March 3, 2013

Justices Clarence Thomas and Anthony Scalia

U. S. Supreme Court

One First Street NE

Washington, D.C. 20543


Dear Justices Scalia and Thomas,


            I am writing to urge you to follow Pope Benedict’s example and resign from your position as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.  Neither of you believe in the Constitution nor the rule of law.  Justice Scalia puts his Roman Catholic faith first, and Justice Thomas puts his personal sense of right and wrong first.


            Any person of modest literacy who reads the Constitution can see that both the plain text and the intent of the framers is to exclude the Supreme Court from participating in disputed presidential elections.  Your votes put the loser in the White House in 2000.  Two wars and the biggest economic collapse in seventy years was the result.  What exactly did you think was going to happen when the greatest democracy in the world, with the biggest economy, the last superpower, became another Banana Republic? (Of the four presidents who lost the popular vote, three were relatives of former presidents: Adams, Buchanan and Bush.  Doesn’t that tell you something?)


            The decisions on both your parts hold others accountable for their actions.  In your own case, however, you give yourselves a pass.  It is well and good for Justice Scalia to tell others to “get over it.”  But for the tens of thousands of dead from the wars created by awarding the White House to the candidate who ran on a war platform, and lost the election, they will never get over it, nor their families, nor their friends.


            And I do not speak with the advantage of hindsight.  During the debate over the election in December 2000, before Bush was even inaugurated, I said, “If Bush is selected, we will be at war in six months.”


            Another reason you should resign is that you do not understand democracy.  Do you really think there is no right to vote in the Constitution? Let’s see, we can be drafted to fight and die in foreign undeclared wars, but don’t have the right to select the Commander in Chief?  Really? 


            Judge Thomas’s facile arguments that these issues are state issues betrays a total ignorance of the realities of state and local elections.  The two-party system, that your court has repeatedly endorsed, is not significantly more democratic than a one-party system.  In New Jersey, voters were defrauded of their right to fill vacancies in the legislature.  The explanation on the ballot of the constitutional amendment that gave the appointive power to political party committees never mentioned that it was giving the power to the committees in the first place.


            The Amendment required, “the county committee members fill the vacancy within 90 days,” never telling the voters that they were losing their right to fill the vacancy through election.


            The result has been that the New Jersey legislature (that has Constitutional authority through its power to ratify amendments) is now beholden almost entirely to party leaders.  The voters are irrelevant.


            Incumbents resign after the deadline for filing petitions for primary challenges, then replacements are appointed and run in November as incumbents.  Given the gerrymandered legislative districts, there is no doubt about the outcome in November.  Powerful politicians pass on legislative seats to their offspring like property rights.


            Then you go ahead and support administrative interference (voter ID laws) with the right to vote in the name of fraud prevention.  There isn’t any fraud, but preventing the poor from voting is a logical step for people who think there is no right to vote anyway.


            Get the point? 


            Now we come to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  If the turnout of blacks in Massachusetts is lower than in Mississippi, one reason might be that, in order to improve the prospects of Republican candidates in statewide races, the Republican Party deliberately declines to run candidates against popular local Democrats in order to give voters a reason not to go to the polls.


            I know this is true because twenty-five years ago, a high school classmate who became Chairman of the Texas Republican Party in the 1980’s, told me that this was the Republican strategy.  So, the turnout in contested Congressional elections in Massachusetts in 2012 was 369,962 compared to 321,475 in the uncontested races, a difference of 15%.  The uncontested races were all in the major metropolitan areas, Boston, Springfield and Worcester.


            Similarly in Mississippi, it was the Democrats who declined to offer a candidate for a congressional race, which would have the effect of depressing the Republican vote relative to the Democratic vote.  The average contested election drew 304,951 4% more than the 293,322 of the uncontested race. The more contested races, the more likely a person is to vote.  In addition to the uncontested Congressional races, only 13 of the 40 Massachusetts State Senate seats are contested and only one-third of the 160 seat General Court is contested.


            Finally we come to first amendment rights.  While giving unlimited freedom to corporations and the wealthy to spend money on political campaigns, you denied the right of independent candidates to be included in televised debates on public television. (Arkansas Educational Television Commission v. Forbes)   The state’s first amendment right to prevent speech is superior to a nominated candidate’s right to be heard, not to mention the petition rights of the voters who nominated the independent.


            Neither of you are qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and you should resign before you destroy the country and the world, if not physically, then economically.


            Face it, you have failed.  And with every step you force the country closer to your goals, the problems get worse. You are pushing the country toward a religious war with Iran, by destroying the democracy and abandoning the separation of church and state that made America great. Resign before it’s too late.


Josh Leinsdorf


Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf

Return to Institute of Election Analysis Home Page