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The Daily Take for Friday

The Daily Take for 6/24/22: SCOTUS and originalism, and the Jeff Clark sub-plot in the January 6th investigation.

4 min read

Good morning, and happy Friday! Lots of blockbuster news yesterday — more than I can cover or comment on in a single newsletter — but I want to focus on two smaller parts of the big stories.

SCOTUS and originalism

Reader JT posted a comment on my article “Yay! Even MORE guns!” that I wrote in a flurry after the Supreme Court gun ruling came down. She noted the originalism that the conservative justices are supposedly following, and asked “What I wonder when I contemplate the arguments of these strict constructionist jurists—how do they rationalize the words ‘well regulated’?”

It seems to me that this is the dead giveaway to the whole “originalist” argument. As I noted in my response to JT’s comment:

You’ve hit the nail on the head: they have started with an assumption that they know what the original framers were THINKING, and THEN proceeded to use that to rule the way they want.

If we’re going to take that approach, then of course we should prevent all women from owning property or voting, and all Blacks should go back into slavery. It is a facile use of words to justify what they wanted to do anyway. And, they completely leave out the “well-regulated” part of the amendment.

It would be one thing if the Constitution was always crystal clear as to what the framers meant. Often, it is not – and the 2nd Amendment is one of the best examples of this. As noted about another provision of the Constitution in the 1/6 hearings, the 2nd Amendment is definitely “in-artfully written.” Using so-called originalism on this passage is malpractice, in my opinion. And yet, it is another in a growing list of examples of conservatives enacting their policies through the courts, since those policies are unpopular with the people.

I closed yesterday’s article with this:

I used to think that many elected Republicans were the biggest threat to our country. I’m reconsidering – the biggest threat to our country may be six right-wing non-elected persons in black robes.

Don’t miss this 1/6 plot point

At the end of the January 6th hearing yesterday, the commentators on MSNBC shared this tantalizing tidbit: Jeff Clark’s home had been raided and searched by the FBI, and they took away his electronic devices.

PBS expanded the story later:

Authorities on Wednesday searched the Virginia home of Jeffrey Clark, who was known at the Justice Department to champion Trump’s false claims of election fraud. Agents in recent days also served subpoenas on the Republican Party chairmen of Nevada and Georgia, two states that went for President Joe Biden and where Trump allies created slates of “alternate electors” intended to subvert the vote. And Republicans in two other states — Michigan and Pennsylvania — disclosed they had been interviewed by the FBI.

In an online discussion about the raid over at Daily Kos, numerous readers knocked down the point that the Justice Department obviously wasn’t doing its job, if they were just now getting around to Clark. Instead, they said, a search warrant like this meant that they already had enough evidence to convince a judge to issue the warrant. And the fact that they took the “electronic devices” probably means that they already have electronic evidence gathered in other ways, and want to confirm it on the devices themselves. (Although, if Clark still had the same devices he had in January 2021, after all the discussion of him over the months since, he’s not very smart.)

So, is the DOJ actually doing something? Are they building a case, or just doing a Brett Kavanaugh-like “investigation”? Time will tell. But my sentiment remains the same as stated by one of my relatives, when I asked if they were watching the hearings: “No. Won’t change what I want to see – all their asses in jail.”

Yep, me too.


  • I'm still working on a way to make these readable on the site, without having them clutter up the story list. The platform we are using (Ghost) makes that somewhat difficult, but doing that is still my goal.
  • Meanwhile, how many of you are reading these on the web site and not in your inbox? If you are reading them in your browser instead of via email, you might let me know that. Would help me decide how much effort to put into the first bullet above. :-)

All for today. Thanks, as always, for reading – and for supporting the work.


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The Daily Take is a newsletter containing observations and thoughts of publisher Bruce Maples, and is only available to Partners of Forward Kentucky. It is available via email, and is also available on the web site to logged-in Partners. The email version is sent to Partner members who have opted-in to receiving it via the Newsletters section of their profile.

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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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