A Compromised Supreme Court Returns to Session

The next SCOTUS term begins Monday—yikes.

Columns of the Supreme Court building
The slate of cases SCOTUS is expected to decide this term already looks grim. Austen Risolvato/Rewire News Group

This piece first appeared in our weekly newsletter, The Fallout. Sign up for it here.

There’s something really disconcerting about the start of this Supreme Court term. It’s not just that the Court has only taken a handful of cases so far, or that there’s another big abortion fight brewing.

It’s that the Roberts Court is so clearly and transparently compromised by corruption and, apparently, the rest of the country is supposed to carry on as though this is business as usual.

My colleague Imani Gandy and I made this point last week in the return of our podcast Boom! Lawyered. The Supreme Court has always been partisan, but it’s never been this politicized. And while the overt politicization of the Court didn’t start with overturning abortion rights in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, it has been accelerated ever since.

We don’t have to look any further than United States v. Rahimi, a case the Court will consider in November over a challenge to a Texas law that bans domestic abusers from possessing firearms. Last year, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down that ban, setting the stage for upending a host of reasonable firearms regulations, with Trump Judge James Ho citing the Dobbs decision in his concurring opinion to justify doing so.

The Dobbs decision is helping the conservative legal movement in its quest to redefine who gets to be a full person in our society and who does not. This is a theme we will return to again and again this year at Rewire News Group and on Boom! Lawyered because quite frankly, the stakes are that high.

This Supreme Court term, which kicks off Monday, could reset those definitions in troubling ways, with cases that could strike major blows to disability rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and of course, further devastate abortion access.

Buckle up folks, we’re in for another wild term. Continue following this space as I bring you analysis of what it all means for our rights.