Supreme Court

The country deserves a compromise Supreme Court nominee. Neil Gorsuch isn’t one. (2/3/2017)

...do we really need a Supreme Court? The UK gets along quite well without it. Sure, a SC can overturn some bad laws, but they often, to our detriment, overturn good laws. Without the SC bad laws will be eventually repealed or overturned by Congress and/or the President because of actions by strong leaders or grassroots activity--laws such as, elimination of slavery, voting rights, civil rights, gay rights, etc." Comment on Harper's

"What the Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court did in their Citizens United decision was simply to carry this privatization-ideology more fully into the sphere of U.S. political campaigns. The five fascist ‘Justices’ didn’t refer to Benito Mussolini, but, if they had been honest, they would have — and they wouldn’t have referred at all to the U.S. Constitution, which, certainly in its original intent, was anti-corporate." Eric Zuesse

...the Roberts Court is sending a clear message: that for those that do not share the values of the rich, powerful, Christian (and probably white) male, justice in the United States is probably not for you. Crystal Shepeard

The Supreme Court, by adopting an ahistorical and improperly narrow view of corruption, has shut down an exploration of the very real threat that unrestricted campaign spending actually posses to our democracy....corruption, broadly understood as placing private interests over the public good in public office, is at the root of what ails American democracy. (from David Cole's, New York Review of Books review of, Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United: Zeyphyr Teachout.)

The Supreme Court is paving the way toward an oligarchic form of society in which a handful of billionaires like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson will control our political process. Senator Bernie Sanders

You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.... Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves. Thomas Jefferson (from Wikipedia)

We had to endure the travesty of Bush versus Gore, one of the most egregious tramplings of democratic practice imaginable, then watch the sickening product of that judicial rape: the swaggering wars based on lies, the torture, the doubling of the national debt, the environmental depredations, the economic melt-down, and the raison-d’etre for it all: the radical shifting of wealth from the 300 million of us to the one-tenth of one percent who own everything in sight. David Michael Green

...conservatives -- in the executive branch and on the courts -- have sought to create unprecedented, unchecked executive power, including the power to torture and detain individuals indefinitely without a trial or even due process. They have sought to obliterate the long standing wall separating church and state, allowing the government almost unlimited authority to support religion and to make religion a part of government activities. They have sought to abolish any constitutional protection for privacy and, most of all to eliminate constitutional protections for abortions. They have sought to greatly reduce constitutional protections for criminal defendants, including their ability to ask a federal court for protection from unconstitutional state procedures or results. They have worked to eliminate all affirmative action and to institute a vision of the Constitution that will perpetuate deep racial inequalities in American society. More succesfully, they have closed the courthouse doors, especially to people bringing civil rights claims. Erwin Chemerinsky: The Conservative Assault on the Constitution. (p 30) 

The Supreme Court has now closed the courthouse doors to claims of racial bias at every stage of the criminal justice process, from stops and searches to plea bargaining and sentencing. The system of mass incarceration is now, for all practical purposes, thoroughly immunized from claims of racial bias. Staggering racial disparities in the drug war continue but rarely make the news. The Obama administration has indicated it supports abolition of the hundred-to-one disparity in sentencing for crack versus powder cocaine - the most obvious and embarrassing example of racial bias in a system that purports to be colorblind....The legal rules adopted by the Supreme Court guarantee that those who find themselves locked up and permanently locked out due to the drug war are overwhelmingly black and brown. Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow

"Today, the Court has enthroned corporations, permitting them not only all kinds of special economic rights but now, amazingly, moving to grant them the same political rights as the people. This is a moment of high danger for democracy so we must act quickly to spell out in the Constitution what the people have always understood: that corporations do not enjoy the political and free speech rights that belong to the people of the United States." Professor Jamie Raskin, constitutional law expert at American University's Washington College of Law and Maryland state senatorSCOTUS Dance on Chaney Goodman Schwerner Graves

THE Supreme Court’s momentous decisions... on affirmative action, voting rights and same-sex marriage overshadowed a disturbing trend: in the final two weeks of its term, the court ruled in favor of big business and closed the courthouse doors to employees, consumers and small businesses seeking remedy for serious injuries. Erwin Chemerinsky (7/2/2013)

