US Supreme Court controversies evidence of elitist government going against public interest
Published: Jun 20, 2022 05:54 PM
Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

The US Supreme Court has found itself becoming more of a hot topic than usual over the past few months. With the internal leak of the court's opinion on overturning Roe V. Wade, increased security for Supreme Court Justices families in the wake of threats of violence against Brett Kavanaugh, as well as discussions about potential gun control, the Supreme Court can't seem to stay out of the news.

The United States Constitution was once hailed as a model across the world for ideals such as republicanism, popular sovereignty, egalitarianism, and the march of human progress toward true democracy. There is little doubt that the influences behind the content of the US constitution were liberalism and other ways of thinking that originated in the age of enlightenment as personified by thinkers such as John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, and Montesquieu. The errors and cracks in this way of thinking and more so in the US Constitution have become more and more apparent throughout the US' relatively short history. While the US Constitution was once celebrated as a document enshrining the will of the people and the consent of the governed as foundations for a modern republic, the opposite has become the law of the land in the US. Recent outrage over the conduct of the Supreme Court is the latest evidence that the political system of the United States is flawed from top to bottom.

The US Supreme court has no shortage of shameful rulings throughout its history. From allowing the internment of Japanese citizens during the Second World War, to its allowing of slavery and segregation, to its definition of multi-national corporate oligopolies as legal "persons", the court has shown itself to be an incredibly powerful counterweight to popular power and demands from the masses. The recent leak from within the Supreme Court detailing the courts inclination to overturn Roe v. Wade is a recent example of the court going well outside the scope of popular support or demand. Polls show a majority of Americans support upholding the law, while a vast majority across party lines stand opposed to the court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC. In what country that begins its founding document with "we the people", could something like this be tolerated? In what form of a so-called "democracy" would nine unelected people be able to alter the course of history of a country by overturning or upholding certain laws? 

For all their flaws, of which there are immeasurable examples, at the very least the members of the legislative and executive branches are elected in the United States. The Supreme Court is unelected and one of the most aggressively obvious bastions of elitism in the United States government. There is little doubt that the framers of the constitution emboldened the judicial branch of the government with such enormous power outside the influence of the masses in order to act as a check on popular power or the demands of the masses. The Supreme Court is not equipped as it is currently outlined in the constitution to deal with the complex issues pertaining to economic and political power in the world and the United States. Current Vice President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has written and spoken exhaustively about the need to rethink democratic norms, especially regarding the judicial branch, in the 21st century. 

The Supreme Court is currently the perfect embodiment of the political establishment that has caused more and more Americans to become dissatisfied with politics, their government, and the world around them. That an unelected, "highly educated", wealthy grouping of nine individuals could change the law and thus affect over 330 million people, is simply more evidence of an oligarchic government that works against the interests of the public. This feeling of dissatisfaction with our institutions and the very basis of our government is what ultimately pushes hopeless and desperate people to do things like attempt to harm a Supreme Court Justice. To counteract this trend towards democratic dissatisfaction and instead realize true democracy, we need to rethink the very principles of which our government is founded and run. 

The author is a political and economic analyst with a concentration in areas such as socialism of the 21st century, Chavismo, Populism, Latin America, Geopolitical Trends, Latin America, and Kirchnerismo. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn