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A Partisan, Political and Fallible Supreme Court
|by Gaurang Bhatt, MD|
The Founding Fathers were worried about the tendency of government to become autocratic and unanswerable, not to mention self-serving and power greedy. They hoped that the two houses of legislature would stem the natural tide of abuse of power and expected that the sagacity and longer term of the Senate to balance and be a counterweight to the self-serving tendencies of the populist inclinations of the house of representatives. They put enormous powers into the hand of the president, in spite of their morbid fear of a monarch. They therefore created a roadblock to the naturally corrupting tendency of power itself by granting to a sufficient majority of the legislative branch to override the veto, which was the sole prerogative of the chief executive. They even left it to the legislative branch to impeach not only the President, but also the Justices of the Supreme Court, who were not elected and held tenure for life, if they assumed power and arrogance detrimental to good government and the common good.
The unique aftermath of Marbury vs. Madison was that the Court, consisting of politically appointed judges with tenure for life usurped the powers to be the arbiter of the constitutionality of all legislation. This situation would have been acceptable, if the appointed Supreme Court Judges had been blind to factions and politics and administered the scales of justice with a sense of fairness and been guided by consciences or non-partisan, even if fallible opinions. The obviously grievous folly of Madison, who claimed that if men were angels, there would be no need of laws, was that he failed to perceive that legislators and even Supreme Court Justices, who had evaded the vagaries of public opinion, were merely frail humans capable of succumbing to mundane lures far less insignificant than Madison hoped.
Thus we have a protracted inheritance of a litany of follies disguised as impartial opinions flaunting the miscarriage of justice to our shame and detriment. A rare sagacious Justice with a modicum of humility has quipped that we are infallible only because there is no higher court of appeal in the realm and this fortuitous fact has nothing to do with justice, sagacity, wisdom, integrity or fairness. Unfortunately, this has resulted in the Court's proclamations to grow exponentially in its fallaciousness, partisanship and glaringly conspicuous lack of wisdom or common good.
In case some of you are unaware of the paramount miscarriage of justice, which this august body has perpetrated over a brief course of time, let me list the salient ones. The top prize, goes to Taney and his cohort dwarfs in the Dred Scott case, when an escaped slave was returned to the South as a confirmation, that all men are not created equal, which was considered consistent with the constitution by a group of persons infesting the highest court, who could neither read, understand or interpret plain English. The much revered, often quoted and lauded, Oliver Wendell Holmes in his pretended wisdom authorized sterilization of an innocent and alleged retarded woman, because he felt that there were three supposedly retarded individuals in the family, and he, who would not have qualified as a third rate baseball empire in the minor leagues, facetiously quoted, three strikes and you are out! An isolated error of any mind could be overlooked. He then used one of the most unjust and false analogies, in history, which is considered gospel. He said that freedom of speech does not give one the right to shout fire in a crowded theatre, as an analogy in a case where some pamphleteers were informing recruited soldiers about the inequity of war and asking them to resist the draft and the war. Any sane Justice would have sentenced O. W. Holmes to sterilization for his stupidity.
The incarceration of US citizens of Japanese origin will stand as an infamy in the history of law, together with the banning of Southern European immigration and the denial of citizenship to Chinese and people of Asian origin. Plessey vs. Ferguson and the hesitation of some highly praised justices to concur with Brown vs. Board of education leave the escutcheon of the Court sufficiently besmirched to make a skunk hold its nose to avoid the stench of the judgments of the court. The granting of the rights of an immortal person to a corporation is a confirmation of the view of Charles Beard, that the constitution was meant or subverted to protect the rights of the propertied few by putting constraints on the popular will. The partisan interference in the recent Presidential election strips the mask from the pretended impartiality of the Court. The crowning folly is the decision permitting child pornography on the net, as long as the picture is virtual and not that of an actual child. What kind of a person watches such material and what does an aroused prurient interest of such a predatory pervert lead to, if not abuse of innocent children, who are minors and helpless as well as deserving of the Court's protection. The measure of a civilization is the care and concern for and succor to the weak and helpless, and specially to the children, who are the future of any society.
The discovery of a Neanderthal healed fractured femur is the silent testimony of the person's friends, family or well-wishers, who sustained the disabled person with food and kindness. Cannot the Supreme clowning Neanderthals on the court match the decency of their forebears. Even cannibalistic salamanders, a lower form of life spare their young ones. Is the evolutionary stage of the US Supreme Court lower than the salamanders, that it indirectly promotes the sexual and psychological exploitation of children, who are our heritage and passport to immortality.
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