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The (Hollowed) Halls of SCOTUS

New Page -- 15 November 2010

Update -- 20 July 2011 (scroll down to end of essay)

In the legal tradition of "guilt by association", this page is linked to The (9) Supremes... albeit in this case, two members of the original criminal conspiracy to defraud the American people and put a usurper on the (presidential) throne have been replaced by two new Associate Justices... the latter whom may nevertheless still be considered to be among the usual suspects.

A related essay on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) -- entitled The (9) Supremes and written some ten years ago -- was "inspired" in part by the irrational and wholly political nature of the High Court’s ruling in late 2000, when the five Republican devotees of the Court ruled in accordance with their party allegiance and allowed the Republican Party’s nominee, George W. Bush, to become President of the United States (POTUS).

ASIDE... fascinating, but only marginally related to vested reality.

It should be noted that the Supreme Court Of The United States is sometimes informally referred to as the High Court or by the acronym, SCOTUS. Similarly, POTUS, a term popularized in part by The West Wing television series, refers to the President Of The United States. (And we assume that the Judge Advocate General of the United States would be known as JAGOTUS... and the Surgeon General... well, you get the idea.

Now... while both SCOTUS and POTUS are clearly acronyms, it's nevertheless worth the time to consider how these all-caps words might possibly take on a life of their own... as in having their very own etymology. One might thereby find a symbolism that somehow enlarges upon the term... not to mention the office.

For example, when one consults the Online Etymology Dictionary for “Potus”, the seeker is rewarded with the word's relation to:

"potion
“c.1300, from O.Fr. pocion (12c.), from L. potionem (nom. potio) "potion, a drinking," from potus "drunken," irregular pp. of potare "to drink," from PIE base *po-/*pi- "drink" (cf. Skt. pati "drinks;" Gk. pinein "to drink," poton "that which one drinks," potos "drinking bout;" O.C.S. piti "to drink," pivo "beverage").” [emphasis added]

It must be pointed out that “drunken” in the above usage is not necessarily anything more than simply having drunk... even if another definition might imply inebriated. Of course, when it comes to the ex-POTUS, President Bush (aka Shrub), there does appear to be a curious application.

But things may be far more curious than George ever imagined -- actually George Bush was never known as Curious George. Things may even, perhaps, be far more applicable, as in the etymology of “Scotus.” In this case, the Online Etymology Dictionary provides under the heading of "scotus":

"dunce
"dullard," 1570s, from earlier Duns disciple "follower of John Duns Scotus" (c.1265-1308), Scottish scholar of philosophy and theology supposed to have been born at Duns in Berwickshire. By 16c., humanist reaction against medieval theology singled him [them] out as the type of the hairsplitting scholastic. It became a general term of reproach applied to more conservative philosophical opponents by 1520s, later extended to any dull-witted student.” [emphasis added]

The obvious inclusion of certain Justices of SCOTUS in this derivation of their very own venue, should be obvious... even to them. And I don't even have to make this stuff up!

I just love words and their meanings.

End of ASIDE... but wasn't it worth it? Really!

Okay, back to the more serious aspect of this essay... assuming of course that it might, perhaps, be far better to laugh at the whole miserable affair.

As was pointed out, roughly ten years ago (following yet another national election melee), the idiocy of the alleged logic used by the Supreme Court decision in appointing George Bush as POTUS was reflected in part by the fact that had the Supreme Court taken the legally obvious position and ruled that Florida’s election set-up was wholly inequitable (unequal protection under the law) -- then the electoral votes of Florida would have had to have been considered as invalid and therefore neither party would have received enough electoral votes to win the election. In that case, the Republican controlled House of Representatives (at the time) would have promptly elected George Bush as the President... despite any dissenting popular vote, sense of justice... but at least in accordance with the U. S. Constitution. The Congressional action would still have been unabashedly political (as was the Supreme Court's decision), but at least it would have been constitutionally legal... something the average citizen might have expected from the High Court.

(Or perhaps the whole problem stemmed from the Court, at the time, simply being High on... whatever.)

Of course... and here’s the rub on the Republican’s derriere... it would have been the Democratic Party's control of the Senate that would have selected the Vice President... and clearly, that would not have been Dick Cheney. Equally obvious is the fact that such a mixed ticket at the top of government would have been enormously more entertaining to watch... and as a notable fringe benefit, would have kept Dick Cheney out of government... which in turn would have been of enormous benefit to the Republic... not to mention any of those poor friends of his that he might have shot while hunting in his traditional drunken state. Sigh.

