three holocausts”).

[5] See, e.g., http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-and-the-mexican-judge-1465167405 (“[President] Obama . . . contributed to the Democratic intimidation campaign against Chief Justice John Roberts ahead of the 2012 ObamaCare ruling. ‘I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,’ the President said at an April 2012 press conference. The Chief Justice ruled as the President recommended”); https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-01/hold-the-revolution-roberts-keeps-joining-high-court-liberals (“Roberts Keeps Joining High Court Liberals”)

[6] See https://www.nysun.com/editorials/ginsburg-gorsuch-and-gamble/90732/ (“Ginsburg, Gorsuch — and Gamble“) (emphasis added).

[7] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix”—”The United States is a nation where rogue prosecutors reign, whose goals in life include the prosecution of even the innocent. Federal, State and local prosecutors ruthlessly and gleefully pursue countless numbers of innocent Americans for a multitude of crimes that were never committed; and the judiciary has allowed this to happen. Corruption is rampant among federal prosecutors and those who work with them, such as FBI agents. No amount of rational thinking or discourse can be applied to a system that is inherently and systemically corrupt”); see also https://www.foxnews.com/politics/supreme-court-ruling-deals-potential-blow-to-paul-manafort-as-he-battles-state-charges (“Supreme Court ruling deals potential blow to Paul Manafort as he battles state charges”) and https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/17/nyregion/manafort-rikers.html (“Paul Manafort Seemed Headed to Rikers. Then the Justice Department Intervened”).





The Speech—Is Barack Obama Smoking Pot Again?

1 09 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

As Barack Obama wrote in his biography, “Dreams from My Father”:

Junkie.  Pothead.  That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.[2]

Is he using again . . . or is he simply pathetic and a bad joke?  In his televised speech to the American people, he announced that “all U.S. troops will leave [Iraq] by the end of next year.”[3] This artificial deadline may snatch defeat from the jaws of victory; and if so, the anti-war, far-Left Obama will be responsible personally.  Among other things, Iraq is still without a coalition government months after its election, and political compromise remains elusive.[4]

The Wall Street Journal was correct when it stated in an editorial prior to the speech:

The U.S. kept hundreds of thousands of troops in Germany for decades after World War II, and it still has tens of thousands in South Korea and Japan. It would be a tragedy if after seven years of sacrifice, the U.S. now failed to assist Iraqis as they try to build a federal, democratic state in an often hostile neighborhood.[5]

He is bringing our troops home to no jobs, or to poor jobs with little or no financial security once they leave the military.  Obama’s central responsibility as president—which is true of all presidents—is to protect the United States and the American people against our enemies.  It is not, as Obama stated, to put the millions who have lost their jobs back to work.  This is the task of private enterprise, not any “big brother” government.

International terrorism and other very real national security concerns still loom, which might produce flashpoints at any time. We have enemies who seek to destroy us—a fact that seems to escape Obama[6], and is sometimes forgotten by many Americans as 9/11 recedes in our memories. While it might be attractive for the president and the Democrats to take a “meat ax” to the Defense Department, it would be foolhardy to gut our military precisely when it has been performing magnificently and its continued strength is needed most.

America’s economic and military strength go hand in hand. Both are indispensable ingredients of our great nation’s future strength.  Obama is naïve and out of touch with reality—almost as much as Joe Biden, which is scary.  He spoke of “record deficits,” but failed to mention that he created them; and he is pandering to the American people (aka his far-Left constituency) in the hopes that the approaching political “blood bath” in November’s elections will not materialize.

At best, it is wishful thinking, devoid of attachments to reality, because a political tsunami is building that may engulf Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and their minions.  America and other nations are in uncharted waters; and their politicians may face backlashes from disillusioned and angry constituents that are unprecedented in modern times.

