One of the longest running battles in the USA has nothing to do with the military or the war against drugs. The most significant battle of them all is about control of the courts.
Court decisions can affect basic rights and values such as freedom of speech, privacy, equality, the right to vote, immigration, corporate responsibility, taxation, police reform, gun laws and even reproductive rights. Yes, if you're female, states want to control whether or not you can choose to have an abortion.
These decisions can be highly political. This video about ex-President Trump's first term explains more.
The battle over controlling nominees to the Supreme Court of the USA (SCOTUS) has been even more bitter. For example, in 2016, then-president Obama, a Democrat, nominated Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy left by the death of the Republican-nominated Antonin Scalia. But the then Republican-controlled senate refused to vote on Obama's nomination, claiming that the election cycle of the 2016 Presidential elections had already begun, and therefore, the appointment of the next justice was an issue to be decided by the next government.
After the election of Trump in 2016, the Republican-nominated Neil Gorsuch was then appointed to the Supreme Court. Politico described Gorsuch as "Scalia 2.0" due to ideological similarities. (1)
And then, following its plethora of pious protestations that presidents shouldn't be allowed to fill Supreme Court vacancies during presidential election years, the Republican-dominated senate turned around and did exactly that. The Senate rushed through the nomination and confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, followiing the death of Justice Ruth Ginsberg, just before Trump lost the 2020 election. (2)
The appointment of Barrett was seen as swinging the political balance of the Supreme Court to a 6-3 conservative majority. (3)
The Editorial Board of The Washington Post described the Republican claims as a 'preposterous lie' that they rushed through such Supreme Court appointments 'not for political advantage but because of an invented "rule" that no Supreme Court vacancies should be filled in the final year of a presidential term'. (4)
Well, this battle is far from over. House and Senate Democrats have now introduced a bill to increase the number of Supreme Court justices from 7 to 13. (5) And another Democrat bill will seek to reduce the life terms of SCOTUS Justices. (6)
But trying to change the structure of SCOTUS is controversial: