Right-wing Supreme Court justices are dragging the court deeper into a 'crisis of legitimacy': Missouri editorial

Right-wing Supreme Court justices are dragging the court deeper into a 'crisis of legitimacy': Missouri editorial
Justice Clarence Thomas with Sonny Perdue on April 25, 2017, Wikimedia Commons

In a blunt-talking editorial from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the editors took two of the most conservative members of the Supreme Court to task for doing little to halt the slide in the court's credibility that has been in freefall after it became a 6-3 conservative majority.

Specifically, they cited Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito over a Thomas ruling last week, and a report on Alito dating back to his confirmation in 2005.

In the case of Thomas, last week he interceded on behalf of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is balking at having to testify in an election corruption case in Georgia related to Trump's phone call to Georgia's secretary of state.

Regarding his ruling temporarily granting Graham relief, the editors wrote, "... as with anything regarding that election, having Thomas involved in any way automatically looks suspect because of his wife, right-wing activist Ginni Thomas. In the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection, Ginni Thomas flooded Trump’s inner circle with unhinged texts calling Joe Biden’s election a 'coup,' suggesting the Biden 'crime family' should face 'military tribunals for sedition,' and generally encouraging resistance to accepting the election outcome."

The editors added, "In what universe is it OK for Justice Thomas not to recuse himself from anything Jan. 6-related when this is the kind of pillow talk he goes home to at night?"

As for Alito, he was scorched for lying his way onto the court that led to his Dobbs's majority decision that gutted Roe v. Wade 17 years later.

With the New York Times reporting that Alito had assured Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) that he had no intention of overturning Roe, saying, "I am a believer in precedents. People would find I adhere to that,” the Post-Dispatch editors slammed him for his "mendacity."

"That mendacity is hardly a surprise, nor is Alito alone in it," they wrote. "All five conservative justices who voted in June to overturn Roe (Roberts concurred, but stopped short of endorsing full reversal) have at various times waxed on about the sanctity of precedent generally — and have, to varying degrees, offered assurance they weren’t going to go out of their way to flip Roe as soon as they had the votes to do it. Which, of course, is exactly what they did."

The editors also took a shot at Chief Justice John Roberts for acting like he doesn't understand why the court he heads has lost the confidence of the public.

With Roberts complaining, "I don't understand the connection between (Supreme Court) opinions that people disagree with and the legitimacy of the Court," the editors explained, "As we noted then, his frustration is misplaced. These latest developments further illustrate why."

You can read the whole piece here.

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