Backward

I have been hearing the rumbling of how the Supreme Court has ‘let us down’ or ‘failed us.’ I am not let down; I am not disappointed, and I am not surprised. Why would anyone be any of these things by this Court? When you consider the circumstances of how this court came to be, why in the world would anyone think they have been failed by this SCOTUS? They are exactly who we all knew they would be.

Truth be told, if you are an Independent or a Democrat and didn’t vote or vote for a Republican Congressional or Senate candidate during the Obama years, you are part of the problem. You own this outcome; SCOTUS did precisely what they were set up to do, what the GOP has been planning and promising their base since the PRO-LIFE movement became a thing. Mitch McConnell stacked the bench expertly, and Democrats are so fecking weak-willed they didn’t fight back; they haven’t fought dirty, and this is the outcome.

We now live in a nation where 51.1% of the population cannot claim body autonomy. They cannot abort the fetus of their rapist. Cannot access life-saving health care. Cannot choose what is best for their lives or the lives of their born children. All because strangers who have no genuine vested interest have determined their ‘faith’ and ‘religion’ demand compliance to their biblical interpretations. Not science, not medicine, but religious submission. Thou shalt not kill; unless it is with a gun and you are already a living and breathing child of someone who loves you, then by any God you worship, all bets are off.

With the fall of Roe, Justice Thomas has made clear he has his eyes on other precedents. Those of us who follow the Court and the terrifying super conservatives that sit on the bench for life, we know where they want to go. If you aren’t one of those, let me give you a quick view of his words:

“in its rationale, the court’s majority found that a right to abortion was not a form of “liberty” protected by the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution — as the Court had said in Roe.”

Thomas, considered to be the most conservative of the conservative majority, went on to say in his concurring opinion the following:

“For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,”

If you don’t know the three referenced cases, they are:

Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), by a vote of 7-2, the Court established the ‘right to privacy’ of married couples to use birth control. This ruling struck down the Connecticut law prohibiting its use. The primary argument in favor is the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause. Justice Arthur Goldberg wrote a concurring opinion where the Ninth Amendment was also used to support the majority opinion.

Griswold laid the foundation for everything else.

Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972), extended the right to birth control to unmarried couples.

Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), the Court ruled that the ‘right to privacy,’ even though not explicitly enumerated, was reaffirmed based on precedence. Lawrence ruled that criminal punishment for those who commit sodomy (any form of same-gender sexual activity) is unconstitutional.

Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644 (2015), the final case in the target area, granted the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Courts ruled based on both Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the fourteenth Amendment that all adults had the right to marry whoever they wished to marry, opening the door in all 50 states for Same-Sex Marriage without restrictions. As with Roe, the Court cited Griswold in the Majority Opinion.

One other case lands squarely in the realm of the fourteenth and Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967). This landmark decision not only overturned the convictions of Richard and Mildred Loving, but it went further in a unanimous decision striking down Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws and ending all race-based marriage laws nationally.

Of course, we know why Justice Thomas didn’t touch Loving in his sweeping view of what should be undone. Ginny Thomas, his seditionist White Wife, would suddenly no longer be his wife; his marriage would be illegal. He could no longer claim membership in that special and rarefied place he currently occupies because, despite his many accomplishments, his seditionist White Wife provides him a certain gloss he would not otherwise have.

The reality of this SCOTUS is that they are set to become the very first in history to strip rights away rather than expand them. They are the Dream Team of the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, the country’s two most powerful conservative ‘think tanks.’ The confirmation of Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, all appointed during the Trump administration, gave the Court a Conservative Super Majority. Each lied during their confirmation hearings. None were the Best or Brightest, but each came with one recommendation; they were prepared to roll back all the Due Process and Equal Protection precedents and more. Consider other rights you and I enjoy today that potentially could be entirely stripped from us in the future:

Voting, we are seeing this already, state by state. The difference is now we will not have a court to turn to that will uphold our rights.

Access to Jobs, Education, Housing: all part of Civil Rights. This Court is prepared to strip hard-fought rights and turn back the clock. Make no mistake; whether you are a Woman, Black, Brown or part of any currently protected community, you are at risk.

Freedom from Religion: already the first of these have been decided by this Court. Kennedy V. Bremerton School District, 21-418 (2022), decided in favor of Kennedy. A coach who had been put on administrative leave for holding Christian prayer circles on the 50-yard line at school football games and ‘forcing’ team members to participate. This SCOTUS decided his Free Exercise and Free Speech of the First Amendment had been violated.

The other ruling that furthers the erosion of the Separation of Church and State, foundational to our Democratic Republic, is Anderson et al. v. Town of Durham, which built on a 2020 ruling in a Montana case. In both cases, public money is now available to fund private religious education from K-12. In Justice Sotomayor’s words from her dissent:

Today, the court leads us to a place where separation of church and state becomes a constitutional violation.”

The list is long, and these Conservative Justices are salivating, calling out for cases that will allow them to achieve the goals of their masters. Listen to them as they speak at various engagements. Read their writings as they encourage new cases to be filed and make their way to their docket. They want these cases; they want to legislate from the bench. They know they can get away with it because they know Congress is powerless to stop them. They know the Democrats are feckless, disorganized and will soon lose what little power they hold. They know the people, that is, you and I, will not vote for what is vital to our long-term good instead, we will bitch and moan about whether gas prices are too high, whether we ‘like’ Joe Biden today, whether we are getting everything we want today, and whether our life is going well today. We, the people, are focused on our immediate gratification, which is why the minority governs us rather than the majority.

I have heard people say they are annoyed by President Biden saying in his speeches, “Vote, Vote, Vote.” Let me reiterate his statement, if you want to change the dynamics and see a change in this nation, hand this President an absolute majority in the Senate and House, and VOTE in November.

Comments

  1. It is only the beginning if we do not VOTE!

    • Exactly this. But I fear too many will focus on the short term (gas prices and temporary cost of groceries) and fail to see the much larger picture. I hear it every single day.

  2. I honestly feel the conservatives on the SCOTUS and in Congress don’t realize that they’ve awoken a sleeping giant. And that’s what happened with liberals and even moderates: they got too comfortable with things and thought, once we reached a particular level of freedom, we’d never go back. So no, I’m not surprised this is happening either.

    • I think we are a rarity though. Most are truly shocked. It is sad in some ways how there is this large contingent in our nation that take these ‘freedoms’ for granted. I am terrified how much more there is to lose.

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