The tyranny of the Supreme Court


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 (

“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 [1788] 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.


Ted Block

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

6 thoughts on “The tyranny of the Supreme Court

  1. Hey, Ted. I have very few readers, but that did not stop me from asking them to visit your site, and asking them to reblog the post, and for Americans to send adjusted letters to their elected Representatives. I hope I can accomplish some little thing towards creating change in the present political situation in the USA.
    Good luck, and keep on working hard to create change. You wre being heard. Now we just need tomake you heard in the right places by the right people.
    Thank you.


    1. rawgod, you are incredible. I will give it a day and then reblog your post. I’ll keep writing; you’ll keep writing and maybe, someday, somewhere we’ll meet in person to either commiserate or celebrate. Who knows? Stranger things have happened!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. From your mouth to God’s and the Congresses ears. I am so distressed that even the little bit of news I can tolerate leaves me in a state of depression for our country.

    By the way, we have changed the date of my Bat Mitzvah to Saturday 8/13 so that Adina will be able to be with us and also spend the last shabbat at Camp Newman. If she had come home for it on the 11th they would not let her back in. She is home now with COVID and a very unhappy child as you can imagine. She is so bummed that she has stopped responding to me texts. I am on COVID watch myself I was exposed again at a support group that I co-lead and the guilty party was the other leader. He was sniffling and blowing his nose and kept assuring me that he was not positive but the next morning he tested again and sure enough it was +. It is running through our population like wildfire. Fortunately most people are having mild cases. Be safe, take care and try to watch your BP. Toni


    Liked by 1 person

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