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writing for godot

The Treason of the U.S. Supreme Court

Written by Robert L Vogel   
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 10:39
Don't ever claim that Republican Supreme Court judges are not activists. Selecting Bush President resulted in two wars at a cost estimated at $4 trillion accompanied by tax breaks for the wealthiest, a full-scale assault on civil liberties, an invasive, ineffective 'homeland security' bureaucracy, criminal acts including torture, rendition, warrentless wiretapping, secret government, and an agenda that will make us a fascist, militarized empire. In selecting Bush, the Court assured the wreck of our republic. His legacy lives on in the Supreme Court.

The Court has sided with corporate interests consistently for a long time: In its 'wisdom', It decided that corporations are people, some with religious beliefs, whose only motive is profit, and that money is speech. The Citizens United and McKutcheon rulings will complete our transition to an oligarchy. Elections clearly are for sale now.

A corporate person, motivated only by profit, is a sociopath. He doesn't care if the planet is destroyed by his pollution. He has no loyalty to community. He is no patriot for he has no binds of citizenship and will move to the lowest wage, least regulated country, avoid all taxes by keeping profits offshore, and will buy as many politicians as necessary to mold policy in his favor. Corporations have set us on a (geologically) fast path to destruction. Maybe that's why the police are being militarized.

Republicans allowed lobbyists to draft legislation for monopoly industries and they created ALEC. This policy has led to massive redistribution of income, restructuring of the economy, corrupt politics, extreme income inequality, and an economy that is unfair, unjust. unstable, and unsustainable. Corporations are prospering.

Federal Judge Richard George Kopf wrote:

"In the Hobby Lobby cases, five male Justices of the Supreme Court, who are all members of the Catholic faith and who each were appointed by a President who hailed from the Republican party, decided that a huge corporation, with thousands of employees and gargantuan revenues, was a “person” entitled to assert a religious objection to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate because that corporation was “closely held” by family members. To the average person, the result looks stupid and smells worse. To most people, the decision looks stupid ’cause corporations are not persons, all the legal mumbo jumbo notwithstanding. The decision looks misogynist because the majority were all men. It looks partisan because all were appointed by a Republican. The decision looks religiously motivated because each member of the majority belongs to the Catholic church, and that religious organization is opposed to contraception. While “looks” don’t matter to the logic of the law (and I am not saying the Justices are actually motivated by such things), all of us know from experience that appearances matter to the public’s acceptance of the law."

A National Journal article last week about the Religious Right quoted far-right activist Richard Land about the Right’s aggressive decades-long effort to change the makeup of the federal judiciary. “Alito and Roberts are the gifts that keep on giving, and we would have gotten neither one of those without our involvement,” Land said, predicting that Roe v. Wade will soon be “thrown onto the ash heap of history.”

In its 2012-2013 term The Court ruled against journalists and other civil liberties advocates who tried to oppose surveillance. The all-Republican majority ruled that the plaintiffs have no right to litigate because they could not prove that the secret techniques harmed them. Thus they destroyed Americans privacy rights. Universal surveillance will make Orwell's vision look tame.

We have the world's largest military policing the empire, the largest prison population, rotting infrastructure, the worst income disparity, financially devastating education, weak social programs, and universal surveillance. All of the economic gains for the last three decades have gone to the very top.

The Court has committed a treasonous crime in its complicity in taking the US government from the people and giving it to corporations. A country run by corporations is, by definition, fascist. Glenn Greenwald in his book, With Liberty and Justice for Some, points out that the law no longer applies for the elite, but is harsh for everyone else.

we should:

* Pass legislation that the Supreme Court must adhere to the same ethical standards as the lower Courts.
* Amend the Constitution to overturn Citizens United.
* Increase the number of judges on the Supreme Court because the Court is divided in such a way that a single individual can make many of the decisions. More judges on the Court, as most other countries have, would make for better decisions. FDR attempted this, and he should have succeeded.
* Nullify the Court's right of review. James McGregor Burns wrote: "John Marshall was wrong: it is emphatically the province and duty of the American people, not of the nine justices of the United States Supreme Court, to say what the Constitution is. A national reappraisal of the all-powerful court chosen by judicial roulette is crucial if American democracy is to meet the rising challenges of the twenty-first century." (From the last page of Burns' Packing the Court.) your social media marketing partner


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-1 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2014-07-23 22:49
Much nonsense. Much emotion.

