At the time, Mitch McConnell had already refused to give even a preliminary hearing for almost a year to President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Right wing evangelicals and other deplorables understood that a Trump victory would give them a chance to place a right wing partisan on the Court, and Trump was given a list of “acceptable” hard core ideologues which he promised to use when he was president. The right wing partisan turned out to be Gorsuch, who now sits on the Court.
After the election, Trump’s lawyer (White House Counsel) Don McGahn conned Anthony Kennedy into retiring, and a second political hack (Kavanaugh) was appointed to the Court, effectively guaranteeing that the Supreme Court is now — and will be for the next 40 years — an arm of the Republican Party. So we can say goodbye to much of the progress we’ve made over the last 75 years:
- women’s reproductive rights
- consumer protection from predatory corporate practices
- the rights of workers to organize and demand safe working conditions and decent pay
- the right of Americans to be safe from crackpots with machine guns
- the rights of legal American citizens to go to the polls and cast their vote in elections
- the rights of communities to receive a fair share of federal funding and equal representation in Congress
These last two are being addressed in the Court today, as they “deliberate” on the question of whether the 2020 census can include a question about citizenship. It’s for sure that if such a question is asked, many minorities will simply hide from the census. They will then be underrepresented, and national policy will be determined for the next ten years based on those false numbers, even thought the Constitution requires that all people in the country be counted. The best guesses from Washington watchers today is that the Court’s right wingers are “leaning” toward undercounting and vote suppression in this case. And of course they would, because they know the Republicans would never win another election if every citizen voted. They will probably render their decision in June.
There is nothing we can do about this. The Supreme Court makes the final decisions on these matters, and they are now determined to remake The United States in the image of the John Birch Society. All of us will deal with a dystopian future, in which rich people and corporations determine the rules for 99% of us, and our only appeal will be to — oops! — the Supreme Court.
And the danger is not past, as the Trump gang is currently trying to get Clarence Thomas to retire, so they can replace that bitter old man with a fresh, bitter young man, so as to keep the “dynasty” in place an extra 30 years. The moral of this story is you should have voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and you should vote for whichever of our great Democratic candidates wins the nomination to run for President in 2020.PS: We need a “blue wave” in the Senate, too, so the Democratic President might be able to get her appointments confirmed, and not blocked by Mitch McConnell.