Elizabeth Warren Delivers Dire Warning About the Future of the Supreme Court

elizabeth-warrenSpeaking at the AFL-CIO’s convention yesterday, Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered a sobering speech in which she pointed out exactly how far right and pro-corporate the Roberts Supreme Court has become — and how much worse it will get following their current path. Warren said:

“You follow this pro-corporate trend to its logical conclusion, and sooner or later you’ll end up with a Supreme Court that functions as a wholly owned subsidiary of big business.”

And she’s absolutely right. Doubt her? Just look at the cold hard facts from the cases they’ve decided this year alone. Time after time, the Roberts Court has unapologetically decided in favor of big business and a corporate agenda.

Sure, they’ve tossed a few bones toward the left — striking down DOMA and ruling that Obamacare is Constitutional being two of the biggest. But when looking at the big picture, one can see that the Roberts Court has been anything but friendly to the middle class or the poor, and has steadfastly extended a helping hand to corporations whenever and wherever possible.

Which makes Senator Warren’s warning about the future of the Court that much more urgent. We’re talking about the highest Court in our nation functioning as a “wholly owned subsidiary of big business,” as Warren put it. What ever happened to functioning as a “wholly owned subsidiary” of the will of the people and the Constitution?

Oh, that’s right. The Court got around that as well by deciding for Citizens United — in another 5-4 decision. Go figure, right?

So now corporations “are” people, and therefore since they’re the “people” with the most money and influence in our country today, they deserve “special treatment.” At least according to the Roberts Court, that is.

So anybody who doubts what Senator Warren is saying needs to take a closer look at the facts, and the actual Court rulings which back up her statement. The Roberts Court has shown no interest in ruling against big business, no matter what the circumstances. And unfortunately, as long as this Court stays together, that looks to be the path they’ll continue to pave whenever the opportunity presents itself.

What’s even more sad is that Senator Warren is one of the very few willing to speak out against something this disastrous for our nation. Much time is spent analyzing and debating the decisions President Obama or Congress make, but little attention is paid by the majority of the American people — or the media — to the Supreme Court and their decisions.

Decisions that have a lasting effect on each and every one of us, and a profound effect on how our nation functions as a whole.

As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said about Warren, “If we could only clone her.”

Or if more of our elected officials had her level of courage and intelligence, and were willing to lend their voices to making this known and pushing for change, we wouldn’t have to.

About Thomas Barr

Thomas Barr is a writer and activist whose work has been featured on CNN.com and other locations across the net. He works tirelessly online and off to further the Progressive movement and fight for causes close to his heart, such as Type 1 Diabetes and cancer research.
Thomas is also a co-founder of Forward Progressives, and Executive Editor of ForwardProgressives.com. Be sure to check out his archives on Forward Progressives for more of his viewpoints.

  • muckeypuck

    This is the dumbest article i’ve ever read. Why are liberals so afraid of free speech?

  • Stephanie Vasquez

    This article would have been far more useful to those of us advocating for change if it had enumerated specific examples for us to use in discussion. As it stands it is merely a “yeah! what she said!” piece.

  • Jackmur2012

    70% of the population – the lower 70% on the wealth/income
    scale – they have no influence on policy whatsoever. They’re effectively
    disenfranchised. As you move up the wealth/income ladder, you get a little bit
    more influence on policy. When you get to the top, which is maybe a tenth of
    one percent, people essentially get what they want, i.e. they determine the
    policy. So the proper term for that is not democracy; it’s plutocracy. The
    Supreme Court has made certain that this happens in its Citizens United Law.
    Which I refer to as Citizens Un-united.

    The Republican Party, has abandoned any pretence of being a normal parliamentary party. It’s in lock-step service to the very rich and the corporate sector and has a catechism that everyone hasto chant in unison, kind of like the old Communist Party. Including the chant no tax increases on the rich.

    A distinguished conservative commentator, one of the most
    respected – Norman Ornstein – describes today’s Republican Party as, in his
    words, “a radical insurgency – ideologically extreme, scornful of facts
    and compromise, dismissive of its political opposition” – and a serious
    danger to the society, as he points out.

    The function of Citizens United seems to have has reduced
    the American People to be spectators, not participants in action. The thought
    that the American People are the best judges of their own interests has been
    trampled on. The Supreme Court has now made the intelligent minority of
    responsible men the Plutocracy and the controlling judges and shot callers of
    what will happen in our country.

    It is a very sad commentary…………….

  • Bill Rubin

    SCOTUS got it so wrong by equating corporations as people and equating money with speech. First, corporations do not vote as do people. Second, if one has more money than someone else, does that mean you have the right to more free speech than someone else? Of course not, but that is the obvious corollary to the ridiculous notion that the Supreme Court has endorsed by equating money with speech.

    SCOTUS’s rightwing is destroying the very fabric of our democracy by trying to maintain that corporate rights are equivalent to human rights and by ridiculously equating money and speech. It is the biggest reach yet by conservatives, and it is obviously illogical. Conservatives, of course, decide most things by reaching their conclusion and then backward reasoning to justify it, just as the SCOTUS has done with the decisions above. It is completely nonsensical and obviously in violation of the spirit (and letter) of the US Constitution.

    Voters need to consider the SCOTUS far more often when voting for both the President and their Congressional representatives, especially their Senators. Fortunately, the idiocy of House election gerrymandering has no bearing for Presidential and Senatorial elections, and these are all that bear on the appointment of SCOTUS Justices.

  • LRC

    the supreme court has become just another government disgrace. too many republican nutbags, no influence from the public, self serving government officials with no real threat of ever being unemployed or held accountable for being corrupt….just another day in good ol America