Opinion: The Supreme Court vs. democracy

photo by: Creators Syndicate

Jamie Stiehm

Washington — The silence from the Supreme Extreme Court is deafening. News broke that a Republican member’s house flew a “Stop the Steal” American flag days after the Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol.

This kind of defiance, actually applauding the violent takeover of democracy, is unheard of in the annals of the Supreme Court.

Justice Samuel Alito should be gone from the court. Today. He can take his lethal blow against legal abortion with him.

The Princeton man was on the warpath to reverse Roe v. Wade his entire career. Finally, he authored the Dobbs decision in 2022, dismissing law on reproductive rights as “egregiously wrong.”

The New York Times reported Alito’s flag, leaving us to wonder why it took more than three years).

What an outrage.

Yet Alito expressed no remorse and refuses to recuse himself from Jan. 6 cases. His haughty nondenial is in character.

“I had no involvement whatsoever in the flying of the flag,” Alito claimed. “It was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs.”

Oh, so the Alitos can do pretty much anything they want?

Legal circles know Alito is an aggressive judge and a cauldron of anger against all who differ with him. He heckled former President Barack Obama during a State of the Union address, which is not “done” in decorum.

The high court is not governed by an enforced ethics code. Alito and his political twin on the bench, Clarence Thomas, take fancy, free vacations and plush gifts from “dark money” donors. Former Justice Antonin Scalia died at a high-class hunting resort in Texas.

Back in Virginia, Alito acts as if his wife got on a ladder and placed the upside-down flag flying on the house herself — and he never noticed.

Traditionally, the upside-down flag symbol means distress or danger. Insurrectionists gave it new meaning.

The least we could expect from Alito is an apology. Or Chief Justice John Roberts should rebuke this political and personal statement. Failing that, the Senate Judiciary Committee has a job to do — close monitoring of the marble court across the street.

Is Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) quite well? At 79, he’s weary and has seen better days. He’s no match for the excesses of Alito and Thomas.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) has made a mission of exposing the “captured” Supreme Court. The Federalist Society fixed the three Trump appointments, he says.

The energetic expert, Whitehouse, should become the new chairman. Today.

For all we hear of “checks and balances,” the nine Supreme Court justices now answer to no one while they rule the land. The Constitution is flawed that way.

Alito and Thomas (and their wives) take full advantage of their impunity. Ginni Thomas also supported “Stop the Steal” and attended former President Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 rally.

Let’s look at how far from Brown v. Board of Education we are. That landmark ruling, which struck down school segregation, just hit its 70th anniversary. The Earl Warren court, a force for fairness, feels as far away as the moon.

Instead of expanding rights and participation, the Roberts court stole a human right away from women and girls: to decide on our own life, liberty and destiny. Never before has that happened in American history.

In an extreme example, it’s torture to force a girl to carry a pregnancy to term when she has been raped, human rights experts say.

The 6-3 Roberts court has little public trust, as polling shows. Five of the six majority Republicans were named by presidents who lost the popular vote: Trump and George W. Bush.

Roberts is no Warren.

This town gives Roberts a pass because he acts like he cares what people think. But he doesn’t vote that way.

Roberts’ real doppelganger is Roger Taney, the chief justice who ruled in 1857 that Blacks, whether free or enslaved, could never be citizens. That Dred Scott case inflamed the North, starting the fire of the Civil War.

Alito is making a mockery of the Supreme Court, and another reckoning is coming this fall.

— Jamie Stiehm is a columnist with Creators Syndicate.


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