The death of the liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020 led to Republicans’ quick confirmation of Barrett, notwithstanding the approaching election and McConnell’s opposition during Obama’s term to filling an opening in an election year. She took her seat just days before the 2020 election and solidified the conservative hold on the court.

The Supreme Court’s sweeping rulings on guns and abortion sent an unmistakable message. Conservative justices hold the power and they are not afraid to use it to make transformative changes in the law, none more so than taking away a woman’s right to abortion that had stood for nearly 50 years.

No more half measures, they declared Friday in overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing states to outlaw abortion. And the day before, in ruling for the first time that Americans the right to carry handguns in public for self-defense, they said the Constitution is clear.

“A restless and newly constituted Court,” is how Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of three liberals on the nine-member court, described her colleagues earlier in June.

The abortion case in particular was a repudiation of the more incremental approach favored by Chief Justice John Roberts.

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