Corruption with a smirk

“Justices” Thomas and Alito have refused to recuse themselves from January 6th cases, despite being blatantly partisan. The bias and corruption in the Supreme Court have become rather blatant, because right now the courts think they are not bound by ethics or law. Jamie Raskin has an idea.

Everyone assumes that nothing can be done about the recusal situation because the highest court in the land has the lowest ethical standards — no binding ethics code or process outside of personal reflection. Each justice decides for him- or herself whether he or she can be impartial.

Of course, Justices Alito and Thomas could choose to recuse themselves — wouldn’t that be nice? But begging them to do the right thing misses a far more effective course of action.

Correct. It would be hopelessly naive to think the Supreme Court would do anything in the name of principle. So what is his recommended course of action?

The U.S. Department of Justice — including the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, an appointed U.S. special counsel and the solicitor general, all of whom were involved in different ways in the criminal prosecutions underlying these cases and are opposing Mr. Trump’s constitutional and statutory claims — can petition the other seven justices to require Justices Alito and Thomas to recuse themselves not as a matter of grace but as a matter of law.

The Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland can…

Stop right there. The solution hinges on ineffectual, waffly Merrick Garland, the dilatory attorney general, taking decisive action? Wouldn’t that be nice? Unfortunately, it’s only slightly less naive than expecting Thomas or Alito to do the responsible thing. Furthermore, “petitioning” doesn’t sound very effective — do we think the justices won’t find an excuse to weasel out of any “petition”? This is John Roberts’ court, after all.

“I think John Roberts is gonna go down in history as one of the worst chief justices of the United States,” Graves said. “He’s done everything he can to try to manipulate the process to avoid and block efforts by the Senate to hold the court accountable, to insist that it abide by just commonsense ethical rules that every other court in the country has to follow.”

Nothing will be done. These crooks aren’t worried.


  1. microraptor says

    It’s amazing that we’ve got three Trump appointees on the Supreme Court, one of whom is an accused sexual predator, one of whom is blatantly unqualified to be a judge, and all of whom lied during their confirmation hearings… and none of them are more than the third-worst Justice sitting on the court.

    Did I say amazing? I meant depressing.

  2. says

    It’s even worse…to think that the other 4 conservative justices would force a recusal is pretty much a non-starter.

  3. StevoR says

    As fellow FTB blogger Adam Lee has noted there’s a censure motion here apparently :


    Biden’s failure to change the SCOTUS and get rid of Trump’s picks is something I find so infuriating. I know its NOT easy to accomplish but.. surely as POTUS there’s something and he should have attacked them and gone far harder in his opposition. Biden and others in Congress should’ve call them what they are frauds, liars and traitors or seditioniists and corrupt as fuck. Instead they’;ve pulled their metaphorical punches far toomuch here This blatantly treasonous “court” needs to be fixed and its previous decisions ruled null and void on groudns of being invalidly, improperly established.

    Executive orders? Actual arrest and charging with thecrime s of sedition, fraud, corruption? Possible?

    Rule them as domestic enemies of the USA even maybe?

  4. StevoR says

    One drastic solution springs to mind but I don’t think I should actually suggest it. Last resort.

    (Feel free to delete & apologies if going too far even by allusion..)

  5. StevoR says

    Link fix attempt :

    If I were Biden I would publicly call Thomas, Kavanaugh, handmaiden OffBarrest, Gorsuch out in very clear terms – call them traitors – which they are – and TOLD not asked – them to resign in disgrace and spelt out tothenation exactly why.

    Perhaps even tell them that that thei security details would be removed (or arrest them?) and their whereabouts publicly stated if they failed to immediately comply.

    Then tried new legislation removing the power of Presidents to decide SCOTUS Justices, expanding the SCOTUS or something like that. major reform to make it non-partisan ..somehow..

  6. raven says

    “I think John Roberts is gonna go down in history as one of the worst chief justices of the United States,” Graves said….

    And so what?

    He isn’t accountable to anyone. No one can do anything to stop him.

    He is well aware of this and could care less what anyone thinks of him.
    He has huge amounts of power and money and what the peasants think of him is of no interest.

  7. raven says

    Nothing will be done. These crooks aren’t worried.

    Nothing can be done to the corrupt Supreme Court judges.

    The Supreme Court itself does have one weakness though, a significant one.
    Their Achilles heel is that they have no way of enforcing their decisions. Enforcement depends on the legislative branch (congress) and the executive branch (the White House). Plus the cooperation of the US people themselves.

