The Supreme Court is a monarchy. There really are no rules its members have to adhere to. Simply claiming they’re judging impartially (cross their hearts and hope to die) will suffice. If they judge with a bias that may be as bright as day to a SCOTUS observer, it’s still hard to prove on a Senate floor where the only remedy exists.
Only one has ever been impeached but the Senate chose not to convict him. That was a mere 218 years ago. SCOTUS is the law and it’s above the law. It’s not an institution that fits democracy as well as it could.
This is about more than the narrow minded coddled Justice Alito. This is about every Chief Justice ever. CJ Roberts is as complicit as all the others. So nothing will change from the current state of a broken court. The leaker can’t be convicted of anything since no law was broken. All the handwringing and teeth gnashing is political performance art.
Longtime SCOTUS analyst Dahlia Lithwick lays out the non-case perfectly.
”As the court’s investigation progresses, consider that there is nothing to stop the Supreme Court from setting up its own internal, independent watchdog right now. Or from asking Congress for funds to create a judicial inspector general. The court’s current 190-member police force specializes in screening visitors and overseeing protests; its officers are very competent and adept at those tasks but woefully unprepared for any meaningful investigation into their own colleagues. Curley, the marshal, has no background in the kind of massive investigation that the chief justice demands. And since it appears the leaker violated no law, neither the Justice Department nor the FBI has any clear reason to jump in.
Good faith efforts to understand the court’s unique position in the constitutional structure and need for independence, such as the months-long commission on Supreme Court reform, came up with dozens of suggestions about fixes the court could institute tomorrow, from meaningful disclosure requirements to binding ethics obligations. Those straightforward recommendations— not around court packing or term limits or jurisdiction-stripping, but the hardening of norms that apply to other public officials—are then characterized as vicious attacks on the independence of the judicial branch by some of the very same conservatives screaming today about prosecuting the leaker to the fullest extent of the criminal law.
Guess what? The leak came from inside the house. You wouldn’t need to howl and scream about lifetime imprisonment for the leaker if the court had rules and protocols and procedures and oversight and all the enforcement mechanisms to which every other government official is subject. It’s beyond ironic that Republican senators screaming that someone must pay for the leak are the very same people who insist that nobody dares police the court except the court.
In his draft opinion Alito is very clear that in his view, “we cannot allow our decisions to be affected by any extraneous influences such as concern about the public’s reaction to our work.” Ironically, no justice is more easily angered when the public comments on or critiques the work of the court. The public reaction this week isn’t just shock at the court’s work product overruling Roe. It’s that a court entrusted with protecting fundamental liberties operates under a set of non-rules that are vaporous at best and easily exploited at worst. The truth is that the court, as it has been doing for quite some time now, served to undermine itself.”
Based on the available evidence - which is none - suspicion reigns. I speculate that Ginni Thomas is the culprit. She and her husband have a well-established record of violating the norms of things like recusal and the orderly process of the transfer of power after presidential elections. And if my suspicion is correct, I fully expect Chief Justice Roberts to punish her with a day at the spa, which also will fix nothing.
Meanwhile, due to the ongoing war, I’m looking for legal help to draft a formal request to be sent to the UN. They simply must do more to establish humanitarian corridors so refugees can escape to safety in places where human rights and human compassion reigns.
It’s my understanding that there’s 26 states where abortion will become legal after the June SCOTUS ruling, so we have to give them safe passage to the other 24 where women will have equal rights.
And it’s well past time, as I’ve barked about for years, that the Democratic Party launches a new effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. It’s more than obvious that conservatives are opposed to equal rights for women so it’s essential that they go on record all over again, jumping through rhetorical hoops to pretend otherwise.
Roe v Wade has the support of about 60% of the country still and another ERA fight should easily push that support back up above 75%.
It won’t take much more than that to get the GOP to miscarry itself. With its ardent support of the greatest effort to steal a presidential election since 2000, its embrace of the racist thug money launderer who supports the former head of the KGB now guilty of war crimes against civilians, and its court packing efforts designed to hide the funders of our federal elections (our oligarchy) and put women back in their bound-and-gagged place, that’s all it’ll take for the GOP to take the final step into oblivion where they rightly belong.
PASS THE ERA!
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Since the GOP has already packed the court with right-wing extremists, it behooves Democrats to add four more justices and institute some kind of term limits. Roosevelt tried it, and faced opposition from his own party for it, sho it was never enacted, but given that the current composition of the Court plans, among other things, to dismantle all of the New Deal programs that weren't originally considered unconstitutional, it seems like a good idea to revisit those ideas. Of course, the only way for it to happen soon enough for it to prevent the catastrophe that is now taking shape is for Dems to pick up at least 2 and possibly 3 Senate seats in November, which the punditry tells us ain't gonna happen.