Supreme Court

Counting on what is good

By everyone’s estimation, last week was bad, in fact we are having many bad weeks piling up for sometime now. But, these horrible events distract us from all the good that is emerging at the same time. It’s not Pollyanna-like to see that this cauldron of world-wide strife is now bubbling over for all to see and evaluate and soundly reject. 

13208598245_b71e3e0fc5_bUniversal human rights, environmental protection, and self-determination, and all that they convey, will prevail, not just because of their rightness but because they represent survival. Science-denying, theocratic fundamentalists, here and abroad, simply have no future.

Previously I have asked the question, What would happen if there was an alien invasion? Whether the aliens were friendly or not, we as a planet would join together to respond irrespective of the nationalistic tendencies some hold dear. This nationalism (and the racism that underlies it) is a disease and is at the root of all of the world’s ills whether we are talking about America’s failed immigration policies or arms aggression across the globe.

Our manifesto written in connection with VenusPlusX’s relaunch in April offers more about how progress inevitably overcomes regress. Progress itself has its own natural ecology, although at times like this it takes a little thought to see it.

We’ve already talked about the right-wing theocracy destroying American democracy; their paper trail speaks for itself, but voters will ultimately reject the policies and laws wrought by these old, white, sexually sick hacks, from the Supreme Court to Congress to local school boards to seditious public officials calling for armed defense of their smallest ideas. Except for a dozen other countries, it’s mostly much worse in other places.

All together we have a relative small oligarchy enslaving us, and the more they do the more they hasten the inevitable populist revolution. They are anti-women, anti-voter, anti-gay, and anti-the-rest-of-everything. If nothing else, they will die, and their perverse ideas will die with them. Even if the hysteria about Obama should somehow lead for a time to more old, white theocrats, that will only force their insanity further out on display and, therefore, more rapidly diminished and dismissed.

Oligarchs like Putin, will be done in by their own recklessness. Right-wingnuts often do our work for us, fully repudiating their own ideas because they lack the connective tissue to make any sense at all.

Old, white men are pursuing an agenda of perversity touching hundreds of countries, not to make America the beacon of hope it once was, and can again, but instead to be ruler of the entire planet. Here’s one of the worst examples — there is a secret organization known as The Family (also know as The Fellowship) which sponsors anti-homosexuality campaigns abroad to establish christianists’ unholy stranglehold of entire populations with the sole purpose of seizing control of these countries’ natural resources. With the aid, complicity, and full participations of past and current senators, congressmen, attorneys general, military commanders, and just plain businessmen in it for a buck or two, The Family operates 10,000 cells worldwide, corporate white-collar terrorists who just pledge their loyalty to Jesus’s plan (their interpretation of it to be sure), and then do whatever the hell they want.

People won’t be able to stay silent much longer.

So the diffuse and asymmetrical bad is coming at a fast pace now, faster than in anytime in the future but we are comforted by all the good that is emerging just as fast. The transformation of the world may not take as long as you might think. And the populist revolution we so desperately need will not necessarily be cataclysmic in nature because we are making incremental but substantive progress everyday. But, like I said, it’s natural to focus on the negative and ignore the good.

So, off the top of my head today, I’m going to start an inventory of all the good that is happening, and hope you will send your own citations. We can look at this growing list every time we feel discouraged when face to face with our enslavers.

  • Just today, as the result of many boots on the ground, and a 10-person lawsuit joined by the National Action Network, Detroit has stopped cutting off water to poor customers.
  • Also, today, President Obama newly protected lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from being discriminated against by federal contractors. This affects over 25% of the American workforce, and sets the table for a fully equality bill in congress.
  • Last week, thanks to the leadership of Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, an agreement has been reached to apply drug-sentencing retroactively, giving more than 45,000 prisoners the right to petition for reduced sentences or release, saving taxpayers millions and giving these people and their families renewed hope.
  • Many institutions, including faith groups, are unloading investments of fossil fuels, and many other campaigns of divestment are taking place, all for the greater good of the world.
  • Transgender Actress and Activist, Laverne Cox hit the cover of Time magazine, and becomes first transgender actress to be nominated  for an Emmy award. The conversation about sexual and gender freedom has never been more active.
  • Colleges are leading the way in designating gender-neutral dorms and gender-neutral bathrooms on its campuses.
  • Even the Supreme Court occasionally does something good, like protecting the search of your smart phone.

