Supreme Court
February 3, 2022 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Anti-Democratic influence on the Supreme Court All of us need to be aware of the critical impact of bias on Supreme Court in the US. This was recognized by Justice Kennedy in 2015 and is explored further in this article
posted by Scout405 (7 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's not obvious from the text: these links are about Justice Thomas' wife Ginni Thomas and her extremist political activities and influence as an unregistered lobbyist. For another version of this story, NPR's Fresh Air had an interview with Jane Meyer, the author of the first link. It was very good.
posted by Nelson at 9:52 AM on February 3 [7 favorites]


Only comments from people who were not already concerned about bias on the supreme court, please, just to keep it interesting.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:59 AM on February 3 [7 favorites]


A couple more recent-ish links about Clarence and Ginni Thomas.
posted by box at 10:29 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Rhode Island senator Sheldon Whitehouse has been speaking against "dark money" for a long time, and includes the Supreme Court among the bodies that has been badly corrupted.

Here's one article: https://rollcall.com/2021/06/23/whitehouse-bolsters-push-to-shine-light-on-dark-money-at-supreme-court/

Last summer he made a series of floor speeches about the issue (see https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/release/whitehouse-announces-new-series-of-speeches-to-reveal-the-special-interest-scheme-to-capture-the-supreme-court), though he doesn't specifically mention Ginni Thomas, AFAIK.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:44 AM on February 3 [4 favorites]


What does it matter? Sure, there is a federal recusal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 455(a), stating that a Supreme Court justice is disqualified in any proceeding in which their “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” So what? The Supreme Court is at the apex of the judicial branch, there is no authority to actually enforce recusal. The theoretical answer to this is impeachment, but good fucking luck impeaching Thomas. Or, to be more precise, convicting in the Senate even if the House Dems could get their shit together enough to impeach him.
posted by star gentle uterus at 2:13 PM on February 3 [3 favorites]


In the vein of The Atlantic article in the last link, here is written testimony (pdf) given by Nikolas Bowie, an assistant professor of law at Harvard, to the Presidential Comission on the Supreme Court last year which largely argues that the Supreme Court has, on balance, been mostly on the side of undermining (small-d) democratic attempts to expand political equality via Congress. Unlike the book discussed in the Atlantic article, this testimony looks back farther than 50 years (e.g.: pre-Warren court) but also questions the fundamentally anti-majoritarian nature of the Supreme Court.
posted by mhum at 3:34 PM on February 3 [5 favorites]


Thanks to mhum for pointing out that it should have been small "d" democratic in my title. (That was an unintended error on my part.) And thank you to everyone above for the additional links regarding the Court's bias. The impact of Supreme Court decisions on life in America is tremendous.
posted by Scout405 at 6:13 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


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