Not anything new here for people who have been paying attention, but Ezra Klein lays it out concisely – It’s the Supreme Court vs. Democracy. Of course the Supreme Court is political, it always has been. If the 5 conservative justices that have been taking us further down a road to a minority running roughshod over our supposed democracy are really following the “strict construction” of the Constitution, then the Constitution is an ass.
Spoiler alert, they’re not “strict constructionists” or “originalists”. Two total bullshit terms created by conservative think tanks to paper over their partisan hackery. Everyone in the media should push back on those conservative conceits.
Even more frustrating is the press coverage of the naming of justices. When interviewing conservatives who are applauding these ultra-right justices, ask them exactly what they’re applauding. What rulings are you giddy over? Taking limits off money in politics? Creating limits on voting rights? How does any perspective on the Constitution or American history guide that more money and fewer voters is a good thing? Bush v. Gore was a bullshit, one time, unabashedly pure Red v. Blue ruling. With Citizen’s United, Janus, the rulings allowing racial gerrymandering, etc., are you admitting it’s ALL Red v. Blue.
Do conservatives really want Roe gone? Or Griswald, which granted a right to privacy and struck down laws prohibiting birth control (duh)? Are they saying they really want Gilead? What’s next after that, mandatory Church participation? There’s nothing here defensible on any Constitutional grounds. You would have to have completely ignored the writings of the Founding Father’s to promulgate a pro-religious construction. This fight isn’t even Red v. Blue, it’s pure antedeluvian theocratic conservatism. The GOP does not want this because Roe gave them an issue and a rallying cry for 40 years. You strike down the precedent of Roe and you further empower a women-led Democratic base that is already spitting mad. So you go right ahead and be my guest.
The Court is a problem. But it’s only exacerbating a growing anti-democratic trend that is natural to our growth patterns and the design of the Constitution. The last two cycles it’s become pretty obvious that the Senate, like the Electoral College, has become an anti-democratic anachronism.
Demographers project American politics will become even less democratic in the coming years. By 2040, 70 percent of Americans are expected to be represented by a mere 30 senators, which means 30 percent of the population will control a 70-vote supermajority in the Senate.
The Supreme Court is meant to be insulated from democracy. It’s not meant to be a partisan tool for undermining democracy. What’s emerging now is a dangerous loop, in which Republicans barely holding onto power manage to keep control of the Supreme Court by any means necessary, and in return, the Supreme Court’s Republican appointees issue rulings to help their party cling to political power.
Wyoming has the same two votes in the Senate that California does. And no matter how much you think about the more balanced representation in the House, that ludicrous Senate balance decides Supreme Court seats, the House does not.
The Founder’s were so focused on protecting minorities that they set up a system that could be exploited by unscrupulous partisans to create minority rule, clearly given the numbers today this scenario has taken place. So you hear about different plans if Democrats can get control of the WH, House and Senate in order to level things.
- Court packing plans sound pretty reasonable these days to overcome the 5-4 conservative majority.
- Or plans to make D.C. or Puerto Rico states (with supposedly 2 more Dem Senators, each). Lord knows those two paces have suffered without real representation for too long.
- Or splitting California into 2 or more states (more Dems. likely, depending of course on the split).
It may seem fanciful, but the situation of a Democratic majority being stymied by the ideological rulings of a Republican minority will force hands to either modernize the Constitution or use the anachronisms and loop holes in their favor to avoid the tyranny of the minority.
We are reminded that we have precedent on democratic government taking action to reverse disastrously out of touch court decisions.