AuthorHightower, Jim
PositionVOX POPULIST - John Roberts of the Supreme Court

Today's six-member ultra-conservative supermajority on the U.S. Supreme Court has surrendered all claims to being an impartial moral force for blind justice. Instead, the Republican Party's small network of corporate and rightwing operatives has painstakingly fabricated and weaponized the court as its own political oligarchy. In only a couple of decades, these anti-democracy zealots, backed by a few billionaires, have incrementally begun imposing on the United States an extremist political agenda that they could not win through the ballot box.

Their eureka moment--the startling development that opened the eyes of moneyed elites and ideologues to the raw power they could grab by politicizing the judiciary--was the Supreme Court's Bush v. Gore ruling, widely perceived as illegitimate among liberals and progressives. In December 2000, the five-person Republican majority abruptly crashed Florida's presidential vote recount, storming over both democracy and judicial propriety to install George W. Bush in the White House. Appalled, dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens mocked the five, pointing out that while their trumped-up ruling didn't really establish whether Bush or Gore won, it did make the loser "pellucidly clear." It was, he explained, "the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law."

One of those who helped run the courts blatant political power play over the Florida vote was an obscure corporate lawyer who had long been an aggressive, behind-the-scenes Republican pushing to restrict voting by people of color, the poor, and other Democratic constituencies: John Roberts. Shortly thereafter--surprise!--Bush elevated Roberts to a top federal judgeship, and, just two years later, moved him on up to the United States' ultimate judicial power spot: Chief Justice of the Supremes.

From this lofty roost, Roberts has since orchestrated an expansive political docket for the court, hand-picking cases created and advanced by far-right interests. He has also manipulated precedents and procedures to produce convoluted decisions that impose plutocratic, autocratic, and theocratic domination over the American people's democratic rights and aspirations.

To date, Roberts has cobbled together slim Republican majorities to hand down more than eighty blatantly partisan rulings, fabricating law that "We the People" have never voted for and the majority of us don't support.

It's bizarre to have the Supreme Court, the least...

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