Oct 20, 2022·edited Oct 21, 2022

Moore v. Harper is merely that last nail in the Republican Party's coffin for democracy. Yes, the case is "...antithetical to the Framers' intent," as Judge Luttig says: the vote of the people should decide the presidency, not state legislatures. But the "Framers' intent" had nothing to do with democracy. The vote of the people was limited at the time to those who were male, white, free, over 21, and most importantly, owners of property: "freeholders" was James Madison's word. This amounted to 2.5% of the population, a crypto-nobility. The Framers' thought this right and proper, unequivocally and unanimously. Popular democracy to them was unthinkable.

Not until 1971 was the last of the restrictive voter qualifications removed, and universal suffrage attained. It took almost 200 years to overcome the "Framers' intent." We built a popular democracy in spite of the Framers' intent, not because of it.

Within a decade of this noble achievement--beginning in the Reagan Administration--the Republican Party undertook its destruction. (Outlined in detail here: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2022/10/19/democracy-defenseless-and-midterms-can-kill-it) Moore v. Harper is just the final stroke.

Yes, SCOTUS should by no means authorize Independent State Legislature theory, but far more important is the defeat of the Republican Party in the midterm election. "Vote early and vote often!!"

Expand full comment

Who would have thought, before Trump, that our electorate is so weighted with people who would vote against their own interests? What a revelation Trump has been. And, we aren't dealing with the wealth inequality that's causal to this, where so many people are so pissed off that they'll vote for what's outside the system they are in. We stay on the surface trying to keep our democracy, where what to do about the underlying causes that most threaten it should be front and center.

Expand full comment
Oct 21, 2022·edited Oct 21, 2022

SCOTUS Protects and Empowers Two Small Minorities: Oligarchs & Christianist Evangelicals

I shared the following with the SCOTUS Public Information Office:

"I have little respect for any Christianist SCOTUS member, who was hand picked by Leonard Leo and who wants to push the "religious freedom” of Christianism on all US citizens. For the sake of two small minorities, oligarchs and Christianist evangelicals, some SCOTUS members are aiding and abetting the replacement of our democratic republic with a theocratic oligarchy.

"Please stop abusing your powers over justice to unjustly impose authoritarian Christianism on anyone. Please stop protecting and empowering anti-democratic oligarchs who buy our politicians who then control the appointment our federal justices."

Let SCOTUS know what you think about their anti-democratic rulings - share what Thom wrote here:


Expand full comment

For more on Leonard Leo and his tax free 1.6 billion 'free speech' fund:


Expand full comment

The GOP is engaged in a "War on Voting." "War on Voting" is a short, catchy, and accurate way to tell what the GOP is up to.

Expand full comment

The morbidly rich used their powers of corporate personhood to arrange for menu-driven neo-theocons to get appointed to the Court, and these oligarchs and billionaires are not going to let their Congressional toadies make any regulations that would get in the way of their big grift. This is kind of a Gordian Catch-22 in that after our SCOTUS made a few legal fictions come true over the years, the plutocrats were given the power to install enough public sector decision-makers in our government to perpetuate their control over our government. So our Congress, which has the responsibility of overseeing our SCOTUS, has been told (by those who control their decisions) to put their faux-Christian grifters on the high court to make even more horrible decisions that are entirely adverse to their Constitutional purpose found in the Preamble.

Expand full comment

We are so worried about this Country ‘becoming Authoritarian after this election.’

I suggest we’re ‘already there.’

In regards to the Supreme Court that is their mode and has been now since the Bush v Gore election , where they arbitrarily elevated Bush over Gore, though by every count Gore lead Bush.

They’ve continued along this biased run to the present.

They are said to be ‘Conservative ‘.

No, they are not simply conservative, they are severely Conservative and emboldened by Trumps followers and their very own designation of Corporations deemed to be persons.

Allowing extremes of money to be landing in Republican coffers, used from there as reason to continue to suck more money into their organization with blanket cover of the courts.

Was America born into this tawdry arrangement?

No . It was precisely this behavior, of the wealthiest ruling the day, that the Constitution was based on, non allowance of the class system in America . They had fled the European stranglehold on the class system.

There are many examples of the Extreme Court in the U S where any chance at equality has been decimated by the Court.

Over and over again , more blatantly every year. And with their elimination of 50 yrs of precedent in Roe v Wade their authoritarian actions have begun to rot the rights of Americans .

