No President Can Save the Supreme Court
Let’s just get this out in the open right now. The Supreme Court of the United States is going to undo good laws, limit the choices of women and the underprivileged, and give unlimited power to all rich plaintiffs for the next thirty years and no president, Democrat, Republican or Green, can fix that.
There, doesn’t that feel better? You just need to take a moment and do the math. There are four young insane regressive justices on that court and Clarence Thomas will undoubtedly be replaced by another young moon bat before the end of Trump’s term. They will outvote the other four no matter which candidate becomes President. Four AOCs added to that court would have no effect on rulings for the next thirty years. So whether Joe Biden or Trump or Bernie Sanders, the next Supreme Court appointments will have no effect whatsoever on the upcoming disastrous judicial decisions.
This Corporate Clown Court cannot be fixed by having all of the Democrats line up and salute the fragrant corpse flower of blue-no-matter-who. The Supreme Court has been fundamentally corrupted by the criminal organization that has infiltrated our government under the guise of a political party. Make no mistake: if Biden wins the election, the Republican organization will decant a young fascist out of the Federalist Society and cement him into Justice Thomas’ seat before the shock-fart dissipates.
The court itself represents an ongoing constitutional crisis, so those who keep pointing at this scandal or that incompetence crying, “This could lead to a constitutional crisis,” can just stop that now. The constitutional crisis is already happening. It’s been happening for twenty years and it frankly dwarfs all other constitutional crises.
The only way to keep this horrible problem from becoming one that can only be resolved through bloody revolution is through an act of Congress. Only Congress (a not-merely-blue but truly progressive Congress) could pass laws that would reconstitute the court in such a way as to keep moneyed interests from corrupting it through pointed undermining of civil laws and procedures.
“But,” my reader may ask, “what if one of the young court contaminants gets cancer and dies?” That is a fair question, but when was the last time that happened? Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had colon cancer, pancreatic cancer and lung cancer and what is left of her is still active on the bench. If medical science could keep her alive this long, you may rest assured that we will be cleaning Brett Kavanaugh’s bloody discharge off of the U.S. Constitution until well into mid-century if we don’t do something radical. We can wish and pray that bad people will die but that isn’t the way that a civilized democracy deals with an error in the system.
The error in this system is that a poor electoral choice allows an unprincipled and conniving winner to corrupt the system incrementally until that malignant organization has unassailable power: the power to twist elections, disseminate seemingly believable lies, undermine the environment and the economy and elevate the powerful to legal lawless status.
The President is the executive officer of our government. Eir job is to see to it that the laws are faithfully executed. This is an important job, but everything the President may do is strongly influenced by the legislature. The legislature may restrict any President’s actions, compel that President to certain actions and censure a President who fails to perform effectively. The Congress may impeach incompetent judges and reconstitute the Supreme Court in a number of ways that are entirely consistent with its Constitutionally-defined authority. Historically, different branches have predominated as regards their import. In times of national crisis (such as a pandemic), the leadership of the Executive Branch may be more important to the nation than specific legislation. In times of conflict between the Executive and the Legislative, the Judicial Branch may resolve such a dispute.
I argue that right now, our Legislative Branch is the only one that can correct our devastating course. The Supreme Court is irredeemable without a major overhaul which is possible only through the Legislative Branch. The Presidency has been given unprecedented war powers by a weak and cowardly Congress and has been allowed to shirk key responsibilities as regards economic and corporate governance. Only a new bold progressive Congress can undo that.
Either the Republican or the Democratic President will require strict and unwaivering oversight by a new Congress. Vote your conscience when it comes to the President; but, vote strategically when it comes to the Congress. Vote for Senators and Representatives that reflect your values. Be active in your primary or caucus and put your energy into forcing the Democrats to accept the progressive option. If your only option is a tepid conservative Democrat, I suggest that you vote reluctantly for that congressperson because a Democrat will at least provide a numeric advantage for the progressives. Fill the new Congress with active leaders willing to reign in the other two branches and restore systemic stability.
To correct this corrupted government, we must begin with Congress. Congress must quickly and explicitly prohibit the practices being applied by the Republican Organization to gerrymander electoral districts, to manipulate private news sources and to repress voting. The Congress must craft laws that facilitate the distribution of confirmed scientific and journalistic information and must provide for active fact-based critique of questionable news sources.
The Constitution gives the Supreme Court power, but not unassailable power. What unusual power the court has is more inferred than conferred. That is why the Congress must begin impeachment proceedings against incompetent federal judges and put the Supreme Court on notice that politically motivated opinions will be recognized as incompetent. They will be declared inapplicable as findings and used as evidence in upcoming impeachment proceedings.
With those changes, the rational voters will once again have enough voice to stop the virus that the Republicans have sewn into the deepest viscera of the body politic. Then the Congress must reclaim their Constitutionally-mandated war powers from the Executive Branch and demand enforcement of existing anti-monopoly laws, breaking up Google, Amazon and Apple and restoring a competitive marketplace of ideas and innovative products.
Now that seems like a lot of work; but bear in mind, they will be correcting over twenty years of incompetent predecessors. In Colorado, my home state, I am contributing to Andrew Romanoff’s campaign. Romanoff in the U.S. Senate will advocate for universal health care, competent judges , and strong unions. He is a recurring sweat-soaked nightmare for the established leaders of the national Democratic Party; that’s why the official party is pushing John Hickenlooper (known as Frackenlooper here due to his unwaivering support of the fossil fuel industry). My spouse and I are receiving multiple push polls wherein the Democratic establishment is trying to persuade voters that Hickenlooper has already won his primary and will be the Democratic candidate against Cory Gardner. Clearly, the Democratic Party will not be your ally in this endeavor.
Congress is the key. Neither the Republican nor the Democratic candidate for President will play a role in correcting the ongoing problem. One has been muddled and incompetent all of his life and the other is just becoming comfortable with the onset of dementia. Either may be dangerous. Neither will seek corrections to a system from which they have both profited. No one can predict which will be worse.
To actually change the way the nation runs, both politically and economically, we must focus on the legislature. The first article powers of the legislature allow it to prohibit bad behaviors and establish norms. While the Supreme Court has declared itself a vestigial legislative branch, the Congress can redefine that claim and control that ambition. While the President has consistently shirked responsibilities for decades, the Congress can require performance. Do not be distracted by the Presidential race. Focus on your Senators and Representative. A blue Congress is far more likely to be effective than a doddering blue President.
Julian S. Taylor is the author of Famine in the Bullpen the new book about bringing innovation back to software engineering.
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