After years of ideologically tinged Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage and campaign finance that pleased the left, suddenly the left is horrified if some those sloppy, politicized decisions may be thrown out.Linda Greenhouse, a former Supreme Court reporter for the New York Times, still opines for the paper, and she is on a jihad against the current Court, now with three Trump-appointed justices.
Hyperbolic language dominated her latest liberal screed discrediting the body, “Trump Weaponized the Supreme Court.” There’s a strong echo of the paper’s current SCOTUS correspondent Adam Liptak, who has also accused the court of weaponizing the First Amendment in defense of Christianity. Odd how journalists now see the protections of the First Amendment as a threat.
When the Supreme Court overturned a 41-year precedent three years ago and ruled that public employees have a right under the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee not to pay union dues, Justice Elena Kagan accused the 5-to-4 majority of “weaponizing the First Amendment” to serve its anti-labor agenda.
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Her powerful dissenting opinion in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees helped propel the “weaponizing” image into circulation as an apt description of how the court’s conservatives were hijacking the First Amendment and converting it into a tool of deregulation.
Now it’s the Supreme Court itself that has been weaponized.
With the accuracy of a drone strike, the three justices appointed by President Donald Trump and strong-armed through to confirmation by Senator Mitch McConnell, then the majority leader, are doing exactly what they were sent to the court to do.
Suddenly, when abortion rights are on the line and Roe v. Wade is finally coming under well-deserved fire, “settled precedent” is vital, even if the theoretical underpinnings of such precedent have long been discredited.
The resulting path of destruction of settled precedent and long-established norms is breathtaking. Despite the increasingly plaintive reminders by Chief Justice John Roberts that, as he wrote in dissent in the Texas abortion case last week, “it is the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system that is at stake,” the new majority has refused to defend the supremacy of federal law in the face of open defiance by Texas….
Greenhouse waxed expansive on the “constitutional right to abortion” (which is not in the Constitution) while trying to hem in the implication of the right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment (actually in the Constitution).
The imminent evisceration of the constitutional right to abortion, clearly apparent from the Dec. 1 argument in the Mississippi abortion case, is only the beginning. The argument last month in a case from New York on how strictly a state can regulate the carrying of concealed weapons strongly suggested that the court will expand the boundaries of the Second Amendment well beyond the 2008 Heller decision, which found a right to keep a handgun at home for self-defense and was itself a transformation of the long- established understanding that the amendment protected a collective right rather than an individual one.
Isn’t it odd that the Second Amendment, protecting the right to bear arms, is the only amendment that protects a collective right, not an individual one?
Greenhouse circled back to Justice Kagan’s “grim forecast of the deluge to come,” and concluded: “This weaponized Supreme Court could reshape American life in profound ways. How the country responds will be the story of the coming months and years.”