Whereas Justices of the United States Supreme Court are appointed for life; and

Whereas Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts (hereinafter “the Roberts Five”) have repeatedly made decisions in blithe disregard of the clear intent of U.S. environmental-protection laws and other duly enacted laws of the United States; and

Whereas in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, Inc. (2007), a case involving decades of unlawful discrimination in pay, the Roberts Five alone comprised the Supreme Court majority that applied the statute of limitations to bar the claim even though the victim had been unaware of the pay disparity throughout those decades; and

Whereas in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker (2008), a case involving a mammoth oil spill resulting from the shipper’s entrusting a supertanker to a captain it knew to be an alcoholic, who left the bridge after accelerating the vessel and placing it on autopilot in the hands of an inexperienced, unlicensed subordinate, in which the jury had imposed $5 billion in punitive damages against Exxon, the four participating Justices of the Roberts Five led the Court to (a) create a wholly new and severely limited theory of assessing punitive damages in maritime cases, contrary to the Congressional intent that punitive damages not be limited in such cases, and (b) thereby reduce Exxon’s punitive damages to a paltry $507 million (less than two days of Exxon profits); and

Whereas in Coeur Alaska, Inc. v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (2009) the Roberts Five led the Court to approve the dumping of “slurry discharge” wastes (a/k/a “tailings”) directly into lakes by a mining company holding a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit, even though such dumping is expressly prohibited by Environmental Protection Agency regulations; and

Whereas in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (2009) the Roberts Five alone comprised the Supreme Court majority that, in an extraordinary exercise of judicial over-reaching, decided an issue that was not even properly before the Court by ruling, contrary to numerous precedents, that the McCain-Feingold Act could not Constitutionally prohibit private corporations from spending as much money as they want on political campaigns at all levels;

Therefore, be it resolved that we strongly condemn the above decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, as led by the Roberts Five, and urge our U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to introduce and promote (1) a resolution of censure against the Roberts Five, and (2) legislation to counteract the effects of those decisions; and

Be it further resolved that Senators Murray and Cantwell be queried as to their actions and intended actions in furtherance of the above.

Adopted ____________________ by ________________________________


Initiated by Nancy R. Malmgren (46th LD, WA)

PCO 46-2201 (363-4116)