A deeply divided Supreme Court is allowing a Texas law that bans most abortions to remain in force, stripping most women of the right to an abortion in the nation’s second-largest state. The court voted 5-4 to deny an emergency appeal from abortion providers and others that sought to block enforcement of the law that went into effect Wednesday, Sept. 1 Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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Michael Cianchette is a Navy reservist who served in Afghanistan. He is in-house counsel to a number of businesses in southern Maine and was a chief counsel to former Gov. Paul LePage.

How ‘bout that Supreme Court?

At the end of the Trump Administration, the far left did their best Chicken Little impression. With a new, 6-3 “conservative” majority on the court, all hope for progress was lost. Right wing neanderthals were going to drag the United States either back into the dark ages, or forward into a dystopian future like “Panem” from the Hunger Games or the Handmaid’s Tale’s “Gilead.”

The solution?

Court packing. Increase the number of seats on the Supreme Court so President Joe Biden could fill them, “taking back” the majority of our highest jurists.

Much like the young chicken of fable, they were mistaken. The sky is not falling after all.

Over the past several weeks, several very important cases have been decided. And they have been decided on the law, not the partisan predilections that political operatives impute to the justices.

The first example is Lange v. California. The court unanimously overturned a California state court and held that the Fourth Amendment does not automatically permit police to enter people’s homes without warrants, even if they think the individual committed a misdemeanor.  

Second is Sanchez v. Mayorkas. Again unanimous, the court held that immigrants who have “temporary protected status” — meaning they are supposed to leave the country at some point, but are protected due to danger in their homeland — were not eligible for green cards.  

NCAA v. Alston is third. Once more, a unanimous court upheld an injunction, forcing the NCAA to loosen its rules concerning the types of compensation college athletes can receive.

Lastly, the court faced a 14-year-old cheerleader who lost her varsity tryouts, sent out an expletive-filled Snapchat, and was suspended from the JV team by her coaches. In Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., the court said — by an 8-1 vote — that public schools are restricted by the First Amendment from punishing students for off-campus speech.  

If you dive into these opinions, you’ll find fissures between the justices. For example, while everyone reached the same result in Lange, Justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts took a different road from their seven colleagues.

This isn’t to say that the Supreme Court is without disagreements. This week they released their decision in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid. It was a 6-3 decision, with the justices grouped into their “predictable” blocs.

But the reasoning of each side is anything but partisan. The majority focused on the importance of private property rights, and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of reasonable compensation for a government “taking.” The minority focused on the distinction between a “taking” and a “regulation.”  

The simple fact is that they are all intelligent individuals who take their job seriously. Do they have philosophical disagreements? Sure. Do different schools of thought exist? Yep. But that holds true in just about any field. Educators differ on pedagogical approaches. Two doctors may approach a diagnosis with very different treatment protocols.

Supreme Court opinions, unlike the headlines which cover them, are filled with miles of minutiae. The fine distinctions the authors draw are intentional and important. That is why the cries of the “Chicken Littles” at the start of the Biden Administration have not come to pass.

We should be thankful the far left’s “pack the court” zeal was not followed by Biden. Through May, nearly 75 percent of cases decided by the court this term have had two or fewer justices in dissent. A majority were unanimous.

Our longstanding institutions can work. A moment of passion should not override decades of experience. As the calls to abolish the filibuster in the U.S. Senate inevitably arise anew, let’s ensure the sky is really falling before we take drastic steps.

It seems to be standing over the Supreme Court.

Michael Cianchette, Opinion columnist

Michael Cianchette is a Navy reservist who served in Afghanistan. He is in-house counsel to a number of businesses in southern Maine and was a chief counsel to former Gov. Paul LePage.