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Will the Roberts Court Bend Over Again to Corporate Interests?

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Headlined to H3 9/13/09

Yet again, with their obsequious servility to the predatory agenda of corporate elites, conservative justices on the Supreme Court are about to demonstrate the appalling dimensions of their contempt for the best interests of the American people .

We already know what runs our government: money.

We already know what runs both the Democratic & Republican parties: money.

We already know who gets to call the shots about what our government does & does not do: those with the most money.

We already know what Republicans want: no restraints on the power that comes with lots of money & the rights of those who have it.

We know that Republicans will go to any lengths bar nothing to protect the rights & privileges of those with lots of money & that they are hypersensitive about the rights & privileges of those who are willing to give a bit of it to Republicans.

We already know that conservatives believe it's acceptable to commit crimes, lie to Congress & indiscriminately violate the U.S. Constitution to achieve their ends.

We know that Republicans are willing to divert incomprehensible amounts of public funds into the hands of Republicans & that they are particularly enthusiastic looters when the money they are spending is dedicated to the destruction of the American government.

Ever since the malevolent decision to legalize corporate personhood in SANTA CLARA COUNTY v. SOUTHERN PAC. R. CO., 118 U.S. 394 (1886), Americans have been fighting a losing battle with the overwhelming power of corporations & their dimensionless greed. Once again Americans are in a legal face off with corporate power in the case before the Supreme Court: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (Docket No. 08-205).

What we don't know quite yet is whether the Republican Chief Justice Roberts, a Bush II appointment, will find a way to set into law the rights of corporations to buy complete legal control of our democratic institutions. Corporations already essentially own our democracy & control our government by placing astounding amounts of money at the disposal of Political Action Committees (PACs) adept at servicing their interests.

Chief Judge Roberts's career was designed for this moment. Like Justice Alito & Thomas, who managed, for one example, to work in the private sector for all of two years for none other that Monsanto, Roberts spent his early career serving the executive branch of an ideologically-driven administration. After graduating from Harvard Law School magna cum laude, he was brought in after the 1980 election as a Reagan gopher & Rehnquist clerk where he worked closely with the Kenneth Star & Ted Olsen slime machine. Rather than acquiring legitimate expertise in the practice of law, they chose to subordinate themselves as legal bureaucrats. They are clearly ideological functionaries placed on the court to serve a right wing political agenda.

The conservatives on the court & the percentages of their votes which are conservative: Roberts-.753, Alito-.740, Kennedy-.647, Scalia-.757, Thomas-.822.

Alito was appointed by Bush I, Kennedy & Scalia by Reagan, Stevens by Ford & Thomas by Bush I. Breyer & Ginsburg were appointed by Clinton & Sotomayor by Obama.

The voting records of these conservative justices speak for themselves & make clear that the positions of all but Kennedy have no purpose whatsoever other than to politicize the Supreme Court & serve a far right Republican agenda. They were put there by Republican Presidents precisely for the purpose of making the decisions they are about to make in striking down McConnell v. FEC, which ruled in favor of the McCain-Feingold campaign funding law of 2003, & Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce where the Michigan Chamber of Commerce argued that it should have been excluded from the act's restrictions since the Chamber was a "nonprofit ideological corporation" (read right wing pseudoPAC for business groups) which was more analogous to a political association than a business firm. The Nixon appointed Rehnquist's Court disagreed & upheld the Michigan law. The Johnson appointed Justice Marshall, the Supreme Court's first black justice, found that the Chamber was akin to a business group given its activities, linkages with community business leaders, & high degree of members (over seventy-five percent) which were business corporations. Furthermore, in the full opinion, Justice Marshall found that the statute was narrowly crafted & implemented to achieve the important goal of maintaining integrity in the political process. See OYEZ.

In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the District Court for the District of Columbia decided in favor of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that a Swiftboat style attempt at political assassination was a "campaign ad," under the BCRA, McCain--Feingold Act & that it was a clear example of "electioneering communications." The McCain-Feingold Act restricts campaign ads of this type 30 days before primaries. The president of a conservative PAC, Citizens United, David Bossie, a man with a very long history of intense antagonism toward the Clintons, wanted to run commercials promoting the PAC's film, Hillary: The Movie within the restricted time frame. A key issue which signaled an opportunity for Roberts to request that the case be reargued was the statement by then Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart, representing the FEC, that the government would have the power to ban books, if those books constituted "express advocacy," a reference to the language used to phrase "electioneering communications."

There can be no doubt that Roberts has unconditional allegiance to corporate interests. His confessed dedication to the letter of the law is empty rhetoric in the face of even a cursory glance at his career. He has been nothing if not persistent in his dishonesty. He was a key player in the sabotage of the 2000 election providing critical legal strategies to suppress the vote count in Florida. He advised Gov. Jeb Bush on how to disregard the popular vote in case the Supreme Court failed to intervene which, of course, it did making it possible to put an unelected Bush into office. He tried to lie about his membership in the Federalist Society, but Executive Vice President Leonard A. Leo confirmed Roberts's membership.

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Richard W. Overfield is an artist/writer currently based in New Mexico after living in Vancouver, Canada for 20 years.His paintings are represented in over 300 public & private collections in the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, France, England, Japan & (more...)
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