JUSTICE: ¿¿Comforting the comfortable; afflicting the afflicted??


I read the book depicted above last summer.  It was a real eye-opener.  The Slate article linked below gives a better taste than any review I could write.  Here’s the opening of the article, as an excerpt:

In America at the dawn of the 20th century, 25,000 little boys spent 10 hours a day in the living hell known as a coal mine. Charged with pulling detritus out of coal shipments, boys as young as 8 hunched over an ever-flowing stream of minerals, plunging in their hands to pull out slate and other rubbish. Many lost fingers or had limbs torn off by faulty machinery. Some fell down coal chutes and were smothered to death. Most, later in life, experienced horrific medical conditions like black lung. For this work, they were paid 40 cents a day.

 Disgusted by these savage working conditions and vexed by individual states’ refusal to take action, Congress passed a law in 1916 that forbade the interstate shipment of any good produced in a factory that employed children under age 14. Conservative activists quickly contrived a lawsuit against the act—and won at the Supreme Court, where five justices declared the child labor law unconstitutional. Although the Constitution explicitly grants Congress the power to regulate commerce between the states, the court explained, Congress here had illegitimately used this power to ban child labor. Why was that exercise of constitutional power illegitimate? Because five justices said so. The law was invalidated, and the 8-year-olds went back to the mines.
 That was just a hundred years ago.  If I had been born a generation earlier, that could have been my lot!  Can you imagine working in a coal mine at age 8?  Yet Big Money required it of the children of the poor.  And The Supremes said Amen.

Link to article

Link to book



2 thoughts on “JUSTICE: ¿¿Comforting the comfortable; afflicting the afflicted??

  1. Here are a few links to vital articles on the vacancy, beginning with an excerpt:
    “Today, the judges most likely to get appointed today are well-heeled, well-educated (all of them attended either Yale or Harvard law schools) blank slates who have traveled a well-worn path from an elite law school to a prestigious judicial clerkship and then a pivotal federal judgeship.

    In other words, it really doesn’t matter whether a Republican or Democratic president appoints the next Supreme Court justice, because they will all look alike (in terms of their educational and professional background) and sound alike (they are primarily advocates for the government).

    Given the turbulence of our age, with its police overreach, military training drills on American soil, domestic surveillance, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, wrongful convictions, and corporate corruption, the need for a guardian of the people’s rights has never been greater.

    Unfortunately, as I document in Battlefield America: The War on the American People, what we have been saddled with instead are government courts dominated by technicians and statists who march in lockstep with the American police state.
    Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-w-whitehead/the-people-vs-the-police-state_b_9246096.html

    Linda Greenberg, longtime court observer, makes a compelling case regarding loss of balance:

  2. It is an amazing thing to me that people today still willingly embrace the term “Conservative” considering how consistently conservatives have been on the wrong side of history, and, well, just plain dead wrong. Conservatives today would deny committed, loving couples of the same gender the recognition of matrimony, even though no one, repeat, no one, has been able to connect the dots as to how this could affect my marriage in any way. I suspect that this is really motivated by the insurance “industry” to avoid taking on extra dependents.
    It was not so long ago that Conservatives were all about denying non-white people anything resembling civil equality, not so long before that they were denying women the vote, black people the simple recognition of their humanity, and if you look a little further back, people calling themselves “Conservative” were against the break with Britain. I can entertain the notion that they might have been right on that one.
    People calling themselves Conservative were against abolishing child labor, torture, forced religious conversion, and if you look far enough back, it was Roman soldiers enforcing Jewish and Roman law as requested by Conservative Jewish clergy who decided to rid themselves of a troublesome Jewish carpenter.
    So, I’m wondering, what is the appeal of being wrong all the time?

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