Everyone has their daily ritual they have to complete, and for me, that means checking Cracked’s daily articles. Today’s article on how the political machine is rigged brought up some concerns. notably what or who they answer to.
The Supreme Court of The United States is considered the highest power in all the land; every lower court in the country has to answer to at least one higher power, with SCOTUS being the top of this particular pyramid of power. However, the supreme court doesn’t seem to have anyone they have to answer to, not even the president. In theory, this should mean that they have one more safeguard to prevent a corrupt administration from making them a puppet to their policies; in practice, however, we see the same issues we see in any self-regulating organization. The human with the greatest legal mind in the country is still human after all, and humans are so prone to corruption, roughly half of our classic literature deals with this reality (The Tempest, The Ring of Gyges, The Lord of the Rings, and Who mourns for Adonis, to name a few) and yet, we somehow think of our elected officials as being incorruptible.
SCOTUS, and judges in general, are supposed to recuse themselves from any suit that presents a conflict of interest to them for whatever reason. While there are checks and balances abound for lower court judges, it’s essentially up to each justice to decide whether a case provides a conflict of interest, which works about as well as you’d expect. Examples of this self-regulating system failing are: Clarence Thomas presiding over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act while his wife actively campaigns for its repeal, the king of bloated trolls Antonin Scalia going duck hunting with Dick Cheney before presiding over a case involving his energy task force, and just general clownfuckery.
With the possibility of corruption so high, and the instances of such possible corruption coming to light, this brings some troubling issues to light. While everyone has their eye in a microscope trained on the president, and quite a few of us want to view our senators only through a rifle scope, no one really seems to keep an eye on the supreme court these days. As my opener asks, when there’s no higher power to answer to, who watches the watchmen?
Glenn Dewar, The Fat Smug Bastard, has a theory that Supreme Court Justice Roberts will never, in a million years, vote to overturn Roe v Wade. In fact, Glenn is convinced that he was put on the court to make sure it never happens. Looks like we’ll be able to put his theory to the test and soon:
WASHINGTON — A steady stream of abortion cases are heading toward the Supreme Court, making it only a matter of time before the justices are likely to consider a new wave of state restrictions.
Although the justices have refused to consider two major cases from Oklahoma in the past two weeks, more states are seeking the high court’s blessing for restrictions that have been struck down by state and federal appeals courts.
Let’s be honest, the conservative wing of the SCOTUS is so used to reinterpreting a case to reach any conclusion they want, they could take any one of these and simply overturn Roe v Wade. But, according to Glenn, they won’t.
The Republican electoral strategy relies on one thing and one thing only: wedge issues. The establishment doesn’t give a rat’s ass about “protecting the unborn,” they care about enraging religious voters so they’ll vote Republican. Take away the social wedge issues and suddenly people might notice that the GOP’s entire economic plan is designed to crush the middle class and working poor.
This has been true for decades.
Knowing this, Roberts will, according to the FSB, never vote to overturn Roe. Place your bets, people.
Correction: the original article listed Justice Kennedy as the vote to watch. The article has been updated to reflect the target of the FSB’s theory: Justice Roberts
This week’s abbreviated assault on decency finds us highlighting all the ways the GOP is committing electoral suicide in just the last two weeks, marveling at how the Supreme Court voted against Big Pharma’s abuses not once but TWICE in decisions that will have immediate and far reaching benefits for the average Americans and how they might have just voted to make voting more difficult even as it seems to make it easier. Hmmmmm….
As always, spread us around like gossip. Twitter, Reddit, FB and whatever floats your boat.
Podcast: Play in new window
During the run up to the election I posted an article about a picture made by Occupy:
I got a fair amount of push back from liberal third party voters (or, as I like to call them: “idiots”) who insisted I was just fearmongering:
Fear mongering won’t get Obama my vote. I’d still rather throw my vote away to a third party then vote for either of those clowns.
Not enough to redeem Obama in my opinion.
The Facebook comments had a similar bent. Now, let me present THIS picture for your consideration:
Here’s the next step in the GOP’s assault on Democracy. Combined with the insane Republican gerrymandering of these states, what you have is a country potentially ruled by a minority. Even if the overwhelming majority of citizens vote Democratic, a Republican can still win, the hell with the popular vote. You will now be counted as less than a full person while Republican voters will be counted as more.
