Farewell Last Bastion of Justice

Barring anything significantly changing, Brett Kavanaugh will likely be confirmed to the United States Supreme Court, despite having lied under oath, despite having taken off the mask and shown himself to be a man possessed of a whiny and cruel temperament, and despite the numerous allegations of sexual assault.  Even if the democrats win every possible seat in the Senate next month, and even if there is a democratic majority in the House of Representatives come January, Brett Kavanaugh will not be impeached in 2019.  That said, let us for a moment look beyond the three-ring circus that this confirmation process has become and address something even more significant:  The U.S. Supreme Court itself.

In February 2017 I wrote a piece titled The Supreme Court – Our Best Hope which I began with

“Now that Congress has ‘fallen into line’ and is pandering to Trump’s every whim, licking his boots and kissing his posterior, there is one last bastion of justice remaining:  the United States Supreme Court.”

This was a time just before Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation, when I hoped that the three oldest Justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Anthony Kennedy would be able to hold on and keep working for a few more years.  It was a time when I still believed Donald Trump would be gone from office within a year.  It was a time when there was still hope that our nation would be turned around before any lasting damage took place.  It was a time, apparently, when I was still wearing my rose-coloured glasses.

The intention of the framers of the U.S. Constitution was that the Supreme Court would be above partisan politics.  Surely, they realized that every man, even Supreme Court Justices would have their own set of beliefs, their own ideologies, but when they are sitting on the bench, they are expected to set aside their personal feelings and make decisions according to their interpretation of the Constitution based on the facts at hand.  It is an idealist philosophy, and hasn’t always been strictly followed, but by and large it has worked well.  This is how we saw Roe v Wade passed in 1973 with only two dissenting opinions:  Byron White and William Rehnquist.  The court deemed abortion a fundamental right under the United States Constitution, a ruling that has seen controversy since its birth, but that has not been successfully challenged, nor should it be.

This post is not specifically about Roe v Wade, but rather I use it as an example of how the Supreme Court is supposed to function.  A look at the justices in 1973:

Harry Blackmun – appointed in 1970 by Republican President Richard M. Nixon, became one of the more liberal justices on the court.

William Brennan – appointed in 1956 by Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a recess appointment, became known as the leader of the Court’s liberal wing.

Lewis Powell – appointed in 1971 by Richard M. Nixon, was a conservative, but known for compromise and often was the swing vote.

Thurgood Marshall – appointed in 1967 by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson, was the first African-American appointed to the Supreme Court.  Marshall was a former Civil Rights activist, and expectedly his views were liberal to the extreme.

Warren Burger – appointed in 1969 by Richard M. Nixon, Chief Justice Burger was a conservative, but voted as a liberal when he felt it was right.

William Douglas – appointed by Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939, Douglas was primarily a liberal and a strict literalist in terms of interpreting the First Amendment.

Potter Stewart – appointed by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, was firmly a centrist, often a swing vote.

William Rehnquist – appointed in 1972 by Richard M. Nixon, was a strong conservative.

Byron White – appointed by Democratic President John F. Kennedy in 1962 was neither liberal nor conservative, but by his own admission was a fact-based justice.

Nixon, a republican, had appointed four of the nine justices on the court when Roe v Wade came up for consideration, and Eisenhower had appointed two.  It is worth noting that all nine justices were males. Six justices had been appointed by republican presidents, only three by democrats, and yet legalized abortion became the law of the land.  This is what is meant by a court that rises above partisanship.  This is how it is supposed to work.  This is how ‘justice’ happens, folks.  It does not happen when a president appoints justices solely because he expects them to vote according to his wishes every time!

