Five to Four. Five to Four.
It's no surprise that every Supreme Court decision these days dismantles equal protection under the law. But it doesn't make it any less depressing, does it?
Let's see: high school students don't have first amendment rights anymore— not even the right to be sarcastic, which goes with teenage territory.
Students also don't have the right to an education uncompromised by racism. And they'd better not try to speak up about it, either!
The SCOTUS majority has a divining rod for pinpointing who the "little people" are in any given situation, and then screwing them to the wall:
Plaintiffs whose health or lifespan have been devastated by malicious products don't have the right to apply punitive damages that would make the manufacturer think twice.
Shareholders who find out that their company is guilty of of long-standing fraud can now just quietly go jump out the window. After Enron, we can't have any more whistle-blowers harshing the capitalist buzz.
Workers don't have the right anymore, according to The Fuck-You Five, to sue their employers for discrimination in pay... because if they don't discover a carefully-held secret that they've been paid less than the dude standing next to them for years, the joke's on them!
Defendants facing cruel and unusual sentences can forget the appeal process— when Scalia wants to lock the door and throw away the key, that's his prerogative. He's special... and YOU aren't.
And taxpayers— you know, those idiots— don't have the right to opt out of being fleeced for Bush's Church-Buddy Fund— also known as "The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives." You're going to pay taxes every year to support gay-bashing, race-hating, misogynist, kooky Christian cults whether you like it or not!
The SCOTUS quints have a special fire in their belly when it comes to second-class citizenship for women. Those five men— whose sex lives would no doubt turn us ashen gray— are going to decide, every step of the way, whether any American woman gets to have extra-special dispensation to have an abortion— and they don't believe all that guff about a women's life ever being in danger.
Meanwhile... things are looking better all the time for corporations. It's so much cooler to be a corporation than a pathetic individual. It's like having the Bill of Rights, for real. I bet a corporation could even get an abortion whenever it wanted to!
If I was a high school student with a cause and a smart lip— or a woman with a insupportable late-term pregnancy— I'd file for corporation status, and watch the gates fly open! I bet corporations can even bitch they're being discriminated against, and get special breaks and exclusive opportunities. ...Oh yeah, they already did that.
Let's not snooze over the recent campaign finance decision, which allows corporations to run phony "message" ads on TV as close to election voting days as they like.
This is the "control the plebes with TV" provision that's been found to work so well in the past. It's easier to control people by appealing to their hangups about race and sex than beating them over the head with an expensive item like a baseball bat. Let FOX do the heavy lifting! Corporations want to play the tune that everyone dances to, without news or fact-filled interruptions.
[The side note that drives me crazy on this particular decision is its framing of the notion that the court is allowing "corporations and unions" to both have this freedom to bombard television with unfiltered propaganda. The language suggests that organized workers have a scintilla of parity in their financial clout with the corporations they work for.]
You can't finish a Corporation Cocktail without price-fixing, so now the court has salted the rim on that glass too. Thanks to the Frisky Five, manufacturers and distributors have done away with nearly a 100-year-old law that prohibits them from fixing the base price of their commodities.
If I was a corporation instead of a person, I could call my readers and say, "Gee, I'm sorry, but the fixed price for every story you want of mine is now one million dollars! And every other writer has gone in on this, so you won't be able to find a better deal!"
That'd fix their wagon! Then I'd call the gas company and tell them my patronage is now only available at a minimum price that I'll be spelling out to them in my next memo.
No wonder all the bees left the building. You see, when The Borg gets its game on, it's just not pitiful homo sapiens running for their lives... The U.S. Supreme Court has also sided with developers and the Bush administration on a ruling that reduces the power of the federal Endangered Species Act to that of a mouse turd. Furry creatures everywhere are filing corporation papers as a last-chance attempt to hold onto their very existence.