Home > Supreme Court Justice: As Defined Primarily by White Men,by Jack L. Daniel

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Supreme Court “justice” is neither rendered by a “lady” nor is it “blind, impartial, and detached!”  As in the case of Brett Kavanagh, would be judges reinforce myths if not tell outright lies by stating things such as, “The Supreme Court must never be viewed as a partisan institution.”  Because the Supreme Court judges have strong predispositions before hearing a given case, our nation is bitterly split because the appointment of Kavanagh could change life as we know it in America.  Hardly a related story fails to note the current 4-4 Supreme Court “split” and the fact that the next appointment will “tilt” the “ideological” division among the sitting judges.  In short, when it comes to the Supreme Court, the law is not simply the law.  The law as well as legal decisions continue to be what primarily White men have said is the law along with their interpretations of the law ever since the inception of this country.

Powerful politicians and members of the elite establishment have been fighting vociferously about Supreme Court Justice appointments ever since the Senate blocked George Washington’s pick of John Rutledge, a drafter of the Constitution, to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  Thus, we can’t believe the current hype regarding the “sudden” politicization of the Supreme Court justice appointment process or, for that matter, the process associated with the selection of all other federal judges.  In keeping with the founding White “fathers” of America, the Supreme Court has been the ultimate place for heavily politicized primarily White male decision making in a racist, sexist and patriarchal society.  

In terms of who has served on the Supreme Court, there is no better example of res ipsa loquitur than the following set of facts.

·        1790 Supreme Court Convened;

·        1967 Thurgood Marshall (Lyndon Johnson), first African American male ending 177 YEARS of All WHITE-MALE RULE;

·        1981 Sandra Day O’Connor (Ronald Reagan), first White female;

·        1991 Clarence Thomas (George H. W. Bush), second African America male;

·        1993 Ruth Bader Ginsberg (William Clinton), second White female;

·        2009 Sonia Sotomayor (Barack Obama), first Hispanic female;

·        2010  Elena Kagan (Barack Obama), third White female; and

·        ∑ = 113 justices, 107 White males, 2 African males, 3 White females, 1 Hispanic female!

(For details see By JESSICA CAMPISI AND BRANDON GRIGGS, CNN July 09, 2018)

Also see https://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/reference/nominations/Nominations.htm

               To appreciate the impact of the enduring White-male dominated and heavily politicized Supreme Court, consider how long it took to make progressive decisions related African Americans and women.

  •         It took 164 years for the Supreme Court to decide that racially segregated schools were illegal, that there was no legal support for “separate but equal” public schools.
  •         Paranoid about “miscegenation” and related racist ideas, it was 177 years before the Supreme Court decided that laws prohibiting interracial marriage was unconstitutional. 
  •         183 years passed before the Supreme Court decided that a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion within the first two trimesters.

After dominating the Supreme Court for 210 years as well as dominating the corporate sector, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 that the government could not restrict the expenditures corporations, labor unions, and other associations could spend on elections.  During this era of articulating “alternative facts” and enforcing them, the “Big Brother” Supreme Court has ruled that a multi-billion dollar corporation is a “person.”

Given the fact that oppressive laws have prevailed in America for more than a century, we cannot take lightly the appointments recommended by a man whom many consider to be, putting it mildly, unstable. 

Do understand that, with successful judicial appointments, progress made related to race and gender could be retarded. 

Future adverse immigration decisions could be made, particularly those related to the DACA Program. 

The Supreme Court might well be called on to determine whether a President can be indicted or subpoenaed.  

The “right to own weapons of mass destruction,” automatic and semi-automatic guns, might wind its way through the highest courts.

Who knows what fundamental, life-changing case might appear before the Supreme Court during our lifetimes?  Not knowing, we the people must focus on playing our roles in determining who decides who will become judges, i.e., who appoints/elects judges.  Simply put, we must make our impact with our respective votes. 

Let us heed the admonition Queen Mother, First Lady Michele Obama gave during her “When We All Vote” Campaign, i.e., “…And after all that, all that effort, money, time and energy, for a whole host of reasons, some say they’re too busy, some too cynical, some too disconnected, whatever the reason, only a fraction of the population actually bothers to vote.  Then time passes. And sooner or later we’re right back where we started, with folks tuned out, frustrated that our politics don’t reflect our values, and we repeat that cycle again and again and again. So is there any wonder why we’re so frustrated and tuned out of our politics? When a huge chunk of the population sits out of the process why are we surprised when our politics don’t reflect our values?”


Jack L. Daniel

Co-Founder, Freed Panther Society

Pittsburgh Urban Media Contributor

October 2, 2018

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