This sour, scowling, and snarky Supreme Court Justice personifies the dictionary definition of absurd: "Utterly or obviously senseless, illogical, or untrue; contrary to all reason or common sense; laughably foolish or false." A right-wing dogmatist and extreme judicial activist who's full of himself, Scalia has been the court's chief monkey-wrencher for corporate interests, constantly messing with the Constitution to enthrone plutocratic money over our people's democratic politics. By black-robed fiat, he and his four fellow corporatists on the bench have managed to twist language and pervert nature itself by declaring that corporations are "people" and money is "speech." Thus, in their now infamous Citizens United edict of 2010, the five decreed that these huge, lifeless, paper constructs--without brains, hearts, souls, or tongues--must be free to "speak" in our elections by spending unlimited (and undisclosed) amounts of their shareholders' money to determine who wins public office. Jim Hightower

To most people, the [Hobby Lobby] decision looks stupid ’cause corporations are not persons, all the legal mumbo jumbo notwithstanding. The decision looks misogynist because the majority were all men. It looks partisan because all were appointed by a Republican. The decision looks religiously motivated because each member of the majority belongs to the Catholic church, and that religious organization is opposed to contraception. While “looks” don’t matter to the logic of the law (and I am not saying the Justices are actually motivated by such things), all of us know from experience that appearances matter to the public’s acceptance of the law. […] Federal Judge Richard George Kopf

Top 5 Reasons Senate Dems should block all Trump Supreme Court Nominees, Forever (12/21/2016)

How the Supreme Court gets corruption totally wrong (5/5/2016)

Supreme Court conservatives block Clean Energy Plan (2/10/2016)

The Supreme Court’s Secret Power (9/24/2015)

Craziest Quotes 2014: John Roberts

'Rabidly Partison' Judges threaten obamacare based on a typo (11/10/2014)

The Supreme Court’s First Decision In Its New Term Is A Decision Making It Harder To Vote (9/29/2014)

How the Supreme Court Protects Bad Cops (8/26/2014)

It's Time to Reform the Supreme Court (7/15/2014)

Harris v. Quinn is a Blow to the Economically Vulnerable (6/30/2014)

The Burlesque “Originalism” of Antonin Scalia (6/30/2014)

Why the Buffer Zone Decision Is Wrong (6/27/2014)

McCutcheon Should Become A Rallying Cry for A Campaign to ‘End the Rule of Money’ (4/5/2014)

Wide Majorities Losing Faith In John Roberts' Supreme Court, Want Term Limits (5/7/2014)

Can't We Just Say the Roberts Court Is Corrupt? (4/7/2014)

On Our Highest Court, A Former Lobbyist Guts Campaign Finance Reform (4/4/2014)

Supreme Court Removes Limits on Campaign Donations (4/2/2013)

Bush is gone but his judges are here to stay (11/1/2013)

You Don't Need A Law Degree To Know Right From Wrong (8/16/2013)

The Republicans of the Supreme Court (7/2/2013)

What the Supreme Court Doesn't Understand About The Voting Rights Act (6/25/2013)

Big Corporations Get Big Protection From the Supreme Court (6/24/2013)

Kiobel decision leads US away from global trends on accountability (4/24/2013)

Perverting the Constitution For Power (3/3/2013)

6 Ways the US Supreme Court Has Defiled Our Constitution (3/3/2013)

Chief justice Roberts' Long War Against The Voting Rights Act (2/27/2013)

Citizens United 2.0: Supreme Court Could Further Open Door To Money In Politics (2/23/2013)

The Supreme Court: Ruling Government by the Corporations, Not the People.

