Over half of Americans remain angry over the Supreme Court’s inability to stay neutral politically. As a result, calls for SCOTUS reform, including creating term limits and establishing a formal code of ethics, are abundant.
However, reforming the nation’s highest court is little more than a fantasy. During an interview, Omar Ochoa explained that it would take a Constitutional amendment to end the Justices’ lifetime appointments. The Texas-based lawyer explained that legislating for this Constitutional change is unlikely due to the even split in Congress.
Despite the U.S. Congress’s ability to amend the Constitution, addressing Supreme Court justice behavior and term limits will not happen until the Democratic party reaches a significant majority or a robust third party emerges. Meanwhile, trust that there is hope for change continues to plummet.
U.S. Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley’s January 19, 2023, report is yet another instance of the court’s failure. After more than a year since the supposedly “leaked draft of the opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade,” SCOTUS’s internal investigation failed to identify the culprit. The marshal declared: “It is not possible to determine the identity of any individual” responsible for the leak.
Millions of Americans demand and deserve a better answer than “We don’t know.” The New York Times article indicated those investigated did not include the Supreme Court Justices. Minority House of Representatives Whip Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) tweeted his thoughts on the Supreme Court’s inconclusive and seemingly evasive investigation.
“Given Rev. [Robert] Schenk’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee that it was his understanding Justice Alito leaked the Hobby Lobby outcome in 2014, I’m not clear why it appears the justices themselves were not part of the investigation into the Dobbs leak.”
Supreme Court Political Ascension
The Supreme Court’s politicization was most evident last year when it overturned Roe v Wade nearly 50 years after declaring abortion constitutional. Another controversial problem the court refuses to address is the overwhelming evidence of Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife’s participation in and support of the January 6th insurrection.
But the Supreme Court’s political ascension started decades earlier, reported Sarah Posner for The Nation. “From the presidency of Ronald Regan through that of Donald Trump, Southern Baptist leaders played influential roles in blessing Republican candidacies, vetting Supreme Court justices, and shaping policy.”
Posner explained that the fundamentalist takeover or conservative resurgence of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s “fueled the rise of the modern religious right and its formal marriage to the Republican Party.”
Currently, the religious right is in control of the GOP. As a result, they pour millions into candidates who contend that liberals are the eternal enemies of their Creator. They believe restoring America to its rightful inheritors is their job, and their religious extremes motivate their votes.
President Trump’s additions to the Supreme Court were narrowly approved after abbreviated confirmation hearings — Justices Brett Kavanaugh (50-48) and Amy Coney Barrett (52-48). These justices, like other Republican nominees, fulfill the religious right’s anti-Black, anti-LGBTQ, anti-women, and anti-Democracy agenda.
Hold the Religious Right and SCOTUS Accountable
Southern Baptist layman and Texas state appellate court judge Paul Pressler led the conservative resurgence. His ultimate plan was to reform jurisprudence and the Supreme Court. Pressler’s agenda was the focus of a 2010 press conference. He proclaimed:
“Law is the way we maintain society, and without the Christian concept and without the Christian dedication, there is no way that democratic government is going to operate effectively.”
Unfortunately, Presser’s plan to eliminate so-called weak Christians specifically incites hate-inspired violence like that seen in the January 6th insurrectionist attack at the U.S. Capitol.
As a Christian, this author decries the hate-mongering prevalent among the religious right. Instead, I believe it is vital for a democracy to support its people. Moreover, I contend that a nation is doomed when leaders fail to exhibit God’s love and compassion for humanity.
Thom Hartmann started his story about SCOTUS, declaring: “If you think Republican politicians in Congress are corrupt, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Check out how little it costs to purchase access to a Supreme Court justice!”
According to Hartmann and two New York Times authors, the cost of a face-to-face meeting and dinner with a sitting justice is a donation of $25,000 to the Supreme Court Historical Society, which evolved into a social club. In addition, the Society offers donors the opportunity to interact with justices. Hatmann’s article reveals in depth how these so-called donations work.
Support for a Well-Balanced Democracy
For a well-balanced and effective democracy to work, everyone must be on board. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents must work together to ensure the country that Congress and the Supreme Court will be held accountable.
Complacency will not work. The only way to change the fantasy of Supreme Court reform into reality is to become vocal about the current corruption and vote in every state and federal election. Persistence is the key to creating lasting change: “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
(Originally published on Guardian Liberty Voice)
The Nation: The Southern Baptist Convention’s Deal With the Devil; by Sarah Posner
Reveal News: Christian-right activists inside and outside of government promoted the election fraud lie and claimed God told them to “let the church roar;” by Sarah Posner
The Hartmann Report: Pssst! Wanna Buy a Supreme Court Justice?
The Washington Post: Supreme Court says it can’t determine who leaked draft Dobbs opinion; by Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow
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