SCOTUS

SCOTUS Chicks


cjones07082018

Donald Trump plans to make his horrible selection for the Supreme Court either today or tomorrow. Because he takes the responsibility of a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the last about as seriously as he takes firing Gary Busey, he plans to make the announcement Monday during prime time.

Staunch conservatives are bickering over some of Trump’s candidates as they’re afraid one or two aren’t adequately terrifying. They don’t want Trump to make the mistakes of past presidential appointments where a justice becomes an independent thinker. They want a candidate who will overturn Roe v. Wade, rule in favor of big business every time, suppress minorities, and restrict voting rights as much as possible. Another interest for Trump will be a justice who will stand up for him in case any part of the Russia investigation lands before the court.

Trump says he hasn’t asked any of the candidates if they’ll ban abortion, but he’s probably asked each of them for their personal loyalty.

While there’s speculation he may appoint a woman, there’s no mystery if the nominee will be white.

We’re about to have a second justice placed on the Supreme Court by a guy who shouldn’t be allowed to pick his own nose. Whether it’s a man or a woman, this person will work with four other justices to set this nation as far backward as possible. We’ll be cleaning up after Donald Trump long after he’s left the Oval Office, but the court will be a reflection of Trumpism for decades to come.

Half of Trump’s judicial nominees have refused to say if they agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to end racial discrimination in public schools. Trump has also promised to get the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing birthright citizenship, “amended” out of the Constitution by his second term.

Republicans like to say they’re against activist judges except when they’re their activists judges. A Republican Senate will select any activist judge Trump sends them. Trump and the GOP stole his first selection from Obama and Democrats don’t have the numbers to stop his second.

This is why Republicans are subservient to Trump. They’ll tolerate and ignore his lies, accept hits on the economy from his trade war, turn a blind eye to bad deals with North Korea while he tears apart our alliances, and help him obstruct investigations into his debt to Vladimir Putin. Even if Trump destroys the Republican Party, they’ll pay the cost for owning the Supreme Court.

Watch Me Draw.

Thank you for your support. Reader contributions really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and the First Amendment, and independent journalism while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

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Erode Us With SCROTUS


cjones07022018

The stealing of a Supreme Court appointment from President Barack Obama should not have been allowed to happen, because Republicans are hypocrites and liars.

Within the first 24 hours after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wouldn’t allow a confirmation process for any Obama appointment. He kept the seat open for more than a year on the argument that it was an election year and the people should decide the appointment with their vote. Never mind they had decided in 2012 by giving Obama another four years to fulfill the duties of the executive branch, one of which is appointing Supreme Court justices when there’s a vacancy. McConnell’s job, as a United States Senator, is to advise and consent. He didn’t even hold a hearing.

Yesterday, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement and within hours McConnell said the Senate will vote on Trump’s next nominee this fall. But, it’s an election year with only four months left before Election Day, which is much less time than the vacancy Scalia left and McConnell held open.

If you’re like me, you probably thought we had a new rule that we don’t hold hearings and confirmation votes on new justices during election years. Isn’t that hypocrisy? Yes, it is. Do Republicans care? They do not. Have they explained the hypocrisy? Of course not. They haven’t even tried. Yesterday, McConnell said, “It’s imperative that the president’s nominee be treated fairly.” I hope Obama and Merrick Garland, his nominee, weren’t trying to swallow any fluids when they heard that.

McConnell didn’t just stop at creating a new rule for not holding hearings and a vote. When it came time to finally hold a vote, he changed the rules so there couldn’t be a filibuster and lowered the bar from 60 votes to 50 for a confirmation. Trump’s nominee Neil Gorsuch has asterisks all over him. Democrat’s can’t stop it. They don’t have the votes and they can’t filibuster. The best they can do is appeal to the Republicans’ consciences. I hope you were trying to swallow any fluids when you read that.

Now, Donald Trump, a man who shouldn’t be allowed to make selections off the menu at McDonald’s is going to have at least two picks for the Supreme Court. The first pick wasn’t his as it belonged to Obama. This second pick, it probably shouldn’t be his either since his victory was boosted by Russian interference. If anything, this pick for Kennedy’s replacement is Vladimir Putin’s pick. Maybe that’s what Trump will talk to him about at their upcoming summit.

This is extremely bad for America. Kennedy was a swing vote, who is a conservative but independent enough to side with liberals on issues like abortion and gay marriage. There have been several votes that went 5-4 with Kennedy being the deciding vote. He sided with putting Bush in office, stripping campaign finance limits, crippling unions, and keeping Trump’s Muslim ban. Trump’s choice will not be an independent thinker. We’re going to go from a usual 5-4 to a definite 5-4 on votes that strip liberty and freedom.

There is no telling what sort of maniac Trump will nominate. He has talked about nominating Fox News commentator Jeanine Pirro. Don Jr. said selecting her would be “pretty awesome.” She meets all of Trump’s requirements. She’s a sycophant, on TV, a raving lunatic, not really bright, and least important to Trump, is a former judge.

There may be a blue wave in November, but Republicans are winning. Granted, they have to cheat, but they’re winning. They will take a victory any way they can get it. Hypocrisy? Sure. Russian meddling? You bet. Lying? Get out of here.

During the presidential campaign, Trump said women who get abortions should be punished. After this appointment, they probably will be. In fact, we’ll all be punished.

Watch me draw.

Thank you for your support. Reader contributions really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and the First Amendment, and independent journalism while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

History With SCOTUS


cjones07012018

We’ve been so consumed with Donald Trump’s racism toward Hispanics that we almost forgot his hatred toward Muslims.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court, in another infamous 5-4 ruling, gave a victory to Trump’s travel ban on people from specific Muslim nations. In doing so, they chose to ignore Trump’s own words about banning Muslims.

During his presidential campaign, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” He didn’t call for a ban on specific nations or groups. It was directed at all Muslims. He called for a nationwide surveillance of mosques in the United States. He said we needed a national Muslim registry, and that he thinks “Islam hates us.”

That rhetoric was a factor in Trump’s ban being struck down in lower courts. So his legal team reworded it only for to be struck down again. The third attempt was also struck down but made its way to the Supreme Court who upheld it. Would the highest court have upheld either of the first two versions? If not, did they believe Trump’s hateful intention changed with the legal wording or by adding two non-Muslim nations to the list (one of which, North Korea, where no one ever travels to the U.S.).

While upholding Trump’s ban on Muslims, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the court now officially rejects the court’s 1944 decision upholding the internment of Japanese Americans.

In 1942, the United States government, in a grip of fear, racism, and paranoia, ordered the incarceration of 110,000-120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, 62% of who was American citizens. The U.S. did not order the incarceration of Germans or Italians, white Europeans. The only ones we didn’t trust were those of Japanese descent.

Fred Korematsu refused to go. He was born in Oakland, which is not in Honshu, Kyushu, Hokkaido, or Shikoku. He left his job at his family’s flower nursery to become a welder to contribute to the war effort, as the Army had rejected him. Korematsu never broke a law that would send him to jail or a prison camp, but the Supreme Court, on a 6-3 decision, said he had to go. Years later, it was discovered the government argued their case with lies.

Most Americans consider the internment of our fellow citizens as one of the ugliest acts in our nation’s history. At the time, it had broad support. There were editorials in favor of incarcerating innocent civilians and American citizens in The Atlanta Constitution, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. The American Civil Liberties Union argued against the local branch of its organization’s fight for Korematsu’s case. For good measure, check out this Dr. Seuss cartoon, which he professed shame for years later.

John Roberts wrote, “Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and — to be clear — ‘has no place in law under the Constitution.’ ”

I read a comment a few days ago which went something like, “If you ever wondered what you would have done during Slavery, the Holocaust, Civil Rights Movement…you’re doing it right now.”

The Supreme Court, and so many others are doing it right now. What are you doing?

Watch me draw.

Thank you for your support. Reader contributions really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and the First Amendment, and independent journalism while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

Gorsuch’s Grabs


cjones03242017

The most ludicrous thing about hearings for Supreme Court nominees is that they pretend they’ve never read a legal opinion in their life. Thus, they have no view of any court decision. Ever. Roe versus who now?

If we were to actually judge someone’s qualifications based upon their confirmation hearings I doubt there would be anyone sitting on the court at all.

Neil Gorsuch comes off as smooth and charming and appears to be a rational person. How rational can anyone willing to be associated with Donald Trump actually be? Trump promised to appoint someone who’ll repeal Roe Vs. Wade. Gorsuch says all court decisions are precedents, as if they can’t be overturned. Beneath the smoothness and charm lies a right-wing extremist waiting to pounce on those who need protection the most. The man has a history of supporting corporations over people.

Gorsuch is fortunate to even get a hearing. Senate Republicans refused to grant one to the last nominee because he was nominated by a Democrat. Republicans have effectively stolen this seat. Gorsuch will be confirmed.

Senator Chuck Schumer says the hearings should be halted as we shouldn’t confirm a judge to the court who was nominated by a president currently under an FBI investigation. He has a point as everything Donald Trump touches is tainted.

If anything involving Trump and his disloyalty to the United States goes to the Supreme Court, can we trust a judge he nominated? I don’t want to find out but we probably will. As disgusted you may be over the fact Trump is president, the fact he’ll leave a stain on the supreme court for the next 30 years is vomit inducing.

The other thing I had fun with here is the story of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s two Super Bowl jerseys being returned after they were stolen. It seems they were swiped by a Mexican journalist. Two things Donald Trump hates. Mexicans and journalists.

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Whose Squat To Pop?


cjones02032017

On Tuesday Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia. In doing so the Republican party effectively stole a Supreme Court appointment from President Obama and the Democrats.

The GOP gambled in not allowing Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland a hearing for the seat. Their argument was that it was a seat to be filled by the next president. Their actual argument was that it was for the next Republican president and Ted Cruz even said it should remain unfilled if Hillary Clinton wins the election.

Presidents serve four year terms. Not three. They still execute the powers and responsibilities of the office, even during the last year of their term. Apparently the United States senate does not.

Republicans also argued that Obama was a lame duck president. He was not. The lame duck stage is between the election and inauguration day. Not a year before the election.

The GOP gambled and they won. They played partisan politics with a Supreme Court nomination. They neglected their duty and responsibility. Now they’re crying that Trump’s nominee shouldn’t be held up in political purgatory, even though they did the same thing and without a good reason.

Trump promised a staunch conservative to fill the seat. He also promised to unite the nation and be a president for everyone, even those who didn’t vote for him. If he actually wanted to fulfill that pledge who would have nominated Merrick Garland. At least then he’d finally get a hearing, less enough a vote.

Republicans are the party of “no.” Even when it comes to hearing.

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Who Ya’ Gonna Call?


cjones07152016

First off, let me apologize if I put an ear worm in your head. I read an article a couple days ago where Ray Parker Jr., the writer of the original version of the theme to Ghostbusters, wasn’t very thrilled with the new cover that’s going with the reboot of the movie. I haven’t listened to the cover because it’s by Fallout Boy (they’re still around?). I wonder if Parker has as much displeasure with the cover as Huey Lewis (And The News) had with his ripping off his much better tune, “I Want A New Drug.”

I decided to insert Trump’s sexism into this cartoon, as a lot of people were really unhappy when it was first announced the new Ghostbusters would be women. Last year a lot of people were cheesed off that the new Stars Wars had a black storm trooper. In a galaxy with all sorts of species you’re gonna tell me you would walk into the Mos Eisley Cantina and have an issue that there’s a black guy in there? I was glad the prequels gave us Mace Windu so Lando Calrissian wasn’t the only black guy in the galaxy. Samuel L. Jackson is always the only black guy. Yes. I am a Star Wars geek.

I remember going to see the original Ghostbusters in theaters when it came out. I thought it was a great movie, especially considering they wrote it while filming, had to basically blackmail Bill Murray to do it, and Eddie Murphy had dropped out. I have no issue with women as the new Ghostbusters because I’ve seen each of these hilarious actors in other projects and I can’t think of any men today who could match them (maybe the guys from “Horrible Bosses”). I an’t wait to see the movie.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made some comments about what a disaster Donald Trump would be as president. She said he’s “fake.” Trump took that insult very quietly and with great dignity. Nah!!!!! He exploded (where else?) on Twitter. He said she should resign and “her mind is shot.” Donald Trump is questioning someone else’s sanity, a Supreme Court Justice at that.

I don’t think Ginsburg should have weighed in on the race, but so what? I also don’t think Antonin Scalia should have gone duck hunting with Dick Cheney while he was hearing cases involving the Bush administration.

By the way: With names for those who bust ghosts like Venkman, Stantz, Spengler, Zeddemore, and Holtzmann, I think a “Ginsburg” would fit right in.

Best line from Ghostbusters that everyone should carry with them through life was not delivered by Bill Murray but by Ernie Hudson: “When someone asks you if you’re a God, you say yes!”

Especially if that someone’s a demon.

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Bribing Supremely


cjones07012016

Grrr. I’m running late because someone took out a utility pole in my community last night and killed power for 392 homes. I was able to finish my cartoon but I could only sit on it as there wasn’t any means to deliver or post it. And how is your July starting?

Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell was convicted of accepting bribes while he was occupying the state’s mansion. Earlier this week the Supreme Court said “uh uh” and threw out the conviction. SCOTUS felt the directions given to the jury were too wide and that basically, hey giving stuff to elected officials is okie dokie as long as they stop before taking any official acts. An official act is a focused and concrete exercise of government power, such as a lawsuit or a hearing, which basically means: It’s going to be really hard to prosecute government officials for taking bribes.

Now the government will have to prosecute the case all over again, which has become increasingly more difficult, or just drop the issue and throw their arms in the air while cursing. McDonnell will most likely get off scott-free for accepting a Rolex, designer clothes, gifts, and loans worth more than $175,000. He also let Bobby tool around in his Ferrari.

The Highest Court In The Land probably doesn’t really understand the conflict of interest or ethics thing. They can take bribes. Oh sure they have an ethics policy, but unlike elected officials, they’re not required to disclose anything. Yeah. Clarence Thomas’ wife, Ginni, is a lobbyist whose activities have been a conflict of interest for her husband when her clients go before the court. The justices often take free trips to give speeches, which really turn into vacations. Antonin Scalia took 258 subsidized trips between 2004 to 2015. He often got a free vacation to places like Hawaii, Ireland, and Switzerland. He was on a free getaway at a hunting lodge when he died last February in Marfa, Texas. Yeah…that town’s really named “Marfa.”

A Supreme Court justice makes almost $236,000 a year. They can afford to pay for their own trip to Marfa.

Creative notes: When I lettered this cartoon I was very paranoid to get McDonnell’s name correct. Gee, why would I be paranoid with that? My former employer, The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, VA, ran the headline “McAuliffe’s Bribery conviction tossed.” Looks OK, right? Yeah, except Terry McAuliffe is the current governor and the one who just got his convictions “tossed” is former governor Bob McDonnell. OOPS! Their goof made national news. Breitbart and Fox News staffers wet themselves from their giddiness to mock the newspaper.

You can think they messed it up because both men have “Mc” in their names. Or maybe because McAuliffe is under investigation himself. I’m sure every editor who saw the headline made sure “McAuliffe” was spelled correctly. But the biggest reason is that my former newspaper got rid of all their copy editors. They got rid of a lot of people, me being one of them. In fact, they’re on their third owner since I left.

The people who work at FLS are top notch. I’ve known the editor since my first day in 1998, before he was the editor, and when the position came open I was really hoping he’d get the job because he’s a journalist’s journalist. He’s a real pro and he doesn’t deserve this embarrassment. But he owned it, took the blame, published an apology very quickly and didn’t make excuses for it.

As I said, the folks at FLS are great newspaper people, but there’s fewer of them now and they’re in a changing system. They’re changing software in news and photography and everyone’s learning something new.

In the early 1990’s I was working my first newspaper job at The Panolian, a weekly in Panola County, Mississippi. One of my many duties was taking the prints to press 40 miles away in Grenada, Mississippi. The newspaper in Grenada didn’t have any responsibility for our content so the only two watchdogs from our staff was me, a cartoonist in his early 20’s, and a photo tech. To be honest, we probably put more thought into having dinner someplace exotic in Grenada that we didn’t have in Batesville, like Taco Bell.

One night after returning to Batesville with the A and B sections we discovered a typo on the front page. We were in the middle of stuffing the papers with ad inserts and our publisher’s 15-year-old son, David, noticed it first. He laughed and laughed. Nobody else laughed. It wasn’t dirty. It just made us look stupid. In big bold letters was a story about a “burglar.” Except we printed “burlgar.” It was in a really big font. When the paper was folded and placed in the window of the newspaper racks, there it was. BURLGAR! And it was partly my fault. My publisher wanted to scream at me but he didn’t probably because he knew I wasn’t very inexperienced and that at times I was an idiot. I did get a huge lecture. To be honest it was the first time I was told to be on the lookout for typos and errors, but I shouldn’t have needed to be told. So I understand how FLS feels this week. Every newspaper person probably has a typo story.

After that burlgar fiasco I learned my lesson and I never ever made a mistake agian.

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!