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Reader's View: Trump’s legacy will long haunt nation

With Trump’s three conservative U.S. Supreme Court appointments joining the other three conservatives appointed by previous administrations, the Supreme Court today already has demonstrated a willingness to deny long-established rights and risk our climate for generations to come.

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American presidents may be in office for a short time, but their legacies may thrive for several lifetimes. Such is the lasting impact of former President Donald J. Trump. With Trump’s three conservative U.S. Supreme Court appointments joining the other three conservatives appointed by previous administrations, the Supreme Court today already has demonstrated a willingness to deny long-established rights and risk our climate for generations to come.

With Dobbs v. Jackson, the recent Supreme Court decision overturning abortion rights that had been guaranteed by Roe v. Wade, Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas stated the 9th and 14th Amendments should no longer be used to guarantee the unenumerated rights not specifically stated in our Constitution. He also suggested states should reconsider recently established rights like gay marriage and relationships or long-held rights like access to contraception. Justice Thomas was silent on whether his own interracial marriage should remain legal, as guaranteed by Loving v. Virginia.

It is not only individual rights that are at risk. After almost four decades of Republican administrations using cap and trade to regulate pollutants, the Supreme Court determined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency no longer has authority to use this effective measure to regulate greenhouse gasses to combat climate change. Chief Justice John Roberts and his five conservative colleagues determined in West Virginia v. the EPA that using cap and trade to regulate pollutants can only be specifically mandated by Congress. Our planet is burning up, and conservative jurists are willing to let it happen so a select few can profit while others suffer.

By virtue of losing the 2020 presidential election popular vote, Trump was a gift the majority of American voters did not want, yet his legacy will haunt numerous generations to come. Elections have consequences.

James N. Bragge

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Carlton

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