As this new year begins, the eyes of history turn to the Supreme Court.
Several judgments on religion and race — hot buttons in the culture wars — are due in 2023.
These decisions come a year after the Supreme Court had to erect a fence around the building for some time to thwart protests.
Six conservatives on the court advanced a right-wing political agenda by repealing a law established for nearly 50 years, ending constitutional abortion rights for all American women.
Polls show that abortion rulings have historically reduced public trust in courts.
“Only 47% of adults in a Gallup survey said they have some trust in the federal judiciary, a 20-point drop over the past two years and a steep 7-point drop from last year,” CNN said. reported in the month.
“And it’s not just trust … Only four in 10 Americans said they approve of the way the Supreme Court works … This is the lowest support Gallup has recorded for the Supreme Court. match the rate.”
Numerous polls showed that the ruling overturning Roe v. Wade was highly unpopular – by a margin of about 2 to 1 in some polls.
And it affected the midterm elections. Registered voters told Fox News in his September poll that the top two issues “motivating” them to vote were inflation, at 19%, followed by his 16% on abortion. said it was.
By the end of the year, Congress had enough support, including 39 Republican votes in the House and 12 Republican votes in the Senate, to protect the right to marry for same-sex and interracial couples. The law was a direct response to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ partisan opinion in abortion cases.
Thomas promoted the idea that court conservatives could abolish all rights based on the concept of privacy. The door has been opened to future judgments.
The politics of abortion decisions also tore trust among judges.
In oral argument, Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked whether the court could “stink the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are mere political acts.”
The “stench” was evident in Dobbs’ decision leaked before it was officially released.
The sabotage was clear.
As a matter of strategy, it had one of two intentions.
First, conservative judges, or those close to them, leaked it in order not to abandon draft rulings they knew to be radical. A judge, or someone close to them, divulged to shame the conservative bloc in the hope that public pressure would force them to reconsider the decision.
The final judgment conformed to the draft, leading to an internal Supreme Court investigation. So far, there are no public reports of results.
Now, there is talk that the findings are being withheld as they add to the fire raging in court.
There are fires all over the courtroom.
After Dobbs’ sentencing, the former anti-abortion activist told Congress in 2014 that donors to his group would get a favorable outcome in pending lawsuits over contraception and religious rights, in advance from Judge Samuel Alito. He said he was informed.
Alito categorically denied the allegations, as did the donor he allegedly passed on to.
Another fire broke out when Thomas was the sole opponent in a ruling allowing Congress to see several Trump administration documents related to the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol.
Politics took a turn for the worse when it was later revealed that Thomas’ wife was keenly involved in efforts to overturn the election results.
Ginny Thomas, in direct communication with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, wrote:
Also under scrutiny is former Thomas clerk John Eastman.
It turns out that he offered the defeated president advice on how to file a lawsuit to keep him in office.
I wrote the award-winning biography of Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court. Thomas sits in the seat Marshall once had.
In my opinion, he is the gold standard for a modern Supreme Court justice. His agenda was to pursue equal justice for all. That meant advocating for the protection of the individual liberties of racial minorities, women and children.
Conservative critics complained that he was a liberal activist in court.
But even critics agree that he did not act as part of a newly powerful majority to persuade his fellow judges to reach his political agenda on the basis of existing law. increase.
As one of Marshall’s former clerks, current Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said in September: A series of policies Her view is superseding another. ”
Welcome to the New Year with the Supreme Court in need of a fence to prevent public outrage.
Juan Williams is an author and political analyst for the Fox News Channel.