The US Supreme Court, an ally of the extreme right

The US Supreme Court this week made two decisions on abortion and guns that entrench racism and political violence.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
24 June 2022 Friday 17:54
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The US Supreme Court, an ally of the extreme right

The US Supreme Court this week made two decisions on abortion and guns that entrench racism and political violence. The supremacist and ultra-conservative right comes out very reinforced. Related media outlets like Fox News will now raise xenophobic rhetoric that frightens and, at the same time, mobilizes the white vote for the benefit of the Republican party.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a law passed a century ago in New York state that prohibited carrying weapons in public spaces without "adequate justification." This decision will further extend the use of weapons throughout the country.

On Friday, it annulled the right to abortion after fifteen weeks of gestation, that is, two months before a fetus is viable, and half of the states will now adopt this new doctrine.

The two decisions, which rest on a very contradictory concept of the right to life, punish minorities and the poor, while protecting conservative whites who are the base of the Republican party.

Republican presidents chose six of the nine justices of the Supreme Court. The prohibition of abortion and the expansion of the right to bear arms have been decided by six votes against three.

Three conservative judges owe their position to Donald Trump. His great legacy, therefore, is abortion and weapons, and on it he will try to get the Republican Party a parliamentary majority in the November elections.

Trump is a xenophobe and the Supreme Court decisions on guns and the right to life are too. Both contribute to consolidate racism and political violence.

Both abortion bans and gun proliferation hit poor communities and racial minorities -- black, Hispanic and Native -- hardest in conservative states where laws make it increasingly difficult for them to vote.

In a country without a universal health system, the poor have more difficulties than the rich in accessing healthcare. Poor women's options for accessing reproductive health are very few. At the same time, these people are educated in public schools with fewer resources. The sexual education they receive is very limited.

The abortion rate, therefore, is much higher among black women than among white women. In Mississippi, the state that appealed to the Supreme Court the resolution

Roe against Wade of 1973 that legalized abortion, the black population represents 44% of the total, but 81% of women who abort are black. In Texas, blacks are 59%, but 74% of women who have abortions are black. In Alabama the ratio is 39% of population and 69% of abortions, in Louisiana: 42% - 72%.

The white population, meanwhile, is rearming. Firearms sales have skyrocketed in recent years. In 2020, 22.8 million were sold and last year, twenty. If in 2016 there was a weapon in 36% of homes, now there is in 39%.

The profile of the American who buys weapons is very clear: male (63%) and white (73%). Only 12% of Hispanics and 10% of blacks buy guns.

Since last January there have been more than 200 massacres with firearms with at least four victims (dead and wounded). Between 2019 and 2020 the homicide rate with pistols, revolvers, rifles, rifles and shotguns has increased by 35%. This year, those killed by firearms already total 9,500. The figure at the end of the year will be around 20,000.

The Supreme Court prohibits abortion on the basis of the right to life. It affirms that the right of the mother to her reproductive health prevails over the right to save an innocent life. This same principle, however, does not apply to weapons. The right to save innocent lives does not rest with the state, but with the individual.

A poor black woman is denied an individual freedom over life that is allowed to a rich white man.

In early May, an 18-year-old white man shot 13 people in Buffalo, New York. Eleven were black. Ten died. Before the massacre he published a racist manifesto. He considered it his duty to kill blacks to prevent replacement, that is, the day when the white majority will have been replaced by a multi-ethnic majority of blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans.

One of the main popularizers of this replacement theory is Tucker Carlson, the political commentator for Fox News, oracle of the white extreme right. His ideas seed the campaigns of most Republican candidates. Trump is his biggest fan.

The killings are racist, justice supports the aggressors and the Carlson-Trump tandem rubs its hands.

The right to self-defense, for example, prevailed in the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old from Kenosha, Wisconsin, who in 2020 killed two unarmed blacks who were participating in a demonstration of the Black Lives Matter movement. Carlson and Trump congratulated each other.

They also congratulate themselves every time a state puts up a higher bar against the right to vote. Voting is becoming more difficult every day for a poor and minority American.

A year ago, the Supreme Court, by the same majority of 6 to 3 that this week has banned abortion and extended the right to arms, struck down the spirit of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a norm that protected minorities on their right to vote. He used the argument that this protection is no longer necessary because preventing voting for racist reasons is illegal.

Racial minorities and the poor have a more difficult time getting to the polling station on election day and, in many cases, also presenting the proper documentation that allows them to vote.

Voting early and by mail makes it easy for them. For 40 years, thanks in large part to this decentralization of the right to vote, the participation of minorities has skyrocketed.

It is the conservative states that are making their right to vote more and more difficult, and the Supreme Court agrees with them.

The high court's rulings on weapons, abortion and voting accentuate the gap between the tolerant majority and the intransigent minority. A recent SCOTUSPoll poll, for example, indicates that 62.3% of Americans did not want Roe vs. Wade played. Only 37.8% were in favor.

Clarence Thomas, one of the most conservative justices of the Supreme Court, has affirmed that the abortion ban is only the first step to rectify other legislative errors on the right to life. He is in favor, for example, of banning contraceptives, as well as relationships and marriage between homosexuals.

The Supreme Court dismantles norms of coexistence and rights that were believed conquered forever and its legitimacy is highly questioned. It is also an instrument in favor of the interests of a minority that benefits from a very archaic electoral system.

The decision to give George W. Bush victory over Al Gore in the 2000 elections was a coup d'état, according to one of the court's own judges. Twenty years have passed and the situation today is much more critical.

The assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 marked the lowest point of American democracy since the civil war, and cannot be understood apart from the racism and political violence that the Supreme Court chronicles.

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