These are all examples of what we discuss in our Manifesto for a New Age of Sexual Freedom, wherein we posit that Sexual Freedom is the bedrock of all freedoms because it conveys the full end of racism, nationalism, and oppression by the few. Our treatise revives a long-held concept of what is needed: the gradual, hopefully not cataclysmic, end of old, inhuman, coercive systems run by governments, corporations, and religious hierarchies, while preserving from this history that which is old but also good, and building new, human, and entirely voluntary associations. A good example of something that is old and also good is reprinted below. Another is the gradual shift to local farming and food supply to replace hard-hearted, pesticide-infused agribusiness.

Send us samples of good popping up in your community and country that we can share with each other.

Flickr/creative commons

Flickr/creative commons




why it says in the manifesto.


We shall overcome. We shall overcome.

Arrow’s Paradox Dismembers Supreme Court Illogic

A few years ago around July 4, we wrote about the fallacy of the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the Citizen’s United v Federal Communications Commission case opened the door to giving personal rights to corporations by prohibiting the government from restricting political expenditures. These same fallacies underpin the recent ruling in Burwell v Hobby Lobby  newly bestows on corporations the right to assert religious freedom when considering their employees birth control. Neither were good decisions. They were irrational and false because they are devoid of any valid national vision.

As Congress waves its arms trying to rectify the impact of these two decisions, I thought it would be interesting to revive our previous analysis.

Our national constitution was designed to provide a process for managing collectives and overarching rights to limit their operation against the individual and personal choice. By according individual citizen rights to collectives, the court destroyed this balance. The result was the creation of an irremediable failure within the foundation of balanced decision making in the Constitution, resulting in the final destruction of any voice from the people at the ballot box.

Kenneth Arrow

Kenneth Arrow

Collectives are not and can never be functionally equivalent to individuals. The critical difference is in the quality of decision making. Individuals make choices based on their own sense of truth and their will to act upon it (or not). Collectives aggregate the opinions, true and untrue, fantastic and incomplete, of their members by various means, but never as an individual. The essential unfairness of this was conclusively demonstrated in the 40’s by Kenneth Arrow, in a PhD thesis that foreshadowed a lifetime of work for which he later received the Nobel Prize in Economics. In brief, Arrow showed that, given a group of three or more people, all expressing preferences according to their own desires, there was no possible way to combine their individual judgments to achieve a collective decision that would be non-dictatorial, representative, decisive, and fair, among necessary qualities. The main difference is that the individual decides, but the group decision making process, even conducted with perfect transparency, necessarily diffuses the inevitably illogical and irrational way the conclusion was reached, protecting the guilty within the group by spreading moral responsibility across the whole body of participants, both innocent and guilty. Of course, Arrow’s Paradox may also be taken as a proof of the inevitable inadequacy of any collective form of government to achieve all the ideals one might reasonably expect of it.

The Constitution elaborates a mechanical government and gives it force, while the Bill of Rights offers a set of vague and unenforceable promises to protect the individual from the depredations of government and the mob or horde. What can we possibly do to rescue our communities from the global plan of legalized slavery that is now sliding into place with the surety born of an alien invasion of overwhelming might? Old-style humans increasingly organize to own and control all property and, since property is essential to life, all living things as well. They have conspired to take control of all aspects of government, including the ability to define what government is and is to be. They have announced loudly their intention to make our presently oppressive government a refined instrument of total social and economic control, to accelerate the attrition of the weak by deliberately increasing the death rate through destruction of social and medical services and infrastructure, and to trap a planet in their incredible solipsistic delusions of personal grandeur. Such is the legacy of our pastfathers.

For over two centuries the worst of such bullies progressively gained greater control over the Federal government, the US military, and the know-nothing cults displaying their self-generated delusions and ignorance under false-flag Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, which, as “religions of the book,” are peculiarly susceptible to such spiritual derailment when subjected to ignorant literal reading of their largely irrelevant and obsolete texts.

And what has all this social terrorism of the meek and powerless achieved for our nation? The US has the poorest performance among all advanced economies in income inequality, food insecurity, prison population, and mathematics education. At the same time, US life expectancy is significantly worse than other advanced nations.

We celebrate our nation’s birthday and honor the vision of what our nation might have been had we been a truer and wiser people, less inclined to reliance on imagined history and other myths of the past, and more willing to replace fear with love. Now that we have witnessed the cycle of our old nation, like Greece, Rome, and other false social constructs, cycling to an ignominious end in a convulsion of greed, bullying, and imperialism, we know better for the future. It is now our task to build new ways of living on the remaining working parts and reusable structures of that which we now transcend.

