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To read more about Episode 294, visit the main episode page.
[MUSIC: “America the Beautiful” — instrumental piano performed by Ray Charles]
Michael Moore [00:00:13] I pledge allegiance to the people of the United States of America. And to the republic, this democracy, for which we stand, one nation, part of one world, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
[00:00:47] Happy Independence Day, everyone. Or, as I like to say, Happy Interdependence Day. Independence is good. Be independent. But I also like to think about how we’re all connected too. It’s not just independence. It’s interdependence. And we all are part of this one planet that we all share. We’re all connected.
[00:01:15] But on this particular day, we celebrate the signing of our Declaration of Independence. And, wow. It’s been a rough few years, hasn’t it? We’ve gone through a number of these years, probably since the day of the golden escalator at a tower in midtown Manhattan where he rode, rode it down in June of 2015. Geez, this is ’23? That’s like…8 years? And we’re still fighting, still trying to maintain what we had, and try to gain that which we’ve never really had. A work in progress. And I thought it might be a good idea on this day — and, you know, you may be listening to this on the 4th, you may be listening to it after this week. The 4th this year, the 4th of July, is in the middle of the week so we don’t really have like a 4th of July weekend. Although we all have gotten creative over the years of trying to figure out how to stretch the holiday when it lands in the middle of the week. So you might be listening to this on the 4th of July, maybe 4th of July weekend or maybe 4th of July week. Whatever it is, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on what we’ve had to put up with and go through recently.
[00:02:59] I’m speaking specifically of the Supreme Court just this last week. So at the end of the week last week, we had the Supreme Court issue three rulings. Number one, eliminating affirmative action at colleges and universities in this country. Number two, stating that a business has the right to deny LGBTQ+ people services if they believe providing that service somehow negates their rights to free speech. And then finally, they got rid of Joe Biden’s plan to provide student loan debt relief to the 30 million people that are holding these outrageous student loans. It was a rough, rough week for the rights of people of color, the rights of the gay and lesbian and queer community and the right not to be saddled with debt for the next 20 or 30 years of your life simply because you wanted to go to school. And I know a lot of you have been pretty bummed out ever since the end of the week thinking, “just how far will this Supreme Court go?”
Speaker 2 [00:04:46] So I want to talk about that, but I want to share with you maybe a different viewpoint of what they’ve done. But also what we’ve done to them. And this has not been discussed much in recent days since these rulings last week, but I want to give you my take on this and I want you… I know this is going to sound like, “What has happened to Mike? He’s become such the eternal optimist.” Believe me, if you have followed me or watched my movies or read my books over the years, optimism is not necessarily a very good descriptive word for where I’m usually at with things. But I do pause when these moments happen. When awful crap happens to try and find not the good in it because there is no good in what the Supreme Court has done here this past week. But there is buried inside of their evil, the key. The way out. A key that they’ve sort of handed us and they don’t know they’ve done that. I’m hoping they don’t. I’m guessing they don’t — no, they don’t listen to this podcast. So I want you to hear what I have to say about this and what I think we can do about it and how we can perhaps slow down or even stop the madness that comes from our Supreme rulers. The Supreme Court. I think you’re going to like what I have to say, or at the very least you’ll think about it. What better way to celebrate the birthday of this country than to take back the one third of our government populated by these individuals who are hell bent on bringing down our democracy? There’s a way to fight back. And I’m going to tell you how I think we can do this. This is Michael Moore, by the way. Happy 4th of July. This is my podcast. It’s called Rumble with Michael Moore. And let me just give a brief thank you and acknowledgment to the underwriter for today’s episode. And that is Stamps.com.
Speaker 2 [00:07:22] We are living in a digital age, my friends, as you know, and we can pretty much do anything from grocery shopping to doctor’s visits from the comfort of our couch. With Stamps.com, you can add mailing and shipping to that list. Simply print postage and shipping labels right from your home or your office. It’s ready to go in minutes. No long lines or complicated setup required. All you need is a computer. And a printer. They even send you a free scale. If you need a package pickup, you can easily schedule it through your Stamps.com dashboard and if you sell products online, Stamps.com seamlessly connects with every major marketplace and shopping cart. Plus, they have amazing partnerships with the United States Postal Service and UPS for unbeatable rates up to 84% off. So avoid the hassle and get started with Stamps.com today. Sign up with a promo code: MOORE for a special offer that includes a 4-week trial plus free postage and a free digital scale. No long term commitments or contracts whatsoever. So just go to Stamps.com, click the microphone at the top of the page and enter the code MOORE. And thank you Stamps.com, for continuing to support my voice here on this podcast.
[00:08:50] Okay. And we’re back here. So a little over a year ago, the last week of June of 2022, the United States Supreme Court started issuing a bunch of pretty disgusting opinions, rulings, whatever you want to call them. One of them hugely gutted the Environmental Protection Agency. But the crowning disgrace of what they did a year ago, June here, was to essentially declare women, all women in this country, as second class citizens. They ruled that women do not have the same rights that men have. Men, we men, have the right to control our own bodies. To decide how we want our reproductive organs, how they’re going to work when we want them to work. Basically, the government has no say in what I or any man chooses to do as long as it’s in a consensual situation with our bodies. But a year ago, at this time, the Supreme Court said that women no longer can decide when they will have a baby. That if they become pregnant, they will have that baby. That the government will now decide when a fetus is a human being, when a fertilized egg is an actual human being. And that was that. And that was the end of 49 years of abortion being legal in this country. 49 years since the decision called Roe v Wade. During that time, the Democrats, for a number of years controlled both houses of Congress and the White House and could have at any time during those 49 years where they were in charge, they could have codified this decision, Roe v Wade, and made it an actual law. Never did it. They were so scared of this issue, even though it was decided in 1973 by the Nixon Court with a chief justice appointed by Richard Nixon, and written by a Nixon appointee. Republicans. So the Democrats could have made this the actual law and then we wouldn’t be dealing with this. But they didn’t. They ran from it. A number of years they were afraid to even put it into their party platform that they supported the right of a woman to choose. Well, I don’t want to go there. You already know how I feel about this. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way, too, that the party that is supposedly on our side is often weak, frightened, and trying to placate and please the other side, which has no interest in supporting the rights of women, people of color, young people, immigrants go down the whole damn list. They’ve shown their colors that we know who they are. They’re not the Republicans of 1973. And they allowed the Catholic Church and the right wing born again Christian organizations to take charge. And now they’ve packed the court. Trump, in particular, these last three justices of his. Two of them in his last year in office after the Republicans would not allow President Obama to make an appointment to the court during his last year. When he still had 11 months left in office and there was an opening on the court, and he proposed Merrick Garland and Mitch McConnell and the Republicans said, “Oh no, that’s not right. This is the last year of your presidency. The new president will decide this.” And so as soon as Trump got into office, he got Gorsuch in there. And then in his last year, Kavanaugh and actually in his last weeks, weeks in office appoints Barrett. It was stunning. But, you know, this is the one thing you have to say about the Republicans of today. They don’t give a rat’s ass what you think. They believe in it so strongly they will fight to the bitter end. To the last day he was in office, they were fighting and they were doing more than just fighting. They were trying to stage a coup to take over this country to keep him in the White House after he lost the election. So this is what we’re dealing with.
