Justice Clarence Thomas continues to take gifts and bribes from “Tea Party” groups and other corporate organizations. He even ruled in some cases where there was a clear conflict of interest, especially with the conservative group AEI. For some reason, the Supreme Court has basically no rules or standards of justice, there is no real check or balance against justices once they are confirmed. I wrote a couple of months ago that nine people deciding what is the law of the land is very antithetical to the notion of democracy. People cannot hold these justices accountable, and neither can the law. The whole point of democracy is that the majority of people make the decisions, and it certainly appears that the Supreme Court stands in the way of that happening. Look no further than this week, when the Supreme Court ruled against women workers and for the giant corporation Wal-Mart in a large discrimination lawsuit, reversing the lower court’s decision. It was one of the now famous 5-4 decisions. We are told that people can not get together to challenge a big corporation, there is no strength in numbers, we must go at it alone against giant corporations that have huge teams of lawyers. This Court believes that left alone, corporations will do the right thing (polls show that this sentiment is not shared by the average person). Wal-Mart has consistently bought both parties to work for them, and spent over 3 million dollars in the last election. Their heavy spending and lobbying was a big reason the retailers won the “swipe fee” debate a few weeks ago. To sum up the Court’s decision, Wal-Mart can buy politicians and use its power, but you as a voter cannot.
The Court also dismissed an environmental lawsuit by states that asked for lower greenhouse gases. This wasn’t a 5-4 decision either, this was an 8-0 decision. None of the “liberal” justices believe that the nation should be doing something about a warming and polluted planet. This is despite a recent report showing that if nothing is done to curb pollution, there will be mass extinction in the oceans. All coral reefs could be gone by 2050, and oysters are nearing extinction. As these animals have the same capacity to suffer as humans, the Supreme Court has stated that industries can carry out indirect mass murder. Not to mention that if these animals can’t live in this environment, it seems unlikely that we would be able to either. Nine people are not only subverting our democracy, they may be undermining our own survival.