More than a few people have been arguing that the current Supreme Court has been stacked by the Republicans with Judges who consider the Constitution as a tool to expand and empower the rights of business corporations over the rights of individuals (Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Roberts). The evidence is supported by recent decisions that enable corporations to discriminate against women, and to permit unlimited funding of campaigns by corporations. Whereas the U.S. Constitution was once considered a shield for the rights of the people from the powerful, it is now being bent to undermine individual freedoms whenever those rights conflict with the profits of business.
This makes the nomination of Elana Kagan as the next Supreme Court Justice a vital matter to anyone who cares about liberty. Consider the events of the last 2 weeks: an ecological disaster caused by a corporation that was allowed to protect their profits at the expense of our safety, and a cyber-theft on Wall St. that created a few multimillionaires in less than a minute while wiping out the pensions and savings of thousands. BP is now venue shopping in Texas, where judges have been elected by the contributions of Oil Companies – a clear example of how corporate money is expected to buy justice. The robber-barons on Wall St. will continue to make money by betting against the same stocks they sell us.
The system has become so unjust and unfair that it is threatening our democracy. What will happen when ordinary people, individual citizens, know they can never get justice in the courtroom because judges are protecting the interests of the rich and powerful? That’s not what our Founding Father’s intended, and it’s not the way the Constitution should be interpreted.
The only question that Ms. Kagan should be asked is “do you believe the Constitution provides the same protections to inanimate objects (such as multinational corporations) as it does to individual US citizens? Do you believe that the Constitution seek to protect the rights of the individual from the rich and powerful?”
What SHOULD we do with the Constitution? Does it matter what the Founding Fathers– the racist, slave-owning, sexist Founding Fathers– wanted when they wrote it? I picked up an issue of Time today whose cover story is about this issue– interpreting a document that was written over 200 years ago and how it ought to be applied today. It makes me a little nervous because to me that reeks of people “interpreting” the Bible and using it as a guidebook in today’s world (except without the patently absurd stories).
On the other hand, Dr. Kevorkian raised a valid point when he started his campaign to make people aware of the Ninth Amendment (which wasn’t mentioned in the Time article but to be fair many other Amendments weren’t either): Why IS that Amendment rarely– if ever– mentioned? And it is also so vaguely written– and in the context of a very different world from today– that it again begs the question, What SHOULD we do with the Constitution?