This week, I expected to see more coverage about the Court since the new Supreme Court term began, but the news sources I engaged with did not bring news of Court actions to the forefront. I watched Fox News Sunday, which aired on October 6th. The topics Chris Wallace addressed regarded increasing the pace of the impeachment inquiry, Adam Schiff leading the impeachment probe, and whether targeting Joe Biden will help President Trump’s campaign. I also listened to the On the Media Podcast titled “A Likely Story.” Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone discussed how the belief in conspiracy theories infiltrated the mindset of the executive branch, as well as thoroughly analyzed Ukrainian politics and how they relate to President Trump. I also listened to the third episode of The Most Perfect Album about the 9th, 10th, and 11th amendments, which need metaphors to comprehend their meaning. I found the discussion on the impeachment inquiry process relating to precedent interesting.
Chris Wallace spoke to Congresswoman, Val Demings, about how in the Clinton and Nixon case, “there was a clear precedent that the full house voted and authorized a full impeachment inquiry” (“Fox News Sunday”). However, there is no mention in the Constitution, which requires an upfront vote or to follow that procedure. It may be possible President Trump wants an upfront vote to potentially slow down the impeachment process, rather than follow precedent. Based on Demings statements about the impeachment inquiry process, it seems as though the House may stray from precedent. I wondered which aspects of this situation specifically motivate the House to potentially not conduct a full house vote? While committees carry out a methodical and thorough investigation, some opponents argue the Democrats are rushing through it. However, President Trump’s firmly held belief in conspiracy theories results in White House officials carrying out investigations not based on fact.
I found the On the Media podcast’s discussion on how President Trump uses conspiracy theories quite intriguing. National affairs correspondent at The Nation, Jeet Heer, brought up Henry Frankruter’s “famous distinction between lying and B.S” (“A Likely Story”). It appears President Trump disregards the categorization of statements as a lie or B.S. He focuses on the statements, which will support his “emotional narrative,” of being a persecuted president. The president also uses them to blame his problems on externalities rather than change his behavior, which in turn will transform the environment. Just as President Trump does not see the truth in concrete facts, one must go beyond the literal meaning of Amendments 9 through 11 to understand them.
The third episode of The Most Perfect Album described the 9th through 11th amendments as “spacey.” Although the Director of the Griffith Observatory, Ed Krupp, disagrees with the cosmic metaphor used to describe the 9th Amendment, it helped me see understand the mystic, inherent power of the Constitution to permeate the land with the flexibility to incorporate unwritten rights. The disagreement between the federal government and the states are part of the fundamental architecture of the country. Therefore, I enjoyed listening to Lean Year’s song about the 10th amendment, which explores the “I versus we” power dynamic in a relationship. It helped define the state’s rights while being part of a collection of states. Although the programs I watched and listened to this week did not address the Court as much as I expected, I still found value in them.