As ye sow, so shall you reap

I gotta hand it to ya Chief Justice Roberts, you almost pulled it off. Unfortunately for you, almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

You have tried hard to run a conservative, but centrist court. And for quite a while, you were able to get away with it, because the constitution of the court was 5-4 conservative, meaning that either Justice Anthony Kennedy or yourself could provide the critical swing vote to keep the court from flying off of the rails. But you made a fatal mistake, you underestimated.

First, like so many people, you underestimated not only Donald Trump, but his endless well of stupidity. Not only his stupidity, but his political and legal ignorance were legion. Every judicial appointment he put up, including SCOTUS appointments were driven by one thing, and one thing only, the applause they would generate for him with his base.

Secondly, when presented with SCOYUS nominations, you badly underestimated the perfidy of not only Mitch McConnell, but White House Counsel Don McGahn as well. With the death of your colleague, Justice Antonin Scalia, you never imagined that McConnell would hold the seat open for more than 300 days to allow an overstuffed poltroon like His Lowness to fill the seat.

And you also never considered that Traitor Tot, with the collusion of Don McGahn, would literally buy a seat on the court by enticing Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire, with the promise that Trump would elevate his one time protégé, the totally unqualified Brewski Brett Kavanaugh to the bench.

But your most tragic miscalculation was on the survival of the beloved (Notorious) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg to survive. As well as that of Mitch McConnell to have even a modicum of humanity and respect. When Justice Ginsberg died, with less than 50 days to a general election, with people already voting, McConnell rammed through yet another third rate yahoo, Justice Amy Coney Barrett. And suddenly you had a radical 6-3 GOP population on the court.

But see, here’s the McGuffin. The founding fathers purposely and specifically designed the Supreme Court to be different. The Supreme Court was not granted any specific legislative or executive authority to enforce anything. The Supreme Court was set up specifically for one purpose, and one purpose only, the neutral and apolitical interpretation and application of the constitution to laws. That’s it gang.

If the President gets pissed at some foreign power, he can sic the Marines on them. He can use his bully pulpit and legislature to shape laws the way he thinks they should be. And if the legislative branch doesn’t like something, they can write and pass laws to restrict or regulate it. And if they think they’re getting dicked around, then, just like the executive branch, they have the DOJ and FBI to investigate and enforce those laws.

But the Supreme Court has no such enforcement mechanisms available to them. Their job is to take a law or issue, apply it to the constitution of the United States, and determine whether or not it is constitutional. That’s it. Their role is purely advisory. And if you’re going to get people to pay attention to you, you have to have their respect.

And I hate to say this John, but right now, the trust and favorability of the Supreme Court is right down there with genital warts. The last poll had Supreme Court support at 40%, the lowest it has ever been. And if you clowns overturn Roe v. Wade, you’ll see your trust level drop into the 20’s. Which is no Bueno. Because you have nothing to sell but your word, your opinion, and your integrity, and right now, none of them mean jack shit.

And you’re already starting to see the backlash. You personally, Justice Roberts, cast the deciding vote that overturned the pre clearance protections of a voting rights law that was an almost unanimous yea vote every time it came up. And now the Democratic led congress is pushing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to restore those pre conditions, and even grandfather them if possible. And the same congress is rushing to codify Roe v Wade into federal law before your decision, basically making it meaningless.

It is clear, the congress of the United States no longer respects your opinions and decisions, and neither does the majority of the country. And it’s only going to get worse, because not only can’t you stop it, you can’t even control it! Simply because your own court rules and procedures work against you. It only takes four justices to agree to accept a case for consideration to the court. So, no matter what you would like to do to control the direction, tenor, and slant of the court, you have five far right, ideological yahoos ready to force the court to hear whatever cases they want to hear.

And so Chief Justice Roberts, it is my duty to advise you that your are seriously boned. Sideways. You have completely lost control of your court, it’s ideology as well as it’s schedule. My honest opinion? Retire now, while you still have some fleeting reputation and legacy left. Restore the court to a 5-4 balance, with at least a chance of fairness. Because if you don’t, it is only going to get worse from here. The cases are going to get worse, the decisions are going to get worse, and the scorn of both the congress as well as the American people is only going to get worse. And as a result, your historical legacy is only going to get worse. Save yourself and your soul while there’s still time.


