40 Years of Diminishing Confidence

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Ian Millhiser: The case against the Supreme Court of the United States

The Dobbs decision is the culmination of a decades-long effort by Republicans to capture the Supreme Court and use it, not just to undercut abortion rights but also to implement an unpopular agenda they cannot implement through the democratic process.

The court does well when it guarantees rights to that are unable to pass by majority rule. The court, in my opinion, does a great disservice when it uses its power to take rights away.

One of the most troubling aspects of this Court’s jurisprudence is that it often seems to apply one set of rules to Democrats and a different, more permissive set of rules to Republicans. Last February, for example, Alito voted with four of his fellow Republicans to reinstate an Alabama congressional map that a lower court determined to be an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

In blocking the lower court’s order, Alito joined an opinion arguing that the lower court’s decision was wrong because it was handed down too close to the next election.

But then, in late March, the Court enjoined Wisconsin’s state legislative maps, due to concerns that those maps may give too much political power to Black people. March is, of course, closer to the next Election Day than February. So it is difficult to square the March decision with the approach Alito endorsed in February — though it is notable that the March decision by the Supreme Court benefited the Republican Party, while the previous decision was likely to benefit Democrats.

Others can't do something too close to an election, but you can? That sounds familiar...

Polling as recent as a week ago shows confidence in the Supreme Court dropping slowly over the past 40 years, with just 25% of people today saying they have a good or great amount of confidence in the court. To the point quoted above, Republicans have 39% confidence, while Democrats and independents combine for about 19%. It's worth noting that Republican support plummeted after the court guaranteed rights to gay people, and it rose a ton when they gained a supermajority in the Trump era.