    We can always just ignore their decisions.
    This in fact is done all the time.
    A few examples:

    .1. Alcohol was made illegal during Prohibition. It didn’t work.
    People just kept drinking and some groups made huge fortunes supplying illegal alcohol.
    The Kennedys are said to have made their fortune smuggling alcohol into New England.

    .2. Same for marijuana.

    .3. More seriously, the South lost the Civil War and had to give up their Black Slaves in 1865.
    Ever since then, the southern states have been ignoring all the laws and regulations about slavery and civil rights and DEI for Black people with a lot of success.
    They also ignored the laws about voting and voting rights as much as they could.

    .4. Andrew Jackson flat out told the Supreme Court he wasn’t going to pay any attention to their decision.

    How did Jackson ignore Worcester v. Georgia?

    Pres. Andrew Jackson declined to enforce the Supreme Court’s decision, thus allowing states to enact further legislation damaging to the tribes. The U.S. government began forcing the Cherokee off their land in 1838.Mar 4, 2024

    This was another atrocity of US history where we forced the Cherokee, Choctaw, and other tribes off their land and stole it. Because we had superior means of force.

    .5. Abortion.
    Now illegal in half the USA and of course, the abortion rate isn’t going down and it won’t.

    .6. The Federal government led by Joe Biden is free to simply ignore any Supreme Court decisions they don’t like. In theory anyway.

    If the US Supreme court becomes too much of an enemy of the American people, they definitely risk becoming irrelevant.

  8. says

    <sarcasm> No, no, no, there’s only one Justice of the Supreme Court. The other eight (well, eleven including the retired ones) are Associate Justices. So they’re associated with justice but not quite there. Which is disturbingly close to reality. </sarcasm>

    Sadly, Roberts is in about the middle of the pack among Chief Justices; saying that he’s “one of the worst” is recency bias. Which says far more about the problems of the legal profession and the judicial appointment process than gets examined very carefully. (One of the reasons that lawyers are so mistrusted is that the standards are so low… and lawyers tend to live down to them and are certainly pressured to do so.)

  9. StevoR says

    @ 5 ^ Oh and if I were Biden*, I’d have done that a day or so after my inaugeration too. People did know back then right? Even though its only publicly come out just what utter traitors (in the colloquial if not technically legal sense of the word) Thomas, Alito, etc.. are.

    In what other job do you get to lie your way into a position and then just keep that job forever – til death literally – facing no consequences for doing so? That needs to change and contempt of Congress / misleading Congress as trump’s trraitor “Justices” did needs to be taken more seriously and treated more criminally than it is.(Yeah, Trumpist traitor “Justices” weasel worded their lies carefully to be technically not be literal direct lies – but they still did lie in practice.)

    I’ll also note Colbert’s suggestion here – Stephen Declares SCOTUS Unconstitutional.. (12 mins total.)

    Seriously speaking typing, why not have a group of the most senior, respected Justices nominate other Justices to SCOTUS as the method for choosing them w Congress then approving as usual? Oh and have some means of holding SCOTUS Justices accountable beyond just impeaching them among other so horribly badly, badly, badly needed soico-political reforms.

    .* Terrifying alternative reality scenario for us all scenario huh? I’d no doubt suck at the job.**. But if I could just write that speech I’m imagining and get it to Biden by time macine back then .. he’d no dount probly not read it. a-n-y-h-o-w. Sigh.

    .** Even I ‘d be better than Trump tho’.. seriously. Not that I’d be eligiable and hypotheticalest of hypothericals. Still.

  10. petesh says

    I am not optimistic about a good outcome in the attempt to force a double recusal. But that is no reason not to try. Next time (assuming that becomes necessary, as I do) will be slightly easier. The Supreme Court has been, historically, both the worst and the best institution in the political structure of this country. Right now it is at a nadir. And, not incidentally, Roberts bears at least as much blame as Alito and Thomas, because he has let them get way out of hand. Sotomayor cries in her office, and likely Kagan and Jackson do too. Gorsuch is as corrupt as any of them though smoother about it. Kavanaugh and Barrett only look half-way acceptable if you squint hard while comparing them to their elders and worsers.

    Jamie Raskin has a good piece in the F.U. N.Y.T.:

    Anything anyone does to keep up the pressure is worth encouraging.

  11. asclepias says

    What was it Thomas Paine said? A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.

  12. robro says

    Here’s another from NY Times from today:

    The Supreme Court allowed the N.R.A. to pursue a First Amendment claim against a New York official who discouraged doing business with it.

