Politic and Law

SCOTUS 2023-24 Term Reveals 

a Corrupt Court Majority 

on Steroids


Washington D.C. – (PAW) - 7/14/2024 - People For the American Way released its annual Supreme Court end-of-term report on July 11, 2024, The Supreme Court's 2023-24 term: A corrupt majority on steroids. The report summarizes key Supreme Court rulings for 2023-24 and looks ahead to cases the Court is slated to hear in 2024-25.

It comes at the end of a cataclysmic term in which the Court, dominated by far-right justices and awash in ethics scandals, further undermined longstanding precedents, failed to protect critical reproductive rights, and – most notably – handed former president Donald Trump a potentially game-changing advantage in the 2024 presidential election, with a ruling that sets back his federal criminal trial on election subversion charges.

Read the full report here.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: this is a corrupt Court majority on steroids,” said Svante Myrick, president of People For the American Way. “Donald Trump’s hand-picked justices delivered for him in a way that previously would have been unimaginable to most of us. The Court’s ruling giving former presidents unprecedented immunity from prosecution was exactly what Trump ordered and will almost certainly keep him out of federal court, or prison, while he runs for another term. And that ruling was just the icing on a very unsavory cake cooked up this term by this ethically challenged Court, which issued numerous other rulings endangering our rights and freedoms. This is why we have to vote the courts this fall. There’s no way we can allow Donald Trump back in office to pick more judges and justices who will be only too willing to help him destroy our democracy.”

Elliot Mincberg, senior fellow at People For the American Way and an author of the report, stated: “This Supreme Court has dug itself into a hole so deep, it’s hard to imagine how it will ever regain our trust and confidence. Its rulings this term continue to endanger the American people and our democracy. That’s bad enough, but then there are the scandals around gifts and trips for conservative justices, and Clarence Thomas’s refusal to recuse from cases involving the election his wife tried to overturn. We need meaningful Supreme Court reform. And we must defeat Donald Trump in November, or this ongoing disaster for our legal system and our country will only get worse.”



Trump v. United States. On the final day of the term, the Court’s far-right majority issued a very troubling decision on the immunity of former presidents, like Donald Trump, from criminal prosecution. This virtually guarantees that Trump will not face a jury trial before the election on his efforts to stir up an insurrection and overturn the results of the 2020 election. The ruling creates unprecedented immunity for former presidents while setting forth a tiered system of presidential acts enjoying varying levels of immunity. The Court’s opinion did not resolve whether Trump is absolutely immune from all the charges in the DC federal indictment against him, but instead sent the case back to the district court to determine how to characterize Trump’s conduct. Justice Sonia Sotomayor strongly dissented, writing that the ruling threatens to transform the entire range of a president’s official conduct into a “law-free zone.”

Trump v. Anderson: In this case, the Court ruled that Colorado could not bar Donald Trump from its presidential ballot, despite a state supreme court ruling that Trump had engaged in insurrection and therefore could be barred under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Five of the Court’s far-right justices then went further and wrote that the only way to bar an insurrectionist from federal office is by Congressional statute. But Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson pointed out that it makes no sense to say that Section 3 is unenforceable until Congress passes a law saying how it would be put into effect. The three sharply criticized the majority for its “attempts to insulate all alleged insurrectionists from future challenges to their holding federal office.”

Fischer v. US. The Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision narrowed the reach of one of the criminal statutes used to prosecute Trump and some of the January 6 insurrectionists. Joseph Fischer was one of the Trump supporters who is accused of breaking into the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The Court ruled that Fischer could not be charged under a particular statute that is violated when a person “impair[s] the availability or integrity for use in an official proceeding of records, documents, objects, or” other things. The ruling was somewhat limited and should not interfere with the prosecution of the vast majority of those individuals


Alexander v. South Carolina Conference of the NAACP. The Supreme Court issued a harmful 6-3 ruling in this gerrymandering case, weakening Black Americans’ ability to fully participate in our democracy. The case arose when South Carolina Republicans drew a map that moved more than 30,000 Black voters out of a congressional district, which made it whiter and more likely to elect a Republican. The South Carolina NAACP went to court, claiming the move was racially motivated, and won. But on appeal the Supreme Court majority decided that the redistricting was a permissible political gerrymander, rather than an illegal racial gerrymander. The ruling makes it easier for politicians to draw unfair voting maps that reduce the political power of Black Americans.


