Upon the inevitable confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, conservatives will have achieved ultimate victory in the cultural-political war of our lifetime. It’s all over but the shouting.
Decades of progressive social changes never possible through legislation, starting with school desegregation in the mid-1950s through a woman’s right to choose and up to marriage equality today, will all come to a full stop with the most solidly conservative court in over 80 years. We shall see a steady stream of 5-4 conservative decisions for the foreseeable future. Remember also that these five are far younger than their four liberal colleagues, with lifetime tenure.
Roe v. Wade may not be completely overturned right away, nor marriage equality rescinded. But such rights may indeed be curtailed or given back to each state to decide. Where you live may decide which rights you have in society. Nationwide, however, corporations and their money will have unfettered power.
Americans will finally realize, as these decisions come down, that our Supreme Court is as politically partisan as the two other branches of government. That philosophical divide is just as stark in reality, if not party brand. As any first-year law student learns, all cases can be argued from multiple viewpoints toward a desired ruling. A single panel of judges starting from the same viewpoint, and in the majority … well, one can do the math, as they say.
At some point in the future, liberals will win back the majority in one of more houses of Congress and even the presidency. Laws may be passed and signed, but they will discover, as FDR did during the Great Depression, that a conservative Supreme Court can rule such legislation unconstitutional. Such are the rules that govern our republic. It will take yet another generation of time and a new court to correct this course.
Brett Clifford, Salt Lake City