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An Aggressive Supreme Court Reshapes the US as Its Standing Erodes

Bloomberg – free link: “A conservative supermajority is remaking US laws on the environment, health and firearms, even as public confidence declines and ethical questions grow. The Supreme Court, in the midst of a run of decisions that have stress-tested the core principles of US democracy, has rarely been so aggressive in using its powers — or been viewed with more skepticism by Americans. With its 6-3 conservative majority, the court has issued a series of recent decisions enhancing its own role, in many cases by overriding regulatory agencies, the White House, Congress and state and local governments. Rulings have curtailed environmental protections, restricted efforts to regulate firearms and limited public-health initiatives. The court is set to decide on university affirmative action, student-loan relief and the rules for federal elections before the scheduled end of its term next week. At the same time, ethics controversies have underscored how little control the public has over nine justices who don’t have a code of conduct but do have life tenure under the Constitution. ProPublica reported late Tuesday that Justice Samuel Alito  accepted travel to Alaska on a private jet in 2008 from hedge fund chief Paul Singer, who years later had business before the court. That followed revelations that Justice Clarence Thomas took luxury vacations and gifts funded by Republican megadonor Harlan Crow…”

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