Chief Justice John Roberts

The Supreme Court At Its Lowest Public Opinion Rating In Modern Times!

The US Supreme Court has been part of American government since the passage of the Judiciary Act of 1789.

There have been 17 Chief Justices and a total of 116 Justices, including five who served both as Associate Justices, and as Chief Justice.

We have seen diversity on the Supreme Court in recent times, with two African American men and one African American woman; a Latina woman; six Jewish men and two Jewish women; six women overall; two Italian American Catholics; 15 Catholics overall; and 92 Protestants.

The present Court has four women, and five men, but the Court’s ideological tilt is way far to the right, and it has caused a loss of favorable public opinion toward the Court, with confidence in the fairness and objectivity of the Court at an all time low in public opinion, since polls began in the 1930s.

This is a crisis, and Chief Justice John Roberts, who so much wants a good reputation for the Court which has its name as Chief Justice, has clearly lost control of the agenda of fairness to the hard right nastiness and narrow mindedness of Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, each being appointed by the first President Bush and the second President Bush.

The Report on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization “Leak” is a farce, as the members of the Court were not put under sworn testimony as Court staff was, and no result as to how the leak occurred has been concluded, which seems like a coverup!

This will reflect over time in rankings of the Bush Presidencies, as constitutional law has been distorted by the decision of the Court to reverse abortion rights of nearly 50 years standing, after its members did not indicate in their confirmation hearings that they wished to void the basic right of privacy that has become part of the history of America since the Warren Court of the 1950s and 1960s!

The Ten Greatest Political Villains Of 2022! And An Addendum!

Yesterday, I published a post on the ten greatest Political Heroes of 2022.

So now, it is time to indicate who I believe are the ten greatest Political Villains of 2022!

In no special order, I would list the following:

Republican House Minority Leader, possibly Speaker of the House (hopefully not), Kevin McCarthy of California, who time again and again showed he had no spine, being a supplicant to Donald Trump, and demonstrating no principle or ethics in his crazed desire to be Speaker, two heartbeats away from the Presidency. The thought of him being that close in the line of succession is horrifying, not that there are very good alternatives!

Election Denier, and symbol with clenched fist, Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, who promoted sedition and treason! He faces reelection in 2024 and should be soundly defeated!

Election Denier and most obnoxious Senator (with other competitors), Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who this author and blogger thought in 2016 was the most dangerous Republican running for President, even more than Donald Trump! He faces reelection in 2024 and should be soundly defeated!

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a man who once had some intelligence, but after Arizona Senator John McCain died, has become a total Donald Trump sycophant!

Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, a very unstable and unpricipled excuse for a human being, who, somehow, was able to defeat one of the best US Senators of modern times, Russ Feingold, in 2010 and 2016, and then a very talented Lieutenant Governor, African American Mandela Barnes in 2022. Johnson is one of the worst figures in Senate history!

Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, an obnoxious and unprincipled man who, sadly, is likely to become House Judiciary Committee Chairman in the 118th Congress in 2023!

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who won his third term as Governor in 2022, despite his horrendous policies and lack of compassion, and is likely to pursue a Presidential candidacy for 2024!

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who won a vast reelection victory in 2022, and is seen as the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2024, despite his intolerant and authoritarian bent, and his high level of arrogance and cockiness, on a multitude of issues. These include the COVID 19 Pandemic; Gay and Transgender Rights; Racial and Religious Minorities; interference in the teaching of History and Literature, and Manipulating School Boards and Libraries; and extreme Gerrymandering of Congressional Districts, which took away two African American seats, and gave the Republicans the control of the House of Representatives in the 118th Congress!

Arizona Republican Gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, who used the same tactic as Donald Trump, promoting the “Big Lie” about her defeat in the recent elections in her state. She has just been repudiated in court in her attempt to reverse a clearcut victory by her opponent, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Good riddance to the most obnoxious woman imaginable!

