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A Constitutional Revolution

Introduction

A Constitutional Revolution

A Constitutional Revolution has infected the Supreme Court of the United States; engineered by the far right wing and the packing of the court with dogmatic justices. No longer can one argue that Justice is BLIND. No, now we may simply call justice by the rule of dogma. The entire core of the idea of the rule of law is turned on its head as it lands with disbelief on the body politic of the United States. Out-of-step dogma now rules as if to suggest that law is a sovereign command rather than an evolving democratic exercise of reason and compromise. This trend does not bode well for the United States.

The United States Constitution has long served as the bedrock of American democracy, providing a framework for governance that has endured for over two centuries. Over time, the interpretation of this foundational document has evolved, shaped by the changing dynamics of American society and the composition of the Supreme Court. In recent years, a significant shift in the interpretation of the Constitution has emerged, driven by a conservative majority on the Supreme Court. This essay examines this abrupt shift and explores the implications of this changing constitutional landscape.

Defining A Constitutional Revolution

¬†Scholars describe a constitutional revolution as a “historic constitutional course correction” or a “deep change in constitutional meaning.” It represents a transformative shift in the way constitutional principles are understood and applied. As the nation celebrated Constitution Day on September 17, 2023, it is evident that such a shift is underway, driven by a series of rulings by the conservative-leaning Supreme Court.

A Constitutional Revolution: The Supreme Court’s Recent Rulings

In the 2021-22 and 2022-23 terms, the Supreme Court issued several landmark rulings that expanded and redefined constitutional principles. These rulings focused on critical areas of American society.

Abortion Rights: A Fundamental Change

One of the most notable shifts in the Court’s recent rulings is the removal of the recognition of a constitutional right to abortion. This dramatic departure from previous jurisprudence has sent shockwaves through the legal and political landscape. The Court’s decision effectively places the fate of abortion rights in the hands of individual states, potentially leading to a patchwork of regulations that vary widely from one part of the country to another.

Gun Rights: An Expanding Interpretation

The Court also expanded gun rights, signaling a significant shift in the interpretation of the Second Amendment. The landmark ruling in this area could have far-reaching consequences, potentially affecting the ability of states and localities to enact gun control measures. This decision reflects a broader conservative stance on the Second Amendment’s scope and application.

Religious Rights: A Growing Emphasis

The conservative majority on the Supreme Court has also placed a growing emphasis on religious rights. In 303 Creative v. Elenis, the Court ruled that the First Amendment’s protections for religion and speech override protections for LGBT citizens in state laws. This expansion of religious liberty reflects a trend of prioritizing the rights of religious individuals and institutions over government regulations, even in the context of business transactions.

Administrative State: A Weakening of Federal Agencies

The Court’s rulings have weakened the power of federal agencies, most notably in Biden v. Nebraska, where President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program was struck down. The application of the “major questions doctrine” has diminished the authority of federal agencies to make major policy decisions without explicit authorization from Congress. This doctrine fundamentally alters the balance of power between the executive branch and the legislative branch, redefining how federal regulations are crafted and implemented.

Race: A Constitutional Revolution

The Court’s decision to end affirmative action in college admissions added race as a major area of controversy. This ruling challenged the interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, emphasizing equal treatment over addressing historical injustices. It effectively overruled a prior decision from 2003 that allowed universities to use racial preferences to achieve diversity on campuses.

A Constitutional Revolution Unfolding

The core rulings in these disputes consistently featured a 6-3 split, with a new supermajority of conservative justices on one side and the three remaining liberals in dissent. This ideological divide underscores the magnitude of the constitutional shift occurring, with the conservative majority reshaping the legal landscape in ways that depart from established precedent.

A Shift Outside the Will of the American People?

One of the pressing questions arising from this constitutional revolution is whether it aligns with the will of the American people. Critics like myself argue that the conservative Court majority is pushing an agenda that diverges from the preferences of a significant portion of the population. The decisions in areas such as abortion rights, gun control, and religious liberty have sparked widespread debates and protests, with some arguing that the Court is out of step with the evolving values of American society.

Conclusion

The recent rulings by the conservative-leaning Supreme Court constitute a constitutional revolution, reshaping the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution in areas ranging from abortion to religious liberty and the power of federal agencies. This shift carries profound implications for American society and governance, raising questions about whether it aligns with the will of the people and the principles upon which the nation was founded. As the revolution continues, the nation grapples with the evolving contours of its constitutional order, highlighting the critical role of the judiciary in shaping the future of American democracy.

By Politics-as-Usual

Roger is a retired Professor of language and literacy. Over the past 15 years since his retirement, Roger has kept busy with reading, writing, and creating landscape photographs. In this time of National crisis, as Fascist ideas and policies are being introduced to the American people and ignored by the Mainstream Press, he decided to stand up and be counted as a Progressive American with some ideas that should be shared with as many people who care to read and/or participate in discusssions of these issues. He doesn't ask anyone to agree with his point of view, but if entering the conversation he demands civility. No conspiracy theories, no wild accusations, no threats, no disrespect will be tolerated. Roger monitors all comments and email communication. That is the only rule for entering the conversation. One may persuade, argue for a different point of view, or toss out something that has not been discussed so long as the tone remains part of a civil discussion. Only then can we find common ground and meaningful democratic change.

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