MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
The Supreme Court considers whether nearly half the state of Oklahoma is an Indian reservation.
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Legal Docket.
Also, today the Monday Moneybeat with retail sales way up. What does it mean?
Plus the WORLD History Book. Today, the demise of a famous border crossing between East and West Berlin.
And WORLD Commentator Andree Seu Peterson on seeing life in death.
REICHARD: It’s Monday, June 22nd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Now here’s Jill Nelson with today’s news.
JILL NELSON, NEWS ANCHOR: Shooting in Minneapolis and Seattle » Minneapolis police responded to a shooting in the city’s Uptown district just after midnight Saturday. The violence left one man dead and 11 people wounded.
AUDIO: [Sound from downtown Minneapolis]
In a video posted to Facebook just after the shooting, small crowds gathered to survey the damage bullets did to some bar and restaurant storefronts.
Investigators say they believe there was more than one gunman but haven’t said what might have prompted the shooting. They haven’t made any arrests so far.
Meanwhile, in the early hours of Sunday, Seattle police tried to respond to a shooting inside the city’s autonomous protest zone known as CHOP.
But when police entered the downtown area, a crowd blocked their way.
AUDIO: Please, get out of the way so we can get to the victim.
Eventually, police did reach two victims. One died and the other is in critical condition.
Mike Solen heads the Seattle police officers union. He told KIRO-7, Seattle lawmakers need to disband the protest zone.
AUDIO: The community is at grave risk. And the men and women that provide that professional public service are at grave risk as well.
As of Sunday night, police had not made any arrests in the shooting.
More Statues Come Down » Over the weekend, protesters tore down more statues they say represent White Supremacy and racism.
AUDIO: [Protestors cheering]
In San Francisco, demonstrators cheered as they toppled statues of Union general Ulysses S. Grant and Francis Scott Key. Key penned the national anthem and was a slave-owner.
In downtown Los Angeles, demonstrators removed the statue of a Catholic saint known for founding Spanish missions throughout California. One protestor told ABC-7 why it had to come down.
SOUND: The legacy of policing we see now began with the mission system. So it’s important to reconcile with that.
SOUND: [Spectators cheering]
And in Raleigh, North Carolina, on-lookers cheered Sunday morning as work crews finished removing a Confederate soldiers statue outside the North Carolina State Capitol. On Friday night, protestors had started tearing down the monument themselves.
Crews also took down two other monuments dedicated to the Confederacy.
COVID-19 cases continue to rise » The World Health Organization announced Sunday the largest single-day increase in new global coronavirus cases. More than 183,000 cases in just 24 hours.
Brazil had the most with nearly 55,000 people testing positive, followed by the United States with about 37,000.
In the United States, Johns Hopkins University data shows eight states had their highest seven-day averages of new COVID-19 cases to date. Those are Florida, Arizona, California, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Oklahoma.
Trump rally in Oklahoma » Despite the spike in coronavirus cases and health officials’ warnings against a mass gathering, President Trump returned to the campaign trail Saturday night—holding his first rally since March.
Inside the Tulsa, Oklahoma, arena, the president declared “the silent majority is stronger than ever.”
TRUMP: We’re going to stop the radical Left. We’re going to build a future of safety and opportunity for Americans of every race, color, religion, and creed.
In remarks that lasted nearly two hours, President Trump talked about the recent DACA Supreme Court decision, China, the media, and the economy. He also said burning the American flag should be illegal.
TRUMP: We ought to come up with legislation that if you burn the American flag, you go to jail for one year.
Tulsa officials say just 6,200 supporters gathered in an arena that can seat three times as many people.
The Trump campaign attributed the lower-than-expected turnout to protests in the area that “interfered with supporters… which prevented people from entering the rally.”
President fires AG in New York » House Democrats want to hear from the now former U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey S. Berman. President Trump fired Berman on Saturday after he refused to step down.
The administration’s disagreement with Berman went public late Friday when Attorney General Bill Barr issued a press release saying Berman was stepping down. Berman fired back with a statement of his own saying he had no intention of leaving his post. The president fired him the next day.
