1. Ed

    If Scalia’s decisions did so much damage to democracy, and they certainly did, how was he a “great American”?

    As the author of this article, put it, Scalia and his ilk “put profit over patriotism”.

    That is certainly NOT a “great American”. It’s not even a “good American”.

    It’s more a description of a greedy traitor.

    • Paul Westlake Paul Westlake

      I probably should have put “great” in quotes. He was “great” in the sense that his stature and influence loomed large in American polity, that his brand of “conservatism,” if it can be described as such, dominated the Supreme Court for decades and that the hurdles he erected exposed the mechanism of judicial review as the politically and ideologically motivated exercise that it truly is. If it wasn’t already clear, Scalia made it obvious that the Supreme Court is a political body, first and foremost. Scalia’s absence will be as influential as his presence was, because he was the chief architect of the constitutional rationale for elitist supremacy. The Court has undergone wild swings before but nothing like we’ll see if the Justice that replaces him is his polar opposite. And that dichotomy might finally lead the country to an understanding that wholesale Supreme Court reform is long, long overdue. If the Court is ever rightly treated in law as the political body that it truly is, it will be Antonin Scalia’s legacy that we’ll have to thank for it.

      Thanks for bringing that up and forcing me to clarify.


  2. Susan Ogden

    I am working in Maryland for the 28th Amendment and completely agree that removing corporate personhood via a Constitutional Amendment is the most important reform. All of the legislative actions that are being promoted and some adopted, can eventually be litigated and struck down by being an attack on corporate personhood free speech, religious rights or privacy rights(see Murray Energy v. Public Citizen.)
    However, we believe that in order for Congress to propose an Amendment to overturn Citizens United and reserve rights to natural persons, Congress will need to be sufficiently pressured by a mass movement of people mobilizing, feeling empowered and hopeful for reform.
    The Democracy Amendment Resolution is a Maryland call for a Convention of the States to propose an amendment on these topics:
    1-Affirm that Congress and the states may regulate raising and spending money in elections;
    2-Reserve Constitutional political rights to human beings; and
    3-Affirm every citizen’s individual right to vote.
    We received a letter of support from a Congressman(entered into written testimony for the hearing of SJ2 on 2/18) that stated:
    I have supported a number of resolutions for constitutional amendments to overturn Citizens United and reverse the flood of dark outside money that has been designed to anonymously influence our elections.  Unfortunately, no such measure has come to a vote in the House of Representatives, and there is no foreseeable prospect of action.
    I agree with the sponsor of this bill  that we need to reverse the flood of big money pouring into elections from Super PACs, as well as the stream of secret outside money that is a corrupting influence in our elections. We should seek to inspire citizens to organize, mobilize, and speak out on these issues, and we should continue to exert pressure at every possible point until there is meaningful reform.
    I am aware of the concern that a convention of the states strategy under Article V is unprecedented.  However, I believe that the benefits of stimulating public awareness and elevating the gravity of this critical issue outweigh the dangers. Certainly, amendments proposed by a convention would have to be ratified by 38 states. That remains a formidable protection against unwise amendments from whatever source.
    If we want a Constitutional Amendment and believe it is the ultimate reform we need for our democracy to survive then we can attend to George Mason’s vision. According to the Convention records, Mason thought that “no amendments of the proper kind would ever be obtained by the people, if the Government should become oppressive, as he verily believed would be the case.”14 In response, Gouverneur Morris and Elbridge Gerry made a motion to amend the article to reintroduce language requiring that a convention be called when two‐thirds of the States applied for an amendment. Thank you George Mason!
    With all of the hysterical hyperbole about the Convention(see John Birch society, and recently, Common Cause) if we want an Amendment, what alternative is there to the pressure of States calling for this Amendments Convention? A sitting US Congressman who has worked on campaign finance reform has essentially stated: it ain’t coming from Congress.

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