This story is from NPR by Nina Totenberg:
The U.S. Supreme Court is no stranger to controversy, but it still gets higher marks in public opinion polls than the other branches of government. Now though, for the first time in memory, the court is not just split along ideological lines, but along political lines as well: All the conservatives are Republican appointees, all the liberals Democratic appointees. That division could put the court in the crosshairs of public opinion if it is forced to make decisions that affect the 2020 election.
Chief Justice John Roberts has worked hard to persuade the public that the justices are fair-minded legal umpires — not politicians in robes. That image got pretty scuffed up earlier this month when the conservative court majority shot down accommodations for the coronavirus that would have allowed six more days for absentee ballots to be received in Wisconsin’s election for 500 school board seats, over 100 judicial seats and thousands of other state and local positions.
In the weeks leading up to the election, the COVID-19 pandemic had become a public health crisis. Encouraged by local officials, about a million more voters than usual requested absentee ballots, and local officials were unable to keep up with the surge. To mitigate that problem, the lower courts allowed an extra six days for election officials to receive completed absentee ballots.
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