Tuesday, June 26, 2012
LOSING CONFIDENCE IN THE SUPREME COURT
Years ago I used to have great respect for and confidence in the Supreme Court. I believed those appointed to that high office, regardless of their Political affiliation, were impartial, objective, and fair, and that their commitment to the Constitution transcended their partisan loyalties. I respected the integrity of their decisions, and I viewed their dissenting views as honest disagreements in the interpretation of Constitutional principles and legal precedents.
I am sad to say I can no longer feel that way, when I see the Court split on decision after decision along Party lines, and when I hear Justice Antonin Scalia voice his dissent today, in a most partisan way, to the Court’s decision to strike down most of Arizona’s controversial immigration law. Justice Scalia expressed his opposition to President Obama’s temporary ban on the deportation of children of immigrants and accused the President of refusing to enforce immigration laws.
But that is only part of my concern. The Court had the opportunity today to correct their Citizens United ruling, which opened a Pandora’s box for unlimited corporate contributions to political campaigns, when they overturned by a vote of 5 to 4 a one-hundred-year-old Montana law that disallowed contributions by corporations in that State. So now Citizens United has been applied to State and local elections, and the influence of the SuperPACS will be felt at all levels of government!
What does that do to the democratic process? Only the naive would think that the motive of corporate giving is altruistic. What are they hoping to get in return? Less regulation, of course, and lower corporate tax rates, and fewer environmental restrictions, and who knows what else.
In the forthcoming presidential election voters will have to decide if they want this nation to be governed by politicians who are beholden to a few super-rich individuals and corporations, or to the general voting public, whose privilege and responsibility it is to elect them.
In the meantime, we'll soon see what the Court does with the Affordable Health Care Act. That should be most revealing.