I can’t seem to wake up from this nightmare.
Those who read here are aware of the litany of horrors that have proceeded from the election of Donald Trump — the Muslim ban, the sadistic “zero tolerance” policy at the southern border, the incompetent liars and buffoons appointed to the cabinet, the destruction of U.S. standing in the world, the reversal of efforts to deal with climate change, and so on ad infinitum.
And now Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring. The Court is currently made up of four liberals, four conservatives, and Kennedy. Kennedy is a Republican, but of the old-fashioned non-partisan persuasion. He believes in the law over ideology, and he has been the “swing vote” over the years, as the Court upheld Roe vs. Wade, acknowledged constitutional rights for same-sex couples, and found the Affordable Care Act constitutional.
The stupid incompetence and game-show theatrics of the Trump administration so far has been nightmare enough, don’t you think? That circus will eventually leave town, but a second Trump appointment to the Court will lock in a highly partisan, super right-wing Supreme Court for the next 30 or 40 years.
Donald Trump will choose from a list of acceptable judges given to him by The Federalist Society. By “acceptable” they mean young and very, very conservative. This year alone, the Court has:
- said it’s OK to discriminate against a group based on your own personal religious beliefs
- told Trump he has the power to implement immigration policy that includes a religious test (“Are you Muslim? Sorry, you can’t come in.”)
- affirmed that it’s cool for Jesus-based anti-abortion “counseling” services to misrepresent their true mission to women seeking information
- gave the go-ahead to Republicans to gerrymander congressional districts to suppress the vote of “those people” who might tend to vote Democratic
- added another nail to the coffin of the labor movement by saying an employee need not join the union or even chip in on negotiating costs to reap the benefits of union representation…
… and that’s with Kennedy on the bench. His replacement will be a 40-something fire-breathing anti-reproductive rights, anti-gay, pro-corporate authoritarian partisan. Republicans have dreamed for decades of eliminating womens’ right to make their own reproductive choices. The new appointment will have already promised (secretly) to overturn Roe vs. Wade. I don’t see how they can be stopped.
Trump’s ignorance, arrogance, deceitfulness and utter incompetence has been hard to take, but as I mentioned above, his actual presidency will only last a certain number of years, and then he will have to leave. But this Supreme Court will outlive him by at least a generation, and the decisions they make will reverse a hundred years of progress toward human rights and the rules of law.