The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments next term that could turn elections over to states. Depending on how the court votes, justices could give virtually unchecked power to state legislatures without oversight by state courts. If this doesn’t scare you out of your mind then you don’t understand the implication.
Historically and Constitutionally it has always been the duty of the Supreme Court to review individual state actions — and the duty of state courts to review the actions of state legislatures. If they act irresponsibly and in contravention to the Constitution, SCOTUS could cede that power entirely to the state legislators. There is absolutely no reason for this to happen except one: the Court is deliberately making a partisan play in favor of the Republican Party and against the common good. Since they already did that in a recent ruling on guns and abortion rights, there is reason to fear they will do it again with state control of elections next term.
In the minds of many radical Republicans democracy is bad. The poison from that idea has now infected the heart and blood of SCOTUS.
The alarm was sounded by Paul Begala, a former advisor to President Bill Clinton. Begala noted on CNN that SCOTUS has agreed to take up Harper v. Moore in its next session. Law & Crime notes that Harper is a voting rights case that “challenges a decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court invalidating the maps of the state’s GOP-dominated General Assembly for partisan gerrymandering.”
Judicial review of state actions has long been the bedrock of American democracy. Leaving decisions about how to conduct elections to the state legislators would mean that Republican legislatures could heavily slant elections in favor of Republican candidates without oversight or interference from the judiciary. Depending on how far these legislators are willing to take it, that could essentially guarantee a point where only Republicans could get elected to public office. Since the legislators in swing states are mostly Republican, it could also make it virtually impossible for a Democrat to be elected to the presidency.
Gone is the hallowed image of impartial sanity that SCOTUS used to enjoy. Today’s SCOTUS as it’s composed is deeply inimical to democracy and biased toward the Republican Party. This Trojan Court, created by 3 Trump-appointed justices willing to commit perjury to get appointed, is setting America up for Republican dictatorship. It’s time to increase the number of justices from 9 to 13. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.