Re: Bad Supreme Court


Maybe we should save our worry for the patent threats of violence from the right wing, high and low branches, which many opiners are still stuck in condemning as "hateful rhetoric."

Ghoulishly I have an ongoing conversation with my brother assessing the risk of violence to this and that very-online progressive writer, for many of whom the cultivation of audience has entailed rather overmuch disclosure regarding their locations, families, daily routines, etc.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10- 6-23 6:36 AM
horizontal rule

It'll be sad if they go after writers, but low-level (any level I guess) election officials, judges, elected officials, all of them are also people who attract attention.

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10- 6-23 8:05 AM
horizontal rule

I bow to nobody in hatred for the 6 R justices, but I do think there's a certain aspect of doomposting to articles like this. Whether it's Roberts coaching them to go slow, or a certain amount of status quo bias, or even, conceivably, actual concern for the legitimacy of the court, they regularly make decisions that are far from the worst case, or even actually good.

The Alabama gerrymander* is a high profile example, but just this week we got another one with the case about CFPB (I think). As it happened, I experienced it in this order: 1. Tweet about how even the R justices weren't buying the R side; 2. Handwringing article/blog post written before arguments that was forecasting doom; 3. Detailed writeup that quoted one of the bad guys--Gorsuch? Kav?--restating the D case in such an effective way that the advocate literally said, "You've stated my case far better than I did." It just highlighted that, as bad as they are, they're not (all of them) simply writers from The Corner who wear black robes and blindly side with whatever partisanship says. They're ideological and partisan and sometimes outright evil, but that's still not as bad as the assholes we argue with online (or, for that matter, the worst 20% of the House caucus).

*which, to be clear, was a decision that will permanently** switch a House seat from R to D, and from white to Black. This wasn't one of those decisions that goes for the good guys, but has a transitory or minimal effect.

**until Alabama tries it again, or there's a surprising demographic switch, or whatever. But foreseeably, this will stick.

Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 6-23 9:23 AM
horizontal rule

I mean, sure, but Roberts is also the one who gutted Section 5 in the first place. "Less crazy than the house" is a low bar.

Regarding the firearms ban, the link has:

The original sin here is Justice Clarence Thomas' opinion in Bruen, which lashed contemporary firearm laws to an unenlightened era of misogyny and racism. Bruen really does suggest that Wilson reached the right result. Yet that outcome is surely too grotesque for the Supreme Court to affirm--right?
We can only hope, and that's the point: Progressives must now fall over themselves begging the court to walk back its own atrocious decision from just last year. And if it does, much of the left will feel obligated to praise the court for not giving domestic abusers another opportunity to murder their families.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 6-23 10:28 AM
horizontal rule

My point isn't that they're OK, it's that they're not uniformly, rigidly awful, so listing every pending case and assuming we lose them all is mindless doomposting, not analysis.

Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 6-23 11:28 AM
horizontal rule

I mean, the big picture is that the court invites Rs to bring insane cases, and as a result the rulings are 60-40* or whatever, with most of the 40 being stuff that would've been summarily dismissed 25 years ago. But it's nevertheless the case that it's pretty predictable that the 40 will lose, and fixating on the 40 in advance, as evidence of how bad things will be, is unproductive rumination. That's what I'm pushing back against.

*that is, the bad guys will win 60% of the time

Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 6-23 11:32 AM
horizontal rule

Fair point. The glass is 40% full!

Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 10- 6-23 11:45 AM
horizontal rule

Yeah, but it doesn't require doomposting about every case to have a highly justified doomy outlook. The bottom line is they're haphazardly imposing their policy preferences over Congress's with less and less disguise (vaccines, environmental protections), degrading the electoral process that could pass better laws or otherwise challenge them, and enabling nationwide terrorism to make people afraid to even try. All that is a potent combination.

If anything the Kavanaughs and Robertses might be straightening their road by making it all happen a little more slower and with more plausible deniability, reducing backlash risk. (Though they did miss the mark on that with Dodds.)

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10- 6-23 11:50 AM
horizontal rule

I think there's a lot of value in analyses that clearly explain the risks, and that's what I feel like I see more than articles that say "all is lost" or will be lost as soon as the opinions come out. Stating that the implications could be dire and we're not sure where they'll land in the details isn't the same as saying the worst will happen.

I've been surprised by the worst not happening in a couple cases but there are a few (like Alabama) where the court seemed like it might have ruled more favorably, but didn't seem to like being presented with arguments that were such shit they would have made the Republican justices look even worse than they already do if they'd accepted them.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 6-23 12:12 PM
horizontal rule

As a general proposition I don't think there's a whole lot of utility in mass agonizing about what the Supreme Court is going to do. Maybe Roberts is paying attention to mainstream consensus, but that didn't prevent him from doing what he was hired to do in Dobbs. The rest of the majority was hired to play a part in a culture war, and they're going to do that. They were chosen because they believe in the stuff, and believe in it wholeheartedly enough to casually misrepresent their views at confirmation.

Leo's great achievement is creating a system that overcomes politicians impulses, that got selections like Souter or Miers.

Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 7-23 8:11 PM
horizontal rule