IS IT IS POSSIBLE TO IMPEACH THE SUPREME COURT JUSTICESgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Gore 2004 : One Thread
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SHOULD THE REHNQUIST FIVE BE IMPEACHED?
Two events have occurred recently that make crystal clear that a solid case is shaping up for the impeachment of the five United States Supreme Court Justices that handed the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush.
The first event was a little reported lecture given by Chief Justice William Rehnquist to the Catholic service group, the John Carroll Society on January 7, 2001.
According to an account in the Washington Post, Rehnquist gave the talk and suggested "...that sometimes members of the court have to become involved in political matters to prevent a national crisis." According to the Post, "The speech 'helps explain what was in Rehnquist's mind about why he took jurisdiction under such questionable circumstances' in Bush v. Gore, said Michael Les Benedict, a scholar of the Hayes-Tilden election who teaches history and constitutional law at Ohio State University."
The Post further reports Benedict saying that in the speech "He's [Rehnquist] making a rather clear statement of what he thought the primary job of our governmental process was ... That was to make sure the conflict is resolved peacefully, with no violence." What is striking about this news report is that it tells us the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court has invented for himself and his four colleagues an extra-legal rationalization for intruding into the political process. Just where in the Constitution does the Supreme Court get its power to decide presidential elections? Isn't this 'judicial activism' at its worst? The straw man Rehnquist sets up for this foray is "preventing a national crisis." And that evokes images of the sweet song of the despot, "In exchange some of your freedom, I will provide you with safety and security."
Reflection on this quite astonishing reasoning by Rehnquist should remind us of what Benjamin Franklin told us about the value of our freedoms in light of imagined or even real threats to our comfort. Franklin warned us that: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." One wonders if Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, O'Connor, and Kennedy have become so accustomed to the trappings of absolute judicial power that they have discarded the restraining principles that our patriot founders suffered for in the American Revolution 225 years ago.
The second...event making the case for action against the Supreme Court's 'Gang of Five' is the publication in the most recent issue of The Nation magazine of an article by... prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi entitled: "None Dare Call It Treason." ...The case against the five Supreme Court Justices who voted to award the nation's highest office to George W. Bush is laid out in a concise, understandable, and powerful manner in the Bugliosi monograph....In a nutshell this is what he demonstrates.
On December 12, 2000, five members of the Untied States Supreme Court, Chief Justice Rehnquist along with Justices Scalia, Thomas, O'Connor, and Kennedy rendered a decision that found a way, "...to aid their choice for President, Bush, in the suppression of the truth, finally settling, in their judicial coup d'etat, on the untenable argument that there was a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause..."
Bugliosi cites numerous legal scholars, including conservatives, that call the court's ruling clearly politically motivated. Which means, Bugliosi says, "...that this is tantamount to saying, and can only mean, that the Court did not base its ruling on the law." He then emphatically explains the ramifications of this court action: "The stark reality, and I say this with every fiber of my being, is that the institution Americans trust the most to protect its freedom and principles committed one of the biggest and most serious crimes this nation has ever seen -- pure and simple, the theft of the presidency. And by definition, the perpetrators of this crime have to be denominated criminals."
In six devastating points Bugliosi makes the case against the Gang of Five:
1. Florida state law says that the Florida Supreme Court has the authority in challenged election certification matters to "provide any relief appropriate under the circumstances" such as the manual recount it ordered on December 8. Yet the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the recount with, as Bugliosi writes, "...the haste of a criminal, Justice Scalia ... wrote, unbelievably, that counting these votes would 'threaten irreparable harm to the petitioner [Bush]...by casting a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election. In other words, although the election had not yet been decided, the absolutely incredible Scalia was presupposing that Bush had won the election -- indeed had a right to win it -- and any recount that showed Gore got more votes in Florida than Bush could 'cloud' Bush's presidency."
