Over the past few weeks, the Supreme Court has handed down one incredibly awful decision after another. This has gotten the Democrats and everyone on the left distraught and flailing around for things to do. I agree that we need to do something, but I have to admit to being baffled by the suggestions being put forth. Let me explain why I’m confused and then you can tell me what I’m missing.
Probably the most common suggestion is a call to “codify Roe”. But what’s to stop the Supreme Court from striking down whatever law gets passed? Supreme Court precedent is usually more secure than regular, everyday laws. If Roe didn’t hold up under this court, what chance does codifying it have? The only way to beat the Supreme Court is with a Constitutional Amendment and I don’t see that happening any time soon.
Another suggestion is to open abortion clinics on federal land. I suppose it might be a little easier for someone to get to a clinic on federal land in their own state than going to a blue state, but that seems to be as far as this goes. A lot of the new laws forbid people from traveling to get an abortion. How could they keep it secret while staying in their own state? And worse, what’s to stop the Republicans, once in power, from closing all the clinics on federal land? This is, at best, a not great stopgap.
Speaking of stopgaps, isn’t that was packing the Court would be? The Democrats could add four justices giving them a majority. But that’ll only last as long as Democrats control the presidency and the Senate. Once the Republicans take control, they’ll add more justices, and we’ll just flip-flop forever. I know the Republicans don’t care about precedent, but it’s a dangerous precedent to set.
Eliminating the filibuster is another common suggestion. This is great as long as the Democrats are in power, but what happens when the Republicans take power? People bring up the history of the filibuster, but that’s just committing the genetic fallacy. It’s actually good to give the minority a chance to stop egregious legislation. What we need is filibuster reform, not elimination.
Finally, everyone is telling us to vote. I wholeheartedly agree that everyone should vote. What I don’t see is how it will help. Biden received more votes than any presidential candidate in history, but the Democrats lost seats in the House of Representatives. It’s been proven time and again that Congress and the Presidency don’t go together. Definitely vote, but it’s unlikely to make any real difference.
So, what am I missing? How will these suggestions fix our problems? Don’t we actually need more radical ideas?