Congressman Adam Schiff told NBC’s Meet the Press that Berman “clearly had concerns about why he was being pushed out.”
SCHIFF: I certainly hope that he will come and testify before Congress, and I know chairman Nadler intends to investigate this, and he should. It’s, you know, I think, the most disastrous management of the Justice Department in modern memory.
Berman’s office is investigating several cases with ties to the president, including his inaugural fundraising and overseas actions by the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
GOP Senator Tim Scott of North Carolina told ABC’s The Week the investigations would continue.
SCOTT: Everyone in the DOJ works at the pleasure of the president, number one. Number two, there’s no indication whatsoever that whatever’s being investigated will not continue to move on.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Berman in early 2018. But the president never formally nominated him.
I’m Jill Nelson. Straight ahead: a dispute over land and legal jurisdiction in Oklahoma.
Plus, Andree Seu Peterson on the gospel and funerals.
This is The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER: It’s Monday morning and a brand new week for The World and Everything in It. Today is the 22nd of June, 2020. Good morning to you, I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Before we get into Legal Docket today, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your response so far to our June Giving Drive. Now, we do have nine days to go and about 30 percent more still to raise.
But I just want to say this: since we’ve started doing these, I’ve been humbled by the generosity of our listeners every single time.
The mission of our organization is compelling to me personally. It’s why I left behind a legal career to pursue this kind of journalism, because it’s what I believe in. What’s amazing to me is the belief you demonstrate by consistently supporting this work, and it just leaves me profoundly grateful and humbled.
EICHER: I feel the same way. This is my life’s work. I’ve been at this for three decades. Good years and lean years. We’ve had periods where I feared we wouldn’t survive, but God has always been faithful to raise up an army of support.
We’ve seen it time and time again.
And these past few years, even especially now as the world seems to be losing its collective mind, you have provided the resources so that we can stand strong.
We continue educating reporters, publishing print magazines, building up our online resources with daily news, producing not only this program but expanding both quality and quantity with new podcasts, and we’re revitalizing our efforts for young people by adding WORLD Watch.
Quick word on that: The big TV networks that have done so much damage have aimed programming at young students. And so we feel duty bound to make quality daily news videos for your family, too. So that’s why we’re producing WORLD Watch.
But the point is, we’d have never considered something this ambitious were it not for your support.
And it’s important that we say this before we reach our goal. We’re not just grateful at the end of these campaigns. We’re grateful now, and I just wanted you to hear.
WNG.org/donate—that’s the place to go to give if you’ve not done so already. Thank you so very much.
REICHARD: Well, it is our fundraising season, but it’s also the time of year when the U.S. Supreme Court hands down opinions in batches. So we expect decisions this morning and two more days by the end of the month.
Today, the final oral argument left to cover from this term. In just a few short minutes, if you’ve been listening since October, you will have come to the end of the 55th of 55 oral arguments.
So congratulations are in order. I hereby confer upon you this virtual Legal Docket diploma!
Now, the legal question in this last case may sound familiar. The Supreme Court considered it last term, but shelved it, ostensibly because with Justice Neil Gorsuch recused from the case, that left eight justices and the possibility of a 4-to-4 tie.
The legal issue is back before the high court again with no conflicts-of-interest and all 9 justices engaged.
ROBERTS: We’ll hear argument this morning in case number 18-9526, McGirt v Oklahoma. Mr. Gershengorn?
The facts are different, but not by much. Heartbreaking facts.
Perpetrator and victim are both Native Americans. Jimcy McGirt received 500 years plus life without parole under state law for a violent assault against a four-year-old girl near Tulsa, Oklahoma. The crime is unspeakable and the details of the case really have no bearing on the question before the court—so I’d just as soon not go into them.
The perpetrator does not contest his guilt and at age 71 he’s served 23 years of his sentence.
EICHER: The argument this man makes is that the state of Oklahoma was not the rightful prosecutor of him, that it lacks jurisdiction.