Finally, on this list, former President Donald Trump, the most dangerous and worst US President in American history, twice impeached, and a close ally of totalitarian dictators around the world, willing to overthrow the US Constitution, rule of law, and American democracy. He needs to be prevented from running again for President, and indictment and conviction on the four charges brought against him by the January 6 House Committee is essential, to prevent any future tyrant from taking the kind of actions that this most evil man took! He harmed so many Americans during his term, as well as having the responsibility for the deaths, destruction and violence, in the worst attack on the US Capitol since the War of 1812!

And now an Addendum:

The Supreme Court has become a disgraceful, power hungry, extremist right wing organization!

Chief Justice John Roberts has lost his desired reputation as the leader of his Court, and in particular, Clarence Thomas (appointed by George H. W. Bush) and Samuel Alito (appointed by George W. Bush) have been totally out of control, and both will go down as two of the very worst Supreme Court Justices in American history! The names and reputations of both Bush Presidencies are permanently besmirched as a result!

The Supreme Court Reputation In Tatters, And Chief Justice Roberts Seems Clueless!

The US Supreme Court reputation is in tatters among all thinking, decent people, as the right wing extremist majority, made dominant by the appointments of Donald Trump, work to take away basic freedoms and rights!

The Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, taking away abortion rights from women after 49 years, reversing a precedent, is an outrage!

And the threat exists that contraception, gay marriage, and interracial marriage rights could be taken away in the near future, along with affirmative action, and environmental protections.

Chief Justice John Roberts seems clueless to this, and has lost control of his Court, and his name in history, as the leader of the Court, will be negative long term, unless he can bring pressure on other members to stop the extreme right wing tilt, which is making the Court look like a lawless institution!

Republican And Conservative Advantage In House, Senate, Electoral College System, Despite Popular Vote Advantage For Democrats

The American political system is in bad straits, in what seems like a losing battle for popular vote to determine who runs our government.

The system has become stacked to favor Republicans and conservatives.

Republican legislatures in many states promote gerrymandering, which hurts Democrats massively, not only in the state governments, but also in setting up House of Representatives seats. An example is Florida, which used to have four Congressional seats that favored African American representation, but now has been halved to two such districts.

Fewer people regularly vote nationally for Republicans, but they have near to a majority even before the election in 2022 for the House of Representatives, and it is likely they will control the lower house of Congress despite having fewer total popular votes nationally.

Also, the US Senate has a situation in which Republican Senators, presently half the Senate, are elected by a population of about about 142 million Americans, while Democrats, presently the other half of the Senate, are elected by a population of about 184 million Americans!

So 60 percent of the nation’s population is being underrepresented, while 40 percent is overrepresented.

The idea that Wyoming has two US Senators with only about 600,000 people, while California with nearly 40 million peoples has two US Senators, is an abomination, but simply has evolved that way over time, so the US Senate is anti democracy to the extreme!

Additionally, the Electoral College favors the small, mostly Republican states, this despite the Democrats winning the national popular vote seven of the last eight Presidential elections, from 1992 through 2020, with the one exception of 2004!

So the idea of democracy is under attack, and the right wing Federalist Society has managed to “fix” the Supreme Court, with a strong 6-3 margin, with only Chief Justice John Roberts able to be considered, most of the time, as “moderate”.

So a constitutional crisis exists, with white supremacists working to insure that American democracy fails completely as we reach the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026!

The Bush Presidencies Will Be Forever Stained By Thomas And Alito Appointments!

Every President has policies and appointments that historically make him look positive, but they also have policies and appointments that historically make him look negative.

The two Presidents Bush, father and son, will never be forgiven for their horrendous appointments of Clarence Thomas in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush, and Samuel Alito in 2006 by President George W. Bush!

And the appointment of Alito could have been even worse, as if timing had been different, he would have been Chief Justice instead of John Roberts!

