The Supreme Court Has Lost Its Way …

The Supreme Court, the branch of the federal government that is supposed to be most independent, that is intended to hold the executive and legislative branches accountable, has made two major decisions today that indicate they have fallen and landed squarely in the camp of Donald Trump.  I am beyond disappointed … I am incensed, and I see our rights as citizens of this plutocracy going down the drain. supreme court justices

Supreme Court revives Trump’s transgender military ban

The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Trump administration to go ahead with its plan to restrict military service by transgender people while court challenges continue.  The court split 5-4 in allowing the plan to take effect, with the court’s five conservatives greenlighting it and its four liberal members saying they would not have.

Until a few years ago service members could be discharged from the military for being transgender. That changed under President Barack Obama. The military announced in 2016 that transgender individuals already serving in the military would be allowed to serve openly. And the military set July 1, 2017 as the date when transgender individuals would be allowed to enlist.

Trump, of course, had to undo that, for two reasons:  a) it was a decision made during the Obama administration, and Trump has a goal to undo every single thing Obama did, and b) because Donald Trump and his supporters are homophobic bigots.  There is no viable reason to ban transgender people from the military, and this decision does not reflect the feelings of the majority in this nation!

Supreme Court returns to gun rights for 1st time in 9 years

The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will take up its first gun rights case in nine years, a challenge to New York City’s prohibition on carrying a licensed, locked and unloaded handgun outside the city limits.  The court’s decision to hear the appeal filed by three New York residents and New York’s National Rifle Association affiliate could signal a revived interest in gun rights by a more conservative court. The case won’t be argued until October.

New York’s ordinance allows people licensed to have handguns to carry them outside the home to gun ranges in the city. The guns must be locked and unloaded.  The city residents who filed suit want to practice shooting at target ranges outside the city or take their guns to second homes elsewhere in New York state.  The city’s top lawyer, Zachary Carter, urged the court to reject the case, arguing that the restrictions allowed New York police to reduce the number of guns carried in public.

Just about the last … the very last … thing we need in this country is an expansion of 2nd Amendment ‘rights’!  The NRA has already nearly ensured that gun deaths in the U.S. will continue to be the highest per capita on the globe.  What do we want … are we shooting for some sort of record here … “let’s see if we can top last year’s gun deaths”?

Both of these issues are beyond merely concerning on their own merit, but the even greater concern is the trend that is appearing.  It is a trend we all feared when first, Neil Gorsuch, then Brett Kavanaugh were seated on the Supreme Court.  It is deeply disturbing that the Supreme Court appears to be making decisions strictly along partisan lines rather than considering issues on Constitutional merit.  The real concern, however, lies on the path ahead.  There are two prior Supreme Court rulings that ultra-conservative republicans, evangelicals, Trump’s base, want to see overturned:  Roe v Wade, and Obergefell v Hodges.  The first guarantees a woman the right to make decisions about her own body, her own life.  The second guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry.  Both were long, hard-fought battles and are, in short, about human rights … civil rights.

In addition to those, it is highly likely that the Supreme Court will soon be asked to hear cases involving gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement.  Our constitutional rights … all of them … may be in jeopardy if the Court cannot manage to overcome it’s partisanship.  After Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation, Chief Justice John Roberts, in an effort to quell growing concerns of partisanship on the Court, made the following statement:

“… We do not sit on opposite sides of an aisle, we do not caucus in separate rooms, we do not serve one party or one interest. We serve one nation. And I want to assure all of you that we will continue to do that to the best of our abilities, whether times are calm or contentious.”

Prove that to us, please, Chief Justice.