[00:14:14] And so stuck with these three appointees of his last June, a year ago, women lost their right to choose. And boy, oh, boy. The right wing, the Catholic hierarchy in this country threw a party. They had tried for 49 years, and now they had succeeded. And the rest of us were filled with doom and gloom. And it just felt like, well, that’s it. And these justices, especially Kavanaugh and Barrett, are pretty young. They’re going to be on the court for — certainly for the rest of my life. And many of you listening to this. They’re going to affect generations to come. And they did it in a huge and absolutely, absolutely immoral way a year ago. And they were all so giddy and so — oh, so proud of themselves. The smug looks on all their faces that they got away with this. Well, they did get away with it because here we are a year later, and women are still second class citizens. Not that they weren’t second class citizens in other ways already before that in terms of the difference in income between men and women. You know, their own safety from my gender, all of that. There was nothing new about that. This was just an added knock against their right to life. Well, it was truly awful. They were so thrilled. They were so happy.
[00:16:02] But then something happened, and it happened right away. The American public got angry. People were upset at this decision to eliminate Roe v Wade. They spoke out. There were demonstrations everywhere. There were all kinds of things on social media and the actual mainstream media itself. New organizations were formed to fight this. People started working on ideas on how to get around it, how we prevent the states from concurring with the Supreme Court’s decision. And the opposition to this got louder and louder. They started taking polls of the American public and every single poll showed that the majority of Americans disagreed with what the Supreme Court did. That the majority of Americans believe that Roe v Wade should remain the law of the land, that women had a right to choose instead of being now told by the government there will be a forced birth of this fetus that you’re now carrying and you will have no say in it. And that drove the majority of Americans crazy, including the majority of Republicans. And right away elections were being held because last year was a, you know, the midterm elections. And immediately the people going to the polls started passing laws, constitutional amendments or supporting existing amendments to their constitution that made abortion legal — states like Kansas. Kansas. Nearly 60% of the people of Kansas voted to keep their constitution the way it was, where women had the right to choose. Kansas. Red state Kansas. Then Montana, then Kentucky. Red states. Red states were the first out of the gate to say, “No, no, no. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute here. You’re not taking women’s rights away from them. This has been the law of the land for nearly 50 years.”
Michael Moore [00:18:43] And the Republican hierarchy, the religious hierarchy, and the six justices that voted in some form or fashion to get rid of abortion — Roberts, Kavanaugh, Barrett, Gorsuch, Alito and Clarence Thomas were stunned. Kansas, Montana, Kentucky. And it just kept going. It kept going right into the November elections. Constitutional amendments that didn’t exist before were now being passed. And in states like Michigan and a number of other, what we call blue states. And they could see that the Supreme Court, that they were against the American people, they were on the other side of the American people. They were on the other side of even Republican American people.
Michael Moore [00:19:47] And then after that, the shit started hitting the fan. ProPublica, this incredible investigative news organization that I’ve asked in the past for everyone to please support them. Nonprofit, nonpartisan, ProPublica and other news agencies started doing investigations into the members of the United States Supreme Court, the justices of the court. They started doing investigations into their personal finances. Who’s funding these people? What kind of corruption is going on here? What don’t we know about them? Who are they? And one story after another in the second half of 2022, and then right up until now, in 2023. Story after story after story of some of the most disgusting behavior on the part of these so-called “conservative” justices. I don’t even want to say conservative. I don’t really want to insult, like, really kind of true conservative people. You know, the old school…My grandfather was one of the leading Republicans in our town. But, you know, he was born just three years after Abraham Lincoln. So, you know, Republicans meant, oh, it was the party of Lincoln. He and my grandmother, they supported women’s right to vote, advocated on behalf of the constitutional amendment.
Speaker 2 [00:21:25] But that’s what, you know, when I was growing up, conservative just meant, you know, conserve your money. Don’t spend money you don’t have. Conserve the earth that God gave us. It was a gift from Him. You know, let’s all eat at the table for dinner. Let’s be good to people. Let’s be good neighbors. Let’s give 10% of whatever we earn to the poor, to charities, to the church, to whatever. That’s not such bad ideas.
Speaker 2 [00:22:01] But of course, that’s not what it means anymore. And so now the “conservatives,” as they’re called, you know, these are really radical ideologues who believe in the superiority of men. Of white men. Of older white men. Of white men with money — lots of money. That’s who they represent on our Supreme Court. And ProPublica and The New York Times and other publications have done some incredible work digging into who are these scoundrels? And guess what they have found out? They are scoundrels. They are corrupt. They are shady. I mean, starting at the top of the heap here with Clarence Thomas. All the things that they revealed about him, about all the money he was taking from this billionaire, Harlan Crow. He’s been on the take. This guy, this Harlan Crow, billionaire, has been giving Clarence Thomas and/or his wife, Ginni, who is involved in and helps to run a number of very right wing organizations. Ginni Thomas, who was there on January 6th at the Trump rally there in the Ellipse. Right there. The wife of the Supreme Court justice. Well, she has a right. It’s her life. Be there. But just so you know where the Thomases are coming from. Anyways, I’m not going to get into the details of these stories, but if you go online, go to Google. ProPublica. Clarence Thomas. Go to New York Times. Wow. I mean, one so-called “gift” after another. Crow, he’s bought up some of the property that Thomas owned or co-owned down in Savannah, Georgia. His mother’s house. Yet after Crow bought it, his mother got to keep, of course, living there because this was really just a a sly way to put money in the Thomas’ pockets.
