It's Like The Ghost Of Roger Taney Has Come Back And Infected The Supreme Court
Taney Was One Of The Sparks That Lit The Civil War Conflagration
On State of the Union yesterday, Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) told the CNN viewers that after Hutchinson’s brave, inspiring testimony more witnesses have been coming forward. That’s good. But what if there is a case and it eventually winds up in the illegitimate Trump Court? Anyone believe this packed, politicized court could give any kind of a fair hearing in these matters? Or in any matters?
These Trump appointees have destroyed the credibility of the Supreme Court and many people are talking about how to ignore its ideological and unjustifiable decisions. On Friday, Nick Fandos and Jonah Bromwich wrote about how New York is attempting to circumvent the rulings of what more and more people see as an illegitimate runaway court which now has little public support. Last month, even before the latest series of neo-fascist rulings, Gallup pointed out that public confidence in the Court had sunk to an historic low.
In response to the Court rulings against Choice and gun control, the New York State Legislature “enacted sweeping measures designed to blunt the decisions’ effects. In an extraordinary session convened by Gov. Kathy Hochul that began Thursday and carried late into Friday evening, the State Legislature adopted a new law placing significant restrictions on the carrying of handguns and passed an amendment that would initiate the process of enshrining the right to abortion in the state constitution. The new legislation illustrates the growing distance between a conservative-led court that has reasserted its influence in American political life and blue states such as New York— one of the most left-leaning in the nation, where all three branches of government are controlled by Democrats and President Biden easily triumphed over Donald Trump in 2020. As Republican-led states race rightward, the New York Legislature’s moves this week provided a preview of an intensifying clash between the court and Democratic states that will likely play out for years to come.”
State Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens, the deputy majority leader, said New Yorkers should expect more of the same in the coming years.
“The Supreme Court seems intent on destroying this country one decision at a time,” he said in an interview. “Today, we made clear that New York will stand up against this rollback of rights that we’ve come to expect in the United States. You can expect we will continue doing this as the court keeps issuing horrible decisions.”
Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont and California are also in the process of doing what New York did. Meanwhile, California's neoliberal and very ambitious governor, Gavin Newsom, just started running this ad… in Florida!
Last week, Supreme Court scholar Heather Cox Richardson wrote that "In the one term Trump’s three justices have been on the court, they have decimated the legal landscape under which we have lived for generations, slashing power from the federal government, where Congress represents the majority, and returning it to states, where a Republican minority can impose its will. Thanks to the skewing of our electoral system, those states are now poised to take control of our federal government permanently. Almost exactly 35 years ago, when President Ronald Reagan nominated originalist Robert Bork for the Supreme Court, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) recognized his legal theory for what it was: an unraveling of the modern United States. ‘Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is often the only protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy. America is a better and freer nation than Robert Bork thinks,’ Kennedy said. And yet,” concluded Richardson, “here we are.”
Are Americans waking up to what’s happening. Tom Nelson, the progressive in the Wisconsin race to unseat fascist Senator Ron Johnson noted that “We have an extremist Supreme Court based off justices who were illegitimately appointed. I believe we need to expand the court to bring some balance back to these justices who are clearly overstepping their bounds and legislating from the bench.” He hs told me he supports term limits for SCOTUS justices, increasing the number of justices, and has made these issues integral to his campaign.
Yesterday, John Pavlovitz titled a provocative post Courting Fascism: Facing America’s Supreme Coup He began with 3 questions that predicts that the answers are about to be seen by all Americans: “When the law fails you, where do you go? When the highest court in a nation is compromised to the point that it disregards the law and becomes becomes predatory toward its people, what recourse do those people have? What happens when a small minority weaponizes the very systems designed to protect its citizenry?”
Every day people ask me what we can do to stop the coming flood of fascism, and far wiser human beings than myself struggle with answers, especially if November doesn’t manage to catalyze the majority into the voting booth in numbers that we haven’t seen before. If the theocracy being built right now is solidified in Congress later this year, we will be in uncharted territory that none of us can predict or imagine. It may require personal sacrifices and bring relational schisms that our nation hasn’t had to face since the Civil War.
So what are we who are here and grieving all this, supposed to do with our sadness and worry over what this nation is and what we fear it could become? The answer is: everything we can.
People of faith, morality, and conscience each need to take stock of what we value here, of the freedoms we still do have, of the people and causes we care about, of the kind of place we don’t want it to become— and live boldly, fully, and passionately in light of all of it.
November is not yet here, which means there is still time to write a better story if we are willing to spend ourselves on behalf of that story; to stay in small and the close and to embody the America we believe is worth fighting for and the nation we dream of living in.
If we recognize our interdependence, disparate Americans need to move together despite our relatively small differences, to pushback an existential threat to all of us. In the face of a Supreme Court that no longer operates in the interest of the law or the people and of a political party whose collective soul has long been sold, the rest of us need to do your best to dissent. We need to embrace what is within our hands: our relationships, our work, our resources, our energy, our shared voice, our shared vote— and to leverage those things in the cause of life, liberty, and happiness as best we can and hope that these things are enough.
And if they prove not to be, we’ll need to wake up in that unimaginable day and keep fighting.
Humanity is worth it.
The planet is worth it.
And the America that still could be is worth it, too.