Why Watch a Trial that’s a Kangaroo Court?

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The House (not “the Democrats”) has finished presenting its case against former President Trump in his second impeachment trial. Next, his legal team will take their turn. They’ve indicated they expect to wrap up in about three hours, not the 16 allotted to them.

Why so brief? Maybe because they don’t have much of a defense to make. But more likely it’s because they believe whatever they say won’t matter to the outcome of the case. The verdict was sealed long ago. There wouldn’t be 17 Republicans who would stand up to Trump and his legions.

Which points to the reason that Americans as a whole aren’t paying a lot of attention to the impeachment trial. It isn’t, as the conventional wisdom, has it that we’re just tired of Trump and want to move on — although that is certainly true. No, it’s that we know the trial doesn’t matter, that it’s a kind of kangaroo court which will “come to a predetermined conclusion.” Here’s the Wikipedia explanation of the term:

A kangaroo court is a court that ignores recognized standards of law or justice and often carries little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides. A kangaroo court may ignore due process and come to a predetermined conclusion. The term may also apply to a court held by a legitimate judicial authority which intentionally disregards the court’s legal or ethical obligations.”

Now, think about that. The U. S. Senate as a kangaroo court. A court that ignores “recognized standards of law or justice.” A court which “intentionally disregards the court’s legal or ethical obligations.” It’s like a court in Jim Crow South, where a black man is on trial, and the jury is 12 white men.

The reason Americans have sighed, rolled their eyes, and turned off the television or computer feed on the trial is that the Republican senators have made the trial a mockery of justice. Why be interested in a trial when the outcome is baked in before the opening gavel? I hope, I pray I am wrong. I hope, I pray that some mighty and mighty-unexpected event may surprise us when the votes are cast. But I wouldn’t bet on that happening.

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Tony is a writer, teacher, speaker and ordained minister (United Church of Christ). He served as Senior Minister of Seattle’s Plymouth Congregational Church for fourteen years. His newest book is Useful Wisdom: Letters to Young (and not so young) Ministers. He divides his time between Seattle and a cabin in Wallowa County of northeastern Oregon. If you’d like to know more or receive his regular blogs in your email, go to his site listed above to sign-up.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, Tony: I watch because it’s not Trump on trial, it’s the Republican Party that’s in the docket. If they vote to acquit, it will irrevocably split the party and turn the future of conservatism over to “deplorables”. The only thing that can defeat the Democrats thereafter is the excess of so-called progressives, who block progress with radical liberalism.

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