- BBC News World
One week into some such controversial decisions in the history of the United States Supreme Court.
Just like every June, just before the summer holidays, the country’s highest constitutional court announces the opinions of the most important cases analyzed throughout the year: penalties with broad political, social and economic implications that could affect the lives of millions of people. .
This month is no exception, with the Supreme Court delivering its verdict in three cases over the past three days that have generated tremendous anticipation, tension and debate.
This Friday, the court allowed abortion to be recognized as a constitutional right, as recommended by a previous opinion leak last May.
The day before, he had decided to restrict the restrictions that states could impose on their citizens to carry guns in public, in a country experiencing waves of mass shootings.
On Tuesday, the court decided to reduce the division between church and state by allowing public funds to be used to maintain religious schools in a community that has prided itself on its secularism since its inception.
These, individually and collectively, have provoked many questions among Supreme Court academics, historians and scholars, pointing out that these positions show a turn in “radical conservatism” and “politicization”. Has been highly regarded in the United States for many years.
“This is a serious and dangerous path and now the court is taking us,” the president said Friday. Joe Biden.
“By this (abortion) decision, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court shows how serious it is. How far they are from the majority in this country,” he added.
A “more political” court
This week’s rulings reaffirm the independence of the judiciary and its closeness to certain political positions.
“Half is politics, half is not the opinion of the judiciary, but all politics,” he told the BBC. Keith PipiAssociate Dean of Syracuse University Law School.
A study of more than a decade published earlier this month PNASThe prestigious journal of the United States Academy of Sciences noted that for two years the court had “become more conservative than the American people.”
“The gap between the court and the public has grown since 2020, with the court moving from being very close to the average American to more conservative than most Americans,” the study says.
The year, according to the publication, was not inconsistent: it changed the structure of the Supreme Court radically under the decree. Donald Trump.
The then president had the extraordinary opportunity to appoint three judges during his government, which radically changed the balance between conservatives and liberals he had until then.
Trump has promised to appoint judges with conservative and religious views, most of them Federal AssociationAn organization that supports direct reading of the Constitution.
Thus, the “majority” of 6 conservative judges was affirmed against the 3 liberal positions.
A study University of Chicago Since then, court rulings have favored religious ideas and themes that were previously regarded as personal freedom.
Legal experts point out that despite Trump’s reorganization of the judiciary, the court’s move towards conservatism has been an integrated process over the years: of the 18 judges confirmed from 1969 to date, only 14 have been nominated by Republicans, and only four by Republicans. Democrats.
Nevertheless, legal experts point out that today’s conservative judges are not the same as they were decades ago: in fact, five Republican judges joined forces with two Democrats to legalize abortion in 1973. Row We Wade, The paradigm of recognizing abortion as a constitutional right.
According to a PNAS study, the court “is now very similar to the Republican Party in its ideological position on key issues.”
Although the court did not make the most controversial decisions in 2021, many of the cases it ruled this week drew attention to the apparent speed with which it changed some of the laws that were already part of American society.
“The most surprising thing about these rulings is how quickly the Conservatives in the court are moving to make massive and controversial changes,” the professor of constitutional law said on the Harvard University website. Maya Sen..
At BBC Mundo we tell you what are the three controversial results announced this week.
1- Row V. Wade
This Friday’s ruling by the Supreme Court overturns the nearly 50 – year – old tradition of abortion being a constitutional right in the United States.
According to a speech by Judge Samuel Alito, the Conservative majority decided that the “power to regulate abortion” should be returned to the “people and their elected representatives.”
The origin of the sentence goes back to a specific case, the Tops vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which challenged the Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks, including rape cases.
Lynn Fitch, Mississippi’s Attorney General, first asked the Supreme Court to uphold her state law, but then went a step further and ruled that Milestone Roy vs. Watts since 1973.
Of the judges who voted to abolish abortion rights, three were appointed by Trump and the rest by other Republican presidents.
Three progressive judges who took a stand against it argued that “the court is changing today for one reason and one reason: because the structure of this court has changed.”
They promised that “this court is sad, but for the millions of American women who have lost a basic constitutional protection today.”
2- More access to weapons
The High Court this Thursday overturned a more than 100-year-old law restricting the possession of firearms on public roads in New York State by 6 votes in favor and 3 votes against.
Until now, carrying a firearm in a public place requires a special license and a good reason to obtain one (as is the case in other states such as California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island).
Representing the majority who supported the Supreme Court ruling, Judge Clarence Thomas argued that the Constitution protects “the right of an individual to carry a firearm outside the home in self-defense.”
Therefore, it is considered a violation of the Magna Carta Second Amendment that citizens must show reasonable grounds for implementing it in New York.
The amendment, drafted in 1791, is the subject of much debate today, including “the right of the people to possess and carry weapons,” although it states that they must create a “well-organized militia.”
The Supreme Court ruling is expected to be used to repeal other restricted firearms laws across the country, affecting an estimated 330 million Americans.
More than 390 million firearms are registered in the United States under public names.
In 2020 alone, more than 45,000 Americans died from gun-related injuries, including homicides and suicides.
3 – Money for religious schools
The Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed the Maine government education program that barred public funds from going to religious schools.
The referendum, again, was 6-3, with a majority saying the government was discriminating against religious schools in order to teach them their faith.
“The ‘non-sectarian’ requirement for Maine scholarships violates the First Amendment’s free exercise rule (which recognizes religious freedom),” the Chief Justice wrote. John Roberts.
Dissent, Progressive Judge Sonia Chotomayor He vowed that Tuesday’s verdict would be in line with the court’s other recent moves to expand religious freedom, while accusing the conservative majority of collapsing.The dividing wall between the church and the church itself AndThe framers of the Constitution fought to build it“.
“As a result, in a few years, the court will change the constitutional principle, changing from a rule that allows states to refuse to fund religious organizations, and in many cases states will have to subsidize religious education with taxpayer dollars.” Demanded.
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