The facts are that we are in the midst of the “Great Depression II,” and there is nothing that Obama can do about it, except to make things worse.  It will run its course, probably toward the end of this decade—although it has been suggested that it might take a generation.  Between now and then, the carnage in America and worldwide will be mind-boggling.[7]

Also, Obama is caught in the “tar” of his Afghan war.[8] Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has noted that the full complement of additional troops ordered to Afghanistan by the president is only now arriving.[9] However, when President Obama announced the deployment of an additional 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan, he said the U.S. would begin pulling out by July of 2011—just before his reelection campaign might begin in earnest, which is a recipe for defeat.

It is a political decision, and tantamount to conceding the country to our enemies sometime next year.  Obama is apt to be a one-term president who is unable to run for reelection, like Lyndon Johnson in 1968.  No amount of flowery rhetoric or contrived puffery by the president will change these facts.

Throw in the Tea Party movement, as well as a majority of Americans who support the wholesale repeal of ObamaCare—and other crises to come—and the president is engaged in “Mission Impossible,” or certainly close to it.  He can give all of the speeches he wants, until the cows come home, but they are unlikely to make any appreciable difference.  His goose is cooked, and the following observation may prove to be prophetic:

Jimmy Carter may be heading to #2 on the [list of] all-time worst presidents in American history, thanks to “O.”[10]

This may be an understatement.  If our “victory” in Iraq is lost, Obama will be blamed.  If we “lose” in Afghanistan, Obama will be blamed.  If America’s economy does not return to robust health—which it will not during the balance of his presidency—he will be blamed.  The bloom is off the rose of his presidency.  It is long gone.  If November is a disaster for the Democrats and Obama, he may be perceived as a lame-duck president in short order.  Among other things, Hillary and Bill Clinton and their minions (e.g., James Carville) may be “gunning” for him.

What will be clear, crystal clear, is that Obama was the wrong man for the presidency.  He had feet of clay, which he and his handlers hid from the American people—before he was elected.  He was a fad and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who will be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history.  His naïveté was matched by his overarching narcissism; and he was more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter.  In the final analysis, his presidency is likely to be considered a sad watershed in history.

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] See Obama, “Dreams from My Father” (paperback “Revised Edition,” published by Three Rivers Press, 2004), p. 93; see also pp. 120, 270; https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist

[3] See, e.g., http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/08/31/text-of-obamas-remarks-on-iraq/

[4] See, e.g.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703467004575463563467541850.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_news

[5] See http://www.naegele.com/documents/ThePresidentonIraq-WSJ.com.pdf

[6] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

[7] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/the-great-depression-ii; see also http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/173_212/-365185-1.html and http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html and http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan’s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/

[8] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start; see also http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Uncle_Remus%3A_His_Songs_and_His_Sayings/The_Wonderful_Tar-Baby_Story

[9] See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703467004575463563467541850.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_news

[10] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama





Obama In Afghanistan: Doomed From The Start?

26 12 2009

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

At the same time that President Obama announced the deployment of an additional 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan, he said the U.S. would begin pulling out by July of 2011—just before his reelection campaign begins in earnest, and only one year after our forces will have been deployed fully.  It is a political decision, and tantamount to conceding the country to our enemies sometime that year.  The president’s decisions are not surprising because he is an anti-war politician who never served in the U.S. military, and he knows nothing about running a war.  His plans are designed to appease his political soul mates and constituency, America’s anti-war far-Left.

His “dithering” for months now has undermined the support of our allies, and sent a clear signal to our enemies that he is weak and indecisive, and America is too.  The halfway measures of his new Afghan policies will not satisfy the American political Left or Right, our allies or the Afghan people—whose suffering will continue.  However, the president will have pleased our enemies, especially when he is focused on an “exit strategy” instead of winning.  It is disturbing to watch him pathetically try to micro-manage the war in Afghanistan from the White House.[2] Indeed, it smacks of Lyndon Johnson’s tragic handling of the Vietnam War that resulted in the senseless deaths of more than 58,000 Americans, and more than 150,000 who were wounded[3]; and the end of his presidency.