The Supreme Court has most always been looked upon with respect and dignity.  Historically, it has been a place where a lay person feels they should whisper, so as not to waken the ghosts of the many great men who have passed through its halls.  Once Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, that dignity will be gone, for he brings baggage that will soil the landscape, that will remove much of the honour that was brought by some of the greatest judges the nation has known:

  • John Marshall, Chief Justice 1801-1835
  • Earl Warren, Chief Justice 1953-1969
  • Louis Brandeis, Associate Justice 1916-1939
  • William Brennan, Associate Justice 1956-1990
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Associate Justice 1902-1932
  • John Marshall Harlan, Associate Justice 1877-1911
  • Hugo Black, Associate Justice 1937-1971

And many other fine men and women.  The dignity, the non-partisan justice of the court will be another bastion of our democratic process gone.  When Senator Jeff Flake commented the other day that there is no value in reaching across the aisle to work toward compromise solutions, we knew Congress was no longer accountable to We The People.  If Brett Kavanaugh is allowed to take his place on the Supreme Court, then the court will no longer belong to We The People either.  Both Congress and the Court will have become a tool of the madman in the Oval Office.

You will find Fareed Zakaria’s column in The Washington Post to be of interest on this same topic.

56 thoughts on “Farewell Last Bastion of Justice

  1. There is something weird happening in the world. ‘Wrong’ is now ‘Right’ and ‘rights’ of everyday people are now ‘wrong’ and to be put down. Is it just me, or have we just ended up in a tops turvy world (or Matrix of evil) that has turned off our voice and actions. I genuinely see this, not just in the US, but everywhere. It is as though everything we thought valuable (honesty, peace, health, environmental awareness, diversity, equality…) has just hit the bottom of the dirt pile and threatens to be buried forever. 😩

    Liked by 1 person

    • I first began referring to it as a “Topsy Turvy World” somewhere in late 2016 or early 2017, I believe. No, my friend, it is not just you, but the world has gone NUTS!!! The catalyst was the Arab Spring which created the refugee crisis, and from there, the candle lit the hay bale and the race was on. Was this ‘populist movement’ brewing, simmering under the surface, just waiting for that candle? I don’t know. Some say it was. But you are right … in today’s world, right is wrong and left is right and up is down. Values that used to mean something are now scoffed at. Integrity and responsibility are terms that no longer have meaning in many echelons of government, both ours and yours, but ours more, I think. Greed has taken over, and to do so, the wealthy must instill fear in the masses, which it has done. Is there hope for a return to sanity? Sure, there’s always hope. What happens if mankind doesn’t wake up soon? The possibility of the extinction of the human race looms large.

      And, now that I’ve cheered you up … how have you been, my friend?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am OK Jill. These polarities have been affecting on a very personal level, but if anything, they serve only to make me more determined to fight for what is right. To give up, to acquiesce, to turn blind eyes, is just not an option. I think my belligerence is setting in for the long haul! 😅❤️

        Liked by 1 person

          • 😂😂😂 I have been a little busy writing to politicians in my neck of the world. 😉 There is much going on that makes my eyes Roll 🙄 and my temper flare 😠🤬 so sometimes I call it a day after a very short time. 😅❤️❤️❤️

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, you guys have your own saga going on, as Roger keeps reminding me! The whole bloomin’ world 🌍 has gone nuts, hasn’t it? I know what you mean! I have pounded the keys so hard that the “N” and “I” on my keyboard no longer have lettering. Fortunately, I am able to type without looking to see what key is where! ❤

              Like

              • I am limited to a phone, but like you, I can touch type if you let me loose. Used to manage 40 words per minute (without mistakes or gibberish) but I knew a woman who could do 90 words per minute (keysetter). 😉❤️

                Liked by 1 person

                • I first learned on an old-fashioned manual typewriter … you had to put some effort into making those keys go down! I find, oddly, that I am more accurate when typing faster … if I slow down, then I start making typos. I couldn’t type as much as you do on my phone … the keys are too tiny and closely spaced. My fingers are old. I even have my phone linked to my laptop using bluetooth so that I can send & receive text messages on my laptop if I am near it. I am spoiled. 😉

                  Liked by 1 person

    • We can call and write until the cows come home, my friend, but this one is a done deal. I wish it weren’t so, but … it is. I sent letters to both of my senators this morning, one is democrat, one is republican, and I know my letter matters naught, but at least I made my voice heard. That said, we will have a new SCOTUS judge next week, unless there is a bombing in the Capitol building over the weekend.