His lawyers cite the Major Crimes Act. In this law, Congress gave the federal government jurisdiction. It holds exclusive authority over qualifying crimes on Indian reservations within any state. No state authority to prosecute, and that is without exemption.
REICHARD: That is what the law says. But the question has to do with whether the land is or was an Indian reservation.
Oklahoma and the federal government says it isn’t and wasn’t, and so the Major Crimes Act doesn’t apply to this case.
Listen to Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler arguing for the federal government in support of Oklahoma:
KNEEDLER: In preparing the Indian territory for statehood, Congress eliminated all the hallmarks of a reservation. Congress broke up the tribe’s national domain and extinguished the tribe’s interest in it. Congress likewise eliminated the tribe’s territorial sovereignty over that area by abolishing tribal courts and prohibiting enforcement of tribal law in territorial courts.
Hallmarks of a reservation gone or not, Justice Neil Gorsuch found no clear language from Congress.
GORSUCH: And that things got very complicated and they came mighty close to ending the reservation but never quite passed the kind of language that we typically see when that happens: reversion of all lands to the public domain or cessation or anything like that.
Ian Gershengorn is the lawyer for the criminal offender. He aimed his argument at Justice Gorsuch’s fondness for textualism. That is, a way of interpreting a law using plain text to figure out what it means.
That, in lieu of trying to figure out a law’s purpose or intent.
Gershengorn argued that the text of the law neither terminated the Creek reservation nor did it transfer federal criminal prosecutions to Oklahoma.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh looked to history for context, which he outlined. In the 1830s, five tribes entered into treaties with the federal government that granted them land. Those were the Creeks, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Seminoles. Then came the Civil War.
KAVANAUGH: But then the Civil War is key. The Five Tribes all align with the Confederacy in the Civil War. The tribes have black slaves, lots of black slaves. And then there’s a new treaty in 1866 because the United States is not happy that the tribes have aligned with the Confederacy. Why’s that matter for us? Because in that new treaty of 1866 that grants rights of way to railroads. The railroads lead to settlements. The new settlements lead to new towns that are predominantly white.
By 1890, the territory’s demographics had changed dramatically: 60 percent white, 30 percent Indian, and 10 percent black.
Congress considered options: remove the white people, remove the Indians, put the whites under tribal governance, or create a new state. That last option is what Congress chose, and in 1907 Oklahoma entered the union.
The lawyer for Creek Nation calls this a federal shenanigan, and it ought not to be the deciding factor in this case. Listen to Riyaz Kanji:
KANJI: We know — we know that federal officials were subverting the will of Congress in Oklahoma. After statehood, they would not allow the Creek Nation to hold elections for its chief, for its national council, even though the Five Tribes Act clearly preserved those powers. So why we should pay heed to the acts of federal officials when they were clearly acting illegally is something that the state has — has never explained?
Federal officials may have misbehaved, yet practical considerations were on Justice Samuel Alito’s mind. Listen to this exchange with the Creek Nation lawyer:
ALITO: Am I correct that more than 90 percent of people who live in the area directly affected by this case are not members of the Creek tribe?
KANJI: That is correct, your honor.
ALITO: Well, what would you say to those people if we decide this case in your favor? Won’t they be surprised to learn that they are living on a reservation and that they are now subject to laws imposed by a body that is not accountable to them in any way?
KANJI: There are a number of responses to that …
Kanji going on to say not a lot will change because non-Indians would still be mostly subject to state law.
But some things will change, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked about Native Americans already tried and convicted under state law.
GINSBURG: What makes this case hard is that there have been hundreds, hundreds of prosecutions, some very heinous offenses of the state law. On your view, they would all become undone … . Hundreds of prosecutions for murder, terrible sexual offenses. These would all have to be done years later when the witnesses may not be there anymore. Hundreds of cases …
GERSHENGORN: So your honor there are …
The lawyer for the criminal offender going on to say those are not good enough reason to disregard the plain text of the law.