[00:24:21] I’m telling you, if you know anything about the rules that House members and Senate members have to follow in Congress, the list of things that Thomas has done, the money he has taken, would have him removed from Congress. If he was in the White House, there would be impeachment hearings, there would be an impeachment. There would be a possibility that he’d be convicted by the Senate, because this isn’t a partisan issue. The taking of, quote, “gifts” and then you keep ruling the way that the billionaire class wants you to rule — sspecially your patron here. I mean, most Americans — you wouldn’t care who was in the White House, if the president of the United States was taking kickbacks, bribes, money, gifts, trips, any of that, and you could draw a straight line to the decisions he was making, the bills he was signing, that president would be removed from the White House. That member of Congress would be removed from Congress. But the Supreme Court gets to essentially exist without having to follow anything that has to do with ethics or morality or just the basic stuff that we all, I think, agree on that the people who are representing us and who are voting on the laws of the land, their hands shouldn’t be in anybody’s pocket and nobody else’s hands should be in theirs.
[00:26:07] And then it turned out it wasn’t just Thomas. It was Alito, Gorsuch. Some of it was just basic ethical stuff like Barrett, her husband is a lawyer for corporate criminals. He defends white collar criminals. Now, they all have to fill out this disclosure form in the Supreme Court. And she withheld the names of his clients. We should know that information, right? So that we know if she should be recusing herself should one of those corporations or rich people come before the court with a case. But we have no way of knowing that because she refuses to provide that information.
Speaker 2 [00:27:01] Roberts, his spouse is a high paid legal lawyer consultant who essentially is like a headhunter and goes looking for people to bring to the top of the line richest law firms in the country. She finds them new partners, new lawyers, and she has received over $10 million just by suggesting the right people that should be in these law firms. And one of these law firms, one of them argued three times in front of the Supreme Court in 2022 alone. This is called a conflict of interest. So we have no idea how much bigger this really is because they don’t have to disclose.
Speaker 2 [00:28:00] And in these stories that are being done, they show, whether it’s Gorsuch, Alito, how many times they’ve actually voted, and for what the people who gave them the money wanted them to do. We didn’t know any of this was going on. I mean, the Times they did a story like a decade ago, I think, on Thomas. But we again, we wouldn’t have known about this without our free press — what little is left of it. It’s been devastated with layoffs, closures, bankruptcies. You know, this.
Speaker 2 [00:28:44] A lot of you listening to me right now, the paper in your hometown no longer exists or they’re only publishing once a week because of what’s happened to our media. And because of the greed of the media. Corporate, the big companies that own the media, they just started laying people off. All of a sudden, nobody was covering the police. Nobody was covering the courts. Nobody was covering. It’s been a bad couple of decades for this. And we know less as a result of it. And yet. Wow. I encourage you who are listening to me to look up some of these stories and read them. About Clarence Thomas. About Alito. Roberts. Gorsuch. Barrett.
Michael Moore [00:29:36] And I got to say, those six justices, they have to be just shitting themselves. God, I wish I could be a fly on the wall when they’re just in the room by themselves. You know, the three liberals on the court are nowhere in sight. You’ve just got to be like, “I thought we did a good thing getting rid of, getting rid of abortion. Now everybody hates us.” Their approval ratings, some of these polls of the Supreme Court, they’re lower than Congress. How bad do you have to get to get a lower approval rating than the one for Congress? You know, Congress ratings are always… they’re down there, as they say, with the approval ratings of used car salesmen. But they’ve got to realize that they screwed themselves. They created this. “No, they never would be investigating us if we hadn’t — why did we do this?” “Well, because the bishop said you had to.” “Yeah, I know, but…”
Michael Moore [00:30:41] Remember, for the longest time here, the nine justices, six were Catholics and three were Jewish-Americans. There was not a single Protestant on the court for many, many years. Now, I think they’ve… The Protestants finally have a well, they have at least one. And I think Gorsuch actually was raised Catholic, but then switched to Catholic-lite, which we call Episcopalians. But they’ve just got to be wondering, if they hadn’t done this, would there be all these investigations into them? These are impeachment offenses. You could impeach Supreme Court justices. You can remove them from the court. They know that. Yes, it’s a lifetime employment, except Congress can impeach you. You could be removed. You could be convicted and removed. And they know that. But they also care about their legacy. They care about, you know, they’re just going to be remembered in history as the scam. Trump’s scam court. And they’re going to be thought of… I don’t want to say the word.
Michael Moore [00:31:58] I just, you know, I’m just, you know, this is how we are. People like us and are just kind of, you know, I don’t want to dehumanize them. They are human beings and they are deserving of our love, at least for being a human being. That part of it, nothing else, really. But, if you’ve studied history, if you’ve read history, if you enjoy history, you know what happens when the corrupt — the corrupt politician, the corrupt president — is found out as they have been. When the entire world knows how unethical they are, how deceitful they are — yes, they can be impeached. They can be removed. And not just on these issues. They could be removed because they perjured themselves when they testified to the Senate about their feelings about Roe v Wade. Let me just read you a few of the actual quotes from these Republican conservative right wing supremacist justices when they were questioned about their views on abortion when they were nominated to be on the Supreme Court but they had to be confirmed by the Senate. Clarence Thomas, this is quote… This goes way back.