    Thursday, May 30, 2024 11:29 AM ET

    The case is one of two this term where the justices wrestled with the question of when government advocacy crosses a constitutional line into coercion.

    I don’t have a subscription nor time to track this down, but why does this not surprise me.

    There’s not much anyone can do about the current situation. If Biden lays into them, he’ll get slammed for undue influence. Biden might be able to ignore some rulings, but as with overturning Roe it won’t matter. Women will still die. The Senate might be able to look into but they can’t impeach…that’s the House and it ain’t happening now.

    The folks I really hold responsible for this situation are the voters who are such purest they couldn’t vote for Clinton. I had a similar feeling about Jimmy Carter as did many people. Because Carter lost we got Reagan and that got us Bush #1 and he appointed Thomas. Somewhere in there I finally realized that among the many things we’re voting for the Federal courts, particularly the Supreme Court, is a very important part of it. The GOP has been maneuvering for decades to control the courts. Abortion isn’t their primary reason…that’s a sop to the religious fanatics…rather rulings like Citizens United.

  13. donfelipe says

    Gee, maybe it was a bad idea to appoint people to a position for life with no feasible way to remove them? No way that could go wrong! Of course it is designed, like the Senate, to ensure extremely conservative positions and entrenched power stays that way.

  14. raven says

    Biden’s failure to change the SCOTUS and get rid of Trump’s picks is something I find so infuriating. I know its NOT easy to accomplish…

    He can’t do that. It is impossible at the present time.

    .1. “A conviction requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate.” Impeachment and conviction requires a 2/3s vote in the Senate. That is 67 votes
    This will be along party lines and Biden isn’t even close. He could get 1/2 and that is it.

    .2. “They would need 60 votes as opposed to 51 votes to expand the court. So the chances of that happening in this session are not high.” “The legislation would have to pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the president,” he said. Biden has so far indicated that he opposes an expansion of the court.Jun 30, 2022″

    Biden would need 60 votes to expand the court.
    It would also need to pass the House and the House is controlled by the GOP.
    He doesn’t have those votes either.

    Biden isn’t unwilling, he is unable in this case. No one right now can change the Supreme Court.

  15. Matt G says

    This is why Evil will always win – they will do things to Good that Good will not do to Evil. And of course Evil never thinks it even IS evil.

  16. birgerjohansson says

    During periods USA has had more judges on the supreme court, but Biden has already ruled out doing what Lincoln did and increase the supreme court with his own appointees.

  17. Larry says

    The fact that the founding fathers decided that the SCOTUS members should be untouchable save for an impeachment process was intended to allow them to make their decisions without undue political pressure. The FF could never have conceived a court that is, itself, corrupt and willing to decide cases based purely on political considerations. This was made possible, in part, due to their decision that corporations were people and their vast sums of money was simply a form of free speech. This opened up vast resources to politicians of similar persuasion to provide protection to the justices who make decisions they favor. It also allows those resources to be given directly to the justices in the form of bribes (see Thomas). SCOTUS is completely broken and will, tragically, remain so for the foreseeable future.

  18. robro says

    birgerjohansson @ #16 — I had to look up the history of the size of the Supreme Court. The largest court had 10 justices in 1863, but it was whittled down after Andrew Johnson came to office. According to Wikipedia one of the stresses on the court at that time was that the justices had to “ride the circuit” which meant travel in rough conditions for long periods of time. The 10th circuit…a tenth judge…was added in 1863 to encompass California and Oregon. The circuit court system did not exist. That came with the Judiciary Act of 1869 which set the number of Supreme Courts justices at 9 and create the circuit court system.

    The most significant attempt to expand the court was under Roosevelt in 1937. He proposed adding a judge for each judge older than 70 years 6 months. The proposal was widely attacked by everyone including Democrats as “court packing” and the legislation to enable it failed in the Senate by 70 votes to 20. Biden did establish a commission in 2021 to investigate court reforms, but their report took no position on expanding the court.

    By the way, the corruption is not just with the Supremes. I’m confident it’s in the circuit court judges as well.

  19. Nemo says

    @raven #14 — They don’t need 60 votes in the Senate to do anything. They just need 51 votes, to get rid of the filibuster. Unfortunately, in the last session (and still), they didn’t have that, either, because Manchin and Sinema. Maybe next time…

  20. StevoR says

    @ raven – 30 May 2024 at 11:58 am : Are SCOTUS Justices immune from arrest for crimes including Contempt of Congress, Sedtion, Briery, supporting terrorist organisations (Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Trump cult on Jan 6th) and Fraud? (Lying to get their jobs. Supporting the overthrow of Democracy.)

