The Kavanaugh Court
Bruce Hartford
October 6, 2018

Elevation of Kavanaugh and Gorsuch to the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) are both serious and painful blows to those who believe in freedom, justice, equality, the rule of law, human decency, and simple fairness. Of all the many cruel and destructive actions of the Trump-Republican regime the most harmful and destructive are those two appointments combined with packing the lower courts with similar highly-partisan right-wing ideologues. For now and into the foreseeable future SCOTUS will be a roadblock and barrier to be overcome rather than a court of last-resort for those seeking justice.

In the 18 years since the GOP majority on SCOTUS anointed election-loser Bush-II as president over vote-winner Gore in 2000 the court has been consistently partisan. For years, even the mainstream media has acknowledged that with their references to the court's "Republican majority." With Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, the court now shifts from being an extension of the traditional Republican Party to an extreme right-wing instrument of gender, race, and class supremacy, a court that will be dedicated to expanding corporate power above human rights & needs while enlarging and defending the privileges and impunity of aristocratic wealth.

This victory by Trump and the extreme right-wing of the GOP is no surprise. Though it took two years to arrive it was clearly inherent in the 2016 election results. Inherent not just in Trump's Electoral College victory and GOP's continued control of both Senate and House, but also in the thousands of state and local offices they have taken over the past two decades.

So, no, Kavanaugh's elevation was no surprise. The surprise has been the breadth, ferocity, and fury of the popular resistance to a regime so clearly dedicated to the proposition that nonwhites, women, and the common folk are NOT created equal, and that government is, and must continue to be, "Of the CEOs, by the lobbyists, for the billionaires."

But we as a people have been here before. And in the long run we will prevail as we have in the past.

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s benefited from a Supreme Court that often supported equal justice & constitutional rights. A support that helped us achieve — and more importantly sustain — significant advances in human rights. But the opposite was true for the Labor Movement of the 1930s, the previous great upsurge of a mass peoples movement for justice and redress of grievances. That social movement had to fight against a court every bit as reactionary and partisan, every bit as pro-corporate and anti-people, as the Kavanaugh Court will prove to be for us. Yet against the adamant opposition of the judicial branch of government our parents and grandparents won union recognition and on-the-job rights, social security, advances in public health, starvation, and malnutrition, FDR's New Deal, and the then radical notion that government should be an agency of social welfare and economic intervention.

In the 1930s, those who came before us proved that people-power could prevail against even an implacably hostile SCOTUS. Neither the sit-down strikers of the Depression-era nor the sit-in students of the 1960s relied on the Supreme Court. They relied on themselves. That's how they overcame great barriers to win significant victories. And that's how we will eventually do the same.

Yes, Kavanaugh is a serious setback. But we know that his fury, and that of Trump, the GOP, and their bigoted base, is the rage of those desperate to preserve a social order of race, gender, and class supremacy that is being steadily eroded by a flooding river of human progress and struggle. So long as we continue to fight rather than submit, so long as we refuse to surrender to discouragement and despair, our broad people-power will eventually prevail over the narrow selfish greed of money-power because as Dr. King told us 52 years ago on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice."

And as Ella Baker told us so many times:
"We who believe in freedom cannot rest."

Copyright © Bruce Hartford


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