The 1% Court

Affirmative Action To Warrentless Wiretapping: The Upcoming Supreme Court Term (10/1/2012)

Activist Supreme Court makes separate rules for Corporations and Unions (Take Action)

The Beast of Citizens United Slouches Forward (7/4/2012)

Should We Expand the Supreme Court ? (6/26/2012)

How the Supreme Court Aids Government-Controlled Speech (5/25/2012)

Why the Supreme Court Matters (4/14/2012)

GOP Five's Code: Power is power (4/8/2012)

Are The GOP Justices Political Hacks ? (3/26/2012)

Supreme Court's Religious Frenzy (3/27/2012)

Scalia And Thomas Dine With Healthcare Law Challengers As Court Takes The Case (11/14/2011)

The Corporate Supreme Court (Ralph Nader) (7/18/2011)

Chris Murphy Calls For Investigation of Clarence Thomas (6/24/2011)

Supreme Court Rules For Wal-Mart (6/20/2011)

Bush V. Gore's Dark American Decade (12/12/2010)

Citizens United conspiracy, Complete with two Supremes (10/22/2010) *

Supreme Court Casts a Vote For Millionaires (6/27/2008)

SUPREME COURT ROULETTE (8/8/2000)


Don't ever claim that Republican judges are not activists. They are partisan hacks and they have destroyed our Republic. They have committed a treasonous crime by taking the US government from the people and giving it to the corporations.

The Court has sided with corporate interests consistently for a long time: It decided that corporations are people, some with religious beliefs,  money is speech, and the only motive for corporations is profit. That is why the U.S. is an oligopoly, no longer a republic.

Republican ideologues on the Supreme Court have committed a treasonous crime by taking the US govenment from one that is accountable to the people to one that is run by corporations and the wealthy. We have, as Lawrence Lessig has documented so well, lost our Republic.

Government run by corporations is, by definition, fascist.

It was bad enough that the Supreme Court ruled the Corporation is a person with all the rights that implies, it was worse when it ruled that the only purpose of the Corporation is profit. Citizens United and McCutcheon almost certainly will destroy US governance as we know it to allow virtually unlimited amounts of money to buy elections. Lawrence Lessig has made the case in his book, "Republic, Lost" that money in politics is corrupting. . . and so it is. See his video

A corporate person whose only motive is profit is a sociopath. He doesn't care if the planet is destroyed by his pollution. He has no loyalty to community. He is no patriot for he has no binds of citizenship and will move to the lowest wage, least regulated country, avoids all taxes by keeping profits offshore, and will buy as many politicians as necessary to mold policy in his favor. and so it is that corporations have set us on a (geologically) fast path to destruction.

Republicans allowed lobbyists to draft legislation for monopoly industries and they created ALEC. This policy has led to massive redistribution of income (upward), ) restructuring of the economy, corrupt politics, extreme income inequality, and an economy that is unfair, unjust. unstable, and unsustainable.

The Court substantially increased the influence of money in elections with citizens united, expanded gun rights, and removed barriers to Republican voter suppression.

The Citizens United and McKutcheon rulings will complete our transition to an oligarchyElections clearly are for sale now. There is no reason to think that the system will self-correct barring structural change.

All of the economic gains for the last three decades have gone to the very top.

Recent studies show that Congress responds to the preferences of the wealthy, not the people. The Federal budget is about the reverse of what people, when polled, would want. We have reached new extremes of income inequality and, according to scholar Thomas Piketty, it's going to get worse. The U.S. is now an oligopoly, not a democracy.

Republicans allowed lobbyists to draft legislation for monopoly industries and they created ALEC. This policy has led to massive concentration of power in privatge hands, corrupt media, redistributed income upward, restructured the economy, corrupted politics,  and led to extreme income inequality. The economy is unfair, unjust. unstable, and unsustainable.

None of this is accidental, it is the result of policy. Lawrence Lessig's book, Republic, Lost documents that we have a government that is responsive to the funders, not the people. The Supreme Court has been treasonous in facilitating this fascist coup.

Federal Judge Richard George Kopf wrote:

"In the Hobby Lobby cases, five male Justices of the Supreme Court, who are all members of the Catholic faith and who each were appointed by a President who hailed from the Republican party, decided that a huge corporation, with thousands of employees and gargantuan revenues, was a “person” entitled to assert a religious objection to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate because that corporation was “closely held” by family members. To the average person, the result looks stupid and smells worse. To most people, the decision looks stupid ’cause corporations are not persons, all the legal mumbo jumbo notwithstanding. The decision looks misogynist because the majority were all men. It looks partisan because all were appointed by a Republican. The decision looks religiously motivated because each member of the majority belongs to the Catholic church, and that religious organization is opposed to contraception. While “looks” don’t matter to the logic of the law (and I am not saying the Justices are actually motivated by such things), all of us know from experience that appearances matter to the public’s acceptance of the law."