But the lawyer for Oklahoma returned to Justice Kavanaugh’s earlier take on demographics by 1907 when Oklahoma became a state. You can figure out congressional intent by looking at that and the fact that land was sold to non-Indians. Here’s lawyer Mithun Mansinghani for the state.
MANSINGHANI: By statehood, 90 percent of the area was non-Indian. Congress is trying to undo the tribe’s exclusive ownership of the land and exclusive governance of the land, because there was no territorial government. To give it to a new state that would govern the land of non-Indians and Indians alike and where non-Indians and Indians alike would own the land.
One point eight million people live on the land in question: Nineteen million acres, 40 percent of the state’s land mass. That includes Tulsa, with 400,000 people.
If a majority of justices decide the Creek reservation exists, almost half the state will be no longer under state jurisdiction.
One of the many consequences would be upending long-settled criminal convictions under state law. Specifically, McGirt’s sentence could be set aside and he’d get a new trial in federal court. Federal officials take on additional duties. Economic questions would have to be worked out.
Industry groups, the city of Tulsa, several other states align with the state and federal government in this case, urging the court to reject reservation claims.
A friend-of-the-court brief filed by some current and former elected state officials as well as the Chickasaw nation urges cooperation among all parties. That’s happened on a number of issues in the past. And Congress can work out conflicts, if it only will do it.
And that’s this week’s Legal Docket.
MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: The Monday Moneybeat.
NICK EICHER: Big jump in retail sales in May, an unexpected rise of 17.7 percent, following a big drop in April of 14.7 percent on top of an 8 percent drop in March. So not quite a full recovery, but certainly better than expectations.
Which is similar to the unexpectedly better jobs numbers that month. Economists thought we’d have a negative month on jobs, but employers surprised them by adding jobs, so it was a net plus.
Well, joining me now is financial analyst and advisor David Bahnsen. David, good morning.
DAVID BAHNSEN, GUEST: Good morning. Good to be with you, Nick.
EICHER: So does that retail number surprise you or impress you in any way?
BAHNSEN: It impresses me in this sense, and it’s very similar to what you said a moment ago about the jobs number.
It’s yet another data point—and there’s others I can provide as well—where the consensus expectation on a recovery, consensus was for something better and it ended up being much, much better, which has now sort of created an expectation that it’s across the board.
They were expecting an 8 percent increase in retail sales, but as you said, it was up 17.7—more than doubling that recovery. So, one of the things I pointed out in my own Dividend Cafe commentary this week is that every category has been outperforming expectations and yet the one category that I think is most important to a sustainable economic recovery is business investment, industrial production, new capital goods orders, manufacturing.
The retail, the mortgages, the shopping, those things we now can see are in a better direction, maybe more consumer-oriented data points. But we definitely need to see some validation on the business data. That won’t come until Q3 and if it does come in strong in Q3, then I’m going to feel a lot better about 2021.
EICHER: Yeah, and of course retail sales is a barometer to look at—and we know that two-thirds of the gross domestic product number is what we spend on goods and services—the figure we call PCEs, personal consumption expenditures. But when you look at the economy, the underlying strength of it, it’s business investment for you.
BAHNSEN: Well, I’m a supply-sider, Nick, and a lot of this is philosophical. None of us can consume unless one of us first produces. That’s, by the way, a theological point as much as an economic one. And we ourselves cannot consume unless we ourselves first produce.
So, it takes two parts production to have one part consumption. And, therefore, I believe all economics starts on the supply side, the production side, the business investment side. And so therefore when businesses are slowing down their production in the economy, that will have a more lasting impact that bodes worse for economic growth and prosperity than when the consumer stops spending money.
Ultimately we know from a generation or two of Keynesian economics and just a kind of cultural phenomenon that the American consumer can spend even when the economy is not good. But what can’t happen is business investing when the economy is in a bad place.
Businesses always slow down when they view a poor opportunity for profit-making activity. When you see business investment into capital expenditures, that then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It speaks to business confidence and it creates a reason for business confidence as future growth is invested into.
