Reactionary – of, pertaining to, marked by, or favoring reaction, esp. extreme conservatism or rightism in politics; opposing political or social change.

The Seattle Times has a piece up this morning calling yesterday “The day Chief Justice Roberts lost his court”.

Not so much.

While it may be true that June 24th, 2022 was the day that made it undeniably clear that Roberts no longer drove the SCOTUS bus, in reality the day that Thomas, Alito and Kavanaugh et al took the Supreme wheel to drive us, enthusiastically, nay, Thelma and Louis like, off a cliff was October 31, 2020, the day that Amy Coney Barret was confirmed to the court and Mitch McConnell’s stated policy of not allowing a Supreme court vacancy to be filled in the year of a Presidential election, let alone just days before one, was tossed into the shit-can of history, and Roberts’ preferred method of eating away at our rights incrementally…

Roberts mostly used that power to nudge the court to the right in measured steps, understanding himself to be the custodian of the court’s prestige and authority. He avoided what he called jolts to the legal system, and he tried to decide cases narrowly.

But that was before a crucial switch. When Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative appointed by former President Donald Trump, succeeded Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal icon, after her death in 2020, Roberts’ power fizzled.“

…was also tossed into the garbage.
Roberts has always been concerned that his tenure as Chief Justice of be viewed by history as what it has undeniably become, a break in the continuity of the history of US Supreme Courts that decided cases, well, judiciously, and had not devolved into a viper pit of reactionary and partisan circus of dictums from on high…

At his confirmation hearing in 2005, Roberts said the Supreme Court should be wary of overturning precedents, in part because doing so threatens the court’s legitimacy.

“It is a jolt to the legal system when you overrule a precedent,” he said. “Precedent plays an important role in promoting stability and evenhandedness.”

How’s that working out for you, John?

The mainstream media, or at least that part of it that likes to pretend that it is dedicated to upholding democratic values must immediately cease referring to this iteration of the court by its favored euphemism “conservative”, and call it out for what it is – an unwelcome and toxic reactionary force in American Politics that seeks to drag the nation, much to the delight of a decided minority of its citizens, into a dark and tragic past.

Labeling it as such may not have the salutary effect of altering the Court’s behavior, but it may at least begin to frame an argument we can use to alter makeup.

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  1. Say goodbye to democracy and welcome to oligarchy.

    When half a dozen non-elected right wingers, including three hand picked from a select lis, supplied by a right wing organisation, by Donald Trump can tell the entire country that they aren’t allowed abortion because ‘it wasn’t in the original constitution’ but they can carry concealed weapons (when the same constitution said ‘bear arms’ and not ‘hide arms’) and the cops can interrogate you without a caution about your right to remain silent, it’s not hard to see who is actually running the place

    Government of the people, by the people and for the people has now become ‘government of the people by a non-elected panel of lawyers for the vested interest of big business and dogmatic, sectarian religious groups ‘

    Back in the day when we in Norn Iron had a Protestant/Unionist permanent majority running the place, there was a ‘Special Powers Act’ which stated, basically, the government minister in charge of law enforcement could do what he liked, when he liked and, in his absence, whoever he appointed could do it for him. How long before a similar law appears over there?


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