Relationships, Justice and Сrisis of the US Justice Institution

The US courts are becoming a tool of political struggle
and often make politically motivated decisions. This means
that truth, justice and thus concord in the country are unachievable.

The US Supreme Court (2022). Image by Fred Schilling, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

At the end of June 2023, the US Supreme Court ruled on several highly controversial issues that as usual divided the the country into 2 parts along partisan lines.

1. The End of Affirmative Action (June 29).
The Supreme Court restricted the race-based affirmative action at colleges and universities. In a 6-3 decision, the court declared that colleges’ use of race as a factor in student admissions is unconstitutional. The Court referred to the Fourteenth Amendment, which prohibits discrimination based on race.

2. Gay Rights vs. Free Speech Right (June 30).
The Supreme Court backed a web designer from Colorado who refused to design wedding websites for same-sex couples despite the state law forbade discrimination against gay people. The Court stated that the First Amendment protected the designer from being compelled to express views she opposed.

3. Student Loan Forgiveness (June 30).
The Supreme Court has rejected President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. More than 45 million Americans owe $1.6 trillion in federal loans for college. The Court ruled that Biden’s administration had overstepped its authority with its plan to wipe out more than $400 billion in student debt.

Fair relationship and concord in any union depend on equal exchange of energy.

Any relationship in any union is always an exchange of the energy. This exchange must be equal (i.e., "fair") and subjectively satisfactory to all involved parties, then the union is strong and keeps developing. If the exchange of energy is unequal for any reason, then the participants feel dissatisfaction. If this dissatisfaction is present in the relationship for a while, such a union falls apart. That's why justice is the basis of comfortable/uncomfortable coexistence of people in any union - from family to interstate alliances.

Justice/injustice is a feeling that comes from comparing the amount of energy spent on an action (e.g., mental or physical efforts) with the amount of energy received (e.g., money, sincere “thanks”) as a result of that action. A little more energy must always come back comparing to what has been spent, otherwise there is no sense to start doing anything at all. As a result a person (or a group of people) gets an internal subjective feeling of satisfaction with the action taken — "that was good=fair" (if the amount of energy received meets the expectations) or dissatisfaction — "that was bad=unfair" (if it does not).

A funny example from my personal life: my close friend in Ukraine in the 2000s was earning a little - about $300 a month which was about the minimum wage then. His wife once complained that she was sleeping with him for just $10 a night. She was beautiful and thought it was unfairly low.

The relationship in a country is also an exchange of the energy between the participants - the government which writes and enforces laws, and the people who must follow these laws. Thus, the justice in a country is the subjective inner sense of citizens' approval of decision, law, or punishment and their implementation.

The courts oversee justice in any country. In the US, the Supreme Court is the main one. Its decisions are binding, but it, like any authority, can make just and unjust decisions. It can also make right and wrong decisions.

Which of the last three US Supreme Court decisions are correct?

It is hard to assess the rightness/wrongness of any big decision made at the country level. This can only be done after some time has passed and yet we need to know approximately in which direction we would like to move the country with these decisions. Two major parties, three branches of government and the people of the US do not have this vision. The impression is that they are confused with the abundance of different mutually exclusive opinions and details of the country's life and just stopped, waiting for some clarity. By the way, it can go on like this for a long time. This is called "stagnation».

On the other hand, maybe all is well with the country and there is no need to move it anywhere, let it float by itself. «In God we trust”.

Then which Supreme Court decision is fair? Apparently, the one that corresponds to the opinion of the majority of Americans.

All three of the above-mentioned Supreme Court decisions are very politicized and divide the American society. But, of course, everyone can have a different (albeit mistaken) view of any problem, so it’s better to look at the statistics that opinion polls give.

1. Most Americans (50%) oppose the consideration of race or ethnicity in college admissions, 33% approve it and 16% are not sure. The majority here shares the court's point of view, so the court made a fair decision despite the Democrats condemned the court’s affirmative action ruling and President Biden said: “ We cannot let this decision be the last word”.

