Supreme Court’s Term Ends, Progressives Left in the Lurch


We’ve allowed a week to pass before addressing this, but the U.S. Supreme Court concluded its term last week, delivering a slew of momentous decisions that upset many of us who favor more progressive policies. This is hardly surprising, given that the Court has been exhibiting a rightward shift since Trump’s era. It seems they’ve been delivering judgments without considering the potential consequences these decisions might have on ordinary citizens.

In June, the Court showcased its conservative leanings in a number of verdicts.

One involved Lorie Smith, an evangelical Christian web designer in Colorado who opposed her state’s anti-discrimination law, fearing she may be asked to create a website for a couple in a same-sex marriage. She won her case, and in a strange twist, it seems she made up the initial request.

The Smith case outcome is far from trivial, setting a risky precedent by undermining nondiscrimination laws. If the Supreme Court now deems it acceptable for businesses to selectively discriminate based on sexual orientation, the question arises, where do we draw the line again? This raises concern – if people can refuse services based on sexual orientation, what prevents them from doing so based on race? It seems as though we’re regressing with this potentially harmful decision.

Next, we have the decision to abandon affirmative action in colleges and universities. This represents a significant blow to many minorities in Virginia, further widening the gap between the privileged and the less fortunate. It appears the aspiration to level the playing field in education has been left behind. While we may need to reassess basing college admissions on race, shouldn’t there be some protections ensuring that individuals from lower-income brackets have equal opportunities in higher education?

In a related educational development, the Supreme Court rejected President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, which was intended to address the student debt crisis. This ruling affects over 40 million Americans.

Compounding the situation, there are rumors of judges enjoying luxurious vacations and gifts funded by donors. These unsavory reports are undermining the public’s confidence in the Court’s impartiality.

The past few years have been consistently marked by conservative rulings, with the reversal of Roe v Wade, the landmark abortion rights case, serving as a pivotal turning point. This decision has resonated across the nation, impacting political landscapes everywhere.

The day before US abortion rights were dismantled, the Supreme Court established the right to carry a gun outside the home, just a month after a tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

As the 2024 elections draw near, the Supreme Court is under close scrutiny. Virginians, like all Americans, are hoping for a Court that respects their constitutional rights while upholding justice, equality, and basic fairness. However, after a string of recent decisions, many question whether the Court is genuinely reflecting their understanding of their rights, or if it has been co-opted by the wealthy elites the Republicans are aligned with.

RVA Staff

RVA Staff

Since 2005, the dedicated team at RVA Magazine, known as RVA Staff, has been delivering the cultural news that matters in Richmond, VA. This talented group of professionals is committed to keeping you informed about the events and happenings in the city.

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