The Supreme Court Has a Long History of Thwarting Democracy. Justice Amy Coney Barrett Is About to Add to It.

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The Supreme Court retains a strong but largely undeserved reputation as a protector of the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. In fact, there is a long history of right-wing Supreme Court majorities serving as dead hands to enforce reactionary policies favored by political minorities who have lost electoral power, or even wars.

Most notoriously, a right-wing court favored the South’s radical, pro-slavery positions before the Civil War and, after that war, played a critical role in nullifying Reconstruction and instituting Jim Crow; the so-called Lochner court devoted years to voiding federal and state health and safety regulations and other progressive laws, and even tried to nullify the New Deal in the midst of the Great Depression until it was faced with the threat of FDR’s improperly labeled “court-packing” plan to expand the body.

We are smack in the middle of another period in which a deeply reactionary court is at direct odds with the will of the majority of American voters, and could well get much, much worse, very soon.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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