Okay... now, it must be admitted that such politically inspired nonsense on the part of SCOTUS could be viewed as simply an honest disagreement (however slight) on what one thinks is best for the United States. In other words, just because a court ruling somehow conflicts with one’s strongly held beliefs in what is best for the good old USA... this does not necessarily imply that the ruling is ipso facto evil or fundamentally wrong. When one considers, for example, Al Gore’s sudden conversion to Global Warmingism (by someone who, incidentally, had done absolutely nothing about the warming trend while serving as Vice President)... or John Kerry’s blatant betrayal of his constituents in rushing to concede to his fraternity brother, George, in 2004... one could also easily make a reasonable (sounding) argument that the Supreme Court’s decision was not... wholly... evil... just evil enough, perhaps, to make everyone slightly sick.

In the intervening years since 2000, there have been many decisions by the Supreme Court -- most of which were 5-4, and along strict party lines -- that served as a basis for updating The (9) Supremes web page and pointing out, over and over again, just how ludicrous the US Supreme Court has become... or sad to say... continues to be. Some of these court rulings did result in updates, but the reality is that there were far too many to react to them all. Sort of overkill... in every possible meaning of the word.

And yet... such counter arguments may still be only a difference of opinion. While one can make arguments that what is being done in such rulings is detrimental to the United States of America and its citizens... things have not risen to the point where there is clear evidence of... well... let’s say... treason on the part of a majority of the Justices of the Court of Final Appeal. We have not reached the point where things are so blatantly in violation of the Constitution of the United States and the oaths taken by the justices of the Supreme Court to uphold and defend the Constitution... that we would be able to depart from the it's-only-a-difference-of-opinion venue of legal jurisprudence.

That is... until a ruling in 2010 changed it all.

Again, it was a blatant political act on the part of the 5-4 majority of the Justices. Only in this case, the rulings by the five member Republican majority had, in this case, turned to what one must by any rational determination of the word, consider to be treason.

On the one hand, the ruling allowed the Republicans an enormous advantage in political elections by virtue of granting them access to unlimited (and secret) sources of campaign funds. There can be no doubt that SCOTUS' five man (sans female) ruling was done purely in order to give their fellow Republicans an advantage in elections. And while it sounds like the 'same old, same old' in terms of politically chicanery, this one was different.

In point of fact, the five members of the Supremes had committed sometime that had all the attributes of treason... while the minority four could only write extensive dissenting opinions.

The case that was so detrimental to any vague idea of democracy in the United States (now the former) Republic was the “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205” ruling.

According to the New York Times: “Overruling two important precedents about the First Amendment rights of corporations, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.” Not just political spending on issues, but on individual and fully paid for candidates.

Of course, the New York Times would phrase it that way... theirs is a liberal newspaper. Meanwhile the jubilant Republicans, basking in the glow of their stacking of the Supreme Court with its Neanderthal five member majority, were now be in the position of unlimited spending in the 2010 mid-term elections. Their backers (aka political hackers) would herald it as a momentous reaffirmation of free speech. (Of course, their backers, such as FOX news, had never been particularly enamored about free speech by just anyone... certainly not anyone other than themselves.)

Backing up The New York Times was the now-retired Methuselah of the Court.

“Joined by the other three members of the court’s liberal wing, Justice Stevens said the majority had committed a grave error in treating corporate speech the same as that of human beings.”

Justice Stevens is also a liberal... i.e., someone who uses logic and reason to formulate their views.

But then again... obviously... corporations are not human beings and cannot speak, much less claim the right of free speech. Human members of a corporation (if one actually believes that many CEOs are actually human), those alleged members of the human race can in fact speak freely... that's okay. But not at the expense of the other members of the corporation (i.e., where even the smallest shareholder has a right to claim foul at such corporate expenses for purposes at odds with the shareholder's own political views).

One thing that was immediately evident at the time of SCOTUS' decision was that the ruling allowed corporations and groups to spend without limits in election campaigns. This was bad enough... and again, to be fair... but still just a matter of political/legalistic opinion.

What was not so straight forward was the fact that such unlimited spending could be done via the non-profit route... as in the case of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce going Republican in a massive, fanatical way.

