Media & Supreme Court Appointees


Effects of the Media on Supreme Court Appointee News

At this point, it is clear that the appointing of Supreme Court Justices has become more and more oriented toward achieving political goals. No longer is the vision simply to serve and protect the highest court of law in the United States, but rather to select which issues to settle that are most important to the party at hand. This is perhaps the most important facet of the supreme Court in this day and age as it has significant effects on each party. As technology is increasing, it is becoming more evident to the public that when a Supreme Court candidate is labeled “Trump, R, Apointnee” or “Clinton, D, Apointnee” that the nominee is associated with a president or political party due to some goal or accomplishment the party will receive which results in specific rhetoric from different media sources..


Possible Accomplishments

As far as why an appointee is associated with a specific politician, it is likely that the appointee will satisfy a major goal that is valuauble to the politician. This could pertain to political loyalty during court settlements, party values or simply remaining dependable to the President who appointed him or her as a duty or thank you for the appointment. The media makes this more apparent since it is now more clear than ever as to which appointee is associated with which party, and why.


Effects of Trump

If Trump were to win the presidency, his court would likely reflect that of Judge Scalia, as all 11 nominees he has listed are white, conservative, and primarily male. The media has further enhanced this fact because they have honed in on the characteristics that Trump looks for in a candidate. They have associated each of these people with the Republican Party, and in particular Donald Trump. Due to Trumps explicit rhetoric, the public likely views each of these possible nominees as having the same values as Trump. The association is strengthened by Trump releasing the names of the eleven people, since he is getting the public vote even more involved. Republican media will likely praise Trump for his loyalty to republican values or American liberties. The Democratic media will likely attack him for being too exclusive and not reflective of the diversity of the US.


Effects of Clinton

If Hillary Clinton were to win the presidency, her effect on the Supreme Court could go numerous ways. She could either choose a younger more liberal appointee than Garland, or she could agree with Obama and continue the nomination of Garland. Clintons rhetoric regarding whether or not she will support President Obama or choose her own nominee will have a significant effect based upon the media. Whichever route she chooses, the Republican media sources will probably either attack her for going against her good friend Barack Obama, or attack her for agreeing with Barack Obama after what supposedly ‘hasn’t’ been accomplished. On the other hand, Democratic media will either praise her for choosing her own appointee and being independent, or praise her for agreeing with the trusdtworthy opinion of Barack Obama.


Conspiracies and Social Media

untitledYou all know the daily ritual. Wake up, shower, make coffee, and check social media. Whether you realize it or not the average person spends 1 hour and 40 minutes on social media EVERYDAY! What does this mean for the 2016 election? It means that not only are candidates posting to social media but their supporter (including the extremists) are as well.

For the purpose of this article, let’s focus on Facebook. Facebook launched in 2004, blowing Myspace into the black hole of the internet. It then quickly became populated with young millennials and later by their parents. This is where the trouble starts. We have millennials, who for the most part are in support of Hillary Clinton and third party candidates, and their parents who may or may not support Trump. So we see the attack ads transform into attack blogs. These blogs, whether we read them or not, play an important role in the beliefs of the ignorant internet users.

Personally, I only click on a post to fully read the article about 30% of the time. This means that my brain has seen controversial images and headlines the other 70% of the time with no information to back up the claims. So I see posts like the one to the right and never think to fact check the blog itself.

By large the blogs are nasty. They name call and frame the opposition in a way that is extremely negative and most of the time untrue.

nonsisical-protect-toddlersWe, as consumers end up reading head lines that include phrases such as “nonsensical gun control tear”, “cheered on murder of black teen”, and “lying” without further exploring the information.

The thing is, this can work. Key word can. Headlines are created to be catchy, play on words, and stick in your memory. Those who are creating these Facebook posts about gun safety and 2nd Amendment rights really know what they are doing.

The blogs play up conspiracies already in play. What a better way to further an idea than with another article that will never need to be disproved? Just plant your witty title and a good picture and get the shares and likes.