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    • One problem with that: You have to then replace Sotomayor. In a SEPARATE confirmation hearing. A Chief Justice doesn’t just get “promoted”; he or she has to be nominated for the post and then confirmed. That’s what happened the last time, with William Rehnquist. He was a sitting Justice in 1986 (he’d taken his seat in 1972) when Warren Burger chose to retire. Reagan nominated Rehnquist for the CJ job and he was confirmed on Sept 17, 1986 (a vote of 65-33). Burger had advised Reagan of his decision to retire so when Reagan decided to nominate Rehnquist for the CJ job, he also had to nominate someone to replace Rehnquist. And he chose Antonin Scalia (it was either Scalia or Robert Bork; Reagan actually preferred Bork but he wanted to put an Italian-American on the Court and Scalia didn’t have Bork’s “troubling” history) who would be confirmed by a 98-0 vote and he took his seat on the Court the same day that Rehnquist took over as CJ.
      The reason that we got John Roberts as the current CJ was that George W Bush did NOT want to go through that double-nomination/double-confirmation mess. Roberts was originally intended to replace the retiring Sandra Day O’Connor but, just a few days later, Rehnquist decided to up and die so Bush decided to withdraw the Roberts-for-O’Connor nomination and nominate him instead for Rehnquist’s job. Roberts would be confirmed 78-22. O’Connor’s replacement, Samuel Alito, would only win confirmation by 58-42. (There had been some discussion immediately after Rehnquist’s death that Bush would nominate a sitting justice to the Chief seat but that would’ve likely entailed having to then name two more people–one to replace Rehnquist and then another one to replace whoever took over for Rehnquist. The Bush White House felt it might be tough to confirm three nominees so that’s why Roberts’ original nomination was pulled.)

  1. 2016 was the death of the court. I thought I would see a liberal court in my life time. It will never happen now. I hope my children don’t have to live long under this fascist court.

    • “lol”? you seriously find ANYTHING amusing about this Court? Your “buckle up” comment is reminiscent of the Right’s preoccupation with “owning the libs” at all costs, even at the expense of trashing the Constitution (or our public health).

  2. Wow! You can tell the person that wrote this article is a pure liberal ass with a major chip on his shoulders! Liberals want to be in control and destroy everything that other countries love and want to live in America for. People want to live here because we have laws that protect them and they come here to work. They want to work to succeed but democratic leaders want to control and take from the people like other countries do while they live the elite lifestyle in their plush homes. Giving Pennie’s to the poor like other countries do. True Americans want to work for what they have and the government stay out of it. Some of don’t agree with the stand of the liberal justices either but none the less our forefathers knew what they were doing and the justices deserve respect no matter how wrong their liberal views are. We are already being treated as we were before America was created “taxation without representation” fight for less government control now before we loose everything we have ever fought for!

    • Well, your comment shows you’ve never met an actual liberal. “plush homes”? And since liberals are the ones who support Social Security (a GOVERNMENT plan that has lifted seniors out of poverty) and unions (who you can thank for our child labor laws and our 40 hour workweek), tell me again how it’s liberals who want to “take” from hard working Americans? Wake up: we ARE hard working Americans!

      • Why is it mostly Murfster’s pieces that draw the attention of these morans? Do they have something that alerts them? What’s the deal? It’s nice that we haven’t had much of this crap for quite a while, but they’re creeping back in.

  3. I always say close only counts with horseshoes, hand grenades and nuclear weapons. Unfortunately for Roberts, this nuke went off on his front doorstep. And I’m surprised that you didn’t even mention the calls for expanding the SCOTUS, Murf, which would be as good as neutering all this.

    • Tony Smith
      Find yourself a conservative site to troll, guy. This is a site run by well-educated, intelligent, thoughtful.People who actually care about this country and it’s peoole, unlike the selfish,self-absorbed evangelicals and nutball militia loonies of Trump’s base.

      How come ignorant like you get to vote when you don’t have the vaguest idea what the constitution says and care nothing for anyone else?

  4. The author’s opinion is a textbook example of “mouse in the corner.”

    He’s afraid…
    He’s unsure of anything
    He simply attacks at random, without concise thought

    Oh sure… he can posture for effect, just like a trapped mouse would do. But all he’s doing is snarling his gums.

    He fails to understand that the SCOTUS isn’t a popularity club. It doesn’t NEED respect. Many of the toughest decisions ever made in government are done with a full risk of contempt from the People. Yet the author thinks he can scare SCOTUS into believing otherwise.

    He also doesn’t understand the checks and balances in place with the three branches of government. The Legislative and Executive branches are peers to the Judicial branch. Even if one branch of government is powerless to prevent a change made by a second branch, they can still have a changing effect on the third branch. At any time if SCOTUS cannot affect Congressional action, they certainly have the power to limit POTUS’ actions.

    SCOTUS has Circuit Courts as a mechanism of enforcement. Even if a Circuit, district, or local court rules a case against the that of a SCOTUS decision, those cases can be moved up the ladder through the appeals process, giving SCOTUS’ rulings a continuing power of enforcement, if, and until… SCOTUS gets to rule on the case using their own opinions.

