Another opening question might be: Has the Supreme Court ever found its way? Without an Integral consciousness, I think not ! Other SCs may have come closer to hitting the mark, but this one seems pretty far from that. There seems to be some amber and a few green underbellies to its rationality, and its reasoning and other capacities of the orange stage appear to be used–sloppily sometimes, even deviously–to buffet the particular worldviews and political stances of the individual members.
The ethics and commitments to truth-telling of some members of the Court are questionable, and the Court lacks religious diversity and is clearly partisan and politically unbalanced, with the conservative right who have worked at least 50 years to blend religion and politics, favored.
Does religion matter? When it comes to issues like abortion, it can, and most likely does, based on comments some of the justices have made in the past. Seven of the justices who ruled on the abortion issue are Catholic (which includes Gorsuch who was raised Catholic, later attended an Episcopal church and has not clearly identified his religion, and also Obama-nominated Sotomayor). That amounts to 78% of the Court being identified or affiliated with Catholicism, while only 22% of the US population identify as Catholic. There are slightly more Americans who are religiously unaffiliated (23%), and it might be wise to have one of them on the Court in the future. (Stats from Public Religion Research Institute) Just a thought, and fat chance, one might say.
Religion in politics and governance is somewhat of a sensitive, seemingly semi-fragile issue to discuss, but discuss it we must, I think. It’s sort of the elephant in the room, on various fronts.
Regardless of everything, all is not lost. To quote Arthur Miller: “An era can be considered ended when its basic illusions have been exhausted.” As some of us have believed that democracy is self-sustaining, we’ve also wanted to believe the Supreme Court as a body is somehow ‘more than human,’ a last-resort Superhero of sorts, with an all-seeing eye at its center trained on and penetrating to the core of what constitutes “liberty and justice for all.” We’ve wanted to believe and have endowed the Court over the years with a transcendent wisdom and care that in reality exists in few. So the Supreme Court may be the end of the line in terms of our illusions being exhausted, paving the way for the early beginnings of a Transformation Age, which I’m still anticipating. Not soon but eventually, it will come, aligned with greater Integral emergence. 'Tis my view.
By overturning Roe v Wade and handing to the states decision-making powers around abortion–an issue and decision that involves and affects so many people, professions, institutions, laws, rule and regulations, etc.–the Court has perhaps done us a favor, an inglorious one, but a favor nevertheless in that it may hasten bringing to a head the hyperpolarization in the US. If state-against-state conflicts and battles around legalities and freedoms, and lacks thereof, escalate, sooner or later, this will come to a head, not in the form of an armed civil war or a J6 violent insurrection-type event, I don’t think, but perhaps through a decision-making process in which either there is agreement to live as peacefully and orderly as possible as the “Un United States,” or, there is a recommitment to the ongoing creation of a “more perfect union.” Either way, a new equilibrium could be found. And obviously, any number of factors could upset this applecart I’ve built; we could just all burn up or drown.
On the topic of interpreting the Constitution through “originalism” or in accordance with the concept of a “living history,” to me, this all falls under the very large umbrella of “being” and “becoming,” neither of which can be done away with, and both the left and the right should embrace both of those. Originalists would seemingly prefer that we attend the Constitution and its guiding principles as a steady stillness, just let it lie flat, “be,” interpreting it according to the Founders’ intent. The problem with this, as Mark and Corey pointed out, one is required to imagine their intent as we don’t really know, particularly with some of the poorly worded sections. The other obvious problem is that it allows little leeway for the Constitution itself and its interpretation to “become,” to grow and evolve just as people and cultures change, grow, evolve. This is akin to wanting Shiva without Shakti (to add a little religious diversity), the “I” without the “Am,” a noun without a verb. The left, while embracing and attending to and using where appropriate in their legal theories the original document(s) as foundational (with a beautiful Preamble), could base an overall legal theory on this general concept of “becoming,” stated coherently and succinctly and again and again and again. They need some forcefulness in this regard, imo.
Finally, Mark asked the Integral community what practices we use during these challenging times. I use a lot of different practices to maintain or ignite light, love, and energy, and these Integral podcasts and conversations are a part of that. So is humor. Recently I viewed a ‘morbid humor’ You Tube video depicting comments written on tomb and gravestones. These were some of my favorites, and here’s hoping they don’t offend anybody .
“Here lies an atheist. All dressed up and nowhere to go.”
“I see dumb people.”
“It’s dark down here.”
“One way. Do not enter.”
“Well, this sucks.”