Our own transhuman destiny calls those of us who understand and have experienced the full dimensions of complete freedom of sexual orientation and gender identity to accept our role as teachers and leaders in the founding of a new social order. We shall move forward in time with the future, at last to build that great and fabulous society of which we have always dreamed.

There’s mighty work afoot. Let us begin to prepare for the second great North American federal republic—the nation that is to be, that will realize the ambitions of humanity to be safe and at peace, where all can grow into the fullness of their abilities.


What? Science? Who Needs Science?

On Monday, we wrote our analysis of the disastrous 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Burwell v Hobby Lobby, which gives greater religious freedom rights to closely held for-profit corporations and less religious freedom rights to natural persons (their words). We also urged you to express your dissent by signing on on to support Planned Parenthood in its defends health care access for women.

Flickr/creative commons

Flickr/creative commons


“The decision now says people have the right to ignore science; humans can ignore facts. Science can be contested, disproven, and proven, with experimentation, and the advancement of knowledge. But Hobby Lobby just got a religious exemption from the health care law and basically all science!” — Michelle Garcia at the Advocate 

Closely held for-profit corporations comprise 90% of American companies and millions of workers, and companies are now empowered to intervene in the health care access for women and the men that love them by denying coverage for commonly used, FDA-approved pregnancy prevention pills and devices, such as an IUD (intra-uterine device). We fully agree with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who wrote the dissenting opinion, warning that the Court is about to enter “a minefield.”

The New York Times previously tried to explain this, and VenusPlusX, Mother Jones, and others such as Garcia do very well in unpacking the bad science behind the decision. These 5 white men in the majority are uniformed and/or intentionally in denial by misunderstanding that the birth control methods they feel are so at odds with their religions interfere with embryo implantation when in fact they simply prevent fertilization.

These science-deniers and extreme-right wing nuts have driven down the Court’s favorability to 30%, and threaten the balance of government. Last month, VenusPlusX, discussed the impeachment of certain Supreme Court Justices, and this should add more fuel to the fire.

Garcia also makes another very good point of why this decision should worry every lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) person. Generations of LGBT activists have always understood that when it comes to progress, equality rights follow women’s rights. Legislation and lawsuits favoring LGBT people are based on this fact, and shows the two movements have be (and should be) inexorably linked for decades.

As a queer woman, it makes me want to shake every LGBT person who doesn’t see the broader implications of this. What if a company could tell employees that they won’t pay for insurance that covers HIV treatment or health care to transgender people because of owners’ “sincerely held religious beliefs”? Justice Samuel Alito, in writing the majority opinion, promised its scope was “very specific.” Still, some of us side with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and foresee a potential onslaught of legal challenges testing the limits.

When I unfurl my brow and relax to get a good night’s sleep I think about the upside of right-wing theocratic extremism — it brings out the voters. The more desperate the right-wing nuts are and the more sloppy they become help focus progressive action. In America, we can use the issues where Republicans fall short (women’s rights, immigration rights, LGBT rights, immigration rights, workers rights, and on and on) to vote them out in November, insuring a super-majority in the Senate will be available there to appoint new progressive Justices as maybe needed in the next few years; and, regaining the House to replace the do-nothing bunch there now.

291679976_f8e1803bf5_oIt’s the political season. Put your boots on the ground to stand up for those whose human rights are under attack. We have to get our own house in order before we can affect similar changes in trouble spots across the world. Two follows one, three follows two, and so on and so on so just take that first step towards change.

See A Manifesto for The New Age of Sexual Freedom to understand why VenusPlusX believes issues like these are of supreme importance.


Express Your Dissent!

It is unbelievable that in 2014
we are still fighting about women’s
access to basic health care like birth control.

If you agree — say so. Just click here now
to add your name to the dissent.
— Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood

Photo by James Palinsad Flickr/creative commons

Photo by James Palinsad
Flickr/creative commons

In a dramatic 5-4 decision along ideological lines, the Supreme Court today chose to side with corporations over people and set a brand new (and untested) precedent that is just the starting gun for more and more corporations claiming religious freedom superiority over the needs of their employees.

(See a LATE BREAKING UPDATE at the bottom showing the already cascading effect this decision is having in the lower courts, in less than 8 hours.) 

