By Ken Johnson
The Supreme Court is supposed to be the Super Friends: wise, fair, and moral.
That’s the impression my American Government class left with me.
The executive branch might be brutal. The legislative branch might be corrupt. But not the judicial branch, not the Supreme Court, they weather the storm and remain unbiased.
That’s not the reality. In the United States, it never is.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court has thrown their charade into focus.
The problem with the discussion about Kavanaugh is that he is being treated as an anomaly — a product of the Trumpian hellscape, but that’s not the case. He isn’t even the only sitting justice to be accused of sexual assault by a college professor.
There is a pattern of unethical behavior on the Supreme Court. Americans are disillusioned. Some Americans, minorities, people in the lower classes, have seen the Supreme Court as a sham, a show trial, since it was established.
The Supreme Court is not the Super Friends, and, while they do work in the Hall of Justice, they are more like the Legion of Doom.
The question that some Americans are asking themselves is whether the Supreme Court can be trusted. The issue comes down to whether Kavanaugh and Justice Clarence Thomas are glitches in the process or products of a flawed system.
That question is too big for this column. Instead, we can investigate the makeup of the Supreme Court. By examining who these people are, and what paths their lives fall into, we can get a sense of the group of people that have so much power in our country.
According to the Supreme Court’s website, every single justice that is currently sitting on the Supreme Court has been to either Harvard or Yale. That’s strange. Some people might take it for granted that everybody on the Supreme Court has been to one of two elite, Ivy League schools, but they shouldn’t.
There are no requirements for serving on the Supreme Court. None. You don’t have to be a natural born American. You don’t even have to have an education.
Anyone can be on the Supreme Court, which is a good thing. There should not be any obstacles, such as where you were born or what kind of school you attended, to serve in our government. It’s supposed to be a government of the people. That idea is one positive thing about America.
For some reason, even though there are no prerequisites for serving, our Supreme Court ended up with all Ivy League lawyers.
American power finds the wealthy like a heat-seeking missile.
The explanation, at least one explanation, for this problem is that Supreme Court justices are nominated by the president, and the president is usually a powerful person with powerful friends, who, unsurprisingly, end up on the Supreme Court.
The wealthy favor the wealthy. And it helps to be a rich politician because campaigns are expensive.
Take the Citizens United ruling, where corporations were given superhuman political power. A Supreme Court made up of reasonable citizens would never have ruled that corporations are people. Only elites, with political ties as deep as oil wells, would have done that.
The Supreme Court rules on class issues, financial issues, such as minimum wage or worker’s rights. They cannot be impartial when ruling on class issues because they are all from the upper-middle and upper classes.