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The Supreme Court Leaps Toward Fascism

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On July 1, the Supreme Court made a decision as far-reaching as it was outrageous. They ruled that the indictment of Donald Trump for leading the January 6 attempt at a coup d’etat—that is, a violent takeover of the government—would have to be “re-examined.” But the logic and rules laid down in their 6-3 vote would almost certainly lead to large and decisive parts of the indictment—and perhaps the whole thing—being thrown out and in any case being delayed past the election. 

The Court held Trump was immune from—that is, he could not be legally charged with and tried for—the charges not because he didn’t do them, or because the evidence was gotten illegally, but simply because he was presidentThe Court gave Trump—and every future president—a lifetime “get out of jail free” card for anything that he could claim was part of his duties as president.

The fascistic implications of the decision were captured in the dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor and the reply from Chief Justice—or more accurately, Lord High Executioner—Roberts, who wrote the majority decision. Sotomayor wrote that:

The long-term consequences of today’s decision are stark. The court effectively creates a law-free zone around the President, upsetting the status quo that has existed since the Founding.

The President of the United States is the most powerful person in the country, and possibly the world. When he uses his official powers in any way, under the majority’s reasoning, he now will be insulated from criminal prosecution. Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune, immune, immune. Immune.

How does Roberts answer this? Does he angrily reply that the ruling would absolutely NOT permit the president to carry out such crimes?

No, he does not. Instead, he dismisses these scenarios as “fear-mongering on the basis of extreme hypotheticals about a future where the President ‘feels empowered to violate federal criminal law.’” (“Hypotheticals” is usually used in this context to mean things that could possibly happen but are extremely unlikely.)

Roberts immediately goes on to say:

The dissents overlook the more likely prospect of an Executive Branch that cannibalizes itself, with each successive President free to prosecute his predecessors, yet unable to boldly and fearlessly carry out his duties for fear that he may be next.

Trump’s Bloodthirsty Threats and Fascistic Deeds Are Made Legal by the Fascist “Justices”

Think about this for one minute. The first two—and most important—of the scenarios that Roberts dismisses as “extreme hypotheticals” and “fear-mongering” are things that Trump has either been accused of doing, threatened to do, or tried to do but did not succeed. Let’s take just a few of the many examples of Trump advocating things that come very close to what Sotomayor warns against: 

  • On July 1 itself, Trump reposted on his “Truth Social” account a call for his political rival Liz Cheney to be tried by a military tribunal in Guantánamo, where defendants have virtually no rights and are locked up in torturous conditions; 
  • Trump has directly advocated that Mark Milley, the former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (the highest military body in the country), who worked against Trump’s attempted coup in 2021, should be tried and executed for treason;
  • and “organizing a coup to attempt to hold onto power” is exactly what Trump was supposed to go to trial for before Roberts and the rest of the fascists made sure, through this decision, to put the trial off to the never-never-land of endless litigation (legal haggling) until the next election is over and Trump is back in power—one way or the other.

Note that Sotomayor’s list is itself extremely incomplete. She does not include Trump’s repeated threats to deprive people who protest policies he supports of all political rights, to put them in jail or even deprive them of citizenship and this includes his specific singling out of communists and other radicals in this regard. She does not include his repeated threats to empower police to not just kill people suspected of petty crimes like shoplifting (which the police already actually do) but to give these murderous pigs license to do this, so they won’t even have to worry about trial. She does not include his repeated promises to revive things like “Operation Wetback,” which recalls a racist government campaign in the 1950s that drove out of the U.S. both undocumented immigrants AND U.S. citizens of Mexican origin.

But Roberts pretends none of this happened. Instead, Roberts warns against a whole different danger. He is worried about a “president unable to boldly and fearlessly carry out his duties” for fear that he might be charged with breaking a law. And he is so worried about this possible lack of boldness being constrained by the law that he warns against it three separate times, without ever citing a real-world example of such a lack of “boldness” in the long and bloody history of this country and its presidency. Roberts is telling Trump that the most important thing is that he have no fear when some new fascist idea pops into his head. 

In regard to Roberts himself, it is both an irony and a telltale sign that he’s the one who wrote this opinion. Those who wish to minimize the extremeness of the situation often claim that Roberts, the “Chief Justice” of the Court, is actually a “moderate” who is trying to hold the line against the more openly fascist “justices” like Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas (both of whom in different ways have made clear their support for the coup attempt of January 6). The fact that Roberts wrote this opinion makes clear that the full weight of the Court is behind it.

Biden’s Pathetic “Solution”

And what did Genocide Joe Biden have to say? In a statement much weaker than even Sotomayor’s, he admitted that “the law will no longer put any limits on presidential power.” But Biden’s sole solution was to vote for him—at a time when the main forces in the fascist Republican Party have openly united around the vow that they will not respect any election that Trump doesn't win! This “head-in-the-sand” poison will have horrible consequences if people drink it. DON’T!!

It’s the same “solution” that the Democrats have put forward—and fought to limit things to—since Trump emerged. As much as the Democrats fear the damage that Trump, in their view, could bring down on the way that U.S. capitalism-imperialism has been able to dominate the world and rule “at home,” these Democrats fear even more—as the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian says—“mobilizing masses of people in the way that would be necessary to decisively defeat the fascists, because [they] fear that this could lead to things ‘getting all out of control,’ threatening their whole system.”

In words from last winter that seem increasingly prophetic (far-sighted), Bob Avakian further said that:

Everything will very likely be coming to a head and coming up for grabs this year, 2024, with the presidential election this year a sharp focus of the fight between the dominating ruling class parties—Democrats and Republicans—a fight that is very likely to break all out of the bounds of the “normal way” they exercise power over the people, and keep their whole murderous system going.

This kind of deep division—and especially this bitter antagonism among the powers-that-be—has not been seen in this country since the time of the Civil War way back in the 1860s.

This is not a time to be siding with one group of oppressors or another. This is a rare time—a very rare opening—a chance that may come only once in a lifetime—a chance to take advantage of the deep divisions among the ruling oppressors and go after their whole system, with the aim of bringing the whole thing down, and putting something much better in its place.

Get with the revcoms who are organizing for this revolution and working every day to wrench a revolution out of the heavy and explosive times we are living through. And most of all, to understand what is happening in these increasingly tumultuous times and what we can and must do about it, tune into @BobAvakianOfficial on all social media platforms.

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From the genocide in Gaza, to the growing threat of world war between nuclear powers, to escalating environmental devastation… the capitalist-imperialist system ruling over us is a horror for billions around the world and is tearing up the fabric of life on earth. Now the all-out battle within the U.S. ruling class, between fascist Republicans and war criminal Democrats, is coming to a head—likely during, or before, the coming elections—ripping society apart unlike anything since the Civil War.

Bob Avakian (BA), revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, has developed a strategy to prepare for and make revolution. He’s scientifically analyzed that this is a rare time when an actual revolution has become more possible, and has laid out the sweeping vision, solid foundation and concrete blueprint for “what comes next,” in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

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