Furthermore, and far more importantly, this unlimited spending could be done without ever divulging the sources (reputable and otherwise) of this flood of money. Accordingly, the fundamental investigative truth of "follow the money" was now being circumvented... much to the detriment of everyone. In point of fact:

There can be no freedom of speech, when any human being claiming such freedom of speech, can choose not to divulge their identity. With all freedom of speech comes the inalienable responsibility of free speech, of standing up for one’s speech... something a corporation cannot do, and of which anonymous sources are, by definition, incapable.

This aspect of Freedom of Speech... the absolute necessity of an associated Responsibility of Free Speech... really cannot be over-emphasized... which is why this paragraph is in colorful cayenne, bold and italic styles, and indented. (But not caps... that would be shouting.)

Also in the New York Times article linked above were the comments:

“Eight of the justices did agree that Congress can require corporations to disclose their spending and to run disclaimers with their advertisements, at least in the absence of proof of threats or reprisals. “Disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way,” Justice Kennedy wrote. Justice Clarence Thomas dissented on this point.”

[Thereby once again, Thomas proved that intelligence was not a prerequisite for his being a Supreme Court Justice... sort of an equal opportunity employer, one without any form of bias based upon ability or intelligence.]

“‘The difference between selling a vote and selling access is a matter of degree, not kind,’ Justice Stevens wrote. ‘And selling access is not qualitatively different from giving special preference to those who spent money on one’s behalf.’” [emphasis added]

It is this giving access... not to mention, selling a vote... that becomes the real Achilles Heal in the Five Supremes Majority trashing of the US Constitution. It is also the link whereby these same five members have initiated the process of giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

The real horror of this 5-member Scotus ruling was that it opened the door for foreign governments and enemies of the US to funnel massive amounts of money into the American electoral system, and in the process purchase the loyalties of elected officials. Of course, the receipt of campaign funds from foreign sources is illegal, but without the anonymity claimed by the such fund raisers, the Supreme Court’s ruling prevents anyone from ever knowing if the law is being routinely broken.

For example:

“The liberal Center for American Progress suggested last week that the [United States Chamber of] Commerce had diverted funds from affiliates in 108 countries to help bankroll its campaign funding, which would be illegal.” [1]

But of course, the SCOTUS ruling prevents any law enforcement agency (even if it's so inclined to investigate) from being able to determine if the USCofC is breaking the law or not.

An equivalent act would be allowing banks to choose not to provide any records of the bank's depositor’s money, and thereby allow the banks to steal wholesale. This is, admittedly, not terribly different from the recent activities of the banksters... but at least, in the more open situation, the depositors know when they’ve been robbed and by whom. They may have limited recourse... such as recognizing that trusting known thieves with one’s money can be rectified in part by not trusting them again... but at least that's something. There is, of course, always the traditional remedy: “Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me.”

But still.. doesn't the charge of Treason sound just a bit much here? I mean this is the Supreme Court we’re talking about... the last and fundamental bastion of legal jurisprudence in the United States of America... if not a beacon of legal processes for the rest of the world. Can a majority of such an august body (as opposed to a December body) really be charged with treason?

Well, maybe not “charged” as such. But accused, certainly. It's called Free Speech, which is now being threatened with some serious laryngitis, with its human powers now being transferred to, by definition, non-human corporations, groups, enemies foreign and domestic, as well as FOX news.

And of course following such accusations, perhaps even impeached.

But before we leap into this particular fray, it might be worth noting the definition of treason, i.e.:

Treason. A breach of allegiance to one’s government, usually committed through levying war against such government or by giving aid or comfort to the enemy. The offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance; or of betraying the state into the hands of a foreign power. Treason consists of two elements: adherence to the enemy and rendering him aid and comfort. See 18 U.S.C.A. S 2381. A person can be convicted of treason only on the testimony of two witnesses, or confession in open court. Art. III. Sec. 3, US Constitution.” [2] [emphasis added]

And, for completeness:

Adhering. Joining, leagued with, cleaving to; as, ‘adhering to the enemies of the United States.’ ‘Adhering’ consists in giving to the United States the loyalty due from a citizen. Any intentional act furthering hostile designs of enemies of the United States, or an act which intentionally strengthens or tends to strengthen enemies of the United States, or which weakens or tends to weaken power of the United States to resist and attack such enemies, constitutes ‘adhering’ to such enemies.”