In Burwell v Hobby Lobby, the right-wing justices vacated a portion of the Affordable Care Act that applies to certain for-profit corporations, giving them superior religious freedom rights. They performed this bit of surgery with a dull hack saw. In the the process they perpetuated a fatal misunderstanding of the difference between pregnancy prevention and abortion.

Protecting the free-exercise rights of closely held corporations thus protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control them. — Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito

It was a good day to be a boss. And a very good day for all the lawyers who will now thrive because of the havoc this decision will fuel. 

Justice Stephen Breyer and the 3 women Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayer, and Elana Kagan, dissented in consideration of the tens of thousands of working women who are now unable to exercise their religious freedom, or more bluntly, freedom from the religious freedom of others with whom they disagree. Ginsburg called it, “A decision of startling breadth,” and went on to say . . .

The Court’s expansive notion of corporate personhood . . . invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faith . . . The Court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield . . .

The longstanding, extreme right-wingnuts’ campaign to dismantle any gains in reproductive freedom is driven solely by their theocratic fundamentalist beliefs that dictate that women shouldn’t control their own bodies, or shouldn’t be wanting to have sex in the first place, and that pregnancy prevention amounts to another form of abortion. Their position is that discrimination against women health care is not discrimination at all — it’s okay for your bosses to know better what you need.

Now it’s up to the Congress to provide a contraceptive work-around, if possible. For now, however, working women have to pay twice, first by their labor which entitles them to health care, and then separately outside of their company’s health care program. For example, a working woman now must pay more than $1000 for a IUD, an intrauterine device that prevents pregnancy, in many cases equal to a month’s pay.

There is an irony here because less available contraception will result in more pregnancies which are even more expensive and more of a strain on women’s overall health and their economic opportunities.

This impasse is a perfect example of an inhumane and coercive system that must be replaced with a humane and voluntary association outside of the influence of governments, corporations, and religious hierarchies. Shall birth control, including abortion, be a matter for the growing theocracy or be a matter between a woman and her health care providers? See A Manifesto for The New Age of Sexual Freedom to understand why VenusPlusX believes issues like these are of supreme importance.

Join us and Planned Parenthood in expressing your dissent so together we can do everything possible to protect and defend women’s health and rights nationwide.

Related . . .

— A possible (very slim) silver lining in today’s ruling

— Some equally bad decisions this session:  McCullen v Coakley, stripping buffer zones at women’s clinics; and, today’s weakening of unions, and the worker benefits they sponsor with Harris v Quinn

— Two very good decisions: Protecting personal privacy in Riley v California Rulingand denying cert rejecting challenge to California’s law banning gay sex therapy.

— When Will We Move to Impeach Certain Supreme Court Justices, Part 1 and Part 2

— When Free Speech Becomes Sedition

— How Right-wing Nuts are Actually Helping Progressives

UPDATE from SCOTUSblogActing swiftly in the wake of the Court’s ruling on Monday, and relying directly upon that decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Monday blocked all enforcement of the mandate against an Alabama Catholic TV network, a non-profit entity. Dozens of cases similar to Hobby Lobby are in the pipeline and now sure to be viewed with more favor.




Supreme Women Don’t Fail Us Now (again)

It was painful last week to hear the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court in McCullen v Coakley, siding with abortion protesters’ free speech right to engage women face-to face in the public square and against those advocating for clinics’ privacy and public safety in consideration of the violence, bombings, and cold-blooded murder that beset them long before there was anything akin to a buffer zone. The case ended the a 35-foot buffer zone in Massachusetts, didn’t rule on a handful of other states that had smaller buffer zones, and, the reasoning of each justice varied wildly.

Photo by Paul Weaver Flickr/creative commons

Photo by Paul Weaver
Flickr/creative commons

Abortion has been legal in this country for 40 years (Roe v Wade , 1973), but discrimination against women has been rising at a fast pace due to the machinations of the explosive theocratic fundamentalist’s discrimination politics that are strangling government, and, it seems, the once-hallowed Supreme Court. Because it would be impossible to reverse Roe v Wade in the courts, the Court is giving these abortion protesters free reign to take it out on women they don’t know.

Why can the Supreme Court itself establish such a wide, no-free-speech buffer around its building (hundreds of square feet, for “decorum and public safety”), and Westboro Baptist Church haters now cannot cross a large buffer zone surrounding veterans funerals, but abortion clinics’ bombs, maiming, and death somehow are not worthy?

