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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  • pisher

    Translation: Win or go home. A centrist Democrat elected in 2016 means a hundred times more than some progressive superhero elected four or eight years later.

    We keep falling down on this–failing to hold the White House long enough to hold the court. And without the court, there’s just not much that can be done, no matter who is in the White House.

    I care more about the next President being a Democrat than I do about anything else in politics. Anybody to the left of Joe Lieberman is fine and dandy with me. We don’t need a hero. We don’t need a symbol. We need the Supreme Court to stop voting with the Plutocrats. And any Democrat who could possibly get the nomination gets us that. If that Democrat wins in 2016.

    • CB123

      Well said. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

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