‘Hopelessly divided’ Supreme Court defies narrative with another unanimous opinion


The Supreme Court has finally handed down two out of five “blockbuster” opinions of the term, along with rulings on the Affordable Care Act and religious rights. The most important aspect of the decisions was the absence of ideological divisions. In fact, it is a matter of religious rights. another unanimous decision From a court declared by President Joe Biden”out of whackAnd Democratic leaders have declared a dismal split on ideological grounds.

This week represents the final fall of the false narrative that has been repeated endlessly like a mantra in Congress and the media.

When it comes to health care, the ACA has long been in the position of Mark Twain, who insisted that his death was “exaggerated”. During Amy Connie Barrett’s circus-like confirmation hearing, Democratic senators surround the room big picture People who will lose their health care because of her enrollment. Various senators and legal analysts insisted that Barrett was explicitly elected. kill the aca.Democratic senators intrigued Barrett with stories of people who could die as a result of his nomination and portrayed him as a paranoid, heartless ideologue elected to take away the health care of millions.

It was not a matter of when according to members like Sen Mazhi K. Hirono (d., HI) who declared that Will vote against Barreto Because “she will vote to end the Affordable Care Act.”

False narrative defames Barrett

At the time, I objected that the narrative was wildly off-base and there was little chance that most judges would use the case to overturn the act. On the contrary, the Act was highly likely to be decided on technical grounds, either permanent or separable. I also noted that, if anything, I would expect To rule against Barrett repeal of the Act in this case.she did and joined 7-2 decision.

It was never a laudable narrative, but it didn’t matter to Democratic members. He demanded that Barreto assure them that she would vote for the ACA in the matter – a Dangerous and raw demand To guarantee on a case pending as a condition for confirmation. Despite treating him as a virtual judicial serial killer, no one at the confirmation hearing will apologize or even recognize the inappropriate behavior. After all, it was only politics in the time of anger.

Arguably, the most important of the “big ticket” matters was fulton vs philadelphia On whether a Catholic adoption agency can be compelled to assist LGBT couples when such adoptions conflict with religious beliefs. the court gave 9-0 decision In favor of Catholic charities and believed that Philadelphia was violating the free exercise clause of the constitution by requiring adherence to the city’s non-discrimination policy.

Religious freedom upheld in court

Writing for the Court, Chief Justice John Roberts “refused to contract with CSS for the provision of foster care services to Philadelphia unless it allows same-sex couples to be certified as foster parents.” Don’t agree to … violates the First Amendment.”

This is a major victory for religious rights and the court overturned the lower courts with a strong majority opinion and concurring opinion. It also adds strength to other pending cases, including one more Masterpiece Cake Shop To make cakes celebrating LGBT events in Colorado.

After winning a narrow decision before Supreme Court in 2018was jack phillips followed by critics To make additional cakes and the base for another challenge. They may now regret that decision if Phillips builds on an earlier narrow regime to secure a more dominant regime based not only on religious freedom but free speech.

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The Court continues to frustrate critics who insist it is useless, divided and needs to be fundamentally changed from court packing with a moderate majority create a new court For constitutional decisions like the Fulton case.

for example,Professor Kent Greenfieldargued that “the Supreme Court has become too partisan and unbalanced to rely on it to decide the most important issues of our day.”

Although the court itself is not cooperating in this Uncomfortable line of unanimous decisions .The fact is that the majority of the Court’s views are not ideologically divided. Indeed, Justice Stephen Breyer recent objectionOpposed to those calling the court “conservative” and demanding an immediate liberal majority from Congress.

Liberal groups and media figures are aggressively asserting Breyer to retire, including a derogatory billboard campaign by a group called “”seeking justice

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The Court itself does not engage in such public campaigns. It speaks through its opinion and the message could not be clearer. For a hopelessly divided ideological court, this in unison is saying a lot not only about the law but also about its institution. In the end, it doesn’t matter. There is no point in a complete collapse of the narrative if it is not recognized in the media. Like Justice Demand Justice, don’t run billboards in the streets of Washington. He will continue to be condemned solely as “weird” as politics demands it.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and a member of Granthshala’s contributing board. Follow him on Twitter: @JonathanTurley



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