Op-ed: The Supreme Court Needs Less Scalia, More Cher
Are you resentful that nine strangers are deciding whether you can marry the person you love or whether you'll die a penniless hobo forced to live under a bridge? I am. I don’t know Anthony Kennedy from Adam, and Clarence Thomas, who hasn’t spoken a word during Supreme Court arguments since 2006, is more aloof than my college boyfriend. Sure, the newest justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, seem cool, but how do we know they’re not secretly popping eyes off of newts and conjuring spells against Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
It’s bad enough that so many huge aspects of our lives are left to the whims of others, with bumbling bosses, careless babysitters, and vengeful in-laws. But at least we know these people and can play to their vanities. Considering the justices’ disastrous votes on everything from corporate spending to voting rights, it’s time we consider replacing them with people we all know: celebrities. They put their lives out there (so we get attached and see their movies or TV shows, but so what) and we get to decide whether we like or loathe them. That personal transparency seems fair: If they’re going to judge us, we should be able to judge them.
The following celebrities would make excellent Supreme Court justices — just give them a copy of The American Constitution for Dummies and a VHS copy of 12 Angry Men and they’re good to go:
Kim may have ceded her role as the country’s preeminent female rapper to Nicki Minaj, but she still a star to me. More importantly, her justice cred is solidified by the fact that she’d likely view the Constitution as a living document, evolving with the times. How do I know? She ditched her old face years ago and hasn’t looked back. We also know Kim would strike down DOMA quicker than she spits out filthy rhymes: How many Supreme Court justices have performed at L.A. Gay Pride?
As the new Supreme Court’s first openly gay male justice, Kors would know that marriage bans are so last season. The fashion designer is sharp but reasonable and never afraid to speak his mind, or speak, which instantly makes him a better justice than Thomas. He’s also a Project Runway judge, so he’s got experience judging. Plus you know he’d get rid of those unflattering graduation robes.
The Disney starlet has been to hell and back, putting drug addiction and self-harm behind her to become a pop hitmaker and judge (ding ding ding!) on The X Factor. Also, we’d lose a wise Latina with Sotomayor ousted but gain one with this multicultural 21st-century diva.
Here’s someone who is obsessed with gay people, not disgusted by them, a step up from Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Antonin Scalia. His university attendance record was spotty and he slept through a few classes, but this provocateur is more educated than any of his other celebrity justices. Though Franco is rumored to smell really bad, it can’t be worse than the stink of caca that regularly wafts from Scalia’s mouth.
She’s multifaceted and not afraid to threaten someone’s life, a perfect addition to the high court. Leakes is arguably the biggest star to emerge from the Real Housewives series, parlaying her feisty reality persona into roles on gay-friendly series like Glee and The New Normal, and a friendship with chummy gay Anderson Cooper. She’s also survived abuse, ensuring sensitivity to women’s issues. Leakes, a proud Atlanta native, would do Georgia much more proud than Thomas.
America’s cheeky sweetheart should definitely be deciding the direction of this country. If she rules on cases as well as she chooses roles, we’re golden. We know she has grace under pressure — she was unfazed after falling face-first at the Oscars. The X-Men star is also against ending the war on drugs, which she indicated by recently lighting a joint on a hotel balcony. She could also threaten windbag lawyers by slowly pulling the quiver on her bow and arrow.
We don’t know much about Hamm personally except that he’s been a steady boyfriend to Kissing Jessica Stein writer and star Jennifer Westfeldt and is very good at filling out a pair of khakis. I nominate him to the high court based on his portrayal of Mad Men's Don Draper, a flawed guy but excellent ad man. Don rules the boardroom with a winning smile and an iron fist, and the Supreme Court severely needs more handsome problem-solvers.
The out MSNBC host would undoubtedly be the new court’s smartest judge, shaming her fellow justices’ stupid questions with withering looks and deadpan delivery. She also has an amazing way of breaking down complex points into easily understandable nuggets that leave you feeling smarter and, strangely for me, amorous. Is it too much to ask for our Supreme Court justices to be sexy and smart?
Many of the new judges are of the younger set, but Cher would represent the AARP crowd, and in a more fabulous way than the current old-timers. From winning an Oscar to becoming the proud parent of a transgender man, she’s seen and done it all. Best of all, she manages to stay bitchy and real at the same time (that’s why she outdoes Madonna in these Supreme picks). Stodgy hearings could be broken up with a classic Cher tune: More Americans would pay attention to cases on monopolies or banking regulations if they knew “Just Like Jesse James” was on the docket.
NEAL BROVERMAN is a columnist for The Advocate and the editor in chief of Out Traveler. Follow him on Twitter @nbroverman.