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October 24 2019

Game Plan: How To Get Past The Supreme Court

by Charlotte Whelan

It won’t come as a surprise to most that many on the left are concerned about the Supreme Court. The continued smear campaign of Justice Kavanaugh and the exploration of “court packing” are just two examples of many but recently, another strategy has arisen. 

Justin Slaughter of The American Prospect provides a game plan for “How Democrats Can Insulate New Laws from a Hostile Supreme Court.” He claims that “the conservative Roberts Court has become increasingly aggressive in attacking Democratic laws and policies” and sounds the battle cry: “It’s time for Democrats to counterattack.”

It appears that in their constant campaign to over-politicize the nation, the Left has forgotten what the actual role of the Supreme Court is: delivering judgements regarding the constitutionality of laws.

Slaughter describes the new outlook that Democrats must now take: 

“Democrats will need to start assuming greater judicial hostility to the laws they write... and begin to draft them to preemptively survive harsh judicial scrutiny.”

While it seems like Congress should be making sure the laws it passes are constitutional, regardless of the balance in the Supreme Court, Slaughter presents this as a novel approach in response to the crisis of a non-liberal majority on the Supreme Court. 

Despite the stated role of the Supreme Court as a balance against the Legislative and Executive branches, Democrats are now concerned with the potential overreach of a “conservative” Supreme Court. But if all legislators focus on passing laws that are constitutional and are formed to best serve the American people, why should they have any cause for concern? 

Slaughter doesn’t take that approach, however, and instead advocates for Democrats to employ a series of tools which include the addition of “severability” to new bills, a “push for legislation to take effect faster,” and “writing a provision in all major pieces of legislation requiring that any judicial challenges be fast-tracked to the Supreme court...before they lose a majority in either body.” 

While none of these steps are problematic in themselves, the greater issue lies in the mindset represented by Slaughter. The focus becomes a partisan push to pass laws made by one party, instead of passing laws which will improve the lives of the American people and not violate the Constitution. 

Americans need to be reminded that the focus of legislation should be on the entire country, not the political divisions within the population.  Instead of mounting a counterattack against the judicial arm meant to limit the power of legislators, all lawmakers should remember their duty to the American people and the Constitution of the United States and pass laws in everyone’s best interests.


 

 





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