2. The 5-4 decision for Bush was handed down as an unsigned opinion, usually reserved for unanimous rulings. Bugliosi points out that "...on the run and in a guilty state of mind, none of the five Justices, even the brazen shameless Scalia, wanted to sign their name to a majority opinion of the Court reversing the Florida Supreme Court's order to recount the undervotes."
3. Buglisoi notes that even the Court itself knew that the so-called equal protection argument was bogus -- for just two weeks earlier, on November 22, they denied review of a Bush assertion that "the lack of a uniform standard to determine the voter's intent violated the equal protection clause..."
4. While changing its mind and deciding that now the equal protection argument was adequate for their purposes, why then, Bugliosi asks, didn't the Supreme Court send the case back to Florida with the requirement that a statewide standard be used in counting the undervotes? To get the results they sought, the five Justices resorted to a fatuous and contrived reliance on dates and deadlines. Yet Justice Stevens's dissent observed that "... in 1960, Hawaii appointed two slates of electors and Congress chose to count the one appointed on January 4, 1961..." Therefore, "nothing prevents the majority (the five Justices) ... from ordering relief appropriate to remedy that violation (the equal protection argument) without depriving Florida voters of their right to have their votes counted."
5. In finding a way to decide for Bush, the five Justices did a complete U-turn on their well-known philosophy of adherence to federalism and state's right.
6. The use of the equal protection argument has a logical consequence. Bugliosi writes: "... the Court knew that its ruling (that differing standards for counting votes violate the equal protection clause) could not possibly be a constitutional principle cited in the future by themselves, other courts or litigants. Since different methods of counting votes exist throughout the fifty states." Meaning, of course that "...to apply the equal protection ruling of Bush v. Gore would necessarily invalidate virtually all elections throughout the country." So what did Rehnquist, Scalia and the others do? They said this ruling was "... limited to the present circumstances ..." In other words, Al Gore was the only person they had to punish and, as Bugliosi says, "... the Court was interested in and eager to grant relief to, one person and one person only, George W. Bush."
Vincent Bugliosi makes it clear to all of us what happened in the 2000 election and what it means. "The right of every American citizen to have his or her vote counted, and for Americans (not five unelected Justices) to choose their President was callously and I say criminally jettisoned by the Court's majority to further its own political agenda." Readers should find the time to study the entirety of Mr. Bugliosi's article.
Where does one go for justice in Bush's America of 2001? Does anyone believe that an "Attorney General Ashcroft" would appoint a Justice Department special prosecutor to investigate the five Supreme Court Justices that put him and his boss in power? Does anyone believe that radical Republican House or Senate members, so eager to drive President Clinton from office for alleged 'high crimes' will now call for justice for the Justices that put their 'President' in office?
Perhaps this is the beginning of Americans realizing the consequences of a 'stolen' presidency. We can now experience the frustration of freedom-loving people who live in third world dictatorships where there is nowhere to turn but to the oppressing regime itself for justice. Yet the defense of freedom, liberty, and our government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" demands that justice be done.
Before it is too late we should first call upon the American Bar Association to launch an immediate ethics investigation into the conduct of its five members who serve on the land's highest court.
Such an investigation should include possible conflicts-of-interest that have been already reported in the press -- O'Connor's statements before the election about wanting to retire but not willing to do so if a Democrat were elected president; Scalia's two sons who were working for law firms representing the Bush campaign; and Clarence Thomas's wife working for an organization that was soliciting resumés for a possible Bush presidency.
Then we should ask patriotic and courageous members of the United States House of Representatives to follow Article II, Section 4, of the United States Constitution and initiate impeachment proceedings against these members of the Supreme Court -- Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, O'Connor, and Kennedy.
The charges being that the five Justices appear to have intentionally broken their oaths to uphold the Constitution by violating the constitutionally provided manner that prescribes how the president and vice president are to be elected.
Therefore, the charges should be the high crimes of unlawfully usurping Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, and conspiracy to usurp Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.
--Dave Chandler, 1/27/01
-- Arthurrex (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 22, 2001