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The U.S. Supreme Court’s Turn Toward Tyranny

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Turn Toward Tyranny. . Keynote for the Ontario Bar Association Legal Conference, “Cross Borders.” Lecture notes prepared by Heidi Li Feldman

Part One: Outline of Remarks [snipped]

  • 1.   Overview of the current state of U.S. Supreme Court
  • A.   Composition of the current Supreme Court bench
  • i. Irregular withholding of Senate hearings to preserve a vacancy on the Court; three justices (Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett) appointed by Republican president for whom the vacancy was preserved
  • ii.  Privatization of the vetting and selection of nominees by Republican President
  • iii. Quid pro quo from Presidential candidate to key voting block
  • iv. Appointment of one justice by a President who had announced intention to remain in office extra-constitutionally: Barrett
  • B.   Ethics scandals
  • i. Missing and inadequate financial disclosures: Thomas, Gorsuch
  • ii. Ties to private organizations vetting and selecting Republican nominees: Thomas, Alito
  • iii. Conflicts of interest arising from various Justices’ spouses’ professional and political activities: Thomas, Roberts
  • C.   Shadow docket
  • Issuing orders without argument or explanation
  • D.   Radical, life-threatening decisions…”

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