Having first sickened the White House and then Congress, the virus of Trumpism is about to spread to the Supreme Court itself.
He refused to allow Barack Obama to fill a vacancy for almost a year, holding the seat open to draw evangelical voters to the polls and elect a Republican president.
That was a clever gambit, though it had the downside of risking the credibility of the American legal system. The bet has now paid off, and the risk has been realized.
The Roberts Court is poised to shape American society in Trump’s image for decades to come. All three branches of the federal government are now committed to the Trump agenda: the restoration of America’s traditional racial, religious, and gender hierarchies; the enrichment of party patrons; the unencumbered pursuit of corporate profit; the impoverishment and disenfranchisement of the rival party’s constituencies; and the protection of the president and his allies from prosecution by any means available. Not since the end of Reconstruction has the U.S. government been so firmly committed to a single, coherent program uniting a politics of ethnonationalism with unfettered corporate power. As with Redemption, as the end of Reconstruction is known, the consequences could last for generations.