“Courting Cowardice” and Then Some

I was going to write about the United States Supreme Court Courting Cowardice, but Maureen Dowd did so already and did a very nice job.   (Good work.)

But…you know…well, no, I don’t know.  Something doesn’t seem right with the courts.  The Supreme Court feels especially squishy, intellectually vulnerable to the push and pull of ideology and public opinion.  Cynics — of which there are many, too many — might try to convince me that the courts have always been this way and even worse.  But I don’t know…

English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

Someone stick a pin in their butts..

Maybe I never really paid attention before and I like to think I am a guy with a propensity to pay attention.

Listening to so-called highlights from today’s Supreme Court hearings has me questioning the both the judicial and the intellectual integrity of the bench.  Aren’t the justices supposed to be refereeing the law?  Instead they seem to be talking from the gut, as you might expect people to talk at a cocktail party, especially one where they might be hedging  in order to fugue properly the social scene.

Is that what a Supreme Court justice does?

The court’s role is fairly direct.  They judge the constitutional validity of the legislative and legal proceedings.  Isn’t that right?  Especially for justices who claim to protect the Constitution as an objective and fixed code, it seems to me that a lot of the questioning in hearings is nonsense.

Should, for example, the court pass on hearing a case because we don’t have a history of social outcomes or a view of the future bearing on the case as Alito suggests?

What kind of cop out is that?  I thought we judged cases based on its constitutionality.  A copy of the Constitution, Justice Alito, certainly must be in your office somewhere (or you can find the Constitution online) along with a history of case law appropriate for assessing minority rights.

The issue before the court isn’t about making peace between warring parties, it about the rights of United States citizens.  Surely there’s something in our history to help the Supreme Court with that sort of assessment.

Furthermore, if the rights protected by the Constitution are objective and eternal rights, what will change 10 or 50 years from now anyway?  Passing judgement on legal matters based on social reaction is shirking the responsibility of the court, is it not?

I have thrown a lot of question marks in this post, but that simply shows that I am utterly confused.  What the hell is so great about the Supreme Court if it starts thinking and acting like  radio talk show hosts or pundits sitting around a table on a Sunday morning news program?


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