Things are tense at the Supreme Court, and no one is more unhappy about it than the court’s conservatives. As NPR reports: “The atmosphere behind the scenes is so ugly that, as one source put it, ‘the place sounds like it’s imploding.’”
Inside, an investigation into the leak of a draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade is treating the justices’ clerks like criminal suspects. Outside, the justices are terribly disappointed with the way their institution has been dragged against its will into the muddy world of politics.
Can’t we all just let them be so they can have their cake and eat it too?
That’s what they’re asking for, and it’s what Republicans desperately want as well.
In the coming weeks, the court will hand down a series of potentially transformative, intensely political decisions, driven not by some incontrovertible and objective reading of the Constitution but by their own equally intense ideology and policy preferences. The political effects will be — and should be — enormous.
When that happens, the court’s conservatives and their Republican defenders will act aggrieved and outraged. How dare we cast aspersions on these noble jurists, who want nothing more than to channel the infinite wisdom of the Framers!
Not only do they merely want to enact their right-wing legal revolution, which is almost unstoppable at this point; they also want us to thank them for it, refrain from ever questioning their motives and excuse them from criticism for the consequences of their actions.
As I’ve said before, Republicans for a long time have had an incredible deal where liberals have thought highly of the Court even as it produced more and more conservative results. But that required liberals to get some wins in high profile cases, and overruling Roe is going to shatter the illusion. And the ongoing chaos created by the Court’s ruling is just going to make worse and worse, however unwilling the majority is to accept it.