Thursday, July 12, 2018

Political Fiction

A Supreme Nightmare


Ronald G. Pittenger

(There you sit in your new I-chair reading the news scroll across the bottom of the screen. A scarlet banner and a trumpet’s blare–you really should’ve muted the sound–calls your attention to the latest Supreme Court ruling,) The California requirement for all adult white men to wear ankle GPS monitors and wear distinctive purple clothing to warn others of their presence is a valid and constitutional response to the public’s feelings of being unsafe, the justices ruled, 37 to 6 to 2 in a bi-wing ruling for the state. The two oldest–and most conservative–justices, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, issued a sharp 14-page dissent. The six ultra-liberal justices issued a 17-page concurrence objecting that the requirement to wear a sign admitting cultural dominance was rejected by the rest of the majority, the 37 liberal justices.  “When will the dominance end?” they asked. Click OR TAP FOR MORE.... (Being an interested party, you tap.)
MORE, after this brief ad: (a catchy jingle with a computer generated vocal group singing “Viagra for whatever ails ya”) The Supremes said the ruling may be applied by any state in the union. It also applies to tourists visiting from other states that lack such protective laws just as a license to carry firearms doesn’t apply in other states that aren’t part of a compact to honor such licenses across state lines do. Currently, only New York, New Jersey, and California require the warning suits and tracking equipment, but bills have been introduced in 19 others; how they’ll fare in the various legislatures remains to be seen. CLICK OR TAP FOR MORE.... (You click as they still haven’t said how this will affect you.)
MORE, after this brief ad: (voice over by very deep basso with black-lish accent: Friends, don’t be an old fogy smokin’ a stogy. Remember that nasty nineteen-nineties taste? Tuck’s Weed has no additives! Just the pure down-home flavor of weed. Toke a Tuck if you give a ....”) So, how does this impact you? If you live outside one of the three states with this law and never visit or drive through one, it doesn’t impact you at all. Of course, if you live in New England, you’ll have to comply long enough to drive through to Pennsylvania or Delaware, but that’ll only take a few hours. There are also exemptions available for qualifying white-appearing minorities such as gay or bisexual men, those who speak English as a second language, or have a certified disability. It’s worth noting that being a registered voter of the out-of-power party does NOT qualify as a certifiable disability. CLICK OR TAP FOR MORE.... You’ve read enough at that site. You exit, open you phone to texting and type. 
“Hey, Grandad. Any idea how to qualify for the disability exemption?” You hit send.
“Yeah, it’s easy but embarrassing. Go to City Hall with a male partner, and have sex on camera. That proves you’re exempt. “
”That’s it? Nothing else?”
“Unless you speak another language they have a translator for. If not, this is it.”
“Crap. I’ve forgotten the little Spanish I ever knew. How did we ever get into this position?”
“Remember the big whoopteedoo in Trump’s third year when the two younger female Justices were killed in the helicopter crash going to visit Clinton before she died? And Trump replaced them with conservatives for a 7-2 majority? And then lost the 2020 election to Steyer?”
“Yeah. Well, that was before I was paying much attention, but yeah, sort of.”
“When the Democrats swept that election, they had super majorities in both houses of Congress and they had White House.  They knew they’d never get anything past the Supreme Court as it was then constituted. They solved their problem by appointing 36 more Justices for a total of 45. Then, after getting them confirmed as a group by voice vote, and swearing them all in as a group, they changed the law. Justices could only be replaced by someone of the same gender and ethnicity. They also got to name their own replacements if they retired. The newly constituted court ruled that was constitutional by a vote of 38 to 7. That’s how we got here.’
“Isn’t that cheating?”
“Not if the Supremes say it isn’t, Boy. Then, it’s the law of the land.”
“Isn’t there anything we can do?”
“Not really. If it had happened immediately, armed insurrection might’ve worked, but, probably not. Now, there’s a medium sized army of Secret Service agents guarding them all. Unless there’s a common catastrophe of some sort, it’ll take at least a century before there’s a balanced court again. So, not in my lifetime, and probably not in yours, either.”
“But, the Constitution says....”
“No, that’s what we used to think. Now, the Constitution means whatever the Supremes say it means. No more, no less.”
“That sounds hopeless.”
“Close, but not quite.  Conservatives have controlled the House twice and the Senate once since then, but never both at the same time. If we ever get all three again, all bets are off.”
“Thanks, Grandad.”
“You’re welcome. Life is challenge, Boy. How we handle it determines who we will be. Now, get outside and do something that doesn’t need wi-fi.  See ya.” 

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