EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Madame Dumbina, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

Madame Dumbina with family

On September 28, 2020, the Trenchant Observer conducted an exclusive interview with Madame Dumbina, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. The following transcript has been edited for length and style.


The Trenchant Observer:  Madame Dumbina, you are the first elephant that has ever been nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. Would you say that elephants, in general are very proud of your nomination?

Madame Dumbina:  Absolutely.  Ever since I was the president of the Trumpmaidens in my herd, we have all dreamed of finding ways to help President Trump and the Republican Party.  The Trumpmaidens were a group I founded which brought together all of the young female elephants who wanted to contribute to the Republican cause.

The simple fact that the Republicans chose an elephant to be the mascot of their party speaks volumes.  Now, my personal story can be an inspiration to elephants everywhere:   the rise of a Trumpmaiden from the status of a mascot to the status of being a Justice of the the United States Supreme Court.  Elephants not only in my herd, but throughout the world, are ecstatic over the fact that President Trump has recognized our potential to make a positive contribution to society.  I wouldn’t say that I come from humble origins, but I did grow up in an African jungle.

The Trenchant Observer:  Why do you think President Trump chose you to sit on the Supreme Court?

Madame Dumbina:  Well, if I were actually to sit on the Supreme Court, the building would collapse.

But, more seriously, I think he chose me because I embody the goals and the spirit of the Republican Party.

I was first drawn to the Republican Party because its mascot is an elephant. Elephants represent and embody stability, respect for traditions, and family values.  With our strong backs, we can help to uphold conservative values.

We are also conservative in that we support the conservation of our habitats.

The Trenchant Observer:  As the United States passes the milestone of 200,000 dead from the coronavirus, what are your thoughts?

Madame Dumbina:  We don’t worry very much about the coronavirus because, like children, we are immune to it.

Elephants honor the dead, and often spend days or weeks at the burial sites of elephants that we know and love.  But let me be clear: We do not honor the dead of other species with whom we are in competition, those who may take away our food and vegetation.  We don’t honor dead giraffes, for example.

If any case involving the coronavirus or Covid-19 comes before the Court, I am confident that my “herd mentality” will make a major contribution to the Court’s decision.

The Trenchant Observer:  What are your views on abortion?

Madame Dumbina:  Elephants don’t oppose abortion on religious grounds.  They themselves do not practice abortion, for they consider the life of every elephant to be sacred.  In fact, most elephants never heard of abortion.  If an abortion case comes before the Supreme Court, I can assure you that I will not be guided by religious belief, or specifically by the beliefs of the Pope and the Catholic Church, in reaching my decision.

The Trenchant Observer:  Do you have views on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or what is popularly known as Obamacare?

Madame Dumbina:  As you may know, elephants believe in holistic medicine.  In general, the whole herd takes care of a sick individual.  We do not have doctors, though we do accept medicine provided by organizations which try to help us.  However, I don’t recall a case of abortion.  To elephants, life is sacred. We do not end or terminate pregnancies by medical means.

The Trenchant Observer:  Does that mean you would overrule Roe v. Wade , and hold that abortion is unconstitutional?

Madame Dumbina:   Not necessarily.  I will consider each case that comes before the Court on its own merits.

The Trenchant Observer:   Madame Dumbina, I want to thank you for this interview, which I hope will be the first of many.

Presumably you will be confirmed by the Republican majority in the Senate, which has made clear–even before you were nominated– that it would confirm whoever President Trump might nominate.  With you, he has broken precedent.  You are the first elephant named to the Court.  You will replace a female Justice, preserving the gender balance on the Court, such as it is.

Madame Dumbina:   Thank you very much.  I am proud to be not only the first elephant but also the first Trumpmaiden to be appointed to the Court.

End of transcript

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.