Preserving Judicial Integrity

“All the rights secured to the citizens under the Constitution are worth nothing, and a mere bubble, except guaranteed to them by an independent and virtuous Judiciary.”

Andrew Jackson, an American lawyer, planter, general, and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States

“Without justice being freely, fully, and impartially administered, neither our persons, nor our rights, nor our property, can be protected. And if these, or either of them, are regulated by no certain laws, and are subject to no certain principles, and are held by no certain tenure, and are redressed, when violated, by no certain remedies, society fails of all its value; and men may as well return to a state of savage and barbarous independence.”

Joseph Story, an American lawyer, jurist, and politician who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

“An independent judiciary does not mean judges independent of the Constitution from which they derive their power or independent of the laws that they are sworn to uphold.”

Thomas Sowell, an American economist, social philosopher, and political commentator.

“You can have an elected parliament that makes laws, but if the judiciary is appointed by the Supreme Leader – who is a representative of God – then you’re kind of at an impasse.”

Azadeh Moaveni, an Iranian American writer, journalist, and academic.


Preserving Judicial Integrity

Preserving Judicial Integrity is an idea that focuses on the meme of the blind justice. A balanced scale symbolizes the foundational idea that justice is impersonal. It focuses on enforcing the law, not personal ideology. A judge cannot make a fair ruling on a case against a company or industry with which they have financial ties.

Once again, as a nation, we face a court that seems content to ignore its ethical obligations to the people. It is a breach of the court’s ethical obligation to accept a case for review. They do it to overturn long-accepted precedent. It’s based on personal ideology and economic ties to the industry on trial.

The current unfolding narrative challenges the Chevron doctrine. It presents a critical juncture for judicial integrity. The foundation of a thriving democracy rests on the public’s unwavering confidence in the impartiality of its highest court. Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch find themselves at the center of a storm. Their recently revealed ties to the fossil fuel industry raised eyebrows. This prompted questions about the court’s commitment to fair and unbiased decision-making.

Preserving Judicial Integrity: The Core Dilemma

The core dilemma is who, with financial ties to fossil fuels, feels entitled. They want to be part of decisions. These decisions could influence regulatory frameworks, favoring their industry affiliations. The refusal to recuse themselves amplifies concerns. It casts doubt on the court’s dedication to fairness and transparency.

In a democratic society, the judiciary handles upholding the rule of law. The decisions from the Supreme Court carry profound implications. They shape policies that affect the environment, public health, civil rights, and more. The court must ensure that these decisions remain grounded in legal principles, not personal interests.

Preserving Judicial Integrity: The Chevron Doctrine in Peril

Justice Elena Kagan voiced apprehensions during the recent hearing. It underscores broader concerns about the potential fallout of dismantling the Chevron doctrine. Granting judges the power to make policy decisions traditionally within the domain of specialized agencies raises legitimate questions. Judges may lack subject-matter expertise. This could affect their grasp of the intricacies involved.

Ethics be Damned…Full Ideological Speed Ahead

Judges should recuse themselves when a clear conflict of interest exists. This is more than an ethical obligation. It is a fundamental step in safeguarding the court’s credibility. Justices tied to the fossil fuel industry must step away and recuse themselves. The Koch network provides substantial financial backing for the lawsuits. This creates an atmosphere that demands utmost transparency.

Preserving Judicial Integrity: Guardians of Justice?

For the court to maintain its stature as the guardian of justice, it must recognize the far-reaching consequences of its decisions on the lives of millions. Transparency and impartiality are not optional but essential pillars of a fair judiciary. We need to reevaluate justices with ties to the fossil fuel industry. It is crucial to ensure that justice, both in appearance and reality, prevails in the highest echelons of the legal system.

In Conclusion

The Supreme Court faces a momentous test. It goes beyond legal intricacies to the very heart of public trust. The court’s decisions must withstand scrutiny for their legal merit. They must also withstand scrutiny for their transparency and fairness. Only through a steadfast commitment to these principles can the court fulfill its role as the ultimate arbiter of justice in the United States.

By Politics-as-Usual

Roger is a retired Professor of language and literacy. Over the past 15 years since his retirement, Roger has kept busy with reading, writing, and creating landscape photographs. In this time of National crisis, as Fascist ideas and policies are being introduced to the American people and ignored by the Mainstream Press, he decided to stand up and be counted as a Progressive American with some ideas that should be shared with as many people who care to read and/or participate in discusssions of these issues. He doesn't ask anyone to agree with his point of view, but if entering the conversation he demands civility. No conspiracy theories, no wild accusations, no threats, no disrespect will be tolerated. Roger monitors all comments and email communication. That is the only rule for entering the conversation. One may persuade, argue for a different point of view, or toss out something that has not been discussed so long as the tone remains part of a civil discussion. Only then can we find common ground and meaningful democratic change.

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