The Next SCOTUS Appointments Will Shape Political Power in the U.S.

Lawrence Norden in The Atlantic: “For the last 10 years, the Supreme Court has engaged in a systematic effort to transform American democracy … This year, the Court will decide a voting and redistricting case that could change the lines of virtually every state legislative district in the country. There is no area of the law the Roberts Court has more thoroughly transformed.”

“There are few issues in the last decade on which the Court has been so consistently and bitterly divided as it has over campaign finance law … On the Court, that swing back only requires one new or existing justice to adopt the approach of four current members. A shift in the Court could permit reasonable regulation of big money in politics. To be sure, state and federal legislators would need to pass new laws to regain the ground that has been lost, and mere reversal of campaign-finance decisions of the last decade would not solve all of the problems of excessive influence. Because of older Supreme Court decisions, for example, new laws still could not limit the total amount of spending in any election.”

“Still, it is no exaggeration to say that the next appointments to the Supreme Court will have a profound impact on political power in the United States. The appointment of one or more justices who agree with the five-member majority might solidify the current system for decades to come. By contrast, appointment of one or more justices who share the vision of the Court’s four-member minority could bring substantial power over elections and the political process back to ordinary Americans.”

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