    • You are correct that SCOTUS’ job isn’t to be popular. What you are wrong about is that it needs respect.

      Sometimes a widely popular decision has been wrong – Koromatsu for example. A decade later another decision (Brown v Board of Education) wasn’t very well liked even in non-Dixie states but it was the right thing to do. In the end their job is to interpret the Constitutionality of a given matter/law. Different approaches can and have caused differences of opinion. Sometimes concurring opinions take issue with the actual decision authored yet uphold a ruling on different grounds. Then of course there are dissenting opinions which can sometimes be scathing. Justices are human beings who bring their own views and beliefs with them to the Court. Good ones, the ones respected when viewed through the lens of history put in the effort to be objective in their rulings, just as judges are supposed to do. They don’t always succeed as we well know.

      Speaking for myself and how I think they should rule, I keep going back to the debate on the Bill of Rights. What made it so fierce was the issue of “Enumerated Rights”, and the fear of so many delegates that by spelling out some explicitly that future generations would point to the Bill of Rights and say “See? SEE? They didn’t SAY it in plain black and white text, or in the word(s) that we use for the same thing these days so that right doesn’t exist!” There were enough of these delegates that passage of the Bill of Rights was by no means a given and some old-fashioned horse trading was needed to get it done, and even then as with certain other matters in the main body of the Constitution they “punted” to a degree, leaving some things vague. One important thing to remember however is that some of our main founders believed we’d need to write a new Constitution two or three generations after the first one was ratified – correspondence between Adams and Jefferson bears this out. However, the delegates ALSO knew that some of the things they punted on would have to be addressed at some point, hence their specifically (and without a lot of argument) putting in a provision for AMENDING the original Constitution. And right off the bat with the Bill of Rights they did exactly that and presented the whole kit and kaboodle to the states as a package for ratification. They just didn’t imagine that it would become as difficult as things turned out to Amend the Constitution. Of course, back then there wasn’t the disparity of population between the various states so the Senate was more balanced, and Representatives didn’t have anywhere near as many people in their Districts so the people on Capitol Hill had a closer connection to the average voter than has been the case for far too many decades now.

      Getting back to the point I truly want to make is that for me, since no set of laws can cover every single matter/possibility we turn to the courts and sometimes ultimately SCOTUS to decide a matter. When it comes to SCOTUS (and to more of a degree than many realize appellate courts) and precedent the issue comes down to expansion of rights vs. limiting them based on Constitutional grounds. Liberals have generally ruled to expand rights that weren’t specifically spelled out in black and white in the text of the Constitution while Conservatives have taken the opposite approach. Some of the latter have even gone beyond the “plain text reading” philosophy and entered the realm of mediums to discern what in their opinion is how the founders would feel about things we don’t give a second thought to but didn’t even exist in their time. Telecommunications and laws relating to privacy using that medium for example. WTF? Modern medicine and what can or cannot be done is another area.

      I for one don’t subscribe to the “if it’s not there clearly spelled out in black and white text” philosophy of conservatives. Conservatives frequently point out that the word “privacy” cannot be found anywhere in the Constitution. There’s another word (and concept) that I’d be willing to bet is as precious to you as it is to me that can’t be found ANYWHERE in the Constitution. “FREEDOM.”

      Think about that for a while.

      And if you fancy yourself as a Constitutional junkie I’d offer a parting thought. SCOTUS’ current makeup now represents the realization of a goal and more importantly well thought out and funded multi-faceted plan conceived and set in motion four decades ago to remake both SCOTUS and the federal court system that feed it cases in a conservative image. To roll BACK rights, even if it takes LYING about the intent to do so during confirmation hearings. Conservatives (I’m talking the rich and powerful ones) have fought tooth and nail to influence the (elected) political process to prevent laws that allowed for collective bargaining, virtually all of the New Deal and then the Great Society (including voting rights) and still SCOTUS and the courts in fits and starts expanded rights for the masses. So some rich and powerful conservatives took a look at Nixon’s ideas and influence and set out to remake the judiciary to their liking. Read up on the Lochnar decision, and what is sadly not well known for generations now – the Lochnar era. THIS is their goal. Unless you happen to be a rich (not millions but many tens of millions or more) conservative I’m pretty sure you won’t like living in that version of America. Hell, with the attacks on public education that have weakened the school system, the union busting and “right to work” laws and the decades long (except for a brief bit of relief during the Clinton years) flattening and even loss of buying power by average and poor Americans they’ve already made substantial progress. It can get worse. MUCH worse. And we now have a SCOTUS that was carefully crafted to start giving that handful of rich and powerful, UNELECTED people a level of control over all our lives that should be frightening to any average person regardless of their place on the political spectrum.

