Thursday, January 22, 2015

Supremely Powerful, Wearing Black Robes

There are nine Supreme Court judges elected by no one, and appointed by a President with the hope that their appointee would match the President’s ideological leanings.

The current justices, bedecked in their black robes, are noted in the next paragraph along with their date of appointment, and the President who may have thought that they were qualified. At times, of course, the President himself may not have been qualified for his position.

Anthony Kennedy (Reagan, Feb.1988) Antonin Scalia (Reagan, Sept. 1988), Clarence Thomas (G.H.W. Bush, Oct. 1991), Ruth Bader Ginsberg (Clinton, Aug. 1993), Stephen Breyer (Clinton, Aug. 1994), John Roberts (G. W. Bush, 2005), Samuel Alito (G.W.Bush, Jan. 2006), Sonia Sotomayor (Obama, Aug. 2009), and Elena Kagan (Obama, Aug. 2010).

While those supreme beings are supposed to leave their prejudices and biases behind when they review a case, you have to wonder if this is so in many decisions.

For example, in April 2010, in a 5-to-4 decision, the Supremes struck down the limit on the total amount of money wealthy donors can contribute to candidates and political committees. A true victory for all Americans named David and Charles Koch, or Sheldon Adelson. It probably shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out which five Republican President’s appointees were the deciding votes.

In June 2013, they effectively struck down the core of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by another 5-to-4 vote, freeing nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval. Can you name the four who opposed this ruling?

However, now in 2015, there was finally a unanimous 9-to--0 vote on an important case that will help determine the fate of our nation.  It will help the populace, or politicians, decide who will run in 2016 and who will win the Presidential election. It will also help to determine a minority’s rights when stopped by Caucasian police officers for littering, and how the average American will be able to get interest rates above 0.85% on their savings, in a promised robust economy.

Oh yes, that 2015 case. The Supreme Court ruled that a Muslim prison inmate in Arkansas could grow a short beard for religious reasons.

Under Those Black Robes
When the nine justices, or at least the five appointed by Republican presidents, sit in a dark room trying to determine if a book or a movie is pornographic or not, have you ever wondered what’s happening while they are wearing black robes?

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