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Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired for two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

09-10-2022 - The Supreme Court's 'Supremacy'

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The ‘Supremacy’ of the Supreme Court’s Endorsement of Minority Rule Endangers American Democracy and is to be FEARED

The United States of America has a government based on the ‘rule of laws.’ Stated quite simply,

(1) Congress passes laws,

(2) the Executive Branch, headed by the President, administers these laws and

(3) disputes over the meaning of and the validity of laws are resolved by the Judiciary, with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter. 

That’s how our federal government was designed to work as documented by the first three articles of the Constitution, and in tandem with the governments of the states, united to form the ‘United States’ of America.

How are these three branches of our government in our representative democracy filled?   

(1) The voters elect the Congress, and also

(2) Vote for ‘electors’ who elect the President,

(3) who in turn appoints the federal judiciary with the approval of the Senate (the least representative part of Congress), including the Justices of the members of the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Building 

That body of nine Justices seems to have the last word in determining how this system works, being able to address the meaning of and validity of laws passed by Congress and carried out by the Executive branch.

Let’s look at a roadmap showing the circuitous and indirect route of your vote in selecting these Supreme Court Justices.  It follows a path that begins with your voting for electors every four years who choose the President, (the number of electors being determined by each State’s number of Senators and House Representatives combined), and then continues on to the Senate (not the House of Representatives) where the President’s nominees for judgeships, including those on the Supreme Court, are voted upon.  By quite a stretch, supposedly that’s democracy at work

Unfortunately, this system does not reflect the views of the majority of the people due to (1) the intentionally undemocratic nature of the Senate itself and also (2) its role in determining the number of presidential electors each State has.  (Without explaining this in detail, just consider that California with 40,000,000 residents, and Wyoming with less than 600,000 residents, each have two Senators.)  This 'thumb on the scale' in the Senate is reflected in both the composition of the Electoral College and of the forum where judicial appointments are confirmed. 

It can, and sometimes does, result in the Electoral College electing a president who did not win the ‘popular’ vote and whose judicial nominations are acted on by the Senate, approving judges who would never be approved by the more representative House of Representatives, which has no say on the nominations.  This is  intentional.  Giving two Senate seats to each State, regardless of population, is not representative democracy, and the Supreme Court reflects this, in terms of who is nominated and who is approved. 

Right now, as a result of this Constitutionally prescribed 'thumb on the scale,' we have a Supreme Court, which indeed does have the last word as to how our system of government works, but is a Court that is totally out of touch with a majority of the American people.  That is the way the Constitution defined our government.  The ‘Founding Fathers’ did not fully trust the voters.  In 1789, they had good reason, particularly those who represented, and often themselves were, owners of significant amounts of property, including slaves. They saw what the ‘have-nots’ were doing with their ‘freedom’ across the Atlantic in France.  Do we have similar reasons not to entirely trust democracy today as they did then?  But that is another question.

Long term solutions to repair the Supreme Court’s undemocratic deficiencies, such as increasing its number of Justices or removing that 'thumb from the scale,' changing the Constitution’s ‘two seats for each State’ composition of the Senate would take years to even attempt to accomplish

For the present, then, that leaves the American people with only one thing that they can do about this power given by the Constitution to the Supreme Court and that is to show their displeasure with them.

Their very unpopular decision overturning a woman’s right to abortion as established by Roe vs. Wade half a century ago spotlights this issue and gives the public a grand opportunity to do precisely that. 

If every elected official who fails to denounce the Supreme Court’s Dobbs vs. Jackson decision, which repealed Roe vs. Wade, were to be defeated on November 8, perhaps the Supreme Court would get the message.  A massive turnout of women voters from the Atlantic to the Pacific might just accomplish that!

Most Americans, other than six Supreme Court Justices, recognize that no judge or government official (or as in Texas, any interested citizen) should be able to interfere with private medical decisions made between patients and their doctors.  While our system is designed so that Supreme Court Justices are isolated from such popular opinion and pressures, who knows what would happen in the face of such a massive outpouring of voters disagreeing with them. 

IF PUSHED TO ANSWER THE QUESTION, MOST REPUBLICAN OFFICEHOLDERS AND CANDIDATES WILL ADMIT TO SUPPORTING THE REPEAL OF  ROE vs. WADE, even if only to get the votes of the minority who sincerely supported repeal.  

THESE REPUBLICANS MUST BE DEFEATED!

They enable and represent minority rule, which must not be allowed to be dominant in a representative democracy.  They must not be allowed to get away with it!   IT IS AN ISSUE THAT MUST BE USED AGAINST THEM, SPEARHEADED BY ATTACKING THEIR SUPPORT OF THE REPEAL OF ROE vs WADE

Failing to defeat them opens the door for such minority rule to change the acceptance of same-sex marriage, contraception, LGBTQ rights, and interracial marriage, all made possible through Supreme Court decisions that are now as vulnerable as it turns out that Roe vs. Wade was.  A Supreme Court which treats the doctrine of ‘stare decisis’ (basing decisions on precedent) so lightly is to be feared.

You must voice your opinion on November 8. Massively! 

JL

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America Afloat 

 


(A poem that is always worth repeating in these blog postings. To learn more, visit this blog's posting of July 30, 2022, accessible from the Archives off to the right.)       JL

 

 

 


America Afloat

Jack Lippman

The greatness of America

Is that it does survive

Attacks upon democracy

Whose flame it keeps alive.

 

The laws that blossom from the words

The Founding Fathers wrote

Still serve us well today to keep

America afloat.

 

This doesn’t happen by itself,

We cannot wish it true,

The bottom line, my friends, is that

It all depends on you.

 JL                        

  

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Have You Forwarded This Blog Posting? 

 

That’s Not Enough!

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