“…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.. .”
The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence begins with words that are fundamental to the United States of America. He goes on to say that the role of government is to protect these rights. Yet three recent Supreme Court decisions will undermine, not protect, the ability of citizens to live lives consistent with the ideals of the Declaration. The Court ignored the dignity of existing human life and tragically failed to address the quality of life concerns essential to prosperity. This will hinder societal progress and hamper entrepreneurial and business potential. The rulings are based on an interpretation of outdated legal doctrine that is completely at odds with the general sentiment of the American public. They further erode a societal fabric and render society even more incapable of meeting the challenges of social injustice, inequality, mental illness and climate change.
In the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Court overturned decades of established precedent. In its stated concern to protect unborn life, the Court held that a woman’s right to decide whether or not to pursue a pregnancy is not found in the Constitution. Only legislation at the federal level, highly unlikely in the current congressional constellation, could grant such a right. The judgment allows the laws of each state to restrict this right. As a result, female human capital will move to states where health care provisions during pregnancy will not be violated. The decision will create a powerful gender imbalance that will impact society and diversity-focused businesses. This will drive more innocent children into abject poverty, with over 400,000 young people already in foster care.
Barely a week later, the reverse logic was applied by the Court in the case NYSPRA versus Bruen case. In a country that has lost control over gun licensing and has seen 314 mass shootings so far this year, including in the Brooklyn subway and most recently a Fourth of July parade, Illinois Supreme Court has struck down the United States’ right to control the carrying of firearms outside the home. The case involved a New York law that had been successfully in effect for more than a century. By declaring the New York law unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, the Court endangers the lives of those currently alive (while invoking the protection of the unborn child in its abortion ruling). The Court ignores the armed violence that is decimating innocent lives across the country. Such a sophisticated interpretation of the Second Amendment does not accord with the resounding words of the Declaration of Independence. The Court’s hyper-originalist approach is flawed in ways that are reprehensible given the technological development of automatic weapons and devoid of the common sense possessed by a majority of Americans, according to recent polls. It destroys quality of life by replacing coercion governed by the rule of law with the rule of the craziest equipped with the most sophisticated automatic magazine. In the environment created by the Court’s decision, innovation, business risk appetite and secure and societal stable legal frameworks will disappear faster than they emerged.
Regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in the West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an independent executive agency, the Supreme Court invoked, for the first time, the infamous “major issue” doctrine. On the back of the latter, the Supreme Court, probably intentionally, defined in very broad terms that the regulatory agency must have clear statutory authorization from Congress to take regulatory action and not rely on its authority to general agency. Again, the notion of protection of unborn life (mentioned in the abortion rights opinion) is entirely abandoned to leave the young life totally unprotected, as children and their next generations will suffer the most from poor air quality, higher temperatures and a more polluted environment. environment.
The quest for happiness, threatened by a current record of 421 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere, by Salt Lake City Lake and the Colorado Reservoir in the midst of a crisis mortgaging the future supply of water, and “wet bulb phenomena, a literally deadly condition of 95 degrees Fahrenheit at 100% humidity, resulting in deaths on the doorstep of the United States, has been gravely threatened by Supreme Court justices. Unequivocal evidence, obtained by more than 11,000 scientistswhich issued dire warnings and urgent recommendations to decarbonize the economy did not even get the Court to include safe harbor language in its ruling, in favor of the EPA.
Faced with a truly overheated planet, the Supreme Court has deprived itself of the opportunity to make a Solomonic decision, combining concern for the lives of citizens and appropriate guidance from regulatory authorities. The Court could have allowed sunset provisions to the current regulator until clear legislative guidance was provided by Congress.
Suppose there is an advantage, in this sustained pursuit of the protection and happiness of human life, in removing regulatory authority from unelected government officials to the voice and vote of the people, the duly elected members of Congress .
Enter the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision. The controversial move removed age-old limitations on campaign finance and offered corporations and special interest groups the option of pumping unlimited funds into elections. As a result, the vote of the people was largely relegated to the vote of society with the deepest pockets. This provision allowed the West Virginia senator Joe Manchin, widely backed by the coal industry, to hold the Democratic Party hostage to its climate campaign ambitions. A person has blocked the will of the people, duly expressed according to the results of the 2020 popular vote. The freedom of the individual person has been sold to the mercantile interests of big business.
And a further erosion of people’s rights to have their voices heard in democratic elections could be on the horizon by a fourth Supreme Court ruling. As Robert Barnes of the Washington Post wrote in a recent article:
“On Thursday, the Supreme Court said it would consider what would be a sweeping change in the way federal elections are conducted, giving state legislatures exclusive power to set the rules for contests even if their actions violate state constitutions. States and resulted in extreme partisan gerrymandering for Congressional seats.”
This provision would allow voters in the state to recommend the next presidential candidate in addition to the outcome of the popular vote in that state.
In the Moore v. Harper case, which is looming, the central issue in the debate is the “doctrine of the independent state legislature”. The court’s potential opinion would do nothing less than offer state legislatures the option to simply hand the election over to the candidate of their choice. By NPR, “The independent state legislature theory was first invoked by three conservative justices of the United States Supreme Court in the famous Bush v. Gore case that handed the 2000 election victory to George W. Bush. .”
The current Supreme Court has enough experience in this area. One of the 2000 Supreme Court justices was Clarence Thomas, now the most senior member, who cited the doctrine in support of the selection of a Republican slate of presidential voters. Members Brett Kavanaughas part of Bush Jr.’s legal team and Amy Barrette, as a member of the law firm Baker Botts, both worked on the Bush v. Gore case, in which the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in December 2000 to halt the recount of the presidential elections in the state of Florida . In 2000, current member of the Supreme Court John Roberts advised Florida Governor Jeb Bush, brother of George W. Bush, regarding the governor’s actions during the Florida election recount in the presidential election.
Such a court decision would dismantle the separation of the three branches of power. The judiciary would simply enact, in the tiniest footnote, constitutional language written by a prospective legislature, itself fully guided by the GOP’s largest funding base, the Republican Party, and its next presidential candidate. presidency.
The 2024 presidential elections could potentially be decided by as few as 100 state voters, regardless of the outcome of the popular vote in each state.
The Supreme Court appears to be at full throttle to slash essential freedoms and the pursuit of happiness, whether in the form of women’s ability to choose individual health choices, citizens’ freedom from fear of gun violence random, a planet protected for future generations and an individual vote that is not suppressed but can express the will of the people.
America in 2022 is living its Weimar moment of the 1930s. The republic offers built-in protection of rights, life, and the pursuit of happiness, primary conditions for economic and societal well-being. These apply by extension to the Making America Great Again ambition.
With the Supreme Court’s credibility in tatters, this same republic is crumbling before our eyes, and everyone watches in silence.