        • It’s been out there for a while percolating. What’s changing is the number of solid red states that have complete control of legislatures and Governorships. And keep this in mind-one of the steps to the failed coup a year ago was to deny Biden 270 Electoral Votes, thereby throwing the election to the House of Representatives. Since each state gets one vote in that process and with more statehouses (and therefore Congressional delegations) controlled by Republicans the will of the voters would have been overturned and Trump would have remained in office. Don’t think for a second that old-school Republicans would have stood in the way. Between the number who voted to reject various state’s electoral votes to some, notably Lindsay Graham in particular who that night and for a couple of days stood up and said they were done with Trump they quickly changed their tune when their own voters started threatening them. Including in public!

          So, we are closer to the calling of a new Constitutional Convention that I’m comfortable with. All of us should be concerned about it.

    • You do realize that you reconnecting on Biden what DID actually did? Guess that is too hard for you to grasp.

      The fascists are the Rs who want to force women to carry a pregnancy to term,destroy Social.Security and Medicare, refuse to wear a,mask or get vaccinated and are dying because of it.

      Proud liberal.who DOES understand the command laughs at your ignorance. If you don’t get that Roberts cares deeply about his place in history (unlike Donnie Donuts who only cares,about staying out of jail and make g money by his grift) you are even less aware than the average Trumpie.

  5. This is the article you’d expect from a racist-marxist-fascist Democrat.

    Trump is the greatest POTUS since Lincoln.

    Let’s Go Brandon.

  6. I strongly support the morally righteous Conservative Supreme Court members. An end to wicked and evil liberalism would be good for the the Whole world.

  7. Oh, Wow!!! A Trumpkins convention!!! Aren’t they cute, with their MAGA hockey helmets, and their pink TRUMP 2020 lunch boxes???

  8. Murf I do believe you have touched a nerve! Conservatives are popping up here all of a sudden with their knickers in a twist. Or vampires exposed to some sunlight or splashed with holy water. Assuming they truly are as religious and love their Jeebus as much as they say they do I can’t help but wonder what with them finally being the dog who caught the car with a chance to overturn Roe they are worried about their place in heaven for having LIED during their confirmation hearings. Actually, some of them downright committed PERJURY but then maybe like MAGA Jeebus Trump they figure they don’t have to obey those Ten Commandments they want to tattoo on everyone the way they expect others to do.

    Well, you’ve certainly gotten them worked up. Good. Let em scream.

  9. Wow! Happy New Year one & all. This is the liveliest back and forth I’ve seen here in quite awhile. Congrats Murph – you’ve obviously hit a nerve here. And thanks for the explanation on the Roberts jumping straight to the CJ spot on the court. I remember it at the time and wondered how that could happen. Now I know and it illuminates what choices and paths will be taken in the near future.

    • Something that gets overlooked is how young Roberts was. The GOP, or to be more precise The Federalist Society’s (of which Roberts had been a member since early on) tactic of appointing people as young as they could credibly get away with. Roberts was in his late forties when he was put on the Court, and the death of Rehnquist gave Bush 43 the ability to stack TWO young white guys there – who’d be around probably for several decades! Rock solid Federalist Society grooming, bona fides and therefore credentials PLUS youth have been the ticket for conservative’s judicial picks for a long while now. In fact, now that they are so ingrained in law schools they are dipping down to hard core extremists in their THIRTIES these days. None of this picking someone with decades of experience who has a stellar record of good judicial temperment and scholarship. No fucking way. It’s about youth and ideological (ultra conservative) purity. Some of us have been trying to call attention to this for well over twenty years and folks on our side didn’t take it seriously enough. Oh sure, during Presidential years it was a consideration but never the top one, and not even one of the top few priorities. Even McConnell’s stunt in 2016 wasn’t enough of a wake-up call to our side. Well, now that it’s too fucking late it’s being taken as seriously as it should be. However, short of expanding the number of Justices on SCOTUS (sorry folks – that’s not going to happen) the only thing we can hope for is for older conservative Justices to die off AND for a Democratic President and Senate to be able to pick and confirm a replacement. And if it comes down to it being every bit as ruthless as McConnell and the GOP. I will always believe with all my heart that had RBG passed away in the wee hours of Inauguration Day and the GOP controlled the Senate that McConnell would have rammed through a fanatic like Barret before Biden could be sworn in at noon.

  10. Curious why you bother to come here to read Murph’s articles if you hate them so much!! Just getting your daily hate/rage quota. Find somewhere else to spew all that ignorant rage you deplorable!!!

  11. This article assumes that Roberts actually cares about the Supreme Court, its reputation or even his own. He is a Republican and has been lying in wait for the chance for the Right Wing to take control of the court and the country. Why else support limitations on voting rights for minorities while supporting unlimited political spending by the wealthy? His “moderate” actions were cover while lying in wait.


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