In 2016, many of our friends and neighbors decided to gamble the country’s future on a vulgar and offensive billionaire who ran for office on a whim. “What do we have to lose?” was a war cry I recall hearing back then.
Well, here we are, three Supreme Court Justices later. What should have been a 6-3 progressive majority on the High Court has become a 6-3 conservative majority. Look to the person next to you, and perhaps the one on the other side. Both probably voted to harm our democracy in 2016. Thank them for the predicament in which we now find ourselves.
Democracy took a few hits this week.
In the legal world, the United States Supreme Court decided Brnovich v DNC. Decided along ideological lines, the conservative majority upheld two Arizona voting restrictions that have a deleterious impact on minorities.
Conservative Justice Sam Alito wrote the majority opinion, indicating that restrictions may impact certain racial minorities so long as those restrictions have a rational basis. It may, for example, be permissible to pass laws that target minority voters if there is a possibility that the voters can overcome the restrictions. (Yes, I know, that makes perfect nonsense).
Alito also opined that States may impose as many restrictions as necessary to prevent fraud, even when there is no evidence of fraud. In other words, the high court decided to help fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Thanks guys—we appreciate it.
Justice Kagan, writing the dissent, warned that the decision makes it much harder for voting rights advocates to challenge voter suppression laws in court. It also makes it imperative for Congress to pass voter rights legislation. President Biden opined that no less than “Democracy is on the line.” He’s correct—we are headed for a long and dangerous era of minority rule in this country if we let this stuff go unchecked.
In another 6-3 decision that smells like the offensively odorous Citizens United decision, the conservative majority struck down a California law that required non-profits to disclose their donors. The rationale was that the requirement might expose these donors to threats, even though they could produce no evidence of any threat of any kind.
So why did the Court rule the way it did, you ask? So unregulated cash can flow into political campaigns ala Citizens United.
Turning to politics, our country’s joke of a House Minority Leader, Retrumplican Kevin McCarthy threatened to revoke the committee assignments of any Republican who, like Liz Cheney, accepted an offer to serve on Nancy Pelosi’s select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. His threat prompted Republican Adam Kinzinger, a harsh critic of President Biden’s predecessor, to remark “Who gives a sh&#@t?” You go, Adam!
It is high time for the Democrats to fight as dirty as the Republicans on these important issues of the day. No more “we go high when they go low.” How about: “When they go low, we go lower?”
My two cents? End the filibuster and bury these SOBs!
Mark M. Bello, a trial lawyer, is the author of “Betrayal in Black” and other ‘ripped from the headlines’ Zachary Blake Social Justice Legal Thrillers available on Amazon.com and other online booksellers. For more information, please visit www.markmbello.com.