Balance The Bench

July 1, 2024


Stonewall Democratic Club Urgently Condemns SCOTUS Immunity Ruling 


The Stonewall Democratic Club calls on the Senate Judiciary Committee to launch a comprehensive investigation into the profound corruption, partisanship, and lawfare of the Supreme Court. Congress must also take immediate legislative steps to rebalance the Court, institute term limits, and strengthen its ethical standards. The American people deserve an impartial Supreme Court dedicated to upholding the Constitution and the rule of law equally for every person. These steps are necessary to restore the Supreme Court to its constitutional role.


Repeated ethical lapses and conflicts of interest among the senior justices raise strong concerns that the Court’s decision-making is corrupt and prioritizes partisanship over precedent. Justice Clarence Thomas’s refusal to recuse himself from January 6th-related domestic terrorism cases despite his wife’s involvement in efforts to block certification of the 2020 election; and Justice Samuel Alito’s repeated flying of signal flags in apparent support for insurrection deeply erode public trust. Furthermore, the Supreme Court’s composition is the direct result of political foul play. The Court’s conservative 6-3 supermajority was only made possible because of Republicans’ unprecedented blockade of Merrick Garland’s nomination during the Obama administration, which was followed by the rushed confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett just weeks before the 2020 election. Without this political malpractice, such an imbalanced Court may not have been possible. 


In recent years, this Court has issued increasingly extreme and partisan rulings, defying decades of judicial precedent, which they themselves called ‘settled law’ in confirmation hearings, to promote an extremist right-wing political agenda. The latest example of this was the court’s recent overturn of 40 years of judicial doctrine in the Chevron Deference. This blatant power grab centralizes power in the judiciary by giving the courts power to unilaterally interpret regulatory statutes, bypassing subject-matter expertise. The Supreme Court continues to undermine the system of checks and balances fundamental to our democracy. 


The ruling in Trump v. United States goes even further: that a president is immune from prosecution for ‘official acts.’ This empowers the executive to violate any law, provided they do so ‘officially,’ making a mockery of the fundamental principle that no one is above the law. Under this ruling, the balance of power between the president and the people has drastically shifted. A hypothetical president could shoot protestors, assassinate critics, or lead a coup and be immune from prosecution. 


This is part of a larger pattern by this Court circumventing the democratic process, dismantling critical civil rights, and overturning legal precedents in service of demagogic political schemes. This includes decisions in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which amongst major problems attacking privacy and maternal healthcare nationwide; weakening anti-discrimination protections in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis; creating chaos regarding sensible firearm regulations in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen; and eliminating affirmative action in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College. These regressive rulings have left the public justifiably alarmed about the Court’s alignment with their values.


The American people are owed the full confidence in the independence and impartiality of the Supreme Court. We at the Stonewall Democratic Club call on our nation's leaders to take immediate steps to restore balance and ethics to the Supreme Court before our democratic system is irreparably damaged. Our democracy and civil liberties depend on it.