The Supreme Court: We Cannot And Will Not Give Up
If we do, then we and our hijos will have lost
Guadalupe Gonzalez, Contributing Writer
It was with great interest that I read Professor Acuna's article regarding the justice system. And, today, I will tell you why. I know my parents and grandparents came to this country in search of a better life for us all. For those who came at great sacrifice, leaving all that they knew behind -- in hopes that those of us who were to come would have opportunity.
Published on LatinoLA: May 7, 2012
I can see why the young, the elderly, the "Baby Boomers", male and female, are disengaged and disgusted. Yes, in effect, the election of 2000 was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, when it should have been, and WAS decided by the people. Instead, the gang of nine -- many of which were placed in their very chairs by #41: AKA George H.W. Bush -- the FATHER of one of the parties to the action, decided the case. Why did they not recuse themselves?
Alito and his cohort, the one that is so eminently forgettable that all I can remember about him is something about a soda can, failed to recuse themselves, that is, to withdraw from hearing a case, even when recusal is the sole decent and ethical action to take.
Attorneys are bound by oath to "avoid the appearance of conflict." Even the possible appearance of conflict is to be avoided at all costs. True, upon being named to the bench, attorneys become judges. And it is on their shoulders, especially at the level of the Supreme Court, that the responsibility and obligation weighs greatest. At that level, to whom does one go to seek justice from them? They are the final word. I suppose the U.S. Attorney General can intervene and begin an investigation.
Alito has refused to withdraw when he has literally shared a duck blind (the place where people hide in order to toot their duck quacks and from which they extend their rifles) with one of the parties to a case. Soda dude has yet to write one opinion. I know that he can speak, as he did during his Senate confirmation hearings. But in all these years, he has yet to ask one question, one measly question, like "Is it cold outside?" or "How are you, Counsel?" He fears he will come off a fool. Well, he should not fear. He is a fool.
The issue with elections is not the candidate him or her self, although that is an issue. The true issue is what damage or good they will foist or bestow upon us while in office. Look at Chief Justice John Boy Scout. His life expectancy is 84 years -- a doctor told me that. He has got about 30 more years on the bench. What cases will he hear, what rights will he rescind, how much of the clock will he be able to turn back? That is the problem. The candidates' "legacies" live on, for decades after they no longer occupy the seat.
Once in D.C., mi querido and I went to the U.S. Supreme Court. I must have been about 31. We stood, looking up those stairs, in awe of the power and substance of the laws created there. It was as if I was at the Vatican. "The Power and the Glory."
Now, that phrase cannot be applied to either entity.
Once, while working downtown, someone told me she had had lunch at the Cathedral, and had seen Archbishop Mahoney (who happens to live there, by the way, in his "apartments".) She mentioned he greeted her, yes, she was blond, blue eyed and attractive. I responded by saying "I'd like to have had a subpoena to drag his ass before the Grand Jury."
For, I had seen the Church's attorneys in court, bobbing and weaving and ducking each and every motion brought in an attempt to ascertain the TRUTH about how those priests were moved from place to place, often to churches with minority parishioners. Those men were vicious, vindictive and disgusting. Hiding not behind their mother's skirts. Hiding behind the skirts of Mother Church.
It breaks my heart to see what our parents and grandparents worked so hard to achieve so that we, their hijos e hijas, could live a better life. From my office downtown, I could see Union Station, where two beloved people walked out one day, hand in hand, carrying their worldly possessions, to meet their future. I could see La Placita, where I was taken to be baptized. I could see Echo Park, where my grandmother lived, a few blocks away from her sister, her mother, and their family. I could see "Phillipe's", where my elderly Abuelito took a job as a busser at 61. And now I looked down, from the eighteenth floor of my very own office, with a huge window. I could see my world. And I have never, ever forgotten where I am from. For I stand on the shoulders of many -- family, friends, strangers -- who gave me a chance. I could see my world.
Now I see it being taken away, bit by bit. BUT WE CANNOT ALLOW THIS. Por favor, se los ruego, get ready to vote. I know some of the people who are running locally, and some of them mean us harm. It is up to us to try to make an educated choice and exercise our rights. "Occupying" is good, at times. But making certain that we know who "occupies" the position of power is always better.
Do not allow our Grandparents' and Parents' sacrifices go down the drain, as if they did not matter. We owe it to them, and to our own children and grandchildren. For we will be long gone when they ask "Why did they not do something?"
Guadalupe Gonzalez (c)
Guadalupe Gonzalez, Contributing Writer:
Writer and Los Angeles Attorney