History to Impeach Roberts

In the greatest judicial scandal since an earlier Supreme Court treated blacks as the property of whites, the current Supreme Court treats democracy as the property of those with the money to buy it.

Democrats, liberals and populists should promote a constitutional amendment to reverse Supreme Court decisions, propose statewide ballot initiatives to take back America from special interests, and make corruption in Washington a defining issue to mobilize the Democratic base, rally political independents and transform the 2014 and 2016 elections.

Five conservative Republican men serving on the Supreme Court, led by a chief justice who has violated 200 years of judicial precedent, despite pledging under oath during his confirmation hearings to respect judicial precedent, are waging a legal war of mass destruction against core principles of American democracy established by our Founding Fathers.

These five conservative Republican justices — two of whom have had ethically troubling relationships with interested conservative Republican groups that benefitted mightily from decisions rendered with their votes — have corrupted our democracy in ways that would outrage the founders, who united to condemn the evils of self-interested factions whose greed Chief Justice John Roberts embraces.

In the Potemkin justice of the Roberts court, the right to vote is under attack, while the power to buy elections is sanctified by law. Corporations are called people under a faux doctrine of free speech, while women are denied standing to combat discrimination.

The separation of powers enshrined by the founders is being eviscerated by five unelected and life-tenured Republican conservative justices who routinely usurp the prerogatives of the president and Congress. Through repeated party-line votes in political decisions, they seek to radically rewrite the rules that regulate elections, to the advantage of the parties and interests they favor.

Roberts, in an abuse of discretion that would make Vladimir Putin proud, with contempt for judicial balance and fair play, has packed the surveillance court designed to safeguard our liberty with judges appointed by Republican presidents. Here a secret court hears secret evidence, in secret cases, before rendering secret decisions, after only one side presents evidence.

The corrupted state of our democracy was brilliantly described by Edward Luce in a must-read column in the Financial Times titled “America’s democracy is fit for the 1%.”

The inevitable result of the court empowering the 1 percent to spend unlimited money to buy elections, undermining the right of the 99 percent to vote, legally disenfranchising women from seeking equal pay and absurdly designating corporations as people is to guarantee disparities of income and justice that generate historic ill will against Washington.

Surveys of polling from Gallup and Real Clear Politics show hostility toward Congress rising to 80 percent of voters. Large majorities condemn the Citizens United decision by the court.

Roberts will someday be impeached by the high court of history and future Supreme Court majorities.

Roberts and his four conservative Republican brethren will ultimately be impeached by historians who will condemn, and future courts that will reverse, politically illegitimate and constitutionally deformed rulings that would turn America into a constitutional oligarchy.

No court should rule that America can be purchased as property by those with the money to buy it, as black slaves were once purchased by white masters, with judicial sanction from an earlier Supreme Court that was ultimately discredited and condemned.

Brent-Budowsky-175The founders never intended the democracy of our entire nation to be held hostage by five men who are contemptuous of legal precedent, separation of powers, the cardinal value of one person, one vote, and the timeless truth that all men and women are created equal.

In a nation where a majority of citizens oppose these anti-democratic rulings of the Roberts court, and view Washington as a corrupted house of ill repute, if Democrats take this case to the country in 2014 and 2016, they will win.

Brent Budowsky
The Hill

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Comments

  1. geot1 says

    When every gun nut is a member of a well regulated militia, maybe corporations and autonomous robots should have the right to openly “speak” in the electoral process. Wasn’t it the conservative line that the Constitution should be interpreted in terms of its “original intent”?

  2. JoeWeinstein says

    This Supreme Court has made some really bad decisions. Last summer’s decisions correctly struck down the federal ‘Defense of Marriage’ Act but did so in a way which continued to allow individual states to trample on a basic civil right of every adult human being: the right to designate and have legal recognition for his or her own consensual choice of closest kin. By needlessly tolerating such violation the Court turned back toward its infamous and horrid 1857 Dred Scott decision, which affirmed the ability of states to allow slavery.

    But, contrary to Budowsky here and to a lot of ill-considered ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ argument, the Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions are NOT among the bad decisions. In futherance both of free speech and of free trade (and free activity in general), we have no laws against most transactions. In particular we have no laws against behavior wherein, cumulatively, transaction by transaction, you spend – or even conspicuously waste – whatever amount you can muster in order to advertise or advocate one or another product or course of action.

    Why then should government be given the power to forbid or limit a transaction under the pretext that the thus-advertised product or advocated action may be a vote for or against a public-office candidate or public-policy option?

    The issue is NOT ‘buying democracy’. For one thing, elections – massive popularity contests – are a hallmark not of genuine democracy but of Roman-republic-style populist-veneer oligarchy, where elections are popularity-contest circuses but actual public decisions are reserved for two or four years at a time to the same small oligarchy of elected or appointed officials. Elections do not equate to real ‘democracy’, of the genuine Athenian variety: where the bulk of important public decisions are made by many deliberative teams of ordinary citizens rather than by an oligarchy of a few officials.

    But even the notion that campaign spending ‘buys elections’ is errant. That notion presumes that a typical potential voter is inherently ready to be – and unable to resist being – bought; that he is – and should be deemed and treated as and protected as – helpless, ignorant, and entitled to remain in a state of ignorance, and to bear no responsibility for spending even a few minutes to educate himself on the issues and candidates, or to critically examine rather than swallow whatever messages are fed him by whatever advertisements come his way.

    Here in Long Beach, CA, this past Tuesday April 8 we have just held a nominating primary for most city offices, including mayor. For mayor, in my opinion by far the worst two (of the five obviously leading) candidates were the ones who got the most votes – and so will face one another in two months in a runof. These two were also the two biggest spenders – who moreover raised the bulk of their campaign funds from big interests outside of town. They spent these funds on conspicuous-waste streams of repetitive slick mailers whose messages mainly were of two extreme kinds: falsehoods and quarter-truths on the one hand, and vapid see-no-evil cheerleading on the other.
    So I do sympathize a tad with those who complain that these two candidates ‘bought’ the election.

    HOWEVER, the turnout in this ‘bought’ election was all of 15%.

    In other words, 85% of the voters figured it didn’t matter even a few minutes of their time – to them and their vision of how the city should be governed – which candidates won the various offices.

    So the election was not really ‘bought’ by the winners. It was ‘bought’ mainly by voters deciding – as under our elections system they have every right to do – that they had insufficient cause to vote at all.

    It is voters – not big spenders or the Supreme Court – who are to be held responsible for deciding whether their vote is to rubberstamp the messages from whoever has bombarded them with the most advertising.

    So long as we have elections and voting (which I do NOT advocate: instead I favor the above-noted genuine democracy), there may be calls for curbs on campaign spending, in order to maybe help protect happily ignorant and uncritical advertisement-vulnerable voters from their own irresponsibility. Would it not make sense instead to focus more directly on promoting voters’ critical and responsible behavior?

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