The U.S. Supreme Court in name only


The current U.S. Supreme Court is a partisan political operation which relentlessly advances the goals of the Republican Party to suppress minority votes and boost the biggest corporations’ financial interests over ordinary citizens of our multi-cultural democracy.

This needs to be said plainly over and over again: We cannot trust the Supreme Court to be an impartial referee in our nation’s disputes.

Three of our current Supreme Court justices — all Republicans — worked on the most successful voter suppression effort in American history. John Roberts — our chief justice — Amy Coney Barrett, and Brett Kavanaugh were all attorneys for George W. Bush’s legal team that stopped the recount in Florida in 2000 when just 537 votes separated Bush from Gore’s totals.

The effect of their efforts was that the Supreme Court — in a 5-4 decision — told Florida to shut down its recount, giving its Electoral votes to Bush and awarding him a victory in the Electoral College that year. Al Gore had beaten Bush in the popular vote by more than 400,000.

Think about that for a minute. Let that sink in. We have three justices who are, in effect, partisan political hacks sitting on the nation’s highest court, making decisions of the highest import in how government regulates our lives.

So perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the court, once again, eviscerated the Voting Rights Act in a late June decision, which helped protect minorities’ right to vote. It’s still gut-wrenching to see the justices plunge their knives in the fragile heart of our democracy.

The Republican court, in another 5-4 decision, voted to destroy another section of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. They voted to allow very wealthy anonymous donors and corporations to spend gazillions of dollars to influence elections in 2010 in the Citizens United case.

Clarence Thomas, who has sat on the court since 1991 despite credible allegations of sexual harassment of a female colleague — and his own record of mediocre legal accomplishment — is married to a woman who works tirelessly on conservative Republican causes. In 2019, she started a political action committee to “protect” President Trump.

On her Facebook page, she celebrated the Jan. 6 protest at the Capitol to overturn the election of Joe Biden — an act of violent treason against the government — before she found out the rioters had turned violent.

She posted, “Love MAGA people!” and “God bless each of you standing up and praying.”

She has helped spread lies the Democrats stole the 2018 midterm elections, and claimed the Parkland students — who survived a massacre at their school in 2018 which killed 17 people — were “dangerous to the survival of our nation” because of their gun control advocacy.

She also claimed the Democrats control the media, corporations and Hollywood — a sustained burst of paranoid thinking suitable to fascists. Also, she has said that Black Lives Matter protesters are radical extremists who hate America.

I would like to know what Clarence Thomas talks about with his wife when they come home from work. Justice Thomas supposedly works for the American people as a whole, not a single party.

Yet his wife spends her days working to advance extreme Republican positions, fighting against protection from gun violence, as well as against reproductive choice and LGBTQ rights, among other conservative issues.

The justice’s wife once stated, “We all have guns and concealed carry to handle what’s coming.” So apparently she’s preparing for an apocalyptic shooting war between conservatives and progressives.

This woman is married to an associate justice of the Supreme Court. This represents a conflict of interest as big as the United States itself.

Justice Samuel Alito — nominated for the court by George W. Bush — argued in the Citizens United case that corporations should have the same free speech rights as individuals and the media. And, in Alito’s rendering, money is speech.

This is a ridiculous argument. The more money you have, the more speech you get. Exxon Mobil has a bullhorn the size of Texas.

Alito also has argued that COVID-19 restrictions limited individual liberty, and taken swipes at gay marriage and contraception.

Finally, another popular vote loser — Donald Trump — was able to appoint three conservative justices to the court in four years, with the considerable aid of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell prevented Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee to the court in 2016, from ever reaching the Senate floor. We got Neil Gorsuch instead, who’s not exactly a moderate.

Then, McConnell got Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to the court one week before our last presidential election.

McConnell’s blatant and cynical manipulation of the system confirms the partisan nature of the court today.

American taxpayers pay the justice’s salaries, health insurance and pensions. We’re paying these so-called unbiased umpires to, in effect, destroy the vision of the Pledge of Allegiance’s phrase, “liberty and justice for all.”

The Republican justices dress up their attacks on our democracy with all sorts of legal mumbo jumbo that most people don’t understand. The end result is the same. We’re looking down the barrel of a rigged Supreme Court that I, as an ordinary citizen, do not trust to help the nation survive and thrive.

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Michael Gold,