AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan
For decades, left-wing activists cemented their power in the public square by treating the U.S. judiciary as a partisan weapon with which to impose progressive social, cultural, and political ideas on the rest of the country. Notwithstanding the institutional decay of the American judicial system that has resulted from this power grab—including the harm to the political legitimacy of the Supreme Court and our constitutional system more generally—the left is largely ignorant of its own culpability in this development. A widely read New York Times piece published late last month underscores just how much.
The report, deceptively titled “An ‘Imperial Supreme Court’ Asserts Its Power, Alarming Scholars,” decries the Court’s “distinctive insistence on its dominance and the justices’ willingness to use procedural shortcuts to achieve it.” The Court, the article continues, “has rapidly been accumulating power at the expense of every other part of the government” and is increasingly defined by conservative justices’ so-called “imperial impulses.”
The Times’ declaration of a perceived right-wing “imperialism” on the High Court demonstrates an almost laughable lack of political self-awareness, as well as a basic misunderstanding of the Court’s recent rulings.
Take, for instance, the Dobbs ruling, which has more than any other single case animated the left’s hostility toward the Court. Despite the Times’ insistence, Dobbs was the exact opposite of “autocratic” or “imperial.” By allowing American voters to make their own decisions on the legality of abortion at the state level, the Court in Dobbs was not “accumulating power” for itself, but rather returning it to the people and their representatives. Conversely, it was the Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade—which Dobbs overturned—that actually represented a blatant overreach of judicial power.
Moreover, as legal and historical scholars of every political stripe have long acknowledged, the Court’s “imperial” tendencies hardly began with the ascension of former President Trump’s three nominees. Judicial activism first arose on the American legal scene during the tenure of Chief Justice Earl Warren. Although Warren was appointed by a Republican, the Court under his watch handed down one activist decision after another, where Warren saw himself not as a guardian of the Constitution or dispassionate interpreter of the law, but as a social and cultural activist charged with moving the country in a progressive direction. The Warren Court paved the way for a far-left jurisprudential activism that enabled future justices to run rampant over the Constitution and usurp Americans’ right to make their own laws.
Regularly described as “revolutionary,” the philosophy of the Warren Court has had a lasting and destructive effect on how Americans perceive the law—and further empowered the judiciary to seize the lawmaking powers of Congress. It was Warren’s philosophy that enabled the Court to invent out of whole cloth constitutional rights to abortion, same sex “marriage,” contraception, and a plethora of other liberal pet projects.
The left’s campaign to elevate the “right” to an abortion as “constitutional” is, for instance, not supported by even the most left-wing legal scholars. Pro-abortion legal scholar and dean of Stanford Law School, John Hart Ely, wrote that Roe “was not constitutional law and gave almost no appearance of an obligation to try to be”—a sentiment echoed by liberal constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe, who asserted that “behind [Roe’s] own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.” Even Edward Lazarus, a former law clerk to the justice who authored the Roe opinion, Justice Harry Blackmun, conceded that no one has “produced a convincing defense of Roe on its own terms.”
Defenders of the Warren Court argue, not incorrectly, that it delivered important rulings advancing causes like the Civil Rights Movement. But the fact that the Court in effect legislated from the federal bench rather than allowing Congress to pass actual legislation to address the issues at hand has led to confusion in the law on matters like affirmative action. Now, the current Court is being forced to address those same issues again—further exacerbating the legitimacy crisis that the Warren Court created nearly a century ago.
Warren’s philosophy also empowered former Justice Anthony Kennedy to cast the deciding vote in the 2015 case Obergefell v. Hodges, which forbade states from enacting laws that define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. As Justice Antonin Scalia was quick to note in his dissent, Kennedy’s decision relied upon “the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie” and his own worldview rather than any sound constitutional basis.
As such, the New York Times’ insistence that the Roberts Court and pro-democracy decisions like Dobbs are responsible for imperializing the Supreme Court is completely divorced from historical reality. Of course, the Times and other left-wing entities had no complaints about the Court’s clear “dominance” and accumulation of power when it was moving the country and the national culture leftward. But now that constitutionalists have gained a decisive majority on the Court for the first time in generations, the same figures and organizations that normalized judicial overreach over the course of nearly a century are now crying foul.
In reality, decisions like Dobbs and justices like Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito are—after decades of judicial overreach and left-wing activism cloaked in black—slowly but surely returning the Court to its proper constitutional limits. And for the sake of self-government, the separation of powers, and yes, democracy itself, every American has ample reason to rejoice in that fact.
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Does anyone read the NYT ? Hasen’t it become obsolete like CNN and replaced by Twitter ?
Nice article but if you think you are influencing the woke, think again. If all you have is a
logical position, the woke laugh and then ignor you. If you intended to communicate only
to the sane and rational, you did a nice job.
Dwight Eisenhower once said the biggest mistake he made in his Presidency was promoting earl Warren as Chief Justice of SCOT
Once you understand that progressives are not wrong about the Constitution, but actively and conciously want to undermine and destroy it, everything makes sense; including the NYT. So when the Court rules to undermine the Constitution, the NYT (et all) praise it, and when the Court rules to return to Constitutional principals, the NYT (et all) attack it. It is that simple.
