Leak on Roe Heightens the Perception of a Politicized Supreme Court

As Janna Carney, 35, picked up lunch near the downtown Los Angeles office where she works as a creative director in advertising, she said, “I liked the idea they couldn’t be owned by anybody, because you can’t vote for them, they’re not running campaigns.” Now, she said, she has trouble regarding the justices as neutral arbiters.

The country seems to have slipped so far into “red team vs. blue team” thinking that “we don’t have these nine impartial judges, we count them as team members,” she said. “It feels like our whole system is crumbling. It feels like we’re Rome and this is the fall.”

Others see the same thing, that justice are no longer independent voices who can evolve over time, moving left or right, but akin to a political slate.

“They’re lifetime appointments, and now they’re political appointments,” said Donna Decker, a poet who lives in Tallahassee, Fla. “In the past, we were surprised by some of the appointments. At first, someone might have seemed conservative, and then voted liberal, and vice versa. That’s not happening in the last two years. And that does concern me.”

In Oakland, Calif., Cesar Ruiz, 27, a tech worker, said he kept remembering that five of the justices were appointed by presidents who took office without a popular majority, at least in their first terms. When news of the leaked draft flashed on his cellphone, he said, “I remembered in high school, learning about the Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade and all the civil rights we gained in those years. Now an unelected, undemocratically appointed court is about to just wipe that out.”

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