One of the underreported impacts of the current stage of the ongoing federal government stupidity crisis, is how the Sequester cuts, combined with the government shutdown, are eroding the ability of the USA's third branch of government, the judiciary, to effectively function.
Politico this morning reports on how bad it really is, with US district judges saying things like it is time for the American people, and the judiciary itself, to tell Congress to "go to Hell". The American people, whose approval of Congress is pretty much non-existent, would heartily agree.
But the US judges are pointing out that long before the government shutdown, the highly destructive Sequester cuts, which are much praised and supported by the deranged Tea Party Republicans, have hobbled the American judicial system, forcing furloughs and layoffs of key personnel that are expected to do the endless and mountainous jobs of sorting through the legal documents required to make the legal system work.
The president of the American Bar Association, James Silkenat, recently responded to a question asked at a congressional hearing, inquiring into the condition of the nation's judiciary, and if it was near to "collapse":
"I hate to say the word collapse, but it’s very close to that. If the [funding] hurdles remain in place, that is exactly what will happen."Earlier, Silkenat said that justice itself was imperiled in the United States, as the court system was increasingly unable to function because of a lack of funding. Silkenat said that Sequestration, followed by the government shutdown, was doing real and lasting harm to the US court system.
That the third branch of government is at the point of collapse may come as news to Americans, but the failure of the MSM to correctly report the devastating effects of the Sequester cuts—which were designed to be so damaging that Congress would avoid them by making a budget deal (which they failed to do)—has brought the USA's government at many levels to the point of being non-functioning.
This of course is the very objective of the Tea Party insurgents, who want the government to collapse, and so are pushing extremist positions, such as locking in the Sequester cuts, and adding further cuts on top of them, that would shut down large portions of the United States government.
The nation's judges are at the point with this destruction of the ability to do their jobs, of declaring open constitutional war against Congress. How that would work is unclear, since neither Congress nor the courts has an army to call upon. But the workings of government could be hindered even more if the Judicial Branch declares the Legislative Branch an enemy of the People—which seems at this point a reasonable declaration.
One judge encouraged his colleagues to simply declare all judicial personnel "essential", and if the legislative branch had a problem about it, the judiciary would be happy to have that constitutional fight with Congress.
Earlier, a group of judges explained in an open letter to Congress that the continuing harm being done to the judiciary would negatively impact the nation's economy, just on the verge of some kind of anemic recovery from the 2008 massive recession. The judges pointed out that the courts are "not only part of the constitutional structure, they are part of the economic structure of the country."
Some reflections on the continuing insanity
It is clear, beyond the amazing reality that the USA presently finds itself in, and which the world is increasingly terrified to watch play out, that in addition to all the other failings going on in America, the electoral process has simply crashed and burned. The fact that so many stupid people have been elected to high, powerful, office in the United States likely has many substantive causes, not the least of these is the absolute failure of the education system to produce a thinking, rational, electorate, instead of one that buys candidates as if they were brands of beer and pizza.
The capitalist model of promoting and electing candidates has thus proven disastrous for politics in the USA. One wonders if that model may be producing similarly outrageous and destructive outcomes, for the nation and the world. The wondering does not have to go to far, what with climate change rapidly spinning out of control into catastrophic regions of environmental, social and political devastation.
Of course, most Tea Party Republicans don't believe in climate change, any more than they believe a debt default will be a problem.
Short of a big change in Congress's behavior, on Thursday the nation and the world will begin to find out if the Tea Partiers are correct.
But as we can see, the awful damage, intentionally perpetrated by the Tea Party against the USA, has already done great harm to the US court system and many Americans needing that system to function properly—or at all.