Gang of Five Justices Ignore Law, Will of Elected Representatives

Jesse Jackson | 7/6/2018, 8:50 a.m.
We are witnessing an astounding attack on democracy by the five male right-wing majority of the Supreme Court -- "black ...

The pushback can start with our election laws and come from the bottom up. Localities and states should be passing laws to make voter registration automatic, to extend the days for voting, to expand the franchise, and rollback restrictions on voting. Districts and states can pass laws matching small donations three or four to one, to encourage independence from the corruptions of big money. Localities might pass legislation demanding that candidates get their "oats and their votes" from the district itself - limiting funds to those provided by those who live in the district.

Nonpartisan citizen panels can put an end to partisan gerrymandering, ensuring the voters pick their representatives rather than politicians designing districts to pick their voters.

It is long past time that we recognize what the right-wing Supreme Court gang of five is doing.

They claim to be simply enforcing the laws, but they overturn legislation and ignore legal precedent. They are lawless in the service of the rich and the corporations. They are expanding the corrupting rule of big money even as they limit the rights of workers, consumers, women and people of color. George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door defying the dictates of the Constitution and the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court.

Now a shameless majority of five stands in that door against the laws of the Congress and states, eroding the democracy they are sworn to protect. Just as it took a movement to challenge George Wallace and segregation, it will take a movement to reclaim our democracy from these "black robed rulers."

Progressive activists should demand that every Democratic candidate for elected office at the local, state or national level make empowering workers a central part of his or her platform. They should demand support for measures that will make it easier for workers to organize and crack down on labor law violations. Companies that violate basic worker rights should be penalized in public procurement decisions.

At the same time, progressives need to expose the reality that the right wing gang of five in the Supreme Court is trampling the will of the people and overturning established precedents to serve the interests of the plutocrats and the right. These "black robed rulers" are legislating from the bench, scorning even an effort to find common ground with their own colleagues.

In a time of deep polarization, the lawless majority of court has chosen to stand with the powerful few against the vast majority.

That too will not stand.

You can write to the Rev. Jesse Jackson in care of this newspaper or by email at Follow him on Twitter @RevJJackson.

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