Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You knew this was going to happen

Well, it's finally happened, just what we should have been expecting. From the Onion:
Striking down the judicial precedent that established the legal supremacy of right over wrong more than two centuries ago, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned Right v. Wrong.

The landmark reversal—a bitterly contested 5-4 decision that has been widely praised by murderers, rapists, bigots, usurers, and pro-wrong advocates nationwide—nullifies all previously lawful forms of right and makes it very difficult for Americans to make ethical decisions or be generally decent human beings without facing criminal charges.

"It is the opinion of this court that the Constitution was crafted in such a manner as to uphold and encourage practices that are not right and, ideally, are very wrong," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority, which also in­cluded Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, and John Roberts. "Despite the compelling case for goodness, truth, and justice made by our predecessors in the case of Right v. Wrong, we firmly believe that malice, dishonesty, and injustice were the framers' original intent." ...

The ruling in Right v. Wrong was handed down in 1790 by the Supreme Court's six original members, all of whom sided with the plaintiff, prompting Chief Justice John Jay to write, "It is the emphatic province and duty of this highest judicial tribunal to rule in favor of Right, as the argument in support of Right is the right one, and the argument in support of Wrong is the wrong one."

Since that time, the verdict has been cited in most legal rulings at the state and federal level, and has been upheld by the Supreme Court numerous times, most notably in a 1974 opinion overturning a Six Circuit Court of Appeals decision that would have re-segregated the nation's schools, abolished the minimum wage, legalized evil, and allowed law enforcement officials to conduct searches and seizures without a warrant. ...

Justice Stephen Breyer chose to read his dissenting opinion aloud before the court, a rare gesture apparently aimed at expressing the full measure of his disgust with the verdict.

"The court needs to overturn this ruling immediately because, simply put, it's the right thing to do," said the associate justice, who, along with his colleagues joining him in the minority, was then arrested by Capitol Police, placed into custody, and is currently awaiting trial.

I can't say this surprises me. Every since that 2010 Citizens United decision, where Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Kennedy, and Roberts decided, also against precedent, that corporations were people, I've been expecting something like this.

I mean, it's been clear that the Republican majority on the court has been headed in this direction for some time. Heck, what do you call that 5 to 4 decision which gave us President George W. Bush in 2000 but a strong step towards wrong and against right? Citizens United just confirmed it.

This decision, too, could be overturned someday, but it puts wrong in a strong position going forward. And considering the huge advantage that Citizens United has also given to wrong, as we've clearly seen in the two years since that decision, it's likely that right will have a tough time making a comeback.

Of course, we can't give up. Never say that. But Republicans have indeed given a huge boost to wrong and a severe setback to right. So it's going to be an uphill fight going forward.

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