Any driver weighing the relative merits of the 2022 Nissan Altima vs 2022 Toyota Camry can save themselves some trouble as neither will be available for the foreseeable future. It’s not a parts shortage or supply chain issue that has seen automakers cancel the two 2022 models this time around, but rather the nation’s highest court. Following a string of controversial rulings on reproductive, gun, and Miranda rights, the U.S. Supreme Court is now coming for the auto industry with a decision that many legal scholars are calling archaic, ill-informed, and potentially dangerous: as of August 1, 2022, all Americans must drive cars made in the 1950s.
While many pro-classic car fans are celebrating the news, the rest of the nation has been left scratching its collective head as they ponder a world without seatbelts, airbags, and other sensible features that have become a mainstay in vehicles over the last half-century. The court seems determined to return America to its so-called glory days, rolling back many of the landmark protections that most citizens had considered established precedent.
“I understand that this is a controversial decision, but it’s important that we stand together as a nation if we’re ever going to defeat the rising threat of the USSR and bring our boys back home from Korea,” said associate justice Samuel Alito. “Frankly, we’ve got more important things to focus on here at home, too, like getting that damned troublemaker Jackie Robinson out of Major League Baseball.”
The split 6-3 decision fell largely along party lines, illustrating the insurmountable split between justices who take their power seriously and those who have a secret mistress stashed away at Mar-A-Lago. In many ways, the decision comes as little surprise. The Supreme Court has long managed to stay above the political fray and retain a certain amount of public trust, but seeing all the attention that the Congressional and Executive branches have received for their chronic dysfunction, the Judicial arm must have been feeling what their great-grandkids call “FOMO.”
“We’re about as divided as a country can be at this point, but I think all Americans share the same beloved memories of borrowing my dad’s old Studebaker, meeting up with Tracy-Sue and gang down at the malt shop, and then driving to the poor part of town to commit some casual hate crimes,” said octogenarian Iowa senator Chuck Grassley. “With this new ruling from the court, all Americans will finally get a taste of what life was behind the wheel before the nanny state stepped in with all their onerous safety and environmental regulations.”
While Grassley and other conservative lawmakers deny influence from the powerful oil and gas lobby, which stands to benefit tremendously from the news as the average vehicle in the 1950s got around 12 miles to the gallon. Healthcare lobbyists are equally enthused, eager to return the country to a time when a simple fender bender could result in highly profitable compound fractures.
The Court has made impressive progress in its goal of alienating progressive voters, making enemies out of gun control advocates, people with uteruses, and those who don’t enjoy being brutalized by police, all within a whirlwind 48-hour period. Now it’s the car owner’s turn, though some lawmakers say the public is overreacting to the decision.
“I don’t see what the big deal is,” said 80-year-old Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell. “I have plenty of cars from the 1950s in my collection back home. If Americans haven’t been preserving their old vehicles in preparation for a day like today, they have only themselves to blame. It’s not as if you have to trade in your old car to get a new one or anything.”
As the conservative side of the court continues to impose its unpopular agenda on the public, Democrats were left grasping for a response. While the left side of the aisle has seemed content to let Americans’ rights be slowly eroded away while putting up little fight over issues like bodily autonomy, many expected more of a fight
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelsoi jumped into action — following a long-planned spa day — organizing a vigil outside the Capitol building where Democratic senators and congressmen drove their cars onto the Capitol Steps and blasted out a discordant version of “God Bless America” through their car horns. While many have called the move tone-deaf in more ways than one, Pelosi defended the protest while asking how we got her number.
“Being a lawmaker in this country isn’t about passing laws, protecting society’s most vulnerable members, or making real, substantive change; it’s about orchestrating photo ops that can be used in fundraising emails, just like the Founding Fathers intended,” said the California lawmaker.