Republicans are wont to complain about “activist’ federal courts when they rule according to the U.S. Constitution or a settled legal precedent, and yet they celebrate every foul ruling their activist justices on the nation’s highest court enact as the law of the land. Regardless of whether the public approves or rails against this court’s corrupt justices, it is high time to rein in these religious fanatics and corporate lackeys to restore some objectivity to the Supreme Court.
Judges, and courts in general, are supposed to be objective in their findings based on the evidence, the Constitution, and settled case law. Judges at all levels are also held to high ethical standards primarily because there are mechanisms in place to regulate them and keep them objective and honest.
However, the nation’s highest court and its justices are not held to any ethical standards because they don’t exist; and they get away with unethical behavior for life. Unfortunately for too many Americans, that lack of any kind of ethical standard as a requirement to serve on the nation’s highest court has produced a corrupt activist Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court needs a major overhaul and it means more than simply adding justices. That overhaul must include getting rid of the lifetime appointment absurdity, increasing the number of justices, and establishing a similar ethics review construct like every other court in the nation. The conservatives on the High Court have demonstrated time and again that they do not adjudicate anything according to the Constitution and more often than not they issue rulings according to their religious beliefs as well as their conservative tendency to demonstrate their fealty to corporate Republicans who placed them on the court.
The recent decision regarding Texas’ ban on abortions after six weeks was a prime example of justices making a decision based on their religious beliefs without hearing any arguments either advocating the hideous law or protesting its implementation. There is absolutely no social good or benefit to the nation to dictate to women when they produce offspring, and indeed, forcing them to do so violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal treatment under the law.
The movement to erase a woman’s right to choose is driven by religion – specifically the Catholic religion. The so-called “pro-life” religious right simply adopted a 1968 Papal encyclical as a conservative cause célèbre to incite the faithful to elect Republicans. That is neither conjecture nor opinion-, it is historical fact.
But that is not the end of the corruption. It is certain that no judge in the nation would publicly solicit a specific case to adjudicate and broadcast the verdict prior to hearing the facts. That judge would be hauled before an ethics committee and summarily removed. Likewise, no judge would privately meet with either plaintiffs or defendants prior to hearing a case before them to be influenced how to judge an upcoming case. That judge would face an ethics panel and likely removal – unless they are conservative Supreme Court justices.
It is not unusual for High Court justices to attend “seminars,” but it is highly unusual that two justices would attend a secretive Koch Industries conservative seminar just prior to hearing the Citizens United case. Few people are ignorant of how Scalia and Thomas voted on that hideous case that promoted the Koch’s right-wing agenda. But that wasn’t the end of Thomas’ corruption.
Thomas was at it again in 2010 when he appeared at a Federalist Society “fundraiser” as a featured speaker with two other High Court justices, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito who were guests of honor. Thomas’ attendance as a featured speaker violated Canon 4C of the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges who are “forbidden from being a speaker, a guest of honor, or featured on the program” of a fundraising event.
Clarence Thomas has recently been asking various anti-women’s choice groups and/or Republican states to bring a case before the Supreme Court to challenge Roe v Wade so “he can overturn it.” And, as a Catholic he also despises women using contraception and has made no secret that his dream is criminalizing “unnatural” birth control according to the above mentioned 1968 Papal encyclical.
In fact, he is joined by self-professed “Handmaid” Amy Coney Barrett in never concealing her anti-women’s choice position because “it is the position of the Catholic Church.” And it is noteworthy that she has made it abundantly clear that every decision in her life is driven by her religious beliefs.
All of these cited instances may not qualify as “corruption” in a legal sense when there is no judicial “code of conduct” that applies to Supreme Court justices to ensure objectivity. However, any judge that broadcasts their predetermined position on a case before them, or calls for some group to bring a case so they can overturn what is considered “precedent” or settled law is corrupt. The current Supreme Court is packed with, not only dyed-in-the-wool religious zealots, but corrupt conservatives who are not the least bit interested in ruling according to the Constitution or the will of the people.
And just a note to all the well-meaning Americans who think standing outside the Supreme Court to protest against corrupt justices who have already ruled on cases prior to hearing any arguments, you are wasting your time. Religious zealots and libertarian friendly justices simply do not care what the majority of Americans want or how damaging their predetermined rulings will be to millions of people. They only care about serving the whims of the rich, groups that detest women, and the Catholic Church. If that were not the case this court would never take up an anti-abortion case; because banning abortion serves no purpose other than controlling women and showing fealty to the Vatican.
America desperately needs legislation bringing some objectivity to the High Court justices who are in plain terms a law unto themselves with accountability to no-one or no part of government. That simply cannot stand in a secular democracy which is why America is lurching towards becoming “Gilead.” And as anyone who has read “The Handmaid’s Tale” or watched the television series of the same name can attest, this secular democracy called America is on the verge of following the lead of the Islamic Republic of Iran or Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.
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