Huffington Post: The Blog; by Nathan Newman
With the threat of the Supreme Court striking down the most important progressive domestic initiative in a generation, we should be talking about impeaching Supreme Court Justices who engage in such right-wing judicial activism.
Impeachment? Many progressives shrink back in horror at such a supposed affront to judicial independence. For an example, see Ruth Marcus’s tizzy over President Obama’s rather mild (and accurate) statement that unelected judges striking down such a core economic regulation would be unprecedented in the post-1930s legal environment.
But we need to be talking about impeachment if we are not to see every progressive economic regulation struck down by the courts as outside the supposed intent of the Constitution’s Founders — the regular rhetoric of those promoting rightwing legal theory.
What we have been witnessing in recent years is the rising use of anti-democratic means by corporate-backed interests to block any advance of progressive legislation.
- The filibuster — once an infrequently deployed weapon — has become a daily tool of the right-wing in blocking legislation and making a farce of majority rule in this country.
- Corporate money in both elections and deployed in the halls of Congress and state legislatures has exploded to corrupt the process — and the Supreme Court in its Citizens United decision has just abetted this empowering of moneyed interested at the expense of the general public.
- Conservative legislators have promoted “Voter ID” laws and other strategies to disenfranchise the poor — laws validated by this Supreme Court
A Supreme Court attack on Obamacare — the signature progressive legislative advance in a generation and a reform delayed for decades by conservative filibusters and other anti-majority legislative maneuversing — would be a culmination of this anti-democratic movement. It would no doubt open the floodgates of this right-wing Court majority striking down regulation after regulation as not meeting their narrow definitions of constitutionality.
So why talk about impeachment? Especially since it takes a two-thirds vote of the Senate, it won’t happen any time soon.
Talking about impeachment, however, is a way to label this right-wing Court majority as the partisan tool of corporate right-wing interests that it has become. The Constitution says judges “shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour,” so speaking of impeachment is the way to assert that using partisan judicial power to undermine health care for our nation is not proper behavior for unelected judges.
Why Progressives Should Not Value Judicial Independence: Mounting a full-throated progressive campaign against a rightwing judicial elite ultimately complements the Occupy rhetoric against the financial and political elites protecting the interests of the 1% in our society.
Talking about impeachment is a way to pull together critiques of a Court that increasingly just protects moneyed interests in cases ranging from Citizens United to a myriad of other less-known cases that just pad the wallets of the financial elite and undermine our democracy.
We need to start talking about impeachment before the court makes democratic action on most progressive legislation impossible.
Read more at the Huffington Post
The Supreme Court 5/4 vote is a pattern and should be questioned. It is well documented that Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas have been the headline speakers at numerous fundraisers for right wing organizations like the Federalist Society. This is a violation of the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges Canon 4C.