The Federalist Society has 'captured the courts' and stymied action on gun control and abortion: columnist

The Federalist Society has 'captured the courts' and stymied action on gun control and abortion: columnist
Justice Clarence Thomas with Donald Trump at Amy Coney Barrett's swearing in ceremony on October 26, 2020 (Wikimedia Commons).

The dynamics motivating the Republican Party and control of the courts by far-right judges will converge to significantly reduce states' rights on guns and abortion, according to a new analysis published by The Washington Post.

"In the wake of two horrific mass shootings, the pessimists among us have said that we’re likely to see the repeat of a familiar pattern: grief and outrage, calls for legislation to address the endless carnage that American gun culture has brought us, and then nothing happening," columnist Paul Waldman wrote. "It’s actually worse than that. The intense debate we’re now having is already pushing the Republican Party further to the right on guns. There’s a change underway, part of a shift that will see the American right all but abandon its alleged commitment to federalism."

Federalism is generally viewed as the argument that the states are laboratories of democracy that should have wide latitude to rule at the state level.

"This is at the core of how conservatives define their beliefs about government. There’s a conservative online magazine called the Federalist. The organization that captured the courts for the right is called the Federalist Society. Conservatives’ advocacy for 'states’ rights' is not just an echo from the past, when it put a less hateful face on secession and Jim Crow; the idea is constantly invoked by conservatives even today," Waldman explained.

He noted that far-right activists are pushing for a nationwide ban on abortion that will become a litmus test for Republican candidates.

Republicans are also going even further against gun safety legislation.

"Even better from the gun advocates’ point of view would be to have the Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority radically restrict the ability of Democratic-run states to make their own decisions about how to fashion the gun laws under which their citizens will live. Which is what it might be about to do," he noted.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin wrote on Tuesday that, "frantic rewriting now going on at Supreme Court. 'Of course, we deplore the recent massacres, but all gun control everywhere is now unconstitutional for all time. Deal with it.'"


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