Let’s not gripe over our Supreme Judiciary
taking advantage of, and making merry
with, rich folks’ money and gifts galore –
travel, art, guns, opera tickets, more.
After all, what are true friends for?
Buying influence shouldn’t be a chore.
Trading goods for favors is not a bad thought.
Why in heaven feel guilty for being bought?
How slanderous to call the Court mercenary
for securing trifling benefits pecuniary.
They juggle with ethics but don’t we all?
This shouldn’t result in their downfall.
After all, they at last promulgated a code
though scoffers call it only fit for a commode.
Since justices age and become infirm,
proposals have been made to dismiss life terms
and expand their numbers past the arbitrary nine
to restore the integrity some claim has declined.
So, here’s my solution but take a deep breath –
Let them stay in office even after death.
Objections to life tenure is thus overcome
and SCOTUS’ numbers are boosted ad infinitum
or more simply put, the Supreme Court fraternity
expands in size throughout eternity.
No reason for them to resign once they croak.
They can serve without temptation and stay broke.
Their critics, the post-mortem justices will confound
as they rest body and soul deep in the ground.
Making their presence felt from the hereafter
will suddenly evoke respect, not laughter.
They’ll have good cause to recuse from voting
until their ethereal thoughts can be decoded
and then they can pronounce yea or nay
as the spirit moves them, forever and a day.
Taking this approach, the final court of appeal
will achieve reform and give petitioners a square deal.
About the Poem
Suggested by the Supreme Court’s adoption of a less than perfect Code of Ethics and branching off into objections about the justices’ life tenures. The title, though not the content, inspired by Jonathan Swift’s essay, A Modest Proposal.
About the Author
Philip Wexler has over 200 magazine poem credits. His full-length poetry collections include The Sad Parade (prose poems), and The Burning Moustache, both published by Adelaide Books, The Lesser Light (Finishing Line Press), With Something Like Hope (Silver Bow Publishing) and I Would be the Purple (Kelsay Books). He also hosts Words out Loud, a hybrid in-person and remote monthly spoken word series in the Washington, DC area.