    Couldn’t they be arrested and charged accordingly?

    Executive orders?

    Could Biden demand they resign and use executive orders and allhis full furuious power to dismiss them and see seriously nasty consequnces for them until they have resigned?

    Nothing? Seriously? Fucks sake!

    Could they at least try harder to fix things SCOTUS~wise here?

  21. StevoR says

    Biden (POTUS) is Commander in Cheif of the USA’s military. C-in-FN-C.

    Command the USA’s military to surround the homes of the Trump’s traitor “Justices.” Tell those corrupt, treasonous, disgusting sorry excuses for “Justices” at gunpoint and surrounded by all the military might that the USA can offer that they will write out their letters of resignation and / or face criminal charges for their actions.

    Before that address the American people and explain exactly why this will be happening and that things will be changing. That laws afterwards will prevent anything like this happening again. That it is the Repugs fault for their grotesque and unethcial actions breaching conventions and fairness that have brought SCOTUS will be taken out of partisan hands.

    Justices Kavanaugh, Amy Comey OfBarret, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch either write those letters of resignation and /or get arrested face trial on multiple counts or they starve themselves to death at their own choice.

    A new system is then agreed on on that prevents any POTUS imposing any SCOTUS justice and sees the legal fraternity nominate Justices based on seniorityand record and accomplishments and worth which Congress gets to veto or not. Perhaps after a through clean out has been done and the Federalist society dismantled as domestic enemies and culpable of perversion of the.cours eof Justice which is effectiovely what the Federalist society is allabout. Such organisations thatseek to impsoe Jsutices that do your ideological bididng get permanentkly banned by law (Executive order?)

    Biden or whoeber then resigns in favour of their VP if necessary.

    Anvillicious, super-anvillicous, blunt, brute Dictator move? Sure.

    Better than letting things stand as are? I reckon so.


    Why not?

    Hell, it’s the Trump side that says the POTUS is above the law & can o as far as he wants and not face trial. If that’sthe rule they want to & will play by, well,..

  22. StevoR says

    ^Fix : That it is the Repugs fault for their grotesque and unethical actions breaching conventions and fairness that have brought SCOTUS into disrepute, contempt and beciming a poluitical tool that renders their judgemenst nulland void and invalid an d that this will subsequently be taken out of partisan hands.

    Whilst at it, do something similar to get rid of teh EC too,..

    Things gottta change.

  23. garnetstar says

    SteveoR, I agree that what we chemists call “forcing conditions” are needed.

    What Biden might be able to is to publish all the details of all their crimes, both whoring their robes from the bench and case-fixing. (Alito did just that with the public unions case, and the details were laid out in a senate hearing.) Make everything public, criticize like hell, say that such criminals shouldn’t be on the court, etc. And every time they turn a new trick, get it out there just the same.

    Let them now that they will be hounded and tarred forever. Then any decision of theirs can be forever ignored, by anyone. I think it might get Biden a lot of votes, too!

    They’re deciding now whether Massachusetts has the right to ban ownership of semi-automatic rifles. MA has one of the lowest gun-death rates in the nation. If SCOTUS decides that anyone in MA can get that gun, and endanger everyone’s life, I hope that the state says fuck you, we’re not going to follow it. When some gun nut sues, pay no attention.

    That’s what’ll happen if they declare abortion illegal nationally. All the blue states just won’t pay attention. What is SCOTUS going to do, send troops?

  24. garnetstar says

    You know, the funny thing is that Roberts’ supposedly main concern is that his court be seen and remembered as fair and non-partisan!

    He’s never stepped up to the plate to defend the court from criminals, but he might as well now, since the reputation of the court could hardly be worse.

    Although, he won’t. Even if he wanted to, he wholly lacks the intestinal fortitude. Helpless, in fact.

  25. robro says

    StevoR @ #21 — Dragging the military into this is not a good idea at all. I suspect that many US military leaders would see it as anathema to their oath and perhaps refuse to participate. That’s what Trump would do, of course, but I don’t think we get to the right place by doing something he would do. If you recall he dragged Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the JC at the time, to that Bible thumping episode in front of a church. Gen. Miley appropriately stormed off because the US military is not a political tool and what you propose would be viewed by many people as a political action regardless of the criminality of the justices. What needs to happen is impeachment but the House is in the hands of the GOP or worse.

  26. raven says

    It is also illegal to use the US military as law enforcement in the USA.


