Send a Telegram to the Supreme Court
December 11, 2000 8:30 AM   Subscribe

Send a Telegram to the Supreme Court Michael Moore has come up with another good idea. let the Supreme Court know your opinion through a hand delivered telegram. For only $31.90 your message will arrive hand-delivered by Western Union. Stop stopping the count. Mike suggests you call, but Western Union lets you do it online.
posted by DragonBoy (19 comments total)
Yes, yes, this is a very good idea. It is clear that the nutcases parading around outside have been doing a woefully inadequate job of making their point. And surely the Justices, buried in legal texts and writs, could use a break to go sign for a telegram or two.

Does Michael Moore forget why Justices have life terms? It's so they can think for themselves and not have to be beholden to, well, nutcases parading around outside.
posted by luke at 8:44 AM on December 11, 2000

And as if there aren't enough pro-Bush telegrams and so forth flooding the Supreme Court as well. You're not as important as you think you are, Mr. Moore.

Besides, only Kottke can resolve this once and for all with a well-timed email. :-)
posted by ethmar at 8:47 AM on December 11, 2000

If the court operates properly, it should pay no attention whatever to what the voters want. Within the design of our constitutional system, judges are supposed to make their decisions based solely on the law and the constitution, irrespective of whether those decisions are popular or unpopular. If the result is unpopular, then it is up to the legislature to change the law, and they are supposed to pay attention to the opinions of the citizens.

Luke is right: all members of the Federal Judiciary (not just the Supreme Court) are appointed for life precisely to insulate them from political pressure. The only way they can be removed is by impeachment and conviction in the US Congress (which has happened about fifteen times).

posted by Steven Den Beste at 9:03 AM on December 11, 2000

Good shooting, Steven.
posted by ethmar at 9:10 AM on December 11, 2000

A fool and his money are soon parted; in this case, it'll just be easier to mark the fools as those $31.90 shorter at day's end.
posted by Dreama at 9:14 AM on December 11, 2000

Steven hit it on the head. Moore is being very silly with this and that Ficus in NJ.
posted by tiaka at 9:21 AM on December 11, 2000

Well, Michael Moore's Western Union stock oughta do well...everyone over to!!!!!!!!!
posted by ethmar at 9:27 AM on December 11, 2000

This quandary has revealed the Supreme Court to be a hotbed of partisan politics - if you think the justices are acting independently of their political affiliations, your kidding yourself.

Were the situation reversed, and Gore were trying to prevent a recount, you can bet that the vote would split the same way - this time in favor of a recount.

The Supreme Court tried to save face by sending the issue back to the Florida Supreme Court, but revealed their true colors when the decision didn't go their way. The whole thing is sickening.

Quite simply, the justices are attempting to determine the outcome of the presidential election. God willing, the less loony right wing justices will see the light and let the recount continue.

I'm not willing to spend $31.90 in a futile effort to convince them though. :)

posted by aladfar at 9:36 AM on December 11, 2000

the light - recount 3 democratic counties after 3 other re-counts and 2 un-met deadlines. Sure, how silly of me.
posted by tiaka at 9:45 AM on December 11, 2000

I hate it when I'm right (at least as of this posting).
posted by ethmar at 10:09 AM on December 11, 2000

DOOP! My bad. (please strike from the record)
posted by ethmar at 10:10 AM on December 11, 2000

the dark - unmentioned hand-counts in republican counties, without any determinate standard. cheers.
posted by holgate at 11:45 AM on December 11, 2000

Heh, I got a first-hand look at the "nutcases parading around outside" this morning on my way to work. I took a slew of pictures, but am having trouble with my ftp at the moment. I also picked up a few placards as souvenirs: the official Gore/Leiberman sign, in English and Spanish; a take-off on the Bush/Cheney bumper sticker, with "ated" superimposed over the last three letters of "Cheney"; and, of course, the obligatory sign paralleling Gore (or was it Bush?) to Hitler.

Ah, life in DC.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:47 AM on December 11, 2000

Moore's rhetoric seems to get more inflammatory and less well-reasoned each week. It's unfortunate, because I think the common sense, honest approach Mike used to portray is valuable, especially with the communicative power the Internet gives. Oh well.

Curiouser, in my opinion, is Moore's berating of Gore over voting Yes for Scalia's nomination to the court. Is it the job of the Senate to ensure qualified candidates for the court or to pick candidates who agree with the political sentiments of the majority of the Senate?
posted by daveadams at 12:37 PM on December 11, 2000

Well, what does this synopsis of the rejection of Robert Bork for US Supreme Court tell you? The voting looks pretty partisan to me.
posted by ethmar at 1:04 PM on December 11, 2000

From the aforementioned link:

Moreover, if his efforts to reverse past decisions were successful, Judge Bork would create unnecessary division within the courts.

Interesting statement, in retrospect.
posted by ethmar at 1:05 PM on December 11, 2000

Well, as a one-time compiler of the Michael Moore FAQ, I have to admit that Moore turned me off when he concentrated on his own "lovable persona (TM)" and sidestepped the bull pit ambush journalism that launched his filmmaking career. So take this opening paragraph as a disclaimer.

I don't think bad of Moore for considering yet another dose of political pranksterdom. But Moore has said some remarkably unrealistic statements (e.g., "Who says Nader can't win?" at the New York Nader superrally). And, hell, I was a Nader voter.

The Supreme Court will be inconvenienced and vexed by a flurry of telegrams. And I doubt whether this will affect their decision. The kind of representative elitist democracy set forth in our Constitution calls for an electoral vote to be the deciding factor. If Moore (or anyone else) is foolishly believing that the popular vote will still hold, then they've got a wakeup call in store for them in January.

It's the law, above all, that will matter in this dreadful conundrum. And when it comes to something this hard line, there isn't much that a parade of activists can do to seal the fate of this nation. The justices in the Supreme Court were appointed after meticulous scrutiny of their own interpretations of the law. I don't think that these are the types of people who will buckle under pressure and do the right thing. They will, above all, uphold the law -- whether or not that means Bush as President. And if the law can be twisted to ignore the African-Americans who voted in the Florida election, then they will see to it that this is upheld, as horrendous as this may be.

Political protests work most effectively when they concern something that can be realistically changed (such as the Rage Against the Machine protest at the Democratic Convention). The best thing that anyone can do is telephone the Supreme Court and make their feelings known.

Moore has failed to cite any legal backing whatsoever that will allow Gore to have his votes recounted. And that's ultimately what matters, whatever the results turn out to be.

This may seem jaded. But then it pays to consider the ultimate way in which the Supreme Court operates if you intend to protest. Whether we like it or not, we're trapped in an elitist system.

posted by ed at 9:46 PM on December 11, 2000

More must be smoking some strong shit to think that justices, or even clerks read this kind of mail, or that they even see it.

As many mentioned above, these tactics should not work with the SC--the court was set up to be independent. Though if you picker/stand outside the court at the very least they will see you.
posted by Witold at 12:41 PM on December 12, 2000

On a sidenote: While Moore hardly ever backs up his rhetoric with logical reasoning, he can be pretty entertaining when it comes to playing pranks.

Does anyone remember when he was visiting militia compounds?

posted by Witold at 12:46 PM on December 12, 2000

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