Equal Justice Under Law

Inscribed over the doors of the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC are the words ‘Equal Justice Under Law.’ Unfortunately, those words have never rung true within the United States. They are now hardly even seen as aspirational by several of the justices currently occupying the high court. Consider, for example, the court’s sociopathic notion of corporate personhood.

While certain addled jurists have proclaimed that corporations are persons with rights, such as those of free speech, executives are seldom held accountable for policies, even when it is shown they are the proximate cause for death and destruction. Fatalities from the daily use of opioids as promoted by the owners of Purdue Pharma, or those brought about by executives at Pacific Gas and Electric through their criminal negligence, occur behind the corporate veil and are not of interest to pretenders in law. They might gratify themselves by declaring the non-corporeal entities are guilty of manslaughter, but the actual persons behind the decision making routinely get a pass.

The Supreme Court of the United States has consistently placed the proposition of societal equity on a plane of unreality. Members of the judicial monastery are fully immersed in a fantasyland of their own making. They display none of the intellectual rigor that was touted when they were nominated and, once seated, publish incoherent opinions that clearly advance the corporate sociopathy that secured their nominations, confirmations, and accommodations. They enjoy lifetime tenure and are therefore the primary beneficiaries of the dark money politics they have not only permitted, but intentionally and willfully advanced.

The ideal expressed in the Declaration of Independence, as the ‘consent of the governed,’ has been held in high regard since the Ordinatio was published in the 1290s. And yet, the kind of “informed consent” that would typically be required before having a mole removed, is not considered important by certain misfits occupying positions of honor and trust. Their form-fitting seats notwithstanding, they are the ones that have brought their fitness for high office into question.

They respect precedent when they want to double-down on dumb-assed decisions. And they simply ignore it when they find it inconvenient in light of their political ideology. They sit idly by as unqualified members are seated, after politically corrupted FBI investigations put the vetting process and the reputation of the bureau squarely into the category of hocus-pocus. And then they have the gall to whine about the reputation of the Court. They don’t just have a perception problem. They have an integrity problem that is undeniable.

Justices, masquerading an originalists and textualists, routinely set aside the cardinal precepts of the Constitution as they were so carefully delineated in the Preamble. They support the nefarious schemes of grifty politicians that consistently place donor interests above voter interests. They have gutted the voting rights legislation of the sixties and have enabled media monopolies to the point where a handful of billionaires control the information flow to about three-hundred and thirty-million American citizens. They have, bytheir decisions, converted the whirlpool of information into a malodorous cesspool of disinformation. And, they have no plausible deniability on that.

SCOTUS is keenly aware of just how integrity challenged state legislators have been laying in wait for the court’s ideological balance to shift. They have resisted the kind of change that would provide for randomizing the seating of panels, that hear any given case, so that the will of ideologues would no longer be so predictable. When an unprincipled Senate Majority leader, in collusion with a one term President, can pack wing-nuts into one third of the seats on the high court, claims of judicial impartiality and independence are not credible. And, those making such claims are either intent on deceiving the public, or are themselves delusional.

There is only one way to purge the court of integrity challenged justices. And that is to legislate against the grift and dark money politics that have eclipsed the promise of a great nation. When people who are elected or appointed to high office operate with impunity, in ways that are so far afoul of their constitutional oath that the electorate has lost confidence, no amount of blame-shifting to We the People will restore their reputations. Their posterity will hold them accountable even, if their contemporaries are unwilling, lacking the courage to ask a career ending question.

While SCOTUS justices have enjoyed a safe work environment during the COVID pandemic, the average worker in the United States is subject to the whims of a government that has consistently failed to “provide for the common defense.” The pattern of judicial conduct, as revealed in an array of decisions that demonstrate contempt for any obligation “to promote the general welfare,” while imposing conditions of peonage on average people, is troubling.

If the individuals involved were not held in such high esteem and considered above reproach, such predictable deference to corporate interests would seem very suspicious. Of course the general public is not generally aware that, unlike all other federal judges, the justices of the Supreme Court are not subject to a code of ethical conduct.

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