The Supreme Court Won’t Save Us — It Was Founded to Defend White Supremacy

Conventional wisdom says that the Supreme Court is the highest courts dominion refers to the administration of justice. This misconception, however, prevents us from seeing it for what it truly is — a national defense agency.

The Supreme Court’s path and, more significantly, the overall path of the U.S. are now being shaped by a conservative supermajority that is focused, resolute and unswerving in its commitment to systemically gut constitutional rights.

The court’s recent rulings are part of the Republican Party’s attempt to restore absolute rule through a right-wing ideological takeover of the courts. The groundwork for such an takeover is there has been underway for decadesThe state level, Donald Trump’s presidency undoubtedly helped accelerate plans when, after the GOP undemocratically facilitated the appointment of two new justices to the Supreme CourtTrump unjustly and illegitimately appointed another. The strategy to defend white Christian nationalism is to stack the court with far-right justices.

The Constitution, which expressly calls for the Supreme Court’s existence, was drafted using blackness as the counterpoint to the framers’ core democratic values. In fact, the CInstitutionWas written by slaveownersIt was intended to be. the wordsOf historian David Waldstreicher, “deliberately ambiguous — but operationally proslavery.” Indeed, several of the Constitution’s clauses were written with the intentTo strengthen the institution and institution of slavery, like the clause granting Congress the power to marshal “the Militia” to “execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” This clause made it possible to subdue, by any means necessary, the insurrections the fThe rebellions led Black enslaved persons were the ones that ramers and slaveholders most feared. Timmermans was also a slaveholder.He constitutional Guarantee to private property was made possible by the genocide and theft of Indigenous tribes’ lands. This was done to promote the economic prosperity of whites and their spatial freedom. TThe court protected slavery for more than three generations.

These are the most influential Supreme Court justices before the Civil War. — Chief Justices John Marshall, Roger B. Taney and Associate Justice Joseph Story — viewed opposition to slavery as a threat to the national economy and security. Justice Marshall, who was the founder of American law, was also the longest-serving chief judge in U.S. History. He was perhaps the most committed justice to keeping slavery alive.

Paul Finkelman, a specialist on American legal history, explains his new book, Supreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nations Highest Court, that Marshall “wrote almost every decision on slavery, shaping a jurisprudence that was hostile to free blacks and surprisingly lenient to people who violated the federal laws banning the African slave trade.” Importantly, Marshall’s slavery jurisprudence was influenced by his own involvement in the slave trade. Marshall often purchased, gifted or sold large numbers of Black enslaved people and, despite his numerous documented “transactions,” upon his death, as Finkelman tells us, “Marshall still owned more than 150 people. Had he not given away and sold so many, he would have owned 300 or more.”

“Before the Civil War,” legal historian Michael J. Klarman explains, “the Court upheld federal fugitive slave laws against substantial constitutional changes, and it invalidated the laws of Northern states that were designed to protect free blacks from kidnapping from slave catchers.” After the Civil War, Klarman addsThe courts freed whites from racial violence, invalidated laws giving black people equal access and protected the constitutionality racial segregation laws state-mandated by the state. All of these measures guaranteed economic as well as political disenfranchisement to Black people.

There is also the Dred Scott v. Sandfordcase, in Chief Justice Taney ruledIt was impossible for an African American freed or enslaved to be a citizen of the United States. As such, he did not have the right to sue in federal courts. Taney stated: [African Americans] had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” Writing in the Washington and Lee Law ReviewRobert Burt asserts that Taney recites the most explicit racist dogma” and that no decision has been more consistently reviled.” Indeed,Yet, this belief was the foundation of this country and was the basis for the Supreme Court’s mandate to defend it.

This history provides a framework for understanding the Supreme Court. The court has been in operation since its inception. enshrine whitenessas the normative base in constitutional law. To strengthen this baseline by consistently favoring and reinforcing America’s superior status of whites

Chair of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at UCLA School of Law Cheryl I. Harris writes, “Following the period of slavery and conquest, white identity became the basis of racialized privilege that was ratified and legitimated in law as a type of status property.” And so, whiteness and property share the same conceptual premise of a right to exclude. Whiteness, however occupies a normative status of authority, power, legibility, control and power in society through the relationship to, distance and subordination of Blackness. The right to exclude means the need to defend whiteness as property.

You can be certain of this: this image of the Supreme CourtIt is not the same as the one held by most Americans. The image The court’s role as a guardian of liberty and justice, protecting those who are oppressed, disadvantaged, or treated unfairly, is a result of its own branding during the civil rights era. The court instrumentalized this era to recast itself as “colorblind,” strategically using race-neutral language to accommodate demands for civil, economic and racial justice while simultaneously using it as a shield to maintain racial domination. “White supremacy,” according to Nancy Heitzeg, professor of sociology at St. Catherine University, “once writ large in the law via slavery and Jim Crow segregation, was removed from its legalized pedestal with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and finally, The Fair Housing Act of 1968.” Though the law became race neutral, she cautions us, the court’s institutionalized racism “remains merely transformed with its systemic foundations intact.”

WhatFurthermore, the conservative hijacking of the court Court by religious fundamentalists means Constitution Law is being reshaped through Christian Dominionism (definedFrederick Clarkson, Political Research Associates describes the belief that Christians are called to exercise dominion over all aspects of society through taking control of cultural and political institutions. White Christian dominionists believe the U.S. is fundamentally Christian and therefore have the power to enact religious supremacy. Justice Samuel Alito stated this at a summit held by Notre Dame Law School in Julys Religious Liberty Initiative. Alito spoke during his speech. made a call to armsFor Christian dominionism, we declare: “The challenge for those who want to protect religious liberty in the United States, Europe and other similar places is to convince people who are not religious that religious liberty is worth special protection.” Pope Francis, echoing Alito’s words, stated that religious liberty “remains one of America’s most precious possessions,” adding that “all are called to be vigilant … to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it.”

This is not about religious liberty being criticized. It’s the euphemistic meaning of the phrase to be meant white Christian dominionism. Perilously, the Republican Party’s desire to strengthen white supremacist ideology through religious fundamentalism is succeeding insofar as the court’s most recent rulingsDobbs, NYSRPAAnd Vega — are restructuring constitutional doctrine to reflect the interests of white Christian nationalists.

DRecent emocratic leaders introducedA bill to limit the term of Supreme Court justices was introduced, which Republicans opposed. They have revived the call to reformIncrease the number of justices in the court. This strategy is presented as a reasonable, but necessary, measure to ensure fair and impartial judicial reviews. But this push to reform the Supreme Court risks distracting attention from the racist origins of the court and what Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor describes as the “Court’s undemocratic role in U.S. society.” Acknowledging the courtRecent rulings seem less extreme because of their fundamental role as a white-dominated national defence agency, making them more in line with the court.Defending white power is their primary mission.

Instead of attempting to expand the Supreme Court with more justices, let’s strip it of its power and limit its jurisdiction. We should also ask ourselves, “What steps can we take towards abolishing it?”