America is safer on this Saturday morning than it was a day ago, if only because the Supreme Court has temporarily laid down its weapons. But the Court has reached this cease-fire only after pockmarking our national landscape with judicial bombshell craters.
Certainly, the damage could have been worse. SCOTUS kept its MAGA nuke in its silo when it ruled 8-1 (with Clarence Thomas dissenting) that state legislatures do not have the right to right to control federal election rules and procedures in their respective states without judicial oversight. A different outcome in that case would have marked the end of our republic. No, I’m not kidding, and no, I’m not exaggerating.
Leaving my rose-colored glasses on my nose for at least the moment, there was never a chance the justices would leave Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan in place. Regardless of one’s stance on this issue, the plan was clearly an executive overreach and clearly usurped Congressional control of our national purse. Legally, SCOTUS got that one right. Biden essentially wrote a check with his mouth that his ass could not cash. And he knew it. That’s why he had a “Plan B” ready to go just hours after the Court shot down his original executive order. TBC.
Ending affirmative action in college admissions was a landmark decision whose cultural, racial, educational, economic and political impact cannot be overstated. This one digs nearly as deeply into our national fabric as last year’s reversal of Roe did. Nevertheless—in my last desperate attempt at optimism—the Court did provide a “workaround” that gives admission boards some squirm room in preserving campus diversity.
OK. Now I’m wiping the thin, wan, insincere smile off my face.
The Court’s decision in the case involving the Colorado website designer wannabe is an outrage that should scare the bejabbers out of every American who cares not only about social justice, but also about mere judicial competence. The majority opinion—as written by Neil Gorsuch—is an incoherent, inconsistent, inscrutable, labyrinthine, tortuous, disingenuous mess. In fact, it’s an embarrassment that should stick eternally to the robes of the six justices who abandoned all pretense of legal scholarship in favor of MAGA pandering.
First, the hate-filled plaintiff in this case, a Colorado woman named Lorie Smith, had no legal standing and had not been damaged in the slightest. Not only did she have no dog in the fight, there was no fight and no dog. The “case” was purely hypothetical. “Hey, let’s just say I wanted to design websites for weddings. And, just, you know, for shits and grins, let’s say a same-sex couple wanted to book my services for their wedding. Would I have to do it? Because, you know, the whole same-sex thingy is against my religious beliefs.”
Friends, that’s not the way this is supposed to work. This sham case should have been laughed out of court at the lowest judicial level. Again, this should be unsettling for any American citizen.
And that’s before Ol’ Neil even picked up his pen, resulting in a logical and even grammatical trainwreck.
So, presumably, at least for the moment, if you sell car batteries you do have to accept business from the LGBTQ community, because, hell, it’s a car battery.
But if you offer “expressive goods,” like, uh, say a website or a cake, you are free to discriminate against whomever you want on “free speech” and First Amendment grounds.
You see a problem here? What qualifies as “expressive” goods and services? What doesn’t? Who decides? And what will now keep the aforementioned car battery salesman from claiming that he too operates an “expressive” business?
Oh, and there’s now nothing preventing bigots masquerading as “Krisschins” from extending their discrimination to any individual or group they dislike. Jews. Muslims. Atheists. People of color.
And this is not alarmism or a false fear. I sometimes think Justice Sotomayor over-dramatizes her statements and reactions. But not this time. She had every right to scream “Fire!”
The Supreme Court of the United States just legalized discrimination and relegated selected groups of American citizens to second-class status. And they have opened the door to unlimited expansion of that “second-class” list.
And in so doing, six justices just accessorized their black robes with red ballcaps.
Courts are supposed to clean up messes, not create them. Can you imagine the volume of unfounded and frivolous litigation this decision will now trigger?
Gorsuch has crapped on the carpet.