The Slow Death of the Judicial Branch? (and of the United States?)

Republicans, especially those in political offices, continue to compromise the very existence of the United States as we know it, and most don’t seem to care that this would ultimately hurt them, too. Early today, John McCain said: 

I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up. I promise you.

Did you catch the word any? 

It is more important than ever that Democratic candidates win enough seats to have a majority in the House and Senate and in other offices across the nation.

(We also need Democratic politicians who are actually committed to liberalism as manifested after the New Deal. Today’s Democratic candidates, including President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton, are generally conservative in practice.)  

But, just as Republicans allowed their anti-Blackness to overcome them, they will likely allow their anti-woman beliefs to overcome them, too. Republicans have essentially held to their promise to not do anything during Obama’s term. What a waste of our tax dollars!

For months and months now, the Senate has refused to even have a hearing on Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The Senate, with its Republican majority, is refusing to do its Constitutional duty. Too bad they can’t be fired or jailed for their documented and illegal behaviors. 

And its Republican members promise to continue doing the same thing if when Secretary Hillary Clinton becomes President Hillary Clinton because they hate women, liberalism, and equality so much. 

This could have disastrous consequences. If the Supreme Court shrinks to four or five (or fewer) members, they will not be able to keep up with the flood of cases they receive. Eventually, what would happen? This would limit the strength of the Federal Government (which people have increasingly and irrationally feared). This would also limit the ways in which people could appeal the opinion of lower courts.

Eventually–or not so eventually, as the nation could spiral out of control quickly–this could result in a variety of other or all other courts being dissolved. States might take this as a green light to do away with all trials and juries altogether. Without a court system, as it is recognized today, would people just disappear and never seen again? Would people simply be stuck with the actions of “kings” and “queens”? 

(And we must remember the court system as we know it now is in need of desperate reform, given 95 something percent of people do not receive a trial.)

As one headline put it earlier today, “democracy exist by consent of the losers.” Why do Republicans–for almost a decade now–refuse to accept they are simply not the winners? (And if we go back further, Al Gore actually won the popular vote and electoral vote but the SCOTUS handed the nation to Bush, Jr.) Why do they refuse to represent people? If they did, political divisions would dissolve. 

The Supreme Court is one of the most direct ways people have to make significant change. Look at the role it played in the Civil Rights Revolution for Black people in the 1950s and 1960s.

(And, of course, we must recognize that the SCOTUS later passed rulings that undid some of this change. And according to some strands of historiography, rulings in the 50s and 60s related to Cold War agendas, not commitments to equality. See “interest-convergence thesis.”)

Think carefully and hard.

Please study History.

Please think about others.

Andrew Joseph Pegoda