Speaker 2 [00:33:32] “I can say on that issue,” meaning abortion, “and on those cases, I have no agenda.” I have no agenda. “I have an open mind.” Wow. His actions have spoken much louder than those lying words. Here’s another quote from Thomas. “We justices have to understand that we must shed the personal opinions that we have.” This is a guy who has imposed his religious beliefs, his personal religious beliefs on the rest of the country for many, many years. What the Catholic Church wants, especially the church, I’m talking about the organized religion now, the hierarchy, not the good people are trying to live a good life as Catholics. Here’s another quote from Thomas’s nomination hearing. He said it would be inappropriate for any judge, including himself, to take on a case on an issue that, “in which he or she,” oh, that was nice of him included she in that sentence, “in which he or she,” the justice, “has such strong views that he or she cannot be impartial, should not take on that case.” That’s what he testified under oath to the Senate, Gorsuch. Let me give you a couple of his quotes to the Senate committee. “I would tell you that Roe v Wade decided in 1973 is a precedent of the United States Supreme Court. It has been reaffirmed.” So then Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois questioned Gorsuch about this and wanted to know because in ’73, Roe v Wade was decided based on the 14th Amendment, the due process clause, and basically the Supreme Court back in ’73 held that a fetus is not a person. If the fetus cannot live outside the womb of the mother, then it is not a human being. It is a fetus. Just like you’ve heard me say before on this podcast, a seed is not a flower. We don’t call it a flower. We call it a seed. A stem is not a flower. It’s a stem. A flower is a flower. A baby able to live outside of its mother on its own — it can have all the help from the ICU and everything else that science has given us. That’s fine. But if it has to be inside the mother to survive, well, then it’s not a human being. That’s what they ruled. So Durbin asks Gorsuch in his confirmation hearing, “Do you accept that as the legal underpinning of Roe v Wade, that a fetus is not a person for the purposes of the 14th Amendment’s due process clause? Do you accept that?” Senator Durbin asked him. Gorsuch replies, “That is the law of the land. I accept the law of the land, Senator. Yes.” Wow. I don’t know what book the rest of you were reading, but in my book, that’s called perjury. You’re just lying straight up because you’re not on the Supreme Court very long before you are upending what is accepted as the law of the land.
[00:37:26] Brett Kavanaugh. Here’s his confirmation hearing — you remember, the beer hearing, the kegger hearing, the woman that nobody would listen to about him raping her. This is what he said to the to the Senate committee under oath, quote from Brett Kavanaugh, “It is important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times.” And then continuing, “It is not as if it’s just a run of the mill case that was decided and never been reconsidered. But Casey,” he’s referring to a later case after Roe that got to the Supreme Court where they had a chance to throw out Roe and make abortion illegal, but the Casey case reaffirmed, the court reaffirmed, that abortion was legal, that Roe was the law of the land. And he reminded them, he says, “Casey,” the Casey case, “specifically reconsidered whether abortion should be legal and they applied these factors to it and then they decided,” the court, “to reaffirm it years and years after Roe v Wade.” And then I’m quoting Kavanaugh again, he said, “That makes Casey a precedent on a precedent, a double precedent.” I mean, can we no longer define something that a lie when a lie is a lie? Can we call it a lie? He’s lying to them. They know he’s lying to them. Susan Collins, the Republican senator from Maine, afterwards said that Kavanaugh told her in her office in a private meeting that he considered Roe v Wade to be, quote, “settled law.” “Settled law,” meaning the issue has been settled. We’re not talking about it anymore.
[00:39:23] So it is against the law to lie when you’re under oath testifying in the Senate or in the House of Representatives. And one after the other bullshitted their way onto the court. Thinking they could just make this up, lie, nothing will happen to them. Just like they thought nothing was going to happen when they took away a woman’s right to choose, when they set themselves up as the arbiters of when women would be forced to give birth. “We got the people behind us.” The people? No. What bubble are you living in? The people don’t support this. They don’t support not just this — the people love their Environmental Protection Agency because no matter whether they’re a Democrat or a Republican or an independent or whatever, most sane people want to breathe clean air and drink clean water. Sorry. That’s what I would call an indisputable fact. So the people of this country, they like the EPA. They like their environmental laws that protect them and their children. But when they started carving away at the EPA, when they started giving and approving more gun rights for people that shouldn’t have guns, and when they took these rights away from the majority gender… By the way, just a quick lesson folks, what do we call a country where the minority of anything, whether it’s the minority race — and by minority I mean whites in South Africa were the minority. The majority were Black. When it’s the minority gender, men are the minority. There’s fewer of us than there are of women. Women are anywhere from 51 to 52% of the population. They’re the majority of the country. So when the minority rules, the ones that don’t hold the power because of their numbers, but hold the power because of the rich bastards that have put them into office, or whoever they’re working for — because they ain’t working for us. They’re not working for the majority. What do we call that? What do we call it in South Africa when the white minority told black people how they would live their lives, what they could and could not do and those black people had little or no say in this — what do we call it? We call it apartheid. That’s what it’s called. You could call this gender apartheid because they singled out one gender, because it’s the gender that brings life into the world, one gender has their rights taken away over a thing that is actually a gift to the world — none of us would be here without our moms, without our mothers, without women. Wouldn’t that be the last group you’d punk on? Wouldn’t that be the last group that you would take rights away or pay them less or treat them like… Wouldn’t the gender that brought you into this world, if you just step back from it, it just… I mean, I swear to God, when they… If the planet survives somehow, if the species survives, 100 years from now, 200 years from now, they’re going to write about us. They’re going to go, “God, they hated, they hated women. Why? Women — no women, no babies, no life, no nothing. Why would you do this? And wouldn’t you want the women to decide when and how and whatever they would bring life into the world — they have to be like the final call on this because it’s their bodies.” We’re going to have to leave a note behind. I say this a lot. We got to leave a note behind to the future to explain ourselves because nobody will understand this behavior.
[00:43:57] They lied in their confirmation hearings. They should be removed because they committed perjury. Perjury is against the law. They should be removed. They should be removed for that. They should be removed for all their ethical and financial violations. For being on the take. They should all be removed for that. But I know what you’re thinking, “Mike, how do we do that? Because, you know, Republicans control the House.” You know, they control it by what? You know, on any given day of five or six, Republicans either vote the other way or don’t show up, or are sick or have, you know, passed on and they haven’t been replaced yet. It’s so close right now. Yet, it’s so wrong that in a country where the majority of Americans agree — vast majority — agree with the Democrats on their issues.
