America is Almost at the Mercy of the Hateful Four
By William Boardman
The Hateful Four and Their Moral Godfather. by [Bradblog.com]
Monsters Exist Everywhere, They're Just Not in Charge Everywhere
Four members of the United States Supreme Court have shown again in the court's decisions of recent days that they represent the very worst of America when it comes to race or gender, just as they have shucked the constitution in support of money and partisanship in the democratic process.
The four are Chief Justice John Roberts together with Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas. They are the Hateful Four in so many senses -- for the hateful views they express, for the hateful practices they support, for the hateful spirit they bring to a country in need of wisdom and healing.
Or is there some significant part of the national life that their decisions have improved?
The Hateful Four reached critical mass in 2006 when Alito assumed the bench, following Roberts in 2005, Thomas in 1991, and Scalia in 1986. One third of our Supreme Court was appointed by one family named Bush, and it's possible that Vice President Bush had influence on President Reagan's choice of Scalia.
Bush v Gore Set the Table for the Hateful Four
Only two of the Hateful Four (Scalia and Thomas) participated in Bush v Gore (2000), which appointed the President who appointed the other two. That decision was issued per curiam, to create the legal fiction that the decision was made unanimously, "by the court." As a result, there is no signed majority opinion, although there is one signed concurrence (by Scalia, Thomas, and then Chief Justice William Rehnquist). There are also four different dissents signed variously by five other justices.
Only Justice Anthony Kennedy put his name on nothing in this case, thereby staking his claim to a startling absence of courage in the face of a decision that would open the country to mindless wars and recklessly unregulated economic behavior, all of which continues to do us harm. In this light, Bush v. Gore is more aptly characterized as a quia volo decision, which means, translated literally, "Because We Want To."
In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Hateful Four voted as a bloc to shift America's already degraded market politics closer to monopoly politics, using a tortured version of the First Amendment to decide that non-persons had the right to buy as much free speech as they wanted. As Kennedy, the opinion's author, put it: "If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech."
"Supreme Court overrules God" -- tweet by Todd Starnes, Fox News
On June 26, the Hateful Four held together but failed to prevail in their homophobic support for the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor. Abandoning the Hateful Four this time, Kennedy wrote the majority opinion that upheld a lower court's ruling that federal tax law treated a lesbian couple with blatant unfairness when compared to the way it treated mixed-gender couples.
"The federal statute is invalid," Kennedy wrote, "for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment," which provides, among other things, for "the equal liberty of persons" under law.