A call for SCOTUS reform | AspenTimes.com

A call for SCOTUS reform

Hundreds of Supreme Court decisions have been decided along party lines. The so-called “conservatives” typically decide against individuals in favor or large economic interests. Arguments are made over whether judges should ascertain the exact meaning of the text of the Constitution or the “intention” of the authors. And then, what do you do with the later amendments?

In my reading of the Constitution I failed to find instructions for the future about how read the document. It does not say that changes cannot be made. It allows for amendments. It does not say people 200 years later cannot look at the kind of lives we are living and make the best decisions for the people based on current circumstances. Just ask what decision we make today is in our current best interest. The word “corporation” is not in the Constitution. RBG made her living “correcting” the errors of the past courts. Bless her! That is not “activist”; that is smart and compassionate. Her work is not finished.

I find it a con and a fraud to proclaim that only the ancient text is a suitable basis for decisions. Judges can claim anything — these are only interpretations. Another travesty is the lack of rules for ethics. Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife was making some $400,000 for working for a Republican influence organization. “That ain’t right,” in the words of Chris Rock. I heard Justice Scalia say that he based his opinion on the 2nd Amendment on changes in public opinion over the years. Excuse me! Thank you, NRA. I’m sure his buddies on his hunting trips agreed with his decision. I recall Vice President Cheney bringing Scalia to a hunt event in a private plane. Just before Scalia ruled in Cheney’s favor.

It is long past time to put some serious controls on the Supreme Court. There are plenty of good suggestions. One is to get rid of lifetime appointments. Another is to add members. And, of course, rules for ethics and an independent body to enforce them. Most impeachments of federal officers have been for judges. What does that tell you?

Patrick Hunter