Famous 5-4 Decisions by the One Percent Court

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The following cases are examples of the Supreme Court’s empowerment of the one percent in recent years.
Each was enormously consequential and each was decided by a 5-4 vote, illustrating the
crucial importance of elections to the direction of the nation’s fundamental law.

George W. Bush takes the oath of office from Chief Justice William Rehnquist to become the 43rd president on Jan. 20, 2001, in Washington. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

George W. Bush takes the oath of office from Chief Justice William Rehnquist to become the 43rd president Saturday, Jan. 20, 2001, in Washington. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

BUSH V. GORE (2000)
The Supreme Court stepped in to stop the hotly contested presidential vote recount in Florida. The Court’s five conservative members, all appointed by Republican presidents, awarded the presidency to the Republican candidate, even though the state continued to count votes and the Constitution assigns ultimate resolution of ballot disputes to Congress.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/gordon.hilgers Gordon Hilgers

    Sadly, with the Supreme Corp’s (that’s what I call ’em) help, the US has now crossed the line into a corporatism. This definitely isn’t the country I grew-up in, and what’s especially saddening is that these imbeciles in the Supreme Corp. have given corporations more rights than do people. Not only are they immortal, the average multinational has about five or six million times more freedom of speech than I do, and I resent it.

  • Jafo

    Your forgot the Kelo v. New London decision, giving the government the ability to take private property and not only use it for the public good, but to be able to give it to a private corporation. I find this among the scariest decisions of recent history.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1528940071 Fiona Mackenzie

    The irony, the frustrating irony is that all of it, all the loss of civil rights and property rights and fair representation, ensued from the criminal decision in Bush v. Gore. Without that, there would have been some limit to the corruption of the Supreme Court–and so some limit to the gift of corporatism (fascism) to the one percent. Everything since 2002 has fallen into place because of that–including the seating of a corrupt Supreme Court taking instructions from ALEC–and with Citizens United, it is almost certainly irreversible. The money allowed to be spent has bought and is buying state governments; the states are giving education and prisons and government agencies to for-profit operations selected from the friends of ALEC, with the certain result that the voters’ already low ability to vote intelligently will go to zero; every change brought about by the cabal of oligarchs has made it less and less likely that government will revert to the people in the foreseeable future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bartturner Bart Turner

    Two Corrections: Re: slide #3, In ARIZONA FREE ENTERPRISE CLUB’S FREEDOM PAC V. BENNETT (AKA McComish v Bennett) The Court only struck down the Clean Elections Act’s “matching funds” provision. It left intact the remainder of the program, which continues to provide initial funding for Arizona Clean Elections candidates running for any of the 90 seats in the State Legislature, or for Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Mine Inspector, and the 5 member Corporation Commission. Also, the Clean Elections Act was a citizen’s initiative, not a referendum.

  • Anonymous

    “As early as 1801, following the administrations of Washington and Adams, President Thomas Jefferson lamented the increasing shadow of federal power. The earliest champion of limited government astutely reasoned that its concentration within the defeated opposition party had merely been ‘retired’ to the judiciary as a stronghold. ‘There the remains of Federalism are to be preserved and fed from the treasury and from that battery all the works of Republicanism are to be beaten down and erased.'”



  • http://www.facebook.com/nbking Nora Bourke King

    Thanks for finally paying attention to AT&T v. Concepcion. I haven’t been able to find any discussion of it elsewhere online. I think it is at least as damaging to our democracy as the Citizens United decision. And I think it was a proxy case which was used to grant immunity to banks for widespread, small-time fraud, not to mention any mortgage fraud actions. But I find people so conditioned to the tort reform propaganda that they either don’t care or actually support it. “Well, those class action lawyers are all a bunch of crooks anyway…”

    I’d love to see a program devoted entirely to this matter. Public awareness should be expanded!

  • Morf
  • Anonymous

    But, class-action lawsuits often (always?) end up enriching the lawyers who instigate them. So, don’t they just benefit a different one percent?

  • Nora Bourke King

    They do enrich the attorneys. But it’s important to remember that those attorneys also put out every dime in the prosecution – and that’s a great deal of money. A corporation only values one thing: money. So the only way to hurt them is monetarily. It’s the only kind of spanking that works – and the end result is that the behavior is discouraged. That’s the main point of the whole exercise, to stop the behavior. Class actions discourage widespread fraud on a small individual scale. Believe me, it was the only thing that ever stopped a bank from stealing small amounts of money from huge numbers of people. Which is why they sought immunity from them – there is no other reason. They know very well that no one will hire an attorney to recover an improper $6.00 fee – but thousands of those people, as a group. could.
    $6.00 a pop from every customer is a huge amount of money. So, grant yourself immunity from class actions, and you are free to steal small amounts from everyone and get away with it. Read the decision from the appellate court in the California Discover case. That’s a much clearer argument against what they called, “unconscionable” contract clauses.

  • Fair is Fair

    Ultimately after innumerous recounts, it was affirmed that President Bush did indeed win the election despite all protestations by disgruntled Democrats!

  • Anonymous

    No he didn’t. He actually lost Florida. And then went on to lose at life, as well as losing at making the US appear a respectable country.