Comrade Jack*ss John LOVES the color RED!
Seems to me Federal Campaign law based on protecting the public from corruption or the appearance of corruption is another creation of the liberal courts. Corruption, bribery and selling your vote are crimes. Normally, isn’t a citizen or group considered innocent until proven guilty? I refer to the “due process clause” found in the 5th and 14th Amendments.
This is a flimsy excuse for regulating flesh and blood citizens and groups while exmpting the “lying”, “biased”, censoring corporate media!
Are integrity or self-governance part of the constitutional framework of the United States? Do we need to give constitutional-like weight to the distortions to our democracy seen in campaign finance, redistricting, term limits and lobbying?
Zephyr Teachout published an article in the January 2009 edition of the Cornell Law Review: The Anti-Corruption Principle (pdf).
NYT is biased and nuts. Earl Warren should be the lesson that you never make a Californian Chief Justice and be leery of one on the court at all. For those who don’t know Warren was appointed because he was some kind of conservative.
The NYT’s has misfired on every opinion for decades now. This one fits right in with the rest of their propaganda pieces!
We need to post this on every social media, Daily.
This article is absolutely correct. It amazes me how the leftist media has incredible tunnel vision when it comes to the Supreme Court. I used to read the NY Times and respect its views, but no longer. I wouldn’t use it to wrap my garbage.
It comes with fishy smell already in it these days, you don’t have to wrap fish in it anymore!
PTL. Life begins at conception and a person is seen as a girl or boy at birth. Parents have jurisdiction over their kids at least until 18, not the government!!!
The “Slimes,” as documented by Mark Levin, has always supported dictators. Their “correspondents” in Berlin and Moscow were given special treatment by Hitler and Stalin and they reciprocated by covering up atrocities. They also were enamored of Fidel Castro and puffed up his reputation when he had only a handful of “revolutionaries.”
Not to mention TWO Pulitzers awarded on the basis of LIES!
The “Old Grey Lady”, in my opinion, is no longer being considered the “Paper of Record”. If it ever was?? The New York Times has steadily lost readership ever since Trump left office, mainly because they are finally being exposed as the paper of misinformation and deceit. Just recently they had to back pedal that the Hunter’s “laptop from Hell” was really real. Why anybody now reads the NYT is beyond me, apparently, they are still looking at life through rose-colored glasses like most liberals do. Now that Musk has exposed how slimy the liberal left can be, the liberal left has just about lost their F***IN mines, including the NYT!
There is a total lack of knowledge in the United States about what is actually written in the Constitution. Amendment X of the Constitution gives states the right to make laws about issues that are not delegated to the Federal Government or prohibited to the states under the Constitution. State legislatures have been more than willing to allow the courts to make decisions for them in areas that are very divisive. Congress is equally willing to avoid tough areas. The executive pen and phone, made popular by President Obama, is another way for the Legislative branch to avoid tough decisions. We have seen the Governors enjoying their power to enforce vaccination and school closures during COVID. The only way we will ever turn this around is to establish term limits, so that politicians will not always have their eye on the next election. If one knows they have to find a job in the private sector after serving a couple terms in office, they may be more willing to vote their conscience rather than do what their major donors are telling them they need to do in order to get their next donation.
The New York Times is a mouthpiece for the ultra left.
They don’t want a Supreme Court or any justice system at all.
Attorney General doesn’t follow the law that is a political post. FBI and CIA the same.
Under Brandon there are no 3 branches of government.
Only dictatorship. The people still don’t see it.
A well put article.
remember, it was the Warren Court that whitewashed the Kennedy assassination
I totally agree.
Destroying carbon dioxide eating, oxygen producing trees to make paper on which to slather with ink dedicated to propaganda, the NY Times once again proves to be the ultimate source of elite disinformation and misinformation.
Edit: Delete “with”
Many articles have been written about the Supreme court and decisions that have been highly controversial over time. This article here today is well written and very to the point across the board.
In reading these type of quality articles, I learn so much and am greatly appreciative of AMAC when it puts forth this level of information and historical background for the reader. Highlighting facts and historical precedent that supports the points to such a degree. I believe we all know what the LEFT agenda is and where it is derived from. I am just glad that we have the 3 degrees of Gov’t. that we have STILL IN PLACE to ensure that there is some balance going forward. Every generation deals with these amazingly tough issues, social, religious, political, legal and more. Another Article in todays Amac news is about how the LEFT is losing its grip on the Latin American countries and people are waking up after all these decades to the ruin that has been laid at their doorsteps to deal with. The world is ever changing, the more knowledge and ability of others to read and see how America deals with these controversial issues goes a long way in offering paths for others to follow. which will hopefully bring about better lives for other in the world. TIME TO HOLD ON TO THE CANOE as the world begins to change for better or more enlightened.
The NYT only sees what it wants to see. It only wants to see what is radically liberal.
It sees and knows what’s right, it just chooses to not print it!