The Supreme Court
Supreme Court justices should be deciding cases based on the law, not their political agendas.
Connect: You shouldn't need money or connections to get a fair shake in our justice system.
Define: But the Supreme Court we have today, ruled by a slim Republican-appointed majority, is putting its political agenda to empower corporations ahead of the law.
Show: These justices have empowered corporations to spend unlimited money buying our elections, exploit the fine print in contracts to rip off consumers, and pay women less for the same work.
Expose: Not only are they putting corporate interests ahead of average Americans, they're putting their own political views ahead of respecting the Constitution.
Illustrate: No one knows if these judges will go so far as to put insurance companies back in charge of our health care. But constitutional experts overwhelmingly agree the health law is perfectly constitutional.
Call to action: Our courts matter because judges decide issues that affect all of us. And that's why our elections matter -- presidents appoint justices to the Supreme Court for a lifetime.
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ATTACKS AND RESPONSES
CONCERN: "It's wrong to attack the legitimacy of the Supreme Court by calling it political."
- The Republican-appointed majority Supreme Court we have today is undermining the Court's legitimacy and authority by putting its own political agenda ahead of the law.
- Let's remember that the Roberts Court already brought us the Citizens United, Concepcion, and Wal-Mart rulings -- decisions that empower corporations to spend unlimited money buying our elections, exploit the fine print in contracts to rip off consumers, and pay women less for the same work.
- When these justices side too often with the corporate special interests at the expense of ordinary Americans, it's up to us to call them out.
MYTH: "Liberals -- but not conservatives -- engage in judicial activism."
- Let's just say it: you only hear Republican politicians complain about "judicial activism" when the laws they like are at risk of getting overturned.
- In fact, they've been packing our federal courts with judges who put their political agenda ahead of the law and the Constitution for years.
- We need judges who respect our laws, not rewrite them. Studies show that "conservative" judges are far more likely to overturn the laws they don't like. And that "liberal" judges are the most likely to exercise "judicial restraint."
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- According to new polling--
- The majority of Americans are "extremely concerned" that the Supreme Court consistently sides with corporations over workers and consumers.
- The majority also express extreme concern that the Court consistently sides with powerful interests over average citizens.
- Three-fourths of Americans believe the current Supreme Court justices are letting their own personal or political views influence their decisions, rather than basing them on just legal analysis.
- Our courts matter because every issue we care about will end up in the courts at some point. Federal judges, who serve lifetime terms, have the authority to decide legal questions on issues like corporate powers, our rights to free speech and a free press, the right to vote, worker protections, business contracts, and Social Security and Medicare.
- GOP presidents have dramatically altered the makeup of our federal courts, making them more likely to produce unfair outcomes that empower big corporations at the expense of average people -- like these recent Supreme Court decisions under Chief Justice Roberts:
- In the Citizens United case, the Roberts Court decided 5-4 to give corporations the power to spend unlimited money buying our elections.
- In the Wal-Mart case, the Roberts Court decided 5-4 that working women who get paid less for the same work shouldn't be allowed to join together and go to court to stand up to powerful corporations like Wal-Mart.
- In the Concepcion case, the Roberts Court decided 5-4 that companies can exploit the fine print in consumer contracts, such as for cell phones, to shield themselves from class-action lawsuits -- even after knowingly defrauding consumers.
- In the Lily Ledbetter case, the Roberts Court decided 5-4 that a woman who was paid less than men at her company for the same work couldn't even get her day in court against her employer, only because she didn't find out her company was treating her unfairly until years after it first started.
- Insurance companies donated $100 million in just 2009 and 2010 to the U.S. Chamber's efforts to derail health care reform, so they could help Republican politicians put them back in charge of our health care.
- Obamacare is based on the same legal principles as Social Security and Medicare and constitutional law experts, including some of the most conservative judges in the country, say the health care law is perfectly legal.
- When explaining why conservatives are now opposing the health care law, the Solicitor General under President Reagan said it's "politics, politics, politics....not anything else."
- The laws and protections that Republicans believe should be struck down include Social Security and Medicare, children's health care, child labor bans, the minimum wage, unemployment insurance, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and disaster relief -- and even these laws and protections could be at risk under the slim Republican-appointed majority Supreme Court we have today.
We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn't working. See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.
Posted in - Health Care - Immigration - Judiciary