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We handle cases across the United States. Allen Stewart is licensed to practice law in Texas, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Arizona.

Supreme Injustice

Imagine an exceedingly rich corporation harms you or your family or your small business. Because you live in America, you’re supposed to have a fair chance in court should you decide to sue for the harm caused. Now, imagine that you find out the judge hearing your case has been meeting with the rich corporation that hurt you. In fact, the judge is a recognized leader within a movement that seeks to protect corporations just like the one that harmed you. Moreover, the judge never told you or your lawyer that he went to these meetings.

You’re not dumb. You can see you’re right to justice is in jeopardy. Before you filed your lawsuit, your lawyer informed you that this judge was a bad draw for common people. Your lawyer said the judge always seems to go out of his way to see that corporations win and common folks lose. And now you have direct evidence that the judge secretly convenes with those directly opposing you.

Of course, you’d want your lawyer to do something about this injustice. You’d expect the judicial system to provide a procedure to cure such an obvious violation of fundamental fairness and due process. Because we all know that if the judge is in secret meetings with large corporations working on strategies to make your opponent more powerful and you less powerful, then that judge can’t honestly be impartial. Clearly, the judge isn’t fit to fairly decide your case. There must be a proven way to remove this judge, right?

Well, not when that “judge” is a sitting U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Sadly, even maddeningly, the above scenario may be more fact than fiction. Two sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices appear guilty of meeting secretly with some of the riches people and corporations in our country to discuss how to create more “economic freedom” for them.[1] That’s code in the wealthy world for the rich getting richer at the expense of the working and middle class. The justices are Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Whether you are on the right or left of the political spectrum, or somewhere in between, this development should frighten you. Why? Because if common people can’t trust that the judges we select aren’t secretly plotting against the non-influential in the back room before coming into court to rule on their matters, then there’s little reason for common people to use the judicial system. And when everyday Americans decide that kangaroos run the courts, then they’ll take their disagreements into their own hands. This will signal the end of the relative peaceful civility most Americans and businesses presently enjoy.

I do not question the intellectual capacities of either Justice Scalia or Justice Thomas.  But, the single most important quality in justices is not their intellect. It is their integrity. And for these two, integrity appears to be on holiday.

Supreme Court justices cannot be forced to recuse themselves from hearing any matter. We must rely on their personal honor to convict them of their need to do so in any given matter. So, Supreme Court justices can know they are biased and prejudiced against you. They can even know that the whole world knows they are biased and prejudiced against you. Yet, they can smile from the bench, easily vote against you unjustly and there’s not a single thing you, as an individual, can do about it. That’s a big cup of injustice you’re drinking from, my friend.

So, who can do something? The answer is Congress.[2] Congress has the power to impeach and remove Supreme Court justices that do not hold their office in “good behavior”[3] But Congress must have sufficient collective courage and moral integrity of its own to protect our entire system of governance from crumbling. Unfortunately, many members of both Houses of Congress (from both parties) spend most their time navel gazing. They appear trapped in self-importance and denial, failing to tend the weed-ridden garden of our governing culture. When one happily wallows in Washington’s partisan mud, one becomes blind to the fact that everything in life is not muddy.

Some things should be spotlessly clean.

The Supreme Court is a special place. It should be a hallowed institution with justices above judicial reproach. Every American should know, without question, that the Court’s members steadfastly live out the principles of fairness and impartiality. Justices should never keep company with the wealthy elite or their representatives. For the wealthy elite routinely believe that everything is for sale—justice included. If you’re not hanging around the wealthy elite, then you can’t be tempted by their material persuasions.

You may wonder why I haven’t recommended Supreme Court justices stay away from the common, the poor and the lowly? It’s because they shouldn’t. Supreme Court justices need to spend time living among working people who are not the wealthy. Maybe then they will better understand the circumstances of most Americans. Right now, the National Chamber of Commerce has a better than 70% chance of winning any matter they brief to the United States Supreme Court. And, trust me, the Chamber is not looking out for the little guy, or even the small business. With odds like that, it’s clear that the justices need to walk a mile in the shoes of working men and women. That’s hard to do when you’re holed up in Aspen or Rancho Mirage hanging out with billionaires who happily bend your ear about what America really needs.

It’s beyond time for the middle class and the working class to begin flexing their muscle in American political life. Believe it or not, the middle class has great power that sits untapped because politicians and pundits successfully divide common people from their commonly shared values.

One thing all Americans should agree on is that the United States Supreme Court should be a fundamentally fair place for every American to bring their issues. As the court of last resort, it must be fair for all, and not simply a safe playground for the privileged.

[1] I know it’s hard to believe so I’ve included a link to the documents that evidence these two justices’ previous meetings with the National Chamber of Commerce crowd. Secret Meeting Agenda

[2] I just heard the collective groan of every reader.

[3] Article III, United States Constitution

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