47 thoughts on “The Supreme Court Has Lost Its Way …

  1. The long term problem which naturally Trump wouldn’t consider but cooler heads need to is this.
    If the Supreme Court is perceived by the majority to no longer be independent but a mouth-piece of one group then it loses its traditional credibility. Whereas this does not have an immediate effect, the slow corrosion over the years will lead to a separating of The People from The State, as the legislature and judiciary are seen simple tools.
    Thus would begin the separating of the USA as we knew it, as States and Cities begin to challenge Washington. Now this would give an intelligent president of any stripe pause for thought, but if another fool like Trump turns up and tries to impose their will by military force, in a gun-owning nation, which has this ‘thing’ about Central Government…..well you can see the problem.
    And Trump’s legacy….a debate as to who was worse him or Millard Filmore?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are quite right, and I already feel that the credibility of the Court and Congress have been compromised. Not, mind you, beyond repair … yet … but compromised for certain. I think that Trump’s presidency is going to bring about many changes and alterations to our government, one way or another. One can hope that we learn a lesson from this and that changes will be positive, such as abolishing the electoral college so that every vote actually counts. Or revisions of campaign finance regulations. Or educational and experience requirements for presidential candidates. But, in all honesty, I am not holding my breath on that. If Trump is allowed to continue his bullying tactics, especially for another 6 years, then I think the changes that come will be simply more steps toward a dictatorship and by 2024, who knows whether there will even be an election. In truth, who knows whether there will even be a world left at that point. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s just it … the president cannot fire them, nor does he have any control over their salary, so in theory, at least, they cannot be influenced by either the president or the Congress. Until recently, that has actually worked well, but the bully sitting in the Oval Office has changed everything. Still, I cannot figure what influence he has over them … something is not adding up. I shall have to dig deeper into the situation you mention regarding the European Court of Human Rights, for I am not sure what that is about … I have fallen woefully behind on affairs on your side of the pond, being somewhat absorbed by … da trumpeter!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not up on supreme courts, either Canada, America, or anywhere else in the world. But I do not understand how a president of a country can appoint whoever he wants to a supreme court if the court is supposed to be non-partisan. At best, they are going to appoint justices who lean in their direction, people who are going to be grateful for being appointed. At worst, as in the Kavanaugh case, they are going to appoint people who are seen to be right-wing or left-wing, depending on the president’s own political direction. How can this be non-partisan?
    As soon as a justice makes a decision based mostly on their political leanings, they should be dismissed, with prejudice, stripped of their profession, and stripped of any and all benefits due them. Being able to serve on such a high court should be a privilege, not a way to pay someone back for appointing them. We all know el dumpo expects kick-backs of some kind from anyone he appoints, which is why he never appoints the person best-suited for a job. He appoints political hacks who will kiss this ass, among other things. They need no ability to do the job they are hired to do…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, see, the theory is that the president can nominate whomever he wishes, but … BUT since that nominee has to pass a Senate confirmation hearing, there is a system of checks and balances, the integrity remains. The problem has arisen in recent years with extreme partisanship, and it works both ways. When Justice Scalia died in 2016, the Senate (republican majority) refused to even consider Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, saying they would leave the seat vacant until a new president was elected. But then, as soon as Trump took office, his first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was quickly confirmed by the Senate.

      While partisanship cannot logically be expected not to play any role at all in a justice’s vote, it should take a backseat. Under Trump and today’s GOP, however, ass-kissing, boot-licking, NRA-loving and the like rule the day. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. To borrow a few words…Be afraid, be very afraid! The Supreme Court has become a weapon in the Trump arsenal. If the 45th president has his way, today’s 46th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade will become the last one ever celebrated. Obergefell v. Hodges may well never even celebrate it’s 4th! Not so very long ago, I was encouraged about the Supreme Court’s ability to remain nonpartisan by the statement from Chief Justice John Roberts last October, although I harbored grave misgivings. Today’s Supreme Court action on Trump’s transgender military ban is very discouraging and validates my misgivings. I strongly suspect that we will have more of the same from the present Supreme Court for a very long time. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope that you and I are both wrong, but … time will tell. The Supreme Court was our last, best hope to survive the Reign of Trump relatively unscathed. I shall now burrow back into the rabbit hole …


  4. At the risk of causing a major furor … I support the New York ordinance. If the gun is licensed, locked, and unloaded, distance (outside the city limits) should not be a factor. Naturally, the problems arise when people ignore the “locked and unloaded” part. But that’s going to happen inside or outside because it’s a people-thing, not a distance-thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand your position, but the goal is to reduce guns readily made available in public. It is a well known statistic that gun accidents, accidental discharges, crimes of passion become even more prevalent when gun laws are lax. Most school related shooting are from disturbed kids who has easy access to their parents gun collection. Respectfully I would have to disagree with your reasoning, not every gun owner is a law abiding, upstanding, responsible citizen, hence all the gun related deaths in this country.

      Liked by 3 people

    • No furor … I promise! I just think guns shouldn’t be in the hands of untrained civilians, period. The premise of the lawsuit is that they should basically have no restrictions on where they can carry a gun, and I have problems with that. I have actually left a store twice in the past six months because I saw a person in the store with a gun. I don’t trust human nature, especially with a gun in hand. Granted, an unloaded one shouldn’t cause a problem, but … how many people have been killed with “unloaded” guns, and how many people will walk around with a loaded pistol in their waistband, figuring they’ll never get caught? If it were up to me, I would strike the 2nd amendment from the Constitution, for it has been abused far too often.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, I totally understand where you’re coming from, but let me share a bit about why I feel as I do. My other-half is somewhat of a gun nut. I don’t say that derisively … he just has a real love for guns. Many do … and they are generally the ones who would NEVER think of using their gun to shoot another human being. What they DO like to do is go target shooting … or deer hunting … or bird hunting (NOT trophy hunting!).

        Now, to give you an example of why I would consider supporting the ordinance. There is only a very small shooting range in our city … hardly enough to call it such … so those who enjoy this sport must travel to another town to use a much more sophisticated gun range. If they could not travel outside the city limits with their guns … I think you get the point.

        I’m not at all unlike you (and thousands of others) in that it’s makes me sick to heart when KOOKS get their hands on guns and use them to slaughter innocent people!! Most definitely for the unnecessary and tragic loss of life (!), but also because the people I just described above are lumped in with them.

        I don’t know the answer. How I wish I did! But I simply can’t agree with your sentiment about the Second Amendment. I do wish it could be modified in such a way to be a bit more “restrictive,” but I’m not holding my breath.