EICHER: David, the Congressional Budget Office released GDP estimates—second quarter, which ends in a little over a week, Q2 is going to be terrible, close to 40 percent down, unprecedented figures. Followed by two quarters of recovery, Q3, Q4, the second half of the year will be up but up not nearly enough to make up for the losses of April, May, and June.
What’s your read? Do these predictions mean anything to you?
BAHNSEN: It doesn’t mean anything to me and the reason is just because its predictive values don’t mean anything. See, there’s four major categories of what goes into GDP growth, so, there’s four or five variables. Well, no economist is going to get four or five things right. And everyone’s making their predictions and filling their models based on things we’ve never gone through before that are totally unprecedented.
Ultimately what people need to know is where Q3 GDP is going to be on the upside. First of all, there’s going to be a lot of political ramifications because I think that if President Trump is running for reelection with a Q3 that’s recovering at 8 or 9 percent, that’s going to be very muted and it’s going to hold us into recession conditions relative to where Q2 is blended. But if Q3’s coming back plus 20 percent, then all of a sudden you’re looking at a real V-shape type phenomena, even if not all sectors are V-shaped. Some are going to peter out a little at the end of the year. It’s going to feel more like a V-shape recovery in the economy.
EICHER: Financial analyst and advisor David Bahnsen. David, thank you.
BAHNSEN: Thanks for having me Nick.
NICK EICHER: Today is Monday, June 22nd. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: the WORLD History Book. Today, three events that all happened on this day, June 22nd.
Thirty years ago, the closing of “Checkpoint Charlie” between East and West Germany. Plus, a costly victory on the Pacific island of Okinawa. But first, Congress creates a new federal agency. Here’s Paul Butler.
We begin 150 years ago today:
RASSMUSSEN: Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives…that there shall be…an executive department of the government of the United States, to be called the Department of Justice, of which the attorney general shall be the head.
Kim Rassmussen reading from HR bill 1328.
Following the Civil War, the U.S. government spent about $800-thousand dollars a year to retain private attorneys and outside legal counsel. On June 22nd, 1870, Congress passed the Act to Establish the Department of Justice.
RASSMUSSEN: SECTION 2, And be it further enacted, that there shall be in said department an officer learned in the law to be called the solicitor general…
The act gave the DOJ control over all federal law enforcement, plus criminal prosecutions, and civil suits against—or on behalf of—the United States government.
RASSMUSSEN: SECTION 5, whenever the attorney general deems it necessary, he may require the solicitor general to argue any case in which the government is interested before the court of claims…
At the time, dozens of government departments were working on legal questions and cases independently—often without knowledge of each other. On top of that, many legal appointments and contracts were doled out as political favors.
So Rhode Island Congressman Thomas Jenckes led a reform movement to streamline, unify, and professionalize the government’s legal divisions.
RASSMUSSEN: SECTION 8, the attorney general is hereby empowered to make all necessary rules and regulations for the management and distribution of its business.
Recent scholarship suggests that the creation of the DOJ was more than just an attempt to increase the federal government’s capacity for Civil War legal claims—which has been conventional wisdom. According to a 2014 Stanford Law Review article, letters and documents from Congressman Jenckes and his fellow reformers reveal a more robust philosophy behind the act.
Next, 75 years ago:
NEWSREEL: Last days of the bitter battle for Okinawa…
The 82-day battle for Okinawa comes to an end. Codenamed Operation Iceberg, it was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
NEWSREEL CLIP: The United States 10th Army and the 3rd Marine Amphibious Corps start for the beach…
Okinawa was 340 miles southwest of the Japanese home islands.
NEWSREEL: Men of the 10th Army leaves the road to penetrate into the bush. Here, underground and in fortified caves and holes, are some of Okinawa’s last defenders…
The victory on Okinawa was one of the costliest in the Pacific.
NEWSREEL: The battle is waged over dangerous terrain, from ridge to ridge, from cave to cave…
Clearing the enemy forces cost Allied troops at least 75,000 lives.
