Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Neil Gorsuch-- Enemy Of The People... Literally


Even my twitter polls don't usually result in such unanimity. But let's not kind ourselves, Donald Trump isn't fit to appoint a justice to the Supreme Court. I almost feel sorry for Gorsuch. Almost. But not quite... because I don't feel sorry for corporate whores who seek to make the lives of ordinary American families worse. And that, after all, is exactly what Neil Gorsuch is.

Yesterday, the country was more focused on the drama of the House Intelligence Committee questioning FBI Director Comey and the fireworks that ensued, but yesterday was also the first day of hearings into the suitability of Gorsuch to be confirmed for a lifetime appointment by Donald Trump to the Supreme Court.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley began the hearings by laying out a schedule that would have the committee vote on the nomination in two weeks. Democrats, still fuming that the Senate Republicans refused to even consider the nomination of Merrick Garland, see no reasons to rubber-stamp this controversial nomination the way extremists like Ted Cruz is demanding that they do.

Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the first senator to endorse Bernie Sanders, was also first Senator to stand up and commit to opposing Gorsuch, explaining that "the Republicans stole this seat, which they clearly did. Merkley said he is still eager to hear Gorsuch answer some tough questions:
Trump promised to nominate someone who opposed abortion. Would you overturn Roe v. Wade?
Is money speech? Can Congress regulate campaign fundraising at all?
Do Americans have a right to health care? What about clean air and water? Or education?
Do people have a right to equal protection under our law and protection from discrimination, including visitors like immigrants, Muslims, and LGBT Americans?

The most compelling line of questioning yesterday came from former Rhode Island Attorney General, Sheldon Whitehouse, whose case against Gorsuch is essentially that "a conservative court," as Matt Stoller put it, "a corrupt cog in a political machine." In it's report on the hearings, the NY Times writers were struck with Whitehouse's "blistering attack on the United States Supreme Court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., listing more than a dozen decisions in which the court had voted 5 to 4 to limit voting rights, increase the role of money in politics and favor business interests. In each, he said, the five Republican appointees were in the majority. It is true the Roberts court has been closely divided along partisan lines. Several studies have also showed that the Roberts court tends to favor business interests. If Judge Gorsuch fills the seat left vacant by Justice Scalia’s death last year, he will return the court to a familiar dynamic, with a five-member majority of conservative justices, all appointed by Republican presidents, and a four-member bloc of liberal justices, all appointed by Democratic presidents."

Gorsuch looks normal, both physically and on paper, qualified even. But he's a monster in normal people clothing, who has a destructive agenda. Would Trump-- I mean Bannon and Pence, of course-- have picked him under any other circumstance? Overturning Roe v Wade, dragging LGBT equality back into the 1950s and pushing Bannon's (and Mercer's) favorite project forward: deconstructed the administrative state, i.e., an agenda for the law of the jungle with no EPA, no FEC, no FCC, no CFPB, no effective regulatory agencies of any kind. Anyone voting in committee to move Gorsuch's nomination towards a vote will be embracing exactly that. Matt Stoller was awed by how forthright in his critique Whitehouse was yesterday. "There’s been a lot of bullshit peddled by the press and by insiders," he wrote, "that Neil Gorsuch can’t be beaten, that Democrats don’t have a message. He’s just so qualified, say the American Bar Association, Obama hack Neil Katyal and [Gorsuch's] former clerks. Essentially this is all coming from BigLaw firms. BigLaw firms--  both on the Democratic and Republican sides--  love a court that rules for their big business clients. He’s so qualified, they argue. Gorsuch is polite, rarely late, and has many leather bound books."
Well Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, in his opening statement at the Gorsuch nominating hearings, isn’t having it. Gorsuch, he said, will fight for big corporations versus actual ‘humans’ in every arena possible.

Whitehouse eviscerated Gorsuch as a payoff to a big conservative political machine. The special interests who financed the campaign to put Gorsuch on the court, he said, “obviously think that you will be worth their money”. Beyond that, he points out, John Roberts sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee and lied that he would just be an unbiased umpire calling balls and strikes. Roberts then went on the court and ruled for big business in every case that came before the court which involved big business. “Once burned, twice shy,” said Whitehouse. Gorsuch will join a court that ruled for big business in everything from class actions to labor to jury systems to voting rights. Whitehouse listed a litany of cases and their impacts, with this one as a particular kicker, “Help insulate investment bankers against fraud claims? Why not?”

