An open letter to Congresswoman Lois Frankel
Dear Congresswoman Frankel,
I have written to you many times. Perhaps I’m naïve, but for the most part my messages have only engendered canned replies from your office. I would hope this message will prompt a more thoughtful response and, more importantly, some action on your part and on the part of your colleagues in the Democratic caucus.
The tyranny of the Supreme Court has never been more apparent than in the rulings of the last few weeks. As Hayes Brown of MSNBC writes in his newsletter today (https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/supreme-court-congress-are-out-balance-n1296709?cid=eml_mda_20220701&user_email=b40d3f282e3bae220979b29f1ed5ea0ea0bbd7772d3905fde93ef87519951d4b):
“The framers intended Congress to be the most powerful of the three branches of government, consisting of representatives of the people and the states. The executive was to be feared and constrained; the judiciary was, in comparison, an afterthought mostly left to future Congresses to craft. In drafting the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton considered the courts the ‘least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution.’
“What we’ve seen this term is a court determined to prove Hamilton wrong. While Congress has the ability to curtail the authority that the unbalanced, undemocratic courts have accumulated, there seems to be almost no drive among Democrats to even challenge the third branch.”
I publish a blog. In that blog, I have advocated for Congress to take action regarding Court reform. But nothing has been done. I am but one citizen opining on the issue; an opinionated citizen reaching a very small audience. Beyond my opinions, I am powerless. But you and your colleagues are not.
Democracy in America is on the precipice. Without any action by Congress, the “powers” that be, it is questionable whether that democracy can be sustained in my lifetime…and I’m 75 years old! On this Independence Day weekend, I will be publishing an essay to be entitled “The Enigma of American Democracy.” Writing that post will provide me some solace; but it will not change a thing.
As Brown writes:
“It is not an exaggeration to say that Congress’ neglect has left the Supreme Court unaccountable. Instead of Hamilton, we must look to Brutus’ warning in the Anti-Federalist Papers  for an accurate prediction of what has come to pass: ‘In short, they are independent of the people, of the legislature, and of every power under heaven. Men placed in this situation will generally soon feel themselves independent of heaven itself.’
“Years of inaction stripped the power from the people and left it in the hands of a concentrated few who would rather watch the world burn than willingly yield to change. The assumption among liberals that America’s institutions are immutable and beyond changing, even in times of crisis, has left the country at a tipping point. It’s not too late for Democrats to snap out of it and restore Congress to its position of primacy. It will involve hard choices and hard votes that will fundamentally alter the country. But the current imbalance of power is not sustainable, in any sense of the word.”
I guess my question to you, Congresswoman Frankel, is this: What are you doing? What is the Democratic caucus doing? How can you and your colleagues, representatives of the people, sit back and do nothing? Why aren’t you, like me and many other citizens…your constituents…” mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!”
I’m sure you’re aware of the following, but it bears repeating:
In one term, the Supreme Court has eroded: the right of women to control their own bodies; the right to seek redress for civil rights violations by police; the separation of church and state; the ability of states to determine their own gun control policies; and the ability of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.
And next year this same Court will probably completely disrupt our system of federal elections, further eroding an already broken democracy beyond any hope of repair.
I implore you and your colleagues, Congresswoman Frankel, to take a little break from fund raising (and yes, I’m aware that because of the Court’s ruling that “corporations are people too,” fund raising is critical) and address the existential issue facing this country, the tyranny of the Supreme Court.