Naively, somewhat romantically, I’ve looked to the Supreme Court as the last line of defense for the constitutional rights of women, minorities, all of us who are not Rich White Men. Occasionally, not very often during the decades that I’ve been an adult, the Court has made a decision in line with that expectation.
But in reality, the Supreme Court has a long history of decisions that support the established hierarchy, predominately male, at the expense of the rest of us. Whatever gains we’ve made with liberal justices in the majority, those gains are about to be reversed.
“The Roberts Court is poised to shape American society in Trump’s image for decades to come. All three branches of the federal government are now committed to the Trump agenda: the restoration of America’s traditional racial, religious, and gender hierarchies; the enrichment of party patrons; the unencumbered pursuit of corporate profit; the impoverishment and disenfranchisement of the rival party’s constituencies; and the protection of the president and his allies from prosecution by any means available. Not since the end of Reconstruction has the U.S. government been so firmly committed to a single, coherent program uniting a politics of ethnonationalism with unfettered corporate power. As with Redemption, as the end of Reconstruction is known, the consequences could last for generations.
The lesson of the post-Reconstruction Supreme Court is that a determined Court majority can prove stubbornly resistant to short-term swings of political fortune. Even if Democrats win the next election cycle, and the one after that, an enduring conservative majority on the Supreme Court will have the power to shatter any hard-won liberal legislative victory on the anvil of judicial review. It will be able to reverse decades-old precedents that secure fundamental rights. It will further entrench the rules of a society in which justice skews toward the wealthy, and the lives of those without means can be destroyed by a chance encounter with law enforcement. It will do all these things and more in the name of a purely theoretical freedom, which most Americans will never be able to afford to experience.”
I hate reading an article this bleak. But Adam Serwer’s argument makes sense to me.
The rolling disaster that is the Trump presidency, held in place by the rolling disaster of his fearful white supporters, continues to unfold.