The minority national party in American politics has used a combination of luck, poor opposition judgments, and constitutional hardball to take a 6-3 stranglehold on the Supreme Court. The most central goal of this movement has been to overrule Roe v. Wade and to have Republican-controlled states and then the federal government severely restrict or ban abortion. Of course, during the hearings themselves Republican nominees dissemble about this because this goal is extremely unpopular.
Justice Sotomayor observed that a minority faction installing a hyper-partisan 6-3 majority in part for the precise purpose of eliminating a fundamental right countless people rely on will look bad. And over at “libertarian” [LOL] Reason, they are not happy about it. (Sotomayor’s comments, I mean — all the use of state coercion to force women to carry pregnancies to term is making them feel tingly inside):
During arguments in Dobbs, Justice Sotomayor cast a putrid, self-fulfilling prophecy.
Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?
Questions like these will help bolster the negative public perception she apparently dreads. Sotomayor must have known that the livestream would make that line would go viral. Already, allies are merchandizing.
🚨🚨 you asked, we answered — “stench” merch! 👃👃🏛️🏛️
(including some to help you celebrate the holidays!!!🎄🎄🤶🤶)https://t.co/j29D4ZxJOK pic.twitter.com/LYaMu8NrSa— Strict Scrutiny Podcast (@StrictScrutiny_) December 2, 2021
And as we speak, Justice Sotomayor is likely writing a blistering dissent excoriating her colleagues. [Heavens to Betsy! Can’t this hysterical woman just let her colleagues extinguish her critical rights in peace?–ed.] Does she call on Congress to “heal” the Court?
If Justice Sotomayor is so worried about the Court’s politicization, then she shouldn’t expend so much effort to call her colleagues partisan.
The thing is that Sotomayor’s phrase it catching on because it is 100% accurate. Republicans want the fruits of a political takeover of the Court while maintaining that it is not a political institution and the pending overruling of Roe v. Wade on a straight party-line vote is not the simple product of raw partisan politics. Sorry, but that’s not how anything should work. Sotomayor telling the unassailable truth isn’t the problem.
Things are not better among the other GOP loyalists at Reason:
“First, you say that women should have reproductive autonomy, but then you choose to bear a child! Make up your mind!” In my forthcoming essay for Reason I will— Scott Lemieux (@LemieuxLGM) December 2, 2021
When you have six votes at the Supreme Court and nicely gerrymandered legislators, who needs arguments that make any sense whatsoever on any level?