It’s tempting, in the wake of last week’s two Supreme Court decisions, to think of the Roberts court as a reasonable court. When we do that we overlook some of the absolutely terrible decisions that have come out of that court, such as the decisions on gun control and campaign finance.
On the Second Amendment, there was District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010), which essentially eviscerated gun control legislation in the United States. This even though the 2nd Amendment clearly makes the right to bear arms conditional on the existence of a well-regulated militia, and it is the militia that has the right to bear arms.
On Campaign Finance there was Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, 134 S.Ct. 1434 (2014), which opened the floodgates on unlimited campaign spending. Although these are the two most famous cases, there were also the earlier cases of Randall v. Sorrell, 548 U.S. 230 (2006) and Davis v. Federal Election Commission, 554 U.S. 724 (2008) that set the state for the later Citizen’s United and McCutcheon Decisions.
As Steven Colbert so pithily noted, it’s hard to believe gays achieved personhood just five years after corporations did.
And those are just a few of the terrible decisions by the Roberts court, which also includes Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2751 (2014), where the Supreme Court essentially granted religious beliefs to for-profit corporations.