By John P. Flannery

The Republicans packed the Supreme Court with three Justices, the worrisome threesome I call them, which begs the question, how does one repair what Trump and McConnell did?

With the replacement of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the court profile reflected a 6–3 conservative majority after decades of a 5–4 split or control by a moderate block.

Three justices, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Barrett, all Trump appointees, made the tilt, really a lurch, possible.

This newly modified Supreme Court puts at risk social reforms and government programs including abortion rights, gun safety, gay marriage…


by John P. Flannery

Whatever one thinks of capital punishment, there must be general agreement that the state should never execute an innocent man or woman.

Our criminal justice is so badly broken, no one should be sentenced to death.

I’ve argued in and out of court to abolish capital punishment.

Many have fought against the Commonwealth of Virginia executing anyone including U.S. Senator Tim Kaine.

Virginia’s General Assembly has decided in recent days that it is wrong for Virginia to execute anyone.

Those who might resist this reform should know how and why it’s necessary.

It’s not just because…


by John P. Flannery

The Reverend Martin Luther King compared himself to Moses who led his people out of slavery, saw the Promised Land, but never got there himself.

In April of 1968, Martin Luther King was in Memphis, Tennessee supporting a garbage workers’ strike.

On the evening of April 3rd, King told the congregation, “I don’t know what will happen now.” He said he’d “been to the mountain top” and “seen the Promised Land” but “I may not get there with you.”

His promise, however, was that “we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

Toward evening…


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mallory Weber / 516.482.5701

SCW Cultural Arts at Emanuel presents Video Conversation with John Flannery & Joyce Vance, moderated by Errol Louis

On Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 3:00PM, Stephen C. Widom Cultural Arts at Emanuel will present a Video Conversation with former federal appellate law clerk, NY federal prosecutor and Congressional special counsel, John Flannery, and former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and current law professor at University of Alabama School of Law, Joyce Vance. Both are regular guest commentators on television and radio, frequently appearing on MSNBC. …


by John P. Flannery

Donald J. Trump has played out his hand, lost the presidential election, proven himself a bad loser, and will soon confront all those offenses he committed in his 2016 election campaign and since.

Is it necessary — to investigate and perhaps prosecute Trump?

It is if the rule of law matters.

Madison wrote — “If Men were angels, no government would be necessary.

Trump’s gross misconduct may not be allowed to serve as a precedent for other public officials, now serving or who may serve.

In this presidential election, the voters gave a crushing victory to…


by John P.Flannery

Back in 1974, when the Justice Department was asked whether Nixon could pardon himself, the opinion was, “No.”

This is an excerpt of that memo.

Starting off with the section of the constitution dealing with pardons, DOJ had this to say those many years ago.

“Pursuant to Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, the ‘Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment,’ is vested in the President. This raises the question whether the President can pardon himself. …


By John P. Flannery

Trump and Giuliani appear unable to conquer their shared self-pity and despair, and so, drawing upon art and biblical myth, we may conclude that, unlike Samson, they will not be restored to whatever “storied” strength they may claim to have enjoyed.

Following the election on November 3rd, the Nation suffered an identity crisis — a kind of Jeckyl-Hyde split — there were those who hadn’t had enough of Trump — and the rest of us — including you dear reader who prefer democracy to monarchy –who realize we must suppress the beast that lurks within the…


by John P. Flannery

Trump believes he can’t win this election.

He may be wrong — but he believes it.

Recent events including the polls and fund raising for Biden suggest that he’s right.

Trump has therefore assumed the worst, and attacked the fairness of the election with spurious claims about mail in ballots.

Trump has been looking for that ace in the hole, and set upon the judicial nomination of Judge Amy Barrett.

Normally, such a nomination invokes the discretion of the U.S. Senate to advise and consent on a nominee.

But Trump has insisted, dictated really, to this…


by John P. Flannery

On Friday, September 18, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at age 87 from pancreatic cancer.

Justice Ginsburg had been fighting one form of cancer or another since 1999.

Despite her illness, the Justice marched on, in court, and out of court.

Though slight and fragile in appearance, Justice Ginsburg was a woman of indomitable spirit with a solid steel backbone.

When Justice Ginsburg attended Harvard and Columbia law schools, she excelled, making law review at both schools.

Afterwards, she taught civil procedure at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School.

She fought for…


by John P. Flannery

With the passing of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, VP Joe Biden said her replacement by the president and the senate should wait upon the presidential election given how close we are to the election.

While an array of prominent Republicans have agreed with this proposition in the past, they would rather replace Justice Ginsburg with a judge who will dishonor her legacy and they fear they won’t get to do this, as Trump appears likely to lose re-election — and they won’t get a choice to continue stacking the court if they don’t act now.

John Flannery

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