To the honorable justices and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America:
You have the most awesome of responsibilities: considering extremely important issues and making final judgments. You are required to shed any political leanings and religious loyalties you may hold when becoming a judge. As a justice, you are obliged, by oath, to be loyal to only one master, that being the Constitution of the United States of America.
I am 97+ years old, and I have attentively followed the activities and decisions of the Supreme Court for over 60 years. I find that some of the judicial commentaries are surprising. However, I feel assured that most of the issues before the court have been thoroughly and seriously discussed, using the Constitution as their guide. I must admit, I do not agree with all of the judgments, but responsible and lawful reasons were presented for the rulings. I must also note there have been a few hasty and rare decisions wrongfully interpreted to reach a desired result.
We all want to support and preserve our democracy and be assured that our Supreme Court justices are unbiased and forceful proponents of equal justice under the law.
Otherwise the rule of law and the Constitution become meaningless. Three of you have been maligned as “Trump judges” who will follow only Trump’s will. The oath of loyalty to our Constitution (regardless of the political party of the President who appointed you) is mandated. We, the people, can then depend on your rulings being lawful, truthful and just. Further, we can be assured your decisions are in keeping with the precedents from previously established rulings.
This week we Americans lost an extraordinary leader, former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Although not a Supreme Court justice, he role-modeled what it means to set one’s background and political leanings aside, and be a devoted servant of our democracy and the Constitution. One of the media reporters described Powell as, “The last moral compass in American political life.” I agree that he was both honorable and remarkable, and that there is every reason to believe our Supreme Court justices can rise to this standard.
The purpose of this letter is to thank all of the justices for your willingness to leave predilection behind you and be the lifetime, honest, Constitutional representatives to which you have pledged.
Note: This letter will undoubtedly be opened by one of the clerks of the court. My hope is that they bring it to the attention of at least one of the justices, if only to show them that there is a 97-year-old woman who has been a stalwart follower of our Supreme Court, fascinated by its work for over 60 years.
Harriet Hausman is a longtime River Forest resident and member of the ACLU.