POLITICS, SUPREME COURT

Gaslighting Won’t Save the Court

Right-wing partisanship more apparent after recent term

3 min readJul 27, 2023

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Photo by Lara Jameson on Pexels.com

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is the ruthless strategist who deserves to be consided the father of the current super-conservative U.S. Supreme Court.

While Senate majority leader, he stalled hearings of President Barack Obama’s nominee for almost a year until the election of President Trump and his choice of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Then after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg less than a month before President Biden’s election, he rushed the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Yet he argued in a July 10 op-ed in The Washington Post that this court is impartial, reinforcing Chief Justice John Roberts’ whining about criticisms from the three liberal justices and a public approval rating dropping to near-historic lows.

“Evidence from this past term indicates that the court’s defining characteristic isn’t polarization. It is, instead, a politically unpredictable center,” he wrote, adding some statistics and selective comparisons.

While not all court decisions are divisive, there is no doubt that the high court made progress toward engraining the most conservative thinking into public policy.

Consider the welcome 5–4 decision ordering Alabama to draw a second congressional district with a enough Black population to allow a chance at representation.

It came only after the court had already undermined provisions of the long-bipartisan Voting Rights Act. The court — without even explaining itself — had even allowed Alabama and Louisiana to hold 2022 elections with the congressional maps lower courts had declared unconstitutional.

Is it any wonder Alabama lawmakers refused to follow the court’s order when it redrew its new map last week? The second district the legislature approved is 55 percent white. Such defiance puts the case back in the courts and is likely aimed at getting back before the high court to switch the vote of Kavanaugh, who said racial representation must soon end.

The court also killed what had become very limited consideration of race in some college admissions. And it was…

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Experienced journalist, educator and retired opinion-page editor with occasional musings