Of all the masterful arguments presented by Alan Shore (James Spader) in the American TV show Boston Legal, his argument in front of the Supreme Court in S04E17 has to be one of the best. Btw, I’ve been binge-watching the show for the past two weeks, as I’ve done here and here with other shows. Although I’m sure that the (real) Supremes would not tolerate monologuing as it appears in this episode, something inside me wishes this could/should happen. Shore (Spader) nails it. Calling out the The United States Supreme Court for their ideological bias–especially the conservative majority that has partaken in giving the world #americant–is brilliant. Actually, having never seen the show before, and having missed all of 1990s and 2000s tv programming in the US, I’m very surprised at the level of political and social criticism that takes place in this show–especially as it was produced by ABC, which is not a bastion of liberal/progressive programming. With that in mind, there is something missing in Shore’s speech (monologue) as he criticises the Supremes. Or let me put that another way. If I had written this episode, I would have included a bit about how conservatives have so ingeniously nit-picked their way to power since the 1970s. It wasn’t all Ronald Reagan, you know. There really are masterminds behind the scenes of the GOP and the Republican party. I for one, having seen all this take place from my expat 30k-foot high-seat, have to take my hat off to republicans. What a job they’ve done taking advantage of the stupidity of a nation. I mean. These sleaze-balls are the ones who pander to the lowest common denominator of the voting constituency of The United States of America… with gusto! They most certainly don’t pander to rational thought or rational governing. They do this by wiggling their way around the enormous political structure that is the US. Not only is there three branches to the federal government but each state has their own branches, their own constitutions, their own justices, etc. By attacking (and conquering) these various layers of politics, they have been able to maintain a stranglehold on the nation. It is an extremely successful from-the-bottom-up political strategy. Issues like taxes, big government, abortion, state’s rights, the 2nd Amendment, etc., are all basically the qualifiers of who gets appointed, who gets to run and, ultimately, who controls society. Because the complexity of this activity is too overwhelming for the stupid masses to comprehend, let alone even bother to ponder, the Republican party has pretty much run the show for well over thirty years. They do this by changing voting districts, i.e. gerrymandering. They appoint politically biased justices controlling legislation and even determining presidential elections. Heck! Conservatives have even found a way to circumvent Roe v. Wade. How? Easy, really. Some state legislatures that are run by conservative politicians (republicans) have changed the laws regarding hospital admitting privileges. Hospital admitting privileges are required of doctors who have private practices or clinics that perform invasive and/or surgical procedures. The admitting privilege is about the doctor, if he or she makes a mistake at the clinic, can then call upon a better equipped hospital to take care of any complications that may arise. That means, if a hospital is run by conservative ideologues, they can simply deny the doctor admitting privilege. Without the backup of a hospital but more importantly without adhering to the law that requires admitting privileges, the doctor cannot perform certain procedures at his/her clinic. It goes without saying that a clinic without hospital admitting privileges will not be able to provide certain services. Thousands of clinics have closed because of this. Pretty tricky, eh! But also well thought out. Indeed. Of course, I forgive the writers of S04E17 for not including my thoughts. They made up for it by having Denny Crane, the epitome of Republicanism, fart and make goo-goo eyes at the Supreme Court.
Below is a transcript of my favourite scene, Season 4, Episode 17, Boston Legal. Alan Shore v Supreme Court. Underlined text from me. Enjoy.