AMAC Exclusive – By Aaron Flanigan
In an astonishing lack of political self-awareness, the mainstream media is doubling down on the bizarre and repeatedly disproven claim that the right, not the left, is to blame for politicizing the Supreme Court and removing the federal judiciary from its proper place in the American constitutional order. In doing so, the corporate media is further hampering its own credibility, undermining public trust, and accelerating its march toward total irrelevance.
The Supreme Court term that ended last week saw several more major victories for constitutionalists and the rule of law in the United States. In a series of landmark decisions, the Court ended affirmative action in college admissions (holding that merit, not race, should be the determining factor on admissions decisions), stopped the Biden administration’s illegal student debt forgiveness scheme, and delivered a major victory for religious liberty.
Predictably, the liberal press is once again crying foul after their policy preferences were not upheld.
One prominent example of this was the July 2nd Axios piece that claims “The Supreme Court is falling off the pedestal it built for itself, down into the muck of normal politics.”
“At every turn,” the article says, “the court looks more like run-of-the-mill, outcomes-driven, raw-power politics.” The Court’s role as an apolitical institution that approaches cases “only as a question of legal scholarship, not sullied by ideology or policy preferences,” the author concludes, “is all but dead.”
Axios is far from the only left-wing voice that has advanced this argument. The Washington Post decried the Court as “illegitimate.” President Joe Biden insisted “this is not a normal court” after its landmark affirmative action ruling. Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO) lamented the Court as “corrupt.” And Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) declared the Court is “expanding their role into acting as though they are Congress itself.” She continued: “And that, I believe, is the expansion of power that we really must be focusing on—the danger of this Court and the abuse of power of this Court.”
But the left’s assessment of the Court’s recent actions has it completely backwards. Despite the left’s repeated insistence that the right bears responsibility for the Court’s supposed descent into partisan corruption, in reality, it is the left’s decades of brazen judicial activism that tainted the reputation and legitimacy of the judiciary.
As AMAC Newsline has previously noted, legal and historical scholars of every political stripe have long acknowledged that the Court’s judicial activism first arose with the appointment of Chief Justice Earl Warren, who saw himself primarily as a left-wing social activist charged with moving the country in a progressive direction. As such, it was the Warren Court—not the Roberts Court—that paved the way for far-left jurisprudential activism and enabled future justices to disregard the text of the Constitution in favor of their own ideological preferences—thereby depriving the American people of their right to rule themselves and make their own laws.
Under Warren, the Court began to slowly transform into an institution that imposed laws rather than one that interpreted laws. This development prepared the groundwork for decades of decisions like Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges which had no basis in the Constitution—no matter how much anyone, liberal or conservative, agreed with them from a political perspective.
In effect, the Warren Court established the modern liberal legal tradition, which is to use the Court to enact policy changes which could not otherwise be passed through legitimate legislative measures.
This left-wing judicial activism, which has been dominant in the American legal system for more than half a century, has now brought the far left to a state of extreme disillusionment as the Court’s new conservative majority reins in the excesses of the prior rulings by liberal majorities that had no basis in the Constitution. The left now insists that because the Court will no longer sanction liberal policies without a firm constitutional foundation, it is somehow overstepping its constitutional limits.
But in reality, today’s Court—bolstered by President Donald Trump’s three constitutionalist appointments—is attempting to limit the left’s decades of judicial overreach and return the Court to its rightful place in American life. In other words, despite Ocasio-Cortez’s claim that the Court is now “expanding their role,” the Roberts Court is attempting to redirect our nation’s most pressing political, social, and cultural questions to where they belong: in the ballot box, and in the hands of the American people.
Of course, the current lies about the contemporary Supreme Court are far from the only instance of mainstream media dishonesty. From their endless promulgation of the Russiagate narrative to their stream of lies about the COVID pandemic, to their shameful coverup of Hunter Biden’s growing litany of scandals, the media’s unbounded mendacity has long been on full display.
In other words, the media’s credibility is in tatters—and until they decide to once again report the truth rather than knowingly propagate partisan narratives and outright lies, they will find that their once wide reach has all but evaporated.
Aaron Flanigan is the pen name of a writer in Washington, D.C.