By Ralph Nader
October 10, 2018
Brett Kavanaugh, the new Injustice of the Supreme Court of the United States, must be pleased by the leading news stories on Monday and Tuesday regarding his swift swearing-in on Saturday. The multiple perjurer, corporate supremacist, presidential power-monger, and a past fugitive from justice (regarding credible claims of sexual assault), Kavanaugh saw critical media coverage become yesterday’s story. The mass media has moved on to other calamities, tragedies, superstorms, and celebrity outrages. Opponents of his nomination must persevere anew.
The future of the Supreme Court looks grim considering Kavanaugh’s judicial decisions and involvement in war crimes and torture as Staff Secretary to President George W. Bush. It is likely that Kavanaugh will be the cruelest and most insensitive justice on the high Court. His support of corporate power will have few limits. That’s saying something, given the rulings of Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch.
Kavanaugh’s decisions and political statements are so off the wall, I’ve called him a corporation masquerading as a human being. Corporations’ uber alles is his pre-eminent core philosophy. Public Citizen’s analysis of his judicial record (apart from his extremist political ideology) showed that in split-decision cases (which are the most ideologically revealing cases), Kavanaugh ruled 15 times against worker rights and 2 times for worker rights. On environmental protection, he ruled 11 times for business interests and 2 times for the public’s interest. On consumer protection, he ruled 18 times for businesses and only 4 times for consumers. As for monopoly cases, he ruled 2 times for the corporation and zero times for market competition.
Kavanaugh also likes to rule for government power when it is arrayed against the people – ruling 7 times for police or human rights abuses and zero rulings for victims. On the other hand, governmental decisions that are protective of people interests will find Kavanaugh blocking the court room door more often than not. (See Public Citizen’s report).
The Alliance for Justice report on nominee Kavanaugh summed up their research with these words:
“He has repeatedly sided with the wealthy and the powerful over all Americans. He has fought consumer protections in the areas of automobile safety, financial services and a free and open Internet. Kavanaugh has also repeatedly ruled against workers, workplace protections and safety regulations… Kavanaugh has repeatedly ruled against efforts to combat climate change and the regulation of greenhouse gases. He also repeatedly ruled against protections for clean air.”
Locking in the 5 to 4 dominant corporate muscle of the Supreme Court will endanger you as a consumer and will jeopardize your health and economic well-being. Unless you become a corporation, your freedoms will be jeopardized. (See the Citizens United Decision in 2010 that allowed our elections to be overwhelmed with unlimited commercial campaign money and propaganda).
The cold-blooded, most corporate-indentured Republicans dominate our political process today. Mitch McConnell (see Kentucky Values), led by the election-buying Koch brothers, drove Kavanaugh’s nomination through the Senate, excluding important witnesses who wished to testify. To shore up claims of legitimacy, McConnell allowed the FBI to conduct a sham investigation that was shaped by Trump’s White House lawyer Don McGahn and the FBI head, Christopher Wray. Wray had previously worked with his friend Kavanaugh on the Starr investigation of Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct.
Resilience and action are required. The Supreme Court is deeply political – forget about the claims of judicial independence by the five Justices in the majority. Their votes on issues of class, race, presidential and corporate power, peoples’ rights, and remedies and access to justice (day in court with trial by jury) against corporations are quite predictable.
A new Kavanaugh Watch group – lean and sharp – needs to be created to publicize the Five Corporatist Judges. Their unjust decisions, hiding behind stylized plausibility and casuistry, need to be unmasked and regularly relayed to the American people. Their speeches to the Federalist Society (that shoehorned them onto the Court) and other plutocratic audiences need to be publicized and critiqued. Importantly their refusal to recuse themselves, due to conflicts of interest or prior expressions of bias (as in Kavanaugh’s eruption on his last day of the Senate Judiciary hearings), need to be denounced. (See Laurence Tribe’s op-ed in the New York Times). Also, their light workload, as in the low numbers of cases they take, in contrast to the many cases they decline to hear, both requires more public attention.
The life-time ensconced enforcers of corporate state control over the lives of the American people and often innocent people abroad (permitting undeclared bloody wars of choice) must be confronted by “We the People.” We need to remember that the words “corporation” or “company” are not mentioned in the Constitution that starts with the phrase, “We the People.”
Finally, are there a few billionaires in the country, concerned enough about what their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are going to inherit from our generation, to make a significant founding grant to launch the Kavanaugh and company watch dog project?
To donate, please visit: https://csrl.org/donate/.