Letters to the Editor: Democrats should be thinking long term about the Supreme Court instead of celebrating

Visitors on the steps of the Supreme Court building
Visitors walk outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., in February.
(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

To the editor: Let’s hope Democrats listen to Jackie Calmes when she points out the rights coming under attack by conservatives that may end up before the Supreme Court. They have no reason to celebrate one progressive jurist replacing another on the bench, where conservatives’ regressive 6-3 majority will remain intact, likely leaving progressives outnumbered well into the 2030s.

Instead, Democrats should reflect on how the high court came to be so ideologically skewed: They, unlike Republicans, haven’t learned to set aside petty internal differences during presidential election years.

Such discord allowed third-party candidates to siphon off enough Democratic votes to enable Donald Trump’s 2016 victory. The GOP learned its lesson in 1992, when Ross Perot’s Reform Party diverted conservative votes from George H.W. Bush. The Democrats failed to learn from how Ralph Nader’s Green Party candidacy undermined Al Gore’s 2000 run.


With a more united Democratic Party behind Hillary Clinton in 2016, the high court could have retained a solid progressive majority. Lesson learned, Democrats?

Devra Mindell, Santa Monica