Da – Court Packing Notes


NC – UQ – AT: Liberal Court



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2NC – UQ – AT: Liberal Court

The court is fundamentally conservative -- recent “progressive” rulings were products of luck and textualism.


Robinson ’20 [Nathan; June 19; Editor of Current Affairs; The Guardian, “Don't be fooled. The US supreme court hasn't suddenly become leftwing,” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/19/us-supreme-court-leftwing-daca-lgbt-gorsuch-roberts; RP] *Images omitted
No, of course not. Because while the court is extremely political, it’s not completely political, and sometimes judges do in fact make rulings for reasons other than where they stand on the left-right spectrum. And that’s important, because it means we shouldn’t really think of the court as having made “progressive decisions” at all. They were rulings that had progressive outcomes. But the justices’ politics haven’t changed, and we can’t assume there is any kind of pattern here. The court is still fundamentally conservative, and these rulings are more the product of luck than any kind of shift in the “hearts and minds” of Neil Gorsuch and John Roberts. Do not be surprised if next year, they rule in ways that hurt LGBTQ+ people and immigrants just as much as this week’s rulings have helped them. We can celebrate the outcome, but we certainly shouldn’t treat Roberts and Gorsuch as champions of the rights of the oppressed.
To think about what the decisions imply about the court itself, it’s helpful to understand the justices’ actual reasoning in each case. In Bostock, Gorsuch’s reasoning was very simple: the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, and while it does not specifically prohibit discriminating against people for being LGBTQ+, in practice there is no way to discriminate against a person for being LGBTQ+ without discriminating against their sex. After all, if I fire a man for being attracted to men, but I would not fire a woman for being attracted to men, what is making the difference in my conduct? The sex of the employee. Gorsuch said that it doesn’t matter whether Congress intended to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, because the thing they did prohibit covers acts of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.
It’s very straightforward reasoning. It’s also quite “conservative”, in the sense that Gorsuch is applying a form of judicial interpretation usually associated with conservatives, most notably Antonin Scalia. Scalia was an advocate of textualism, meaning that the words of a statute matter far more than what the lawmakers writing it intended for it to do. If applying the law in its most literal form has a negative unintended consequence, tough luck. Gorsuch felt that a consistent application of textualism required ruling in favor of LGBTQ+ rights. But if Gorsuch’s vote resulted from his highly literal interpretive theory, there’s no reason to expect he will be progressive in cases involving LGBTQ+ people more generally. The Human Rights Campaign opposed Gorsuch’s confirmation originally citing worrying past decisions, and while there is evidence that he is not personally homophobic, if the “textualist” reading of a statute goes against LGBTQ+ people next time, they are unlikely to find Gorsuch so friendly to the cause.

The religious schools ruling confirms Trump’s hope that the court’s conservative majority is working in his favor


Ariane De Vogue and Devan Cole 6/30, 6/30/2020, "Supreme Court opens door to state funding for religious schools," CNN, https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/30/politics/espinoza-montana-religious-schools-scholarship-supreme-court/index.html
The ruling comes as the supporters of religious liberty, including the Trump administration, have hoped the court's solidified conservative majority would emphasize that the Constitution's Free Exercise clause requires neutrality toward religion. Three low-income mothers had sought to use the funds from a state initiative toward their kids' religious education.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos called the ruling a "historic victory for America's students and all those who believe in fundamental fairness and freedom."
Roberts' opinion on Tuesday reflects his traditional conservative instincts on religious dilemmas and breaks his recent pattern of his joining the court's four liberals -- all of whom dissented on Tuesday -- on social policy issues.
It builds on Roberts' prior decisions permitting greater government involvement with religion under the First Amendment, which says government "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

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