Supreme Myths: Why the Supreme Court Is Not a Court and Its Justices Are Not Judges

Supreme Myths: Why the Supreme Court Is Not a Court and Its Justices Are Not Judges

Supreme Myths: Why the Supreme Court Is Not a Court and Its Justices Are Not Judges

Supreme Myths: Why the Supreme Court Is Not a Court and Its Justices Are Not Judges

Synopsis

This book explores some of the most glaring misunderstandings about the U.S. Supreme Court and makes a strong case for why our Supreme Court Justices should not be entrusted with decisions that affect every American citizen."

Excerpt

It is no great secret that the Supreme Court’s constitutional law decisions reflect the personal values of the Justices. Law professors and other Court watchers have long described the Justices as politicians in robes. But these critics, by and large, suggest only that the Court should take law more seriously, and do not advocate fundamental change. I wrote this book, not to repeat this well-worn critique, but to argue that the problem with how the Supreme Court operates extends far beyond the great subjectivity that infects the Court’s decision making. The unfortunate truth is that, for an array of different reasons, the Supreme Court does not function as a true court and its Justices do not decide cases like true judges. In other words, that politics and personality affect the Court’s decisions is only the beginning of the story.

This book is written for academics and nonacademics as well as lawyers and nonlawyers. I hope it will interest not just those who follow the Supreme Court but anyone who wants to learn more about important and controversial issues such as abortion, affirmative action, freedom of religion, and gun control. I will show how the Court prevents the American people and our elected leaders from resolving these issues democratically through our representative system of state and federal elections. That political system is by no means perfect, and it too needs to be reevaluated. But when people in a democracy reasonably disagree over difficult policy questions not obviously resolved by their Constitution, those differences should be resolved by public debate and elections, not by the personal opinions of unelected, life-tenured Justices, and the supreme myths, disguised as law, the Justices create.

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