Michael Parenti: The Supremely Political Court

U.S. Supreme Court For Sale (Washington, DC)

Image by takomabibelot via Flickr

with Michael Parenti
Writer, Dandelion Salad
October 11, 2018

TUK Radio

Archival, updated 2018 to reflect Trump’s Supreme Court – In his extraordinary 26 minute history of the Supreme Court Dr. Michael Parenti warned us in 1995 that this partisan, aristocratic institution might one day empower an autocratic president. It seems that time has come and two Trump appointees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, can push the scales of justice in favor of their politics unless there is a groundswell to question and change the legal rules of that institution. Why is so much power being given to 9 unelected, non term-limited judges?


Over 20 years ago Parenti already pointed to the role of the court in concentrating wealth in the top 1 percent, and the way in which the Supreme Court expanded the power of corporations and laid the groundwork for what later became the Citizens United ruling of 2009.

And most dangerously, how the Supreme Court began to give power to the president in matters of foreign policy and national security that neither Congress nor the Constitution had granted. Parenti said: “… by Judicial Fiat the President could now do whatever he wanted in the absence of specific legislative prohibitions.”

“The Supremely Political Court” is part of the series: “Democracy What Went Wrong, how the CIA, media, corporations, universities, police and the Supreme Court are threatening democracy and what might be done to meet the challenge.” The original series was produced by TUC radio in 1995.

Listen: https://tucradio.org/podcasts/newest-podcasts/michael-parenti-the-supremely-political-court-2/

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 29:01 — 19.9 MB)

[Parenti begins at 4:10 minutes in.]

Michael Parenti is an award winning, internationally known author. His most recent books are The Face of Imperialism (a critique of the U.S. global empire; 2011) and Waiting for Yesterday: Pages from a Street Kid’s Life (an ethnic memoir about his early life in Italian Harlem; 2013); and Profit Pathology and Other Indecencies. For further information about his work, visit his website: www.michaelparenti.org.

From the archives:

Howard Zinn: Hidden History of The American Working Class

The Anti-War Speech That Jailed Eugene Debs For 10 Years + Transcript

Chris Hedges and Frances Moore Lappé: The Struggle to Wrest Back Control of Our Democracy

How Big Corporations Game Our Democracy Into Their Plutocracy by Ralph Nader

Swamping the Supremes Department: No Cloture for Judge Gorsuch by Rob Hager

The SCOTUS Quandary by Rob Hager + Merrick Garland: Where Does Supreme Court Pick Stand on Guantánamo, Death Penalty, Abortion?

Ralph Nader: Scalia, Hillary Clinton and the Upholding of Corporate Supremacy, (Part 2)

The Conundrums of Justice Scalia by Ralph Nader + A Cover for Corporatism in Scalia’s “Originalism” (Part 1)

Scalia Leaves the Plutocracy One Vote Short by Rob Hager

Taxation Without Representation—Déjà Vu by William John Cox + Greg Palast: One Person, One Vote

American Democracy Now An Oligarchy by Joel S. Hirschhorn + Ivy League Study Says the General Public Has Virtually No Influence on Policy