These nine individuals make decisions that affect every American. Why should they get to do it secretly?
By Jim Hightower | May 18, 2022
A Roosevelt Island Daily News Feature
When Supreme Court member Sam Alito’s secret plan for canceling the constitutional right of people to end their pregnancies leaked to the public, Republican politicos went ballistic.
Not over this attack on liberty. Over the leak.
Republican Chief Justice John Roberts called the unauthorized disclosure an “affront” to the majesty of the Supreme Court. Likewise, Republican congressional leaders have furiously demanded to know who leaked the text and why!
Way beyond their political screeching and posturing, however, a Pennsylvania woman quietly wrote a letter to the New York Times that calmly posed more honest, fundamental questions:
“Why are Supreme Court votes and processes so hidden in the first place?” she asked. And “how did this grip on secrecy become so sacrosanct?”
After all, as important and enormously powerful as this tiny body is, it’s still a governmental agency doing public business that affects every American. The legal work that the nine members of this ultimate judicial authority do — including their internal machinations to reach such awesome decisions as nullifying fundamental human rights — ought to be transparent to all who will be affected.
The ugly truth is that today’s third branch of government has needlessly, dangerously, and rather ludicrously become a black-robed autocracy.
Bear in mind that these nine individuals are enrobed for life, choose the cases they consider, make up their own rules of ethical conduct, operate almost entirely behind closed doors, and can conspire to issue decrees. A bare majority of only five of them can arbitrarily overrule decisions by presidents, Congress, states, other courts, voters — and your own personal life decisions, too.
And now comes a six-person GOP majority of Supreme Court justices determined to entrench corporate plutocracy, right-wing theocracy, and GOP sovereignty over all of us. That’s why we must finally lift the medieval level of secrecy these partisan judges are using to shroud their actions.
OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. This op-ed was distributed by OtherWords.org.
also from assorted ideas, large & small
- When Was the Smallpox Epidemic in America? End of the TrailHere on Roosevelt Island in New York City, the Smallpox Hospital, a historic ruin, is an icon. It’s lit at night and stands out like a ghost to anyone passing along the East River. Its
- Interesting Fact #9 – The First Product Sold Online Was a Sting albumThe first product ever sold online was a Sting album. On August 11, 1994, the album was sold on Netscape’s website for $12.48. This was significant because it marked the beginning of eCommerce and showed
- REFORM THE SUPREME COURT OR LOSE YOUR RIGHTSUnelected judges shouldn’t have the power to take away rights most Americans support. Regardless of anyone’s views on abortion, the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson took away a reproductive right that a half-century of hard-fought
- WE HAVE A SMOKING GUN — INDICT TRUMP NOWIf Trump gets a “get out of jail free” card after trying to join armed rioters at the Capitol, the dangers are incalculable. By Mitchell Zimmerman | June 29, 2022 Mitchell Zimmerman’s June 22, 2022 column explored a
- Interesting Fact #8 – The average human brain weighs about 3 poundsThe average human brain weighs about 3 pounds or 1,300 grams. This is about 2% of the total body weight. The brain is made up of water, fat, and protein. It also contains minerals, such