If Elected Romney Promises to Borkize the Supreme Court


A Romney presidency would make detrimental changes to America that extend beyond his plan to resurrect Bushanomics and Bush Foreign policy. With Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy getting on in years, it is very possible that the next President can shape the Supreme Court for decades to come.

Can we say right wing judicial activism on steroids?

The warning signs are evident when one considers the extent to which corporatists with deep pockets are trying to buy Florida’s Supreme Court. Then there is Supreme Court Justices, Alito Scalia and Thomas’ ties to the Koch Brothers’ and their “grassroots” Tea Party.

Then there are the possible reasons Sheldon Adelson has to pour as much money as it takes into the Romney campaign.
Mitt Romney gave us ample warning of what he would do to the Supreme Court’s balance when he chose Robert Bork as the head of his judicial advisory team. Bork’s own appointment to the SC received bi-partisan rejection by the Senate in 1987. As a judge, he supported corporate “rights” at the expense of people’s rights any chance he got.
As noted by People For the American Way

Bork was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on February 8, 1982. On the bench, Bork turned his authoritarian instincts into a voting record that nearly always favored government when it was challenged by public interest groups, workers or citizens but favored business corporations whenever they challenged the government. If the New Yorker magazine drew a map of Judge Bork’s vision of America, corporations would loom large and vast over the country, the government would be standing beneath them as a military and police force to control the rabble, and citizens would appear as barely visible specks on the bottom of the land.

Just to give us a brief refresher on Bork’s philosophy on Civil Rights, he described the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a “moral abomination.”
He would send women’s rights back to the dark ages as conveyed by this comment on gender discrimination. “I do think the equal protection clause probably should be kept to things like race and ethnicity.”

A Romney court would reverse Roe v. Wade, which comes as no surprise when one considers the views Romney and his sidekick, Paul Ryan, have on reproductive rights. (Think Todd Aikin of “legitimate rape” fame)
As a defender of DOMA, Romney would defend DOMA and seek a constitutional amendment defining marriage as exclusively between 1 man and 1 woman.

Romney’s website gives us further warning of his intent to further entrench an extreme right wing activist court.

As president, Mitt will nominate judges in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.

This term, the Supreme Court will consider a case seeking to repeal the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County, Alabama v. Eric H. Holder, Jr
The petitioners claim that things have changed since the Voting Rights Act passed in 1964.

In their alternate reality, section 5 “treats modern-day state and local government decisions as if they were made by the Dixiecrats of long ago. Specifically, the black conservative group says the Section 5 “preclearance” standard is now being enforced in Shelby County, Alabama, “as if George Wallace is still governor.”

Well, some modern-day state and local governments controlled by the Republican Party do make decisions as if they were made by the Dixiecrats of long ago.

Ohio’s Jon Husted’s record is but one example. Husted tried to restrict early voting. One group of people who would have been adversely affected had the courts not struck down Husted’s directive on early voting is African Americans.

Doug Priesse put it bluntly when he said the voting system shouldn’t have to accommodate black voters.

Florida’s voter suppression campaign was found to adversely affect Hispanics as well as African Americans as part of the Republican Party’s campaign strategy.

Jim Greer, the former Chairman of Florida’s Republican Party admitted that Party Officials often discussed suppressing the black vote.

Then there’s Darryl Metcalfe, who sponsored Pennsylvania’s version of a Voter ID law.

As Mitt Romney said, 47 percent of the people … are living off the public dole, living off their neighbors’ hard work, and we have a lot of people out there that are too lazy to get up and get out there and get the ID they need. If individuals are too lazy, the state can’t fix that. But the process is put in place to get an ID card. There’s a free ID available if someone needs one.

As many as 25% of eligible African Americans don’t possess a valid form of photo ID, compared with 8% of white Americans. I don’t believe Metcalfe was unaware of that fact.

Perhaps the plaintiffs in Shelby County, Alabama v. Eric H. Holder, Jr are living in the same alternate reality that says there’s nothing racist about a political strategy dependent on denying the vote to an identifiable racial group.

In the reality that most of America lives under, the Voting Rights Act remains a necessary legal instrument.
If the Roberts court manages to understand the current reality and uphold the lower court ruling in this case, there is no question that a Romney court will be given an opportunity to revisit the question in a manner that would please both Mitt Romney and Robert Bork.

In very simple terms, the future of civil rights, including the right to vote, is as much at stake in this election as is the future of economic opportunity, as we know it.
Image from Yes We Can Long Island

Comments are off for this post