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SUPREME DEADLOCK
SUPREME DEADLOCK
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SUPREME FRUSTRATION

 Said Chief Justice Roberts my job is refereeing.
Calling balls and strikes is simply what I’m overseeing.
My personal opinions are not part of the equation
Facts and common sense are my only inspiration.

 But then he made a ruling that had liberals complaining:
Corporations, being people, can spend millions on campaigning.
It’s time, he said, to overrule those frivolous objections.
The First Amendment says they must be free to buy elections.

 On voting laws the Congress called for regular reviewing.
The Court declared its time has past and isn’t worth renewing.
The South is in compliance, they’ve no need to be evasive.
With all respect, your Honors, that’s completely unpersuasive.

 Three others stood beside him beginning with Alito,
And he rarely had to fear he’d face a Clarence Thomas veto.
Scalia mostly backed him by his reading of the Framers
With originalist insights that allowed of no disclaimers.

                                                       

The fifth vote Roberts needed could be rather tantalizing,
For Kennedy’s conclusions were quite frequently surprising.
Yet on corporation spending and on voting rights impeded
It was he who brought to Roberts the majority he needed.

 Now, some said this analysis required some reassessing 
When Roberts saved Obamacare by giving it his blessing.
And then of course conservatives belittle and disparage
Kennedy’s decisions on the subject of gay marriage.

Yet to focus on two issues is undoubtedly myopic.
On climate change or labor or some other major topic
Usually you’d find on any issue of your choosing
By 5 to 4 the liberals expected to be losing.

 But suddenly fate intervened to change these calculations
Rendering redundant all the former explanations.
And conservatives are worried that their domination flounders
Now Scalia is communing with the Constitution’s Founders

 

This leads, of course, to many months of clear decision blocking
To stasis and paralysis and regular deadlocking.
And yet there are some parallels, I hardly need to list ‘em
With what has happened elsewhere in the workings of our system.

 Congress fights the President, the parties give no quarter
As election time approaches the tempers grow much shorter
We expect our highest judges to ignore all this confusion
But denying they’re political’s an absolute delusion.

 So let us not say Roberts is dispassionate, a neuter,
Whose views are no more relevant than those of a computer.
And when he calls his balls and strikes, to be entirely candid,
 He may claim he’s just an umpire, but he’s not quite even-handed.


Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2016 (Archive on Wednesday, November 14, 2018)

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