There is a constitutional method for ridding the U.S. Supreme Court of its two far-right justices, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. It borrows a page from the right-wing in the 1960s. Conservatives, including members of the far-right John Birch Society, outraged over President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s pick for Chief Justice, former California Governor Earl Warren, steering the court in a liberal direction, began a national “Impeach Warren” campaign.
Those demanding that Warren be impeached were the Trumpers of their day in that they showed no respect for the decorum of that era’s politics. Just a few days after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, a large sign on Highway 12-D in Lewis County, New York appeared. The sign bore a large American flag with the words, “Save Our Republic, Impeach Earl Warren.” The sign added, “For information, write Box 255, Utica.” Residents of Boonville and Lowville, near where the sign was erected, expressed disgust, noting that during the previous summer, signs demanding the U.S. withdraw from the United Nations appeared along the same stretch of highway. The Birchers and other radical right-wingers also claimed that Eisenhower was an “agent of the Communist conspiracy.”
The Birchers and their far-right allies would not have been satisfied with Warren’s impeachment and removal from the nation’s highest bench. The “Warren Court” was synonymous with liberalism because Warren’s allies on the bench included another liberal Eisenhower nominee, William Brennan, as well as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s two liberal stalwarts, Hugo Black and William O. Douglas, and John F. Kennedy progressive nominee Arthur Goldberg. That meant the Warren Court consisted of five liberals and seven when Harry Truman nominee Tom Clark and Eisenhower nominee Potter Stewart joined the Warren majority. The two conservatives were Kennedy nominee Byron “Whizzer” White and Eisenhower selection John Harlan. When Abe Fortas and Thurgood Marshall joined the court during the Lyndon Johnson administration, the liberals had a solid six seats, the same number as the right-wing now has on the court.
Today, with political battle lines drawn and personal sensitivities being no where near where they were in 1963, a concerted campaign demanding that Kavanaugh and Barrett be impeached for their far-out fringe views could take the form of electronic billboard advertisements, television commercials, and YouTube and other web campaigns. In fact, Kavanaugh’s and Barrett’s views are not all that different from the Birchers of the 1950s and 60s. Borrowing from the Bircher strategy in waging an impeachment campaign against the dastardly duo on the Supreme Court would be like taking a vaccine containing strains of a disease for the body to fight that very same disease.
Since impeachment is, by its very nature, a political act, the removal of Kavanaugh and Barrett for their dangerous views is warranted, particularly if the Democrats increase their numbers in the House and Senate. A President Biden should refrain from conducting the quaint and archaic “reaching across the aisle” to which he became accustomed when his GOP counterparts consisted of moderates and liberals like Hugh Scott, Jacob Javits, Charles Percy, Lowell Weicker, Mark Hatfield, and Edward Brooke. That Republican Party is long gone, replaced by something akin to Adolf Hitler’s cultish Nazi Party.
If a serious and concerted effort to impeach and remove Kavanaugh and Barrett is launched, along with an ethics probe of Clarence Thomas’s blatant political activity and conflicts-of-interest involving his far-right wife, the progressives could be looking at six seats on the court, matching the number enjoyed by the Warren Court.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).