Axios reports (SMART BREVITY!!1!) that Americans faith in the Supreme Court is dropping like a rock (Formatting is all theirs, kids), and we wonder why.
Out this morning: The perception is growing that Supreme Court justices are partisans, just like any other politicians, according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
- Why it matters: The center, which has tracked opinions about the court over 17 years, says that in most years, “differences in trust in the court by party affiliation have not been meaningful. That changed in 2022, with a wide gap separating Republicans from Democrats and independents on some attitudes toward the court.”
Trust is driven by party: 70% of Republicans — but only 32% of Democrats — have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the court.
And our pals over at Electoral-Vote warn us that there is yet another abortion case this year, with wide-ranging implications, and of course, religious freedom implications:
Huh? Didn’t they already finish that discussion in Dobbs v. Jackson? Probably not. A new lawsuit in Kentucky is challenging a state law that makes killing a fetus or embryo a state crime. The law works from the assumption that human life begins at conception. Three Jewish women who live in Kentucky have challenged the law arguing that the concept that life begins at conception is specifically a Christian theological concept and not some universally acknowledged truth. The suit points out that the Old Testment is crystal clear that life begins at birth, not at conception, so killing a fetus or embryo is not murder. In essence, the suit argues that the Kentucky law has written Christian dogma into the law and that is specifically forbidden by the Constitution’s establishment of religion clause. Hence the Kentucky law is unconstitutional and must be struck down.
At least one of the women clearly has standing to sue. She is of advanced maternal age and has stored nine embryos with an embryo-storage company at great expense in case she decides she wants another child. Telling the company to pull the plug on the embryos would kill them and thus be murder under Kentucky law. Keeping them viable in storage costs her a lot of money every month. Consequently, the Kentucky law is forcing her to spend money even if she decides she doesn’t want more children, so it is harming her personally. That gives her standing to sue. The other women, who are both Jewish, are claiming that enshrining specifically Christian dogma in Kentucky law violates their freedom of religion.
Scissorheads, being the best and the brightest people of the internet, probably also see implications for IVF that would make those companies accessories; it doesn’t take a big stretch of the imagination to see some religious zealot claiming false imprisonment of these zygotes, too, and then what happens? Seed babies like in Logan’s Run?
Public Notice —the excellent newsletter from Aaron Rupar— is focused on the SCOTUS today:
This term is also shaping up to be a doozy. SCOTUS will be deciding cases that could have profound impacts on democracy, including one that could further chip away at the Voting Rights Act. Another case could give Republican-controlled state legislatures unchecked power over elections. There’s a case that involves whether web designers can refuse to produce websites for same-sex marriages, another that could gut the Clean Water Act. And there’s not much reason to hope that any of this will turn out well.
Considering the ultra-conservative nature of this Supreme Court — with Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Thomas, and Barrett serving as a reliable majority for GOP causes — it’s likely that most of the important cases the court will soon decide will push the country to the right.
It doesn’t look good. The bottom line is the Supreme Court doesn’t really have power outside of its perceived legitimacy, and that’s the reason why we’re seeing a lot of these conservative justices giving more aggressive statements about how disagreeing with their decisions doesn’t mean you should discount their legitimacy. They’re starting to feel the fire…
…Andrew Jackson said, “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.” There is a very real question of what happens when the court’s decisions are not treated as legitimate. I think we’re getting dangerously close to that.
I think we reached illegitimate during the 4th Reich, and we are speeding past that into kangaroo territory.