The U.S. Supreme Court building is an example of "neoclassical revival" architecture (
by Dan Burns
Nov 8, 2023, 7:00 AM

Why did SCOTUS pass up a chance to screw Minnesota?

Actually to screw everyone, since climate change can hardly be described as stopping at state, or for that matter national, borders. This happened a little while ago.

The legal battle to prevent more hybrid and electric vehicles on Minnesota roads has hit a dead end.

The United States Supreme Court declined a challenge from auto dealers to block Gov. Tim Walz’s mandate.

I haven’t been able to find any analysis from professional SCOTUS-watchers, particularly progressive ones, as to why this call was made. I can suggest a few possibilities, though I emphasize that the following is really no more than semi-informed speculation.

– They could be planning on doing a much bigger case that will crush this law and any others like it, nationwide. For all I know they already have such a case on the docket. I haven’t seen anything to that effect, but I don’t follow the Court closely.

– The right-wing extremist majority is actually endeavoring to be conscientious, legitimate judges, doing their jobs the way they’re supposed to be done. I for one don’t consider that to be very likely, to say the least.

– The same extremist majority is “running scared,” thanks to its probably unprecedented levels of flagrant criminal corruption having become public knowledge.

I’d like to believe that one, but I have a hard time doing so. “Justices” Thomas and Alito clearly consider themselves to be above the law. The other right-wing justices appear to be open to Chief Justice Roberts’s preference for a more constrained, piece-by-piece effort to ultimately undo decades of progress for Americans. Fitful, limited progress, to be sure, but progress nonetheless.

A related possibility is that this court is hesitant to push things too far for fear that Congress will begin using its power, which is explicitly granted in the Constitution, to exempt particularly important legislation – say, a new Voting Rights Act – from judicial review. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see that, but I think it will take a good many more real progressives in Congress for that to happen. Several more good elections’ worth, at least.

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