Monday, August 15, 2005

Justice Sunday II Another Bad Political Sequel

One of the worst aspects of the Supreme Court vacancy is the way the Roberts nomination is being politicized. The involvement of Progress For America, an organization almost wholly supported by the heir to the Wal-Mart fortune and a few other wealthy interests who have share a financial stake in favorable rulings from the supreme Court in decisions that involve big corporations vs. consumers was one of the first. Then the absurd NARAL ad, which was outrightly a false smear that Roberts somehow supported violent abortion protestors. Then the very partisan Email from RNC head Ken Mehlman. And of course the daily propaganda about how bad the current Supreme Court is from the 700 Club and Pat Robertson, although all but two court members are registered Republicans.

Now the latest attempt to poison the well is from a coalition of right wing groups who claim to be profamily and Christian, who staged Justice Sunday II last night. One of the main supporters of the Justice Sunday event was Focus On The Family founder, James Dobson. However this event wasn't important enough for Dobson to interupt a vacation in France, and he only addressed the event by a videotape. Some speakers including convicted felons like Chuck Colson, who the public largely stopped listening to after his Watergate crimes conviction in the 70's. Tom Delay also addressed the group's event, but made no mention of his ethics problems. And Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council used a baseball oriented show and tell to energize Christian right supporters with a message of Christian's under siege, or a us against them philosophy, which is characteristic of all brainwashing efforts by fringe organizations. Fringe groups try to isolate members from society, and create a paranoid impression that the fringe members are under siege from society. In this case the Supreme Court is made into a villain, that can be fixed by loading it with far right justices who will impose their opinions on society.

The shopping list is frightening of all the Justice Sunday organization's goals. These include a complete breakdown of any seperation between church and state. This could lead a state church, or perhaps a coalition of right wing churches being seen as legitimate, and other churches not. The right to privacy is challenged, including the right for homosexuals not to be arrested in their own homes for private consenting conduct. And other religious right demands that are unreasonable and outrageous for a free society to even consider.

The Roberts nomination should be decided on all documents made available for Senators to judge his ability to fairly rule on cases, as well an open questioning by Senators. Instead ads by business interests, including for Wal-Mart interests, abortion clinic interests, and now religious right interests are poisoning the process.

Roberts is most likely a corporate conservative rather than a merely social one. The interests of big corporations will get a big boost on the court with his nomination. The Senators should question whether, Roberts, a former attorney for coal industry interests, Toyota and Chrysler business interests is the best choice for a fair and balanced court. Will the consumer and public get a fair hearing with such a justice or not is a good question. Does he enter the bench with too many leanings not to be fair and impartial, or is he biased too much. This is what deserves a fair and open consideration in hearings in the Senate.


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