The movement to expand the Supreme Court keeps growing, with the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) the most recent group to call out the dangerous, extremist court and demand change. “Our nation’s highest court has been packed by far-right interests waging an unprecedented judicial assault on our environment, our democracy, our equality, and our reproductive rights,” the League said in announcing their stand.
“Without a deliberate rebalancing, the Supreme Court—with its justices who serve for life—is positioned to continue imposing an extremist agenda for a generation to come.” The LCV cites the imminent decisions, writing that the “far-right majority is likely to severely curtail the [Enivronmental Protection Agency] EPA’s authority to fight climate change, overturn the long-settled precedent of Roe v. Wade, and undermine core doctrines allowing regulatory agencies like the EPA to do the jobs Congress created them for.” Since they are a league of voters, they also cite the Court’s decisions upholding voter suppression and gerrymandering.
The LCV’s Advocacy Direction for Judiciary & Democracy, Doug Linder, minces no words. “This is the most partisan and corrupted Supreme Court in living memory—we cannot wait decades to correct it. Protections for our environment, our reproductive rights, our equality, and our democracy are only as strong as the judges who uphold them, and the majority on this captured Court have shown time and again that they will promote their own extreme ideological agenda over the rights of people in this country.”
The rights to “breathe clean air and drink clean water, have our votes counted, make our own health decisions, and more,” have to be fought, for now, Linder said. “Now is the time for Congress to rebalance the scales for a just, honorable, and equitable Supreme Court that will hold big polluting corporations accountable instead of doing their bidding; enforce voting rights instead of attacking them; and protect the health and safety of our communities, including the air we breathe and the water we drink.”
“Communities historically excluded in our country already carry the greatest burdens from the climate crisis, from pollution, from attacks on democracy, and from racist systemic inequality,” Linder continued. “We will fight for our communities by fighting for a Supreme Court that works for the people.”
What LCV didn’t mention in its litany of bad shit coming down from the Court is the fact that it is very likely to increase the threat of gun violence across the country in the coming weeks. They are set to decide on a challenge to New York state’s 108-year-old law restricting who gets to carry a gun in public, and they are pretty unlikely to decide in favor of 108-year-old law or the state’s rights. Not in this case.
That’s likely going to open up challenges to other states’ gun restrictions, not just on concealed carry, but also things like bans on high-capacity magazines or assault-style weapons. Royce Barondes, a University of Missouri School of Law professor who teaches firearms law, said a ruling overturning New York’s law would likely change how lower courts review restrictions and “would result in courts being more likely to invalidate restrictions that lower courts have up to this point in time validated.”
The actions taken by this court—many of them in the shadow docket where they can wreak havoc out of the public eye and with a minimum of transparency—have been extreme and have been partisan. They come from the corrupt core of conservatives, with one justice trying to help his spouse overthrow the government, one who lied his way into his lifetime appointment, and two who are in seats stolen by Republicans.
This court, with its corrupt and compromised majority, should not be seen as legitimate. It needs to be reformed and expanded. And it needs to happen quickly.
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