Questioning the U.S. Supreme Court

The oath of office taken by each U. S. Supreme Court Justice has them solemnly swear to “…faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me under the Constitution and laws of the United States, so help me God.”  (Italics added.)  Citizens who care about civil rights, civil liberties, and separation of church and state are beginning to get a bit nervous about the U. S. Supreme Court since John G. Roberts was made Chief Justice in 2005.  The extent to which this Court has actually changed national laws—laws with precedence going back seventy to one hundred years—and turning them steadily and covertly to the right is disquieting.  In the present Supreme Court, in the dispensing of “equal justice,” Roberts is more often than not aided and abetted by Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Anthony Alito, with Anthony Kennedy very often inclined to the right.  All were Republican nominated, and all are Catholic.

 Even persons who are only superficially acquainted with the democratic principles expressed in the U.S. Constitution are aware that religion and government are meant to be kept separate for the sake of both.  So it is reason for alarm when a Supreme Court Justice promotes himself as “an avenger of the Christian faith,” and in one of his speeches declare himself to be “a fool for Christ.”  Perhaps Supreme Court Justice Antonio Scalia meant it in jest: for the sake of true equal justice let us hope so.  On the other hand, he has openly shown his favoritism toward his taught beliefs when considering his version of “equal justice” in regard to a religious symbol, the cross, that had been placed on government land in the Mohave Desert in California.

The eight foot tall cross was allegedly erected as a war memorial, so Scalia declared that it did not meet with the definition of a Christian symbol!  The court’s judgment, written by Scalia: the cross is “…the most common symbol of the resting place of the dead.”  Really?  Perhaps the dead Christians slumber peacefully because of it, but what of the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, native Americans, atheists or others of lesser known faiths who died for the nation?  Does the long shadow cast by that stark unnatural form really grant all those killed in war the respect that they deserve and earned from the nation?  Despite what Christian extremists claim, the United States was NOT founded as a Christian nation.  Article 11 in the U. S. Treaty with Tripoli, 1796-1797, which also officially ended the War of Independence with Great Britain, says, “As the government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion….”

Equal justice means taking into consideration all evidence to be considered in a case.  As an example of how the Supreme Court has significantly changed national laws, consider the case of Herring v. United States.  The nine Justices passed the decision, which cannot be reviewed, of when evidence must be excluded when police, through good faith or negligent conduct, violate the Fourth Amendment.  Limitations on this were presented with this decision, but it fractured old precedence.  Other precedents have suffered as well.  Plaintiffs relying on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act were thrown a curve in the 14 Penn Plaza v. Pyett case when the Justices declared that individual employees cannot bring claims to court under federal age-discrimination law when they are part of collective bargaining agreement that required arbitration.  The Age Discrimination in Employment Act suffered more fracturing in Gross v. FBL Financial Services by making it more difficult for the plaintiffs in this case to meet burden of proof than did plaintiffs in other forms of employment discrimination suits.

And are true democratic principles being exercised when the possible innocence of a person convicted of a crime is denied a means of presenting scientific support of his/her innocence?  In the District Attorney of the Third Judicial District v. Osborne, the Supreme Court passed a 5-4 decision that those convicted of a crime had no Constitutional right to DNA testing, even though it would not cost the government one cent.  Were the Justices at all concerned about assuring that someone might prove their innocence even though they were convicted?  Is a mistake in identity such a rarity in the legal system?   Yeah, sure.

  • see also Supreme Court NOT for the Citizens, January 22, 2010.
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4 Responses to “Questioning the U.S. Supreme Court”

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  4. Judge Ray Harding

    Questioning the U.S. Supreme Court | Time Frames and Taboo Data Blog

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