The U.S. Supreme Court made waves, lots of them, in the last week of its current term and the country won't be better for them, if you ask us. For its last day, the court saved two decisions that most likely will negatively impact young Americans and LGBTQIA+ communities, just in time for Independence Day.
First, as we predicted earlier this month, the Supreme Court struck down president Joe Biden's student-loan forgiveness plan, even after the president vetoed a bill that also sought to eliminate the debt relief. Black leaders, including those with the NAACP, quickly responded, saying the Court is abandoning Black borrowers. The president is supposedly planning a response, but previously, news reports suggested the administration has no real counterpunch for what the SCOTUS did. Biden called the move "unthinkable" and suggested on Twitter that there may be more to come.
The Court also decided on a case involving a web designer who hypothetically refused to do work for a same-sex couple. Guess what the conservative majority decided on that one: yep! The court said a business owner shouldn't have to "celebrate" a marriage they don't support, suggesting the website designer's First Amendment rights would be violated in this, again, hypothetical situation. Speaking for justices on the court who were against the ruling (it was 6-3), Sonia Sotomayor wrote, "Today, the Court, for the first time in its history, grants a business open to the public a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class… This is heartbreaking. Sadly, it is also familiar."
And if that weren't enough for one day of trouble, the Supreme Court completed its "the f**k is this!?" hat trick by upholding a Jim Crow-era law in Mississippi that prevents certain convicted felons from voting. This is just one day after the Supreme Court handed down a decision effectively ending race-based affirmative action consideration for admissions at U.S. colleges.
That's a lot of f**kery for two days of work, and the Court is already on tap to look at a case next term that could make it easier for domestic-violence abusers to regain rights to buying guns.
Ironically, these terrible decisions, pushed through by the court's right-wing majority, are happening just before the 4th of July holiday weekend. It seems the country is in the grip of a court that is more concerned with harming the disenfranchised and stripping protections from the most vulnerable U.S. citizens than continuing, or even maintaining, decades of progress. Happy birthday, America!