      Like

  2. I’m feeling very disappointed in Flake, Collins and Manchin. Voting in Nov. is our last chance to change the downward spiral of our country. And you know trump will be ramping up his reality tv show with his base in the days to come. None of this would be happening if trump had not been elected.

    What would it have been like if the democrats had backed Bernie? Or if Hillary had gotten the electoral vote? But mostly what would it have been like today, if there weren’t 40%, give or take, of the populace that also feel animosity towards minorities, immigrants, science, LGBT people, non Christians, women and the Me Too movement (in some cases), climate change facts and a myriad of other pertinent issues. This is the real problem. And what to do about that. It’s not like the US is becoming a beacon for fairness and education.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I fear we are becoming to complacent about the mid-terms. There are serious challenges to the integrity of the election, but far too many of us, myself included from time-to-time, believe that since the democrats are in the majority nationwide, we must naturally sweep the mid-terms. I urge caution in that line of thinking. I don’t want to be a wet blanket, but … I just don’t have a good feeling.

      Now, you have hit the nail on the head! The core of the problem is not the politicians, but those who put them in office. We have dummied-down our education system, we have some 40% who are operating out of either greed or ignorance, and the republican party controls far too much and panders to that 40%. There is a solution … I’m just not sure what it is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I agree completely. Trump and the republicans will be on full rally mode. This Kavanaugh thing has upped the ante on both sides.
        And still you have the apathy problem.
        A friend told me she mentioned the Kavanaugh hearings to her hairdresser and she didn’t even know who Kavanaugh was! My brother and SIL who don’t t like trump, but are not democrats, never watch any news and their feeling is all the news sources are bad and push their views. They stayed uninformed by choice.

        Here in Fla Gillum is a black democrat running for governor against a trumpie and Gillum was 9 points ahead, but now it’s neck and neck. And trump is coming to Orlando….I can just imagine that rally. It will make me ill. Lots of redneck mentality here and old people living in the past. I’m old but I like change and progress and really don’t understand why they are mostly stuck in the past.

        Oh well…we must not be complacent ever. These midterms will set the course for the future and 2020.

        Like

  3. Oh Jill, I have kept a wee candle of hope bravely burning amidst the windy voices of the Republican Senate…and it has been snuffed, leaving only a wisp of smoke. As you know by now, the Senate voted 51-49 to advance the vote on Kavanaugh. Sen Lisa Murkowski was the only Republican to vote no. Saturday will most likely see Kavanaugh exactly where Trump and the GOP want him, a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. Another 5 gold star post, but I was hoping it would not become a reality. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My friend … I was so hoping that your candle wouldn’t need to be snuffed. This entire fiasco has sickened me beyond mere words. People challenged me when I said Flake called for an FBI investigation only for show, but the investigation was a sham from the get-go and Flake knew all along that he would vote “Aye” when it came down to brass tacks. Collins is another boot-licker, and what’s even worse was that Joe Manchin, the democratic senator from West Virginia, also votes in favour of Kavanaugh. I want to light a fire to Washington D.C. and burn it all to the ground, start over back in Philly. Sigh. Thanks for the 5-stars, though … it made me smile! 😊

      Like

      • I valiantly kept the flame of my wee candle of hope flickering, until it wasn’t and even the last wisp of smoke has now disseminated. If, as I’ve heard, hope springs eternal…it appears to have eluded me! I should have added that as Scarlett O’Hara said : “Tomorrow is another day”, but that was yesterday and this is today, the tomorrow that I would have been talking about yesterday. Forget it, I make better sense when I am talking to myself. There are better days ahead…I HOPE! Thank-you!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, my friend, I look at it this way … if we stop believing that there at least CAN be better days ahead, and if we stop trying to make those better days happen, if we stop caring … then we are dead, even though there may still be bodily function. Life is about more than just breathing, eating and peeing. It is about thinking, it is about caring, it is about being human. And so, while I may get down … way down … I think, and I turn to my friends and say, “Hey, can you give me a hand up from this dark place I’m in?”, and then I try to make changes in my own very small way. I know it’s tough times right now, but … you’ve got Benjamin … make the world better for him. Or, rather, show him how to make the world better. (Though in truth, that little guy could probably teach us both a thing or two!)

