6 Ways the US Supreme Court Has Trashed and Rewritten Our Constitution
Continued from previous page
“With a game like “Grand Theft Auto IV,” set in a satirice rendition of New York City, there are certainly 16-year-olds who will do nothing but embark on wild virtual crime sprees. … That doesn’t mean that game retailers should sell anything to anyone. The game industry has adopted an internal ratings and enforcement system that is at least as effective as the similarly private and voluntary system for Hollywood films. It is only responsible that any media industry give parents thorough information about the violence and sexual content of its products.
“But as the court ruled on Monday, deciding just what ideas children may be exposed to is not the proper role of government.”
To which one feels compelled to respond to Messrs. Schiesel and Scalia—as Joseph Welch responded to the demagogue McCarthy during the infamous Congressional witch-hunt of 1954: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
Is this not one of the great myths of our Corporatocracy, allowing for the mangling of our First Amendment: “As the Court ruled on Monday, deciding just what ideas children may be exposed to is not the proper role of government”? Actually, is our government not constantly deciding what ideas our children may be exposed to from the first time they pledge allegiance to the flag, to the books they read throughout public school?
The plain fact is, those kids most in need of “parental guidance” are the ones least likely to get it! (Let’s recall Newtown’s Adam Lanza, for example, holed up in his basement, saturating his tortured mind with the bizarre, violent, blood-letting of “Grand Theft Auto,” etc.) But, in a world as skewed as ours, the rights of “corporate persons” to make tons of money by mind-raping kids trumps the rights of flesh-and-blood persons to protect their children from garbage videos, garbage food, garbage pharmaceuticals, etc.
5. Corporations United
All of which leads up to the “Citizens United” decision of 2012.
All that is necessary to correct most of the problems of the world, said Confucius, is “to rectify the names.” In which case, I submit, the name of this perverse decision be changed to “Corporations United.”
If Marshall’s court declared in 1819 that corporations were entitled to the same rights and privileges guaranteed to persons under the Fourteenth Amendment, then “Citizens United” took matters one step further and stressed what every American already knows: Money talks! With the same sort of twisted logic the Court applied in Plessy v. Ferguson (“separate, but equal”), we now have the Court affirming that those with the most loot can game the system, stack the deck, purchase the biggest bullhorn (the glitziest TV ads, etc.) while maintaining that beloved fiction of “one person, one vote”!
Basically, the Court struck down provisions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 that had prohibited corporations and unions from spending on “electioneering communications.” (Nice touch to add “unions” there! One wonders if all the unions in America could match the buying power of one giant corporation!)
The sagacious Justice Stevens led the four “liberal” dissenters to the majority opinion. In a 90-page dissent, Stevens averred that the ruling “threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. … A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.”
That pretty much cans the cant: “laws are being bought and sold”!
6. The Voting Rights Act
The sixth instance of Court defilement is not yet a “case,” merely a “review.” But, one must wonder: with glaring, documented examples of “voter suppression” in the 2012 election, why would the Court train its beagle eyes on the Voting Rights Act of 1965—perhaps the best achievement of the Johnson Administration?