Politicizing the Supreme Court

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We can argue that the Supreme Court has always been politicized -- since 1804 when Chase was impeached for being too partisan. But you can also argue that since the Senate acquitted him, that it's always had certain independence and autonomy, no matter how bad the Justices are. But historically, it helps to remember that it's virtually ALWAYS been the Progressives/Democrats that politicize the court.

The conservatives, independents and traditionalists (and most of the Founders) saw the court as a boring and not very important branch of the government. Their job was just to interpret the laws as written, and deal with subtle nuances around the edges. Not to be some group of oligarchs, that would go to creative writing classes to invent in powers and intent that was never in the original text, for the purpose of furthering an agenda.

The progressives/left re-imagined the court (starting around the turn of the 20th century), that if they couldn't pass laws through the legislature (or they passed illegal / extraconstitutional laws through the legislature) that they could corrupt the court into being a gang of oligarchs that would push through (or defend) their activist agendas. This starts with imagining that a dead piece a wood pulp (contract) written 200 years earlier, is some "living" thing, that could be altered over time. And that precedent was more important than intent. A truly disgusting thought if you imagine what that means. You could sign a contract with someone that expressly said X, and a judge could say, "well it should have said Y, so you're guilty of failure to comply with something that I think it should have said". Where's the rights or justice in that?

Basically, the far-left's delusion is of the court being co-legislators, that could pervert the original intent of the law, one small incremental step at a time (one precedent builds on the others), until it no longer resembles what it was intended to do. And they are outraged when this imagined power has checks put on it, and you reverse a prior activists courts fevered imagination. The Constitution (and Bill of Rights) was written for the express purpose of disallowing (or making it very hard) to get scope/feature creep on our laws -- without the express consent of the governed. E.g. The legislature was beholden to the people: the Court was only supposed to be beholden to the laws original intent. So an argument that the Constitution should have allowed more flexibility in laws, or made the Supremes more powerful is fine. Wrong, but fine. But their argument that it did do that, is just a fucking lie to further their agenda, and should be treated as anti-American contempt of the Constitution. No one has ever been able to point to anything that supported this argument.

So the spectrum on the court isn't right <-> left, it is constitutionalist (originalist, textualist) <-> activist. And while there's certainly been a few cases where the right side of the court let their political bias seep into a ruling or two (and shift them towards activism), they are as rare as it is common that the left side of the court is guided by their politics/desires and agendas and will put those things above their duty and the law. Thus there is no far-right Judges on the court right now: none on the right have been consistently trying to re-imagine the Constitution to fit their political biases (as near as I can tell). But that also means there's no real moderate-left Judges on the court. Some will occasionally respect the rule of law, and sometimes they will ignore it -- or in the case of RBG and Sotomayor, there are at least 2 that will always put their agendas above the rule of law.


📚 References

Supreme Court
There are two truths about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS):
  1. That it was a great idea, and copied by many since.
  2. That Democrats have tried to alternately over-empower it, corrupt or undermine it (and the appointments), since it's creation; depending on whether SCOTUS was furthering or undermining their agenda of taking power away from the states and people, and giving it to the elites.
Obama SCOTUS Pick Sotomayor the "wise latina" picked for her identity and politics more than her accomplishments, seems to be plenty willing to politicize the court, and lower the tone. Not unlike Obama himself. Here's a few examples.