Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Here Come Da Judge, There Go Da Courts--and any Semblance of Justice

Here Come Da Judge, There Go Da Courts—and any Semblance of Justice

John Jay was the first Chief Justice of this nation’s newly created Supreme Court. That was in the 1780’s. As Chief Justice he made a statement that echo’s what we are faced with today: “the people that own the country ought to rule the country.” That right there, at least from where I sit, is the “battle” we are in right now. That “fight” over who will rule the nation was ramped up in 1886, when a Supreme Court Clerk, John Davis, added a forward to a Supreme Court decision in Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad, which in effect declared the “personhood” of corporations. As the case had nothing to do with corporate personhood but was a taxation issue, Davis waited over a year, until the Justice that wrote the opinion in the case died, before he published the document. It has been a downhill slide ever since. (See: Thom Hartmann’s Unequal Protection)

Bear with me on this trip down memory lane as it is very relevant in terms of what we are faced with today (I’m taking the long way ‘round the barn). Especially in terms of the power grab by the “radical revolutionary movement” that backs and supports Bush, more commonly referred to as the “neo-cons.” I have a lot of other names for that group but will refrain from using them here.

Back to John Davis: He was the number two man at the State Department during the Grant administration, which, up until G.W. Bush was propelled into the White House, was without a doubt the most corrupt administration in the nation’s history. Davis was also the president of a railroad company and at the time it was the railroad companies that essentially “owned” the nation and the government. The graft and corruption was at a level not seen before, or since; at least until now. It is here that you may substitute the name of Dick Cheney for John Davis, and “Halliburton, Bechtel, etc” for railroads, as the similarities are too similar to ignore. Eventually Davis was impeached, then was given a Presidential Pardon” and twenty years later was a Supreme Court clerk.

Keep in mind that the so-called advisors who are the heart of the “Bush inner circle” are duplicitous carbon-copies of John Davis in many ways. The commonality is simply this; they all invoke the name of the American people while what they do is totally about securing, maintaining and increasing their power over the very people whose name they constantly invoke.

It is thru decisions rendered by our federal courts and the judges that sit on them that we, the people of this nation, are protected from the over-reaching of government, abuses of power both public and private (corporate). But, what if those courts which decide what is or is not legal, what is or is not constitutional, what is or is not in the best interest of the people of the nation, what if those very courts are filled with and by individuals whose allegiance is to a deeply held ideological belief system--as are those that BushCo is attempting to stack our courts with?

We in this nation have either forgotten or just flat out have tossed away the “lessons of the past” as this nation right now seems “hell bent for leather” to repeat each and every one of them. Our own history is replete with examples of the disasters that follow an ideologically driven system of federal courts. From John Jay and his ideas about an “ownership” society (sound familiar?), to John Davis, to the federal courts that effectively turned post civil-war reconstruction of the south on its head which left the “evil” southern states to “sink or swim” on their own.

Now, here we are again at the same cross-roads of the past. Only now the stakes are much higher as George W. Bush, those that surround him, and those that put him in the seat of power have raised the “bar” so to speak.

“…let us be clear with the American people what the debate over ideology in judicial nominations is about. It is not about partisan jockeying or trying to make the president look bad. It is about the role of government and whether the past seven decades of bipartisan legal achievements will survive. Right-wing activists believe Supreme Court Justices should admit the “mistakes” of the past 65 years and overturn many historic precedents.” This is what we are faced with today with our federal courts and why it is so extremely important that we oppose this attempted takeover of the courts in the strongest of terms!

We have a White House and congress that want to roll this country backwards to pre-reconstruction days. Every law, government agency, government program that was created in response to the depression of the 1930’s by the Roosevelt administration is now on the chopping block as never before in this countries history. This is the single biggest, most open grab for power entrenchment in this nation’s history; the stakes are higher than they have ever been.

