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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
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A Rogue Supreme Court?

What the heck is wrong with the U. S. Supreme Court?

If we ever needed evidence that a bunch of old people who aren't elected and have lifetime security are out of touch, we have it now.

The Supreme Court, within just a couple of weeks, has issued a series of major rulings without a single dissent.



What is the matter with these people? Don't they understand government isn't supposed to work this way?

This is not what democracy is all about. You don't agree on things and get them done.

But the Supreme Court rules on GPS surveillance, discrimination by religious organizations, slaughterhouse inspections, and Texas redistricting and there's not a single naysayer.

Who are these people and what have they done with our Supreme Court?

I don't have the answer - for some reason I'm not allowed in chambers - but there are some obvious possibilities.

The Simulacra. P. K. Dick fans know what I'm talking about. In the novel, the president is an android. So, since life imitates science fiction, the U. S. Supreme Court justices have been replaced by a group of lifelike androids. Suddenly the concept of lifetime appointment takes on a whole new meaning.

Pod people is another possibility, but that would require you to believe in an alien takeover. Let's not be ridiculous. We do have immigration laws.

Fatigue. Imagine you've got lifetime job security and no one can reverse your decisions no matter what they are. If you're old and tired, why not let someone else do the work?

Maybe the justices got together and decided life's too short to work all that hard. I'm picturing this happening during post-court-session cocktails. Their plan is to hire someone to write all the court opinions and then sign off on them.

Arguing, after all, has to be hard on elderly blood pressure.

Someone won a bet. I'm thinking maybe the winner of the weekly high court Scrabble tournament gets to decide on the current unanimous ruling.

Or maybe it's the winning basketball team. (Joe Biden gets to play to make the teams even. I think that's in the Constitution.)

Just be glad the losers don't have to show up naked in court. (But I don't advise checking under the robes.)

CASE NOTES. Despite the unanimity, there were some interesting passages in those recent Supreme Court cases.

The religion one, in particular, interested me. When I first heard the news reports about it, I absolutely loved the concept: you can't discriminate against a religion, but a religion can discriminate against you.

After all, if a religion has to be open-minded, it might as well not be a religion.

But that's not the best part of this. Here it is:

"According to the Church, (the plaintiff) was a minister, and she had been fired for a religious reason - namely that her threat to sue the Church violated the Synod's belief that Christians should resolve their disputes internally."

Being sued was against the Church's religion.

We have freedom of religion and freedom from litigation if it's a religious belief.

Some of you employers out there might want to consider joining this religion.

And then there was the GPS surveillance case. How would a bunch of old people - some of whom are convinced that they have to channel guys from the 18th century - deal with a new technology issue?

Justice Scalia, writing for the court, didn't disappoint. He decided to rely on a ruling called Entick v. Carrington - decided in 1765. (Really. I don't make this stuff up.)

And now we know why Spider-Man is considered an outlaw. Those spider tracers are unconstitutional.

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