Even as conservatives are celebrating the appointment of Bret Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, a number of critics from left and right are wondering if the victory is not in some ways a defeat.

One possible casualty my be the prestige of the Court itself. The often bizarre spectacle of the Kavanaugh hearings has left the image of the court, in the words of the New York Times, "injured and diminished."

And it's not just the left that's critical. Libertarian columnist Jacob Hornberger noted in a recent column that the loose ends left by the hearing have left an unquestionable stain on the judicial and legislative branches.

Even the possible overturn of Roe v Wade, long considered the major goal by social conservatives, could turn out to be a pyrrhic victory. A number of states, most notably New York and California, have taken measures to protect abortion rights in their own state laws.

There is no reason why other states could do likewise. A Pew Research Center poll from spring 2018 found that "55 percent of Americans said abortion should be legal in all or most cases."

it's also possible that losing Roe could take much of the wind out of the right wing's sails. Lacking a national bete noir against which to rally its factions, the right-Evangelical coalition could unravel.

It should also be noted that the last time the court was this conservative was in the late 1930s, a time that saw a radical shift leftward in this country, via Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal programs.


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