FIX THE BROKEN SUPREME COURT
The core argument in Alito’s profoundly disingenuous opinion is that courts have no business deciding matters which are best left to the will of “the people.” That will, he says, is best expressed in the election of state legislatures.
In other words, it’s the old states’ rights pitch.
The “oppression” he finds in Roe is against (at the time, 95% male) state legislatures, which, prior to the Court’s intervention, had banned abortion in most states. (Oppression of women, you say? What on earth do women have to do with bearing children?)
So it’s a matter for the states. Then why is Mitch McConnell saying that if Republicans regain control of government, they will pass a national ban on abortion?
Well, okay. Then if Democrats somehow hold onto the House and elect a Manchin-proof Senate, Democrats can pass national legislation protecting abortion rights in all 50 states. Right? Right. Until it gets to the Supreme Court where the Alito gang will declare it unconstitutional because abortion is a states’ rights issue.
Unless the new Manchin-free Democratic majority in the Senate finally jettisons the filibuster and immediately passes a Judiciary Reform Act — not necessarily “stacking” the Court, but placing the most senior members on “senior status.” “Emeritus Justices” can be used to fill in in Circuit Court cases where additional panel members are needed — perhaps even where a SCOTUS panel needs additional members because of recusals. (This respects the Constitutional lifetime tenure rule for Justices, but reforms the operation of the Court, which Congress explicitly can do.) New members would be added to the Court, but only those Justices who had served less than, say, 15 or 18 years would be empaneled to hear SCOTUS matters.
Democrats need to quit hemming and hawing. This is literally a life and death matter; the Court, as presently constituted, is set up as a rubber-stamp for a McConnell-Trump authoritarian state. Arguing fine points — such as whether Roe should have been decided on equal protection vs. due process provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment wholly misses the gravity of this moment in our history.
We need to reform the Court and we need to be unapologetic about how we’ll do it. McConnell routinely accuses “the radical left” of planning to stack the Court. After what he did with the Garland and Coney-Barrett nominations, he sounds like an arsonist at the scene of the crime complaining about the strong smell of lighter fluid.