After my post on the gun case coming before the Supreme Court, a reader asked my opinion of the court. Answer: I no longer approve of it.
Donald Trump unbalanced the court by rushing the appointment to the Court of three new justices often referred to as conservative extremists with dubious credentials. The rulings they have handed down violate democratic principles and cry out for condemnation.
The result has been unparalleled damage to the Court. The Supreme Court depends on the goodwill and support of the American people for its authority. It has no power to enforce its decisions. It cannot call out the troops or compel Congress or the president to obey. The Court relies on the executive and legislative branches to carry out its rulings. If the American people turn against the Court—and there’s now evidence that many condemn the Court—it will suffer a severe loss of power.
As a result of the court’s dereliction, President Biden has created the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. Its purpose, according to the White House, “is to provide an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform, including an appraisal of the merits and legality of particular reform proposals. The topics it will examine include the genesis of the reform debate; the Court’s role in the Constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices.”
I don’t know enough about the Court and its jurisdiction to determine the best route forward. But I trust the president and Congress to deal appropriately with the Court’s failures. When they do, one more damage inflicted on our country by Donald Trump will be corrected.