Matthews: Would current SCOTUS have passed older landmark decisions?

Updated

Let me finish tonight with the Supreme Court.

Does anyone wonder, like I do, what this Supreme Court — the one personified by Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — would have done in the landmark decisions of the post-World War II era?

I wonder if it would have backed desegregation in the Brown case. I doubt this pack of conservatives, which includes Chief Justice John Roberts, Sam Alito and Anthony Kennedy, would have voted to knock down “separate but equal” back in the 1950s. I doubt this group would have removed organized prayer from public schools back in the 1960s — the decision that ignited the moral majority. I doubt that this Court would have recognized a woman’s right to decide on an abortion in the 1970s.  

Let me proffer a tougher judgment: would this court, voting as it does today, have upheld the 1964 Civil Rights Bill — the statute which declared it illegal to refuse access to someone because of race to a restaurant, hotel or a gas station restroom? Would Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Kennedy have approved such a decision, or would they have joined in the dissent? (Well, maybe Kennedy.)

The fact is, we have the most conservative Court since the early 1930s and maybe more conservative than that. These justices, led by Scalia, believe in original intent. They want to judge cases the way the Founding Fathers would.

The Founding Fathers, need I remind us, wrote slavery into the Constitution. It took a civil war and the Thirteenth Amendment to get it out.  

Supreme Court and Hardball Let Me Finish

Matthews: Would current SCOTUS have passed older landmark decisions?

Updated