Watching the Supreme Court nomination hearing today, recalls my undergrad classes as a poli sci major. We studied our court systems and the role of the U.S Supreme Court.
My takeaway from those studies, was that the court was truly a real and vital part of the separation of powers. My recollection of the history of the Supreme Court was that despite the efforts of presidents to select and mold their appointees to accommodate their political agenda, the end result used to be that the predictions of how the appointees would decide cases, were typically futile and unfulfilled.
Most often the appointees rose above those expectations, and those appointed gained a conscience and the independence and judicial grit to perform their Constitutional duty. Fast forward to our present situation. We now have a third branch of government which is not independent, but is being installed by political hacks to facilitate their agenda. I lost my faith in the institution of the Supreme Court when the Bush vs. Gore decision came down.
As a retired attorney, and officer of the court, this dilemma pains me and challenges my value in my former profession. That decision was a precursor of what was to come with decisions like Citizens United and a score of of others.
Think of it: Our third branch of government is not elected by the people whom they are supposed to represent. Our founders must have contemplated that the president and Senate responsible for appointing our justices would have the integrity and wisdom to chose those who would perform their duties with diligence in interpreting questions which arise under our Constitution with the goal of doing what “Justice for All” demands.
At this point in time, I feel the belief and plan of our founders, and their expectations have been betrayed. The present process is not giving us an independent judiciary and I am ready for an elected judiciary despite my trepidation about having an informed electorate which democracy assumes. But that is a discussion for another time. Presently I fear we are in political death spiral that could doom democracy in America, and I don’t know who or what will pull back on the stick.