a month it has been. The right-wing dominated Supreme Court voted to
weaken Miranda rights, required states to fund private religious
schools, protected border patrol agents from excessive force claims,
and weakened the requirements for concealed carry laws. Oh, and Roe
was officially overturned.
ruling nullified a precedent that had been the law of the land for
almost half a century. While the judgment was not totally surprising,
the court’s decision sent seismic shockwaves throughout the
nation and reverberated abroad as well. As if this announcement
wasn’t chilling enough to many people, an adjacent opinion
written by Justice Clarence Thomas indicated that the increasingly
ideological court may target more established decisions
far-right justice stated that the court should consider revisiting
cases relating to access to contraception and also to same-sex
marriage and relationships. Among the previous decisions that Thomas
(1965) established the right of married couples to purchase
contraception without government restriction.
(2003) set that criminal punishments for those who commit “sodomy”
(2015) established a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
argued that: “[W]e have a duty to ‘correct the error’
established in those precedents. … After overruling these
demonstrably erroneous decisions, the question would remain whether
other constitutional provisions guarantee the myriad rights that our
substantive due process cases have generated.”
some other pundits and political observers have deftly noted, in his
list of established precedents, Thomas omitted Loving
the 1967 Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage.
Hmmm? I guess this ruling hits too close to home for Thomas.
truth is the conservative right has shrewdly and strategically
(albeit in a perverse and sinister manner) played the long game.
Republicans took cognizance of the success that the left had garnered
during the 1960s, such as its monumental victories with the Civil
Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965), culminating with
the ratification of Roe
in the early 1970s. Conservative activists then realized that they
could employ similar strategies.
previous generations of conservatives, who were largely content with
the status quo, this group of reactionary right wingers have demanded
radical and regressive change. Such conservatives hate the left, as
they deem them as being sympathetic or indifferent to communism. They
view mainstream Republicans as pretty much harboring the same values
as centrist Democrats on fiscal matters and as liberals on social
issues. They deeply resent the civil rights movement for striking at
the heart of Jim Crow and segregation. The modern feminist movement
has earned their ire as well. However, due to its intense bipartisan
interest, abortion became the poster child for their decades-long
as liberals championed politicians like Lyndon B. Johnson, Eugene
McCarthy, and Robert Kennedy, conservatives rallied around political
figures such as Ronald Reagan and Pat Buchanan. Although many saw
Reagan as the political leader who would lead them to the promised
land, Reagan largely gave lip service to the political and cultural
right without enacting much of its political agenda.
W. Bush Sr. had an adversarial relationship with this group, and his
son, George W. Bush Jr., was viewed as the sort of neoconservative
who personified the epitome of all they despised. Ironically, it was
the thrice-married, womanizing, crude-talking, habitual sinner,
occasional Democrat-voting, and non-ideological Donald Trump who
delivered much of their agenda for them. The old adage “politics
makes strange bedfellow” certainly rings true in this case
after realizing their decades-long goal of getting Roe
repealed, as Justice Thomas has made it clear, the conservative far
right is wasting no time in making sure as much of its political plan
is swiftly implemented as possible. Indeed, in response to the
verdict, Texas Senator John Cornyn remarked, “Now do Plessy
v. Board of Education.”
After predictable public outrage, the senator attempted to clarify
his remarks claiming that he had been trying to say that Brown
(1954) overturned Plessy
truth is the far right is increasingly saying out loud the quiet
parts of their discourse. Feeling ever more emboldened by the rulings
of the past few years, including last week’s Supreme Court
judgment, they have made no secret of their long-intended goal to do
everything in their power to ensure that non-White Christians, women,
the disabled, and LGBTQ people have few, if any, rights, protections,
or claims to citizenship.
many of them believe, the light at the end of the tunnel can be seen
and they intend to reach it. People of good will must make every
effort to combat such an outcome.