Speaker 2 [00:44:58] Again, I’ll just repeat what I’ve said before. There’s a reason why since 1988, the election of George Bush the first, that only one time since then have the majority of Americans voted for the Republican on the ballot to be president of the United States. Only once in 2004 — Bush the second. And there’s even dispute over that counting because it was came down to one state, 100,000 votes in Ohio. But even giving them that okay, just for the purposes of argument here, only once since Daddy Bush got elected in ’88. 1988 — that’s like that’s 35 years ago. So in 35 years, only once have the American people said, “You know what, I want the Republicans running this country. I’m voting for a Republican in the White House.” Once. In every other election since then they voted for the Democrat to be in the White House. 1992, Clinton. 1996, Clinton. 2000, Gore won by a half a million votes. Didn’t get to be in the White House. 2004 certified that Bush got the most votes. 2008, Obama wins. 2012, Obama is reelected. 2016 Hillary wins by 3 million+ votes over Trump and yet is not seated in the White House. 2020, Biden wins. Seven times voted for the Democrat, once for the Republican. What does that tell you? What do the American people want? They don’t want the Republicans in the White House. They don’t want them running the country. Trump ends up losing in 2020 by what was it, seven, 8 million votes. Huge. Get them out of there. That’s what the American people want. And yet they’ve got a Supreme Court that in many ways is to the right of Trump.
Michael Moore [00:47:12] If you pay any attention to the right wing media — I know you don’t want to spend your time doing that, that’s why I do it for you. But there’s a lot of kind of low level talk. They don’t want to say it too loud, but they aren’t happy with Trump’s appointments only because they know how weak they are and how they’re not really quite the ideologues that Scalia and Alito and Thomas and the others have been and still are. Scalia no longer with us. And so they’re not happy because they don’t think Kavanaugh, Gorsuch and Barrett are right wing enough.
Speaker 2 [00:47:55] And how do they know that? Well, now I’m getting to the happy part of the podcast. Sorry it took so long to get here, but I wanted to lay this out for you because there are ways to remove them. And I wanted to make that clear. And there is an election coming up next year. And my God, my friends, I know, we’re not going to complain about the Democrats today. Plenty of time on other podcasts to do that and to fight for the things that they should be fighting for but still aren’t. What happened last week as God, awful as it was, these three decisions where they told people of color that they were no longer going to get any help in trying to right past wrongs from them not being able to get into universities and colleges. That right was taken away by the Supreme Court last week. A vicious, vicious decision. And then they told the LGBTQ+ community that they’re going to take away more rights from them. They’re trying to pare this thing down — of course they’ve already been on the record, Thomas and the others, that gay people should not be allowed to be married, or any other member of the LGBTQ+ community. Marriage is a man and a woman, and no animals can be involved. So last week they had a made up case — you got to read about this. I’m not going to get into the depth of it, but it’s so damn crazy. There was no real case. Nobody had been discriminated against, but this woman who ran a graphic design company out in Colorado said that she felt that the Colorado law that prohibits businesses from discriminating against gay and lesbian people, that that violated her free speech rights because she doesn’t support gay and lesbian people. And therefore by forcing her to do graphic design for them, just like the cake issue from a year or two ago, they can’t be forced to do that. Except there was nobody who was forcing her to do graphic design for gay people. It was a hypothetical case. I mean, if you listen to any of the legal analysts about this in the last week, they’re just so dumbfounded. How did a case that was never a case, nobody was sued, nobody was arrested, nobody’s rights were violated, just a made up hypothetical case, how did a hypothetical case get to the Supreme Court? That’s just how desperate these six justices are to go against people who are not heterosexual. People who are “not like us.” That they allowed a made up case in front of the court to be “heard.” And then they issued a ruling on it saying that a business does have a right to discriminate against gay people and that it’s their First Amendment right to do so.
[00:51:07] You know, this is not going to last, folks. Nutcases, supremacists, haters — you know, this isn’t going to last because the crazies that you’re supporting and helping here are just going to keep at it, and sooner or later, very soon, the next case is going to be a landlord is going to say, “My rights are being violated if I have to rent an apartment to a gay couple.” And when it comes to that, when it comes to housing accommodations, “I’m not going to serve that couple over there at table five in my restaurant. It’s two men holding hands” — they’re going to bring these kinds of cases and the Supreme Court is going to have to say, “Yeah, no, the restaurant has a right to deny food to people that are holding hands of the same gender.” The American people, you know, at some point aren’t going to put up with this. I know they might be thinking to themselves, “Geez, I don’t know. We took these rights away from women and women haven’t burned down any courthouses or there’s been no real, you know, no real…” What do you call real? How about those votes in Kansas and Kentucky and Montana? How about no red wave last November that we stopped? The predicted red wave, predicted even by Democrats, that there was going to be a red wave. And people showed up in record numbers in a midterm election to stop Republicans from having all the power. You haven’t seen anything yet. You keep doing this to people of color, taking the rights away to LGBTQ+ people and you think it’s just going be quiet? Just going to take it from you. No.
[00:52:58] Student loans. So that was the third big case last week. Biden trying to provide some student loan relief for like the only industrialized democracy on the planet that puts a teenager starting when they’re 18, into a sometimes a lifelong debt just so they can go to college. All the people that are carrying $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 or $100,000 of student loan debt can never get out of it, can never crawl out from under it, affecting their lives in their forties and their fifties, unable to get other loans because they haven’t paid off this loan. That’s all Biden was trying to do. Most people got it. 30 million people had already had loan payments suspended during the pandemic. So for three years, a lot of younger adults mostly, didn’t have to pay on their student loan during the pandemic. And now they’ve got to start paying. No relief. They’ve lived these last three years, it hasn’t been in the budget. Now it’s in the family budget, less money making life more difficult for them.
[00:54:13] Can I just ask a political question too? Why would you piss off 30 million Americans who make these student loan payments? They’re not all Democrats. Some of them are independents. Some of them are Republicans. Some of them don’t usually vote, but they may now because of what you just did.
[00:54:34] So those are the three big cases last week. And as awful as these are — and please, do not hear me backing away one inch from this, but I think this is you know, I’m not a pundit and I’m not an expert on any of this stuff. But common sense is telling me that Kavanaugh and Roberts and Gorsuch and Barrett at least them, Alito and Thomas are so far gone to the wind that I don’t know if they actually do care. They don’t care about their legacy. They don’t care that they may face impeachment hearings. That’s how rock solid they are in their hatred. But the others, hmmm. I’d be worried if I was a right winger supporting this court, cause you’ve got four of them that do care, at least to what people think of them.