Now... if someone -- posing as a friend but in reality a foreign spy -- was told how they could sneak into the White House and kill the President... would that constitute treason? Of course! Or better yet, if a patriot was told how to sneak into the chambers of the US Supreme Court and kill a couple of justices... would that be treason? Technically, yes. Killing is not really allowed under any circumstances... unless of course, someone in authority declares war (civil, holy, and/or otherwise), declares any and everyone else a ‘terrorist’, declares martial law (along with the anarchy associated thereby), and/or declares by Executive Order the suspension of civil rights (and indirectly the civil right of continuing to breathe). In fact, the latter could just about suspend any rights.

One problem, of course, is who would preside over the Impeachment...? Which Judge?

Retired Justice, John Paul Stevens comes to mind... but then he might have to recuse himself by virtue of the fact of his having been involved in the Citizens United debacle in the first place -- and of course, in the process of have written a 90 page dissent. I.e., his established views are already a matter of record, and he has already accused the 5-man majority of a serious error. Besides, he's a liberal... and every conservative knows that liberals can never, under any circumstances, whatsoever, be trusted... any more than any conservative can ever, under any circumstances... well... you get the idea.

Accordingly, one might be left with whatever authority derives from precedence. In 1804, for example, Justice Samuel Chase was impeached and tried by the Senate, with Vice President Aaron Burr presiding.

Ah... the Vice President resides in the impeachment trial of SCOTUS members. Cool.

By the way, removal from office, after impeachment -- the later the equivalent of an indictment -- would require a two-thirds majority of the Senate. In the case of Justice Chase, he was acquitted, and then returned to his duties on the court.

But even then, something of a precedence was set:

“The acquittal of Chase — by lopsided margins on several counts — set an unofficial precedent that many historians say helped ensure the independence of the judiciary. As Chief Justice William Rehnquist noted in his book Grand Inquests, some senators declined to convict Chase despite their partisan hostility to him, apparently because they doubted that the mere quality of his judging was grounds for removal. Furthermore, federal judges became much more cautious by avoiding the appearance of political partisanship. All impeachments of federal judges since Chase have been based on allegations of legal or ethical misconduct, not on judicial performance.” [3] [emphasis added... inasmuch as the emphasized part has also become a thing of the past!]

Treason, however, might have some legs of its own.

Not that it's going to happen... the ruling elite does not pee in its own chili. Not these days, certainly.

Unless, of course, the ruling elite is seriously challenged by... oh, say... A Third (political) Party. Ah yes... what then?

The Composition of the Court

As a final aside... and as a last chance to get in a few more digs at the Gang of Five... we might note some of the possible characteristics and identifying marks of those members of SCOTUS -- those special “dunces” who voted 5-4 in favor of the “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling. Their names are:

Since 2005, Chief Justice of the United States: John G. Roberts, Jr. (whose name in any of several foreign languages might be pronounced: “Row-Bear” and spelled “Robber.)
Since 1986 (i.e., shortly after 1984) Associate Justice, Antonin Scalia (It’s a wonder the Republic, even in its seriously diminished form, has survived these last 24 years!)
Since 1988, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (Oh, that one would be entirely too easy... the kind of thing to make numerous members of a clan turn over in their graves, their mansions, and their beds... particularly their beds.)
Since 1991, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas (Scalia’s pseudo brother “Rupert”... possibly of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels fame.)
Since 2006, Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. (Is
there a trend here perhaps... Antonin, Anthony, Anthony? Anyone have a Mark... with whom to defend Caesar?)

BTW II, we should perhaps note that there are currently six Catholics and three Jews on the Court. In other words, there are no Protestants, secularists, or intelligentsia [4]. Note in the referenced source, it should be updated to note that Souter and Stevens (one a Episcopalian and the other a Protestant) have since been replaced by Sotomayor and Kagen (Catholicism and Conservative Judaism devotees). This means the current Supreme Court represents, in terms of religions, 26% of the US population. Three of the members represent 1.5%. Due to the fact that there seems to be afoot the threat of a new Crusades [5], obviously with very strong religious overtones, it's clear that SCOTUS is unlikely to place any obstacles in the paths of religious fanatics embroiling the world in wholesale slaughter.

BTW III, speaking of the wholesale lack of representation on the High Court in favor of the citizenry of the United States, there are also the alma matters of the law schools from which our illustrious Justices derive. As of late 2010, we have, from:

Harvard (Breyer, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, Souter);
Yale (Alito, Sotomayor, Thomas); and
Columbia (Ginsburg... who also attended Harvard)

Sounds like a bit of a Closed Shop to me... possibly even an American Aristocracy, overlords who are loath to permit any deviation from a rule of the elite over the masses.

