The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) began hearing arguments this week for the first time since the summer. Most Americans are angry about the Court’s unbelievable Roe vs. Wade decision reversal. It was a mandate millions of people thought was permanent–it had been in place for nearly 50 years. I grimaced when I read about some of the significant cases the Court will decide in the next few months.
Hot button topics include Immigration, Voting Rights, Election Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Environmental issues, and Affirmative Action. While those are just some of the boiler plate issues up for discussion and decision, I read recent poll numbers that show more than half of all Americans are dissatisfied and disapprove of how SCOTUS is doing its job. https://news.gallup.com/poll/4732/supreme-court.aspx
I remember watching and writing about the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill sexual harassment hearings in 1991. Does anyone remember Thomas’s infamous comment to Hill, “Who put this pubic hair on my Coke?” I, along with most Americans, am deeply disturbed and troubled by the current deeply conservative flow of the Court. I’m worried about the obstacles Ketanji Brown Jackson–the first Black woman appointed to the Supreme Court will encounter from her ultra-conservative colleagues. Old war horses Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and fellow newbies Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett will likely disagree and dispute some of her decisions. For example, Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett Lied, or should I say told “Alternative Facts,” when a Congressional committee asked them—namely Republican Senator from Maine Susan Collins–to share their feelings about abortion. https://www.theblaze.com/news/susan-collins-blasts-barrett-kavanaugh
On a personal note, one case I will be closely monitoring is the Court’s decision regarding Affirmative Action. The case involves Harvard University and the University of North Carolina and centers on whether race should be considered in consideration of the admission of college applicants. I greatly benefited from Affirmative Action in the late 1970s and early 1980s, both in higher education and the workplace. For example, I was the dreaded “Affirmative Action Hire“ at my first professional job in journalism in Kansas City in 1986.
Among other things, eliminating Affirmative Action would make the already wide margins between Black, White and Brown people even more pervasive and expansive. On a slightly positive note, there have been many challenges to Affirmative Action in the past 20 years. Each time, SCOTUS reaffirmed the importance of race and other factors when considering college applicants. However, the current high Court is more conservative than before. A reversal or abolishment of Affirmative Action laws could go the way of Roe vs.Wade and be a gigantic step back for people of color and ultimately the country.