Roberts was scheduled to be an Associate Justice nominee to replace Sandra Day O’Connor, but the day before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings began, Chief Justice William Rehnquist died, and George W. Bush, overnight, decided Roberts would be his replacement, and later selected Alito to replace Sandra Day O’Connor.

The thought of a Chief Justice Samuel Alito is horrifying, although Alito has done tremendous damage to the institution of the Supreme Court in his 16 years he has served!

As it is, Chief Justice John Roberts, like Alito, picked by a President who lost the popular vote in 2000, has not distinguished himself, has proved to be a weak leader, and will go down as a failure. His reputation historically will suffer in the long term!

Two Republican Majority Courts Supported Abortion Rights, But Not Now In 2022!

In the case of Roe V. Wade (1973), decided by 7-2, Abortion Rights for women was made federal law, with five of the seven votes being Republican appointments:

Harry Blackmun (Nixon)
Warren Burger (Chief Justice) (Nixon)
William Brennan (Eisenhower)
Potter Stewart (Eisenhower)
Lewis Powell (Nixon)

In Planned Parenthood V. Casey (1992), a later case on abortion, with some limits, the decision was 5-4, with all 5 in the majority being Republican appointments:

Sandra Day O’Connor (Reagan)
Anthony Kennedy (Reagan)
David Souter (HW Bush)
Harry Blackmun (Nixon)
John Paul Stevens (Ford)

All of these Republican appointed Justices were considered to be “conservatives” in their time frame, although Blackmun, Brennan, and Stevens came to be seen as “liberals’ over time, and O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter came to be seen as “moderates”.

The definition of “conservative” has changed dramatically in the past half century, so all of the Republican Justices would be seen by right wing Republicans in 2022 as “RINOS”, Republicans In Name Only!

In 2022, in Dobbs V. Jackson’s Women Health Organization, all six Republicans voted to end abortion rights, although Chief Justice John Roberts wanted only further limitations on abortion, and therefore dissented while joining the other five Republicans.

These appointments were by two Presidents who lost the popular vote when they were elected by the Electoral College, along with Clarence Thomas appointed by George H W Bush.

Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh both had charges of sexual impropriety brought against them, while Neil Gorsuch gained a place on the Court that was meant for Barack Obama appointee Merrick Garland, and Amy Coney Barrett replaced the recently deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg just a week before an election in which Donald Trump lost by 7 million votes to Joe Biden, who should have been allowed that appointment.

Abortion Rights Fails In US Senate, And So Called”Supporters” Collins And Murkowski Bail!

Abortion Rights has failed in the US Senate, by a vote of 49-51, not surprising, but two so called “supporters”, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, bailed on the legislation on technical grounds, along with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia!

Basically, both Senators showed they talk the talk but do not walk the walk.

So it seems certain that women will lose their rights to their own bodies’s autonomy, and there will be botched abortions and suicides rapidly increasing!

This is extremely tragic as women’s rights are going backwards, and yet, at this point, nothing can be done to stop it, unless by miracle, the Supreme Court backs away from its draft decision from February.

This would require Chief Justice John Roberts to influence at least one of the five Justices in the majority, likely either Brett Kavanaugh or Amy Coney Barrett, to join him and the three Democratic appointments on the Court.

But there is no way to know if Roberts might in the end join the five other conservatives, and make the final vote in June 6-3 instead of 5-4!

Nomination Of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson To Supreme Court A Homerun! :)

President Joe Biden has hit a homerun with the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court vacancy created by the soon to be retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer.

Jackson has exceptional credentials, and already has been approved by a bipartisan vote last year to sit on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where other justices have been members, including Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.

Jackson has excellent educational credentials, as well as impressive judicial and legal experience.

But of course, the white supremacists and racists are attacking her appointment, since Jackson will be the first black female Justice in American history to sit on the Supreme Court, a long overdue development.

Her appointment will not affect the right wing conservative balance on the Court, but her age of 51 means she will be likely to serve on the Court for a generation or more, and will witness, hopefully, a more balanced Supreme Court down the road!

