This week, the five conservatives on our Supreme Court declared in essence that when a majority of white people in a state vote against giving minorities in their state any extra consideration for having been damaged by centuries of racist oppression by white people in their state, that is sweet, sweet democracy at work.
The wreckage of American society and principles that follows in the wake of the Roberts Court is unlike any this nation has seen in a lifetime. Under Chief Justice John Roberts, the four other conservative justices and he have waged a campaign against minorities, democracy and the very lives of Americans. They have been making a concerted effort to steer America into an irreversible plutocracy through extremist and illogical interpretations of the Constitution that defy simple common sense.
Consider the more outrageous conclusions The Roberts Court have concocted to further their fascist and elitist agenda.
1. CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE
To 99.9% of Americans, this declaration is absolutely ludicrous. To anyone who has studied and truly understands the Constitution and Bill of Rights, this is wholly unsupported. The Constitution and Bill of Rights were clearly written to apply to human beings who were citizens of the United States and all of us, except for certain Supreme Court justices, know what constitutes a human being.
Simply put, a corporation can’t have rights all the rights of citizens under the Constitution because it is not a citizen of the United States. It is ridiculous to have to disprove this cynical assertion but it is very simple to prove that a corporation is not a person. A corporation is not alive, it doesn’t breathe, run, have a brain or a heart, it has no right to vote, it can’t marry another other person, it can’t give birth to a human being and it has no physical body. But we know all of this (especially if we’ve read the classic PlanetPOV fable by Dr. Suits, “Corporations Are People Too!”).
When corporations were originally given “personhood” it was narrowly to apply solely to allow them to enter into agreements and have legal standing with regards to legal and court cases…it had NOTHING to do with recognizing corporations as having all the rights of actual American citizens. It was a patch job, a way to allow corporations when they were a newer thing, to have the minimum rights needed to operate their businesses. Fast forward to the anti-democratic Supreme Court ideologues of today and we see a total perversion of that intent in order to give multi-billion dollar international corporations protections that would allow them to dominate the American people’s democracy and government.
2. MONEY IS SPEECH
If The Founders could come have looked into the future to see this perversion of the 1st Amendment by The Roberts Court, they might well have decided, “Why fight this Revolutionary War against being ruled by a wealthy, undemocratic tyrant, what’s the difference?”
Deconstructing this insanity is really pretty easy. If something is true, the opposite of it is true. If a light bulb is turned on and makes a room bright, turning it off makes the room dark. Simple logic, right. So let’s try this very simple, 3rd grade logic when it comes to this proposition. If money is speech than those with lots of money have lots of speech and those with little money have little speech. And is that what The Founders intended when they protected free speech? Did they see the wealthiest having “the most speech” as a cornerstone of American democracy?
What is “speech”? What is the concept of it and the principle behind it with regards to our Constitution and democracy? Is it literal, does “free speech” just mean blabbing anything? Or does it mean expressing one’s opinions about society and politics? Were The Founders worried that someone might not be able to speak out on what flavor ice cream they liked or were they concerned about protecting the freedom of citizens to speak out against the wealthy, the powerful and their leadership? The intent is very important because it explodes this dishonest interpretation of the 1st Amendment by these anti-democratic SCOTUS judges.
If the intention of the 1st Amendment was to protect the right of citizens to freely criticize and protest those in power in their country without being censored or muzzled, does not the concept of Money Is Speech directly contradict the 1st Amendment by allowing the wealthy to drown out the voices of other citizens? Isn’t it crystal clear that it deteriorates the rights of 99% of citizens to freely express themselves when the Supreme Court hands a massive megaphone to wealthy plutocrats? Thus, doesn’t the proposition of “Money is Speech” really violate the true intent of the 1st Amendment?
Speech is speech and money is money. Money can buy speech but it can also buy adult diapers so is money adult diapers? Money IS NOT what it buys, it is something you trade for something else you want. It is asinine to say that what you trade for something else is identical to that thing you traded for. If a kid at school trades a cookie for potato chips, are cookies now potato chips? Putting aside for a moment that as stated above, the intent of the 1st Amendment is to allow open criticism of one’s government, even if one ignored that and made this simply a proposition about whether having the freedom to BUY something is the same as having the right to DO something, it fails instantly.