        Anyway … just wanted to share where I’m coming from.

        P.S. I personally do NOT like guns. But I don’t run the world.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Dear Nan, not to sound critical but perhaps your husband should ask himself… does he really need an actual gun for target practice? I know many arcades in cities that have electronic laser shooting targets, they’re just as fun only without the gun. Problem solved, no need to drag a weapon around! Also has he tried lazer tag/ or paint ball shooting? 100% safe and whole lotta fun, he can join a team and shoot to his heart’s content. Just a few ideas you can share with him. Cheers!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks for the input 1EU. Unfortunately, to an individual who enjoys shooting a gun, electronic laser shooting, lazer tag, or paint ball shooting are not viable substitutes.

            I appreciate where you’re coming from. As I said, I’m no fan of guns myself. But I do feel those who use them safely and responsibly are being lumped in with the crazies … and that’s regrettable.

            Liked by 2 people

            • I hear you, my Libertarian friends with their Constitutional ideologies can’t bear to give up their guns no matter what the cost. I would mention to them… ironic that they would fight to the death for something that could potentially kill them, their loved ones and kids! Where is the rationale behind owning weapons of destruction?
              I understand centuries ago, guns may have been necessary to defend the country against tyranny and invasion, but nowadays nukes are the game changer for enforcing peaceful détente. IMO, there’s no place for guns in a civilized society. But I do respect our 2nd Amendment, the people’s right to keep and bear arms.

              Liked by 1 person

        • Like you, my friend, I don’t have the answer. Yes, admittedly there are gun owners who wouldn’t dream of using their guns for ill purposes. But, too many times we have seen those guns get into the wrong hands … think of the toddler who finds daddy’s gun on the nightstand and accidentally shoots his sibling. Or the teen who finds mom’s pistol in her purse and takes it to school to ‘show off’, and ends up killing 10 of his schoolmates. Guns were invented to serve one purpose: to kill. I’m against killing, even killing of animals such as deer, squirrels and birds. The thing that haunts me is the comparison of our murder rate to that of any other country. We top the charts, and that isn’t a bragging right. We have no test for competency, background checks are sporadic and non-existent in some venues, such as gun shows. And the NRA and some gun owners viciously defend the right to own assault weapons. Now what the heck justification is there for an AR-15 or an AK-47 in the hands of a civilian? You can’t use them for hunting, for they will shred the animal. You don’t need that sort of firepower to defend your family. So … why?

          I do see some of your points, and appreciate you sharing your views and listening to mine. This is what civil discourse should be like! I don’t have the solution, and likely we’ll never arrive at one, but it’s good to talk about it, to acknowledge that this nation has a SERIOUS gun problem, and at least try to find solutions. Thank you!

          Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    These are my blogger friend’s words … and she’s so on target!! … Scary times!!
    ‘he Supreme Court, the branch of the federal government that is supposed to be most independent, that is intended to hold the executive and legislative branches accountable, has made two major decisions today that indicate they have fallen and landed squarely in the camp of Drumpf. I am beyond disappointed … I am incensed, and I see our rights as citizens of this plutocracy going down the drain. ‘

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for the re-blog, dear friend! Yes, these are scary times, they are maddening times. We want to shout, “What is wrong with you morons!!!”, but that brings us down to their level. I feel like I have awakened in the middle of a Stephen King novel. Sigh. I fear for the future. Hugs! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        • I know, dear Horty … I feel like I want to get off this carnival ride nearly every day, and I find it harder and harder to even get out of bed. I don’t see an end in sight. It’s friends like you, though, that make me smile and sometimes even laugh. Huge HUGS, my dear friend!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Huge hugs back to you, my dear!! ❤ … I know the feeling. Every time something feels like it's gonna stick … it goes away!!
            I'm so concerned and sickened by so many things. It's like there's always something that's even worse than what they have done before … there's no bottom!!
            ❤ ❤ …

            Liked by 1 person

  6. As I stated on FB, I can’t see how this could possibly a legal decision. It is discrimination, pure and simple. I thought judges were supposed to uphold the LAW not bigotry. Plus, they should have term limits. No one should get a lifetime appointment to a position like this (except RBG…she rocks!)

    Liked by 4 people

    • Totally agree with your sentiments! Sadly no one lives forever, Justice RBG is convalescing at home from cancer surgery. Everyone’s praying for her swift recovery, however, Repubs are already making plans to replace her with conservative nominee Amy Barrett. Trump is delusionally planning to replace 3 to 4 supreme court justices under his reign. Crazy but scary if this madman is given the opportunity.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Unfortunately, the Supreme Court defines what is and isn’t legal. You’re right … it is discrimination and there is no other possible way to view it. The reason the justices don’t have term limits was to keep them from becoming partisan! The irony, huh? Rather like the irony behind the electoral college that served to do the exact opposite of what it was intended to do. But, the thinking back in 1787 was that if there were no term limits, if a justice served for life, there would be no need for him (‘her’ wasn’t considered back then) to pander to the masses or to the president, but could remain completely independent. Sadly, it seems to have backfired. Sigh. Yes, like you, I LOVE RBG!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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