Reagan and Spencer covered the final two Supreme Court rulings of the term -- which was generally seen as a consensus-oriented term, in spite of leftists' fearful attacks. The Court delivered a striking number of unanimous and lopsided decisions, including some with unpredictable ideological alliances. This is healthy. Some progressives were ready to rage over a ruling against the city of Philadelphia on a religious liberty case involving same-sex couples and adoption, but the 9-0 verdict made it difficult to frame the ruling as a manifestation of "right-wing hate," or whatever the prepared talking points were. Instead, the Court lined up behind First Amendment protections and societal pluralism, which strikes me as the correct constitutional call and the best outcome for our culture:
And like a 9-0 SCOTUS, I don’t think the government should discriminate against religious adoption agencies & that people who wish to keep the church out of their adoption process can make that choice for their family without invalidating many others’ faith-based choices. ?? https://t.co/DAJVnRdLf0— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 1, 2021
The final two decisions of the current term were bound to be controversial on some level. One involved voting integrity measures implemented in Arizona (including a ban on the dodgy practice of "ballot harvesting"), which were upheld 6-3, with all six conservatives joining the majority. In addition to settling the Arizona case, legal experts seem to agree that the ruling dooms the Biden/Garland DOJ's politically-motivated lawsuit against Georgia's new elections law (which we've covered extensively, including here, here, and here). That partisan stunt is effectively dead on arrival:
That weird sound you hear is DOJ's lawsuit against Georgia being flushed down the toilet.— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) July 1, 2021
Maybe the DOJ can do something more worthwhile, like look into the abject debacle in New York City, which comes on the heels of other New York voting fiascos. You might even call those problems "systemic" or "suppression." As for the final ruling handed down today, it's a major win for free speech and privacy -- and while the 6-3 split was along ideological lines, the case itself made for some strange bedfellows. We know that donor lists for advocacy organizations have been weaponized by mobs (left-wing and right-wing) in the distant and recent past (these examples help illustrate the phenomenon), which is why conservative and progressive groups lined up on the same side of this case. The New York Times frames the Court's action this way, naturally:
Breaking News: The Supreme Court rejected California’s requirement that charities report the identities of major donors, siding with conservative groups who said the disclosures could lead to harassment. https://t.co/lU6a9z32EA— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 1, 2021
Breaking from the Times: The ACLU, NAACP and Human Rights Campaign are all "conservative groups," apparently. Also, the organizations fighting for free speech and privacy rights didn't just say disclosures "could lead to harassment." They demonstrated it. And won. The Roberts Court has been pretty solid on First Amendment issues, but my goodness, the Democratic appointees occasionally indicate how hostile they are, often in attempting to uphold shocking 1A abuses by the state of California. Some leftists are furious about today's rulings, fulminating about a "hyper-partisan" right-wing Court. This term does not align with that view, and the cases they're angry about, especially on donor disclosure, are not clear-cut ideologically, despite the 6-3 split. They want to tar the conservative Court, so they're going to do so regardless. Coming up in the next SCOTUS term: Guns, abortion, and potentially gay rights/religious liberties. Buckle up.