We have laws against prostitution in most states and most countries. Having sex is not illegal, people are free to have sex and freely express themselves sexually (in most states at least) but…if you use money to buy sex, that is not seen as being identical to having sex and in fact, is a crime (prostitution always seems to have some allegorical relevance to politics). If the ability to use money to get something is identical to that thing itself, if money can buy tv commercials that feature political speech and is thus transformed into being speech, why isn’t money that’s used to buy sex defined identically as “sex”? If there is a reciprocal nature to money, that whatever it buys, it becomes, then how can there be any laws against using money to buy anything?
Add to all this, their ongoing chopping away at campaign finance laws that strip bare their agenda to free the wealthy to cement in their domination of our democracy. It seems demented to declare that allowing the wealthy to buy politicians and elections doesn’t lead to corruption of politicians or democracy…but that’s exactly what Roberts declared. There is little sanity that can be found in these justifications, just the desperate throwing of grit in the eyes of the public to justify their making America safe for plutocracy.
RACISM IS OVER
This reasoning by our racially challenged Supreme Court majority (very sad that Justice Thomas seems to reflect such self-hatred about his own race) is also so simply absurd. While the Voting Rights Act laws were in place, those states prone to suppressing the votes of minorities weren’t able to do so because the laws restricted them…and since they weren’t suppressing votes anymore, the SCOTUS Five declared that there is no more racism in the South than elsewhere in the U.S. and the Voting Rights Act provisions were gutted. Immediately, these same southern states then leaped into full minority vote suppression mode and not a peep was heard from the SCOTUS Five.
Now comes this latest decision that gives a white majority in a state the right to kill Affirmative Action that is of course only an aid to non-whites.
At a time when such open racism has been and continues to be spewed at our first African American President, at a time when racist militias and hate groups have been growing, the Supreme Court looks to the racism around the U.S. and says, “I like what you’re doing! And it’s Constitutional!”
STATES SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO LET THE WORKING POOR DIE
Many were stunned by John Roberts voting with the moderates on the SCOTUS to uphold the legality of the Affordable Care Act (even though there was no legitimate Constitutional reason to prevent the government from initiating another social safety net program like Social Security and Medicare). At that point in time, after a long string of unpopular and highly suspect ideological decisions including Citizens United, the Supreme Court was on the brink of defining itself as illegitimate in the eyes of the people (crowning Bush President in the pre-Roberts Court SCOTUS in 2000 was what began this downward spiral). Roberts may have recognized that killing the ACA would be the stake in the heart of his court’s legitimacy so he voted to uphold the law…but set a time bomb to go off in hopes that would destroy it without his fingerprints being on its destruction.
Roberts claimed it was somehow unconstitutional for the U.S. to require states to expand Medicaid, they were free to take the Medicaid money they were taking but even though it was paid 100% by the U.S. and would only later decline minimally to 90%, Roberts deemed it unconstitutional to require states to expand Medicaid.
As many right wingers recognized, Roberts had shot a hole into the ACA boat in hopes it would eventually sink it down the line and no one would be pointing at him for doing it. What John Roberts and the Fucked-Up Five actually did was order the deaths of up to 3,000 Americans every year, mostly in the very red states where this decision was most welcomed. Thought “The Death Panel” was a right wing hoax? Nope. The SCOTUS actually became a real death panel, allowing states such as Texas the right to refuse expanding Medicaid to the working poor and to let uninsured citizens die from medical neglect (you might want to remind Right Wing red state residents of that at their next Pro-Life rally). The ongoing deaths of thousands of Americans will now be a dark legacy of The Roberts Court.
It’s hard to imagine a more anti-American, anti-democratic Supreme Court than The Roberts Court. Like rare ones before it, The Roberts Court will occupy a special place in history, reserved for the infamous who betrayed their nation’s principles and people in pursuit of a cruel, racist and elitist ideology.