"Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception, that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?"
-----Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, anticipating the consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade
We at Legalienate were deeply shocked to learn that our gloriously independent Supreme Court is being construed as a partisan institution by a Supreme Court justice herself. What is this world coming to?
Just because the Court has previously found justification for slavery, segregation, eugenic sterilization, child labor, sixteen-hour workdays, internment of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps, invading foreign nations, shooting workers, breaking strikes, deporting radical immigrants without trial, jailing dissidents, upholding sedition laws, giving away the country to private speculators, and extending carte blanche authority for private corporations to destroy the earth in its pursuit of limitless profit (i.e., happiness), does not mean it is a political actor. Perish the thought! We are a nation of neutral laws, not private interests.
In short - bulletin! - what
political scientist Michael Parenti calls "The
Supremely Political Court" has always been highly partisan on behalf of the
wealthy and against the general public. Who knew?
Not that Supreme Court judges are necessarily bad people. Many of the early justices, for example, including John Marshall, were slaveholders, and properly abstained from cases involving chattel, so as not to rule directly on matters involving their self-interest.
Just kidding. They never did that. Instead, they repeatedly protected their "private property" by indulging the legal fiction that black people were farm animals, mercilessly flogged to fulfill superhuman production quotas. No pangs of conscience were called for, however, as the fault rested with black people themselves. Right up until the Civil War the Court reasoned that, whether slave or free, Blacks were a "subordinate and inferior class of beings" without constitutional rights, and that Congress had no power to exclude slave masters and their chattel from the imperial nation's ever-expanding territories. So there was no reason that the Court would ever challenge the Constitution for defining slaves as three-fifths human for the purpose of enhancing their masters' voting power, and of course it never did.
Justice Sotomayor, please take note: for political "stench," it's hard to improve on that.