Am I the only person on earth who thinks the Supreme Court should have to show its work?
WTF is the fuss over the “leak”? These robed political rubes work for us. We should get to see all of their drafts, their votes and their internal coalitions, deliberations and discussions before they make any decisions.
The idea that they are philosopher kings and queens just interpreting the constitution is bullshit. The Supreme Court has always been a political battleground. Usually won by the most conservative political views at the time of appointment. And it grows more conservative as the lifetime appointees age.
Remember FDR and court packing in the depression? He was fighting 9 old men to save the country from poverty and falling into totalitarianism (either fascism or communism). But they were raised in the gilded age and throwing out social programs (to keep people from starving to death) on legal whims.
Sure, some point to some golden age when justices were selected for being “the best lawyers” and were not necessarily living in one camp or another. But those were times when we had liberal “Rockefeller Republicans” and conservative “Southern Democrats.” Justices were required to have opinions on both sides to get votes from even their own party. Made it easier to get votes from both parties.
As the parties switched roles, passing racism from democrat to republican and global trade from republican to democrat, we all lined up on one side or another. Even so-called “independents” vote mainly along party lines.
With clear and wide lines between the parties, justices became ideologues picked for their adherence to the party. Amy Coney Barrett proved that experience and scholarship no longer counted. It’s just age (don’t appoint anyone over 55) and allegiance to the agenda. Don’t care if you can’t name all the freedoms in the First Amendment — “you’re in.”
I’ve asked the few smart people I know, what harm has come to us knowing the Alito opinion on abortion a few months early?
No one could give me a valid reason this is a bad idea. Maybe you could argue it makes the court more political and just like a legislature that can be “lobbied.” But it’s already political.
Good luck lobbying people who never have to run for office. You can protest outside the court all day long, but you can’t vote them out. You can’t bribe them with campaign contributions, and straight out cash payments are too easy to trace.
But maybe you could influence them with logic and reason. Maybe.
We should know what motivates their thinking. Who on the court is leading, and who is following. Is this court being run by John Roberts or Clarence Thomas? Might be good to know that the man married to a potential insurrectionist is assigning opinions and whipping votes on the court.
It’s good to know who they are citing in their drafts. Twitter told me Alito referenced an English judge from the 1600’s who had two “witches” killed as his source that abortion has always been illegal (it has not. Started being outlawed in mid 19th Century but was widely practiced by physicians without legal consequences into the 1930’s.)
Citing a witch killer would probably never make a final draft for the Supreme Court. The clerks would catch it and kill that reference first. But we should know that our justices can be just that… stupid.
Everyday people should be able to see their work and know how they are thinking and who they are citing. We should be able to predict what they may decide in the future and look to make better decisions when we replace them (30-plus years after they start — term limits for justices is a topic for a different rant).
Instead of hunting down the leaker and looking for a jail term, we should be praising them for cracking open this little window of transparency.
If the leaker is found, I have no problem with “firing” them for breaking a rule. Of course if it’s one of the justices themselves, there probably would not be enough votes to impeach. But if a clerk did it and gets canned – hey just more publicity for their bestselling book, documentary and “hero” status to whichever side they are aligned.
These small consequences aside, it’s the rule that should change. The court should be much more open. Public sessions should be recorded with video for all to see. How stupid that we listen to audio and look at pencil drawings of cases that impact us all.
Drafts and memos going around the court should be open to the public. The press could print what they want for all cases big and small. We should be able to bring public pressure on justices before they make their final vote. If they venture out in public to speak, we should be able to ask them and get a straight answer on opinions they have expressed but have not yet made final.
We should see who lied to Sen. Collins, and who said they would support Roe at their confirmation hearing, but vote to overturn it as soon as they had the votes. We should shame them for lying, and shame the Senators for believing them and hold them all accountable.
This secrecy only benefits the court. It only makes their jobs easier. It only shields them from our opinions and thoughts. It only keeps these important matters cloistered among the elite (literally the Ivy League lawyers who make up 8 out of 9 slots).
There’s a lot of things we need to do to fix the Supreme Court: term limits, conflict of interest rules, financial oversight, timely appointments (remember Garland should be on the bench), minimum qualifications, adjusting the number to match the number of appellate courts…
But let’s just start with disclosing their votes and decisions before they are “final.” Show us your work, so we get a chance to tell you what we think of you and your reasonings.
Maybe they will make better decisions if we get a chance to see their thinking and they get a chance to hear our thoughts.
Categories: Political Correctness