          Like

          • In my disappointment over Kavanaugh’s confirmation, I was a bit mired in the muck. I never lose ALL hope, I just had to accept that this particular hope was squashed. Kavanaugh’s place on the Supreme Court will most likely mean little change for me in my lifetime. It is my children’s and Benjamin’s future that will be affected in the aftermath of this moment in history, not to mention the future of the entire country that will be affected by his rulings as well. Martin Luther King, Jr. says it much better than I : “We must accept finite disappointments, but never lose infinite hope.” Thank-you!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Retired conservative Justice John Paul Stevens and 1,700 law professors have recommended voting no on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. They are reacting to his beligerant and attacking defense which was beneath what we want in a SCOTUS Justice. I agreed in real time as I felt Chairman Grassley should have admonished him for his attacks and not answering the questions.

    But, at the heart of all this, I still believe Dr. Ford and I find Kavanaugh uncredible. I am also disappointed that neither were interviewed by the FBI, nor has Kavanaugh taken a lie detector test as she did and passed. I am also disappointed at the time limit and White House limitations on the investigation. While a second accuser was interviewed, the FBI was instructed not to talk to the third witness about allegations of gang rape. With a President who has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by twenty women and has admitted to such, even bragged on such, in three interviews, I find his opinions on these matters not very sincere.

    Please vote no on this candidate and move on to one of the other short listed candidates. He would not do the highest court a service by being a member in my view.

    Note: I posted this note on seven Senators websites. Please feel free to adapt and use. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a step ahead of you here, for when I got your email I did snag your letter and sent it to the two senators in this state. One, of course, Sherrod Brown, needs no convincing, and the other, Rob Portman, will do as he sees fit, which is to pander to the whims and wishes of Trump/Grassley/McConnell. So, while it is most likely a lost cause, I needed to make my voice heard. Thank you for sharing your excellent words, for mine would have been … well, a rant with a number of #$%&s. Sigh. I am angry. I am sickened. I ask “what next?”, but I am afraid of the answer.

      Like

  5. Dear Jill,

    This is about as bad as when President Trump was elected. The confirmation process to confirm a Supreme Court nominee has become so politicized that instead of any dignity, decorum, all both sides can do is point fingers at each other.

    Neither side has clean hands. This should be about doing what’s right for the Supreme Court. I’m willing to bet that the current Supreme Court justices are appalled by what’s been going on. A pox on all of those involved in selecting and backing a judge who is not ready for prime time when there are other qualified conservative judges willing / able/ more suited to this position.

    The GOP are complaining about protesters. Wait until they see what happens on Nov. 2018 and beyond. They will learn to treat women better than potted plants that they can pxxs on.They can’t say that they weren’t warned.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree … it is almost … not quite, but almost … as disheartening as the night of 08 January 2016. It has literally made me physically ill to the point I cannot eat. Ah well, I could stand to lose a few pounds. But yes, this process, the circus it was allowed to become, has cheapened the Court and like you, I can only imagine what the dignified justices sitting on the Court today are thinking. I so hope that Ginsburg and Breyer can stay in good health … for … how long? The processes that were supposed to keep this from happening have been torn apart. What next?
      Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I have to get myself ready … accepting the inevitable!
    ‘Barring anything significantly changing, Brett Kavanaugh will likely be confirmed to the United States Supreme Court, despite having lied under oath, despite having taken off the mask and shown himself to be a man possessed of a whiny and cruel temperament, and despite the numerous allegations of sexual assault.’

    Liked by 4 people

      • Most welcome!! Love and hugs, dear soul sister!! Yes ..🙏🏽💞🙏🏽 … I’m going to be away for one week. I’m traveling to Puerto Rico today. I won’t be able to reblog … I wanted you to know in case you missed me.
        My heart and soul need a reprieve!!
        I know I will miss YOU … 💞🙏🏽💞
        I can keep track of what’s going on but I need a getaway. Whatever we were waiting for has happened … bearing a miracle today!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Of course I will miss you, silly lady!!! How am I to survive a whole week without my dear Horty? But that said, I am so happy that you are heading to Puerto Rico and will have some time away from the circus/zoo/jungle here! Enjoy family & friends, eat & drink well, smile, laugh and be happy for a time. Love you, dear friend! Oh … and I’ll want some pictures!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. America is torn and it will remain so, no matter how the Kavanagh vote goes, until Trump and his party are swept away and a true leader wins the White House to reunite the nation. Hopefully, that will be in 2020. Let’s be clear that the politics of division are not just happening in America.