Jackson has demonstrated her understanding of the issues of disabiled people, workers, immigrants, freedom of speech, and the concept that a President is NOT a King, regarding Donald Trump!

This is another of the great developments that the Presidency of Joe Biden has brought the nation!

The Supreme Court Reputation Reaching An All Time Low

The US Supreme Court is in a crisis, as its reputation in public opinion polls, and among Supreme Court “watchers”, is reaching an all time low, not matched since the late 1920s and early 1930s.

The Court has never been as right wing in substance as it is now, since a century ago, and even going further back to the late 19th century Gilded Age era.

The Supreme Court’s reputation was glowing in the time of the Warren Court (1953-1969) and even moving forward to the Burger Court (1969-1986), and still having an image of balance in the era of the Rehnquist Court (1986-2005).

This was due to the reality that many Republican appointees to the Court, including the following, avoided hardline conservativism:

Eisenhower–Earl Warren, William Brennan
Nixon–Warren Burger, Harry Blackmun
Ford–John Paul Stevens
Reagan–Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy
HW Bush–David Souter

These eight Justices made a massive difference in enunication of Supreme Court opinions.

Sadly, George H W Bush’s appointment of Clarence Thomas, and George W. Bush’s selection of Samuel Alito, veered the Court far to the right, and Donald Trump’s three appointments—Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett—have continued that trend.

The fact that Thomas and Kavanaugh have been connected to accusations of sexual harassment, and that Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett were chosen by Presidents who lost the national popular vote, and that Gorsuch took a seat that was meant for Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, and that Barrett was confirmed for the Court less than two weeks before the national election—only adds to the fury and disgust felt about the Supreme Court!

This has, reportedly, disturbed Chief Justice John Roberts (2005- ), whose historical reputation is being damaged, as he has moved, personally, from being conservative to attempts to create a moderate balance on the Court. Sadly, it is not working, so there are some rumors that he might retire from the Court after 17 years as its leader, as that is about the norm for most of the 17 Chief Justices in Amerian history, with the exception of John Marshall (1801-1835) and his successor, Roger Taney (1836-1864).

That would be a major step forward, to retire, and allow Joe Biden to pick a Chief Justice, which has not happened for a Democratic President since Harry Truman in 1946!

US V Nixon; Clinton V Jones; And Now Trump Lawsuit Against January 6 Committee Appeal To Supreme Court!

The Supreme Court has come out with two decisions in the past half century that made it clear of the limits of Presidential power!

In 1974, in US V Nixon, the Supreme Court, including three appointees of President Richard Nixon, unanimously by an 8-0 vote, declared that Nixon had to hand over the Watergate tapes to the Special Prosecutor, leading to the resignation of Nixon from the Presidency within weeks!

In 1997, in Clinton V Jones, the Supreme Court, including two appointees of President Bill Clinton, unanimously by a 9-0 vote, declared that a President had no immunity from civil law litigation in federal court for acts done before taking office. This case involved the sexual harrassment charge brought by Paula Jones against Governor Bill Clinton

Clinton’s evasiveness in testifying in court about Paula Jones led to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, and his impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1998, although found not guilty by the Senate in the impeachment trial in 1999.

Now, Donald Trump wants “executive privilege” to be in effect to prevent evidence in White House records of what he was doing on January 6, 2021 involving the Capitol Hill Insurrection, to be presented to the January 6 House Committee, investigating the events of that day. President Joe Biden has authorized waiver of such privileges, since Trump is a former President.

Despite having three Trump appointments to the Supreme Court, the strong likelihood is that the Court will, unanimously, reject such arguments, as earlier Courts did involving Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

If such does not happen, which seems like a long shot, then the Court will have besmirched its reputation for the long term, and the reputation of Chief Justice John Roberts will be damaged forever.

And that will promote the likelihood of attempts to add four new members to a Court which will be the most condemned and pilloried since the time of Chief Justice Roger Taney during the Civil War!