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It’s the ill-gotten seats that make this Supreme Court illegitimate

From left: US Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

The Supreme Court’s “illegitimacy” that some of us legitimately decry is not a reaction to decisions with which we disagree (”Overturning Roe does not make the Supreme Court ‘illegitimate,’ ” Jeff Jacoby, Opinion, June 29). It’s the response to a court that has a 6-3 majority of far-right justices, two of whom hold their seats only because Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Senate Republicans violated decades of Senate precedent, norms, and traditions by refusing to give a hearing and vote to Merrick Garland (then-president Barack Obama’s nominee for the seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia) — ostensibly because the vacancy arose during a presidential election year — and subsequently rammed through the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat held by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, while Americans were already casting votes in the 2020 presidential election.

Ill-gotten Supreme Court seats that render a conservative majority that would not otherwise control the court are what make the court illegitimate. That history simply cannot be overlooked or ignored.


Senator Edward J. Markey