Our “Independent” Judiciary
First it was Dick Cheney and Justice Scalia going on a duck hunting trip, which led to a Supreme Court ruling that was very favorable to Dick Cheney. Well, before that, of course, the Supreme Court had SELECTED George W. Bush over Al Gore; and this had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that George W. Bush’s father had appointed two of those Supreme Court justices.
And now, a corporate foundation called FREE (Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment) has been wining and dining federal judges. During a luxury vacation of horseback riding and God knows what else, these federal judges are “educated” and “advised” on how to make environmental rulings that are beneficial to the VIPs who have just wined and dined them.
FREE is funded by — among others — Exxon, Texaco, the Koch Brothers, General Electric, Monsanto and Shell. And FREE’s board of directors includes three U.S. Court of Appeals judges: Edith Clement of the Fifth Circuit, and Alice Batchelder and Danny Boggs of the Sixth Circuit. (Disgraced former Attorney General Ed Meese is also on the board of directors, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.)
After a fun-filled weekend, courtesy of Monsanto and Big Oil, these judges will return to the bench and make objective rulings. “That vacation cabin had the best view of the Rockies I’ve ever seen. Lobster, smoked venison, 18-year-old single malt Scotch — those oil execs sure know how to party. OK, what’s next on the docket — Exxon versus some treehugger…”
Didn’t this used to be called bribery? Jury tampering?