A National Journal article about the Religious Right quoted far-right activist Richard Land about the Right’s aggressive decades-long effort to change the makeup of the federal judiciary. “Alito and Roberts are the gifts that keep on giving, and we would have gotten neither one of those without our involvement,” Land said, predicting that Roe v. Wade will soon be “thrown onto the ash heap of history.”

The Court has been oblivious to other threats to civil liberties or rights of privacy that are essential to freedom. In its 2012-2013 term The Court ruled against journalists and other civil liberties advocates who tried to oppose surveillance. The all-Republican majority ruled that the plaintiffs have no right to litigate because they could not prove that the secret techniques harmed them. Thus they destroyed Americans privacy rights. Universal surveillance will make Orwell's vision look tame.

Selecting Bush President resulted in two wars at a cost estimated at $4 trillion accompanied by tax breaks for the wealthiest, a full-scale assault on civil liberties, a  an invasive, ineffective 'homeland security' bureaucracy, criminal acts including torture, rendition, warrentless wiretapping, secret government, and an agenda that will make us a fascist militarized empire. In selecting Bush, the Court assured the wreck of our republic. Glenn Greenwald writes in his book "With Liberty and Justice For Some" that the law no longer applies to the elite, but is harsh for everyone else.

We have the world's largest military policing the empire, the largest prison population, rotting infrastructure, the worst income disparity, weak social programs. financially devastating education, and universal surveillance. All of the economic gains for the last three decades have gone to the very top.


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The Republican justices don't believe that international law should have a bearing on our laws. A world shrunk by globalization requires the stabilizing efforts of global institutions. Republicans are not prepared to join the global community of nations. Unlike the EU, we still have the death penalty

Because a single justice can be the swing vote for many decisions, it is important to expand the number of judges.

Corporations are not people.

Profit is not the highest motive.

Money is not speech.

See this letter from Ralph Nader: http://www.nancho.net/corperson/cpnadrsa.html

Reform

  • Pass legislation that the Supreme Court must adhere to the same ethical standards as the lower Courts.
  • Amend the Constitution to roll back Corporate personhood, Citizens United, and McCutchceon.
  • Increase the number of judges on the Supreme Court because the Court is divided in such a way that a single individual can make fundamental decisions. More judges on the Court, as most other countries have, would make for better decisions. FDR attempted this, and he should have succeeded.
  • Nullify the Court's right of review. James McGregor Burns wrote: "John Marshall was wrong: it is emphatically the province and duty of the American people, not of the nine justices of the United States Supreme Court, to say what the Constitution is. A national reappraisal of the all-powerful court chosen by judicial roulette is crucial if American democracy is to meet the rising challenges of the twenty-first century." (From the last page of Burns' Packing the Court.)

Meanwhile, sign this Petition

and this petition

Get involved at Move to Amend

Pledge For Democracy

a Constitutional Convention.

We should expand the Supreme Court

Nullify the Court's right of review.

James McGregor Burns put it this way:
"John Marshall was wrong: it is emphatically the province and duty of the American people, not of the nine justices of the United States Supreme Court, to say what the Constitution is. A national reappraisal of the all-powerful court chosen by judicial roulette is crucial if American democracy is to meet the rising challenges of the twenty-first century." (From the last page of Burns' Packing the Court.)

The Constitutional "originalists" will not find the judicial right of review anywhere in the Constitution.

Sign the petition at rootsaction.

