Political gridlock across the US federal government has made the country’s supreme court uniquely powerful.
First published: July 2022.
That it currently has an overrepresentation of conservative opinions — appointed by Republican presidents; in fact, three by Donald Trump — and that these judges are unfettered by tenure considerations, means the US cannot, for many decades, remake its highest court nor keep it in check.
So, power in the US — at the hands of its highest court — is now about force. The force of numbers, which is to say a brute majority of ideologically hardline judges on the court.
The three liberal justices currently on the US supreme court made this point in their dissent to the majority ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which led to the overturning of Roe v Wade.
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In Iran, theoretically, one man — the Supreme Leader — exercises complete control for his lifetime. In the US, it is the supreme court, more particularly, the six ideologically hardline majority, that exercise control for their lifetimes.
One might justifiably ask how the slide towards unending control of American life by six ideologically driven, seemingly hardline people for their lifetimes, chimes with a country that calls itself the land of the free.
— AUTHOR —
▫ Rashmee Roshan Lall, Journalist by trade & inclination. World affairs columnist.
- Text: This piece was originally published in Medium and re-published in PMP Magazine on 3 July 2022, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.
- Cover: Unsplash/Jimmy Woo. - US Supreme Court. (Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)