I, too, think the Supreme Court's decision is fair and the Democrats' position is populist.
The support of national minorities or women in getting into colleges and universities is the disadvantaging of national majority and men, and vice versa. Let there be equality. Women are fighting for equal rights with men, not for privileged ones. Thus, those who want to give out some kind of privilege on the basis of gender or nationality should not see "the glass is half empty». The glass is in fact "half full and half empty" which is the equality, so there is no cause for argument. Besides, people usually abuse any privilege and those who are «overprotected" may attack using that protection.

For example, one friend of mine – a Russian-speaking college teacher in Upper New York State - once had a black student coming to her exam who knew absolutely nothing about the subject. When she pointed that to him, he said "I know you say that because I'm black" and started accusing her of being prejudiced. Frankly, I'd kick him out of the class, but this friend of mine correctly called the college security and did not take the exam.

2. LGBTQ Rights vs. Free Speech Right.
60% of the Americans in a Pew Research Center survey spoke out in favor of free speech. The majority of Americans think that business owners should have the right to refuse to provide services in situations where providing them may “suggest support for beliefs about lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) issues” to which they have personal or religious objections.
It turns out here that the court also made a fair decision if 60% of Americans feel the same way.

I think that's fair, too, and it shouldn't be otherwise.
If people don't want to serve someone - gays, children, white supremacists, Chinese, US Presidents, etc. - they won't. But if they are forced “by law”, they for sure will do their job badly and then you have to sue them for the bad service and it will never end. Honestly, it's even silly to force people to go against some (maybe wrong) their beliefs. It's their business and if they don't want to make money for whatever reason, that's their decision and the Constitution has nothing to do with it at all. It's a matter of common sense, not the Constitution.

3. Supreme Court Rejected Pesident Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan.
An April 2023 USA Today/ Ipsos poll showed that the opinions were divided: 47% of the Americans supported Mr. Biden’s forgiveness plan, 41% - opposed it and 12% were undecided. Thus, the people could not make up their minds about this completely "non-capitalist" action. The Court ruled to reject student loan forgiveness plan, being able to rely on the opinion of 41% of its citizens.

It turns out that out of 3 recent decisions, 2 are in line with what most Americans understand to be fair and one cannot be said to be fair or unfair.
All in all, it's not bad for a pro-Republican court that is also divided along party lines - 6 judges are considered "conservative" (i.e. pro-RP) and 3 judges are «liberal» (pro-DP).

Additional thoughts on student debt forgiveness.

The court correctly took into account here a couple of important moral points:
- Is it a good idea to forgive debts knowingly incurred by reasonable adults? Forgiven students are already followed by disadvantaged women and ethnic minorities in college admissions (see above about the race-based affirmative action).
- Capitalism means that everyone has to solve their financial problems without help or gifts from the state. Otherwise it would be socialism.

I once published an article on this subject.
The issue of student debt is a question of money and the money-related issue of inflation in the US. The Fed is constantly emitting backed with nothing dollars, thus devaluing all US dollars in the world.

In terms of numbers, forgiving $400 billion in student debt is only about 7% of the $6 trillion the Fed has put into circulation between January 2020 and September 2022 (the time frame I took at the time of writing). So forgiving student debt would 1) increase inflation in the US slightly and 2) shift student debt onto the shoulders of the entire nation. However, inflation is already present in the US, and the people, in my opinion, don't care much about $400 billion of additional debt. The national elite – president, Supreme Court, the Fed, and two major parties above them – don't care either. On June 30, however, the court approached the issue without going into such detail, and intuitively ruled in favor of capitalism.

And a very important question: who are the judges?

The US Supreme Court has an obligation to oversee justice in the country.
However, the court itself has a problem with justice: it turned out, that Justice C. Thomas has long been accepting expensive gifts from a major Republican donor H. Crow "not knowing that it needs to be declared."

Thus, Justice Thomas has compromised himself and fair (and right) thing to do would be to remove him from the Supreme Court. That would be also a huge step toward restoring country's values, real democracy, and the people's trust in justice institutions and government.

