By Senator Lena C. Taylor
In my legislative career, I’ve either heard or said the phrase “it’s a slippery slope” at least 100 times. Signaling that a policy, ruling or decision will open the door to unwanted long-term outcomes, the “slippery slope” argument has been used to stave off the support of bad laws. However, you must understand that the concept of “bad” rests in the eye of the beholder.
Either way, the U.S. Supreme Court is sitting on a mountain of cases that they are expected to hear this October. If the summer was any indication, the conservative-controlled court is sending a clear message to the American people. Get your skis we are about to hit the slopes.
No case could be more chilling than Moore v. Harper. Brought forward by the GOP-controlled North Carolina legislature, SCOTUS is being asked to decide whether state courts have the authority to make decisions about partisan gerrymandering. The court’s ruling will determine if state legislatures should have sole power over redistricting and election procedures.
This ruling could impact everything from mail-in ballots, early voting, to decisions involving the awarding of the state’s electoral votes. The fact that SCOTUS decided to even hear this case is troubling. The idea that a partisan legislature could set the rules for federal elections is downright frightening. It feels like we are losing our footing and slipping down the slope.
However, our problems don’t stop there. Merrill v. Milligan is a case out of Alabama that will review a lower court’s decision that the Voting Right Act was violated and that the state’s Black voting power was diluted in the congressional district maps, drawn by Alabama’s republican controlled legislature.
SCOTUS decided to leave the questionable maps in place while the case is reviewed. This means the 2022 elections will be determined by these contentious boundary lines. There is nothing to stop other states from following suit and SCOTUS is to blame. The nation’s highest court, has left the Bunny slopes.
They are headed to the back country where there appears to be no boundaries. This is the area outside the ski resort that is not patrolled or cleared for safe travel. You are advised to ski at your own risk. Many of the cases and protections, Americans assumed had been decided law, have been put in jeopardy. We are losing our footing and slipping down the slope.
Nothing is out of bounds. Poised to hear cases on affirmative action in higher education and whether business owners can discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community, SCOTUS is charting new territory. They are blazing a path and dumping established law along the way.
Before going on summer break, SCOTUS decided that a public school athletic coach could pray on public time and taxpayer dollars, while in his official capacity with the school. The conservative-led court decided that gun owners had more rights than women over their own reproductive healthcare. They determined that the Environmental Protection Agency has limited regulatory power in the energy sector. SCOTUS is on the slopes and has lost its footing. It seems they are happy to drag this nation down with them.