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Contemplating the Supremes

Tom Degan: It's time we have a serious discussion regarding the ramifications of a Republican victory in 2012 - and what it would mean for the future of this Republic if even one more right wing extremist is appointed to sit on that court.

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." --Louis Brandeis

clarence thomas

Justice Brandeis was a pretty astute guy from everything I've been able to discern. He understood - in a way that five present-day members of the Supreme Court do not - the dangers connected with the concentration wealth. The Democrats have been falling over each other in recent weeks, desperate to come up with reasons why the American people should send President Obama back to the White house next year. Incredibly, they have ignored the most blatantly obvious one. It's time we have a serious discussion regarding the ramifications of a Republican victory in 2012 - and what it would mean for the future of this Republic if even one more right wing extremist is appointed to sit on that court.

First things first: The Roberts Court sucks. I'm not giving away any state secrets by saying this. Corporations are people? Money is free speech? This is the worst collection of guys on that bench (I exclude the women for obvious reasons) since the bunch that gave up Plessy vs. Ferguson - or even the Dred Scott decision of 1856. And I tell you this with no small amount of embarrassment. Incredibly, the Chief Justice who wrote that despicable ruling, Roger Brooke Taney, is an ancestor of mine. I'll be honest with you, this is not a fact we do much bragging about within my family. What an jerk!

There are four whores for the plutocracy who now reside on the Supreme Court (all appointees of either Reagan or the two Bushes). You know who I'm talking about - John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Uncle Thomas. Then there is the "swing vote", Anthony Kennedy, who far too often sides with the extremists on the far right. Some of them, like uber-brute Scalia, are not unknown for their political activism. William O. Douglas was a Roosevelt appointee and the most liberal justice in the history of that court. He served as a judge from 1939 to 1975. After reading in the papers about the latest progressive crusade, he would wistfully tell his clerks, "Oh, if I could only get involved with this one." But he knew that to do so - while it may not have been illegal - it would have been most decidedly unethical.

In his lifetime Judge Douglas was also viewed as the most controversial Supreme Court justice in history. There was even an attempt made to impeach him that was led by then Congressman Gerald R. Ford. Say what you wand about the guy, he had class.

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And then there is the justice who is in a class by himself: Uncle Thomas. My knowledge of the history of the Supreme Court is not quite as detailed as I would like it to be (I'm working on that). But from what I do know, Clarence Thomas is the most overtly corrupt member of that body in its two hundred-plus-year history. He has been caught red-handed receiving certain "gifts" from certain billionaires seeking influence. I imagine influencing Clarence Thomas is not that difficult a thing to do. In addition to that, he has so many close ties with with conservative groups and causes that it is difficult to catalog them all.

His wife Ginny makes her living and her name as an advocate for a group called "Liberty Central". Her half-witted hubby can always be counted on to vote on cases - no matter how insignificant - in a matter that appeases the Mrs. In an article from almost a year ago that appeared on the Huffington Post, Jacob Heilbrunn perceptively wrote:

"For the other members of the Court, however, it must be painful to watch the shenanigans of his wife, who is either witless or gratuitously nasty, or, more likely, both, tarnish the institution, which is already becoming dangerously politicized by its right-wing members, who appear to shrink at nothing when it comes to engaging in judicial activism, as long as it fits their own political predilections."

If I were a Democrat in Congress, I'd be working overtime to get the wheels in motion that would lead to impeachment proceedings bought against Clarence Thomas. He's not only an embarrassment to the judicial branch of our government, he's as contemptible as a person who does not molest small children in his spare time can be. There is a link at the bottom of this piece that details my feelings about Uncle Thomas.

If the next president is a Republican and is able to make one or (God forbid) more appointments to that court, it will ultimately lead to the end of democracy in America. Does that sound a tad paranoid on my part? Maybe it is. Let's all vote Republican next year and see what happens.

Tom Degan
The Rant