The Supreme Court Leak
I think there is (potentially) only one person that is surprised at the contents of the leaked decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade, and that would be Susan Collins, who has proven yet again that she is a short-sighted, and quite a gullible person. Not the kind of representation that any State should want in the Federal Government.
The fact of this matter is that Roe v Wade is settled law, and has been established as the law of the land for 50+ years at this point. That is literally almost as long as my whole lifetime. I cannot, honestly, imagine a time when women didn’t have the right to determine their own health decisions. I think it shouldn’t matter if it’s how a woman wants to treat a common cold, pregnancy, or some type of auto immune disease. The fact is that a woman has every right to determine the course of their health care as much as any other person does.
But I want to focus on some issues that this leak should be bringing to the foreground again that are not being discussed.
There has never been a Supreme Court Justice that has been impeached and removed from the court. In 1804 Justice Samuel Chase was impeached by the House of Representatives, but acquitted by the Senate in 1805. Abe Fortas resigned from the court in 1965 under the threat of impeachment due to financial improprieties. That says a lot about the stability of the court, but it also says that we have made Supreme Court Justices nearly unimpeachable. I believe it is time for that standard to change. No one should have a lifetime appointment to an un-elected seat without the understanding that their past and present conduct will be routinely and regularly reviewed to maintain their suitability for the position.
The fact of the matter is, we have one Justice that is currently sitting on the court that doesn’t, in my belief, hold to standards that we should have and maintain for the court. And that Justice is Brett Kavanaugh. Those who watched the confirmation hearings will remember that he was credibly accused of sexual assault, possibly going as far as committing rape, during the hearing. There was a short investigation by the FBI, which found that the allegations were credible. And yet, the Republican controlled committee still seated Mr. Kavanaugh.
This was an egregious offense to the American People, and all women in America. It is time to re-open the investigation into Mr. Kavanaugh’s history, and determine if there are further grounds for an impeachment proceeding. It’s my belief that with a full investigation conducted by the FBI, there would be major grounds to seek the impeachment of Mr. Kavanaugh.
Mitch McConnell manipulated the Supreme Court nomination process in 2016 to block the confirmation of Merrick Garland under the Obama Administration. By successfully manipulating the process, Neil Gorsuch was nominated and seated under President Trump instead. This is a situation should be reversed.
In addition, we know that the Mitch McConnell has been manipulating the Federal Justice nomination process for years. He has been working hard to stuff the courts with conservative justices, a move that in many respects is setting back to the progress of the justice systems by decades. Mitch McConnell should be sanctioned and or impeached for taking actions that should rise to the level of breaking the process. In fact, I believe, that there should be the establishment of a new set of rules that make such manipulations of the process illegal.
Neil Gorsuch should similarly be brought to resign from the court, or possibly find that the illegitimate grounds under which he was nominated and confirmed could result in impeachment as well.
Supreme Court Structure
While the Supreme Court has functioned reasonably over the past two hundred years, it is becoming more and more apparent that it no longer functions in a manner that is in keeping with the will an consensus of the American people. This is an issue that needs to be addressed, as it currently is not in keeping with the standards and norms being established by our elected representatives.
The most obvious thought has been to impose term limits on the Justices. by doing this we would ensure that there are different people with different thought processes brought into the court on a regular basis. Another possibility would be to have an enforced retirement. This would have a similar effect to term limits, in that as a Justice gets older they are more likely to become set in the ideas and concepts that they learned much earlier in their lives. However, as society changes many of those ideas become outdated. (And, this is one of the things that is coming out with the leak of the decision that would effect Roe v Wade: many of the arguments are well documented, old and have been largely rejected before.)
Another thought would be to have the American people elect the Justices that sit on the Supreme Court. The Judicial system is the only part of the Government where the seats are largely appointed instead of elected. This takes a large portion of the American people’s self-governance out of their hands. Maybe it is time to reconsider that concept and put it back into our hands.
The last idea that has come to mind has been to change the structure of the Supreme Court, possibly expand it with more sitting Justices that could (potentially) better reflect the American People. I honestly have the least hope in this idea without some other fundamental changes as mentioned above. While the current Supreme Court has changed to reflect the American people to some degree, it isn’t enough to really reflect the make up of the country. And, as long as the nomination process can be manipulated to keep it this way it will not be successful in reflecting the country as a whole.
So, these are my thoughts about the current situation. It’s time to start taking action. Mitch McConnell needs to feel the repercussions for his past actions, and there needs to be changes to stop him, or someone else in the future, from manipulating the nomination process again. Brett Kavanaugh should be fully investigated and impeached based on the findings of the investigation. Neil Gorsuch should either consider resigning after the actions taken against Mitch McConnell, or he should be fully vetted and investigated.
The Supreme Court itself is no longer in keeping with the American people. Lifetime appointments are not appropriate for these seats as they need to reflect the changes to society that are occurring on a daily basis. Whether term limits are established, or forced retirement is enacted is the first step in making changes, however if the nomination process isn’t fixed it isn’t likely to have the effect that is needed to establish a court that is both stable and in keeping with the American people.
Electing the Supreme Court Justices would put the power of self governance back in the hands of the people. Routine review of the Justices could be a powerful too to ensure that there isn’t undue influence being wielded over the court that isn’t in keeping with the American people’s will.
If I recall correctly, there was a study with recommendations that had been given to President Biden when he first came into The Office of the President. When asked about it, I believe he said he was taking it under advisement. Most of us knew that meant he wasn’t going to take action on it. Now, however, I believe it is time to revisit these studies and determine what should be done to fix the Supreme Court moving forward.