No sound premise.

No understanding of pertinent constitutional provisions, pertinent sub-constitutio nal law, or pertinent history.

Lack of knowledge of the cases relevant to your article's subject.

You misuse, risibly, the term "treason." See 18 U.S. Code § 2381 — the federal statute that determines what constitutes treason (and that sets punishment for treasonous acts). You can find 18 U.S. Code § 2381 at

All the Justices deserve stern censure. I contemn all of them — except Sotomayor, whose only (apparent) fault is her emotional, not rational/legall y-supportable, advocacy of the discriminatory form of affirmative action. But the Justices deserve rational, knowledgeable, logical, well-premised, well-constructe d criticism.

Alas, too many readers will feel moved by your assertions & their poorly cast theme. I suggest you consider rescinding your article.
+3 # PCPrincess 2014-07-29 10:37
Granted, one would benefit from an understanding of how courts rule from the lowest courts up to the Supreme Court and how case law is interpreted and of course, as you mention, history of interpretations , etc. However, the author does make a point of quoting another who made a point of the fact that "appearances matter, in the public's acceptance of the law". Maybe, if something is so inherently ridiculous on its face, notwithstanding precedent, it should be discussed, even by those without judicial education or history. I fall in with those who believe that censure would be a waste of time. The corruption in the three branches of government goes far and beyond what normal 'routine' reprimands would indicate. I also agree with the author that we are not only on the tipping point of losing our democracy, but that we have gone over the edge. Due to our lack of basic rights and freedoms and due to the lack of even the smallest semblance of honesty in government or our court systems, save but a few, nothing short of emergency actions can fix this problem.
0 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2014-07-29 16:51
The judiciary's biases, evils, or duty-derelictio ns do not justify blather like the article "The Treason of the U.S. Supreme Court." The article renders additional false premise of the establishment's dismissing rational legitimate complaint, which Mr. Vogel's text dis-serves.

True: The government is big business controlled by big business. But the government & big-business are impregnably redoubtable. Merely can we beg wee concessions, rendered to pacify us.

Jefferson said The People bear a right of waging armed revolution when government fails to serve The People. But now Jefferson's perspective invites ridicule. The People could not battle the U.S. military or the cruel psychopathy of our "Leaders."

Except Washington, Madison, John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Jimmy Carter, all our Presidents have been arch criminals. Our political party system precludes revolution of reason & non-violence. The Democrat & Republican Parties are essentially the same — their disagreements scripts of comic operas.

In my youth, I "marched on Washington," saved many from being drafted into the Vietnam War, fought hard legal fights for liberty & justice. Just 7 years ago, I tried to help The People get Cheney impeached. See

Now, 73 & finally grown up, I'll feel blessed if my final years pass without government trespass. See also
-1 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2014-07-30 13:13
Mr. Vogel does not only mis-use, risibly, the term treason & fail to reference any act that could constitute violation of 18 U.S. Code § 2381 — the federal statute that determines what constitutes treason. Mr. Vogel mis-states risibly the holdings of Supreme Court cases he derides.

The Court did NOT hold (in Citizens United) that money is speech. It recognized that when one contributes to a political cause or campaign, one makes a statement of political interest & that such statements bear protection of the 1st amendment's freedom of speech provision.

The Court did NOT hold (in the Hobby Lobby case) that for-profit corporations enjoy freedom of religion. It held that a closely-held corporation's religious OWNERS (human beings) have freedom of religion that can free them from having to provide employees contraceptives- covering health insurance.

The Court has NOT taken "the US government from the people and given it to corporations." It has held that corporations bear certain narrow freedoms or rights in particular kinds of cases.

In recent times, the "conservative" Justices have rendered just one decision that might support their impeachment: The installation of George W. Bush. But even THAT decision was NOT TREASONOUS.

"Court-packing" is idiotic.

Corporate "personhood" does not, itself, do harm. RE: political contributions, see
+1 # Vardoz 2014-07-24 17:17
I agree with the lawless and egregous acts by urt but Obama wont even support reinstating our right to.due process and wants track the very destructive TPP. Even senior.senafor Leahy of VT did not vote to restore our right to due process. So even.the houses especially the GOP have backed Supreme Courts support of.corporate rule over the interests of the majority. to.make.any changes?

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