That the Supreme Court is ethically compromised has become almost comically obvious. Recent sweeping decisions, from the overturning of Roe v. Wade to the dismantling of affirmative action, to the extension of innocent Americans’ prison sentences, have been handed down in the midst of myriad scandals involving justices and their wealthy, purportedly uncorrupt friends. The high court, now dominated by conservatives, is not just independent but dangerously rogue.
For Issue Eleven, we asked scholars, lawyers, and advocates to reflect on the consequences of the supermajority’s latest rulings and the specter of important cases currently on the docket, exploring what’s at stake in some of the most fraught areas of the law, including climate change, federal Indian law, and student loans. We were curious about the downstream effects of the conservative consolidation. Has the left simply been asleep at the wheel, or do systemic obstacles prevent a robust answer to the Federalist Society? Can we expect to reform the judiciary, or should we direct our efforts elsewhere, beyond courtroom walls? In short: what should we be thinking and doing if we want to help the millions of people whose lives are impacted by the Court’s rulings?