Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024

How the US Supreme Court is reshaping America

How the US Supreme Court is reshaping America

In the space of just 10 days there have been dramatic changes in America. Major decisions that will shape everything from environmental policy to abortion rights have been announced - but not by the president or by Congress. It is the Supreme Court which currently exercises the power to really change peoples lives.

The Democrats may control the White House and both houses of Congress but they don't have enough votes to pass much of their political agenda. Instead, in a series of rulings that are as contentious as they are momentous, the Supreme Court is shaping the future of America - taking it in a very different direction from the one US President Joe Biden had envisaged.

The overturning of Roe v Wade has provoked fury and despair amongst pro-choice campaigners as well as jubilation from anti-abortion activists who have been working for nearly 50 years to get to this point. But rather than settle the matter, the court's decision has set up the likelihood of legal challenges in states across the country, meaning the battle over abortion will continue for years to come.

The abortion ruling has grabbed the most attention. But other decisions from the Supreme Court will have truly global impact.

The last decision it issued before the end of this current term effectively made it impossible for the US to pass meaningful green policy, by ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot impose limits on carbon emissions unless fresh legislation from Congress specifically authorises it to do so.

US President Joe Biden, who came to office with a pledge to tackle climate change, knows he does not have enough votes to pass a bill that would force power companies to move away from using heavily polluting coal to produce electricity.

Fences have been put up outside the court house due to protests

This is not the only example of the Supreme Court butting heads with the president.

Last week, President Biden signed into law a historic gun-control bill, the first of its kind in 30 years. Spurred on by the horrific massacre of 19 primary school children in Uvalde, Texas, politicians on both sides of the aisle agreed to a very limited set of new gun control laws.

While the gun control bill didn't go nearly as far as many had hoped, it was a historic first, and a rare example of bipartisanship. But that win was tempered by the court's decision to overturn a New York gun regulation that required people to have permits to carry guns outside their homes

Issued the same day as the federal gun control bill passed the Senate, the Supreme Court effectively stripped states of the power to put significant limits on gun ownership.

As a result of these controversial rulings, the branch of government that is meant to be the most impartial and least partisan currently appears to be highly political.

Only three out of the nine justices were nominated by Democratic presidents

Polling suggests that the court is out of step with public opinion. Two-thirds of Americans did not want abortion rights to be entirely removed, and around 60% favour more stringent gun control.

There also seems to be diminishing public trust in the Supreme Court itself. Recent polling suggests a sharp decline in public confidence in the court with only a quarter of people saying they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot of confidence" in the court.

It's something that Justice Sonya Sotomayor warned about when the court first heard arguments on the abortion case:

"Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?"

Ms Sotomayor was one of the three liberal justices who disagreed with the abortion ruling and warned about what it could mean for other rights - like same sex marriage and access to contraception.

These liberal justices will continue to be outnumbered by the six conservative judges on the court, three of whom were appointed by former President Donald Trump. Next term, the court will decide over other controversial issues, including voting rights and discrimination against gay people.

What's next for the Supreme Court in the autumn?

*  Moore v. Harper: Should state legislatures have more power over elections?

*  303 Creative LLC v. Elenis: Should a website designer be compelled to make wedding websites for same-sex couples?

*  Students for Fair Admissions' challenges to affirmative action: The court will hear a pair of cases on whether race should be considered in college admissions process

The court's decisions over the past 10 days - and the controversial cases set to come - have done nothing to stop the fracturing of a deeply polarised society. They have even had to erect eight-foot-high security barriers surrounding the courthouse, out of safety concerns.

Remember, at the same time as the country was learning about the court's decisions on abortion, environmental protections and gun rights, Americans were also watching the 6 January committee hearings that described how a sitting president urged an angry crowd, which he knew to be armed, to storm the US Capitol.

Americans are returning from a long weekend celebrating Independence Day, the national holiday that commemorates the democratic freedoms they won when they left the United Kingdom almost 250 years ago. Some may wonder whether the republic today is truly functioning as the founding fathers had intended.


Related Articles

Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner