Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Assures Greater Injustice in America
by Stephen Lendman
On Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, effective end of July.
A swing justice on many issues, his departure assures greater hard-right harshness on most everything just societies hold dear – a dismal prospect once he’s replaced. More on this below.
America’s High Court is overwhelmingly pro-business, pro-institutions of wealth and power, and pro-hardline rule.
Even during the 1930s New Deal era, the Court supported laissez-faire capitalism despite going along with much of FDR’s agenda.
Its main objective was saving capitalism, not transforming America into a socially democratic society, abhorred by the nation’s founders and their successors – hostility toward the notion greater than ever today with bipartisan neocons in charge of policymaking.
Throughout its history, the High Court opposed impeding free-wheeling capitalism. It supported wealth, power and privilege, restricting civil liberties conflicting with the interests of America’s ruling class.
Anti-predatory capitalism advocates like Eugene Debs and others were harshly treated for supporting an egalitarian economic system.
Exercising the right of free expression in America comes with a price, the Supreme Court and others at the federal and state levels going along with unacceptable harshness to preserve the so-called American way of life – benefitting privileged interests exclusively at the expense of others, waging war on humanity to preserve and protect them – no matter the human cost.
High Court justices most often lean right. Noted jurists like William Brennan, Thurgood Marshall, William Douglas, Louis Brandeis, and Earl Warren were rare exceptions.
Today’s Court leans hard-right – notably on civil liberties, economic inequality, corporate favoritism, hostility toward labor and progressive governance, criminal justice, executive power, and electoral injustice – Bush v. Gore and Citizens United v. FEC the most glaring examples.
The reactionary Roberts Court gutted the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education, granting Black children equal protection under law, guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
Majority Roberts Court justices ruled that public schools cannot seek to achieve or maintain integration through measures related to race, a shocking reversal of Brown.
The Court also limited the ability of plaintiffs to sue for justice denied or appeal unjust rulings.
America’s founders didn’t create a constitutional masterpiece of political architecture, far from it. They drafted a system serving privileged interests exclusively, including themselves.
Public rights, needs and welfare were left largely unconsidered at a time Blacks were commodities, women were disenfranchised, and “the people” meant the nation’s privileged class alone. The Constitution’s public welfare clause then and now applies only to them.
From inception, America has been governance of men (later including women), not laws, ignoring equity and justice for all.
The constitutional “supreme law of the land” deters no president or Congress from doing as they wish, lawfully or extrajudicially.
International, constitutional and US statute laws are easily circumvented with impunity, devious politicians operating ad libitum – the High Court most often going along.
America is run by corrupt, duplicitous, conniving, manipulative executive, congressional, and judicial figures, discharging their duties as they wish for their own self-interest.
As a result, the state of the nation reflects unchecked criminality in public and private seats of power, social and other injustice, and police state harness on nonbelievers.
Trump’s ability to replace swing Justice Kennedy with another hard-right Gorsuch tips the High Court balance decidedly toward making America more fascist than already – already weak human and civil liberties in country vulnerable to disappearing altogether.
Greatly endangered are reproductive; gay, lesbian, and transgender rights; remaining labor rights and environmental protections; along with the remnants of New Deal, Fair Deal, and Great Society programs.
Will Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security fall victim to a majority High Court hostile to social justice?
Will America become more unsafe and unfit to live in than already? Will due process and equal protection under law rights erode more than already, disappearing altogether? Will full-blown tyranny replace the remnants of constitutional governance?
A High Court stacked with majority right-wing extremists, along with bipartisan neocons in charge of policymaking, should terrify everyone.
The deplorable state of America is heading toward governance entirely opposite from what just societies hold dear.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”