“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
by John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute:
The untimely death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has predictably created a political firestorm.
Republicans and Democrats, eager to take advantage of an opening on the Supreme Court, have been quick to advance their ideas about Scalia’s replacement. This is just the beginning of the furor over who gets to appoint the next U.S. Supreme Court justice (President Obama or his successor), when (as soon as Obama chooses or as long as Congress can delay), how (whether by way of a recess appointment or while Congress is in session), and where any judicial nominee will stand on the hot-button political issues of our day (same-sex marriage, Obamacare, immigration, the environment, and abortion).
This is yet another spectacle, not unlike the carnival-like antics of the presidential candidates, to create division, dissension and discord and distract the populace from the nation’s steady march towards totalitarianism.
Not to worry. This is a done deal. There are no surprises awaiting us.
We may not know the gender, the orientation, the politics, or the ethnicity of Justice Scalia’s replacement, but those things are relatively unimportant in the larger scheme of things.
The powers-that-be have already rigged the system. They—the corporations, the military industrial complex, the surveillance state, the monied elite, etc.—will not allow anyone to be appointed to the Supreme Court who will dial back the police state. They will not tolerate anyone who will undermine their policies, threaten their profit margins, or overturn their apple cart.
Scalia’s replacement will be safe (i.e., palatable enough to withstand Congress’ partisan wrangling), reliable and most important of all, an extension of the American police state.
With the old order dying off or advancing into old age rapidly, we’ve arrived at a pivotal point in the makeup of the Supreme Court. With every vacant seat on the Court and in key judgeships around the country, we are witnessing a transformation of the courts into pallid, legalistic bureaucracies governed by a new breed of judges who have beencareful to refrain from saying, doing or writing anything that might compromise their future ambitions.
Today, the judges most likely to get appointed today are well-heeled, well-educated (all of them attended either Yale or Harvard law schools) blank slates who have traveled a well-worn path from an elite law school to a prestigious judicial clerkship and then a pivotal federal judgeship. Long gone are the days when lawyers without judicial experience such as Earl Warren, William Rehnquist, Felix Frankfurter, and Louis Brandeis could be appointed to the Supreme Court.
As Supreme Court correspondent Dahlia Lithwick points out, “a selection process that discourages political or advocacy experience and reduces the path to the Supreme Court to a funnel” results in “perfect judicial thoroughbreds who have spent their entire adulthoods on the same lofty, narrow trajectory.”
In other words, it really doesn’t matter whether a Republican or Democratic president appoints the next Supreme Court justice, because they will all look alike (in terms of their educational and professional background) and sound alike (they are primarily advocates for the government).
Given the turbulence of our age, with its police overreach, military training drills on American soil, domestic surveillance, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, wrongful convictions, and corporate corruption, the need for a guardian of the people’s rights has never been greater.
Unfortunately, as I document in Battlefield America: The War on the American People, what we have been saddled with instead are government courts dominated by technicians and statists who march in lockstep with the American police state.
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