We Need More “Judicial Bullying” for the Supreme Cult

Many of our horrible, conservative Supreme Court Justices have been complaining about “Judicial Bullying.” Samuel Alito certainly didn’t like it when his Godawful decision to reverse Roe (and the ridiculous “legal precedents” he cited to justify it) was revealed to the public before it was “time.” Likewise, Brett Kavanaugh sure didn’t seem to enjoy being protested at a steakhouse recently, and seemed to imply there was something about Supreme Court justices that should make them special from the same protests politicians regularly encounter. And Clarence Thomas literally said the protests over the Roe-reversal amounted to “Judicial Bullying,” rather than, you know, someone’s constitutionally protected right to protest.

I don’t really consider any of that “judicial bullying” (although it is indicative of how hateful conservatives react when the people they bully finally fight back, usually screeching “they’re bullying me!” at the top of their lungs). But even if it was? I’d say it’s about time…

For more than a half century, the court has been under rightwing control (quite literally since the early days of the Nixon administration). Now, America is not quite 250 years old, meaning that more than 20% of its entire duration under a consecutive Republican court is a dammmmmn long time.

This century, we have sat through some of the worst, most nakedly partisan Supreme Court decisions of all time, such as the Florida 2000 decision that took the jaw-droppingly awful, unprecedented step of stopping a legitimate Presidential recount OR the Citizens United decision that essentially said the super wealthy have a right to exert maximum influence under our politics (which was the exact opposite conclusion of a near-century of decisions that argued the opposite). Overturning “Roe vs. Wade” is only the latest in a truly TERRIBLE period for the highest court in the world’s leading democracy.

Because the SCOTUS is so dominated by obscurantist Catholic weirdos completely cut off from the way most people live, they actually aren’t doing their jobs very well (and haven’t for some time). Worse, they seem completely unconcerned with the way most people live and/or anything other than their own primordial feelings. After all, the “Supreme Court” is not some otherworldly entity that is beyond reproach like the actual Catholic Church. It is a breathing, living, malleable, changeable institution made up of a comically-small number of people and what they think more than what the actual law is. [A strict reading of prior law would uphold “Roe,” deny “Citizens,” and wouldn’t have prevented Gore’s Florida 2000 recount.] Samuel Alito has said his desire to overturn “Roe” is because of a decreased supply of American children to adopt, which doesn’t even begin to be a legal argument.

For too many years, the SCOTUS has been absurdly partisan and borderline illegitimate. And this is before Kennedy was replaced with Kavanaugh, and Ginsberg was replaced with Handmaid’s Tale, which shifted a court that’s been conservative for 50+ years into one that’s even more rightwing.

And Judge Thomas specifically actually should’ve been removed from the court before he was even allowed to overturn “Roe.” The fact that he’s even able to rule on this case means justice was not done because he hasn’t been forced off the court.

Sidenote: And when I said “comically small,” keep in mind that France, Germany, Brazil, the Philippines, India, Australia, England, Mexico, and just about every other major democracy on the planet has more judges on their high court—thus making the individual whims of any one justice less powerful. Canada is the only other country with only 9 judges, but they have 1/10th America’s population and mandatory judge retirement at 75.

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