Additionally, anyone who tries to disprove the information is part of the opposition. Why would you listen to your Clinton supporting friend when they try to tell you that your article is full of fallacies and not true? They are just wanting to ensure their candidate wins.

Thirdly, these articles ignore the complexity of human emotions. They frame their “enemy” as a villain. Why would Clinton react positively to anything related to gun violence? Her opinions in the debate are nonsensical.

Lastly, these posts are widespread! 1.6k, comments and 5.5k shares!

My advice is, if you are scrolling through and spending your almost 2 hours on social media each day, at least take the time to follow up on articles that you see concerning the upcoming election. Check the credibility of the website and read other articles that share the opposite view, that way you do not fall pray to the rhetoric of conspiracies.

The 100 Day Trial

It is coming down to the wire as the presidential race edges closer and closer to November. The candidates having cleared the debates are now finding themselves with little time to swing undecided voters their way while meeting campaign expectations. With such little time, Trump has unveiled his First hundred days executivtrump-gettysberge plan in hopes that some of his promises may draw more support. He addressed the people at Gettysburg and said he plans to restore order through economic prosperity. Trump claims by standing up to countries that cheat on trade, canceling rules and regulations that send jobs overseas, lifting restrictions on energy production and finally repealing and replacing Obamacare that we will see a balance return to our struggling economy. Trump seems to think that with a relief on the economy will come a revitalization of the people. Alongside his plan to restore order, Trump plans to uphold the law.

Trump’s Judge

Trump has made one of his goals within his first one hundred days to find a replacement for Justice Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.  This appointment of a judge is by far his best chance to draw those who are wavering between candidates anSupreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died. I wrapped him in the Constitution because he said he loved it. He called himself an Originalist and criticized people who believed in a "living Constitution. Scalia once said, "The Constitution is not a living organism; it is a legal document. It says something and doesn't say other things."d worried about their second amendment rights.  Back in September Trump’s campaign released a short list of a multitude of potential judges:

  • Keith Blackwell
  • Charles Canady
  • Neil Gorsuch
  • Mike Lee
  • Edward Mansfield
  • Federico Moreno
  • Margaret A. Ryan
  • Amul Thapar
  • Timothy Tymkovich
  • Robert Young

In a New York  speech Trump claimed “He will appoint judges who will uphold the Constitution and that “Hilary Clinton’s radical judges will virtually abolish the 2nd amendment”. Clinton’s campaign has yet to release any potential candidates but her stance on gun laws may have some Americans worried about her selection.

If elected it will be up to the American people to judge whether Trump makes the right decisions heading out of the gate. The first 100 days will surly be a trial and error run with the new politician, but many Americans may just be happy someone is trying to shake things up. Will he meet expectations? You Judge.

‘One and Done’ or ‘Three and Done’?

In the third and final debate between the two major party candidates, Hillary Clinton’s email were again discussed, and this exchange did affect who ‘won’ the debate: Hillary Clinton. Secretary Clinton’s goal of the debate was to keep her head high and let Trump implode. She demonstrated the perfect example of the pivot and avoided Trump swaying voters.


While in the second debate she tried to push people toward fact-checking online, she took the liberty to share the facts in the third debate (feel free to watch the condensed version by Saturday Night Live; interested comparison of the two by TIME).

Trump used the emails in the best was possible. Not just adding to the numbers, ‘more emails have been released’, but mentioning what the emails contained without discussing policy. Sec. Clinton, in defending herself, is prone to discuss the details of policy more than some would like. Yet, in this exchange, she pivoted to details of how the information was collected.

Clinton’s emails were discussed for two reasons: 1) it’s the final debate and her emails have been a running theme of this cycle, and 2) new information was released days prior to the debate.


When Trump brought up the open borders subject from Clinton’s recently leaked emails, Sec. Clinton responded by dismissing Trump’s fear tactic (open borders, a flood of immigrants) saying the comment was about energy and then pivoting to the question: why is a Russia and WikiLeaks supporting hacking and distributing private individuals’ information? Although, a totally valid question in this author’s opinion, Trump calls out her pivot making her look like a ‘politician’ (in the worst way possible).

