Chief Justice Roberts: Stop Messing with Voting Rights!

After the recent decisions about the Wisconsin Primary I posted this on Facebook. Continued thinking led me to write the open letter below to John Roberts, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Are there any adults in the room?

Dear Chief Justice Roberts,

To say I’m disappointed in your “leadership” would be a severe understatement. You have contributed to the disaster of politics in our country today by completely failing to show any adherence to the principles the United States is built on. You are going along with, even sanctioning, a flailing attempt of the Republican wealthy right and mostly white to hold onto power and act only in their own self-interest. At the same time, you are empowering a would-be despot who is completely incapable of serving as a leader on any level – intellectually, morally, or psychologically.

The accelerating divide between the haves and the have-nots has brought about a myriad of problems in the United States. Those holding power seem to have no sensitivity or sensibility to address these critical issues. I guess “let them eat cake” would fit, only our poor do not even get cake. Instead, many are homeless and have to fight to live every day. A national disgrace.

The Republican war against the poor shows no sign of letting up.

The Republican party has made sure the have nots are suffering to a far greater extent than the haves. Recent fatality statistics from the Coronavirus bear this out. The Republican war against the poor shows no sign of letting up. Attacks against voting rights and numerous programs that serve the poor are an everyday thing. Their constant attempts to overthrow the Affordable Care Act do not even make the news.

Recent actions by the Republican controlled Wisconsin legislature and Supreme Court, essentially endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court, are effectively destroying a key aspect of our system of checks and balances and rule of law by taking judicial prejudice to a dire level. Decisions of the Supreme Court should not rest on the desired outcomes of Trump/Republican pawn justices, who then bend and convolute the law to support their biased position.

You know, and I think all the sycophants know, that Trump is a corrupt, unprincipled, despicable man. He has zero leadership skills. If he manages to succeed in his catastrophic attempts to destroy our country and everything it stands for, you and the Republican leadership will be complicit, and history will write this as your legacy.

You have joined the puppet malignity…

I honestly believed you had the character and background to rise to the position you are now in. Sadly, you are not doing that. You have joined the puppet malignity, even taking the lead in the crucial area of voting rights. Here, your career position is clearly discriminatory, yet you hide behind the smokescreen of “local jurisdiction.” You, and your band of “conservative” associate justices, are acting like Republican pawns and rubber stamps. Shameful. Many of us believe the core of our democracy is threatened.

…finding higher truth in the middle.

When I was first exposed to debate in Junior High School, we learned that formal argument was not about crushing the other guy. It was about finding higher truth in the middle. Sadly, our legislative and judicial branches are dysfunctional and hopelessly divided. In our troubled times we are desperate for leadership showing character, judgement, and breadth of perspective. You are the leader of the judiciary and have to set the right tone and direction. 

Your conservative block didn’t allow for a reasonable alternative of extending the mail-in voting date after the governor of Wisconsin was beat down by a gerrymandered state legislature and Republican controlled state Supreme Court. How about having the courage to make a sound and reasonable decision in light of the pandemic even if it means putting aside your own voter repression inclination “for the good of the people.”

…forced the voters of Wisconsin to choose between their own physical safety and voting

The decisions of the Wisconsin Legislature and Supreme Court, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court (all Republican/Conservative controlled) forced the voters of Wisconsin to choose between their own physical safety and voting. This voter repression was clearly done with deliberate intent and will result in people dying.

You have repeatedly rejected political bias and stressed the importance of an independent judiciary. However, your protests mean nothing when they are followed by actions like the decision on Wisconsin and your history of supporting voter repression. Usually you have hid behind a laissez faire approach. But you cannot do this when it suits your side and then take a clear activist even autocratic position in the areas you wish – like voting rights.

As much as the concept of the United States is founded on political principles, it is also based on values. After a recommendation from a former colleague and computer science executive I recently read Jacob Bronowski’s book, “The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination.” My colleague and I spent our careers working with science and dealing in evidence and facts. Primary to science is the reporting of truth using actual data and evidence-based information, something we are not seeing much of from our Republican leadership today. Bronowski is also the author of “Science and Human Values” and “The Ascent of Man.”

I believe these values should also unite our country.

Bronowski talks about how “values derive from truth.” [These] “…are the personal values – respect, sensitivity, tolerance–without which science could not be carried on. And then there are the communal values…honesty, integrity, dignity, authenticity–which bind the scientific community together.” I believe these values should also unite our country. Republican leadership is failing at this completely. How do you feel being part of a power elite that ignores such values, tolerates massive amounts of lies and deception, and drives division?

It is critical to our democracy that the 2020 election proceed without deterrent.

Finally, you and the Republican leadership failed miserably during the sham Impeachment hearing in the Senate. You had your chance to lead. You, and the Republican Senators, who I believe know they are supporting a corrupt and morally bankrupt President, had your chance to get rid of him and clearly should have. Now his failures will mean tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of American citizens will die because of Trump’s massive ego and subsequent failings. All this so these self-interest-based politicians could hold onto the Trump voter base. It is critical to our democracy that the 2020 election proceed without deterrent. At least allow for a fair contest.

I’m asking you to look in the mirror and ask yourself who you want to be. Are you going to side with racism, class conflict, division and hatred? Or will you rise up and begin to heal this country. We need you to be your best.

Very truly yours,

George R. Plosker

3 thoughts on “Chief Justice Roberts: Stop Messing with Voting Rights!

  1. Absolute GRP at his most brilliant & best. Thank you for taking up the ball and moving us all forward. In our current crisis there is a need for righteous civility, rationalism, transparent truth both in this country and the world. Your unique, articulate voice is the one we need to sit up and pay rapt attention to. Genius my Dear and wonderful Brother-Friend. Just keep moving this ball forward – there are many of us who will race it to the goal line.

    Liked by 1 person

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