Home » conflicts of interest You are browsing entries tagged with “conflicts of interest”

“Is the U.S. Supreme Court Beholden to Corporations?”

The United States Supreme Court is hardly known to most Americans.  Isn’t that unbelievable?   Can you name the Supreme Court Justices?  Do you know how many there are on this highest of courts?   The U.S. Constitution in “Article.III.” (quotes denote as written in the Constitution), “Section 1.  The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.”

Through the decades the United States has seen many modifications to this third Article of the Constitution through the authority of many Congresses.  As an example, no specific number of  judges was stated initially.  I encourage you to seek out the websites concerning the U.S. Supreme Court.   How did the high court come to have nine persons who are appointed for life, and not elected

Let’s go back to who are the persons on the current Supreme Court.  The Chief Justice is John G. Roberts, Jr. who was confirmed and appointed by President George W. Bush in September, 2005.  Chief Justice Roberts replaced Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist who died earlier in September, 2005.  The other justices are: Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.  President Barack H. Obama was able to nominate and applaud the U.S. Senate confirmation of the last two justices–Sotomayor and Kagan–who he then appointed to the court. 

It is important to know that the confirmation hearings held by the U.S. Senate can be grueling and testy.  In the case of the last two justices, Republican Senators tried to find errors of judgment on the part of Sotomayor and Kagan so they could be denied the appointments.  They were trying to deny President Obama the opportunity to appoint anyone to the high court. Senators are charged by the Constitution to hold hearings and make certain that the persons nominated are trustworthy Americans who will  “hold their offices during good Behaviour.”

It is the  “good Behaviour” qualification that this essay focuses on.  Quoting from The Hightower Lowdown, August 2011:  “In 2010, Justice Scalia was a featured participant in [Republican sponsors] Koch brothers’ annual political retreat” which brings together many wealthy Americans and Republican party operatives to plot strategy and raise money for defeating Democrats.  This in itself is not the issue.  Democrats also have their huge fund-raising and strategy-plotting events to defeat Republicans.  It is the nature of American politics, as well as in other nations who hold elections such as ours, to gather campaign funds.  What the issue is, is that a Supreme Court justice was in attendance! 

Think about this: If a case should be heard by the high court concerning one of these well-heeled persons, will the justice recuse himself?  That is to say, will Justice Scalia not sit in on the arguments and not assert his opinion on the other justices?  By his mere presence at a political fundraiser the question of “good Behaviour” arises.  He also held a constitutional tutorial for incoming freshman Congress representatives who were elected by the Tea Party!  No other parties’ elected representatives were invited!  [Note:  Hightower Lowdown is not the only political newsletter reporting on the ethical misconduct of Supreme Court justices.  Check it out.]

And Scalia isn’t the only justice whose “behaviour” is in question.   In 2008 and 2010 Justice Alito also attended Republican-only fundraisers and lent his prestigious position to anti-Democrat efforts through the right-wing magazine American Spectator.  Why are these justices so visible?  Why are they flaunting the impression that the Republicans are going to be in full power soon–because by attending these events suspicions are raised concerning that impression–that they will be in control of even the SUPREME COURT?  Red flags are raised–We can only say thank you for letting us know you are being openly subversive of the Constitution!

And– Scalia and Alito are not the only ones.  Justices Thomas, Kennedy, and Chief Justice Roberts have been cited for questionable “behaviour”.  In court, the five have banded together against the remaining four justices to rule for corporations and against individuals.  (See Citizens United vs. FEC, 2010)  This is only the beginning.

I urge you, the Voter, to pay attention to the Supreme Court decisions because they decide YOUR FUTURE.  I will have more to say in the next essay about “good Behaviour”.   The 2012 election campaigns are underway.  We voters MUST stay vigilant.

As Hightower further asks: “Is there no code of ethics outlawing such rank conflicts of interest for federal judges?  Yes.  But, conveniently, Supreme Court justices have been exempted from the code.”

1:58 am | Posted in Constitution,Democracy,Supreme Court,Vote | Read More »

Democracy vs. Theocracy

Recently Commented

  • JoAnn Macdonald: Hello! I don’t know either—but thank you for logging in and contacting me. I’ll be...
  • deshumidificador: I’m not sure exactly why but this blog is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else...
  • Macdonald: thank you!
  • flashyprofileflies.com: I am truly delighted to read this web site posts which contains lots of useful data, thanks...
  • Macdonald: I’ll try to keep up with you. Thanks.