It doesn’t take a brilliant

mind to figure this out is wrong and frankly peutrid.

We are a Country of separation of Church and State. That of course is no longer true.

Many of these justices have lied about their primary allegiance to their

Expand full comment

It's been authoritarian all my life, and in fact it was far worse in 1972. In 1972, the National Guard murdered four students because Nixon told them to. Today, most wouldn't obey that order, though yes, the ANP is trying to restore brownshirtedness.

In the 1950-1975 war to protect Vietnamese Opium supplies, two close friends were killed in the war, but FOUR were killed protesting the war, beaten to death by violent pigs.

What we are seeing is a dip back towards 1970, and Americans once again telling government that we want freedom, not enslavement.

This time around, maybe we can even end slavery and make black people full citizens

Expand full comment

Actually, Governor Reagan told them to. He said, four days before Kent State, "If it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with."

Expand full comment

My wife lived in Sand Diego at that time. She said - at that time - you couldn't find anyone who liked Reagan. He was the worst president I've seen. The Kremlin's Actor Asset is just an entertaining fool following orders. Reagan, before his dementia set in really bad around 1975, was a true monster.

Expand full comment
Oct 22, 2022·edited Oct 22, 2022

Hi Patricia,

You covered a lot. As to authoritarianism, "already there," and "severely conservative," I like how John Dean described the extreme right in 2006: "Probably about 20 to 25 percent of the adult American population is so right-wing authoritarian, so scared, so self-righteous, so ill-informed, and so dogmatic that nothing you can say or do will change their minds. … And they are so submissive to their leaders that they will believe and do virtually anything they are told. They are not going to let up and they are not going away.” — John Dean, Conservatives Without Conscience

In 2020, Dean wrote on page 106 in his latest book, Authoritarian Nightmare: Donald Trump and His Followers:

"And even if Trump accepts the will of the majority and the Electoral College and leaves the White House, his backers will remain a very powerful force, ready to give undying loyalty to him for as long as he wants, and then to the next dictator-in-waiting. And the next one will almost certainly be smarter than Donald Trump. You can be sure someone is watching Trump closely, planning to step into his place. Thus, if you want to remain free, you will probably have to outvote today’s ardent Trump followers , not only in November 2020 but for some time in future elections. You may have heard that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

The GQP is certainly "already there." Luckily they are a minority of our population and our majority can easilly out vote and stop them. Their vote was only 31% of the total pool of registered voters in 2020. Add to that the potential from the 33.7% who didn't vote in 2020 and they have NO POWER.

Expand full comment

The Court proceedings should be televised on C-Span. It would be great for accountability, and it would be educational. I don't get the big hang-up on this issue, since the oral arguments are on their website anyway along with the transcripts. They live very public lives and are seated front and center for each State of the Union. In this day and age, every court case in the land should be video recorded and made available to the public. Relying on a court reporter seems very dated.

It is going to be interesting and terrifying to see how far they will take their election interference. Congress will act, but in what way?

The Court already crowned one king. At the time in 2000, people thought it couldn't get any more appalling than this. WRONG!

Expand full comment

It feels like republicans have put a noose around Democracy and are tightening it till it’s strangled to death. Horrific

Expand full comment

“The Trumpiest Federal Appeals Court Did Something Truly Beyond the Pale.”


Expand full comment

Continue : Christian religion over the the rights of Americans to be free of Religious Rule.

We must vote every time against these Fascists who pretend to be appointed to these offices .

As well the Republicans who are pretty seriously invested in these wrong decisions.

They are wrong for America. Thats not who we are.

They’ll tell you its freedom

Thats a lie. Theyll tell you Trump should have been president again. Thats a lie. He was one of the single most divisive presidents ever, who encouraged violence as an every day problem solver.

We don’t have to live this way. We must vote them out.

Expand full comment

Im sorry this comment became fractured . It seems I

prematurely sent the first part and tried to finish up. But It didnt connect well . Thanks for reading both sections.

Expand full comment

Thom's first sentence says it all. In fact, I'd like to boil off a bit more of the sauce. Why hasn't the US congress done their job since bribery was legalized? I think we know.

While I appreciate Thom's brilliant article, it's pointless to discuss anything until we make bribery illegal again. They will all smile and frown on cue, while looking down. Nope, these septuagenarians aren't looking at their iPhones, they are counting the Rubles in the envelopes.

Expand full comment