Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, gave a very important speech last week on the Supreme Court’s right wing turn before a progressive legal organization, the American Constitution Society.
He condemned the Roberts Court for favoring corporations over every day Americans, and blamed conservative legal scholars, and the Federalist Society, for promoting the concept of “originalism”, regularly advocated by Associate Justice Antonin Scalia!
The lives of ordinary people matter, but the conservative legal advocates have made the American Civil Liberties Union seem “unAmerican” for backing the rights of the less fortunate and the less powerful in society, Franken declared!
The senator pointed out that Justice John Paul Stevens has said that every Justice appointed after him thirty five years ago, with the exception of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, has been more to the right than his predecessor in the position. The Supreme Court has NOT exercised judicial restraint in its decisions, and instead has been radical in ignoring one hundred years of judicial decisions that limited corporate rights in campaigns and election in its Citizens United case in January!
The Court has decided, Franken declared, that no individual’s rights come above the rights of a corporation to profit and influence! 🙁
A whole century of decisions that gave meaning to the Constitution for labor, women, minorities, immigrants, the poor, and others seen as not having wealth and power, is now under attack!
Progressives, Franken concluded, must fight to create a level playing field, which many may have thought was settled law, but is now under attack by an activist, conservative Court!
In many ways, constitutionally, we are moving backwards a century, and progressives must not sit on the sidelines as the rich and powerful regain their former dominance! Franken is absolutely correct in his assessment, and this is a speech which needs to gain widespread notice!