Trump-Fueled Corruption Is Overtaking A Whole Government Branch
It has come to light, as anticipated after years of involvement with right-wing causes funded by America’s elite, that Ginny Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, was deeply engaged in Trump’s January 6th “rally.”
This revelation begs a straightforward statement: the U.S. Supreme Court is tainted by corruption, a sentiment shared by a growing number of Americans.
The Supreme Court's Behaviors
In a way unprecedented in any other federal court, the Supreme Court has exhibited dubious behavior. Imagine any other court allowing a defendant to whisk a judge on a private luxury jet to a lavish hunting retreat, only to have that judge rule in favor of that defendant a week later.
Yet, this transpired when former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia did so during Dick Cheney’s lawsuit, involving his alleged deception about a secretive “energy group” planning Iraq’s oil field takeover, a catalyst for the war’s aftermath.
Favoring The Group
Similarly, no other court would tolerate a judge offering a speech to a group that funds a case before them – only to subsequently favor that group’s objectives.
However, Neal Gorsuch did exactly that when addressing the Fund for American Studies, backed by the Bradley Foundation, which contributed to the Janus v AFSCME case eroding union protections for government workers.
Nor would any court accept a judge vowing retribution against a specific nonprofit corporation (like the Democratic Party) during confirmation hearings and then rendering verdicts on related cases, such as voting rights.
Yet, Brett Kavanaugh exhibited this behavior.
It's Happened Many Times Before
Other courts would consider it illegal for a judge to preside over a case in which they held significant stock in the company presenting arguments, yet this happened with John Roberts and others in the Supreme Court.
Clarence Thomas and his wife, recently profiled in a revealing New York Times piece, even allowed his wife to advocate for litigants before the Court while accepting substantial sums from groups engaged in Court cases.
Moreover, the Court has undermined the EPA, using Justice Gorsuch’s textualist arguments to weaken the agency, ironically headed by Gorsuch’s mother that faced scandal during the Reagan administration.
These Republican-appointed judges reject Democratic attempts to combat gerrymandering while endorsing GOP initiatives to enforce it.
Can we, paraphrasing Shakespeare, rid ourselves of this Court’s corruption? Surprisingly, Congress holds that power, stipulated by Article III of the Constitution.
This article empowers Congress to establish federal courts and mandates that Supreme Court judges adhere to good behavior.
Ethical Rules For Federal Judges
Since 1921, when Chief Justice William Howard Taft chaired the first commission to develop ethical rules for federal judges, attempts have been made to regulate the Court’s conduct.
The 1923 Canons of Judicial Ethics and the subsequent 1972 Code of Judicial Conduct aimed to guide judges’ behavior, but the Supreme Court, increasingly self-empowered, sidestepped these measures.
The Court Answers To Itself
Even in 2011, Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged Taft’s work while disregarding his call for the Supreme Court’s adherence. Roberts asserted that the Court answers only to itself.
Efforts to restore accountability abound: legislative proposals have been presented, but they’ve faced resistance. President Biden’s commission urged an advisory code of conduct for the Court, but Roberts remained silent. Senator Chris Murphy’s Supreme Court Ethics Act aimed at reigning in the Court’s partisanship but was blocked.
Congress Needs To Act Fast
As public dissatisfaction grows, with the Court’s approval rating hitting a record low, it’s time for Congress to act. The Court’s adoption of the federal code of judicial ethics and even expansion should be considered.
Otherwise, this branch of government risks sinking into irredeemable corruption.