We began in Afghanistan militarily shortly after 9/11, and were successful in taking over the country and ousting the Taliban.  The poppy crops should have been eradicated then, so the worldwide supply of heroin would have been reduced dramatically.  The Associated Press reported on November 23, 2009: “The poppy crop in Afghanistan, which produces 90 percent of the world’s supply of opium, is linked to corruption, addiction and a drug trade that bankrolls the Taliban insurgency.”  Opium poppies are the raw ingredient in making heroin.

We should not have turned our attention to Iraq until Afghanistan was stabilized fully.  Because we directed our resources to Iraq, Afghanistan was allowed to “languish” and the Taliban were permitted to regain traction.  We have made great strides in helping the long-suffering women of Afghanistan, and that must not cease or be neglected.  Afghanistan is important to us strategically as well, because the Taliban “straddle” both Afghanistan and Pakistan; and if Afghanistan falls, Pakistan might descend into unfathomable chaos, with its nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of our enemies.

President Obama is a far-Left neophyte who is in the process of presiding over a failed presidency, which is likely to get worse with the passage of time.  General David Petraeus and other leaders in our military chain of command have endorsed General Stanley McChrystal’s requests for more troops, which according to reports involve far more than 40,000.  The president should let the military handle Afghanistan, and allow General McChrystal to do his job.

Obama has not been successful at running anything, ever; and it is unlikely that Afghanistan will be an exception.  At best he is a failed “community organizer” from Chicago, who was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia.  Just read his book, “Dreams from My Father”—which is a real eye opener—if you have any doubts.[4] His beliefs are premised on naïveté and defeat, as well as the notion that the U.S. cannot send additional troops without a plan for getting them out.  For example, the Washington Post quotes White House officials as stating: “[Obama’s] desired end state in Afghanistan envisions more informal local security arrangements than in Iraq, a less-capable national government and a greater tolerance of insurgent violence.”[5]

This is a prescription for defeat, and it sends precisely the wrong message to our enemies, who will simply wait for Obama to get weaker and for America to leave Afghanistan.  It will result in the shedding of American blood and that of our allies for nothing, like Vietnam.  Former Vice President Dick Cheney is correct when he says that the average Afghan citizen “sees talk about exit strategies and how soon we can get out, instead of talk about how we win.  Those folks . . . begin to look for ways to accommodate their enemies.  They’re worried the United States isn’t going to be there much longer and the bad guys are.”

President Obama is correct that the people of Afghanistan have endured violence for decades, which makes his exit strategy of one year after deployment so unrealistic.  A year passes in the flash of an eye; and it is not long enough to make a difference in Afghanistan.  Just imagine Franklin Delano Roosevelt saying that he would not commit U.S. troops to the war against Hitler in Europe, or the war against Japan in the Pacific, unless he had an exit strategy in place and operating one year after they were deployed.  Thank God that Obama was not in charge of the D-Day invasion of Europe, or other decision-making in World War II.  Hitler would have won, and Europe (including the UK) would be speaking German.

More and more Americans are realizing that Obama is a mistake, even though he is personable, intelligent and certainly a fine speaker.  The highly-respected Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll—for December 24, 2009—shows that 43 percent of U.S. voters Strongly Disapprove of the way Obama is performing his role as president, while 27 percent Strongly Approve, giving him a negative Presidential Approval Index rating of -16.[6] That speaks volumes about where Obama and America are heading.

The president’s Afghan policies are doomed from the start because he is not sending enough troops to succeed; he has set an unrealistic exit date; Al Qaeda and the Taliban will be active and aggressive in Afghanistan long after Obama exits politics; he will not be able to hold even his own party together with respect to this issue; and like Vietnam for Lyndon Johnson, Afghanistan may prove to be Obama’s political undoing—apart from the economy, ObamaCare, national security and other vital issues.  Since when does an anti-war far-Left community organizer know how to run a war, much less successfully?

© 2009, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Mr. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] See, e.g., http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/25/AR2009122501923_pf.html

[3] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_casualties_of_war

[4] See Obama, “Dreams from My Father” (paperback “Revised Edition,” published by Three Rivers Press, 2004); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

[5] See infra n.2.

[6] See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll








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