Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Not much trust right now

I think Breyer, and probably the other Justices, are a little clueless just how bad the Supreme Court's reputation already is.

The Court requires "decorum" which means no one is allowed to go into a hearing and tell the Justices how they are widely viewed as a gang of partisan hacks, several of whom only ended up on the Court due to highly partisan gamesmanship rather than intellectual merit. That enforced respect mostly extends to media coverage of the Court as well. So Kavanaugh might not realize that some lawyers I know regularly refer to him as "Justice Perjury." Or that Amy Covid Barrett has an asterisk next to her "Justice" title. Roberts' schtick, of voting for nominal liberal wins while writing opinions that lay the groundwork for future reactionary decisions has become a transparent joke. I almost feel bad for Gorsuch as he could have actually been almost respected if he hadn't been sitting in what everyone knows is a stolen seat. There's Alito, "the dumbest person on the Court" issuing his results oriented opinions with reasoning that, if taken seriously, would undermine some prior results-oriented Alito decision. Ironically Thomas may be the only conservative Justice whose reputation may have improved during his time on the Court, but only because the guy who put sexual harassment in the American consciousness started out with such an abysmal reputation. And also only if you look past his wife working to overthrow our democracy.

I suspect the bullshit respect that the Court gets will evaporate when the current reactionary majority shoots down something really popular. (Like any major legislation that Biden passes). But even now the respect is mostly bullshit and honored more in the pages of publicans than in how I hear people talk about the Court in my legal practice.