Congress and the Court

Judge Brett “I Like Beer” Kavanaugh is the newest member of the United States Supreme Court, despite allegations that he had sexually assaulted a high school teen when he was in high school, possibly displayed inappropriate sexual behavior while he was a student at Yale, and was an angry, out-of-control drunk in high school and college,

The Repugnantthug Senate, eager to place a right-wing conservative in the high court who, with his majority conservative colleagues, would rule to reverse more than 70 years of social and political progress, ignored the charges, and rushed through the nomination process.

But all is not lost. Congress has always had the power to pass or amend legislation which would soften the impact of a  negative Supreme Court ruling.

An article written by Jennifer Mueller (no, she’s not related to that OTHER Mueller!), describes what Congress can, and can’t, do. ” .  .  . in 1986, the Supreme Court ruled that a federal civil rights law that protected people with disabilities from discrimination did not apply to the airline industry,” Mueller wrote. “However, Congress meant for that law to apply to airlines. Congress responded to the decision by passing a new law, the Air Carrier Access Act, that applied specifically to air travel. While this had the effect of protecting the rights of disabled people traveling by air, it didn’t overturn the court’s decision. The earlier law still doesn’t apply to the airline industry.”

According to Mueller’s description, the high court couldn’t easily rule to eliminate legal abortions which were protected under its  decision in the 1973 Roe v. Wade case. Building on the precedent already set by the Supreme Court, Congress could theoretically pass laws that protect exceptions to the rule, restoring women’s right to determine when, how, and under what circumstances they may decide to continue a pregnancy to term; only if doing so does not threaten the life of the mother, cause psychological harm to the mother, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape.

Only a progressive Congress would opt to create and pass laws that change or weaken the effect of a high court ruling in this manner. Which makes it all the more crucial that all Americans who are eligible to vote participate in the midterm elections on November 6. The nation must have a Congress that understands the needs and rights of its citizens. It does not have that under the current Congress. Our votes are the only thing standing between the rule of law and law by “rulers.” Run, don’t walk to the polls on November 6. The power to protect our hard-won rights is in your hands.

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