Fooling With Democracy (4/9/2014)

Chris Murphy Bill To End Supreme Court Immunity to Judicial Ethics Law (2/18/2011)

Justice Roberts: A hard lesson in Why Elections Matter (3/18/2010)

A Supreme Injustice

The Corporate Takeover of U.S. Democracy (2/3/2010)

5-4 Fascism One Court, One Man, One Vote, One Tyranny

Don’t Let Supreme Court Giveaway to Corporations Wreck Our Economy (2/2/2010)

Worst Supreme Court decision since the Dred Scott case (1/22/2010)

How Dubya’s court may undo democracy (9/20/2009)

Lawrence Lessig video

Sundays I wait patiently for the start of the "60 minutes" program which is one of the last vestiges of television journalism. It is almost invariably delayed by a sports program, which undoubtedly confuses TIVO and keeps viewership down. "60 minutes" like other corporate conglomerate broadcasts, is increasingly undisguised right-wing propaganda.

One of the direct results of corporate rule is rendering media dysfunctional.

For example, when Supreme Court Justice Scalia was profiled on 60 minutes, he spoke on varied subjects, but on Bush v Gore, which selected Bush as President in 2000, he said simply "Get over it." Thanks to Greg Palast, writing for the British press, we now know that there was wholesale election rigging in Florida that year. An honest recount of the votes would likely have made Gore President. Scalia is unrepentant. Seven years later the whole world can see that the Court's decision was likely the worst one ever made. Bush proved it. It does not take a Supreme Court Judge to know we shouldn't get over the idea that elections no longer have meaning.

Scalia claims to be an 'originalist', which he explained is the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted as the framers intended. However, when V.P. Cheney met with people to decide energy policy and kept it secret, Scalia, Cheney's good friend, ruled that Congress could not know details of those meetings. The Constitution clearly intended that Congress should have oversight powers because, without that, there can be no 'checks and balances'. Given two new Bush additions to the Court, it is unlikely that the Bush administration's concept of the imperial Presidency will be overturned. This Scalia decision wiped out Congressional oversight, checks and balances, and certainly crippled the Constitution. In the interview Scalia, like many Republicans, just couldn't seem to figure out what torture is either. We are clearly on a path to fascism.

Scalia strongly defends executive power, opposes the Freedom of Information Act, and weakens the checks and balances that the Constitution incorporated. Without good information there can be no democracy. He is an enemy of good government. 

After Scalia's profile, there followed exciting pictures of the Israeli air force preparing for action against Iran. Such pictures are reminiscent of propaganda leading to the War with Iraq: If the President wants to go to war with Iran, is anyone in position to stop him ? The Constitution gives the power to make war to the Congress because the framers knew the danger. Does it matter what the Constitution says ?

None of the Presidential candidates rejected Bush's aggressive power grab, nor have they rejected his secretiveness, his signing statements, or his refusal to be accountable.  It is questionable whether we can have a meaningful Constitution if Bush is not held accountable.  Scalia's hypocrisy is evident for anyone that cares to look.

Media had a large role in (s)electing Bush, cheerled his wars, broadcast his propaganda, and are continuing to consolidate their oligopoly and are largely responsible for our path to fascism, but the Supreme Court sealed the deal with Citizens United.

SCALIA THINKS IT'S OK TO EXECUTE SOMEONE FOUND INNOCENT BY THE COURTS (8/18/2009)

Jon Wiener | Rupert Murdoch paid Clarence Thomas $1.5 million for his new memoir. Doesn't that create an "appearance of impropriety"?

Links

Law

SCOTUSblog

HearTheNine

ActionSources.org

Balkinization

Supreme Court of the United States

Cameras Not Allowed in SCOTUS

Bibliography

The Case Against The Supreme Court: Erwin Chermerinsky

The Court and the World, American Law and the New Global Realities: Stephen Breyer

Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress and a Plan to Stop It: Lawrence Lessig (links).  Free pdf download

Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People: Jamin Raskin

Dollarocracy: John Nichols and Robert W McChesney

With Liberty and Justice for Some, how the law is used to destroy equality and protect the powerful: Glenn Greenwald

The Conservative Assault on the Constitution: Erwin Chemerinsky

Packing the Court: James MacGregor Burns

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court: Jeffrey Toobin

Strange Justice, the Selling of Clarence Thomas: Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson. Read this awesome book to appreciate Republicans in action. Read it all.

Vincent Bugliosi, The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President, (2001) ISBN 1-56025-355-X

Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000, (2001) Alan M. Dershowitz ISBN 0-19-514827-4

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