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick puts it this way . .

While the decision is not monumentally awful in ways some progressives most feared, and certainly affords the state substantial latitude in its future attempts to protect women seeking abortions from harassment, more than anything it seems to reflect a continued pattern of “free speech for me but not for thee” or, at least, “free speech for people who think like me,” that pervades recent First Amendment decisions at the court. . .

. . . Right now, the commentary is pretty predictably split between those who believe that the rights of “peaceful sidewalk counselors” were vindicated, and those who believe those counselors are actually pro-life bullies. The court opts for the gentle counseling characterization, without acknowledging that it was the extreme conduct of the latter group that led to passage of the law, and that, realistically, in the absence of the buffer zone, both types of protesters will be greatly emboldened. I guess from here on in, you won’t know whether you are being intimidated or “gently counseled” until after it’s happened.

This is outright discrimination politics interfering with what should have been a privacy and public safety issue. These are not sweet grandmas trying to talk gently to urge women not to go through with the abortion, these are hellions bent on intimidation based solely on their own personal view of abortion although abortion is something that is entirely legal in this country.

Andrew Gouveia wrote a heart-wrenching op-ed last week in Time magazine, and other horror stories are making the rounds as most women stand in shock that there was no dissent, even from our fellow women on the Court. What were they thinking? I guess we’ll have to wait for their memoirs.

It may be fanciful to think these same women Justices have struck a deal to create a majority tomorrow, Monday, in rejecting Hobby Lobby’s efforts to make corporations exempt from providing health insurance that covers contraceptives (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby) just like some religious entities right now. Under the Affordable Care Act, employers must cover free contraception for women in employee health plans. It is possible, the Court may rule to restrict the exemption to only tightly held private corporations but this would still create a very slippery slope, and set a bad precedent for women’s rights. In their March deliberations, the Justices themselves wondered out loud whether this exemption would let these same companies to disallow coverage for other things such as blood transfusion because their religious beliefs disallow them. And what about protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees?

The possibility of a deal in the works to protect reproductive health for women, might make sense for a court already smeared by some of their bad decisions. It is just a strand of hope against the possibility of another savage and bloody run against human rights.

I’m going to sleep tonight with that strand of hope still alive, that this Supreme Court, especially the women Justices, will find its way to stand up for the law, in this case the Affordable Care Act’s provisions, and the rights of women to control their own health.

However, we have to ask again, what are they thinking?

For more on what’s at stake tomorrow, click here.

Also see: When Will We Move to Impeach Certain Supreme Court Justices, Part 1 and Part 2

And, if you are curious as to why VenusPlusX thinks this is important, read A Manifesto for The New Age of Sexual Freedom, and catch our unique mix of posts and videos 24/7 that will get us all to that better future we deserve, sooner rather than later.


When will we move to impeach certain Supreme Court justices? (Part 2)

Flickr/creative commons

Flickr/creative commons

“In the Potemkin justice of the Roberts
court, the right to vote 
is under attack,
while the power to buy elections

is sanctified by law. Corporations
are called people under a
faux doctrine
of free speech, while women are denied
to combat discrimination.”
– Brent Budowsky Editorial from The Hill, April 9, 2014.



Most of us came of age with nearly blind trust in this once-austere body, this third branch of government charged with deciding the most challenging questions of our time. But times have changed, and so has the purpose and direction of the Supreme Court. It’s literally gone off the rails, insane. 

So, yesterday, we formally joined the national conversation by asking when the grassroots-at-large will rise up, start paying more attention to this judicial menace, and act by using the formidable power vested in the people to reshape The Supreme Court?

Budowsky’s April 9 editorial offers a prescription for us, a place to start in the near term:

Democrats, liberals and populists should promote a constitutional amendment to reverse Supreme Court decisions, propose statewide ballot initiatives to take back America from special interests, and make corruption in Washington a defining issue to mobilize the Democratic base, rally political independents and transform the 2014 and 2016 elections.


It’s one thing to make corruption in Washington a defining issue, but what of the larger picture? Which body reigns above us all and makes possible the Koch Brothers and their spawn? stands with the National Rifle Association in its total misunderstanding of the Second Amendment? restricts voting among known Democrats wherever and whenever possible? The list of shame goes on and on.

