From the desk of… A nation of many, represented by few

From the desk of... A nation of many, represented by few

Assuming that the White House errs on the side of sanity, Democrats may be unable to prevent President Trump’s Supreme Court pick from being confirmed. But if they play their cards right, they may be able to highlight the single most important issue now confronting American democracy: increasingly unrepresentative minority rule. On issue after issue, majority views are stifled. Regarding the Supreme Court, Republicans have become precisely what they have long pretended to abhor: a party relying upon unelected “elitist” judges to win political disputes in the courts that they can’t win at the ballot box. As New York’s Jonathan Chait trenchantly points out, Democrats have received more votes than Republican nominees in six out of the last seven presidential elections — starting with Bill Clinton in 1992. Yet four of the eight Supreme Court justices whose judicial activism has dominated American politics since Bush v. Gore — the nakedly partisan decision handing the presidency to George W. Bush, Lion of Baghdad — have been appointed by Republicans. The results have been damaging to our democracy, none more than the 2010 Citizens United decision, in which the Supremes essentially ruled that corporate money is speech, rendering virtually all campaign finance laws toothless on First Amendment grounds. This has corrupted our politics almost beyond measure. In his dissent to the 5-4 decision, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the ruling “threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation … (a) democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent […]

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