The special interests that financed this big business takeover of the court is not principled, said Whitehouse, it isn’t intellectual, it is simply a “delivery service” for big business. Gorsuch is highly qualified, Whitehouse noted. But fundamentally Gorsuch is a payoff to the special interest groups that will profit from his rulings.

It’s important to note here that Whitehouse is making a broader claim about the court. His point isn’t just that Gorsuch should be rejected, but that Democrats should have no respect for the legitimacy of the court so long as the court serves a role as a cog in a corrupt big business machine. He’s pointing to a long-term strategy, regardless of whether Gorsuch wins. The Democrats are going to try and strip the court of the powers that it no longer deserves, because the routine bad faith big business friendly rulings that eviscerate our democratic traditions. The court itself has set itself up for this through decades of malevolent ruling to help big business. The American public is losing faith in its rulings, and that faith is in reality the only real power the court has. Most elite lawyers won’t say this, because they don’t want to anger the establishment they depend on for social, political, and financial currency. But they all know it.

Whitehouse is a very smart lawyer. It is a BIG deal to have an elite credentialed legal thinker like Whitehouse saying what we all know, which is that the Supreme Court is at this point an entirely political and anti-democratic chokepoint meant to sustain Republican and big business dominance of American culture.

Now that’s a populist message.

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At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drumpf never heard of gorsuch before he nom'd him. This was Pence or someone else in his boilerplate, R doctrinaire cadre who came up with this guy.

Gorsuch's most obvious qualification is his lifetime of fidelity to corrupt corporate rule.
He's also been openly hostile to equal rights for all.
He's white and male.

There you go. He's "qualified".

Watch democraps contort themselves before they do what democraps always do.

Can we now just kill that fucking worthless party?

At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As we have zero chance of ever being "of, by and for the people again"; Our choices are to rewrite our catchphrase to "of, by and for the wealthy" or break up this dysfunctional union into just and unjust regions of self government and wealth governments, respectively.

At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The analysis of Whitehouse's dissertation is correct. The SC has elevated corporations and wealth while simultaneously crushing labor, the bill of rights, liberties, privacy and equality for decades. And it has, obviously to anyone above a 55 IQ, been perfectly aligned with republicans.

However, since the same big money has owned the Democraps for 35 years, it would be delusional to NOT so note. The remaining liberal-ish justices are very old and won't likely see the end of drumpf and the rise of either pence or some democrap clone of Clinton/obamanation/Reagan. So in a short time, the pro-corporate, pro-money, anti-person court will be 6-3 or 7-2.

Enabling acts? Why not. Martial law? sure. end of voting? of course.

BTW: if you want to see where this is going, just look at the kleptocracy in Russia. Forbes just reported on the world's richest (white) men. But they're wrong. The richest (white) man in the world is Vlad. Putin. He's got fronts and shadows... but he's probably worth $150 billion. AND he decides who gets rich and who gets dead. And he answers to nobody.

That's exactly what bannon's dream is. No administrative inertia nor impedence of any kind to skimming the cream off the top of an entire economy.

The electorate is sufficiently stupid and cowed. Won't be that hard.

At 12:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitehouse is doing the classic Dem trick: being publicly very "brave" when there can be absolutely NO positive legislative outcome. Sen W. has been in his position since 2007. Does anyone have his prior record of actual legislative action to strip corporations of personhood?

Presumably Putin's alleged great wealth must be true, judged by the concerted hysteria against him in the Western media/intelligence community ... including this site, which presumes to know better but apparently doesn't.

Putin's only real peccadillo was beating the perpetually, institutionally kleptocratic West at its own game in the scramble to seize ownership of Russian assets as the USSR was being dismantled.

See excerpt below from Michael Hudson's "Insider's Economic Dictionary" tinyurl.com/jwmcyn2

"Washington Consensus: The neoliberal “conditionalities” imposed on debtor countries by the IMF and World Bank since 1980, forcing their governments to sell off the public domain to U.S. and other international finance capital. Its greatest success was achieved in Russia after 1991, supporting the kleptocrats to privatize – and then sell off – the nation’s mineral and oil wealth, dismantle industry, and impose monetarist austerity rolling back wage levels and living standards, leading to severe depopulation and capital flight."

John Puma


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