June 27 at 2:38 PM ·
It is the scene of what is in essence a coup led by Mitch McConnell, who flaunted democratic norms to help elect President Trump and install Neil Gorsuch on the bench. Now the retirement of Anthony Kennedy will likely further push back the tides of a progressive worldview in America.
For years Republican voters rallied around the court as a voting issue. And now this co-equal branch of government has largely become a rubber stamp for a far-right conservative government. Its rulings on unions and voting rights actively undermine the Democratic party, and democracy more generally. And should Democrats take back the White House and Congress, these men in black (for they are currently all men on the conservative/reactionary side) will likely be attack dogs on a progressive governing strategy.
These are statements of fact and they must be greatly disheartening to progressives or even moderates of all stripes. But it also clarifies the stakes of this nation. The power of the vote remains, even if that vote has become more difficult. The powers of the other two branches of government remain formidable, should a backlash among those who fear our nation's conservative lurch rally to the polls. And now, as a fight for a replacement for Kennedy looms, the voices of the people have to be heard.
Covering the civil rights movement, I saw many setbacks to the vision of Dr. King and his fellow activists that dwarf even this latest development. They responded with bravery, strategy, and an iron-clad resolution in the justice of their cause. So too did women suffragists, labor activists, and anti-war protesters. Ultimately the will of the people can prevail, even in the halls of tilted justice.
If you are deeply disturbed by what has happened, absorb the shock. But respond with even more determination. If you see this as a fight for the future of democracy, let those in power know that the will of the majority can still hold sway.
I remember many grave moments in our nation's history when hope seemed to be a largely extinguished sliver of light on a distant horizon. But those who responded to those odds with a determination to march forward time and time again helped grow that light into a bright new sunrise for a better day.
I leave you with two words that have served me well through life... #steady and #courage!