SCOTUS apoplexy for a couple of days. Then what?

Let us count the ways SCOTUS has, in the past couple of years, roused a majority of us citizens to a towering rage.

Let us also count the groups of enraged citizens.

Let us, but first…

A few days ago I had lunch with two friends and my brother. At some point I turned to my brother and said, “I think we are the only two people in this country who believe what the Supreme Court has done is going to turn out well for us.”

“Oh yeah,” said my brother.

Since you’re neither my brother nor me, I’d better explain before you think we’ve gone senile or gone even worse, over to a dark side.

The unseemly rush

Après the SCOTUS deluge, I was struck by the unseemly and pretty foolish rush to damage us so seriously. Whap whap whap. Why so fast? Are they scared of something?

Had they been subtle and canny, they would have sneaked their religiously ordained apocalypse in over a number of years, in the silly hope we’d get upset and then forget about it. Instead, they piled on.

The absence of comprehensible rationality

Then, their destruction was so absurdly illogical and unintelligent. As Garrett Epps wrote in The Washington Monthly, “John Roberts’s Tiresome Act,” 

The majority’s toxic post-Dobbs jurisprudence blends two elements. First, as mentioned above, is the Thomas-Alito turn away from the future to the past. Consequences do not matter, nor do the lives of the present generation—only the practices of those long dead. 

The second element is Roberts’s I’m-just-a-lawyer dodge. It has to be said that Roberts, with two degrees from Harvard, is among the most educated lawyers ever to sit on the high bench. But not since the late Chief Justice Warren Burger—and perhaps not even since the late and infamous Justice James Clark McReynolds—has a Supreme Court justice been so openly, flamboyantly anti-intellectual as Roberts.

So they’re not too smart?

I read some excerpts from these opinions and I had a supplemental take: these justices don’t even make an effort to wrap their regressive silliness in tortured language, the way Rehnquist did, to see if they can bore us into believing there’s deep thinking, not just ideology, in their decisions. Either they’re so terminally smug they think they don’t have to make an effort (I suppose worshiping an omnipotent god has this effect on people), or they’re so shallow in their capacity to express themselves, they can’t make an effort. Because they’re not smart enough.

Radical actions always produce re-actions.

In the course of history, radical actions have always produced re-actions. Back in our past — you know, that past where Alito and Thomas have dragged us because they live there — re-actions used to take a long time. But The SCOTUS Six don’t seem to realize the communications revolution produced our high-speed information highway. We know what they’ve done even before they’ve done it.

This is primarily what my bro and I were thinking of.

Are these acts of destruction eternal?

Oh fuck no. And even the Six realized this: they’ve tossed some of their opinions back into the laps of the states to deal with or, in what they must have felt was a big sneer, to Congress. Which can, given a solid Democratic majority, squash these anachronisms into the ground, sort of like stepping on lantern flies.


How can we depend on Congress to rectify the chaos SCOTUS has created? By electing a Congress which will do exactly that.

Congressional Democrats have already written the laws negating these SCOTUS decisions and have them stacked up and ready for the full legislative process. (I know this because Democratic Senators have regularly announced their legislation on Twitter and other social media platforms. It’s really good stuff.)

And here’s why I believe it’ll happen: because of all the people SCOTUS has enraged and/or threatened. Here they are, grouped in alphabetical order:

  • Atheists, agnostics and everybody who isn’t a Christian.
  • Black voters and other minority voters who do not like having their rights as citizens threatened and suppressed. Again.
  • Citizens concerned with climate control and clean water, who do not like the SCOTUS judgment against the EPA and other protective agencies.
  • Enemies of Big Dark Money, i.e., rich guys buying government and courts.
  • Ethics-minded voters.
  • LGBTQ folk and their family members.
  • Moms Demand Action against guns. Everybody against guns, including New Yorkers and visitors who are sickened to see signs banning weapons in our museums.
  • Physicians and all health care workers.
  • Pro-choicers.
  • Students. (Affirmative action and punitive loans.)
  • Teachers.
  • Unions and unionists.
  • Women.

Have I left anybody out?

There’s overlap, of course. I, for one, belong to a number of these voting groups and am passionately empathetic with the others. But my multiple memberships do not dilute my rage. Indeed, as I put this list together, my fury and disgust accumulated with every attacked group.

It’s tiresome, I know, always to answer the question, “What do we do now?” with, “Vote.”

Our right to elect our government is our supreme power, far greater than any court. Think of it, rising up with multi-millions of our fellow citizens at voting booths.

That’s one helluva revolution.

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One Response to SCOTUS apoplexy for a couple of days. Then what?

  1. Deborah Fein says:

    I do hope you are correct but the motivations driving voters is complicated and sometimes very very selfish.

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