Second Thought

3A26712D-DC37-410F-898F-8DF737009622I started writing an entirely different post earlier today. It began this way:

The United States is a tapestry of religious beliefs among its 325 million or so inhabitants. But atheists are still considered to be an anathema to many, if not most, Americans.

But then I got hung up watching the Kavanaugh hearing on TV and had some second thoughts, so I decided to shelve my somewhat circuitous rant about religion, at least for the time being.

Things are already controversial enough right now and there’s no way that our highly partisan senators will be able to reach a consensus when it comes to Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee. What else is new, right?

So I’m sorry, but I just don’t have the energy to watch those self-serving politicians wrangle over whether or not Brett Kavanaugh would make a good Supreme Court Justice. (He would not.)

Maybe when my blood pressure has settled down and I’m ready to temp fate and stir things up, I’ll finish up my rant about the American religious tapestry.


Written for today’s Word of the Day Challenge, the Ragtag Daily Prompt, Your Daily Word Prompt, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Daily Addictions, and Scotts Daily Prompt. 

Democracy Loses In Court

788A93E5-A349-456E-9BF2-24438BB9A5C7I always thought that the role of the Supreme Court’s justices was to evaluate cases based upon legal merits and constitutionality. But in today’s America, it’s all about politics, with many of their recent decisions based upon a 5 to 4 vote strictly along party and ideological lines.

The Supreme Court has heard a number of consequential cases this year. Here are a few of these important cases where the SCOTUS decisions seem to be politically based.

  • Refusal to consider the underlying issue related to a baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple.
  • Allowing racially motivated state gerrymandering to stand.
  • Permitting states to remove voters from their list of registered voters if they don’t respond to a notification after four years and vote again.
  • Permitting anti-abortion, religiously-based “crisis pregnancy centers” in California to not be required, per state law, to post notices that free or low-cost abortion, contraception, and prenatal care services are available to low-income women through public programs.
  • Upholding Trump’s Muslim travel ban.

As the image at the top of this post suggests, the sun seems to be setting on America’s democracy based upon a series of 5 to 4 vote.

Supreme Court — Racially-Motivated Gerrymandering is A-OK

 

795C3892-5DAE-4CD7-891E-E1F0D7FA98AFIn a 5-4, party-lines decision, The Supreme Court of the United States voted to approve racially-motivated gerrymandering, which is surprising because, in the past, SCOTUS has held that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) outlaws gerrymandering when it dilutes the votes of minority citizens.

The VRA was meant to enforce the 15th Amendment’s bar on racial voter suppression by blocking state voting laws suspected of racial discrimination. Section 2 forbids any “standard, practice, or procedure” that “results in the denial or abridgement” of the right to vote “on account of race or color.” But that is exactly what gerrymandering is intended to do.

In Abbott v. Perez, Trump’s only (so far) SCOTUS appointee, Neil Gorsuch — along with the Court’s conservative majority — has position himself as a fierce opponent of the Voting Rights Act. Gorsuch held that Texas’ maps for its congressional seats and statehouse districts do not prohibit racial gerrymandering, even though those who drew those voting district lines have privately confessed that that was their intent.

How in the hell will the United States ever recover from this kind of partisan bullshit? How can these Supreme Court justices, who allegedly possess such brilliant legal and constitutional minds, be so fucking dense?