Foodand Drug Administration (FDA) v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine. Following the overturning of Roe v Wade, conservatives targeted the availability of medication abortion. They created an organization called the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine to manufacture a lawsuit against the FDA, which had approved the abortion medication mifepristone, and argued against all the evidence to the contrary that mifepristone is dangerous. The Supreme Court dismissed the case, ruling that the Alliance had no standing to sue. Mifepristone remains available, but threats remain. The Court did not address the actual substance of the lawsuit and effectively “kicked the can down the road” to a time when the Far Right will inevitably sue again.

Moyle v. United States. Shortly after the Dobbs ruling overturning Roe v Wade, controversies arose about a federal law that concerns abortion care in emergencies. The 1986 federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requires emergency rooms in hospitals that receive Medicare funding to provide “necessary stabilizing treatment” to patients who arrive with an “emergency medical condition.” Idaho law severely restricts abortions, prohibiting them except when necessary to save the life of the mother, regardless of dangers to the mother’s health. The Biden Administration went to federal court in Moyle and maintained that EMTALA supersedes Idaho’s law. The Court dismissed the case, preserving emergency care access in Idaho for now. But Justices Alito, Thomas, and Gorsuch dissented, and the Court will likely face the issue again.


United States v. Rahimi. Under the federal Violence Against Women Act, it is illegal for someone subject to a domestic violence restraining order to possess a firearm or ammunition. Zackey Rahimi was subject to a restraining order in 2019, after he assaulted and threatened his girlfriend. In 2020 and 2021, he was involved in five different shootings. When police searched his home, they found firearms. He was convicted for possessing them, but claimed this violated his Second Amendment rights. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction, but the fact that such an extreme claim made it to the nation’s highest court is significant. It shows how much damage Trump judges and justices have done to our judicial system, following the Court’s dangerous decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, severely weakening the ability of states and cities to set reasonable restrictions on firearms. 

Garland v. Cargill. In a 6-3 ruling made possible by the three Trump justices, the Supreme Court invalidated a federal rule that subjects semi-automatic rifles equipped with bump stocks to the same restrictions and penalties as machine guns. The ruling ignores the fact that bump stocks, such as the one used in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting that killed and injured hundreds of people, cause weapons to perform in exactly the same deadly manner as machine guns. In her dissent, Justice Sotomayor noted that the majority’s “artificially narrow definition” of machine gun “hamstrings the Government’s efforts to keep machine guns from gunmen like the Las Vegas shooter.”


Starbucksv. McKinney. In this case, the Supreme Court majority ruled against employees seeking to protect their rights to organize. The majority set a standard for courts to follow that will make it harder for workers in the future to get relief from unfair labor practices. The case concerns a group of Starbucks employees who tried to unionize one of its stores in Memphis. After news coverage of the effort, Starbucks fired them. Congress long ago made it illegal to fire people as retaliation for their effort to unionize. The union helping the workers organize filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, and the NLRB made a preliminary finding that an unfair labor practice had occurred and Starbucks shoulder-hire the employees pending final resolution. But the Supreme Court ruled against the employees, based on the majority’s interpretation of the authority of the NLRB.


Relentlessv. Department of Commerce and Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo. In two companion cases, the Court’s far-right majority took the monumental step of overturning the Chevron doctrine which for 40 years had supported federal agency authority for protecting public health and safety. Both of these cases involved challenges by fishing companies to a rule issued by one such agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service. The companies challenged the NMFS’s authority to monitor them for overfishing. In ruling for the corporations, the Court set the stage for a massive upending of thousands of existing rules protecting health, safety and rights, while chilling future efforts to regulate businesses on behalf of consumers and the public. Kym Meyer, litigation director for the Southern Environmental Law Center, called the majority’s ruling a “recipe for chaos.”