We have seen the rise of something worse than winning or losing a couple of elections. Pre-eminent constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe calls it the “Roberts Anti-court Court,” not just for the Court’s dismal showing, especially in the last several years with it’s rash of constitution-shredding decisions in favor of monied, self-interested litigants, but for it’s dramatic restructuring of the procedures and rules they formerly operated within, delimiting class actions, and forcing involuntary binding arbitration.

Tribe’s must-read book is entitled, Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution.

“Since 2005, the Roberts Court has issued a string of decisions that make it harder to hold the government accountable in court when it violates the Constitution.”

“The result is a shrinking judicial role in enforcing the Constitution and protecting our liberty.”

[The Roberts Court is] “far more sensitive to the substantial burdens of litigation than to the potential benefits of lawsuits.”

“Whereas the midcentury court saw itself as a protector of the powerless, the Roberts Court is mostly uninterested in that role . . . it has dealt critical legal rules a death of a thousand cuts—leaving many of our rights intact but making them effectively impossible to enforce in any court”

Tribe urges us to “seek justice elsewhere . . . the democratic process, social movements, arbitration, our communities and families, consumer report websites and other means of ensuring that everyone comply with the law. Indeed, the Constitution presumes that democracy, not litigation, is how we’re supposed to resolve many disputes.”

Arthur Bryant, Chairman of Public Justice, a national public interest law firm, writing Thursday for the National Law Journal, agreed with Tribe’s analysis but goes a step further, “We must keep fighting for justice in the courts” and “keep working hard to make the Supreme Court a pro-court court. We need courts to provide access to justice to all.”

First, we need to keep using the courts, as much and as best we can, to hold corporations, the government and the powerful accountable—exposing the truth, righting wrongs and making the wrongdoers pay.

Second, we need to keep fighting to preserve and expand access to justice. Nothing could be more important.

The bottom line is that we cannot accept an anti-court Supreme Court. We need to develop a pro-court court. Then we need to do what everyone in America should be able to do: Go to court and get justice.


You can learn more about some of the more egregious recent decisions by the Court by taking a look at  Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, unconscionably awarding people’s free speech to corporations who have exploited this new right only further consolidate corporate and political power; Shelby County v. Holder, a gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965; and, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, legalizing political graft.

Educate yourself for this inescapable campaign to unseat the worse of the worse as it revs up into full gear. Sign the petitions against Chief Justice John RobertsAntonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. And, connect with organizations and people in your own community who want to step forward to rescue America from these misguided justices. We need really, really wise justices to protect the voiceless, and these three are not that.

Click here for yesterday’s Part 1.

For more:

Budowsky: History to Impeach Roberts

We Cannot Let and “Anti-court Court Eliminate Access to Justice

Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution

And, to learn why VenusPlusX thinks this is important, read A Manifesto for The New Age of Sexual Freedom, and catch our unique mix of posts and videos 24/7 that will get us all to that better future, sooner rather than later.

When will we move to impeach certain Supreme Court justices? (Part 1)

“Five conservative Republican men serving on the Supreme Court,
led by a chief justice who has violated 200 years of judicial precedent,
despite pledging under oath during his confirmation hearings to respect
judicial precedent, are waging a legal war of mass destruction against
core principles of American democracy . . .”

Brent Budowsky Editorial from The Hill, April 9, 2014.


Antonin Scalia Flickr/creative commons

Antonin Scalia
Flickr/creative commons

Every June, I get nervous about the Supreme Court, and the Roberts’s court in particular. My knees have been shaking at the very idea that they may rule anyway now to give Hobby Lobby and all corporations/employers’ the right to disallow contraception coverage, something that is mandated by and totally funded by for the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

When I was growing up in the 50s, my parents impressed upon me the reverence they paid to the Supreme Court, whose justices served selflessly for life to decide the hardest decisions American’s face. I held this view up until the retirement of Justice William J. Brennan in 1990. At the time, I was close friends with his daughter and happen to be privy to the fact that he stayed on longer than he wanted to boost the progressive voices then on the court. But a lot has changed since then. George Bush was elected in 2000 and proceeded to pack the court with conservative judicial activists instead of stalwarts of justice. So now, we find ourselves looking for grounds for impeachment starting with the two of the worse, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, along with their enabler, Chief Justice John Roberts.

