Our Rigged Courts: Impeach Bigoted, Extremist Judges
Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, & Roberts: Worst Billionaire Puppets Ever!
The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, has unleashed a flood of money corrupting our government with its terrible decision Citizens United making corporations “people” with “free speech” rights to secretly and massively finance political campaigns.
The Supreme Court has crippled unions that fight for decent worker wages and benefits. It has gutted the Voting Rights Act, allowing gerrymandering and various kinds of voter suppression. It has reversed progress in civil rights, consumers’ and workers’ rights to sue, and protecting the environment.
Now our politicians and newest judges are obsessed with dismantling federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, an idea considered insane just ten years ago.
Billionaires spent decades and billions of dollars fighting for all these things.
Republicans are installing judges selected for their pro-corporate views hostile to workers, consumers, unions, civil rights, the environment, voting rights, gun control, and women’s rights to make their own health care decisions.
These judges are so extreme even Republican President George W. Bush’s administration would have rejected them as unqualified.
Trump installed Jeff Sessions to run the Justice Department even though 30 years ago, the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Sessions as too racist to be even a federal judge.
Sessions reversed guidelines that helped fix racially abusive police departments. He brought back the racist war against low-level drug offenders that experts agree destroys people’s lives and tears up families instead of helping them succeed with addiction treatment.
Federal court judges are lifetime jobs. Trump and Republicans in Congress deliberately choose young, white, male, bigoted, pro-corporate judges to make sure their views will dominate our courts for many decades.
These judges have weakened the rights of women, workers, voters, consumers, and racial, ethnic, or sexual minorities and they want to weaken them further. Now billionaires are spending tens of millions of dollars in advertising to support these extremist judges in their confirmation battles.
During the Obama years, Republicans refused or delayed many nominated judges, despite Obama choosing moderates likely to win Republican support. In one case, they dragged out a confirmation for 6 years.
Republicans even blocked nominees they themselves had recommended. They refused to consider the highly qualified Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, even though Obama had riled his own base by making such a centrist nomination, designed to please Republicans.
After taking back the Senate in 2014, Republicans blocked so many Obama nominees that in his last two years, Obama placed the fewest judges of any president since Harry Truman.
Now that they’re in power, Republicans are placing judges at record-breaking speed and numbers, mostly judges who have records of being against consumer’s and worker’s rights to sue, unions, voting rights, civil rights, gun control, and contraception.
Republicans are even nominating completely incompetent judges. One had never even seen the inside of a courtroom. Another hunted ghosts and praised the original Klu Klux Klan.
Republicans are scheduling hearings before nominees are evaluated by the American Bar Association, ignoring “not qualified” ratings, not getting the required support from state senators and nominating commissions, and ignoring nominees failing to disclose required information.
So how radical and extreme are these new Republican judges? Let’s look at Neil Gorsuch. After refusing Merrick Garland, Republicans put Neil Gorsuch in the Supreme Court. Gorsuch rules for powerful corporations, even against safety and common sense.
Consider his famous “Frozen Trucker Case.” A truck company fired a driver because he left his load of meat to keep from freezing to death in weather of minus 27 degrees. The trucker radioed for help when his trailer brakes froze up and the dispatcher told him to wait for help.
The engine in the cab wouldn’t idle and the heater wasn’t working. He bundled up in blankets and fell asleep. He woke up hours later in the unheated truck cab at minus 14 degrees feeling numb, with his skin burning and cracking and his speech slurring. He couldn’t feel his feet and he could barely stand.
He called company again, told them about the dangerous temperature, and was again told to wait. He waited another half an hour but then had trouble breathing and became afraid for his life, so he called his supervisor.
The supervisor ordered him to either drive the truck dangerously dragging the trailer with frozen brakes or to stay there waiting in the frozen cab. Finally, he decided to unhook the trailer and drive to a gas station for help.
He got back less than half an hour later and met the mechanic at the trailer but the company fired him for saving his own life. All the other judges ruled for the driver, even in the appeal, but Gorsuch ruled against him, for the truck company.
Apparently, Gorsuch believes the driver should have frozen to death for the sake of the company and believes a corporation can force a worker to die for a load of meat.
Gorsuch’s swing vote at the Supreme Court on forced arbitration contracts has already eliminated millions of employees’ rights to class action lawsuits, violating the rights of workers who want to sue over wage disputes, overtime, sexual harassment, and other workplace issues.
Now even stressed families putting their loved ones in nursing homes often must sign arbitration agreements, losing the right to sue over even horrific abuses.
Trump’s newest Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh consistently rules for large corporations like auto, insurance, and telecommunication companies.
Kavanaugh argued that Sea World shouldn’t have to pay a fine for ignoring safety measures, even after a whale trainer named Dawn Brancheau died drowned by Tilikum the killer whale during a performance.
Sea World knew the job was dangerous, knew Tilikum had already killed two other workers, and knew there were safety measures that could be used. Yet Sea World didn’t bother using the safety measures until after the whale killed Dawn.
Kavanaugh disagreed with every other judge in the case and didn’t think Sea World should have to pay a fine for their neglect that killed Dawn.
Brett Kavanaugh ruled against federal regulations 75 times, against issues like clean air, pollution, worker safety, consumer protection, mortgage abuse, regulating nukes, and net neutrality.
Kavanaugh has ruled to allow a discriminatory voter ID law. When other judges allowed Washington DC to ban semiautomatic rifles, he voted against it. Gorsuch wrote a dissent complaining we don’t favor gun rights enough!
Nearly all legal scholars believe George W. Bush’s torture program encouraged war crimes. John Yoo was the primary author of the Bush torture memos, explaining a “legal” rationale for allowing torture.
Shortly after the writing and circulation of the torture memos, Kavanaugh proposed John Yoo be made a federal court judge, with life tenure. Fortunately, the idea went nowhere.
These are the kinds of judges Republicans are nominating and installing. Of course, billionaires spent a million dollars in support of Kavanaugh.
Trump, facing massive legal problems, surely chose Kavanaugh for his extreme positions on presidential power. Kavanaugh has argued a president doesn’t have to enforce a law even if a court upholds the constitutionality of the law.
Kavanaugh has argued presidents shouldn’t be distracted by criminal investigations, civil lawsuits, or even questions from a prosecutor.
He’d likely agree Trump can refuse a grand jury subpoena, can pardon himself or anyone he chooses, and can’t obstruct justice.
Installing Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court lets Trump install his own judge and jury!
Medical decisions are very personal and confidential. Employers can’t even ask about them. Yet our Supreme Court decided corporations are “people” whose “religious rights” are more important than the medical needs and religious rights of any employee who needs contraception.
Bigoted Republicans and their new bigoted judges are establishing laws making anti-LGBT conservative Christian rights more important than other people’s rights at work, in marriage, in social service and government agencies, at medical facilities, as consumers, etc.
If Republicans and Trump get their way, even the Supreme Court will be dominated by judges just like Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Roberts, guaranteed to let corporations screw women, workers, voters, consumers, and racial, ethnic, or sexual minorities.
Let’s lead the world again in equality, justice, freedom, respect, and personal dignity. We must end this Republican cheating and impeach all bigot, anti-voting rights, and pro-corporate judges.
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