However, this exchange did not influence the polarized edges not the undecided moderates thus leaving the majority in Sec. Clinton’s favor.


When an Icon Disapproves

Michelle Obama and the Female Vote

michelle-obamaOver the past 8 years, Michelle Obama has proven to be a driving force among the female population of the United States. As First Lady of the President of the United States, she has been able to communicate the ideal image of women across the country and make an impact on how young girls see their futures. With her stark disapproval of Trump’s 2005 tapes, she represents the feelings of women all across the country. Women identify with her and therefore support the identity she creates for Trump in segments of her campaign speech for Secretary Hillary Clinton. She says desperately that she “can’t stop thinking about this,” allowing the feelings of other women to be validated. The purpose of her speech, however, is to speak for Hillary Clinton’s campaign…not just to disapprove of Donald Trump’s.

No Vote at all is a Vote for Him

In Michelle Obama’s speech, she constructs her argument in a way that not only tells voters-both female and male- that they shouldn’t vote for Trump, but also that they should vote for Hillary Clinton: “no vote at all is a vote for him.” This two-sided technique allows her to achieve two goals with one speech. An article found on LexisNexis mentions her speech and quotes her with saying “I can’t believe I’m saying that a candidate for president of the United States bragged about sexually assaulting women.”

So What does this mean for Trump? It means that he is not only just losing female votes…he’s losing them to her. And Hillary Clinton is capitalizing on it with pages like this one, stating that “Michelle Obama just said what every woman in America is thinking right now.” Because of Donald Trump’s failure to effectively apologize and repair the situation, Hillary Clinton has a wide open window to make herself look better- through her own words and those of surrogates like Michelle Obama. And those actions are allowing the declining number of female votes for Donald Trump to continue falling.


Third Presidential Debate: Use of Storytelling, Emotions, and Framing with The 2ndAmendment

On Wednesday October 20 in Las Vegas Nevada, the third presidential debate of 2016 took place. The past two time Hillary and Donald, heated arguments dominated the conversations. This time was no different.

Moderator, Chris Wallace, started the candidates on some controversial topics, such as The Supreme Court and The Constitution.

Clinton had the stage first, saying she wants a supreme court that will stand up for women’s rights and the LBGT community, and stand against Citizen’s United.

Next, Trump took an opportunity to pivot away from matters, such as women’s rights, that make him look unpresidential, to talk about the 2nd Amendment.

“We need a Supreme Court that in my opinion is going to uphold the second amendment and all amendments, but the second amendment which is under absolute siege.”

This began the conversation (which was surprisingly tame).

Clinton rebutted saying,

“I understand and respect the tradition of gun ownership that goes back to the founding of our country, but I also believe that there can be and must be reasonable regulation.”

Each candidate made their stance, but how did they do it?

Clinton talked about gun control through storytelling and appealed to the emotions of her audience. Similar to the My Mom political ad on gun violence. She began her statement by saying, “I lived in Arkansas for 18 wonderful years.” This is very typical of a fairytale which often begins with A long time ago in a land far far away.

She also appeals to emotions later after Wallace mentions the Heller Decision. She says, “Well, I was upset because unfortunately, dozens of toddlers injure themselves, even kill people with guns because unfortunately, not everyone who has loaded guns in their homes takes appropriate precautions.” Here Clinton identifies her anger that will resonate with others who felt upset about the court’s decision. She then allows for others to understand her emotion with the information on toddlers.

What do you think? How do you think that Trump’s argument stood up to Clinton’s?

Click here to see a full transcript of the debate.

Click here to watch the debate.

Swap Russia for Climate Change!

The Final Debate and Wikileaks 

Last night, the claws came out for the third and final presidential debate. Many of us were waiting for the Wikileaks emails to be brought up to see whether Clinton would deflect the question back to Trump’s misgivings or if she would face the topic head

Moderator Chris Wallace incorporated an excerpt from one of Clinton’s paid speeches released by Wikileaks in a question about her immigration policy. “In a speech you gave to a Brazilian bank… you said this… ‘My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders’,” Wallace asked, “So… is that your dream, open borders?” You can read the full exchange here, but I would specifically like to highlight the first part of her response.

