Article III, Section 1 of the United States Constitution reads: “The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good behavior…..”

Article III, Section 1 of the United States Constitution reads: “The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good behavior…..”

Thus, on September 17, 1787, the third branch of the new government, the judicial arm, the Supreme Court was given equal status along with the administrative and the legislative branches.

Further, the 1803 Marburry v. Madison case emphatically settled the question of whether the courts have the final say as to what the law is.

The Supreme Court was the conductor that kept this country on the right constitutional track. Traditionally, nine of our country’s best, fairest and most distinguished judges were selected over our 225 years. They were the guardians of Lady Justice who made sure that her scales were balanced with truth and fairness and that her blindfold of objectivity never slipped down. Or, so I naively believed most of my life.

Granted, controversy always appears in court decisions. However, for me, the courts “good behavior” requirement was violated in the 2000 presidential election when the partisan court overruled a Florida Supreme Court ruling concerning recounting of votes in favor of George W. Bush against Al Gore. President Bush 43 struck it rich in 2005 by appointing John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the bench, preserving a five-to-four conservative court.

Next came the Citizens United decision, favoring anonymous, unlimited election spending by super PACS and labor unions. Now the court will review a 2003 affirmative action ruling and sections of President Obama’s Affordable Health Care law.

A Kaiser Family Foundation Poll found that 60 percent of Americans believe the court is influenced by ideology rather than legal analysis. You can include me in that number.  If a lifetime-appointed justice retires, he or she often does so when his party is in office.

Here are the ages of the current justices:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 78. Anthony Kennedy, 75. Antonin Scalia, 75. Stephen Breyer, 73. Clarence Thomas, 63. Samuel Alito, 61. John Roberts (chief justice), 57. Sonia Sotomayor, 57. Elena Kagan, 51.

The Supreme Court was once considered the weakest of the three branches. Not anymore. It appears party ideology trumps the Constitution and tears are flowing beneath that blindfold of Lady Justice.

I give you President John Adams’ toast: Independence forever.