This week at the Supreme Court was a revelation to some in the center-left part of the DC media Village.
The four conservative justices who participated in oral arguments on conservative challenges to the Affordable Care Act showed themselves to be radical judicial activists, determined to overturn the law for rather flimsy reasons.
E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post seemed to be shocked by the conservatives' obsession with "weird hypotheticals" and "astonishing arguments."
He comes to this rare-for-Villagers conclusion:
Liberals should learn from this display that there is no point in catering to today’s hard-line conservatives.I would add, not just from "this display," but from the entirety of the Obama administration's attempts to compromise with conservatives in Congress.
Well, we have learned that, but it's nice for a major Villager to notice this essential roadblock to effective, small-d democratic governance.
Dionne worries that the conservative Supreme Court is becoming a "judicial dictatorship":
A court that gave us Bush v. Gore and Citizens United will prove conclusively (should it "strike down or cripple" ACA) that it sees no limits on its power, no need to defer to those elected to make our laws. A Supreme Court that is supposed to give us justice will instead deliver ideology.Many here (Adam B, Armando, etc.) have written authoritatively about this fact of 21st-century politics, and most reading this far are familiar with their arguments.
Here's another take, from non-lawyer John Cole at Balloon Juice, that is spot on politically:
News flash -- right wing hacks tend to act like right wing hacks. We’re talking about a conservative (Supreme Court) bloc whose wives openly work for tea party groups, we’re talking about hacks that speak privately to the tea party hacks. We’re talking about people who lie on their disclosure forms for decades to cover up the money their wives are receiving from wingnut welfare organizations.The conservative cabal on the Supreme Court is pretty bad now, and will surely get worse if a Republican gets elected President.
Every one of these men was a member of the Federalist Society. Every single one of them was groomed for exactly what they are doing right now. This is their time to shine, to do what they have been groomed to do. When you train soldiers to fight, and drill their mission into them every day, and drill the rightness and correctness of their mission into them every day, and assure them they are fighting for truth, justice, and the American way, only a fool would be surprised that they are eager to go into combat.
From the questioning this week, it's obvious that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection, civil liberties, reproductive rights, etc., are all at risk from the current Supreme Court radicals.
One or two more like them, and the plutocracy will be entrenched for decades.
Those here, and elsewhere on the Democratic left, who have misgivings about Obama must put those aside and work, donate and vote for him this year.
It's really the most important issue, as we learned again this week.