However, this can only be done through impeachment which is unlikely to happen. The "deep state" (those officials who still have a conscience and serve their country rather than their own pockets) is trying to hold the top perpetrators accountable, but former President Trump, for example, has already successfully passed two impeachments. Actually, there is even no need to mention the impeachments since the American Themis cannot convict Mr. Trump for an attempted coup d'etat for already 2.5 years as of now. Almost any other American would have been put in prison for that long ago.

Justice Thomas's punishment seems even more unpromising despite the fact that this is a classic (and even proven by the press) case of corruption. Let me remind you that corruption is “abuse of entrusted power for private gain”.

The American elites will for sure do nothing to remove Justice Thomas from the Supreme Court. Declared by President Biden at the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2021 pledge to fight corruption is just a wish (or lie). The American elites are not interested in fighting corruption because they themselves are its source and primary beneficiaries. Ravens do not peck out one another's eyes.

So who is interested in real fighting corruption? Only the people of the US.

The future of the US Judiciary.

The future of the US judicial system is easy to see because the direction it is heading is quite clear.

A fish rots from the head, in this case from the Supreme Court justices, and the degradation will continue. Justice Thomas will not resign (because otherwise his beautiful and lucrative friendship with Mr. Crow will end). He will continue to receive expensive gifts (really, bribes) from his Republican friends (not donors!), but he will just start declaring some of them. He will keep advancing laws favorable to Republicans in a friendly way. Other Supreme Court justices will also make a habit of receiving expensive gifts from their Republican and Democratic friends (frankly I think that they already do that in some way, “no man is an island”). No judge can be expelled from the Court for "friendship" without impeachment, so there will be no impeachments because of the mutual professional covering up for each other.
This is the "corruption-degradation-decay" mechanism in action.

The examples of Mr. Trump and Mr. Thomas show how badly the moral values and justice in America has degenerated in recent times. No wonder the credibility of the US judiciary has steadily declined: last year only 25 percent of Americans said they had a lot of confidence in the court, down from 50 percent as recently as 2002, according to Gallup.

The US courts are becoming a tool of political struggle: in 2016 the Republicans blocked B. Obama’s efforts to fill a court opening in his final year in office, which helped Mr. Trump rapidly fill three seats in the Supreme Court.

All that means that truth, justice and thus concord in the US are unachievable and we have big problems ahead.

Binding referendum is a good method to influence the government.

In fact, it would be very appropriate to ask the nation whether Americans want to expel Justice C. Thomas from the Supreme Court, but there are no federal referendums in the US. The national elites do not need the feedback from the people despite the fact that any state without a feedback is not viable, so referendums and independent media are necessary in any country.

Independent media, thank God, do exist in the US, but their efforts are clearly not enough. The government often ignores the alarm bells coming from the press, and Mr. Trump simply calls them and any attempts to blame him a "witch hunt."
The free press did its job very well in the case of Mr. Thomas. So what is coming after? Most likely, nothing.

The American elites don't need referendums, and the American people don't require the elites to hold them, so Justice Thomas can sleep at ease.

Goddess of justice Themis is always blindfolded in pictures. American Themis is peeping, so it is selective, which means unfair. That’s why it’s almost impossible to implement fair and right decisions in the US. Decisions for the country are being made by the US elites who have no interest in equal exchange of the energy and restoring/keeping the justice in the country, and the people (who are interested in that) have no way of influencing their elites, despite regular constitutionally mandated elections. It is a vicious circle.

That’s why the ship called "The United States of America" is doomed to drift in unknown direction without rudder and sails on the will of the waves and currents under the wise leadership of both major parties.

I watched something similar in Ukraine in the 2000s. Judges (like almost all state officials in the country at that time) paid for their appointments and then simply made money by peddling justice instead of establishing the truth. Not a single case has been processed (not won!) without money, regardless of the rightness of the opposing parties. There was no justice in the country.

The courts in Russia have long been carrying out the political orders of the elites, namely President Putin and his cronies, even when considering economic cases. There is no justice in the country.

Ukraine and Russia are in a state of war now. The Russians started it and the Ukrainians had to participate. I think that it is the lack of justice in these two countries, among other things, that has brought them into such a disaster.

I see America follows a similar path.
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