The only voice you hear, may be your own.
 by James Higdon

Anyone who hasn't already done so should take time to read Vincent Bugliosi's article, "None Dare Call It Treason," in the February 5th edition of The Nation.  It should be mandatory reading for any person who voted in the last election, and any who still plan to vote in the future.  The required reading label should also be applied to the outrageous decision of the five Republican politicos with lifetime appointments to US Supreme Court regarding Bush v. Gore.  As Mr. Bugliosi rightfully points out, this decision should be placed "above the Dred Scott case (Scott v. Sanford) and Plessy v. Ferguson in egregious sins of the Court."

For those who aren't familiar with Mr. Bugliosi, he was the man who put Charles Manson behind bars.  The facts of that case were extremely difficult to prove because they were stranger than fiction.  He also faced the threat of any conviction being overturned on appeal because of an incompetent defense council, which forced Bugliosi to not only present his own case, but to anticipate and provide for appropriate defense strategies and objections.  In the middle of the case, President Richard Nixon publicly declared Manson guilty in the face of an unsequestered jury, nearly forcing a mistrial.  Mr. Bugliosi was probably one of the last Los Angeles prosecutors at the city's District Attorney's office who was competent enough to win high profile convictions in the face of LAPD incompetence and corruption.

Mr. Bugliosi is far more qualified than I to state his case in blasting this "court," but what is important here are his reasons for doing so:

"I want these five Justices to know that because of this article*there's the exponential possibility that when many Americans look at them in the future, they'll be saying, 'Why are these people in robes seated above me?  They all belong behind bars.'  I want these five Justices to know that this is America, not a banana republic, and in the United States of America, you simply cannot get away with things like this."

Well, apparently Mr. Bugliosi's efforts, the efforts of law professors nation wide, and the efforts of voters themselves are beginning to have the desired effect.  Lawyers have even resigned from the Supreme Court bar, refusing to even argue their cases before this court.  According to recent reports out of Washington, D.C., the felonious five are beginning to feel the heat.

Joan Biskupic, in a recent article for USA Today stated:

"[T]he court has been bombarded with thousands of letters from angry Americans, some of whom have sent in their voter registration cards, suggesting that going to the polls in November was a waste of time. 'For shame!' one letter said.  Many messages to the justices have been sarcastic, others more menacing¯including one with an illustration of a skull and crossbones."

And a bit later, Biskupic goes on to say that the "Florida case has cast an unwanted spotlight on a court that is unaccustomed to significant public attention, much less harsh criticism."  This is causing a rift among the justices themselves, splitting the five politicos against the four who honored the constitution and American voters.  Judicial clerks argue in the hallways, or refuse to speak to each other altogether.

Poor babies!  As Harry Truman would have said, "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen."

And apparently, they cannot stand the heat.  Since this obscene ruling, less work has been accomplished.  According to Biskupic, the court has issued "only about half the number of major rulings it usually puts out by the four-week winter recess*This will be the first time in at least a decade that on the last court day before the recess, the justices have no decisions ready to hand down."

To this I say, "Great!"  The fewer decisions that this court hears and decides the better.  No decision they make can be trusted.  Rehnquist, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and O'Connor have broken a sacred trust by placing politics before the law.  Every opinion they write will be forever tainted by politics.

As the first woman on the Supreme Court, the vote by O'Connor is particularly shameful.  I'd like say that her action is tantamount to Jackie Robinson taking a payoff to throw a World Series, but that would reduce her votes significance in its historical perspective.  Baseball, after all, is only game.  Sandra Day O'Connor has upset the balance of a great government that gives hope to oppressed people around the world.

Democrats in congress (other than the Congressional Black Caucus) are showing themselves to be particularly spineless in the face of this court sponsored coup.  With Tom Daschle's promise to Resident Bush that Ashcroft's nomination will pass the Senate, there is virtually no hope that Democrats will reject nominations to replace any of these treasonous five justices.  We, who no longer have representation in congress, must raise our own voices, and use our First Amendment rights while they still exist, to make it clear that while we encourage the resignations of Rehnquist, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and O'Connor, we will not accept any right wing ideologues who Bush is able to dig out of the Federalist society.  We must demand of congress that we will only accept those nominees who can prove that they place the law above politics.

We must make it clear that any senator that allows one more ideologue residence on the bench of the Supreme Court does so at his/her political peril.

It is the opinion of many in congress that a problem does not exist unless it is identified by major corporate media.  I suppose that's the problem.  We're giving them too much time to read newspapers and watch television.  I encourage everyone to flood the Supreme Court, the White House, and congress with mail and telephone calls, and to not give up this effort for the next four years.  We, as citizens and voters, must realize that the only voice we have is our own.

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