12 October 2015 – It’s true, over the past eight years the Supreme Court has been steadily chipping away at citizen access to Federal courts for civil actions. Not only is the bar to individual access almost impossible to surmount, climbing the mountain of barriers put before those attempting to gain certification for a class action is very nearly impossible. Corporations are people and welcomed into the courts but actual people…not so much.
Armando, who is a lawyer, frequent contributor to Daily Kos Radio Kagro in the Morning with David Waldman and a Daily Kos front pager, joined us to walk us through the foundation of citizen access (which was the Sherman Act) the later clarification to access (Conley v Gibson) and then the Roberts’ Court efforts to tear access down through Ashcroft v Iqbal, Bell Atlantic v Twombly, Wal-mart v Dukes and AT&T v Concepcion. I’ll be honest with you, until I hopped on a Twitter link which took me to an article in The Nation, I had absolutely no idea things had become this serious. Essentially, Federal courts are filled to overflowing with criminal cases (many of which should not be there at all) and instead of working to reform the criminal case-load, SCOTUS went after the rest of us and slammed the door of the third branch of government right in our face. The version of “Hopping Mad” which aired, on Netroots Radio, on 12 October, contains the first half of our interview with Armando. The podcast version (player below) has the full length interview so it is, of course, “Extra Mad!”
This week Will gets into it on the need for progressives to stay connected to the real world and to create a workable progressive political strategy. He utilizes the current struggle of Jeremy Corbyn and the candidacy of Bernie Sanders as examples. Arliss goes off on de-industrialization and the successful campaign by neoliberal economists to keep us from caring too much.
As a final note, we managed to get through the recording of this episode all in one day. We were very excited. I don’t know what Will did with the rest of his weekend but I spent mine gardening, hiking and standing at the paint counter at Home Depot – because my life is precisely that exciting.
So here it is, the forth episode of “Hopping Mad”…