June 30, Joseph Kobylka, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at SMU Dallas, for a commentary summing up the work of the 2021 Supreme Court term and how influencer Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., shaped the membership and caused an abrupt turn in rulings toward the right. Published in The Hill under the heading Make no mistake, this is the ‘McConnell Court’: https://bit.ly/3uak07R
The Supreme Court’s just completed 2021 term marked a distinct turn toward the constitutional right and vision of the Federalist Society. There is no turning back, at least not in the near term. This is one of the youngest courts in over 100 years; its major constitutional decisions are likely to endure for a decade or more.
This is largely attributable to three most recent appointees: Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. In tandem with Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, the court has a stable five-person majority — six when Chief Justice John Roberts joins them — steering it on politically salient issues of constitutional law. Many will attribute this result to President Trump, but that would be wrong. This isn’t “Donald Trump’s Court”; it is a court largely made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). And, for better or worse, it has brought the jurisprudential style of nearly 70 years to a hard stop.