THE BLOG
11/06/2012 08:58 am ET Updated Jan 06, 2013

Judicial Fundamentalists

Should the unthinkable happen and Mitt Romney actually wins today or even if the Republicans are allowed to steal the election, consider the necessary alterations to that hoary standard, the Pledge of Allegiance. The pledge will be redirected from the Flag to the Corporation. "... With liberty and justice for all" will be amended to read "... With liberty and justice to all who can afford them." The Supreme Court will become an even more overt and consistent enabler of corporate power. We're one vote shy of a majority of right-wing "Supremes," the goal of rightwing Republicans' since Richard Nixon started politicizing our judiciary.

Hand the presidency to Mitt Romney (or allow Republicans to get away with the heist of this election as a repeat of 2000 and 2004) and we can all kiss goodbye to the balance of power which America's founding fathers created the Supreme Court to ensure.

The results of adding just one more "Constitutional Fundamentalist" like Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts to the Court would dramatically change America. "Corporate persons" (as per Citizens United) would rejoice. Real people? Not.

As White House Counsel, John Dean (the key witness in the Watergate scandal) watched Nixon plant the seeds of this threatened judicial coup. Nevermind that the founding fathers created the Court to be apolitical as a balance for the power to the legislature and the executive branches. The ardor of Republican support for Romney (whether they like him or not) includes the ultimate prize -- dominating the Supreme Court. Make it legal; make it possible.

We talked with Mr. Dean in 2007, and what he had to say then remains relevant to our collective well-being now.

With four Justices 74 or older, the next president will almost certainly appoint one (or more) Justices to the Supreme Court. One vote stands between us and the rolling back of individual rights to accommodate the religious right's social agenda and the elevation of corporate interests above everything else. One vote can also reverse Citizens United.

Richard Nixon is dead but the extremist Robert Bork -- who started his rise to right-wing power as Nixon's solicitor general -- is alive and well and sitting at the right hand of Mitt Romney, advising him on judicial matters. Bork became a judge so extreme that his own 1987 nomination to the Supreme Court was roundly rejected.

Yet Romney not only has Bork as a chair of his "Justice Advisory Committee" to "advise on the Constitution, judicial matters, law enforcement, homeland security, and regulatory issues," reputable news sources report he wishes Bork "were already on the court". (Here's a further incentive to make sure progressive Senate candidates get elected, since the Senate confirms or rejects nominations to the Supreme Court.)

What hangs in the balance, courtesy of 40 years of unrelenting Republicans' politicization of our courts? Two quick examples of the thinking of "originalists" like the aforementioned four Justices (wags call them "RATS" for Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia): the Bill of RIghts would no longer apply to the states. So, for example, the State of Utah could legally declare Mormonism the state's religion. And women? They could readily conclude that women have no rights whatsoever -- that would be no rights -- because the Constitution as originally written refers only to men. Of course, the Constitution makes no mention of corporate personhood (Citizens United) or of the Court selecting a President (Bush v Gore). Unsurprisingly, Constitutional Fundamentalism is manifestly not a legal theory, it's an excuse to apply Humpty Dumpty logic to our foundational laws.

We are one Supreme Court appointment away from the extremist Republicans' dream becoming the nation's nightmare. Borking America would be a bonanza for corporate "persons" who are already demonstrably corrupting our political process by pouring billions of unaccounted dollars into our electoral process.

To whom or what is our allegiance?

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