The Supreme Court is not above being reigned-in by the legislative branch

The Supreme Court increasingly acts as if it is uniquely above the other two branches of government, untouchable in its power to reshape American society to its (currently) right-wing whims.

But, as WaPo columnist Jamelle Bouie points out, there are ways for Congress to clip the Court’s wings:

The Supreme Court does not exist above the constitutional system.

It can shape the constitutional order, it can say what the Constitution means, but it cannot shield itself from the power of the other branches. The Supreme Court can be checked and the Supreme Court can be balanced.

It is tempting, in the immediate wake of the court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, to say that there’s nothing to be done about the reactionary majority on the court. But that’s just not true. The Constitution provides a number of paths by which Congress can restrain and discipline a rogue court.

It can impeach and remove justices. It can increase or decrease the size of the court itself (at its inception, the Supreme Court had only six members). It can strip the court of its jurisdiction over certain issues or it can weaken its power of judicial review by requiring a supermajority of justices to sign off on any decision that overturns a law. Congress can also rebuke the court with legislation that simply cancels the decision in question.

Of course, none of this can happen if the House, Senate or White House become controlled by the same reactionary GOP forces controlling the high court.

In many ways, the Court should always be uppermost in the minds of progressive voters when deciding which candidates to support (and whether to vote at all).

Yes, gas is expensive and inflation is high. But sending Republicans to Congress is exceedingly short-sighted and not a very good way of influencing those issues (in a consumer-friendly way) anyway.

The Supreme Court building in D.C.

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