NEWSREEL: Japan sees her doom drawing near as the American flag is firmly planted on Okinawa.
AUDIO: [SOUND OF CEREMONY]
And finally, June 22nd, 1990, 30 years ago.
CEREMONY: We have come together not to dedicate a building, but rather to close one…
U.S. and German political figures and military personnel gather in Berlin to officially decommission the American managed checkpoint between East and West Berlin.
CEREMONY: I refer to the modest, famous structure known to millions as “Checkpoint Charlie…”
The name Charlie came from the NATO phonetic alphabet. Checkpoint Alpha was in Helmstedt. Checkpoint Bravo in the south-west corner of Berlin. And this third checkpoint was therefore named Charlie.
CEREMONY: Many visitors to Checkpoint Charlie over the years were disappointed. There was something unfinished. Something temporary about it. These impressions were altogether accurate…
At the close of the ceremony, a large crane lifted the building as observers on both sides of the border cheered.
CEREMONY: Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain seated while the checkpoint is prepared for lifting.
Not long after its removal, a replica was built near the original site. Today, it’s one of Berlin’s most popular tourist attractions. The original Checkpoint Charlie is on display as a part of the Allied Museum in Berlin-Zehlendorf.
That’s this week’s WORLD History Book, I’m Paul Butler.
MARY REICHARD: Today is Monday, June 22nd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. In death, the meaning of life can become more clear. Here’s WORLD commentator Andrée Seu Peterson with a selection from her 2008 book, Normal Kingdom Business.
ANDRÉE SEU PETERSON, COMMENTATOR: Thank God for funerals, the one place left where non-churchgoing America comes touching close to truth. The best of them cut to the chase, boring down to bedrock theology like a 17th-century Scottish Lord’s table preparation pep talk: “The Lord’s Supper is coming over the Cairngorms to your town next week; you’re either in which Christ or out, make up your mind, laddie!” cries the circuit rider.
None of this modern style of waiting till salvation is on the liturgical calendar before bringing up the subject. I am today a black speck in a sea of well-wishers; Cheryl was a much-loved lady, I surmise, though a mere acquaintance to myself. I stifle a tear as I peer through heads at two stoic teenage boys I never knew owned suit and tie.
Waiting for the interminable greeter’s queue to end, some have lapsed into talking about business, vacation plans, and the best manicures in town. This is not offensive to me, as I prefer it to officious sullenness, yet I cannot help drifting to the scene in Live and Let Die where a feckless bystander cranes his neck over crowds at a New Orleans-style funeral down Bourbon Street and asks who the corpse is, only to be unceremoniously stashed into the casket himself. “Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
There is surely warfare going on in this clerestory in the invisible domain, like Michael and the devil over Persia. Some malevolence inhabiting the incense would keep us all sleepy and okay with death.
The devil whispers to the priest and the priest recites obligingly to the assemblage: “Death is not life cut short, but is one of life’s phases.” He informs us, with breathtaking confidence, that Cheryle is at this very moment “looking down at us with a tear and a smile.”
At this the bad side in the rafters breaks out in cheers.
A moment later the same priest says, “Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life,” and the good side cheers, those angels whom we are told are ministering spirits for the sake of the redeemed, and who rejoice when even one sinner repents and turns to God.
Paul tells us in Acts 17 verse 26 that God has orchestrated everything about our lives with the intent that we be confronted and hemmed in with opportunities to seek him. A funeral is such a rendezvous in our frenetic lives to make us think about what’s real.
And this is why, even with sub-par sermons, “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting, for the heart of the wise is there.” And so I believe.
We file out through the vestibule and I can only hope that something in the hour’s lifting of the veil has made a small impression that will last beyond the masses passing through the door.
I’m Andrée Seu Peterson.
NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: Now that the Supreme Court blocked President Trump’s repeal of DACA, what’s next? We’ll ask immigration experts what they think.
And, insights on marriage from a couple celebrating 40 years this summer.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
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And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Go now in grace and peace.