Crosscut Talks

Why Is the Conservative Supreme Court Acting So Liberal? Plus: The Black Leaders Who Support Seattle’s Top Cop

June 18, 2020

Amicus host Dahlia Lithwick joins us to discuss the possible motivations for this week's most surprising ruling. When the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court nearly two years ago, the consensus was that the highest court in the land had tilted even further to the right. The expectation was that the conservative lean of the court would shape the current term, rife with hugely consequential cases. So it has been with some surprise that the court delivered two big victories to two traditionally liberal causes in its early rulings, first extending employment protections to gay and transgender workers and, later in the week, preventing the Trump administration from immediately ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the majority in both cases and Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch penned the majority opinion in the landmark case for LGBTQ rights. Did we misread this court? Or is something else going on here? Lithwick tries to answer these questions while talking about the first of these two decisions. Plus: Crosscut reporter Lilly Fowler tells how an older generation of Black leaders views Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best. Note: This conversation took place prior to Thursday’s DACA ruling.