“States have not done such a good job of protecting our civil rights.”
Although they did not hold Congress and the presidency in high regard, many Americans had the best opinion of the United States Supreme Court. People looked to the court as the constitutional authority to limit the deviance of other branches of government and guarantee the constitutional rights of citizens. Of course, people from different groups have opposed Supreme Court decisions that did not support their goals, but now popular opposition to SCOTUS seems to be growing.
For most blacks, SCOTUS was just another arm of racial oppression. In the Dred Scott case of 1857, Chief Justice Roger Taney ruled that “a negro has no rights which the white man is bound to respect.” At that time, slavery was an immutable status. In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that racial segregation in public places was permitted as long as the accommodations were equivalent.
Black protests later prompted the Court to change some rulings on race. In 1954 SCOTUS ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that racial discrimination in public schools was unconstitutional. The court also overturned Plessy’s earlier ruling that segregation was constitutional. It took 58 years to acquire this wisdom.
Recently, the Supreme Court handed down two rulings that sparked widespread public opposition. In Dobbs v. Jackson, the court struck down a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. Justice Samuel Alito asserts in his majority opinion that “…the Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including that upon which Roe’s defenders and Casey now rely primarily – on the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
According to an NBC news poll prior to the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, 71% of those polled opposed the quashing of Roe v. Wade.
SCOTUS further soured their public support by overturning a 1911 case in New York State that required showing “good cause” to allow someone to carry a concealed weapon. Judge Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. v. Bruen, and he basically determined the restriction to offend the Second Amendment.
The basis of Thomas’ opinion was that the law “prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms” as authorized by the Second Amendment. The decision drew considerable opposition because the Court essentially removed all reasonable restrictions on gun regulation, especially during a time of increasing gun deaths in the United States.
While recent cases claim that the Second Amendment was primarily intended for self-defense, a conflict persists due to the specific wording of the provision. He states: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms will not be infringed.
It’s hard to believe that the nation’s founding fathers were primarily concerned that citizens be well equipped for an argument with a violent neighbor. With only 13 states forming the original United States of America, it was clear that the borders of these states could be disputed and other properties would become part of the nation. In such circumstances, state militias should be formed.
In fact, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts was established in 1637 as a civic organization to develop militia forces for protection even in colonial times. These militias were the precedent for the institution of the National Guard.
American women are furious that the Supreme Court denied them the constitutional right to abortion. They assert that this right is among those affirmed by the Constitution’s Ninth Amendment “…to be preserved by the people,” although it is not specifically enumerated. In a democracy, every adult should have control over their body.
Respect for the United States Supreme Court is waning because of these questionable decisions.