English Articles

USA: Supreme Court,
an instrument of partisanship

TORONTO – We live next door to an elephant. When it trudges from left to right, the very foundations upon which we have laid our homes tremble. Yet we cannot contain it, and we cannot move elsewhere. Worse, we need it for our very existence.

Of course, that elephant is the USA.  Seventy-two percent (72%) of our international trade is conducted with them- $1.014 trillion (2022). It is our senior partner in NORAD, the North American Air Defense Command responsible for keeping North America safe from foreign military incursions. It is every country’s senior partner in NATO.

Why? According to Global Firepower, which tracks global expenditures by countries annually, in 2023, the USA spent $1.013 Trillion Canadian on Defense – more than the next 13 countries combined. Its leadership structure matters, especially in the volatile world dependent on Middle Eastern energy resources: what happens or what matters in the USA will happen and matter here, as never before.

“Today” that “elephant’s mood” is intemperate and unpredictable – it is a presidential election year. This is a country where, seemingly, democratic capitalism demands that, every year, incumbents at some level of government (federal, state, “local”) must seek confirmation from the public.

Extreme partisanship (left or right) on virtually any issue seems to be the order of the day. People will say and do anything for the ensuing authorities [to allocate spending] that flow from that election, including the prevention of certain candidates from seeking office. All countries have “tests” to gauge the mettle of candidate prior to selection and election.

In the USA, that “cursus honorum” is a gauntlet designed to measure the worth of everyone along the way. Given the current manifest propensity to use the legal system and the practitioners of Law as modern mercenairies in the battle for power, it should be of little surprise that the Courts are now being called upon to pronounce on the “legitimacy” or constitutionality of these tactics. “Stacking the courts” is becoming more and more a serious and dangerous topic of conversation and debate.

The partisanship is now so rife in the USA that the only lens through which perspective appears “acceptable” is your own: whether Democratic or Republican, the other’s view is demonized and silenced. Former defenders of “free speech” have morphed into censors of same, giving rise to a new term – “lawfare”.

Law firms, which can only provide opinions, have no standing in the Constitution – other than to plead for their clients before the Courts – seem to have taken this “new role” with gusto. They are arguing [successfully] on a State-by-State level to strike a Republican candidate, former President Trump, from the ballot during the Primaries.

It cannot be a tenable situation for a country where equality of access to the levers of power across State lines is the mainstay of constitutional political authority. Surely the Supreme Court will have to intervene to get the “players” back into their lanes.

Lobbyist for all types of interests are looking closely for “inspiration”.

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