The Court is Corrupt. Say It With Me.

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I was watching cable news this afternoon at the gym. And I saw one of those examples of what has now become a Trump/Roberts Court-era set piece, where principled and very smart lawyers and/or legal academics have to say, I guess I was a chump.

Sure the Roberts Court is partisan, I thought. But there’s a threshold level belief in the rule of law. I’m not trying to make hay out of others’ mistakes. My guiding heuristic has been that the Roberts Court, especially in its post-2017 iteration is thoroughly corrupt and will generally do whatever is in the interests of the GOP so long as it doesn’t put too big a dent in the Court’s own perceived legitimacy and elite social standing. Based on this standard I assumed the Court would settle for delaying Trump’s trial until the Fall. It seems now that they’re likely to kick it back to the trial Court for further fact-finding and thus the case itself well into 2025.

Fair enough.

Everything comes into conceptual alignment if we understand the Court’s corruption: corrupt in its construction, corrupt in its jurisprudence, venally corrupt as well, though that is the least of its problems.

On this show I still saw people saying things like, “I hope this isn’t the case.” “I hope I’m wrong.” Don’t hope you’re wrong. This just leaves us still in some hunt for the silver lining in the Court’s corruption. Or even worse, this undermines faith in the Court. No. We don’t want to shore up faith in a corrupt institution.

We are where we should know we are. The Roberts Court is a corrupt institution which operates in concert with and on behalf of the Republican Party and to an ambiguous degree right-wing anti-regulatory ideology. If we believe in a different set of policies or even democratic self-governance we will have to succeed at that with the Supreme Court acting as a consistent adversary.

That’s the challenge in front of us. It sucks. But things become more clear cut once we take the plunge and accept that fact. Swallow it whole.

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