For decade after decade our federal courts have made one decision after another that have placed corporate interests over the people of this nation. Civil rights are being turned upside down (free speech zones and all), environmental laws being overturned one after the other, increased secrecy by those in power, lack of government transparency, and literal criminals now setting U.S. policy (Elliott Abrams for one) and all “legal”-- so sayeth our courts.

If this BushCo take-over of the courts succeeds; if Sen. Bill Frist and his cohort of nut-jobs succeeds with their plans to overturn and re-write the senate rules on “advise and consent” on judicial nominees, we can pretty much kiss the “rule of law” and the constitution good-bye; as they will be forever re-written and changed—and not for the benefit of us, the American people.

The one single thing that secured total and complete power by Hitler and the Nazi’s over Germany and the German people was when they were able to capture the German courts. That one event gave them the air of legitimacy and legality. They then used the ideologically stacked courts to re-write and change the German constitution.
Right now, 7 of 13 federal courts are in the hands of those that would forever redefine this nation. Soon that will increase to 11 of 13 and quite possibly 13 of 13, especially if Bill Frist manages to cram the “nuclear option” down everyone’s throats. If this succeeds there will be nothing to stop those who are attempting to permanently change, redefine and secure, as Tom DeLay put it, “permanent ‘conservative’ republican rule. There is a name for “one party rule”—it’s called despotic tyranny! And we are headed right into its heart ala Bush and Company.

Everyone in the senate needs to hear from us all in demanding an end to this unprecedented power grab—and sooner rather than later. If your senator is on the list below, call, register your demand that they do not support the “nuclear option.” If your senator is not on the list below, call them anyway as they still need to hear from us. Call every day if need be…there is too much at stake…keep in mind that “The greatest Sedition is Silence.”

AK: Sen. Lisa Murkowski
IN: Sen. Richard Lugar
ME:Sen. Susan Collins Sen. Olympia Snowe
NE: Sen. Chuck Hagel
NH: Sen. John Sununu
OH: Sen. Mike DeWine
OR: Sen. Gordon Smith
PA: Sen. Arlen Specter
VA: Sen. John Warner
Calling your Senator's office is easy! The staff member that answers the phone will relay your views to the Senator. When you call, just give your name, and make sure to say you're a constituent. Then, let them know you are calling to urge your Senator to oppose the nuclear option on judges.
Other points you could mention if you like are:
The nuclear option would destroy any hope of bipartisan cooperation in the Senate
The Senate has a responsibility to carefully consider lifetime appointments and should not rubber-stamp confirmations for any White House
Take Action:Click here to take action on this issue. (Earth Justice link)

Permission is granted to repost, republish and distribute this as long as it is linked back to my blog or my name as author is kept in tact.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see your concern over the "fundamentalizing" of the courts, but I figure the situation/jeopardy was sown up when the US "let" judges determine the outcome of the 2000 election. THAT was an absolute "no-no" in this outsider's (Canadian) opinion. No respectable court would have accepted that responsibility. They should have insisted on counting the votes! That was their "job" make sure democratic values were respected.I was sure (at the time) that the American public would never stand for that kind of manipulation, (this was the society/country born of revolution right?)..........I was disappointed however and the Bush cabal got in to make havoc in the world!
I think you have to change the system of selecting judges. They MUST be immune to politics.
In Canada they are seen to be immune............(wether they really are or not is an open question).
I guess "democracies" are only as good as the people who run them, because systems aren't fool proof, (even if your founding fathers did their best).

Wed May 11, 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger doriscolmes said...

Oh, this is so relevant, so powerful -- and content needs to go directly to the committee! If this were possible, perhaps it might head off our complete collapse into totalitarianism. Please, remember, we are the governments we elect. We create reality with what Karl Jung termed "The Collective Unconscious" which means we're all in this together. Good grief, folks, what are we creating now? The monster from the black lagoon ain't got nothin' on what we are placing into action by our INACTION! Do something, say something, be a part of what Jack is advocating. Make that phone call -- make more than one. Contact the media, make a noise before it's too late and you wind up getting arrested if you do....

Wed May 11, 06:53:00 PM  

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