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 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.