A Morally Bankrupt Court

Is it possible to be stunned but not surprised?  I was stunned by the recent Supreme Court decision on corporate and union political expenditures, but not surprised.  It was not surprising given the makeup of the majority on the court, but just the same I was stunned at the blatant immorality of it.  
The Supreme Court has not always made good decisions.  During its history it has made abominable decisions that undermined our most treasured constitutional rights.  In time those decisions were corrected, but not before doing their damage.  It’s one reason why overturning 60 year old laws and previous court decisions is not unheard of.  But for the most part the court has overturned old laws and previous decisions in the direction of correcting egregious violations of civil liberties and human rights, and of providing greater protection for those at greatest risk of suffering abuse and injustice.  
Those kinds of decisions have often irked some conservatives who have long railed against “activists judges.”  In truth they love activist judges, just not judges predisposed to protect our civil rights and the most vulnerable among us.  What they have wanted are judges predisposed to protect the interests of large corporations, the wealthy and others wielding power and authority that is held to the exclusion of lesser mortals.  Now they have five of them on the Supreme Court and they love them.  The ruling today that unleashes unlimited corporate and union political spending is morally bankrupt, shameful, reprehensible, and one more attack on the integrity of the political process (which has precious little integrity as it is). 
Oddly enough, many of my conservative friends who are so delighted with the Republican Party as it exists today, and thrilled with the five conservative members of the Supreme Court, are the very ones most likely to be harmed by their policies and actions.  They are retirees, small business owners, farmers and workers in large companies.  They remind me of chickens inviting the coyote to protect them.  With pleasure gleaming in their eyes they look forward to celebrating:
  • Lower taxes on those many times wealthier than they as long as a pittance is dropped in their cups.
  • A health care system ruled by corporate greed and misfeasance so that is has become the world’s most expensive, least efficient and overtly abusive to those in greatest need.
  • Corporate (and union) control over political campaign advertising, and the elections that follow, for candidates bought and paid for who will enact anticompetitive policies benefitting corporations while limiting consumer protections.
  • Erosion of civil liberties in the name of security.
  • Economic policies advertised as conservative but leading to the same old recessions and depressions. 
  • Open season on rapacious use of land and resources.
  • Promises of reduced deficit spending and national debt while implementing policies aggravating both.
It simply boggles my mind.

10 thoughts on “A Morally Bankrupt Court”

  1. Amen! Though, objectively, thorugh most of its history the Surpreme Court has ruled in support of property and the precedents that supported privilege. The power to name nominees to that Court is the most lastingly durable legacy that a president has, and the justices named by a conservative president try to postpone their retirements long enough to wait for another conservative president. (Sometimes the appointments fool the one appointing them, as the Republican governor of California, Earl Warren, really fooled President Eisenhower when he got the whole court to outlaw school segregation!) But recent appointments have been better \”vetted\” (to use that new buzz word) to give Thomas, Alito, and Roberts to the conservative new majority. President Roosevelt had his whole New Deal thrown out by the conservative court he inherited in the 1930s, but he managed to outlive them! The real problem, as you mentioned, is the voters who actually vote against their own best interests, which seems a \”mystery\”. George F. Will, the most witty conservative voice in print media (now that Buckley is dead), equates campaign money with free speech, as this latest court decision does; the most naive reasoning imaginable, like the 1896 decision upholding segregation, \”separate but equal\”! Dr B

  2. Preach it, brother!! I love your phrase, \”stunned, but not surprised\”. I realize that I have that experience fairly frequently in this world that we are living in.

  3. I added a link inside my post, since Allan linked to us both. Since we've already largely both had our say, let me make a personal note. Walla Walla, WA! I'm a graduate of WWC out in your part of the world, though not a member of the sponsoring denomination. Greetings from the opposite corner of the country!

  4. Henry,Glad to know of the local connection. WWC, now WWU, has become a lot more diverse in its student body over the years. Still has a denominational requirement for tenured faculty.Peace,CP

  5. Footnote to my previous comment on this latest Court decision: If you watched President Obama's State of the Union address last night, you noticed that he actually let the Supreme Court justices, sitting right in front of him, know just how he felt about that scandalous decision of theirs! I think that was unprecedented by a sitting president! (I noticed that the justices who had dissented kept strict poker faces instead of grinning!) Dr B

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