Odor in the Court

The media is duly abuzz about the Supreme Court hearing arguments for (and agin’) Obamacare, beginning today.  But the coverage is revealing; the case is discussed solely in political terms, blandly acknowledging that the highest court in the land functions not as a neutral arbiter of “Equal Justice Under Law,” but as just another sleazy backroom where political deals are made.   Maybe they need to chisel some new words onto the front of the building. The politicization of the court is so complete that it’s no longer worthy of comment; four Republican-appointed justices are utterly immune to arguments, having made up their minds long ago, yet they sit through them anyway, for appearances, I suppose.

It should be noted that two of those Justices, including Chief Justice Roberts, wouldn’t even be on the court were it not for the original sin of Bush v. Gore, which began the rapid dismantling of the Court’s credibility for partisan ends.  The dissent in that case, as usual, proved correct when it predicted that the real loser was the American people, and the reputation of the Court itself.  Every time Scalia peevishly sneers “get over it” is a telling admission that no one has.   For the right, court appointments are just another weapon in their unending war, and the appointees never shy from a fight, even when their corrupt decisions degrade the institution and not coincidentally, make bad law.

Fortunately, widespread disgust with the Court, especially since Citizens United, seems finally to be coming home to roost; one more highly political 5-4 decision might make the next several more they have planned a bit problematic, as Dahlia Lithwick points out at Slate.  Though one of the best reporters on the subject, she treats the overtly political nature of one side of the Court as a given, rather than the outrage it is.   The point of lifetime appointments was to remove Justices from politics, but for the right it only means you should appoint your flunkies when they’re still young.   All the high minded blather they constantly spout about “original intent” of our sainted Founders studiously ignores their open defiance of their own job descriptions.

In their world, why wouldn’t you go duck hunting with Dick Cheney prior to hearing a case affecting him directly?  Why shouldn’t your wife reap millions of dollars from lobbyists with cases before the Court, and then you simply lie about it for years?  What are we going to do?  Fire them?  So far, the oily Roberts and schlumpy Alito haven’t engaged in such wanton public transgressions, but only because they’re new; the culture of impunity and political skulduggery dressed up in black robes will undoubtedly lead them into similar moral cul-de-sacs in time.

In a way, the judicial philosophies of the wingnut four perfectly mirror those of the party that groomed them, but achieve something even better: finally cutting the rabble out of the loop of governance.  In grim progression, corporations are given more power over the average citizen, which they zealously employ to further disempower them, using every trick in the book from criminalizing dissent to Catch-22 voter ID laws.  Any pushback ultimately finds its way back to, you guessed it, the Court.  Whatever decision the Court hands down in this case won’t be decided on the Commerce Clause or somesuch, it will be decided based on what makes it least likely that Obama will be reelected, yet passes the smell test of a reliably credulous media.

This Court has proven time and again that is not about jurisprudence, it is about advancing an agenda and expanding its majority.  It should no longer be seen in any other light.

6 Comments

  1. avelna says:

    I wonder when ALEC will start writing the decisions for the Supremes in addition to the legislation they already write for the legislators. Never mind, it’s probably already happening.

  2. Teddy says:

    Worst court in my lifetime, and I lived through the Rehnquist years close-up. This corporate fealty is inexcusable. Where are their NASCAR robes so we can tell which players are sponsored by which Koch-friendly enterprises?

    Second-term Obama needs to pack this court to 11 or, better, 13.

  3. daphne says:

    So far, the oily Roberts and schlumpy Alito haven’t engaged in such wanton public transgressions, but give them time; the culture of impunity and political skulduggery dressed up in black robes will undoubtedly lead them into similar moral cul-de-sacs in time.

    it will be decided based on what makes it least likely that Obama will be reelected, yet passes the smell test of a reliably credulous media.

    Pure gold, hag.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Thanks. I actually worked a bit on the second part, but the first was pure typorrhea. Sorry it wasn’t funny; I was pissed off, or more than usually so, anyway.