SO MUCH FOR ROBERTS ’ BALLS AND STRIKES’, THE COURT THAT BEARS HIS NAME IS A RIGHT-WING RUBBER-STAMP THAT NEEDS TO BE BALANCED OUT.
Some progressives made a case for adding justices to the Supreme Court even before the 2020 elections. The logic being that in 2016 after right-wing conservative jurist Antonin Scalia transitioned and President Barack Obama nominated then appeals court Merrick Garland, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell blocked Garland’s advancement to the highest court.
Before Scalia’s passing, the court’s makeup was slanted Republican, by virtue of the president who nominated them to the court.
Conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts. Clarence Thomas. Samuel Alito. Anthony Kennedy. Antonin Scalia Conservative.
Liberals, Stephen Breyer. Sonia Sotomayor. Elena Kagan. Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Replacing Antonin Scalia with a moderate like the now Attorney General Merrick Garland would have tilted the courts 5 – 4 majority to the Democrats, something Mitch McConnell would do anything to stop. And so he refused to meet with judge Garland, refused to hold hearings to move Garland’s nomination forward, and subsequently, judge Garland was denied an up or down vote, as is the rule in the advice and consent role of the United States Senate.
Bitch McConnell claimed that it was an election year, and the voters should decide which president chose Scalia’s replacement.
That was not a rule; it was a McConnell rule. Donald Trump found his way into the Presidency, and he placed Neil Gorsuch on the court instead of Judge Garland. Kennedy then retired (how convenient), and he reportedly recommended that Brett Kavanaugh be his replacement. Kavanaugh was on the court.
And then something happened that liberals, Democrats, and even independents feared; on September 18th, 2020, at age 87, Ruth Bader Ginsburg transitioned.
The Presidential elections were to be held on November 3, 2020; nevertheless, despite less than two months from the presidential elections, Mitch McConnell changed the rules again and decided that he would ram through Amey Coney Barrett, and placed her on the court.
The call from some Progressive quarters to place four additional justices on the court to balance what Mitch McConnell has done is not only morally justified; it is legally permissible.
President Biden did not promise to add justices to the court; he said in typical wishy-washy Democratic fashion, however, that he would convene a commission to study the issue.
In the meantime, the lopsided 6 – 3 conservative court has steadily gone about dismantling settled laws. Even as far back as 2013, Chief Justice John Roberts joined Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy in striking down section 4(b) of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act.
As a Reagan Administration aide John Roberts was long opposed to the rights of African-Americans to vote. John Roberts knew that by striking down the voting rights act, he was opening the door for a massive Republican assault on the voting rights of African-Americans. But this was one of the lifelong goals of John Roberts.
Roberts claimed that there are no Republican or Democratic Judges; they only call balls and strikes Roberts said, smiling. Isn’t it funny how these guys are confident that they are vastly intellectually superior to everyone else?
The sad reality is that most of the court’s decisions under John Roberts have been 5 – 4 decisions straight party lines. So much for balls and strikes.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote scathing dissents against the Republica majority’s rulings while she was alive, so too has justice Elena Kagan, but justice Sonia Sotomayor an Obama nominee, has been pointed in her dissenting opinions, and she did not hold back in her dissent to the decision written by none other than Brett Kavanaugh in the case Mississippi Vs. Jones.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday made it easier for states to impose sentences of life in prison without parole on juvenile offenders, ruling against a Mississippi man convicted of killing his grandfather at age 15 in a case testing the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
In a 6 – 3 ruling, the justices rejected arguments by the inmate, Brett Jones, that his sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole violated the Eighth Amendment because the judge in his trial had not made a separate finding that he was permanently incorrigible. The court’s six conservative justices were in the majority, with the three liberal members dissenting.
So there you have it, balls and strikes; all of the conservatives cowards lined up and decided that it is perfectly okay for kids who commit crimes as children should have no recourse to redemption regardless of what they have accomplished in rehabilitation.
Kavanaugh, whose very existence on the court was made possible because the indiscretions he was alleged to have committed as a youngster in college, were not allowed by Trump to be investigated by the FBI, was the man who penned the decision of the majority.
I guess only young white men are [entitled] to redemption? Oh, come on, Mike, is this new to you?
Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the dissenting opinion for the three liberals on the court.
Below is an extract from that opinion.
Mike Beckles is a former Police Detective, businessman, freelance writer, black achiever honoree, and creator of the blog mikebeckles.com.