Anti-democratic actions by the US Supreme Court
By Tom Carter
24 January 2012
In its ruling on the case, EEOC v. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, the Supreme Court cited “freedom of religion” and the First Amendment as justification for granting religious organizations absolute autonomy in their treatment of their employees and allowing those organizations to escape compliance with federal employment law.
The Supreme Court’s invocation of the Bill of Rights in this case is thoroughly hypocritical. It is hardly necessary to point out that this Supreme Court presides over a judiciary that sat comfortably on its hands while the federal government asserted the powers to assassinate, torture, spy on the public, launch illegal wars and imprison without trial.
As all of this was happening, the Bill of Rights and its guarantees of due process and essential freedoms was, for the most part, brushed aside in US courts. But when the interests of a corporation or a church became involved, the justices—liberal as well as conservative—offered up paeans to the “absolute” freedoms enshrined in the Constitution.
There was a time when a “right” was thought to be something an ordinary individual possessed to protect him or her from the arbitrary actions of the most powerful institutions in society. In the Supreme Court, what are being enforced are the “rights” of the most powerful institutions in society as they are invoked against the population.