Speaker 2 [00:55:39] You know, most people want to be liked. It’s just kind of a human nature thing. I like it when people like me. They got the whole, you know, majority of the country against them now. They got reporters doing their reporting, doing their job, investigating them. And they saw this right away, right after the Roe decision last year. And I want to now tell you something that people, including people on our side of the political fence, have not really told you in the last week. I don’t know why. I don’t know why this isn’t reported or maybe it’s just because, you know, if you get three or four or a dozen emails a day from various candidates, Democratic candidates or, you know, groups that we all support trying to do good work. But the letters in the last week are so filled with fear, utter horror stories, you know, “The country is over. We’re doomed! Send money. Send $5 by midnight tonight.”
Speaker 2 [00:56:48] It’s like… Okay, can I just ask the Democrats, stop doing this? Yes, I know you need the money. We still have a system where elections are based on this. We’ve got to get rid of that, too. But for the time being, for right now, people don’t need to be any more scared — they’re already scared enough. Most of us can’t believe we got through the four years of Trump. We got through it in the sense any of us are still here. So if we can just stop with the fear mongering for just a few minutes and listen to some things I have to say about what happened in the 12 months since they took women’s rights away. Since they upset the majority of the country. And how this court is running scared. And that’s because you made your voices heard and now they are scared shitless. And because they’re scared shitless, let me tell you what’s happened just in the 12 months with this court, this so-called “conservative” court. Okay. So to remember now, there’s only three liberals on the court, Jackson, Kagan and Sotomayor. Okay. There’s only three. You need five votes to get something done, to be a majority, 5 to 4, right? So we have three. And the wack-side here has six, six votes, okay? But slowly, step by step, at least these four — Roberts, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Barrett — they started siding with the liberals. Sometimes just one of them, sometimes two of them. A few times three of them. A couple of times, four of them sided with the three liberals to create majority opinions in favor of the liberal side of the opinion.
[00:58:54] Let me spell this out in statistics. Don’t worry. I won’t make this too difficult for those of us who weren’t good in math. In this last term, it’s called the 2022 term, 2022 to June of ’23, the three liberal justices were in the majority 64% of the time. Doesn’t it feel like that, does it? But that’s the fact. The three liberal justices were in the majority 64% of the time. Now granted, because it is a conservative court, that means the six conservative justices were in the majority 73% of the time, but only nine percentage points more than when the Liberals won. Now, let me tell you when it was last year’s term, okay? This is the 2021-2022 term where they eliminated Roe v Wade, all right? There was a 34 percentage point difference between how many times the liberal justices were in the majority versus the conservatives. This last term, nine percentage points. Wow. This is amazing. And thanks to Adam Liptak of The NYTimes for running this down and coming up with these stats.
[01:00:15] Okay, so… So last year now, not this past year, but the year before, 2021-2022, Roberts took the liberal position only 26% of the time, okay? In this last year, 2022-2023, the one that ended last week, Roberts took the liberal position 44% of the time. 44% this year. 26% last year. That’s a huge leap. Roberts actually voted with Kagan, one of the three liberals on the court, he voted with Kagan 62% of the time. He only voted with Clarence Thomas 48% of the time — his own side. So 62% of the time this past year with Kagan, only 48% with Thomas. That’s a jump, first of all for Roberts from the get rid of Roe v Wade year. That’s a 14 percentage point jump from how he voted with Kagan the year before to this past year.
[01:01:35] And Kavanaugh, get this, Kavanaugh this past year voted with Jackson — Ketanji Brown Jackson — he voted with her 62% of the time and only voted with Thomas — Clarence Thomas — 45% of the time. I know. Do I need to read this again? Because it doesn’t make sense, right? I’m reading the truth to you. I’m reading the facts. Kavanaugh voted with Ketanji Brown Jackson 62% of the time this past year and only 45% of the time did he vote with Thomas. That is a 17 percentage point difference with him siding with Jackson over Thomas. Wow. This is this is amazing.
[01:02:24] Listen to this one. David Cole, I’m quoting from The NYTimes here, the ACLU’s national legal director said that “our losses this past year in the affirmative action and gay rights cases were unprecedented setbacks for equality.” But, he said, “civil liberties and civil rights actually fared surprisingly well this term, far better than anyone predicted.” And then he goes on to say, the ACLU in this last year they were part of 18 cases heard in front of the Supreme Court, mostly civil rights and civil liberties cases, 18 cases. They won 11 of them this past year, the year after the court took women’s rights away and then got beat up by the American public and then started being investigated by ProPublica and The New York Times. They started to pivot like in a 180 fashion. They saw the writing on the wall. They weren’t so smug about their decision to kill Roe v Wade. They realized that they had fucked themselves. And so what did they do? As soon as the court went back into session last October of ’22, just a few months after eliminating Roe v Wade, they started voting with Ketanji Brown Jackson. They start voting with the liberals. Roberts, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch and Barrett voting over and over again with the three liberal justices. And as a result, the ACLU won or came in on the winning side in 11 of the 18 cases they had before the court. Nobody’s telling you that this week, are they? They just want to leave you depressed. Here it is, birthday day here, our nation’s birthday and we’re all bummed out and we should be bummed out because we’re going to now have to fight to get these rights back — affirmative action, the Colorado gay rights decision, student loan relief. Yeah. We have to keep fighting. We got huge blows given to us. But in order to find our way to win, in order to develop the strategy to outsmart the Clarence Thomas-es and the Samuel Alito-es, we have to figure out what worked, right? This is what you do in anything we try to — “Okay, how do we make this better? How do we get ahead again?” You know, and yes, we need to vote next November and get both Houses out of the hands of the Republicans. The one we already have, the Senate. We need more Senators, we need to replace Kyrsten Sinema. We need to… There’s 10 Republicans, I think, 10 or 11 up for reelection next year. We don’t need to remove all of them. It’d be good but seriously, if just a couple of them are removed and get rid of Sinema, we’ll have a stronger Senate on our side and we need to get the House back. We get both of those Houses, we can start impeaching Supreme Court Justices or we can start doing other things. Before we leave here, I’m going to tell you what some of these groups are doing and how you could get involved in turning this thing around.
