Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Night In Court With The Supremes

Wasn’t that Franz Kafka being dragged out as I was coming in?

I rise to plead my case facing the robed justices behind polished wood. I cite Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v Wade and Bush v Gore but I still haven’t any idea what I am arguing.  My words are garbled. It doesn’t seem to matter because the justices aren’t listening, having already made up their minds. There is no courtly love in this court, not since Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s husband, Marty, died two years ago. He was the gourmet cook who probably turned Antonin Scalia from a medium to an extra large. He hasn’t exploded yet except with his acerbic tongue.

No longer are nine justices visible. Clarence Thomas has leaned his chair so far back, to catch up on his sleep, that he is parallel to the ceiling and out of view. Justice Ginsberg, at 4 ft. 11 inches, is slouching a bit and has disappeared below the bench. The remaining seven have forgotten I am here, all except for Nino Scalia. He wears a bumper sticker on his forehead and a Tea Party T-shirt under his robe. I can hear him think how my short-sleeve shirt is further proof that the second amendment grants everyone the right to bare arms.

Anthony Kennedy is seething because John Roberts has usurped his former role as the celebrity swing vote. Kennedy is now under Samuel Alito’s spell which has him programmed to shout out some epithet about broccoli during Obama’s next State of the Union address.

Is that Elena Kagen, a Manhattanite, and Sonia Sotomayor, from the Bronx, planning their dissent? Along with Ginsberg, from Brooklyn, they will meet on the subway, take in an opera, play a little softball and get to work. If I'm sliding into second base I want these three women as my umps.

I overhear justices Breyer and Ginsberg comparing their resignation letters. Both are fed up with the Court's drift to the right. They have their letters waiting in draft trusting Obama will be the one to make the call replacing them.

Scalia calls himself an Originalist. He regards the Constitution, like the Bible, as etched in stone, dead as the moose head on his wall. He devoutly believes our Founders’ words fell from the firmament, divinely inspired, including the way they abdicated suffrage rights to the states which limited the vote to propertied white men. I point out that in our first election the turn-out was 1.3% of the population. Our Founders elected our Founders. Irrelevant, he says. Ask any fertilized egg-person at conception. Ask any multi-national corporation-person. Ask me, Nino.

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