    Liked by 3 people

    • My fear, John, is that the next will be just as bad. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, and even if/when we get rid of Trump, the elements that put him there have not gone away and have instead grown even more emboldened. Yes, they are in the majority, but the majority voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and you see how that worked out. Between gerrymandering, voter suppression & disenfranchisement, and the electoral college, it seems possible that the next president could be even worse. How, you ask, could anybody be worse than Trump? What if Trump thought the way he does, pandered to the hoardes, and … also was intelligent? That, my friend, would be a dangerous combination. In some ways, Trump’s ignorance and stupidity have been a blessing … I guess. Sigh. The foregone conclusion, though, is I don’t think we’re going to be a stable nation for many years to come … I don’t look to see it happen in my lifetime. Sigh.
      Hugs, John!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I understand your scepticism, Jill, but I honestly think that kind, fair-minded Americans are still in the majority even though the unwashed minority are very loud. Time will tell. I don’t believe the world can wait many, many years for America to return as leader of the free world. The world might not be free anymore…

        Like

        • I wonder if the U.S. deserves to be among the leaders of the free world any more? We surely have proven to be a greedy partner, haven’t we? And to not much care what happens anywhere else. But you are right … we don’t have much time to waste, and especially where the environment is concerned. The irony that the U.S. is the biggest producer of CO2, yet is the only nation on the globe unwilling to even try to work toward reducing those emissions. In fact, we are rapidly attempting to increase them. Human extinction, I still believe, is staring us in the face. But I do hope you’re right and that the sane and sensible will have the stronger voice next month. Hugs, my friend!

          Like

  8. To some of us here in England, your whole Kavanaugh saga looks like a cross between a dream and a bad joke.
    We also have our own bad joke, the leader of the Labour Party; Jeremy Corbyn.
    I hope it all gets better for you soon. ❤ ❤ ;-(

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, the whole thing … the entire Trump era and all that it entails, including Kavanaugh, is like something from a Stephen King novel. I thought Boris Johnson was your worse bad joke? Thanks for the wishes, Jack, but I’m thinking it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I’m not even sure it will get better in my lifetime anymore. Sigh. Hugs, dear friend. ❤

      Like

  9. Even if Kavanaugh were to fail to garner enough votes, another such candidate, I am sure, is waiting in the wings to be ushered in by an exhausted Committee and a bored public. Trump is determined to have his way.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Great men may have their reputations tarnished by association in the days to come. This great institution that has survived so long will be besmirched by the partisan decisions of this man. He showed himself to be partisan by his behaviour this week during questioning and he’s very much Trump’s man. is temperament is not suitable for such a position which is also the opinion of a retired Superior Court judge and a number of people who had relevant information on Kavanaugh’s drinking which was in direct opposition to his own admissions. Needless to say, the were purposely not interviewed. The intention is to railroad Kavanaugh through which will happen unless there are people of conscience in Congress who vote him down.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so right. This is a grand farce and has already cheapened the U.S. Supreme Court. I wish I could zoom ahead 100 years and see how this is all treated in the history books. History, I daresay, will not be kind to this era or likely to any of the players who are so determined to turn this nation into a tin pot dictatorship. Then again … perhaps this is only the beginning of a longer era and history will be written as dictated by the powers that be. Isn’t that a lovely thought. At any rate, perhaps I am over-dramatizing, but I see Kavanaugh’s confirmation as the death of the U.S. Constitution. Might as well burn the thing and let the likes of Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley and maybe even Jeff Flake re-write it.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

I would like to hear your opinion, so please comment if you feel so inclined.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s