Speaker 2 [01:06:02] But right now, I just want you to just stop and think about how, you know, these other things that happened here in this awful year with the Supreme Court. The majority, the three liberals and the ones they convince to vote with them, the majority rejected Alabama’s gerrymandered map that took power away from black voters. They supported the Voting Rights Act when it came to Alabama this last year. That hasn’t happened. And they’ve been voting for gerrymandering forever. The Supreme Court stopped it in Alabama this year after they humiliated and soiled themselves with the Roe v Wade decision.
[01:06:46] That’s not all that happened this year. Moore v Harper. This was this case every one of us thought we were going to lose. It’s one of these so-called legal theories that the right wing has that state legislators are independent of their own state constitution and they’re independent of the federal government so they can pass whatever laws they want to gerrymander or to oversee their own elections the way they want to oversee them. Okay, we thought this court was definitely going to vote against what’s right. And they didn’t. They voted in favor of the liberal position on this, the Supreme Court this year. Moore v Harper. “No,” they said, “the state legislators can’t overrule their constitution or the federal election system.” So all of a sudden in all these states that were hoping that this would pass, were sure that this would pass, the Republicans on the court, they couldn’t pass it. In fact, they joined the liberals because they’re trying to get people to like them again.
[01:08:01] Then they ruled in favor of Biden and his immigration rules. They said that Biden had the right to decide which undocumented immigrants would be let in and which, especially if they had a criminal record, could be arrested. But it was up to the Biden administration, the executive branch. That’s how the Supreme Court ruled this year. Again, the three liberals convinced some of the ones who are trying to get their reputation back, who are hoping that they’re not going to be investigated by another publication about where their money is coming from. Boom.
[01:08:34] Native American rights again, the Supreme Court goes against the supremacists and the right wing, and they uphold a 1978 law giving adoption preference of Native children to Native families. Everybody was certain they were going to overturn this law from 1978. You know, because you know, “Not fair to the white people. We’re being discriminated against.” Boom. Supreme Court sides with the three liberals on the court.
[01:09:12] There’s four huge cases, and then there were these other rulings. I don’t know if you remember this. Remember the federal judge down in Texas that after Roe v Wade, he was so quick to want to rule in favor of the crazy anti-abortion people saying that the the abortion pill was abortion and therefore illegal. And so he ruled that the abortion pill couldn’t be handed out. This Supreme Court, again, the three liberal justices convinced all four of these ones who are running scared — Gorsuch, Barrett, Kavanaugh, Roberts — they all voted with the three liberal justices to block that ruling from the federal judge in Texas banning the abortion pill. Unbelievable. I mean, that is the impact of your voice being heard. Yes, it will be hard to try to impeach or remove these guys, but we’re going to try because we have to. It’s the right thing. But to get all four of them to vote with the three liberals. Seven votes to block the ruling, saying the abortion pill is not legal anymore. Boom.
[01:10:40] And then another time they get a 7-2 decision where the court allowed a transgender girl to compete on the girls cross-country and track team at her middle school in West Virginia while her appeal moves forward. Now, in the end, this may not go their way, but again, Clarence Thomas and Alito are left by themselves in a dissent with the rest of the court saying this little girl should be able to compete on her track team while her case is moving forward.
[01:11:16] I mean, I’m not going to take any more time — you’re getting the gist of this, right? Where we won and the ACLU won 11 of their 18 cases. That’s what happens when the press does their job and investigates politicians, Supreme Court justices and finds out whose hand is in the till. Finds out who they’re on the take for. And then we — everybody — makes it clear, including the majority of Republicans, that women should have the right to choose. That gay rights — what’s the latest poll on this one here? Look at this, 8 in 10 Americans favor comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ+ community, and that includes 90% of Democrats. They essentially… What they’re saying is they believe that gay rights should be part of our Civil Rights Act. Another thing that the Democrats failed to do when they passed it back in ’64 and couldn’t do it any other time when they were in power. It should have been made part of the Civil Rights Act, just like we already have the 38 states now that have passed the Equal Rights Amendment for women. Yet it’s still not in the Constitution. Now, there’s going to be a big court fight over this because they’re going to say they didn’t get the 38 states for the Equal Rights Amendment in enough time, blah, blah, blah. Well, we’ll fight that out in court at some point, but still do the right thing. It should be in the Constitution. And when it comes to gay rights, let’s get that in the Civil Rights Act, because 90% of Democrats support it. 82% of independents support gay rights and 66% of Republicans favor comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people. Come on.
[01:13:14] We’ve got work to do. We could do this. We’re in the majority, all of us. We’re not out on some weird limb. We’re are the majority now of this country. If you’re my age, you know, since the voting age was lowered to 18, there’s been two almost three generations of young people that have been raised. We’re in the third generation of them, where now some of them are going to vote. I was just thinking like right now, like, if you have a kid, let’s say that kid is 8 years old right now, be 9 next year. That means that they will be 18 in the 2032 presidential election. So that means after next year’s election, there’s only one more election that you’re 8 or 9-year-old is not going to be able to vote in. That’s 2028. There’ll be two young. But this, we’ve raised a whole group of kids. And when they’re adults in 2028 and 2032, this is only going to get better and you know it.
[01:14:27] But we’ve got to start that work now. Everybody should have a plan in their neighborhood, in their communities, how they’re going to get the vote out next year, how we’re going to have another record turnout pody the elimination of Roe v Wade. We’ve got to support groups. And I want to tell you about a couple of these groups now of what they’re doing to impeach these justices or to get term limits passed. It’s not in the Constitution how many seats should be on the Supreme Court. It’s been anywhere in our history from five seats to ten seats. It’s flipped all over the place. And then after the Civil War, they landed on nine. And they’ve been there ever since. But it doesn’t have to be nine. It could be 11. Could be 13. If there were four more justices right now, that actually represented the majority of the American people, 13 justices, 4 of them on the side of us, the majority of the people, that would be 7 liberals on the court, 6 conservatives. And there are groups trying to make this happen. First of all, there’s a group called Take Back the Court. You can look all this up online. They want to expand the court by at least four seats. There’s another group called Demand Justice. They, too, want to expand it by four seats and create term limits and a binding code of ethics. There is, of course, the Brennan Center for Justice, a very good group in this country. They want a staggered 18 year term for justices, just 18 years. And that’s it. And they want them staggered so that a new justice would have to be appointed every two years. There’s all these things happening. You should look to stuff up. Brennan Center for Justice. Take Back the Court. Demand Justice. There’s another group that just did a bus tour with 20 stops, a nationwide bus tour pushing these agendas for trying to clean up the courts. And they’re called Just Majority.
