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How a conservative bloc, unrestrained by public opinion, is leading the US Supreme Court

  • July 28, 2022

In front of the steps of the US Supreme Court — nearly a week after the landmark overturning of Roe v. Wade — the president of the National Organization of Women handed out pro-choice placards and pledged to keep fighting for abortion rights.

Christian Nunes also had some strong words about the top court, calling it “compromised” and out of step with public opinion.

“They’re not ruling in favor of the people. They’re ruling in their own moral viewpoints,” Nunes said.

That the recent decisions by the conservative majority court may not be in tune with average Americans is backed up by recent polls and surveys. But those rulings also signal a newly unapologetic and muscular court, willing to buck the national mood.

“They’re using their conservatism in a powerful way and they’re acting like they’re in a hurrysaid Stephen Wermiel, a constitutional law professor at American University Washington College of Law.

“For a long time, we’ve been looking at a conservative tugboat. And now we’re looking at a conservative runaway freight train.”

A CBS News/YouGov poll found 59 per cent of Americans disapproved of the court’s recent overturn of Roe v. Wade, compared to 41 per cent who approved. (Jacquelyn Martin/The Associated Press)

That freight train has pushed through some strongly conservative-minded decisions over the past weeks. Along with overturning Roe v. Wade, the 6-3 conservative majority effectively expanded gun rights in New York state and ruled that a high school football coach had a constitutional right to pray on the field.

On Thursday, in a blow to the fight against climate change, the court also ruled 6-3 that the Clean Air Act does not give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

“I would say that [the conservative

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