The year Supreme Court conservatives made their mark

The year Supreme Court conservatives made their mark

Over the last year, the Supreme Court’s newly solidified conservative majority has made clear that it is willing to forgo a deliberate pace of justice in favor of a race to the right, leaving behind the liberal justices and at times Republican-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts. The conservatives on the bench, including all three of former President Donald Trump’s nominees, cast votes to take up a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and hear a Second Amendment case that could expand gun rights. They have moved to bolster religious freedom protections and could soon take on affirmative action as well as election-related disputes. Perhaps most notably, the court allowed a Texas six-week abortion ban to remain on the books, even though it directly contradicts the court’s nearly 50-year-old precedent. The last 12 months have confirmed not only where the court is heading, but how fast it might get there. Staring at the prospect of decades in dissent in the cases that most capture the public’s attention, some progressives want to expand the number of justices on the court to dilute the conservative majority. But a commission set up by President Joe Biden to explore court reform made no formal recommendations, only saying that there is “profound disagreement” on whether to expand the court. That means if Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, announces his retirement by July, as is widely expected, his replacement will be younger and maybe more liberal, but she could be in the minority on the most socially […]

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