CLINTON: Well, if you went on to read the rest of the sentence, I was talking about energy. You know, we trade more energy with our neighbors than we trade with the rest of the world combined. And I do want us to have an electric grid, an energy system that crosses borders. I think that would be a great benefit to us.

After this brief explanation of the quote (which has been interpreted and confirmed by fact checkers), Clinton goes on to pivot off the question to attack the Russian government for international espionage and to turn the tables on Trump, who is clearly benefitting from the hacks. This is a strategy previously prescribed in my last blog post, The Email’s Leaking Again.

Missed Opportunity

Although pivoting back to Russia has become a clear strategy for her campaign, I think Clinton missed an opportunity to turn the conversation in a Global warming hoax.more positive direction by spending more time on her push for clean energy. By highlighting and further clarifying the content of the paid speech, Clinton could have a) still pivoted away from the Wikileaks question b) clarified the meaning of “open borders” c) attacked Trump for the fact that he has called climate change a “hoax” and d) guided the conversation towards a topic that younger voters care about and has been largely overlooked in all three debates.

Due to the fact the Clinton is ahead in the polls, I think this more positive spin on the Wikileaks question may have been a better strategy for this debate. She could have continued to delegate the Russia pivots to her surrogate speakers (like spokesman Glen Caplin) while also appearing to be above the name-calling and mudslinging of the debate by focusing on the policy issues.


Although the rhetoric within debates and in interviews include details about Hillary’s emails, her emails are not the focus of campaign ads, but rather are used as a piece of evidence why she is untrustworthy and should not be president.


In this campaign ad, Clinton’s emails are just a reason against her own rhetorical question asking why isn’t she 50 points ahead (full statement seen here).

The political campaign ad above, fits into two main categories of political ads: examining the record of the opposition and clarifying the comments of the opposition. While clarifying the comments of the opposition, explaining ‘why’ Clinton isn’t 50 points ahead, the ad uses her own record, an outside person of authority, Comey, the FBI director saying her emails contained classified information, along with criticizing her policies in the middle east and her comment calling half of Trump’s supports a “basket of deplorables).


The ad tried to make her emails and her deplorable comment on par with terrorism and the spread of ISIS. Showing Clinton speaking in the same filter and soundtrack as what appears to be ISIS fighters. The ad ends with Trump in a bright filter, wearing the ‘Make America Great Again’ cap and a big thumbs up.

The rhetoric is clear, simple and straight forward, not detailing or mentioning any policies, nor including what the ‘classified’ information was. The emails are just used as a sound byte to try to remind voters the she ‘messed up’ and is ‘untrustworthy’. However, with the FBI director saying her emails did include classified information makes her seem guilty, and relating her been guilty of the email controversy to her also being guilty of the rise and spread of ISIS, even though that has not been proven, it is proven in the rhetorical situation by association.

Wednesday’s Debate And One Of The Most Impactful Outcomes Of The Election

What Has Been Said So Far

Although the question of who the new Supreme Court appointee will be is an immensely important issue in the upcoming election, it has received relatively little attention from the media and the candidates themselves. In the first debate, it was not brought up at all. In the second presidential debate, it was brought up but due to time constraints in the rhetorical situation of a town hall debate, not a whole lot was or could be said by either candidate. Clinton attempted to use the rhetorical strategy of identification by saying she wants people in the Supreme Court who “who understand the way the world really works, who have real-life experience.” However, she was probably identifying with too large of audience because it is highly doubtful many people want someone who does not have “real life experiences” on the supreme court. Trump on the other hand, also used the identification strategy but a little more effectively than his opponent in this case. He said he already has a list of 20 candidates he would consider, compared to Clintons 0, but more importantly he identified with audience members who have strong opinions about the 2nd amendment by saying that the right was “under siege by people like Hillary.”