SEC v. Jarkesy. This case also threatens federal agency ability to protect the public. As part of its regular activity to enforce congressional laws, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought a civil penalty proceeding against George Jarkesy, Jr., for misleading investors and fraud in marketing hedge funds. After a full trial before an administrative law judge, the SEC found him guilty and ordered him to pay a civil penalty of $300,000 and to disgorge over $680,000 in illicit gains. Jarkesy challenged the SEC’s authority and demanded a jury trial instead. The Court agreed with him, throwing into doubt the ability of the SEC and other agencies to enforce laws passed by Congress.

Corner Post v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. In the last week of its Term, the Court issued yet another 6-3 ruling in which the far-right majority harmed regulatory agencies by making it easier to challenge regulations, even those that were promulgated long ago. The majority held that a company or others can challenge a rule within six years of when the rule began to injure the plaintiff, even if this happened many years – 13 years in Corner Post –after the agency’s action. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s dissent for herself and Justices Sotomayor and Kagan stated that the decision could have “staggering” consequences, especially in light of the right-wing majority’s decision overturning the Chevron doctrine.

Ohio v. EPA. It has long been recognized that air can and does carry pollution across state borders. As part of the Clean Air Act, Congress required that states submit State Implementation Plans (SIPs) to implement their obligations under the law that comply with the law’s “Good Neighbor Provision.” After the EPA disapproved a number of states’ SIPs, several states went to court to challenge the action. In an opinion by Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Trump justice Brett Kavanaugh and by Chief Justice Roberts along with Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, a 5-4 majority granted the states’ request and stopped any EPA implementation of the Good Neighbor Policy until the states’ lawsuit concludes, which is likely to take years. As Earthjustice’s Senior Vice President Sam Sankar stated, the Court has put “thousands of lives at risk.”

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) v. Community Financial Services Association of America. This case was a constitutional challenge to the way the CFPB is funded. The CFPB had adopted a Payday Lending Rule to protect people from unfair and abusive lending practices. Two associations of companies regulated by the rule went to court to have it overturned. A panel of Trump judges on the far-right Fifth Circuit ruled that the way the agency was funded was unconstitutional. Fortunately, the Supreme Court disagreed and ruled for the CFPB. The case could have had the potential of calling into question nearly everything the CFPB has done since its creation. But the fact that the lawsuit got as far as it did shows the impact of far-right lower court judges.


Murthy v. Missouri. This was a challenge to the Biden administration’s efforts to inform social media companies when their sites are being used for harmful disinformation, especially about COVID-19 vaccines and the 2020 election. In a 6-3 opinion by Justice Barrett, the Court ruled that none of the complaining parties had standing to sue in federal court. Like the mifepristone lawsuit, this case should never have made it this far. The fact that it did shows how right-wing plaintiffs once again were able to find a way to get a Trump district court judge to put ideology over the law and help advance their cause.


    People For the American Way is a national progressive advocacy organization that inspires and mobilizes Americans to defend freedom, justice, and democracy from those who threaten to take them away. For more than four decades, we have been dedicated to making the promise of America real for everyone and have worked toward a vision of a vibrant America where basic rights and freedoms are upheld for all, not just the wealthy and the powerful. Learn more: http://www.peoplefor.org

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The Authoritarian Playbook

    (Protect Democracy) - 6/15/2022 - Before the 1990s, authoritarian leaders bent on upending democracy typically came to power forcefully and swiftly, often by means of a military coup d’etat. The moment democracy ceased to exist could be time-stamped and reported on with a block headline.

    Yet for at least the last thirty years, the threats to democracy have evolved. Today, democracy more often dies gradually, as the institutional, legal, and political constraints on authoritarian leaders are chipped away, one by one. This has happened – or is happening – in, among others, Russia, Venezuela, Hungary, the Philippines, Poland, Nicaragua, India, Turkey — and the United States. . . .   
    By using “salami tactics,” slicing away at democracy a sliver at a time, modern authoritarians still cement themselves in power, but they do so incrementally and gradually. Sometimes their actions are deliberate and calculated, but sometimes they are opportunistic, myopic, or even bumbling. There is no longer a singular bright line that countries cross between democracy and authoritarianism. But the outcome is still the same . . .  see full store HERE

