12
   

What's Merrick Garland Going to Do?

 
 
snood
 
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 07:30 am
On his last day in office, Donald Trump pardoned his adviser Steve Bannon for having committed the crime of fraud. In 2018 and 2019, Bannon defrauded donors to a private fundraising campaign to build a wall at the Mexican border called We Build the Wall.

It took less than 10 months from the pardon for Bannon to be caught breaking the law again: The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection found that Bannon has illegally defied its subpoena. The matter has been referred to the Department of Justice for criminal contempt.

Maybe Merrick Garland can make a case for not indicting Donald Trump.

There are several reasons why it may be hard to go after a former president. Some of those reasons may even make sense.

But he has no excuse for not indicting Bannon for refusing to testify before the House Special Committee on Jan. 6.

If Garland does not initiate a contempt prosecution against Bannon, it will be a signal that Trump loyalists will continue to have impunity in breaking the law. It will also be an invitation for them to commit more crimes against the democratic process in the future. The January 6th business could end up just being a rehearsal. All that rests on Garland's shoulders.

And he has to act quickly. Time is definitely a factor here. The longer he delays taking action here, the longer the delays and dragged-out court proceedings resisting all the other congressional subpoenas will be.

I've been told that I am too hard in my criticism of this DOJ, or that maybe I have unrealistic expectations.

I just want them to do their goddamn jobs.

https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/578390-press-no-excuse-for-garland-to-not-prosecute-bannon

https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-nightly/2021/10/19/merrick-garlands-steve-bannon-problem-494770
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Type: Question • Score: 12 • Views: 912 • Replies: 62

 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 07:40 am
Merrick Garland has a very good reason for doing what the political activists want him to do. His job is to be impartial. If he steps into this political fray, he runs the risk of hurting the mandate of his office.

I respect Merrick Garland. I think he is in a damn difficult position here. I don't think he should listen to the political outrage from the left.
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 07:41 am
@snood,
Quote:

But he has no excuse for not indicting Bannon for refusing to testify before the House Special Committee on Jan. 6.

I agree.

I haven't looked at the process. Does the citation for contempt of Congress pass immediately to the AG or are there intermediate steps?
snood
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 07:42 am
@hightor,
I'll look at it more closely in a couple of hours.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 07:45 am
@maxdancona,
Either Attorneys General are supposed to become embroiled in partisan political fights, or they aren't.

I am angry at William Barr for using the office of Attorney General for political ends at the behest of Trump. I can't very well be angry at Merrick Garland for not doing the same thing.

There is a contradiction here.

When an Attorney General defies the political party that appointed him, you can be sure they are doing the right thing. An attorney general is supposed to be impartial. This is part of the job.
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 08:57 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:

When an Attorney General defies the political party that appointed him, you can be sure they are doing the right thing.

Do you think the prosecution of those responsible for fomenting the January 6th insurrection is strictly a political move with no legal ramifications?
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 09:17 am
@hightor,
hightor wrote:

Quote:

When an Attorney General defies the political party that appointed him, you can be sure they are doing the right thing.

Do you think the prosecution of those responsible for fomenting the January 6th insurrection is strictly a political move with no legal ramifications?


No. I dont think this prosecution should be political at all.

And that is exactly why Marrick Garland is holding off.
snood
 
  3  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 10:08 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

hightor wrote:

Quote:

When an Attorney General defies the political party that appointed him, you can be sure they are doing the right thing.

Do you think the prosecution of those responsible for fomenting the January 6th insurrection is strictly a political move with no legal ramifications?


No. I dont think this prosecution should be political at all.

And that is exactly why Marrick Garland is holding off.



It seems like you’re saying that delaying will make prosecutions less political. Are you?
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 10:10 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I dont think this prosecution should be political at all.

Doesn't that run the risk of insulating controversial and potentially illegal actions by political operatives from prosecution? If someone is serving a political function within an administration he can commit crimes with impunity?
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 10:31 am
Consider the different roles between Adam Schiff and Merrick Garland.

Schiff's role is unquestionably political. His goal is to show that the Republicans are guilty and that Trump's cronies acted despicably. And he is playing his role.

The Republicans goal in the House is also political. They want to downplay what happened as a protest rather than an insurrection and to say that most of the political actions were minor or not legally prosecutable.

Merrick Garland must be impartial. Impartiality is part of his job description. He has to consider legal precedent and what is the best course of action for the country. You have your one sided arguments on why he must do whatever you want him to do. He has to actually consider both sides.

Schiff and the Republicans care about Who is right.

Merrick Garland cares about What is right. And that is the difference. Garland is doing his job with integrity.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 02:34 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
When an Attorney General defies the political party that appointed him, you can be sure they are doing the right thing. An attorney general is supposed to be impartial. This is part of the job.

Where do you read this in the Constitution?

My copy of the Constitution says that when the President says to jump, the AG says "How high?"
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 02:43 pm
@oralloy,
Quote:
My copy of the Constitution says that when the President says to jump, the AG says "How high?"


Is this another one of your "facts", Oralloy?

