Public trust in the court is at a 50-year low following a series of divisive rulings, including the overturning of Roe v. Wade federal abortion protections last year, and published reports about the justices’ undisclosed paid trips and other ethical concerns.
A ProPublica article states that in July 2008 Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito flew to a remote corner of Alaska aboard the private plane of businessman and Republican donor, Paul Singer. A hedge fund founded by the billionaire has brought roughly a dozen cases before the court since then. Alito did not recuse himself from participating in any of those cases.
In nearly three hours of arguments, liberal and conservative justices appeared to take issue with the main thrust of a challenge asking them to essentially eliminate the power of state courts to strike down legislature-drawn, gerrymandered congressional district maps on grounds that they violate state constitutions.
The relationship between the public and the judiciary has been studied and debated by legal and political scholars. The short answer: it’s complicated. There’s evidence that the public has an indirect role in the judiciary, but that might be changing.
It’s not surprising that the court, which has a strong conservative majority after former President Donald Trump appointed three justices during his single term in office, would seek to curb abortion rights. However, the breadth of the draft opinion startled advocates and sent shockwaves through American politics.
A decision to overrule Roe would lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states and could have huge ramifications for this year’s elections. But it’s unclear if the draft represents the court’s final word on the matter — opinions often change in ways big and small in the drafting process.
The Struggle For The Constitution
The Roberts Court has become the most conservative Supreme Court in decades--but acts in distinctly unconservative ways, writes Marcia Coyle. She joins us.