(11.18) The past week has been one of great relief, so it is painful to remember the damage that has been done to the Supreme Court. What to do. This Friday Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will be discussing his new book, “The Scheme: How the Right Wing Used Dark Money to Capture the Supreme Court,” at Books on the Square. The world got a glimpse of this story when the Senator’s presentation at the Amy Coney Barrett hearing went viral.
Whitehouse traces the motive to control the court system back to Lewis Powell’s notorious memo, which gave a road map for corporate influence to target the judiciary, and chronicles a hidden-money campaign using an armada of front groups and helped by the infamous Citizens United Supreme Court decision. The scheme utilized the Federalist Society as an appointments turnstile, spent secret millions to support the nominees, orchestrated an “amicus brief” signaling apparatus, and propped up front-group litigants to “fast-lane” strategic test cases to the friendly justices.
Whitehouse finds the same small handful of right-wing billionaires and corporations running operations that he likens to “covert ops,” ultimately enticing the Senate to break rules, norms, and precedents to confirm wildly inappropriate nominees who would advance the anti- government agenda of a small number of corporate oligarchs.
The senator has already taken action. Senator Whitehouse has sponsored a bill called The Supreme Court Tenure and Establishment and Retirement Modernization Act of 2022. This absolutely must happen.
(Homework: Learn about the Powell memo.)