We’re heading toward late June, and political Americans, especially liberals, know what that means: a raft of disturbing to outrageous Supreme Court decisions.
So far this term, we’ve seen a couple pleasant surprises: the voting rights decision on which John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh joined the three liberals, and a 7–2 decision upholding Native American adoption rights, supported by all the justices except (surprise) Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.
But the good news could end there. Big decisions are coming on affirmative action, gerrymandering, and the extremist “independent state legislature theory.” We will see what the immediate future holds.
Michael Waldman, the president and CEO of the Brennan Center for Law and Justice, the New York–based group that has done such important work on voting rights and related democracy issues for years, is, as you’d expect, watching closely.
Waldman has a new book out, his seventh, called The Supermajority: The Year the Supreme Court Divided America. The book focuses on three decisions from last year that showed just how extreme the new majority could be: West Virginia v. EPA, which gutted environmental (and potentially other) regulation writing; Bruen, a radical gun precedent; and, of course, Dobbs, which overturned Roe v. Wade. “The country’s heading in one direction,” Waldman told editor Michael Tomasky, “and the court is heading in another.”
Waldman and Tomasky spoke on June 12 about the book, these upcoming decisions, the future of the court—and whether it can be changed or reformed. It certainly needs to be. “This is the most conservative court since in the 1930s,” Waldman said. “They aren’t going anywhere.”