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A Constitutional Crisis

Each week, LA Progressive’s editors pick what they regard as a particularly insightful comment from one of our readers, both to draw attention to one particular reader’s thoughts and to encourage more readers to weigh in with their opinions. This week’s pithy "Feedback Friday" response comes from regular LA Progressive author Tom Hall, who commented on the article by John Peeler, ""A Constitutional Crisis?"

It is important to look at and understand the motivations of Supreme Court ‘justices.’ They are people, with complex lives, and families to look after, just like the rest of us.

Samuel Alito, during his confirmation hearings, confirmed that he is a science-denying racist, willing to vote against other important factors, including reality, if he gets to vote for mistreatment of black people.

John Roberts, also a racist, but less strident than Alito, has agreed with rulings that black people do not have the right to vote, or to be protected from voter suppression and gerrymandering.

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Not one of the current Republican ‘justices’ has any concern for the appearance of “independence.” Each of them is a long-term party hack.

And ‘justices’ have financial concerns. They are paid by taxpayers less than any corporate lawyer (except, perhaps, a first year associate) although their pay comes with extravagant benefits. But their main income comes from corporations, in the form of speaking fees and luxurious travel and housing at luxury resorts for “conferences.” AND their adult children are all guaranteed lucrative jobs in any corporate position they choose. So they have real financial incentives to respond to the blandishments of a president offering appointment as a quid pro quo.

NOT ONE of the current REPUBLICAN ‘justices’ has any concern for the appearance of “independence.” Each of them is a long-term party hack. Remember that George W. Bush came into office aching for the opportunity to avenge his father’s humiliation by Sadaam Hussein. Then notice that recent court appointee Neil Gorsuch has spent years hating the U.S. government because the House of Representatives voted (with REPUBLICANS in support) to hold his mother in contempt of congress (the first cabinet officer so cited). His mother set the example for cabinet level corruption that is now the norm in the Donald’s administration.

As a schoolboy, Gorsuch founded the “Fascism Forever” club, and a right wing newsletter in college. He believes in royalty, not democracy, and does not support judicial independence from the “king” or “savior” or czar. So embarrassment from obeisance to King Donald is not an issue for him.

Then consider William Barr, a long time REPUBLICAN PARTY political hack and hatchet man, but one with a reputation for basic commitment to at least rightwing legal principles. Now he has completely abandoned any pretense of respect for law and tradition, all in exchange for Donald’s promise of a supreme court nomination.

Barr is willing to throw away personal honor and professional reputation in exchange for the promise of a supreme court seat, if one comes available. Such is the draw, and the potential financial benefit of such an appointment.

Counting on the current REPUBLICAN PARTY majority on the supreme court for anything respectable is very likely to be the kind of fools’ hope that characterizes so much of Democratic ‘thinking.’