George Graham

A Sick Supreme Court

justices

 

The United States system of government sits on three pillars – Congress, the Presidency and the Supreme Court. I’m sure you know how rotten Congress has become, and you either love or hate the President, but how do you feel about the Supreme Court?

Conservatives are calling for the court’s reform. They were shocked by decisions on Obamacare and gay marriage. Of course, saving Obamacare and legalizing same-sex marriage were majority decisions, and, apparently, political decisions.

The highest court in the land was supposed to be above politics, but over the years Presidents of opposing views have appointed political hacks, instead of impartial jurists, as justices. For once, I agree with the conservatives, this court is far from the one envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

I imagine they had in mind a sober panel of nine sages, whose wisdom and erudition would temper the emotional swings of politics.

But in a land where so many judicial positions are filled by elections, this was an impossible dream from the start.Today’s justices are all, with one possible exception, politically biased.

With Justices Ruth Baer Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer openely liberal, and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts, unabashedly conservative, cases tend to be decided by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is regarded as politically centrist.

I am sure the Founding Fathers did not anticipate that.

As I, too, am politically biased, I celebrate the court’s decisions on the health care law and on same-sex marriage, but that doesn’t stop me from recognizing the court’s flaws.

While the chief justice is not “conservative” enough for the radical Republicans of today, he is far too conservative for me.

But that’s not my main quarrel with the court. It’s the lack of character of some justices that I deplore most.

Clarence Thomas, for example, is tainted by conflicts of interest, and – as I see it – by his utter incompetence. And Alito and Scalia seem to be either senile or mentally challenged.

Those three are so lacking in common decency that they did not even attend the Pope’s address to Congress.

Catholics all, I imagine they find Pope Francis too caring, too loving, too sharing, too inclusive.

This display of rudeness and hubris is a rebuke to St. Peter’s church and an affront to God. How can such people be elevated to positions of such great responsibility – and assured of their positions for life?

The Founding Fathers must be turning in their graves.

Photo above shows, back row (left to right): Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan; front row (left to right): Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Click for the apparent boycott of the Pope’s speech.

Click for more on the Supreme Court.

About the author

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com