The newest from Supreme Court docket Conservatives forces the Senate to desert the filibuster and restore voting rights
On Monday, justices Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch reiterated the radical thesis that the Supreme Court had the power to overturn the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's interpretation of the Pennsylvania Constitution, arguing the cases should have been heard. Thomas wrote that the court's rejection was "confusing" and that Alito wanted a priority. "We did not settle this dispute before the election and thus established clear rules. Now we are again not giving any clear rules for future elections," wrote Thomas. "The decision to keep the electoral law hidden under a shroud of doubt is confusing. By doing nothing, we are inviting further confusion and erosion of voter confidence. Our fellow citizens deserve better and expect more of us."
Alito, along with Gorsuch, wrote: "A decision in these cases would have no impact on the 2020 elections. […] However, a decision would provide valuable information for future elections." They failed in their efforts to prevent Pennsylvania and North Carolina from allowing their citizens to cast votes that were counted prior to the election and now set up the Supreme Court to disenfranchise citizens next time. And who knows what will happen to Coney Barrett when she's got her sea legs under her and a little further away from the Trump stink that still clings to her seat. There are cases coming before the courts that we know the Republican states are currently campaigning with more than 100 bills in 28 state legislatures.
Which means a couple of things. First, Congress must pass the For the People Act, legislation in both the House and Senate that remove existing voting barriers, secure the electoral process to ensure the integrity of the vote, expand public funding to remove the harmful entrenched and monetary Fighting interests and banning gerrymandering in Congress to ensure equitable and fair representation in the House of Representatives. Congress also needs to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to restore the protection that the Supreme Court gutted in 2013. This protection needs to be put in place to save future Trump Supreme Court elections.
And that means the Senate Democrats must either end the filibuster entirely or just for the purposes of electoral law. Because it is absolutely impossible for 10 of the current crop of Republican senators to do what is right to restore our democracy. Mitch McConnell has already maximized the obstruction by initially refusing to allow the Senate to sit in the first half of January and preventing the new Democratic majority from doing much. Then he spent the next few weeks refusing to come to a power-sharing agreement with majority leader Chuck Schumer. This belated committee work on President Biden's Cabinet candidates and laws in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As long as the Republicans can cheat to continue to "win" elections – by voter suppression, walking, using Trump's overcrowded courts – they will do so and prevent any efforts by the Democrats to keep the elections free and fair. This is one of the main reasons McConnell went out of his way to extract a pledge from the Democrats written in the organization resolution to preserve the filibuster. He has received strong statements to keep the filibuster away from Democrats Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin and promises they will have to be challenged. It is up to you to decide whether to get this Jim Crow relic and betray their constituents.
However, the Conservatives of the Supreme Court also show that the power of everyone appointed by the Federalist Society – at all levels of federal justice – must be watered down. Trump and McConnell installed more than 225 judges. Some at the district court level have been appointed in consultation with the Democrats, but the critical appeals courts and the Supreme Court – where Trump received three appointments – need rebalancing. In particular, the circuits need to be expanded as they are also overworked and understaffed. The large number of judges opting for senior status, reducing their workload and creating vacancies helps on both counts – they are still available for cases, but also for open seats – but the addition of seats is overdue .