    The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385, original at 20 Stat. 152) signed on June 18, 1878, by President Rutherford B. Hayes which limits the powers of the federal government in the use of federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States.

    You just don’t want to politicize the military too much.

    That is what they do in the Third world and one of the reasons why the Third world is the Third world. It doesn’t take long for armies to decide to get rid of the middle persons and just seize power and rule directly.

    That is one of the things that happened in the old Roman empire. It’s happened recently in Egypt. Also Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Niger, etc..They usually make things worse.

  27. StevoR says

    Via PBS Newshour :

    Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito told lawmakers he won’t recuse himself from cases involving the 2020 presidential election or the Jan. 6 Capitol riot despite concerns about two flags associated with far-right causes that have flown over his properties. Alito said his wife, Martha-Ann Alito, was responsible for flying the flags. Geoff Bennett discussed more with Kathleen Clark.

    Source :

    Contempt of Congress and contempt for any notion of being other than treasonously partisan by Alito yet again.

  28. StevoR says

    @ 25. robro :

    StevoR @ #21 — Dragging the military into this is not a good idea at all.

    Its not my first choice but what I think Biden should’ve done if forced to it by the refusal of Trump’s traitor SCOTUS Justices to do the right thing. I’d try other things first including tellingt ehm just before hand that this is how it willbe if they make it that and refuse to do the right thing by the country. Not saying any of this is good but the alternatives aren’t better are they?

    Talk to the SCOTUS traitor “Justices” first and talk to the nation and explain exactly why this needs doing and note that it was the gross breach of convention – political norms and rules by the Repugs that is making this necessary.

    I suspect that many US military leaders would see it as anathema to their oath and perhaps refuse to participate. That’s what Trump would do, of course, but I don’t think we get to the right place by doing something he would do.

    Well, kinda but if the Trump side is giving out that “medicine”id on;t think its the worst idea to give them a taste of it themselves and illustrate powerfully to them that if they think they can do X then theysoudl remember that means a precedent is set for us doing X too. Trump is above the law as POTUS they claim? Yeah, maybe they should recall that Biden is POTUS right nowand if things ar eapplied equally, well..

    Oh & they pretend the Democratic party is evil and dictatorial and project upon them anyhow so maybe, just maybe, a small hint of how bad they could be might give them pause to reflect on the wisdom of more checks and balances that then also apply equally to them? For everyone?

    If you recall he dragged Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the JC at the time, to that Bible thumping episode in front of a church. Gen. Miley appropriately stormed off because the US military is not a political tool and what you propose would be viewed by many people as a political action regardless of the criminality of the justices. What needs to happen is impeachment but the House is in the hands of the GOP or worse.

    Yes. That’s true. That last sentence especially and were I Biden I’d make that crystal clear and note that this was what the Democratic (in both meanings of word) party was being forced to do becuase the SCOTUS traitors and the Congress repug traitors haven’t done the right thing or given us another choice. (Other than well, giving up and letting an illegitimate situation stand. Which is what we have now and I think arguably worse.)

    What the Repugliklans did to Obama, to Biden, to RBG &Garland, etc.. is simply NOT on & should NOT have been allowed to happen and not allowed to stand and again reveals a gaping flaw in the USoA’s politico-judicial system. A flaw that needs repairing. So repair it.

    You’ve shown the POTUS ain’t above the law, USoA, can you now show that SCOTUS ain’t above the law and above accountability too please?

  29. StevoR says

    @26. raven : Are you sure the USoA isn’t a third world country with a superpower’s military? Unfortunately, it kinda seems to be trending that way.

    I desperately wish my country (Oz) would follow the European (Icelandic, Dutch, Swedeish) examples much more than the American (“United” – lolsob – States of) one. Sigh. Look tothe happiest countries and what they do right and elarn formthem. Look at the USoA and learn what NOT to do.. Actually look at every nation on this pale blue dot and learn both what to do and what to avoid for the happiest and most successful societies.

  30. indianajones says

    @Stevor I get it, I really really do. And I get the passion, the frustration pouring through the page here. But it’s time to take a break. I know I can do better, no matter how I feel, when I have less than one typo per line. But please come back and keep fighting the good fight when ya do.

  31. StevoR says

    @ ^ indianajones :Thanks and, yeah, You’re probly right. Unfortuinately I really totally suck at typing even at the best of times.

    Which it usually isn’t for me obvs given “best” is a special sub-set of times. I also tend to use a fair bit of slang vernacular & a conversational style.

    I hope its not too much of an issue and figure that if people can understand what I;m trying to say then hopefully its not too much of an issue?

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