Author: Graham Fitzgibbon

Background Briefing: December 5, 2022

 

Our Far-Right Supreme Court Appears Sympathetic to Imposing Conservative Christian Dogma on American Life in the Name of Freedom of Speech

We begin with today’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court on a case that could legalize discrimination in our commerce and culture at a time when powerful and influential people are engaged in racist speech, anti-Semitism and religious bigotry. Joining us is Jill Hasday, Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota who teaches anti-discrimination law, constitutional law, family law, and legal history. She is the author of Family Law Reimagined and Intimate Lies and the Law and we discuss the extent to which the far-right Supreme Court is sympathetic to having conservative Christian dogma imposed on American life in the name of freedom of speech.

 

Trump’s Call to “Terminate” the Constitution as Treason to the Democratic Way of Life

Then, following Trump’s call to overturn the Constitution in order to install him in the White House, we examine whether, beyond charges of seditious conspiracy for which some of Trump’s January 6 storm troopers have been convicted, Trump himself is committing treason by wanting to “terminate” the U.S. Constitution. Joining us is Jennifer Mercieca, a professor in the Department of Communications at Texas A&M University where she teaches courses on Political Communication and Presidential Rhetoric. An historian of American political discourse, especially discourses about citizenship, democracy, and the presidency, she is the co-Editor of The Rhetoric of Heroic Expectations: Establishing the Obama Presidency and author of Founding Fictions as well as Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump. We discuss her article at Resolute Square, “Treason To The Democratic Way Of Life.”

 

US Culpability for the Hellscape in Haiti Now Ruled by Violent Gangs

Then finally we look into the tragic anarchy in Haiti which is ruled by violent street gangs who murder and kidnap poor people in collusion with corrupt police, politicians and a repugnant oligarchical elite. Joining us is Brian Concannon, a human rights lawyer and the Executive Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. He lived in Haiti from 1995 to 2004 where he served as a Human Rights Officer with the United Nations and was Co-Managing Attorney with the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, a public interest law firm. We discuss how successive US Governments are largely culpable for this intolerable hellscape having propped up corrupt regimes and crushed attempts at democratic governance.