Image Source: American Progress
In just ten days, America has undergone significant upheaval. Significant announcements have affected everything from environmental policy to abortion rights, but neither the president nor Congress has done so. The US Supreme Court currently has the authority to alter people’s lives significantly.
Despite having a majority in both chambers of Congress and the White House, the Democrats lack the support needed to enact most of their political agenda. So instead, the Supreme Court is reshaping America’s future in a series of decisions that are as divisive as they are significant, moving the country far away from the vision that US President Joe Biden had for it.
Pro-choice activists have expressed anger and sadness over the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, while anti-abortion activists who have been fighting for over 50 years are ecstatic. However, rather than resolving the issue, the court’s ruling has increased the potential of legal challenges in states throughout the nation, which means the abortion debate will continue for years to come.
The abortion decision has attracted the most interest. However, other US Supreme Court rulings will actually affect the entire world.
By declaring that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot set limits on carbon emissions unless new legislation from Congress specifically authorizes it to do so, it basically rendered it impossible for the US to implement a substantial green policy before the end of this term.
US President Joe Biden, who ran on a platform to combat climate change, is aware that he lacks the support needed to pass legislation requiring electricity producers to stop using coal, which emits high levels of pollution, as a source of energy. There are other instances of the US Supreme Court clashing with the president besides this one.
The first gun ownership control law in 30 years was signed into law by President Biden last week. Politicians from either side of the aisle agreed on a very small number of new gun control regulations in the wake of the horrifying killing of 19 elementary school children in Uvalde, Texas.
The gun control bill was a historic first and a rare instance of bipartisanship, even though it didn’t go quite as far as many had wanted. However, that victory was tempered by the court’s decision to strike down a New York law requiring permits for gun owners to carry weapons outside of their residences.
The Supreme Court’s ruling, which was released the same day the federal gun control bill cleared the Senate, effectively removed the states’ ability to impose meaningful restrictions on gun ownership.
The arm of government that is supposed to be the most impartial and nonpartisan now seems quite political due to these contentious decisions.
According to polling, the court is not reflecting popular opinion. Around 60% of Americans support stricter gun regulation, while two-thirds of Americans do not want abortion rights to be eliminated entirely.
Additionally, there appears to be a decline in popular confidence in the Supreme Court itself. According to recent research, only 25% of people believe they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of faith in the court, indicating a severe drop in popular trust in the judiciary.
Opinions expressed by California Gazette contributors are their own.