Fri. Oct 23rd, 2020


With the death of the Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on September 18, our nation, which had been so badly shaken in recent months, was shaken to the core. Her death has already rocked the 2020 elections – and it will have far-reaching implications for the composition and possibly structure of the Supreme Court, changing the legal terrain for a generation of American life.

While I’d like to get on my DeLorean and report on the lasting effects of her death from 2050, for example, we have more immediate concerns: the Supreme Court will start hearing cases again on October 5th.

The court’s 2020-21 tenure was challenging even before Ginsburg’s death. The minutes are piled with follow-up cases, with the court being asked to hear key arguments about the Affordable Care Act, police brutality, and whether governments can ban contracts with religious organizations that discriminate against gay and lesbian couples. A case is also being weighed against Facebook, which will determine whether the Justice Department must finally release the full report from Special Adviser Robert Mueller.

And the court can be asked to intervene in the presidential election. The power of the Supreme Court to determine the fate of a controversial election – and essentially determine the president – lurks beneath the waves, blue or otherwise, like a deep-sea monster ready to rip the ship of state in half.

All of this was bad news when there were four Liberals on the field. Regardless of how the reserve fight goes in Ginsburg, the liberal judges are likely to be outdone. If Republicans manage to ram Donald Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett in the next few weeks, the court will rule some or all of these cases with six Republican presidential-appointed judges and only three Democratic-appointed judges. But even if the Democrats hold off an appointment and only leave eight judges in place, it will be difficult for liberal arguments to prevail. This is because even in the event of a tie, the lower court decision will stand, which means that all of the work the GOP has done to stack the lower courts comes into play. As of now, Neil Gorsuch – the man raised to the country’s highest court after the Senate Republicans blocked Merrick Garland’s affirmation – is the court’s swing justice.

If the law were objective, the death of a Supreme Court would not have a massive impact on the outcome of the presidential election or the availability of health care in America. If the law were apolitical, changing judges would be like changing meteorologists: there would be a debate about where a hurricane could land, but everyone would agree on the existence of a storm.

But if there ever was legal objectivity, it was wiped out 20 years ago Bush versus Gore. At this point the Supreme Court proved by 5-4 votes that it was a purely political branch. And then the Democrats should have pledged to fight the Republicans for control of the court by whatever means possible. If the Supreme Court can turn the election back to the Republican candidate, it is because the Democrats did not address the court’s balance after the last presidential election.

Hopefully it won’t take the left another 20 years to learn this lesson. As we look at the critical cases in court during this term in office, we must realize that these battles have already been lost in many ways. The issues facing this court have been presented in a way that accepts Republican theories and priorities. We are discussing religious freedoms for Christians who want to be bigoted, not for Muslims who want to worship freely. We’re discussing Facebook’s ability to perform the internet equivalent of robocalls, not individual privacy rights on the platform. We discuss whether police violate constitutional rights by shooting unarmed people in the back who then escape, rather than whether police are arrested and charged with attempted murder.

If we are to change the outcome of some of these cases, we must combat Trump’s attempt to replace Ginsburg. If we want to change the next generation of legal debates, we need to restructure the Supreme Court.

Democracy against voter suppression

P.The single most important case the Supreme Court will rule on during its fall semesters is one that doesn’t even exist: the one it may have to rule in the event of a controversial election. I don’t know if the court will be asked to elect the president as it did in 2000 with its decision Bush versus Goreor whether it is asked to cast the decisive vote in a tight Senate race that determines the balance of power in the Chamber. Or maybe the court will simply be asked to put a stamp on it and put some legal scholars around the coup that Trump is trying to create.

What I do know is that lawsuits are coming. It is hard to imagine that 2020 will be a presidential election scenario without a series of litigation. There will be lawsuits alleging that election officials failed to count or counted the ballot papers incorrectly. There will be lawsuits for election fraud. There will be lawsuits alleging that some constituencies opened their elections too late or closed too early. Too much is at stake and Trump has too effectively undermined confidence in the American electoral process. I hope there are only complaints, otherwise there will be blood.





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By ashish

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