The radicalized US Supreme Court issued two rulings that inadvertently gave Democrats two critical issues to use in the shrinking time between now and November.
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A ruling came down on June 23, 2022, regarding the “right” to own and brandish a firearm in that well-known frontier town, New York City. This ruling abridges the power of state and local governments to regulate the possession of firearms in the interest of public safety. Moreover, it struck down a perfectly reasonable ordinance in New York City regarding the open carrying of a gun in the city.
But of course, seeing a private citizen packing heat around a busy city doesn’t make fellow citizens uneasy, does it? This ruling further expands the imaginary right of citizens to own and brandish dangerous weaponry in an already hazardous environment. This is exactly what the majority of Americans don’t want or need.
To continue the judicial mayhem, the rogue justices destroyed reproductive rights. Using a poorly reasoned and written decision, the Court erased a woman’s right to choose in privacy whether or not she wishes to terminate a pregnancy. The stunning thing about this decision is that after it was leaked, it didn’t get the extensive rewrite it needed after the vehement public and professional criticism of its content and reasoning.
Court out of touch
Taken together, these SCOTUS decisions indicate a Supreme Court out of touch with most Americans’ views of public safety and individual rights of privacy and choices. Instead, in a single term, the right-wing majority of the Court has confirmed that it is following the Republican Party agenda that got them onto the Court to limit individual rights and disregard public safety.
So, what are we to do? First, we need to recognize the Court’s behavior as a piece with Republicans’ crusade to limit the scope of our democracy to one within their ability to control and manage a very narrow field! Our goal must be to win this fall’s elections at all levels: local, state, and national. Add to these latest judicial outrages other Republican actions such as:
- Their opposition in Congress to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Their opposition to any effort to strengthen our economy, mitigate climate change, or grow economic opportunities for all Americans—not just the wealthiest.
- Their willingness to damage the social safety net under false claims of inflation and “wasteful government spending.”
We have sufficient ammunition to call out almost every Republican candidate this year as either authoritarian and anti-democratic, uncaring, seditious or all of the above.
Maintaining the two-party system of politics is not reasonable when one party becomes unmoored from the basic principles of democracy. However, a two-party system will be-emerge once we have secured our democracy and can resume rational discussions about the problems our country actually is facing.
For the most part, Democratic candidates will be the ones best equipped to do what is necessary to protect the critical rights of all our citizens and residents. For the most part, Democratic candidates understand fairness and equity principles and apply them to public policy.
We must become active voters. Elections are state-controlled and locally managed. We need to know—and help others to know—the basics of Arizona, such as:
If you want to vote early by mail,
- Check if you are registered at your current address.
- Are you on the Active Early Voting List?
- To vote in person in Pima County on election day, simply find a Vote Center.
It’s easy, but it takes time and attention. Our rights as citizens aren’t free. But they are valuable and worth the small cost in time and attention to secure them—especially in 2022!