The Daily Scoop: Why Conservatives Shouldn’t Gloat Yet


Conservative intellectuals are feeling giddy. Last week they feasted on the veritable mauling of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli by the Supreme Court’s five conservative justices. (In truth, Verrilli was only questioned by four of the conservatives—Justice Clarence Thomas, true to form, didn’t speak. But we know where his vote lies.) I tell the students in my class at the City College of New York that “five” is the most powerful number in the nation. For as we have seen, five votes on the Supreme Court can pick a president—voters notwithstanding—and five votes could redefine our understanding of Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution—precedents notwithstanding. So maybe the conservative celebration is merited. Yet it is also plausible that an element of hubris has overtaken the right.

Because, in this moment of conservative glee, there are a few things—indisputable facts—that should not be forgotten, factors that might yet transform glee into a moment of hubris as Justice Anthony Kennedy (the likely swing vote) and Chief Justice John Roberts (a slightly less likely swing vote) actually confront the case.
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4 Comments to “The Daily Scoop: Why Conservatives Shouldn’t Gloat Yet”

  1. Spritzer asks where Republicans do believe gov’t intrusion is ok. According to Rick, Newt, and Mitt govt intrusions into our bedrooms, doctor offices, churches and hospitals and clinics are perfectly ok.

    Another 5-4 decision will prove that politics has overtaken the SCOTUS and further erode the already record low respect in which it is held.

    • It is quite interesting how those on the Right deride any government intrusion in the form of regulations or or free markets but they advocate some of the most personal, intimate intrusions into individual lives that could possibly be made.

      You’re right, after the Citizens United 5-4 decision, the 5-4 decision in the Walmart gender discrimination case, the latest strip search decision (5-4), it does illustrate a ideologically based Court rather than one that makes ruling based on law.

  2. Although I am skeptical about the Court upholding the ACA, my pragmatic side tells me that until the court rules, we don’t know what the court will do. Meanwhile, having so few in the middle of a court that is for all Americans is disturbing.

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