The Nature of Law likes to think in terms of providing Remedy and Recourse to those under its sway. In this case, one can see that impeachment has a great deal of appeal... pardon the pun. If only the Senate (the jury of peers for Scotus members... i.e., other members of the Aristocracy) was even remotely inclined to rule on the evidence (and forget the politics). One might even suppose that the Senate would have to recuse itself in such a ruling... but that of course won’t happen... unless perhaps a Third Party takes control of Congress.

Then there is just the possibility that the Republic (the USA) might actually be saved.

Update -- 20 July 2011

But then again... probably not. Consider some of the recent travesties of Justice:

From the Goldwater Institute (a clue as to the radical conservatism of the reporter):

Groundbreaking US Supreme Court Decision on the Tenth and Ninth Amendment
June 17, 2011

• Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
• Tenth Amendment – Powers of States and people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court issued one of the best and most important decisions ever on federalism.  The Court unanimously held that not just states but individuals have standing to challenge federal laws as violations of state sovereignty under the 10th Amendment.

“Federalism secures the freedom of the individual. It allows States to respond, through the enactment of positive law, to the initiative of those who seek a voice in shaping the destiny of their own times without having to rely solely upon the political processes that control a remote central power.”

***************

“The Supreme Court: Business’s best friend?”, The Week, July 15, 2011, page 15

“If you run a major corporation or want to use your great wealth to buy elections... the U. S. Supreme Court has just finished off ‘a spectacularly great term.’ Under Chief Justice John Roberts, a former corporate attorney, the ‘radical conservative majority’ of this count spent the past year slamming the courthouse door on women, minorities, and any American seeking a level playing ground. By a 5-4 vote, the court dismissed a class-action lawsuit from Wal-Mart’s underpaid female employees... It overturned an Arizona law awarding public matching funds to political candidates facing a wealthy opponent, and ruled that investors couldn’t sue a mutual fund that cheated them. This consistent pattern of siding with money and power, by a court whose Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas openly ally themselves with right-wing groups...”

While claiming to be in favor of Free Speech, SCOTUS is, in fact, not protecting free speech, it’s protecting paid speech... and the ability of corporations and wealthy individuals to influence politics. In fact...

“...the court’s conservative bloc ‘bristles at nearly every effort to give the less wealthy and less powerful an opportunity to prevail.’”

Curiously, in the same issue of The Week (page 6), there is a bit about Rupert Murdock and his global media empire, the latter which has been accused of telephone hacking of politicians, celebrities, and royals in England... (just in order to get a story? OR possibly for purposes of... blackmail?) This is the same Rupert, by the way, whose media influence was responsible for the ascendancy of the last three Prime Ministers of England (starting with Tony Blair). Accordingly, the English PM in recent decades has been pretty well following the lead of RM. Money talks; not to mention that Dem Wid De Gold Makes De Rules.

Now... while one might think that the first bit herein is actually good news for the little guy, the opposite is quite true. It still takes a lot of money to bring a suit against the Feds... but in cases where the Rich have been offended by laws supporting the little guy, this SCOTUS decision is going to allow for a LOT of new lawsuits... demanding such things as a repeal of Health Care legislation, the repeal of the right of any black person to be elected president, and the repeal of the right of women to demand anything. SCOTUS has been very consistent at least of supporting the Aristocracy... for the betterment of the rich and powerful.

______________________

References:

[1] The Week, “Obama’s foreign-cash allegation,” 10/22/10, page 6.

[2] Black’s Law Dictionary, Abridged Sixth Edition, 1991.

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Chase

[4] For example, see http://www.adherents.com/adh_sc.html

[5] The Trends Journal, Autumn 2010, Vol. XVIII, No. 24, page 15, and "Crusades 2000", The Trends Journal, Fall 1993, pages 1 and 6.

The (9) Supremes 

  Missing 13th Amendment         Shredding the Magna Carta

Constitution for the United States        Justice, Order, and Law

Or forward to:

An American Third Party

The Fifth Amendment

Counting Votes         A Case for Free Elections         Redistricting        

Privacy        9-11-2001        Nature of Law         Anarchy         Revolution

Freedom of Religion

Racism and Culturism

Perils of Immigration

Holy War

A Third Party That Knows How to Party

               

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