Republicans really know how to play the long game.
The GOP is now reaping the rewards of Mitch McConnell’s strategy of extending the replacement of Justice Antonin Scalia over a year, enabling a Republican president to swoop in and fill the spot with a diehard conservative who would take the cruelest stance possible every time.
And this week, the Supreme Court issued two devastating rulings in a row to demonstrate just how powerful it can be for the Republican party. “Non-partisan” as the court claims to be, it’s the conservatives’ era now, and we’re just living in it.
The Supreme Court decided to uphold the third iteration of Trump’s travel ban, willfully choosing to ignore the blatantly expressed intent behind the ban in favor of arguing over authority, even though not two weeks ago, the court ruled against someone for making statements that indicate ill intent. If Trump’s promise to ban the dangerous, radical, Christian-hating Muslims of the world don’t indicate ill intent, I don’t know what does.
Neither does Justice Sotomayor, who wrote a scathing dissent calling out her fellow justices for blatant hypocrisy in favor of conservatives over liberal values. But here’s the thing about dissents – as validating as they can be, it’s the ruling opinion that actually matters in the world of legality, and we’re high and dry out of legal options to prevent Trump’s blatantly discriminatory and bigoted travel ban from going forward.
Supreme Court justices serve for life, and with Trump in the White House for at least another two years unless we actually manage to go through with an impeachment for the first time in American history, the ones close to retirement know they can safely give up their seats in the near future without necessarily losing it to a dirty liberal, which means there’s little chance of Democrats reclaiming the Supreme Court until it’s too late.
I don’t mean to be dramatic, but if we’re out of legal options, it’s time to turn to alternate means. Get some money for your kitchen cabinets and hit the streets. It means joining the protesters blocking ICE detention centers and ICE trucks from transporting undocumented people slated for deportation. It means opening wallets and donating to bail funds that allow undocumented immigrants freedom while they wait for the United States to try their case, opening doors and housing undocumented workers in your community living in fear.
Concrete actions that help your immediate community will do far more today to help than signing petitions or emailing your representative. It was a nice idea, relying on our legal and political system to enact justice, but when the system cannot enact justice, the people must. Direct action is what’s needed now.
Yes, keep calling your senators and representatives if you can and have the inclination, and absolutely keep the conversation going online as much as possible – but don’t rely on that to make things better. That’s a backup plan at best now.
If you live along the border, your community is directly affected and there are concrete things you can do to make a difference. If you live somewhere with a high Muslim population, your community is directly affected and there are concrete things you can do to make a difference. If you live in an area with relatively few immigrants and you feel like there’s no one around to help, you can help people collecting funds for immigrants elsewhere. Once Trump won the election, the Supreme Court was lost, and our entire justice system with it. It’s time to rely on ourselves.