From the Left



SCOTUS Is Meant to Be a Court, Not Our Supreme Ruler

Jim Hightower on

What is a SCOTUS? Sounds like a prehistoric critter scuttling along some seabed. But, no, it is the acronym for our Supreme Court of the United States.

SCOTUS is meant to be the impartial arbiter of legal disputes over what our laws mean. Yet, who are these arbiters, how are they elected, why don't we even know their names, and if they go rogue, imposing their personal autocratic beliefs on our nation's democratic ideals ... what then?

Well, structurally, SCOTUS is undemocratic, a relic of monarchial rule. Unlike the 535 members of the legislative branch, who are elected from diverse districts across America, there are only nine supremes, and none of the current bunch have ever faced the people, even in an election for dogcatcher. They are handpicked by political and moneyed elites, and most blatantly lie to win approval for their lifetime appointments. Once enthroned, they have no accountability to us commoners, who are expected to blindly obey their edicts.

Today, out of 330 million Americans, six right-wing SCOTUS members have seized control of the court ... and our government. They claim supremacy over the People, the President and the Congress -- arbitrarily dictating what is "legal" for elected officials and the public to do. Indeed, they are now making up laws on abortion, presidential power, voting rights, environmental protection and much more to suit their personal political and religious biases. Moreover, they operate behind closed doors, with no disclosure of their conflicts of interest.

This is Jim Hightower saying ... Call this what it is: a right-wing extremist power grab. And it is fast supplanting our people's historic democratic progress with a kleptocracy of autocratic, plutocratic, theocratic rule. The only remedy is a head-on people's rebellion to democratize this totally un-American court.


If the six right-wing dogmatists who now literally rule the Supreme Court wonder why 70% of the American people consider them somewhere between politically corrupt and grotesque, they might re-read their Kafkaesque decision last month perverting the meaning of bribery.

Appropriately enough, the case involved garbage trucks. A small-town mayor had funneled a million-dollar contract for new garbage trucks to a local seller, which then made a $13,000 payoff to the mayor. Obvious graft. But no, the six supremes decreed that the payoff was not illegal because it was given to the mayor after the garbage truck contract was issued. Taking money before would be a bribe, they babbled, but money given afterwards is an innocent "gratuity" -- like tipping a waiter for good service.


The court's distortion of kindergarten-level ethics was written by Brett Kavanaugh, infamous for his own frat-boy moral contortions. In his formal opinion, Brett rhetorically asked if such after-the-fact kickbacks should be considered bribes. "The answer," he proclaimed," is no."

Of course, as any reasonable person would tell the black-robed fabricator, the obvious answer is: "Hell yes!"

Kavanaugh even tried to trivialize such official bribery, calling it no more sinister than parents sending a gift basket to thank their child's teacher for a job well done. Hello, Mr. Clueless, this was a $13,000 gift basket! The truck dealer was obviously rewarding the mayor for handing out a million taxpayer dollars to it!

This is Jim Hightower saying ... Of course, these six supremes are not merely defending small potato malfeasance by local officials. They're creating a legalistic loophole for the court's own members to keep taking millions of dollars in "gratuities" from corporate interests seeking judicial favors. It's a case of corrupt judges voting to legalize their corruption.

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