Supreme Court Could Go Totally Extremist This Term

Supreme Court Could Go Totally Extremist This Term

Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that three members of the Supreme Court’s dominant conservative bloc have complained publicly in recent weeks about criticism of SCOTUS for its increasingly partisan and ideological tendencies. After all, liberal-bloc stalwart Justice Stephen Breyer preceded Justices Clarence Thomas , Samuel Alito , and Amy Coney Barrett in kvetching about media and activist incomprehension of the Court’s high-minded, almost holy mission. But it’s possible the conservatives are anticipating some decisions in the term that began on October 4 which could ratchet up criticism of the Court’s willingness to overturn precedents on behalf of a partisan or ideological agenda, and they are trying to discredit such criticism early and often. It could indeed be an epochal term. Vox’s Ian Millhiser has identified no fewer than nine issues on which the Court could hand down a landmark decision. But as detailed below, there are three areas where the potential for a radical departure in constitutional law is especially high. In all three, moreover, the Court’s rightward lurch reflects not just trends in conservative legal circles, but priorities of the Republican Party on matters in which the two major parties are almost completely polarized. The long-awaited reversal of abortion rights To cite the best-known example first, the conservative majority of the Court is poised to reverse or at least significantly undermine 47 years of precedents supporting a constitutional right to previability abortions in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization , a case arising from a Mississippi law banning […]

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