If you have been reading any news this last few days, you’ll know that there was a draft opinion within the American Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs Wade, returning the matter of abortion to the states.
The most crucial news is that the draft was leaked. A revolutionary development in American history. Now a decision by the Supreme Court is being attacked before it is published. Judges are being pressured to change their stance.
As you would expect, President Biden spoke out against the leak, defended the independence of the Supreme Court and that it was wrong for politicians to involve themselves… no just kidding, he attacked the leaked decision. Separation of powers, what’s that? We even hear new talk of court packing.
Elizabeth warren has suggested the pro-life court justices should be criminally investigated for rejecting precedent. I wonder if she wants Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor investigated as well for violating Baker v. Nelson regarding gay marriage.
It is rather strange to see this attempt at intimidating judges to influence their judgement and the call on Biden to pack the courts, from the same group of people who want Biden to pressure Poland into ending its judicial reforms.
The message once again seems to be: judicial independence means left-wing judges who will oppose right-wing governments but support left-wing ones.
This undermines the actual meaning of judicial independence so much.
Court packing seems unlikely with the current 50-50 stalemate in the senate, thanks to moderates like Manchin. The plan to codify Roe into federal law will likely fail for the same reasons. Moderates want to keep the filibuster.
Democrats will likely hope to truly gain the senate during the midterms so they can enact federal abortion laws with ease and subdue the Conservative majority on the Supreme court. There is some hope a reversal of Roe would cause a reversal of fortune for the Dems. But any decision would likely be around 4 months before the election. If Biden’s policies continue to be as unpopular as they currently are, there will be 4 months for the democrats to lose support again. The other issue is how strong support for Roe is in swing states. The senate is elected on the state level.
The reversal of Roe will only really affect states with clear pro-life majorities anyways. Will abortion being outlawed or limited in red states motivates purple states to give the senate to the Democrats.
If the republicans gain the senate, we’ll likely see a further legislative stalemate, the independence of the supreme court will be reaffirmed and more controversial decisions will likely follow.
But why have we reached the point that a deadlock in congress might be necessary to protect the independence of the Supreme Court?
Honestly, the American constitution is outdated. Court-packing shouldn’t be possible. The number of justices should be defined in the constitution. The constitution should require a supermajority in the senate for confirmation to prevent partisan confirmations.
How is it that Brazil and the Philippines have done more to ensure the independence of their Supreme courts? I guess experience with dictatorships actually taught them something useful.