What To Expect On Wednesday

Hopefully Wednesdays debate will allow this, and other important policy issues, to be discussed in further detail while minimizing the amount of bantering between the candidates about unimportant issues. We can at least conclude that the lack of attention on the topic of the Supreme Court nomination in the previous debates will open the floor up on Wednesday night for Trump and Clinton to really get their perspectives out there. Trump was a strong supporter of Justice Scalia who was considered to have a very “strict” viewpoint on the Constitution. Trump will probably look to reinforce his position on 2nd amendment rights and will say he wants to appoint a Justice that will follow in Scalia’s footsteps. However, this will continue to negatively impact the LGBT community’s stance on Trump as Scalia was opposed to same-sex marriage. Although I think that Trump realizes the LGBT community is not necessarily his target audience, I believe he will try to downplay the fact that Scalia was against same sex marriage if it brought up. Also, he will probably name some of his considerations that support same-sex marriage, and are not as strict on the constitution as Scalia in an attempt to appeal to more undecided voters, namely heterosexuals that support same-sex marriage.

Clinton also talked about protecting rights when the question of the Supreme Court nominations was brought up in the last debate, but her argument was directed more towards protecting voting rights for minorities and lower class individuals and supporting the decision made in Roe v. Wade. While protecting these rights is very important to many people, Clinton might have made a mistake by pushing to hard left on the Supreme Court nominee. To conservatives who are not necessarily on the “Trump Train” she unintentionally reinforced one of the few reasons that they consider to be an important factor in the decision to vote for the less than ideal candidate. Some even to the point where Friday’s tape of Trump’s lude comments has become forgivable. However, polls show Hillary with a decent lead and her stance on the Supreme Court may prove to have no impact on her overall campaign. On Wednesday expect to see Clinton stick to her guns about voting rights, same-sex marriage, firearms and continue to push for a left sided Supreme Court.


“All We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself.”

The Down Low

In the past two weeks, the 2016 presidential debate has become more and more dramatic. The sexual assault allegations made against Trump from nine different women and the hacked emails released by WikiLeaks are giving vice presidential candidates, Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, a lot of ground to cover in defending their running mates. Yesterday, in an interview with ABC News, Tim Kaine was asked about why there was not more wiggle room in between Clinton and Trump’s poll numbers even after these sexual assault accusations towards Trump had surfaced. Kaine’s use of language in his response is similar to that of  the inaugural address given by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. He does this in order to convince voters that Trump is attempting to instill fear in order to win their votes.

Wilder and Wilder

Vice presidential candidate, Tim Kaine, was asked by Martha Raddatz on ABC News why there was not a bigger difference in numbers between his running mate, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump after the sexual assault accusations brought out against Donald Trump in the last week. Kaine first responded by saying that from the beginning they knew it would be a tight race and,”We like where we are in the states that matter.” He went on to explain Trump’s behavior regarding the election being ‘rigged’ saying, “Donald Trump has started to go wilder and wilder.” Kaine makes an interesting point here. He is using the unstable image the democratic party has given to Trump in order to prove he is unqualified to be president. Kaine is attacking Trump’s record in order to appeal to target audiences, which is currently undecided voters. Kaine goes on to describe Trump’s accusations of the election by saying, “He has been making scorched-earth claims about the election being rigged because he lost both presidential debates.” This claim again proves Kaine is trying to make Trump look ridiculous and unqualified. Although these tactics seem to be effective, Kaine’s next claim is brilliant, in my opinion.

Clowns or Donald Trump?

In regard to Trump’s claim about the election Kaine says, “He should not be engaging in scare tactics.”  Kaine is claiming Trump’s newest angle to sway undecided voters is by scaring them! It seems as though Kaine is saying, we voters, should not listen to claims that would cause us to be fearful of the future, which is similar to the way F.D.R described how Americans should look at the future of America in 1932, without fear. That the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, and guess what? Kaine’s claims would lead one to think Trump is attempting to instill fear in voters, and you should not listen to his absurd accusations.