I had read Dan’s post, “Total Hypocrisy, Franken Pushed Back on GOP” – Angry Bear (angrybearblog.com). Was kind of wondering if there was an answer to John Roberts. Roberts beliefs are they are innocent, alas how could their decisions be influenced by political beliefs, especially the political influences appointing them, the Federalist Society, their own beliefs, politics, etc. Did I miss something?
As one commenter said, appointees to SCOTUS were never filibustered in the past. Appointments and processes became political, having changed dramatically since Gingrich.
I am pulling from one opinion from a well known attorney, Erwin Chemerinsky. Here is what he said about SCOTUS:
Its decisions always have been and always will be a product of the identity of those on the bench. For example, from the 1890s until 1936, the court had a very conservative majority and declared unconstitutional over 200 federal, state, and local laws protecting workers and consumers. Only once in American history, during the Warren Court, from 1954-1969, and especially from 1962-1969, was there a liberal majority on the high court and its decisions were progressive in a way never otherwise seen in American history.
Roberts Thinks Differently than Does Erwin
Justice John Roberts; “People can say what they want, simply because people disagree with an opinion is not a basis for questioning the legitimacy of the court.”
Constitutional Attorney Erwin Chemerinsky: “It is unclear what overruling Roe will mean for the court and its legitimacy. A Gallup poll in fall 2021 revealed the court having its lowest approval ratings in history, 40% approval and 53% disapproval. A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of the American people have confidence in the Supreme Court, also a historic low.”
CNN Political Commentator: Alice Stewart There is no protected right to Abortion listed in the Constitution.
Ms. Stewart’s remark cause me to ask; Does there need to be a bullet point in the Constitution calling out the rights of women to decide their outcome? Is it not self-evident?
Erwin Chemerinsky: “Roe v. Wade was overruled not because of anything about its reasoning or any method of judicial interpretation. It was because Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016 and was able to appoint three justices to fulfill his promise to put on the court individuals who would end abortion rights.”
Myself: How was trump empowered? McConnell blocked Obama from appointing Garland months before an election. McConnell claiming it was too soon before an election and the next president should decide. Neil Gorsuch became Associate Justice of the Supreme Court shortly after the election. Amy Barrett was appointed on October 26, 2020 less than two weeks before the next presidential election. McConnell, Graham, and Republicans demonstrate a lack of integrity.
Alice Stewart claimed it was historical precedent three-plus minutes into the clip. Al Franken repeatedly asked Stewart to cite an example of precedent showing nominations were not made before elections as she claimed. Stewart could not do so, because none existed. So, Republicans make things up and Democrat and voters fail. Back to my point.
Is Roberts right, does a court opinion not impact the legitimacy of the court?
This is where I look to Constitutional Attorney and expert Erwin Chemerinsky again.
In Dobb’s v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court overruled a half-century of decisions protecting a constitutional right of women to choose whether to end their pregnancies. The decision must be understood as entirely about the conservative desire to end abortion rights and not about constitutional principles or judicial methodology.
There is a desire to think that law exists apart from the identity and ideology of the justices. But that is a myth when it comes to the Supreme Court. Its decisions always have been and always will be a product of the identity of those on the bench. For example, from the 1890s until 1936, the court had a very conservative majority and declared unconstitutional over 200 federal, state, and local laws protecting workers and consumers. Only once in American history, during the Warren Court, from 1954-1969, and especially from 1962-1969, was there a liberal majority on the high court and its decisions were progressive in a way never otherwise seen in American history.
Roe v. Wade was overruled not because of anything about its reasoning or any method of judicial interpretation but because Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016 and was able to appoint three justices to fulfill his promise to put on the court individuals who would end abortion rights.
These nominees had no compunction about lying during their confirmation hearings and pledging fidelity to precedent, and all have said that Roe is well-established precedent. They knew that once on the bench they could do what they want. Everyone knows that if Hillary Clinton had won in 2016 and picked three justices, Roe would have been safe for decades to come.
Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion in Dobbs focuses on the need to leave the issue of abortion to the political process. But there was no deference to the political process earlier this week when the conservatives on the court declared unconstitutional a New York law limiting concealed weapons that had been on the books since 1911 or struck down a Maine law that limited financial aid to religious schools. This conservative court defers to the political process when it agrees with its results, as it does with laws prohibiting abortions, but the deference vanishes when the conservative justices dislike the states laws.
Precedent and the principle of stare decisis are supposed to limit judicial discretion and provide stability to the law. But time and again, as in this decision, the conservative justices are willing to overrule the precedents they dislike.
Which brings us back to the personal preferences politically and personally of the judges assigned to the court by Congress without regard for their religious beliefs and political influences such as the Federalist Society.
“Erwin Chemerinsky commentary: Ending Roe is a pure exercise of Republican power” – West Central Tribune
“John Roberts Decries Attacks on Supreme Court’s ‘Legitimacy” (bloomberglaw.com)
Total Hypocrisy, Franken Pushed Back on GOP – Angry Bear (angrybearblog.com)