United States: billionaires and large corporations captured the Supreme Court

The predominance of conservative Justices will most certainly affect labor, civil and human rights related causes.

Author: Ruben Rosenthal, Rio de Janeiro* 10/28/2020

Dark Money from corporations unbalances justice scale \ Art:kanvag/stock photo

Through a carefully planned and covert articulation conservatives will be able to exercise full control of the US Supreme Court for the next few decades. With the recent Senate nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and her confirmation after voting for the presidential election had already started, the conservative majority was extended to 6 to 3. One of the pillars that should guarantee the balance of the three powers in a Democratic State of Law is now fully undermined.

Behind this “political coup” that has slowly consolidated for two decades are billionaires and large corporations. The predominance of conservative Justices will have consequences that are still unpredictable, but which will certainly affect labor and human rights-related causes, also jeopardizing the current legality of abortion and the LGBT movement’s achievements. Barret’s record shows that she served for three years on the board of directors of a private Christian school that discriminated against gay and lesbian teachers, and did not accept students with same-sex parents.

Having her approval previously secured by the Republican majority, Barret was able to afford to be totally evasive in most responses during the confirmation hearings in the US Senate, even when asked about possible violations of the country’s Constitution by Donald Trump.

In the midst of so much impudence on the part of Barret and the hypocrisy of the Republican senators, who accepted to be part of a complete farce that only exposes the flaws of the North American democracy to the world, we must highlight the questioning conducted by Sheldon Whitehouse (watch on video), Democratic Senator and former attorney general for the State of Rhode Island.

Whitehouse took advantage of the hearing to reinforce complaints that funds of anonymous origin (dark money) has been used to undermine the democratic system in the United States. It is not news that the lobbyists of large corporations already had enormous influence in the North American Congress. However, the integrity of the Supreme Court still remained unquestioned until few years ago. Not anymore.

Senator Whitehouse lectures judge Amy Barrett on Dark Money \ Photo: Greg Nash/Pool via CnP/CNP via ZUMA Wire

In a previous Senate speech on September 2016 (see transcript), Whitehouse referred to information from Jane Mayer’s Dark Money book to denounce right-wing billionaires, like the brothers Charles and David Koch (David passed away in 2019), who were interfering in a hidden way in the climate change discussions that were taking place in Congress. Entities such as Donors Trust, Donors Capital Fund and Bradley Foundation were central to the promiscuous chain of transferring funds to think tanks, advocacy groups, trade associations, foundations and academics, in order to challenge scientific evidence that shows fossil fuel relationship with climate change. Continue lendo “United States: billionaires and large corporations captured the Supreme Court”