Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Supreme Court is so corrupt that even Linda Greenhouse has to say it

Posted by Charles II on November 14, 2014

Thanks to Jonathan Tasini for highlighting a Linda Greenhouse Op-Ed that says, in black and white in the New York Times, that the Supreme Court is doing politics by taking up a challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

Nearly a week has gone by since the Supreme Court’s unexpected decision to enlist in the latest effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act, and the shock remains unabated. “This is Bush v. Gore all over again,” one friend said as we struggled to absorb the news last Friday afternoon. “No,” I replied. “It’s worse.”

There was [in the ACA case, unlike Bush v. Gore] no urgency. There was no crisis of governance, not even a potential one.

the case the court agreed to decide, King v. Burwell, doesn’t fit the normal criterion for Supreme Court review.

So no, this isn’t Bush v. Gore. This is a naked power grab by conservative justices who two years ago just missed killing the Affordable Care Act in its cradle, before it fully took effect.

Professor [John] Yoo, formerly of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and now at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote that the new case gave the chief justice “the chance to atone for his error in upholding Obamacare” and that “it will be the mission of his chief justiceship to repair the damage.”

In decades of court-watching, I have struggled — sometimes it has seemed against all odds — to maintain the belief that the Supreme Court really is a court and not just a collection of politicians in robes. This past week, I’ve found myself struggling against the impulse to say two words: I surrender.

Why should any citizen respect the decisions of the courts when they are just political organs, cranking out pre-determined decisions to oppress the poor and the sick in favor of the rich and powerful? Without the courts being perceived as just, what nation can stand?


7 Responses to “Supreme Court is so corrupt that even Linda Greenhouse has to say it”

  1. I think the nation can stand, it’s democracy that’s in the shitter.

    • Charles II said

      How many tyrannies stand for very long, Mark?

      Whites can still vote, so it’s possible to pretend we have some control. But for many African Americans, it long ago ceased to even resemble democracy. Can one imagine how the vote would have gone if the six million people disenfranchised for felony convictions–disproprortionately African American– were free to vote? Others disenfranchised through Voter ID laws?

      And there are many other people who are effectively disenfranchised because they work two or three jobs or because they don’t have access to free media. There’s no question in my mind that the South would be radically to the left if they simply had the access to media that I have.

      The reason that tyrannies fall is not just that they create discontent and leave it simmering away. It’s that they can only survive through disinformation and suppression of truth. Inevitably, the decision-makers get caught up in their own disinformation and undercut the very source of power that keeps them in control. For example, outsourcing American jobs created an enormous pool of talent in other nations, both blue collar and technical. At this point, those nations are starting to challenge American economic supremacy. Many Americans have ceased believing that education is a path to prosperity. We are in a decline that may be very hard to reverse.

      The warning signs have been there for a long time. But right-wing ideology can’t tolerate even science. (Not so different from what happened in Europe during WW II, where so many brilliant people fled to the US and the UK) Thew ould-be tyrants destroying the foundations of American power without even recognizing it.

      • I believe that so long as gun toting whites remain privileged, there will be little chance of our oligarchy being overthrown. Rome wasn’t a democracy, it stood for centuries. Democracy as we have idealized it is historically rare. The erosion of democracy to market forces that we are living through is reminiscent of Marx who got the factors right, but failed to anticipate how post-industrial capitalism would weaken workers.

        If we haven’t revolted yet, we won’t. Fast food workers with spatulas can’t do much against militarized police with microwave weapons, water cannons and tanks.

        We treat veterans of foreign wars like crap, yet they do not take up arms.

        We feed the poor garbage but it’s food, so they don’t revolt (and pack on the weight with each passing carb-laden year).

        Opportunity is being redefined on Craigslist as sucker bait.

        Hard work is despised as jobs are stripped of their incentives and those who work harder create conditions in which fewer workers do more, burning out — but that’s OK because they’re easily replaced.

        Work for most is now a literal grind, leaving no energy for revolt.

        No work for the many is also a grind that wears you down.

        There’s no resistance left in us. Things will just get worse until the neoliberals institute minor reforms that stave off the inevitable collapse and then we’ll have economic stasis that leaves us complacent in our gadget-ridden poverty.

        We won’t have revolution, just a country so broken it can’t be governed and an economy so predatory it cannot be regulated.

      • Charles II said

        Mark says, “just a country so broken it can’t be governed and an economy so predatory it cannot be regulated.”

        And that’s the recipe for collapse.

        The Roman empire lasted because it didn’t face any serious challenges, until it faced overwhelming challenges. But global warming will arrive a lot faster than the Huns.

  2. It’s a good time to be old. The Boomers, my generation, have failed on almost every conceivable level because once the Greatest Generation is gone, we’ll have their houses and portfolios and everyone else can just go bootstrap themselves.

    Our economy is an extended metaphor for vampirism: the old prey on the young, the wealthy steal from the poor, and the powerful beat up the weak.

    • Charles II said

      Now there’s some holiday cheer.

      The boomers were the ones who brought civil rights to pass, temporarily stopped American militarism, removed a criminal president, got the Clean Air/Clean Water Acts passed, started the fight for gay rights and second wave women’s rights, and eventually elected Bill Clinton. Yes, they did screw up in in the 1980s. But after years and years of fighting for the right thing, it was inevitable that people were going to take a break.

      And the Greatest Generation is all but gone. These were people born in 1927 or before (to be 18 by the end of World War II). That makes their very youngest members 87. It’s really the McCarthy generation, the lost generation that came of age before 1960 (hence were born before 1942) which did nothing in the face of great wrongs. These are the voters that formed the Republican base in the last election.

      Boomers get a bad rap

      • Boomers get a bad rap, but then you look at Wall Street and check out which generation those hedge fund billionaires are from.

        My take on the Boomers has always been that post-’60s, way too many of us cashed in by jumping into the financial sector where we gamed everything. Hard work was made irrelevant as we prized obsessive-compulsive rigging of the markets as the ultimate in being smart. Smart people are killing us.

        Sorry, just can’t get over this election and how people have given up. There’s no fight left in the left, just stunned acquiesence.

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