Occupiers could direct their energy not only at Wall Street, but also at its enablers, in Congress, and ultimately, at the high court.
Perhaps there were truly free markets before the industrial revolution, where townspeople and farmers gathered in a square to exchange livestock, produce and handmade tools. In our modern world, such a market does not exist. Governments set up the rules of the game, and those rules have an enormous impact on our economic outcomes.
In 2007, the year of the crash, the top 1 percent of American households took in almost two-and-a-half times the share of our nation’s pre-tax income that they had grabbed in the 40 years folliwing World War Two. This was no accident – the rules of the market underwent profound changes that led to the upward redistribution of trillions in income over the past 30 years. The rules are set by Congress – under a mountain of lobbying dollars – but they are adjudicated by the courts.
The Supreme Court, with a right-wing majority under Chief Justice John Roberts, has become a body that leans too far toward the “1 percent” to be considered a neutral arbiter. So whether they know all the ins and outs of the court’s profound rightward shift or not, those protesting across the country as part of the Occupy movement are motivated by its corruption as well.
While conservatives constantly rail against judges “legislating from the bench,” it is far more common for right-leaning jurists to engage in “judicial activism” than those of a liberal bent. That’s what a 2005 study by Yale University legal scholar Paul Gewirtz and Chad Golder found. According to the scholars, those justices most frequently labeled “conservative” were among the most likely to strike down statutes passed by Congress, while those most frequently labeled “liberal” were the least likely to do so.
A 2007 study by University of Chicago law professor Thomas J. Miles and Cass R. Sunstein looked at the tendency of judges to strike down decisions by federal regulatory agencies, and found a similar trend. The Supreme Court’s “conservative” justices were again the most likely to engage in this form of “activism,” while the “liberal” justices were most likely to exercise judicial restraint.
- The Long, Corrupt History Of The Corporate Person (huffingtonpost.com)
- Bought Justice and the Supreme Court (ritholtz.com)
- On the Eve of Change (boxofpuzzlepieces.wordpress.com)
- NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) (ipsumturpis.wordpress.com)
- Why Won’t The Supreme Court Allow TV Cameras? (ideas.time.com)
- Sen. Tom Udall: Amend the Constitution and Overturn Citizens United (huffingtonpost.com)
- Health Care In the Hands of Conservative Supreme Court (fidlerten.com)
- Cutting and pasting to the Constitution (politico.com)