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How a conservative block leads the U.S. Supreme Court, regardless of public opinion

In front of the steps of the US Supreme Court — Almost a week after the groundbreaking overthrow of the Roe v. Wade case Wade — President of the National Women's Organization Abortion-rights Handing out the placard, pledged to to continue fighting for the right to abortion.

Christian Nunez also had some strong words about the Supreme Court, calling it a "compromise" and not keeping pace with public opinion.

"They do not support and control people, they do from their own moral point of view," Nunes said. 

Recent polls and investigations show that the recent decision of by the conservative majority court may not be in harmony with the average American. It is backed up. However, these rulings also show a new muscular court without apology, and are willing to go against the mood of the people.

"They are making strong use of conservatism and acting in a hurryis said Stephen Welmiel of the Constitution. Professor at American University Washington College of Law. 

"We've been looking at conservative tugs for a long time, and now we're looking at conservative runaway freight trains."

CBS News / YouGov polls show that 59% of Americans disapprove of the recent court overthrow in the Law vs. Wade case. .. 41 percent approved. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

The freight train has pushed conservative decisions over the past few weeks. Roev. In addition to overturning Wade, a conservative majority of 6-3 effectively expanded gun rights in New York State and was a constitutional high school football coach. Right to pray in the field.

Thursday, hitting the fight against climate change, the court also said that the Clean Air Act has not given to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 6-3 I made a decision. Broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. 

"(Conservative blocks) see their work as an interpretation of the Constitution, which is divorced from public opinion," said. 163} SCOTUS blog. Covers the courtroom.

Polls show that some of these decisions are inconsistent with public attitudes. For example,CBS News / YouGov poll disapproved the overthrow of the Roe v. Wade case by 59% of Americans, while 41% approved it. I found that I did. Regarding gun rights, about half of voters in the 2020 presidential election say that US gun law needs to be stricter, according to a survey by AP's VoteCast {164. }.

This month's research paper  states that the courts have become much more conservative than the general public since 2020 and are now Republicans. I found something similar to. We are in that ideological position on important issues.

"In 2010 and 2020, the courts were actually very close to the average American in that decision," said Stanford University's professor of political economy and research.

Chief Justice John Roberts sometimes votes for the Liberal Party of the Court, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has a special obligation to try to achieve it. There is a consensus that there is. '(Erin Schaff / The New York Times / Associated Press)

During his term in 2021 and just over 2022, the court was "much more like the average Republican. ". 

He said this was a very recent phenomenon. 

For many years, the Supreme Court was conservative, with a majority of 5-4, , but some judges were more. Considered moderate and not always dominates along the lines of purely conservative ideology.

But that has changed since then. There are six conservative judges in today's court of , led by Judge John Roberts.

"Previous typical judges were not very conservative, and we are showing ... is a 5-4 conservative majority. 6-3 The big difference between conservatives is the super-majority. "

'Stay on the guard rail'

Topcoats are biased towards most of the public opinion There is a view that it shouldn't — it's one branch of the government, unlike the elected policymakers, is the opposite majority and needs to take into account the will of the minority. I have.

See | Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court vows:Ketanji Brown Jackson has been sworn in as a judge in the United States. She built her history as the first black woman in the Supreme Court, the National Supreme Court.

But in order for her to respect the anti-majoritarian system, she must respect her wisdom, Malhotra says.

"You have to maintain legitimacy, and one way to maintain legitimacy is to stay on the guardrail of public opinion," he said. 

"But if it's a little too far off the line, you may not be able to do the job."

Timothy Johnson, The books of a professor of law at the University of Minnesota include oral arguments and decisions in the US Supreme Court, when the court overthrows, especially in the South , {187. } States that there was a big backlash. Pressy vs. Ferguson — 1896 decision in favor of racial separation — Brown v. Board of Education unanimous decision in 1954. 

At the time, a court led by liberal Earl Warren was "accused," Johnson said.

Also made an unpopular decision to protect those who were called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee to nominate alleged Communists. did.

Conservative devotion The William Rehnquist Court had a more moderate conservative judge than the Roberts Court. (Bob Daugherty / The Associated Press)

But by the end of the 1950s , the Warren Court was re-detained Issuance has begun A more conservative decision on civil liberties and civil rights "will try to buy back some of its political capital," Johnson said.

Over time, will the current court, like Warren, run out of all the political capital of and decide that controls himself, or " Do you follow this conservative path? " He said. 

"If I were a betting man, I would be the latter. They can do whatever they want and no one can stop them."

Moderate Voices

Johnson says there were some moderate voices even during the heyday of court liberalism.

Regarding the conservative William Rehnquist court that was before Roberts, there were also moderate conservative judges such as Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor.

"There was always such a centrist voice, and there were multiple centrist voices on the bench. Currently, the real centrist voice that remains is Judge Roberts. "He said.

Roberts is generally a credible and conservative vote, but sometimes votes in a liberal block, and the Chief Justice has "a special obligation to reach consensus." I am saying.

He tried to find a compromise in the Roe v. Wade case — without overturning Mississippi, the state that brought the abortion case to court. Voted to ban. Abortion after 15 weeks.

" The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is very concerned about the institutional position of the court . Probably in line with the court's public opinion," he said. 211} Taught the Supreme Court proceedings at Stanford Law School and Harvard Law School.

However, Roberts still has only one vote. That is, he said was "not in a position to try to take a more gradual approach to the court."