[01:16:36] I want to read you something from John Roberts, the chief justice, one of these conservatives, what he wrote in October of 1983. This is a quote from Chief Justice John Roberts. “The Framers,” you know the Founding Fathers, “the Framers adopted life long tenure for Supreme Court justices at a time when people simply did not live as long as they do now. A judge insulated from the normal currents of life for 25 or 30 years was a rarity back then. And it’s becoming commonplace, though, today. Setting a term for a Supreme Court justice of, say, 15 years would ensure that federal judges would not lose all touch with reality through decades of ivory tower existence. It would also provide a more regular and greater degree of turnover among the justices. Both developments would, in my view, be healthy ones.” That’s Chief Justice Roberts in 1983. They know that the way we do this is wrong. They know we need to fix this and they know that their ethics are in serious question right now, and they know that the majority of Americans, the vast majority of Americans, the women of this country have had it. They’ve had it with the right wing, they’ve had it with insurrection, they’ve had it with these Republicans taking away their rights, forcing them into more student debt, not helping out their kids to get just a bit of a helping hand because they want to go to college.
Speaker 2 [01:18:38] They take the mean position, the majority of this court on most of these issues. And, you know people, most people, at their core are not mean. That’s why they’ve lost the Republican majority in this country, the people side with gay rights being the law of the land, side with women’s rights being the law of the land. That’s the country we live in now. So I encourage you to contact these groups, get involved, start something locally in your school or at work or in your neighborhood. We need to fight the Supreme Court. Some of them, if not all of the 6, need to go. You know. Yes. Difficult? Yes. But, you know, history is full of a lot of examples where when they’re called out and when there is such a cacophony of opposition from the public to something, they will resign. They will want to get out of the chaos and the hatred toward them. It’s also possible that one or two of them could have their road to Damascus moment when they get knocked off the horse, where all of a sudden the light bulb goes off or the conscience kicks in and they say, “You know what, this is wrong.” I mean, this has happened in our lifetime. President Eisenhower, a Republican, appointed a Republican, I believe he was the Republican governor of California, to the Supreme Court to carry out the Republican agenda. Appointed him as chief justice in 1953. In 1954, Earl Warren, the chief justice, the so-called “Republican conservative,” issued the majority opinion in Brown v Board of Education that eliminated segregation in our schools. And he went on to head the most liberal court in modern history. Decision after decision — to support free speech, to support people’s rights — were decided during those years that he was chief justice from 1953 until 1969. He had a change of heart. He had a moment of conscience in a huge way. Just as Justice Souter, who was from New Hampshire, a Republican appointed by Bush the first, he was appointed as a conservative to strengthen the conservatives on the court. He wasn’t there long before he started voting with the liberals because it was the right thing to do, not because he was a liberal. But when you’re talking about people’s rights, and you’re talking about not serving them because they’re gay, or making life more difficult with them because they have all of this debt from a college that if they had lived in any other democracy would never hold this kind of debt, sometimes, yes, my friends, sometimes someone who was on the other side of you can wake up one morning and say, “You know what? I do know right from wrong. And that’s how I’m going to live my life from this point on.”.
[01:22:09] Any of these things can happen. It won’t happen if we are silent. We need to be loud. We need to be present. We need to vote. We are journalists and even citizen journalists. You’re on Facebook, you can share this with people, what I’ve told you about today. We can do this. And in the meantime, keep them running scared, keep them voting with the three liberals on the Supreme Court. It’s an amazing fact. And I again thank Adam Liptak of The New York Times for sharing that with us. And I ask Democrats to please stop depressing everybody. We know it’s depressing. Start telling us how we can win. Start participating in the win. Make it happen. That’s why we elected you. Come on, my friends. I know it looks dark. It’s been dark for some time. We’ve never fully realized what the Founding Fathers said that we were, that we were all created equal. We know that they meant white men who owned property. We know that they considered black people only 3/5 human, the other 2/5 some kind of animal. Yeah. That’s what they voted for. That’s what they stood for. But they also man, they did some amazing things with this Constitution and with our Bill of Rights. But it doesn’t end up on just one generation’s shoulders. It’s on our shoulders now. And we want to leave our kids and our grandkids with a better world, don’t we? Isn’t that what we said back in the ’60s, in the ’70s and the ’80s? If we haven’t done that. Well, then it’s not just these justices on the Supreme Court that have to look in the mirror. You have to be worried about what are they going to think of me? What are they going to think of us decades from now? This is not how I want to be remembered as being part of this, any of this. I don’t think you do either. So let’s celebrate this birthday today on this day of interdependence. We have a lot of work to do, but there’s a lot of us — we’re the majority. That means there’s a couple hundred million of us. Let’s do the work. Let’s have our voices heard. Let’s look at these four justices who are voting with the liberals now to do more of that. We have more power in our hands than we realize.
[01:25:12] Thanks for listening today. I hope you’re spending it with friends and family having some good barbecue, taking a dip in the lake, enjoying your time off. I want to leave here sort of the way we began, except this will be another version of America the Beautiful by the great Ray Charles. This is from The Dick Cavett Show. He performed this. It’s now a classic. It’s the late ’60s, early ’70s singing this song on national TV. And he doesn’t start with the way that we were taught to sing it in grade school. And you hear the heartbreak in his voice as a black man. I want to play the whole thing for you. Ray Charles at the piano on the Dick Cavett Show some 50 or so years ago. We feel the same. The same heartbreak. The same heartache. But also the same realistic hope. Some things do get better. Sometimes it takes a while, but there’s now more of us, many more of us, than there are of them. Let’s act like it. Happy birthday, everyone. This is Michael Moore. Take care.
[MUSIC: “America the Beautiful” — performed live by Ray Charles on the Dick Cavett Show on September 18, 1972]