Democrats must prepare for the Supreme Court's second try at installing an illegitimate president

Thom plus logo Democrats must prepare for the Supreme Court's second try at installing an illegitimate president The Supreme Court has awesome power, and now that there's a 6-to-3 right-wing majority, they're preparing to use that power like a sledgehammer.

In 2000, they put popular-vote-loser George W. Bush into the White House, and Brett Kavanaugh just signaled to Donald Trump that he's enthusiastic to be part of a second such effort.

They single-handedly decided that corporations should have the rights of persons, and that billionaires and big corporations should be able to legally own politicians.

They've gutted the rights of union workers, devastated environmental protections, ripped apart civil rights and voting rights laws, and made it harder for the average person to hold banks and financial institutions accountable for their ripoffs.

They've empowered CEOs and giant corporations, and reduced the power of voters and average citizens.

And now they're preparing to hear cases where they could gut abortion rights, Obamacare and healthcare rights more generally, and even destroy long-established American institutions like Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance.

But the Supreme Court's power is balanced by an equal, arguably greater power given to Congress by Article III of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to "Regulate" the Court and define "Exceptions" to what the Court can rule on.

Congress decides how many people are on the Supreme Court, and has changed that number many times specifically because of political overreach by conservatives like John Adams and Andrew Johnson.

Congress can force the Court to operate under the federal code of judicial ethics, so it's right-wing members can no longer be wined and dined by right-wing billionaires at fancy resorts around the world.

Congress can pass laws telling the Court what issues and cases they may or may not decide. It's an extraordinary power and hasn't been used in decades.

Congress can expand the entire federal judiciary, to dilute the power and impact of Trump's unqualified right-wing judges.

The question now is whether Congress will rise to the occasion and exercise the power given them in the Constitution.

Whether Congress will act to restrain an out-of-control Court dominated by extremists who have been nurtured and pushed up the ladder by hard-right billionaires.

And, if they do, when the billionaires start screaming about it and funding the next version of their Astroturf Tea Party, whether Democrats will allow themselves to be cowed or bought off.

Everything is on the line now, from personal freedoms to the environment to the right to healthcare during a pandemic.

If Democrats seize the power it looks like they're about to get in this election, we're all going to have to push them very hard, and totally have their backs, to reverse America's current slide toward authoritarianism and billionaire rule.

These billionaires have put hundreds of millions of dollars into a multidecade effort, and are not going to give up easily.

Get ready for a really big fight.


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