The Constitution doesn't mention the position of Attorney General, but if you can invent your own facts, I suppose that doesn't matter.
oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 03:06 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Is this another one of your "facts", Oralloy?

I do not own reality. However, yes. That is another fact.


maxdancona wrote:
The Constitution doesn't mention the position of Attorney General,

The Constitution does, however, invest 100% of all federal executive power in the President.

All other federal executive positions are merely the President's representatives, with the sole job of doing what the President tells them to do.


maxdancona wrote:
but if you can invent your own facts, I suppose that doesn't matter.

You shouldn't listen to progressives. They are delusional. When progressives claim that reality can be whatever they want it to be, that is just more of their usual nonsense.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  -3  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 09:23 pm
He's not going to or, at least, shouldn't indict Trump because Trump hasn't broken the law. The liberals always imply that Trump breaks the law constantly, but are unable to mention a single crime. If you ask them for a crime he committed and a particle of evidence that he committed it, they usually do one of the following things:

1. Say, "Everybody knows"
2. Say, "Go prove my point for me yourself
3. Rather than simply state one crime, point me to some big article with thousands of allegations that someone else wrote.

What they rarely do is state one crime and give a smidgen of evidence.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2021 09:53 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon, you seem to be a little lost.

This thread is about Steve Bannon.
Brandon9000
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2021 05:51 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Brandon, you seem to be a little lost.

This thread is about Steve Bannon.


Sorry, I didn't hear about the new rule that we're forbidden to reply to individual sentences in the opening thread.

"Maybe Merrick Garland can make a case for not indicting Donald Trump. "
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2021 10:41 am
@Brandon9000,
Steve Bannon is breaking the law by defying a congressional summons.

That is the issue under discussion.
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2021 10:42 am
@maxdancona,
Lots of people defy the law. Jaywalkers for instance.
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2021 01:45 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

Lots of people defy the law. Jaywalkers for instance.

Serf's law, reeks of feudalism.

Free people walk where they want.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2021 02:53 pm
Speaking of Jaywalking ...

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/13/the-classist-racist-history-of-jaywalking/

March 13, 2018
The (Classist, Racist) History of Jaywalking
by Brian Addison



There’s more to the word and law behind “jaywalking” than meets the eye or common assumption.

In fact, lurking behind this common word and often-cited form of lawbreaking sits classism, racism, and the domination of the automobile over the human—and is far from just someone who decides to, in the eyes of most motorists, idiotically flint into the streets when Goddammit, they can walk to the next crosswalk, press the button, wait for a little white guy to appear in the lights, and then cross so as to not disrupt my very exhausting routine of tapping my foot on a pedal.

Sarcasm aside, in 2017, I walked over 2,200 miles or an average of about 6 miles every single day of the year.

And I did this since my focus on livability issues had shifted from biking to pedestrians because bluntly put, pedestrians are the most vulnerable of any person moving. This an opinion I have not been light on expressing and have encouraged further reflection from a policy and administrative angle.

However, there’s been one key angle that many have not discussed the pedestrian: the jaywalkers of the world and their misaligned history with pedestrian shaming, targeting people of color, and brilliantly put by author Tom Vanderbilt, “allows humans the ability to violate the Vehicle Code while cars, apparently, do not violate a ‘Human Code.’”

This social justice angle of what it means to be a jaywalker in the law’s eyes have come to many head-ons over the past few years.

Most recently, the case of Johnnie Jermaine Rush has caused a major uproar, who was approached by Verino Ruggiero, an Asheville, North Carolina officer-in-training, on August 25 of last year for jaywalking. A video of the incident then shows another officer, Officer Chris Hickman, approaching Rush as words are exchanged. Rush is then tasered, choked, and beaten by Officer Hickman, according to police records.

Take, for example, a week in April of last year when a young black named Nandi Cain Jr. was pummeled by a police officer—so badly that even before the investigation was opened up against the officer, the Sacramento Police Department called the video “disturbing” and “The actions of the [officer involved] do not appear to be reasonable based on the circumstances.”

It echoed the disturbing case of a teen jaywalker beaten by Stockton police in 2015.

This year, a 56-year-old man was struck by a vehicle while trying to cross midblock and, after getting out of the hospital, was served a summons to show up in court for, well, jaywalking.

Austin begins its civil trial over the violent jaywalking arrest of three black men committed by police officers, with defense attorneys alleging racial bias and profiling.

Jacksonville sheriffs are now being investigated by their own department for violating jaywalking laws after being accused of wrongfully handing out tickets and threats for such violations.

So what, exactly, is jaywalking and where did it come from?

***

Before automobiles, streets were for people—a sentiment that, following the suburban sprawl and dominance of the automobile from the 1960s onward that generated traffic and pollution more than accessibility, has created the foundations of new urbanism, a growing segment of urban-centric folks who wish to return the streets back to the people. Before the car-dominated our culture, you were to cross the street wherever you were.

