Restoring Legitimacy – The United States Supreme Court

On December the 1st in 2021, during oral arguments about a Mississippi abortion case, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor addressed the court’s politically motivated willingness to abandon precedent and thereby sully the rule of law. She posed a question: “Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the constitution and its reading are just political acts?” On September the 9th in 2022, Chief Justice John Roberts said: “Simply because people disagree with opinions, is not a basis for questioning the legitimacy of the court”

To many observers, the most prominent feature of today’s High Court is the ability to dumb-down the cardinal precepts of the Constitution while using high sounding words. Like the lackadaisical employee trying to look busy, Justices search far and wide, for obscure legal opinions, while ignoring the cardinal precepts articulated so beautifully in the words advanced by the Founders of one American nation. The Declaration of Independence included the statement Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. While questioning the legitimacy of public perception, Roberts is just one of several Justices that like to masquerade as originalists and textualists. They dishonor themselves repeatedly as they steadily undermine and corrode the democracy underpinnings of our constitutional republic.

The prevailing public perception is informed, in part by sophistries rooted in delusional notions of infallibility historically held by popes and kings. Absolute judicial immunity has been upheld for even the most injudicious of judicial acts. When individual members gain lifetime tenure on the Supreme Court, through an array of deceptive practices that are undergirded by the dark money nominations, confirmations, and accommodations the Court has condoned, how can it ever avoid the perception that the so-called independent judiciary is just one more product of political process?

Although the democracy covenant is real, the authenticity of each democracy and the fidelity of any representative republic is always in question. In the United States, malign actors have excised the Constitution’s Preamble while also excavating under it. They have advanced a dis-integrating agenda while maintaining that the Preamble was never intended to be an integral part of the Constitution and was, therefore, to have no operating effect. Instead they have enabled racially motivated gerrymandering, the purging of voter rolls without documentary evidence of death or relocation, and prevaricating politicians actively deceiving the electorate. Any effort to perfect the union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, must take a back seat to their sociopathic notions of corporate personhood.

The corporate veil insures that the judiciary’s slogan “equal justice under law” is placed squarely on a plane of unreality. While people associating for a common purpose and acting corporately embody the most authentic and basic definition of a corporation, courts throughout the land have effectively shielded those executives and officers who have used legal fictions as a vehicle for criminal activity. The person behind the wheel of a motor vehicle plowing through a crowd of people would be held legally accountable for their actions. Not so for an executive using the corporate vehicle to promote opiate addiction, causing forest fires, engaging in theft through price gouging, and actively distorting the public discourse. The corporate elite are reliably protected by the fully graspable wing-nuts they have installed on the Court. Judges are turning tricks for a corporatocracy composed largely of foreign potentates actively engaged in the kind of political bribery the Justices themselves have enabled. As long they personally benefit from Dark money, the problem will not go away. 

The Supreme Court of the United States is responsible for the wholesale conversion of what Marshall McLuhan once described as a whirlpool of information into a cesspool of disinformation. For this, the Court has no plausible deniability. Attacks on the informed consent of the governed are obvious to anyone capable of pattern recognition. The inheritors, skimmers, and hoarders of wealth, together with their featherbedded executives, have bludgeoned the public’s collective intellect thanks to SCOTUS decisions in Buckley versus Valeo in 1976, First National Bank of Boston versus Bellotti in 1978, and Citizens United versus Federal Election Commission in 2010. The Court’s incoherent opinion with respect to broadcast station ownership in the Prometheus case also masked a clear attack on viewpoint diversity. And, a series of rambling net-neutrality decisions allowed anti-democracy communications companies to avoid the obligations of common carriers while retaining unfettered access to public utility rights-of-way.

If the federal Judiciary is really interested in restoring its legitimacy, it will do so through demonstrating a new respect for the consent of the governed. It will do so through adherence to the Declaration and the whole of the nation’s value proposition. It will stop using the shadow docket. And, it will include in every opinion, a clear explanation of how each of its decisions serves the interests of We the People as they are so clearly stated in the Preamble to the United States Constitution.

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