This right-wing majority in the Supreme Court is now forcing us to endure the most terrible, constitution-shredding rulings I never could have imagined: In 2009, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission opened the floodgates by giving organizations free speech prerogatives, formerly reserved for individuals, in allowing political spending by outside groups, something that has since clearly hijacked the democratic political process. Then in 2013, the court decision in Shelby County v. Holder gutted, savaged really, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, striking down its Section 4 as unconstitutional, the formula that subjected certain jurisdictions (mostly in the South with its bad voter protection histories) to pre-clearance by the Department of Justice before implementing new changes in their voting laws and practices. And, also last June, in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Court held that aggregate campaign contribution limits were invalid under First Amendment, newly legalizing a long-ago rejected form of outright political graft.

There are already numerous petitions to call for the impeachment of Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. Roberts has even prompted a petition from his own right wing, for siding with the progressive side of the court which upheld that people can be forced to get coverage under Affordable Care Act, just as with car insurance, a widely accepted premise.

Both Thomas and Scalia have been participated in partisan fundraising, which would be be considered a clear violation of ethics. Thomas’ wife, Ginni, was also on the payroll of at least one of these organizations, Thomas says he “forgot” to disclose. An analysis of Scalia’s public statements and speeches could hold the key to his ouster because they were seditious. Unfortunately, ethics censure is voluntary for Supreme Court justices. They are not held the same standard of conduct that all other federal judges are held to, and under which they can be impeached.

Budowsky urges us to mobilize:

Democrats, liberals and populists should promote a constitutional amendment to reverse Supreme Court decisions, propose statewide ballot initiatives to take back America from special interests, and make corruption in Washington a defining issue to mobilize the Democratic base, rally political independents and transform the 2014 and 2016 elections (from The Hill)

What will you do to address this most important threat to American democracy in our history?

This post continues in Part 2 with a discussion and analysis of Laurence Tribe‘s new book, Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution.

For more:

Budowsky: History to Impeach Roberts

We Cannot Let and “Anti-court Court Eliminate Access to Justice

Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution

And, to learn why VenusPlusX thinks this is important, read A Manifesto for The New Age of Sexual Freedom, and catch our unique mix of posts and videos 24/7 that will get us all to that better future, sooner rather than later.



Supreme Court: Don’t F#ck it up

Congressional Clarity: Americans United, Allies Deliver Briefing on Hobby Lobby Suit

“Should the Supreme Court rule in favor of Hobby Lobby, employers would be able to privilege their religious convictions over their employees’ – something we consider to be an egregious distortion of the principle of religious liberty” — Litigation Counsel, Greg Lipper, Americans United for Separation of Church and State

A robust national debate has been going on leading up to the soon-to-be ruling from this session of the Supreme Court regarding the standing of a corporation’s religious liberty, (in this case, Hobby Lobby) with respect to its employees’ access to birth control has been mired in the plaintiff’s misinformation and misdirection. This week, Lipper was joined by others, including  Sara Hutchinson of Catholics for Choice, Roy Speckhardt of the American Humanist Association, and Nancy Kaufmann of the National Council of Jewish Women,  tried their best to brief Congress on the potential consequences of a Hobby Lobby victory for real religious liberty, and lay the ground work for legislative rescue should this the court rule in favor of Hobby Lobby.

4156193126_f2ac736727_bSince the court has previously ruled that corporations have “personal” rights, the fate of this case is worrisome.

Hutchinson said, “those consequences would be profoundly negative for most Americans,” adding that organizations such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops do not represent popular support despite its claims to the contrary.

“We firmly believe that contraception coverage protects women.”

“Catholics believe that women’s conscience rights deserve respect.”

Kaufmann reinforced the point.

“[A Hobby Lobby victory] would undermine a woman’s religious liberty to make a faith-informed decision about birth control.”

. . . [P]eople of color, who tend to be low-income as a result of racial inequalities, would be “disproportionately” affected by a ruling that limited contraception access.

“We hope the courts uphold the religious liberty of all people”

Flickr/creative commons

Flickr/creative commons

Speckhardt spoke up for the rights of non-theists.

“True religious liberty must include the option to be non-religious . . .”
“It must not be used by those abusing it for partisan agendas.”

Religious minorities would be burdened by a Hobby Lobby victory, Speckhardt asserted, and he cited concerns that employers could deny access to other necessary medical procedures if religious exemptions to the Affordable Care Act are broadened.


The effort to define religious liberty is sure to continue no matter what the verdict, but activists in every other arena would do well to understand the importance of religious liberty for all as a pillar of civil rights because it affects everything.