Your Tuesday Briefing:
What’s happening on the Supreme Court?
A decision today by the seven-justice bench: Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Breyer and Kavanaugh.
What if all the justices voted for the same decision; is the Supreme Court truly a “fair” and “unprecedented” institution, or does it operate with the biases of all five members?
This question was posed to Supreme Court reporters as they filed their reports for the afternoon. “It’s unclear what would happen,” Brian Katz wrote to an Associated Press reporter. “But I do believe that the outcome of the case is unlikely to change the court’s ideological direction.”
How would the court’s decision change the country’s treatment of the disabled?
With the court ruling in favor of the disabled, the question has been transformed from a state law question (i.e. Roe v. Wade) to a constitutional question (i.e. the Fourteenth Amendment). The outcome of the decision would be a historic one, even if it did not turn one key step in that direction. The Supreme Court has not only decided that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the constitutional right of disabled people to make their own decisions about their bodies, it has also made clear that the Amendment protects their decision about whether they’ll have a life-sustaining, bodily function. The court is now telling all states that they must make that decision for disabled people.
This leaves it to a future court to decide how the U.S. interprets and applies the Fourteenth Amendment and its decisions. The Fourteenth Amendment was not written in stone. It is a statute that was adopted to protect people like Thomas Jefferson who were unable to write their own laws. As the court itself has declared, “The Fourteenth Amendment requires States to treat people, not as objects to be used for the purposes of state power, but as created in the image of God and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.”
What does the ruling