Today marks the 10th anniversary of the day Chief Justice Roberts was sworn in to the Supreme Court. In that decade, he has led a Court that has radically reshaped vast swathes of the law, undermining constitutional protections for civil rights and voting rights, reproductive freedom, workplace fairness, the environment, gun violence, consumer fairness and representative democracy as a whole.
The idea that the majority is under attack is reinforcing to anyone who stands on the brink of losing unearned privileges they have long taken for granted. It hurts to be taken down a peg, to discover you're no better, no more deserving, than anyone else. Better to lash out, mobilize the masses. Misdirect them at an imagined enemy. Anything to maintain that privilege.
Catholic Vote has created a video, "Not Alone," in opposition to last week's Supreme Court ruling granting same-sex couples the right to marry. On their website, they tell us that the video is about "6 courageous young people" who want to "tell the world" that they are not afraid to express their views against same-sex marriage. This video is offensive. Here's why.
There are consequences to waiting. Couples are denied their rights, which has ramifications from child custody to driver licenses to death certificates. Look at what the status quo means: Gay couples separated in hospitals. Losing their life savings when one passes away. Having a marriage license revoked when they cross state lines.
The nine justices of the SCOTUS are now in recess, leaving the rest of us the summer in which to reflect upon and digest their latest set of rulings. Because it is likely that both judgments will have long-term adverse consequences for progressive causes, a moment of reflection on that second judgment is well in order.
These three decisions, taken together, are an assault on the rights, health, and economic well-being of women in every corner of this country. But they are also a challenge to President Obama, to Congress, to the political system, and to the American people to take the action necessary to undo the damage.