10 December 2014

Rigging Justice: More Tales of the New Oligarchy and the Supreme Court

"The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil."

Hannah Arendt

"Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us - if at all - not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men."

T. S. Eliot

The power of Big Money is often ostentatious, heavy with sanctimonious ceremony and media envy, but sometimes it is even more powerfully subtle.

The Supreme Court has a limited docket, and apparently a penchant for choosing certain lawyers of repute to bring cases before them.

 So Big Money hires those lawyers.

The people tend to vote for the less repugnant of the choices that the two political parties in their elections.

So Big Money gets ahead of the curve and pre-selects the candidates from the two major parties.

How can you fail to win the debate when you frame the questions, pick the debaters, and control how it is reported and scored?
Where are the great minds, the outstanding leaders, the moral beacons?   Has greed overwhelmed all virtue, leaving only shallow passions and self-deceptions?  Have we become an audience of cynical voyeurs in a digital Colosseum?
We are becoming a nation of waiters, bankers, and corporate-sponsored intellectual bordellos.  We can commit despicable, even heinous acts, and think we can rationalize and lie our way out of almost anything.  Winning!

Death by cynicism and expediency in the latter days of Empire.
And justice, for some.

"The Reuters examination of the Supreme Court's docket, the most comprehensive ever, suggests that the justices essentially have added a new criterion to whether the court takes an appeal - one that goes beyond the merits of a case and extends to the merits of the lawyer who is bringing it. The results: a decided advantage for corporate America, and a growing insularity at the court.

Some legal experts contend that the reliance on a small cluster of specialists, most working on behalf of businesses, has turned the Supreme Court into an echo chamber - a place where an elite group of jurists embraces an elite group of lawyers who reinforce narrow views of how the law should be construed...

The court generally has a conservative, pro-business majority, but even one of its most liberal justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, accepts the corporate tilt of the specialist bar that dominates the docket."Business can pay for the best counsel money can buy. The average citizen cannot," Ginsburg said. "That's just a reality."

Read the entire story at Esquire here.