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Why We Need To Restructure The Supreme Court

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Written by: Habibi Bridges and Abraham Woodliff

Are we seriously doing this again?

On what would be the largest setback in gender rights in decades, a leak via Politico on Monday revealed the Supreme Court’s draft decision overturning Roe v Wade, a landmark decision on gender and reproductive rights handed down nearly half a century ago. Some may see this as a long time coming considering the current Supreme Court roster and their political leaning

Protestors have already gathered outside the Supreme Court in DC as of Tuesday morning to protest this preliminary decision, as lawmakers brace for impact. Anti-abortion supporters have gathered as well. President Biden, who supports abortion rights, has announced a reminder to Americans that the final decision has yet to be published, and the preliminary decision could look different by the time it is due to be released this summer. 

As millions of women around the country face life changing legal implications of this approaching Supreme Court decision, some politicians around the country have expressed delight over the alleged decision. Others, like California Governor Gavin Newsom, have promised to “fight like hell” to ensure abortion rights to women living in their state. Some officials in California are already taking steps to protect abortion, and some lawmakers have even proposed to draft abortion rights into the California state constitution.

My question is: why the fuck is there an institution in this country that is filled with unelected representatives who can just decide to interpret the right to abortion as unconstitutional?

Interestingly, according to polls, the majority of Americans support Roe v Wade–however, this doesn’t generally reflect the political affiliations of the politicians representing us in office.

Businesses and corporations are also expected to take a political stance; some already have in states that have been dealing with stricter abortion bans, such as Texas. Companies such as Yelp, Citigroup, and Amazon have pledged to assist employees in abortion access including travel and medical fees.

Senator Mitch McConnell has publicized his outrage over the leak, while avoiding giving his reaction to the alleged SCOTUS decision, and has proposed that an investigation must take place into how the preliminary decision to reverse Roe v Wade was leaked to the public in the first place.

My question is: why the fuck is there an institution in this country that is filled with unelected representatives who can just decide to interpret the right to abortion as unconstitutional?

While I understand that the judicial branch of the federal government is necessary, and constitutional law shouldn’t be altered as flippantly as leaders are elected, we need there to be more public oversight into how the court functions. The Democratic Party has proposed plans to expand the Supreme Court from 9 to 13 judges. While this is a step in the right direction, this won’t address the primary issue with the Supreme Court.

Politicians who are directly backed by corporate money are the ones selecting the judges rather than the people. The idea is that we the people vote in politicians that reflect our interests. These people, who are working for our benefit will vote in a way reflective of that. This isn’t the case at all as lobbyists and corporate donors dictate who gets in office. As long as that is the system at hand, the amount of judges is largely irrelevant.

I think the Supreme Court should have a term limit. I also think the people should elect who goes before Congress for a seat, and then Congress deliberates. At least that way we have some oversight as to who is interpreting law and setting legal precedent.

The majority of Americans support Roe v Wade, despite this, it will likely be kicked down to the states, and if Donald Trump is reelected in 2024, which appears possible, then the federal government is in a position to assist conservative governors to completely strip women of their reproductive autonomy.

This elimination of rights would ultimately benefit the rich, which always seems to be the case.

In my opinion, this issue isn’t about states’ rights or religious belief, but economics. There have even been articles  asking if Millennials aren’t drowning in Student Debt who will fight the wars? Not to mention that workers are looked at as a resource to be exploited, if there is a scarcity of them, the worker class ultimately has more power, but if the nation is flooded with impoverished people pumping out children, America is in great position to feed the poor to the war machine and underpay the blue collar workers.

Everything, including reproductive freedom, is about money.

We lack healthcare, we’re poorly educated compared to other industrialized nations and the gap between the rich and the poor is worse than it was in France during the French Revolution. There is a ripple effect to every decision, and this, if allowed to occur,  it will set America back and we’re already so far behind.

Can we just not?

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Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff is a San Francisco-based writer, editor and digital content creator known for Bay Area Memes, a local meme page that has amassed nearly 200k followers. His work has appeared in SFGATE, The Bold Italic and of course, BrokeAssStuart.com. His book of short stories, personal essays and poetry entitled Don't Drown on Dry Ground is available now!

4 Comments

  1. Owen
    May 6, 2022 at 3:59 am — Reply

    To do any of the things that the author suggested, the constitution would have to be changed or amended. If you start now you might get it done in 20 years. Kind of like a BART extension. Far better IMHO for populations that want to keep abortions legal, to lobby the state legislatures. What all this means is that it’ll be decided at the state level.

  2. Moi
    May 9, 2022 at 5:05 am — Reply

    Owen has a good point. Several actually.

    Woodliff, you are again chugging at the machine, It is kinda’ cool to see a somewhat young person lash out, this way and that. But you lack perspective and nuance.

    If things were going another way, say they were tilting to far too the Right, do you think you would support a Woodliff from the other side? Of course not. So being partisan is being partisan. And you know that, on some level.

    Yes, the idea of the SC being unbiased is bunk. Yes, the way that the SC is confirmed is a political mess. But stacking that same court isn’t the answer. Perhaps term limits? Perhaps not turning an op-ed into a screed that just tickles your obvious political bones?

    Just because it is difficult doesn’t mean that a simple response is a good one. Again, Woodliff, on some level, you know this.

  3. May 9, 2022 at 9:00 am — Reply

    Restructuring (or even abolishing) the Supreme Court is like abolishing slavery or giving women the right to vote: it should’ve happened a long time before it actually does.

    Naturally, you get comments saying “Do you really wanna do that?” (just look at this thread. That doesn’t change the fact that it SHOULD happen.

  4. Moi
    May 14, 2022 at 4:49 am — Reply

    Jangled prose on my part. My apologies. Should have read: “say they were tilting too far to the Left.” My bad. I need a better editor!

    CSL3: so what should happen? Abolish or restructure? Just curious. Truly. If the former, then what? If the latter, in what sort of way? And I ask because you attach to that claim (or claims) two issues which I assume readers of this site both agree with and understand. So, please, provide a bit of follow-up. I’d appreciate it, at least.

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