'No red states':
Massachusetts Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall delivered a remarkable you're-for-us-or-against-us speech
yesterday at Brandeis's commencement.
And that's precisely what it was: remarkable in its thin-skin criticism of critics. ... Are liberal activists now going to vow they won't criticize a future Supreme Court ruling they passionately don't like? Is 'judicial activism' really a 'loaded term'? Is future criticism of the courts going to be automatically viewed by Marshall as being violently hostile to an independent judiciary? ... I know Marshall was joking when she made the 'no red states' crack. But it did spill out of her mouth and suggest where her mind is at these days. I also know that some recent criticism of the courts has been way over the top. But Marshall's defense is also way over the top.
-- A few readers write in ...
Reader No. 1: "Remarkable is the word that comes to mind to describe Justice Marshall's address. At least it is honest in its elitism - she, like most but not all 'people of influence' (The Better Sort!) really does know best.
"I do agree with the Justice that the US has a remarkable record of obeying court decisions even when they are controversial. Remarkably, this even happens in red states!
"You asked the right questions of liberal judicial critics, and I think you know the answers."
And from T:
"Sometimes it's like you don't know what to believe in...did you actually read her speech? How was it over the top? How does it compare to the shrill court critics? I don't get it? I read the whole thing and it seems reasonable to me, just like the Chicago judge whose relatives were shot asking court critics to pay attention to exactly what they're saying."
That last clause's reference, also contained in Marshall's speech, makes my case about being over the top. To compare critics to deranged killers ...Update II
- 5.24 -- Eugene Volokh
has more on the speech -- and he picks up on the 'no red states' remark. ... Do you think Margaret has forgotten that the gay-marriage ruling was made on a 4-3 vote?