Mark Joseph Stern, the legal analyst for Slate, asks and answers the question: was yesterday the most hopeless day of the SCOTUS term?

Yes. Yesterday and last week demonstrated the fact that we have a Supreme Court that is completely in the grip of the far-right branch of the Republican Party. They are extremists. They have no respect for the role of the Court.

Stern writes:

No single day has better captured the current state of the Supreme Court than Thursday. At 10 a.m., the court issued a devastating assault on the Biden administration’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases in a 6–3 ruling joined by all of the court’s reactionary block. Ten minutes later, it issued a 5–4 opinion that just barely confirmed that the president, rather than a rogue judge in Texas, has authority over border policy, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh lending the lone votes preventing an absolutely insane outcome. Shortly thereafter, the court issued a bombshell orders list that tees up, for next term, one of the most important and dangerous democracy cases in American history, which asks whether state legislatures have near-unlimited authority over election laws.

The court’s most immediately lethal decisionremains Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade. But do not let Dobbs distract from the onslaught that followed it. If anyone still doubted that the Supreme Court served as the nation’s chief policymaking institution after Dobbs, Thursday should put that to rest. The court is ruthlessly efficient, putting our gridlocked Congress to shame with its speedy and definitive resolution of the most pressing issues facing the country today. It does not require hourslong hearings or endless negotiations to operate. The six-justice conservative majority chooses which conflicts to prioritize, takes up cases that present them, then picks a winner, nearly always for the benefit of the conservative movement and the Republican Party.

Consider the issues that SCOTUS has resolved this term—the first full term with a 6–3 conservative supermajority. The constitutional right to abortion: gone. States’ ability to limit guns in public: gone. Tribal sovereignty against state intrusion: gone. Effective constraints around separation of church and state: gone. The bar on prayer in public schools: gone. Effective enforcement of Miranda warnings: gone. The ability to sue violent border agents: gone. The Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases at power plants: gone. Vast areas of the law, established over the course of decades, washed away by a court over a few months.

There is no serious risk of another branch overriding these decisions. The squabbling among our elected representatives is, increasingly, a sideshow, with the court nudging along the decline of voters’ ability to shape their democracy. One-third of the court was appointed by a president who lost the popular vote, yet the majority evinces not a shred of caution about overriding the democratic branches or its own predecessors on the bench. It imposes Republican policies far more effectively than the Republican Party ever could. Real power in this country no longer lies in the people. It resides at the Supreme Court.