If you get your legal news from social media, with occasional links to reporting by actual media outlets, you’d think the Supreme Court has made an extreme turn to the Right in the law. In this reading, rulings on cases involving school funding, prayer at schools, guns, and, of course, abortion , represent an ideological hijacking of our Constitution. What’s more, since the six justices in the majority of each of these cases were appointed by Republican presidents, these radical decisions were all just partisanship disguised as law. Or so the argument goes.
That take, which one unfortunately sees not just from Twitter trolls and Facebook lawyers but from highly regarded law professors and journalists in all the top print and broadcast media, is disingenuous at best. To use the technical legal term, it’s hogwash.
I don’t mean that reasonable people, legally trained or otherwise, can’t disagree on these cases, or that anyone who contradicts my analysis is stupid or politically motivated. To the contrary, it’s those attacking the Supreme Court’s legitimacy and calling the justices partisan hacks who seem to believe that the only way to reach the results we’ve seen is to act in bad faith for political reasons.
Photo by Douglas Rissing/iStock