Supreme Court Is Anti-Democratic Trash
The Supreme Court is a big scam, but nonetheless we keep thinking we can win a round of rightwing Three Card Monte. Maybe we can keep electing Democratic presidents forever, if the Supreme Court permits, and maybe we can pass laws that recognize our human rights, if the Supreme Court’s OK with it.
Senator Susan Collins expressed alarm that Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh might’ve told her a teensy, little fibette when they assured her that they believed Roe v. Wade was “settled law.”
Susan Collins:\u00a0\u201cIf this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office.\u201d— Manu Raju (@Manu Raju) 1651586644
COLLINS: If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office.
Oh no! Did Gorsuch and Kavanaugh mislead Maine’s favorite concern troll? Guess they’ll have to pack up their offices by the end of the week .... or, you know, laugh in her face because they have lifetime appointments. As Lorraine Hansberry wrote in A Raisin in the Sun, “When a cat take off with your money, he don’t leave you no road maps!” But Hansberry was talking about your common, everyday thief working a more respectable con. These robed gangsters happily leave their forwarding address and dare you to come look for them.
Supreme Court justices serve for life, which is inherently anti-democratic. Republican Rick Perry suggested term limits for the Court during his 2012 presidential campaign, but that was before conservatives started running the table with judicial appointments.
In theory, lifetime appointments ensure the Court remains an impartial, independent branch of government, immune from political pressure. However, in theory, I possess the talent of Lin-Manuel Miranda. In reality, the Supreme Court is often blatantly, defiantly political.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “You shoot an arrow into a far-distant future, when you appoint a justice.” Clarence Thomas still haunts the Court when the president who appointed him is long dead. A twice impeached scumbag who lost the popular vote and incited an attack on the US Capitol appointed three of the nine current justices, and that’s apparently fine. His legacy endures, even after the White House was formally fumigated. His awful policies can be rolled back, but who needs to bother passing actual legislation when we’re stuck with Amy Coney Barrett for another 40 years.
You’ll recall how we were told to sit down and shut up about Justice Thomas’s obvious corruption and conflict of interest. Some Democrats demanded Thomas resign or at least recuse himself from cases involving his seditionist spouse, Ginni Thomas. He’s declined, while probably also laughing his ass off. He can do whatever the fuck he wants.
House Democrats could impeach Clarence Thomas tomorrow. All they need a simple majority. While they’re at it, they should impeach Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Barrett for any number of legitimate reasons. However, much like the presidency, impeachment is easy but removal is all but impossible. A two-thirds majority is required and not even the GOP can suppress the vote enough to win 67 Senate seats.
So Supreme Court justices, whom Republicans will soon start nominating before they’re eligible to rent a car, are accountable to no one. Mitch McConnell whined today about the “radical Left” elevating “mob rule” because US citizens are upset that the Court is stripping them of their rights. “Mob rule” is Republican code for “democracy” or “consent of the governed.”
According to a November Quinnipiac poll, 63 percent of Americans agree with the court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, and 69 percent of respondents in a January CNN poll opposed overturning Roe. This is meaningless, because six rightwing justices have the final say. There’s no electoral remedy for a MAGA Supreme Court, and existing solutions are mere Band-Aids. If vacancies occur from the conservative wing, there’s every reason to believe that an even more radicalized GOP Senate will refuse to let a Democratic president fill them.
These numbers also don’t reflect whether overturning Roe would hurt Republican candidates in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, or Georgia. That’s the sort of backlash you’d need to even begin repairing the damage. And Democrats would need to remove their white gloves and rain hell on Republicans, not tweet weak warnings about how history will judge them.
If the majority Republican justices stay the course, this decision will go down as one of the most supremely political acts in Supreme Court history.— Sheldon Whitehouse (@Sheldon Whitehouse) 1651585027
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted today: "If the majority Republican justices stay the course, this decision will go down as one of the most supremely political acts in Supreme Court history.” Oh, no! People might think the Supreme Court’s political. That won’t do.
Let’s all wake up to our current reality: Tyrants don’t fret over “history” because they’re too busy ruling over us today.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."