Rule of Law Threatened by the Right

The nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson, is a top lawyer — and is branded as a radical leftist. That branding is harmful to the justice system.

Finally, Ketanji Brown Jackson will be confirmed by the Senate as the first Black female justice on the highest court of the U.S., even if it just about came to a deadlock between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee. But what the judge had to put up with from the right during the hearings is harmful to the entire justice system.

For sure, the question of who occupies seats on the Supreme Court has been a political issue for a long time. Because the divided Congress is becoming less and less capable of acting, in recent times major legislative reforms often go through the individual states, who then have their regulations heard by the highest court — with the effect that they ultimately apply to the entire country, even though they never went through Congress. Because of this, it is particularly important who the nine people interpreting the constitution are.

But their judgment has to be accepted by politicians and the people as lawful and binding. What happens when that does not occur could be the follow-up to 2020/2021: Donald Trump’s lies and disdain for justice, shared by millions of people, threatened the constitutional fabric of the U.S. as a whole.

When an experienced Harvard graduate with credentials second to none is now branded by Republican senators as radical leftist, that shakes confidence in her even before the first ruling. This undermines the authority that is supposed to ensure that the executive branch complies with the law.

Jackson will replace the liberal Stephen Breyer, who is resigning from the court at the age of 83. His resignation is pure prevention: No one at the moment would bet that the next president won’t be called Trump once again, and if he were able to fill yet another post on the Supreme Court, that would mean a conservative 7-2 majority that would not be reversed for decades. But the fact that one has to think like that at all in the U.S. is a shameful display for the country that still sees itself as a leading power of democracy.

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