Some Thoughts on the Supreme Court

The Wall Street Journal has an article regarding claimed internal dissention in the Supreme Court. There are some items within that article that triggered my pea brain.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, speaking at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, said she sometimes weeps in her chambers after the conservative majority issues one of its polarizing rulings.

Justice Sotomayor may well weep over the rulings and their nature; emotions can run high. But there’s nothing polarizing over the Court’s decisions to adhere to what our Constitution and a statute actually say, rather than what this or that Justice might wish either to say. Nothing polarizing, that is, except in the fetid imaginations of the Left and of some WSJ news writers.

And this from Daniel Ortiz, a University of Virginia Professor of Law:

There’s a lot of ill will and anger that’s been building up, and now that they are in the crucible, it’s just going to get worse.

A lot of that ill will and anger is borne of the distrust that has developed from the despicable leak of a draft opinion, a leak whose perpetrator has not been identified, and which investigation the Court’s Chief Justice John Roberts apparently has decided not to pursue with any seriousness, using only the Court’s own policing agency, the Marshal of the Supreme Court and her staff, which have no investigatory experience. That much is on the Chief Justice for his decision to not take the leak seriously except rhetorically.

And this:

Democratic lawmakers called on Justice Samuel Alito to recuse himself from those cases after reports that MAGA-associated flags flew from his homes in Virginia and New Jersey. Alito said no, declaring that his impartiality in the cases couldn’t reasonably be questioned—the legal standard—because it was his wife, Martha-Ann Alito, who raised the flags, at times over his objection.

“At times over his objection” is wholly irrelevant here. The Progressive-Democrats’ objections are insults to all women, not just to Ms. Alito, and to husbands everywhere, not just to Justice Alito. Progressive-Democrats are suggesting that the little woman cannot act on her own initiative, but only within the bounds of husbandly…guidance. And husbands don’t respect their wives’ intelligence and independence of action, needing always to…guide…them in all areas. The little woman isn’t the man’s partner in life, but his subordinate. This is the utter contempt the Left has for the rest of us.

A Cautionary Tale

A man lived with a girlfriend way back in the 1980s:

…in 1987, [the man] listed [his cohabitor] on a handwritten form as the sole beneficiary of his workplace retirement account. He never changed the beneficiary designation and died in 2015.

Two years later, the man and his cohabitor went their separate ways, but he left the beneficiary designation in place, unchanged and apparently unreviewed for all these decades. His family heirs, two brothers, won’t get the now million dollar inheritance; his cohabitor of those decades ago will, at least so far (the brothers have lost their court cases but have appeals in progress).

As it happens, when the man’s then-employer went to online employee account tracking and beneficiary designating, it never brought those paper forms into its computer systems. That’s no serious knock on this employer; lots of employers have left their paper documents outside their new computerized tracking systems.

The man’s employer, though, did send him repeated warnings about his beneficiary designation.

[The employer] said that it provided warnings when the company changed service providers, and online, and on his monthly statements, such as this one: “You don’t have any beneficiary designations online. Any prior beneficiary designations on file with the Plan will be retained by…, but are not viewable on this site.”

It’s anybody’s guess why the man didn’t review his beneficiary designation, but his reasons are irrelevant to this tale.

The caution: don’t be lazy or let life events be distractors. Every time there’s a life event—breaking up with a significant someone, marrying or deciding to live with a significant someone, birth of a child or grandchild or great-grandchild, death of an important someone, even something as mundane as an account trustee changing—it’s necessary, not just useful, to review all beneficiaries designated for all accounts a person might hold.

And make the changes that are appropriate for the new time.

The tale extends to financials generally. Financials are a family’s future; there’s no excuse for being “too tired” to review them and keep them current. Nor is “don’t have the time” any sort of excuse. There’s always time to deal with the family’s future.