We were handed a stunning blow as citizens of the United States of America, SCOTUS said our voices were less than those of great wealth, less than the voices of anonymous corporations, less than the voices of those who were able buy our once great Republic. On 1-January-2010, the people of the United States of America were told in no uncertain terms, our voices would count for less and our nation would change to accommodate the will of whose money could buy seats at the table.
We stomped our feet. We complained. We talked among ourselves and pointed our fingers at those we knew were behind the scenes pulling the strings. We rung our hands and cried, ‘woe is us, what now?’
We allowed what we knew was an ethically and morally challenged court to remain seated and continue to hear cases that would change the course of this nation. We watched as case after case went before what we knew were politically motivated justices, in bed with politicians, PACS and lobbyists (in some cases literally in bed with them every night) and we did nothing. Well nothing isn’t entirely true, is it? We whined, we created cute memes and posted them on Facebook hoping they would go viral, we had battles of wits with our opponents on the other side of the divide, we wrote scathing blogs and we wrung our hands. Nevertheless, in fact, we did absolutely not one blessed thing to change the tide.
Meanwhile, ALEC, Heritage Foundation, American Crossroads, American Family, Citizen United, Freedom Watch, Family Research Council, John Birch and Freedom Works; naming just a few of the big ones intent on undermining your and my way of life and our opportunity at the American Dream, have worked hard to get every challenge heard in the highest courts in the land. Their stooges, like Shaun McCutcheon, do their bidding, becoming the face of our diminished democratic processes, the focus of our ire. Meanwhile those truly holding the purse strings gleefully sit back, observing the destruction and plotting the next strike against the Republic.
Hand Wringing and Weeping
The truth is we could be doing more if we weren’t so stuck on the idea we can do nothing. If our backbone weren’t so weak, so gelatinous we could be demanding the same loyalty of our elected officials with our confirmed moneyed speech the 1% demand of theirs. Rather than hanging our heads and wringing our hands, we should remember we ‘own’ our elected officials; we are the people who stand in line to pull the lever and put them in the position to direct or misdirect our lives through their actions in office. This is true whether they are Red, Blue, Green or Purple. This is a true statement whether they believe it or not. Those officials, from the President of the United States down to the lowest Dog Catcher are beholden to you and I for their seat at the table, they represent us not the special interests who would see our Democratic Republic become something other than a nation for and by the people.
What’s Wrong with this Picture?
Consider the problems of this court and then ask yourself does it makes sense.
Justice Scalia, who regularly and publicly castigates the President of the United State, speaks at Conservative forums without shame and shows extreme bias in his questioning from the bench. This is a man who makes no bones about his position and uses that position to do great harm.
“Can’t scare me,” he told a reporter who got on line with audience members to ask a question. “I have life tenure.” Justice Antonin Scalia, Medford, MA Tufts University 10/20131
Next, let’s take a peek under the robe of Clarence Thomas (shudder) and his wife Virginia. Nominated to the bench by George H. Bush in 1991, Justice Thomas was tainted before he was sworn in. Despite the testimony of Anita Hill regarding his sexual harassment, despite the witnesses waiting to testify who were never called Clarence Thomas was passed onto the Supreme Court and continues to serve, for Life. He never asks a question, he also never recuses himself from any case. Prior to his time on the highest court of the land, he represented Monsanto for four years, thereafter moved back into the political arena.
While Justice Thomas has many questionable ethics it is truly who he lays down with every night that should make us all cringe. Not because she is simply mean, but because she has used her association with him to further her own political agenda and they have both benefited by his seat on the bench. A short synopsis of Ginny’s connections:
- 1985 – 1989 Attorney for US Chamber of Commerce, one of her efforts included advocacy against the Family Leave Act. She was considered highly successful within certain circles because of her personal commitment and passion.
- 1991, Legislative Affairs Office of the United States Department of Labor, during this time she argued strong against equal pay for equal work, specifically to close the gender gap. Thereafter she went to work for Congressman Dick Armey ( R ), as a policy analyst until 2009. Though her time in this role raised conflict of interest challenges for her husband during his confirmation hearings.
- 2000, our Ginny found her calling with the Heritage Foundation a Right Wing Think Tank and lobbying group. Ginny Thomas was at the forefront of the effort to gather and submit resumes for the Bush administration,
during the time the Supreme Court was deciding Bush-v-Gore. Can you say Conflict of Interest? Many did.
- 2009, finally Clarence must have had enough Ginny opened her own shop though it went through a couple of make-overs before settling into its current operation, Liberty Consulting, Inc. With strong ties to the Tea Party and no shame in selling her connections in ‘high places’, she is a frequent guest on Fox, including Hannity and others. In addition to her ‘consulting’ company our Ginny is a member of Groundswell2.
Should I say it one more time? Can you spell Conflict of Interest? Yet, he continues to sit on the bench.
I have to ask again, what is wrong with SCOTUS? We have always sought to have ‘our’ guy, meaning the President in office when a Justice retires so we can balance the court in our favor. There isn’t anything unusual in this strategy. Sometimes we win; sometimes we lose and the court shifts slightly. However, currently we have a court so blatant in their disregard for their position as one of the branches of Government, the arbiter of final Constitutional interpretation that slight shift is wreaking our democratic process. The Robert’s court has aligned themselves with the Right Wing of the Legislative Branch and sold our Republic a Bill of Goods with no Return and no Refund policy. Worse, they make no bones of their agenda, with their choice of cases or their questions from the bench.
It is Time to Stop our Hand Wringing and Bitching
A Supreme Court Justice can be impeached; their jobs are not for life. They can be removed if it can be shown they have not acted according to their oaths of office. Article III of the US Constitution says the following:
“The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior…”
These are not elected officials, they do nonetheless serve at our pleasure, they are public servants. This means despite their obvious disdain, they are the people’s servants. It is time for a groundswell of our own, it is time to stand up and demand a change. Not just in Congress, but throughout this corrupt system, including here in the courts even this, the highest court of our nation.
It is time.
For Donor tag 1: http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/
The entire Federal Law on Campaign Finance: http://www.fec.gov/law/feca/feca.pdf
The 2013-2014 Limits on Campaign Contributions: http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/biennial.shtml
Top group donations by Party: http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/topcontribs.php
Top individual donations with partisan bent: http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/topindivs.php