– How conservative are the top judges in the United States really?
Donald Trump gave the Washington Supreme Court a clear conservative majority. But so far, the judges have celebrated independence.
Hubert Wetzel from Washington
The predictions could hardly be more sinister. The fall of progressive America was imminent, Democrats warned when President Donald Trump appointed a Supreme Court justice in Washington last fall shortly before the vote to leave office. Amy Connie BarrettThe document, a conservative Catholic, said the US Constitutional Court would move to the far right. With her, the conservative wing of the nine-member court will have six members for years to come, Only the three liberals. All the social and societal achievements that the Court has imposed through its rulings over generations are now at stake.
It wasn’t that bad, at least as things look now. A few days ago the Supreme Court ended the first session in which this devastating new majority of 6 to 3 Conservatives came into full effect. But it cannot be said that the judges of liberal America have left nothing but a pile of smoke.
Two clear victories for the Democrats
On the contrary, Democrats may be pleased with two decisions: In December 2020 the Court unanimously rejected A lawsuit brought by the state of Texas Against the result of the presidential election in November. The lawsuit, supported by other Republican attorney generals as well as most of the party’s congressmen, was a transparent and legally dubious attempt to turn Trump’s defeat into a victory.
The nine justices did not participate in this partisan theater, and Trump did not appoint the three: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Connie Barrett. After this decision, it was clear that Joe Biden would be the new president of the United States, much to Trump’s dismay, who was expecting more help from his judges.
The second ruling came in mid-June, which was also a real victory for Democrats: the court upheld it by seven votes to two. Health Care Reform for Former President Barack Obama. This lawsuit against Obama was the third that Republicans lost on the Supreme Court. Here, too, two of the three Trump-appointed justices, Barrett and Kavanaugh, voted with their liberal colleagues. Thus, Republican attempts to overturn Obamacare should be ended by the Supreme Court.
The accusation by Democrats against judges like Kavanaugh and Barrett that they were more than just right-wing ideologues in exaggerated robes was exaggerated.
Those were good successes for the Democrats. However, they do little to change the basic diagnosis that Trump and Senate Republicans — particularly the leader of the parliamentary group Mitch McConnell — have succeeded in pushing the Supreme Court to the right by appointing conservative justices in recent years. At best, they show that the accusation that Democrats have made against judges like Kavanaugh and Barrett that they are nothing more than right-wing ideologues in exaggerated robes. But in recent months, the court has also made decisions in which the neoconservative majority has certainly shifted the balance — which could give a foretaste of future rulings.
A few days ago, the court ruled by six to three votes that certain electoral regulations were permitted, which was enacted by the Republican-ruled state of Arizona. Democrats had complained about this, arguing that the rules made it more difficult for groups of voters who leaned into their party to cast their ballots. Similar new regulations are being promoted by Republicans in many states. Not all of them are overtly discriminatory. But if the Supreme Court does not step in at some point, it could practically disenfranchise Democratic voters.
Two other 6-3 rulings, less dramatic than Obamacare’s, but not necessarily less politically significant, also came in favor of Republicans. For example, the court struck down a California rule that allowed union representatives to enter private property to hire workers without the owner’s consent.
In another case, the California Supreme Court prevented charities from publishing the names of major donors. Both times, the court placed individual basic rights — the inviolability of private property and the right to free speech through donations — over Democrats’ political goals such as strengthening labor unions or limiting the social influence of wealthy donors.
Keep the stadium away from partisan battles
The crucial question for Democrats now is: Do such rulings portend hard times? It will be in the coming months Preliminary provisions on the right to abortion And she expects to own the guns, where a 6-3 majority of Conservatives can undo the hard-earned successes of Left Liberalism.
Or do recent rulings indicate that Trump-appointed judges are not inclined to make disruptive decisions in particularly large and contentious cases? In doing so, the Court will continue to follow the line of its Chief Justice John Roberts, who has one primary goal: to distance the Supreme Court from the bitter, partisan political battles raging in Washington that have done irreparable harm to nearly everyone. other state institutions.