In fact, “jay-driver” came before “jaywalker,” referring to horse-led carriage drivers that didn’t abide by the laws of the road. In fact, according to Merriam-Webster, an article in Kansas’ Junction City Union on June 28, 1905 begins:

“[Concerning these ‘Jay Drivers’]… Stop at the corner of any well-traveled street in the business part of the city and see how many know how to drive—that is to keep to the right-hand side of the street—and you will be astonished at the number who don’t know that this is the right way to do or who are careless in regard to the matter.

In October of that same year in The Kansas City Star, Merriam-Webster notes the mention of the pedestrian version of these drivers:

Much annoyance would be obviated if people when meeting others going in the opposite direction would keep to the right and avoid collisions and being called a ‘jaywalker.’”

Even more, however, is the word “jay” itself, first used to describe someone from the backwoods or country, venturing into the great urban landscape, so amazed by the lights and the streets and the shops that they keep stopping and getting in the way of other pedestrians. Peter Norton, professor and author of Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City and the essay Street Rivals: Jaywalking and the Invention of the Motor Age Street, even notes that “jay” was derogatory and a “mid-western slang [word that described] person from the country who was an empty-headed chatterbox, like a bluejay.”

So how does this apply to our streets? Well, firstly and bluntly put, drivers were out of control. In Long Beach, California at Ocean and Pine in the 1920s, the number of people getting killed by cars was so high—over 80 deaths in the month of August alone in 1927—that it prompted then-Councilmember Alexander Beck to create a tunnel (which still exists) that went under Ocean.

A key moment arrived when, according to Norton, a petition signed by 42,000 people in Cincinnati in 1923 to limit the speed of cars mechanically to 25mph, which ultimately failed. But make no mistake: the auto industry heard loud and clear that it must shift blame from drivers to pedestrians.

As Norton explains, “before the city street could be physically reconstructed to accommodate motor vehicles, it had first to be socially reconstructed as a modern thoroughfare.”

And this was achieved by ridiculing those unable to afford a vehicle while providing the car more power than the human, all led by the automobile industry through myriad tactics.

“In Buffalo,” according to journalist Ravi Mangla, “beachgoers were treated to a public performance by the National Safety Council, in which a jaywalker was arrested, handcuffed and fitted with a sandwich board that read ‘I am a jaywalker,’ and then ushered into a police wagon plastered with anti-pedestrian slogans: Hell is paved with good intentions, but why crowd the place? Don’t jaywalk. By the 1930s, jaywalking had been adopted as common law in most major municipalities. The term was near ubiquitous, and opposition to the automobile had softened to scarcely a whisper.”

What this ultimately resulted in is what Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do, notes as an absence in the design of streets—mainly the absence of humans. “For years, pedestrians were essentially written out of the equation when it came to designing streets—they didn’t even appear in early computer models, and when they did, it was largely for their role as impedance, as blocking vehicle traffic.”

This targeting of jaywalkers didn’t stop then but rather got amped up by being directly connected to “broken windows” policies—built on the belief that cracking down on small offenses, like jaywalking, will deter criminals from committing major offenses—that caused an uptick in the penalizing of jaywalkers. Under Mayor Rudy Guiliani, penalty cost went up from $2 to $50 and, under current Mayor Bill de Blasio, went up to $250.

But most perturbing? These policies disproportionately target people of color.

The Department of Justice report on the Ferguson Police Department discussed that 95% of those cited in the city for jaywalking are black. In New York City, the vast majority of jaywalking tickets aren’t issued in the affluent Upper East Side but in poorer areas like the Bronx and 81% of minor infractions are taken out on Blacks or Latinxs. In Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, 89% of violators targeted are people of color despite being a city that is primarily white.

And our neighbor to the north, Los Angeles? They mainly target people of color and the homeless and act as “an added tax for the crime of being poor.”

But, scream the pundits, but what about pedestrian safety?!

“As for pedestrian safety, which is the typically stated purpose of jaywalking crackdowns,” said Vanderbilt, “more pedestrians generally are killed in urban areas by cars violating their right of way than are rogue pedestrians violating vehicles’ right of way. Then there are those people struck on sidewalks, even inside restaurants.”

When it comes to California’s law, it is almost bafflingly unclear. CVC 21456, the law for jaywalking, was enacted back in 1981 when there was no countdown; just a white man and a flashing hand. Now, however, we have countdowns as to when the signal to cross to end—but the law isn’t written for that, meaning it is illegal to cross a street during the countdown.

This resulted in a controversial round-up of jaywalkers by LAPD in 2015 that—yup, you guessed it—ticketed people who crossed while the light was still counting down.

Ultimately, this is more than just returning the streets back to the people, giving the people something that was wrongfully stolen from them—the freedom to meander and explore without the fear of penalization—but even more so a justice issue as the most marginalized are the ones most affected by an outdated, imbalanced law.

This piece first appeared at LongBeachize.

Brian Addison is an award-winning writer and photographer based out of Long Beach, where his love of books, whiskey, and perspective are continuously fulfilled. In 2015, he was named the Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club, adding to other recognitions from the California State Senate, the California Bicycle Coalition, the City of Long Beach, California State University Long Beach, and more.
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