Wake Up to the Growing Dangers of Christian Nationalism

 Source: Freedom From Religion Foundation, by Co-president Annie Lauie Gayler

     (FFRF) - 2/12/2024 - Almost 20 years ago, the Freedom From Religion Foundation inaugurated a campaign “to wake up the nation to the growing dangers of theocracy.” We ran commercials using that terminology over Air America Radio, recited by talents like Rachel Maddow and Ron Reagan, published a “Theocracy Watch” column in Freethought Today and included a special segment called “Theocracy Watch” when we first launched Freethought Radio in 2006.

     Among the few individuals calling attention back then to that particular iteration of Christian nationalism under George W. Bush was Michelle Goldberg, who wrote an early-bird warning, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, in 2006. When we invited Michelle Goldberg to address our national convention that year, she explained about Christian nationalism: “Their idea from the beginning has been to undermine the Enlightenment.”  . . . .  see full store HERE

The Darvo Strategy - Deny, Attack, Reverse

Source: The Guardian, by Sidney Blumenthal
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Human Rights

Universal Declaration 

of Human Rights Remains Vital 

to World Peace

(RPC) - 7/7/2024 - Edwardsville, Ill. - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a document worth preserving and promoting. The United States is a major signatory and member of the United Nations, and one of five permanent members on the United Nations Security Council, along with China, France, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom. 

    Human beings have certain fundamental rights -- by virtue of being human -- which no government or entity has a right to take away or prohibit, whether by decree from a lawless despot or court, or from some other source. Force and violence and bad laws are often used to strip people of their rights, but it does not eliminate the fact of their existence and their importance to maintaining a peaceful co-existence among the world's various cultures and nations. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights deserves our unwavering support.

 From a preface on the United Nation's site, located here: "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations.

"It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages. The UDHR is widely recognized as having inspired, and paved the way for, the adoption of more than seventy human rights treaties, applied today on a permanent basis at global and regional levels."


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, therefore,

The General Assembly,

Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11

  1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

  2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

  2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14

  1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

  2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15

  1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.

  2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16

  1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

  2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

  3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17

  1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

  2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

  2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21

  1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

  2. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

  3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23

  1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

  2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

  3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

  4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25

  1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

  2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26

  1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

  2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

  3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27

  1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

  2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29

  1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

  2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

  3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.


Dangerous 'Project 2025' Would

Lead to Financial Disaster,

Loss of 8.7 Million Jobs,

New Analysis Finds

    Washington, D.C. (CAP)
— 7/4/2024 Nearly three decades of deregulation opened the door for banks, investment companies, insurers, and other firms to engage in the excessive risk-taking that culminated in the 2007–2008 financial crisis and triggered the Great Recession. Now, extremists from the far-right Heritage Foundation are laying the foundation for another crisis. Project 2025 includes well-documented plans to overturn post-crisis policies that protect consumers, investors, and the stable functioning of financial markets. But it also proposes new limits on regulators’ capacity to step in during periods of instability—specifically, restricting the Federal Reserve’s “lender-of-last-resort” function that allows troubled banks to borrow money quickly. A new Center for American Progress analysis shows how irresponsible this is by calculating the present-day costs of a repeat of the Great Recession.

    This new analysis finds that a comparable financial shock and recession would result in 8.7 million people losing their jobs by 2026 and that employment would not recover to current levels until 2031. On top of this, the loss in real gross domestic product per capita over the next five years would be $7,774.

    “If far-right extremists are successful in enacting Project 2025, the likelihood of a 2007-scale financial crisis would be greater, and this risks economic losses to workers and households that could exceed those in the Great Recession,” said Marc Jarsulic, senior fellow and chief economist at CAP and co-author of the column. “The proposals in Project 2025 makes things crystal clear—far-right extremists care more about bolstering Wall Street’s bottom line than protecting American families.” 
    Read the column: “Project 2025 Would Allow Financial Disaster To Bolster Wall Street’s Bottom Line” by Marc Jarsulic and Lilith Fellowes-Granda