When this heads to the Supreme Court, and it will, what do you suppose they will say? Remember, this is the 5-4 radical conservative court that decided all on their own that corporations are people and money is free speech. Want to leave it up to them? In a few years, one or two of those conservative justices will retire (or die). My question for those accusing us “Obamabots” of fearmongering: Can you honestly say that President Obama will be putting more far right ideologues on the court? How about a hypothetical President Romney? Would you care to continue betting your future on that or will you finally concede that there is a substantial difference between the two parties and maybe, just maybe, you should get your head out of your ass?
And let me address the childish argument of “I don’t wanna vote for the lesser of two evils!” with an example put forth by Sam Seder: If you are presented with the choice of voting for 5 concentration camps and 10 concentration camps you are morally obligated to choose the “lesser of two evils.” To throw your hands up and say “I prefer pink unicorns” does not absolve you of the responsibility of your vote. By turning your back on reality, you are allowing the greater evil to advance. That is on you no matter how hard you stick your fingers in your ears and scream.
But I thought the Supreme Court was on MY side!
From The Huffington Post:
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is siding with Democrats in refusing to block early voting in the battleground state of Ohio.
The court on Tuesday refused a Republican request to get involved in a dispute over early voting in the state on the three days before Election Day.
The campaign of President Barack Obama and Ohio Democrats sued the state over changes in Ohio law that took away the three days of voting for most people, but made exceptions for military personnel and Ohioans living overseas. Democrats say nearly 100,000 people voted in the three days before the election in 2008.
The Romney campaign and the GOP in general must be screaming bloody murder right now. I guarantee they were assuming that the conservative Roberts court would take the case and rule in favor of
voter suppression “election integrity.”
So look for this going forward: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted will ram through some “emergency measures” that will be blatantly illegal. This close to the election, the idea will not be to keep those measures in place but to muddy the waters enough that a full scale suppression effort can be enacted with legal cover. “We didn’t know that was illegal!” or “We were confused!” will be the excuses given by conservative citizens that just happen to target minority districts and minorities in swing districts.
Romney MUST win Ohio. Without it, he has to take 6 of the remaining 8 swing states, only two (Florida and North Carolina) of which he is leading in. Not exactly an outcome to bet on. This is why so much effort has gone into limiting early voting; it overwhelmingly benefits the Democratic Party. Can’t have that!
As I’ve said, if you live in Ohio (or any other swing state), do not vote and go home, watch for people to attempt to jam up the lines. Take their picture and demand their ID. Let everyone on line know who they are and what they are doing. Don’t say who they are working for (that might be considered electioneering at a polling place, hence, illegal) but make sure everyone knows that they are there to run out the clock. They want to discourage people from voting by making it take too long. They are literally trying to take away your vote.
It cannot be stated often enough: cockroaches scatter in the light. Make sure you expose them for the vermin they are.
First there was Bush v Gore in which the conservative wing of the SCOTUS decided that state’s right don’t mean a thing. The ruling was so bizarre and the logic so tortured that they had to include a caveat that this particular ruling could never ever be used as a precedent for a similar situation.
Then there was Citizens United in which the conservative wing of the SCOTUS took a narrow case and expanded into a loophole so large that corporations can now literally buy elections.
Today, the Arizona “Papers Please” law, SB1070, was narrowly broken apart (as opposed to completely overturned), but the dissenting opinion, written by Scalia, complained that states are sovereign entities and placing the federal over state is bad.
But then that very same Justice overturned a 100 hundred year old Montana law that went directly against . Why? Because state’s rights can’t trump federal law.
Is your neck hurting from all the flip flopping? It should. Later today or this week, those very same Justices will overturn the individual mandate in Obamacare despite previous decades of precedent.
It’s become obvious, then, that the right wing of the Supreme Court has become nothing more than a rubber stamp for conservative policies. The law is a distant second to ideology in which the ends justify the means. For anyone that requires proof that we need a Democrat in the White House to replace these deeply corrupt conservative Justices, this is it.