Advertisement

Deepak Chopra and Intent

Deepak Chopra and Intent

The Supreme Court Dodges a Bullet?

Now that the dust is settling around the Supreme Court’s decision upholding national health care, it’s possible that the justices saved themselves as well as the Affordable Care Act. Before the decision was rendered, the court’s standing with the public had reached a low point.  But more importantly, there is the lingering toxicity of the Bush v. Gore decision, which for millions of people represents five conservative judges stealing a presidential election, just as the Citizens United ruling seems like a ham-fisted way to deliver billions of dollars of super-PAC money to right-wing causes.

 

The health care decision brought the conservative wing of the court back from the edge. It seemed that Chief Justice Roberts in particular had risen to the bench in sheep’s clothing. In his confirmation hearings he was all affable mildness and repeated his allegiance to the principle of showing respect for past precedents. Roberts then went on to install not just the most highly politicized Supreme Court since the Roosevelt era but one that overturned more lower court rulings, along with past Supreme Court rulings, than any other in history. The constant right-wing complaint that liberal judges legislate from the bench was a stalking horse so that the Roberts court could hand down rulings that consistently favor the police over the rights of defendants, corporations over individuals, and reactionaries over progressives. The appearance of a fixed and stubborn agenda was becoming stronger with every session.

Advertisement

 

The health care ruling indicated that Roberts may not have been entirely fooling Congress and the public in his confirmation testimony.  The dissent in the case, which included swing voter Justice Kennedy, would have been outrageous if it had carried the day. The dissenters totally denied Congress’s right to pass national health, using arguments about the commerce clause of the Constitution that were blatantly a paper mask for their personal political views. They simply wanted to say no to health care reform, the way that in Roosevelt’s time some hidebound conservative justices wanted to say no to the New Deal and before that no to civil rights.

 

In particular, one argument delivered by Kennedy is ominous. He and the other dissenters held that the federal government cannot impose its will on private conduct and states’ rights. This is strict constructionism carried to frightening, if not crazy, lengths, because it upholds private conduct that would deny rights to minorities and women, – isn’t racial prejudice and gender bias private conduct? It would allow Southern states to turn their backs on lynching – isn’t that a state’s right?  The Civil War was fought to prove that the federal government is obliged to overrule prejudice, just as the Progressive era proved that corporations cannot willy-nilly abuse workers. The fact that the right wing wants to overturn history is unconscionable. This is part of a bigger agenda by the three ultra-conservative justices, to dismantle any interpretation of the Constitution post 1791, when the Bill of Rights was added to the original document.

Advertisement

 

Their legal reasoning is a sham, as any informed citizen can easily discover without being a lawyer or Constitutional expert. Why should the Bill of Rights, which made additions to the Constitution (i.e., progressive improvements) be holy writ while later social reforms are considered unconstitutional? Why should the Roberts court permit itself to throw out precedent while claiming that their predecessors were wrong to do the same? Ultimately, every society has a right to change.  It is self-contradictory to deny us this right when America was founded upon the desire of the founding fathers to bring about a revolutionary change in the first place – what else is the Declaration of Independence?

 

To a citizen observing the twisted logic of the right-wing justices and their obvious social agenda, it is baffling that educated minds like Roberts and Alito could align themselves with cranks like Scalia and Thomas, who have no legal distinction and were chosen strictly to adhere to an ideology. The right likes to rebuff progressivism by calling it, too, an ideology. It isn’t.  To fight for individual rights, free speech, social equality, the protection of minorities, fair taxation and the equitable distribution of income, etc. is a major historical force, now over two hundred years old, upon which all advanced democracies are based. Opposing this trend is reactionary. That held true when the right tried to kill Social Security in the Thirties and Medicare in the Sixties. It is just as true today when they try to kill national health care. Every other advanced country in the world offers affordable medical care to all its citizens. The fact that the right wing opposes such reforms in America is nothing to boast about or mount a crusade over – it’s a moral shame.

 

www.deepakchopra.com

Follow Deepak on Twitter

Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

How to Make Quantum Reality Our Reality: Looking for a Better Deal
  By Deepak Chopra, MD and Ruth E. Kastner, PhD   If you ask a scientist to talk about quantum mechanics, it’s predictable that the first thing he or she is likely to say is that this is the most successful theory in the ...

posted 11:08:03am Jun. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Self-Compassion: Tips for loving yourself just as you are
  Do you love yourself just as you are? The way that people answer this question reveals a great deal about their upbringing. Well-loved children absorb from their parents a sense of self-worth that lasts a lifetime. But receiving mixed ...

posted 5:59:38am Jun. 22, 2015 | read full post »

The Health Benefits of Practicing Compassion
  Compassion is changing before our eyes. A religious concept associated with Jesus and Buddha (known as “the Compassionate One”) is being researched today through brain scans and positive psychology. In positive psychology your aim ...

posted 11:37:21am Jun. 15, 2015 | read full post »

How to Overcome the Fear of Death--Two Possibilities
The fear of death always comes at or near the top of people's worst fears. Some psychologists believe that this is such a potent fear, we push it down into the subconscious in order to avoid it. Yet from its hiding place the fear remains active, ...

posted 10:10:56am Jun. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Why "Intelligent" Computers Are Dumber Than Your Ten-Year-Old
A mounting fear that science fiction may turn into reality came to light recently. Three brilliant physicists (Stephen Hawking, Max Tegmark, and Frank Wilczek) joined with a noted computer scientist (Stuart Russell) to worry in public about what ...

posted 12:21:56pm Jun. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.