Sometimes the jokes just write themselves:
Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett expressed concerns Sunday that the public may increasingly see the court as a partisan institution.
Justices must be “hyper vigilant to make sure they’re not letting personal biases creep into their decisions, since judges are people, too,” Barrett said at a lecture hosted by the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center.
Introduced by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who founded the center and played a key role in pushing through her confirmation in the last days of the Trump administration, Barrett spoke at length about her desire for others to see the Supreme Court as nonpartisan.
I’m not sure whether it was intentional or not, but the phrase “her desire for others to see the Supreme Court as nonpartisan” is perfect. The amount of bad faith it takes to do this when you’ve just cast the critical vote to overrule a 50 year-old landmark and allow states to force people to carry their pregnancies to term in a quasi-opinion with no reasoning at all is impressive, but you need to bring your cognitive dissonance up to a high level right at the beginning.
Meanwhile, Stephen Breyer can’t explain why if the Supreme Court isn’t political Merrick Garland isn’t currently sitting on it, but he can say that a nonpartisan confirmation process is there, if you want it:
CHRIS WALLACE: In 2016, McConnell refused to even give Garland a hearing. In 2020, he pushed through Amy Coney Barrett in one month. Doesn’t that undercut the authority of the court?
JUSTICE BREYER: That’s the political environment. If enough people want it to change, it will pic.twitter.com/crBAVPChKM— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 12, 2021
This would be funny except that he’s using these rationalizations to convince himself that he can roll the dice with Mitch McConnell again. I wouldn’t say Breyer going in front of every camera that will have him to hawk a glorified pamphlet of white lies about the Court that retails for $20 is the most seemly thing I’ve every seen either.
Anyway, Paul has written about this at some length but these “the court is apolitical” statements from legal elites exist in an ontological twilight zone where the people saying them can’t believe them but can’t not believe them either.