Congresswoman Bush Statement on the end of the Supreme Court’s 2021-22 Term
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) released the below statement following the end of the Supreme Court’s 2021-22 term:
“The Supreme Court is at war with social movements organizing for a more just and equitable America.
As a Black woman in America, I have never expected to find lasting liberation through the Supreme Court. This is the same court that in the 1857 landmark Dred Scott v. Sandford case held that Black people “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” This sentiment has deep roots in St. Louis, as Dred Scott was enslaved in Missouri and is buried in my district. With the close of this session, it's clear that this far-right extremist Court is committed to restoring its shameful place in history.
In the past few months alone, the Court has sanctioned racial exclusions, breached the Fifteenth Amendment by disenfranchising Black, brown and Indigenous voters, empowered states with near unfettered control over people’s reproductive rights and bodily autonomy, and undermined the power of policymakers to provide vital protections in law. The Court’s jurisprudence of white supremacy is unjust, profound, and dangerous.
Republicans have won the national popular vote exactly once in the past 33 years – and yet their legacy is inflicting lasting damage on the people of our country. Most of today’s Supreme Court justices were appointed by Presidents who a majority of voters did not support. These are the same conservative justices who voted to overturn Roe, who chose to remove 150 years of civil protections that were put in place to protect enslaved and freed Black people, and who just today gutted our ability to tackle the climate crisis. This trend must be seen for what it is: a political campaign to re-engineer and revitalize the same tools of oppression we’ve fought for centuries to end.
Just as this moment of dangerous judicial supremacy is not unique in our country’s history, there is precedent for how we can fight back against it. As Members of Congress, we have a fundamental responsibility to respond to the Court’s empowered arm of a growing fascist movement. I believe that our path forward is clear, and it includes:
Stripping the Court of its power to invalidate federal laws that protect our fundamental rights, such as our rights to reproductive health, voting, marriage equality;
Requiring justices abide by a code of ethics, requiring justices recuse themselves when they or their families have financial and other conflicts of interest, and ensuring adequate protections are in place against sexual discrimination, harassment, and other misconduct in the federal judiciary and enhance procedures for resolving complaints;
Imposing term limits and expanding the court to limit the power of nine justices;
Transforming the federal judiciary by appointing people with a strong track record of advancing civil and constitutionally protected rights and whose work has shown dedication to affirming the rights of our country’s most marginalized communities to lower courts.
The legitimacy of the United States Supreme Court is dead. I am calling on my colleagues to join me in taking forceful action to build a true democracy and rebalance our Court.”
Congresswoman Cori Bush sits on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, serves as the Progressive Caucus Deputy Whip, and proudly represents St. Louis as a politivist in the halls of the United States Congress.