Whatever Became of Your Oath?

The United States Constitution provides that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint…judges of the Supreme Court….” After Senate confirmation, the President signs a commission appointing the nominee, who then must take two oaths before executing the duties of the office. These oaths the Constitutional Oath and the Judicial Oath.

When on September the 10th in 2022, Chief Justice John Roberts admitted he doesn’t “understand the connection between opinions that people disagree with and the legitimacy of the Court,” he displayed or feigned a clear lack of situational awareness that is, in itself, problematic.

It certainly was not lost on the public how one presidential candidate could lose the popular vote in 2016 by 2.9 million votes and then, as President go on to pack the Supreme Court with three agenda-driven justices. And while the electorate is resigned to the fact we must, for the time being, live with an Electoral College scheme that might have made sense in the days of the Pony Express, we also understand how the corrupted nomination and confirmation process was foisted upon us by means of dark moneyed Senatorial, Judicial, and Media sophistries.

Dark money politics is not only owned by the Court that condoned it, some SCOTUS Justices are also among its greatest beneficiaries. Even so, the most concerning aspects of what has been exposed, as unjust enrichment, is the way certain members of the Court seem to be delivering victories for their benefactors. In the absence of even the usual revisionist historical analogues, it is now the bump-stock and gun manufacturers that are receiving a tremendous amount of return on investment.

Just how much blood money is required to convert a sitting SCOTUS justice into an enabler of murder and mayhem has recently become less of a mystery. And, the jury in the Court of Public Opinion is still out. As Chief Justice Roberts shrinks away from so many of his responsibilities, while he shirked his duty to preside over a president’s second impeachment trial that was more about disqualification from holding future office than it was about the removal question that had been rendered moot. As Roberts failed in his responsibility, to create meaningful judicial ethics reform, it is no wonder he has difficulty grappling with questions about his Court’s legitimacy.

If such cowardly avoidance was confined to the office of Chief Justice, it would certainly be bad enough. But the Judicial Conference of the United States is the national policymaking body for the federal courts. It too has been lackadaisical with respect to the pressing need for meaningful reform.

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