By Joe Matthews, LA Progressive
To encourage us to think about the unthinkable, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists sets a Doomsday Clock, showing how close humanity is (in metaphorical minutes and seconds) to the “midnight” of the apocalypse (nuclear or otherwise) and human extinction.
California may now need its own Independence Clock, showing how close we are to that seemingly unthinkable moment when our state departs the U.S., to become an independent nation.
In recent weeks, that prospect drew unmistakably closer, courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court.
First, justices overturned more than a century of legal precedent that had allowed communities in California to limit public gun possession—endangering laws that have spared us from some of the American epidemic of gun deaths by murder, suicide, and accident.
Then, the court reversed Roe v. Wade and eliminated the federal constitutional right to abortion—a right enshrined in our state constitution and supported by majorities of Californians of every political party, region, and demographic group.
These decisions were like earthquakes—unsettling but unsurprising, given the justices’ frequent expressions of contempt for California in oral arguments (a bias I wrote about last year). They were enacted by a far-right court majority that exists because America’s anti-democratic constitution gives less representation and less voting power to Californians, both in choosing a president (who nominates justices) and in electing a Senate (which confirms them).