Supremacy considered

Some idle (?) thoughts on the US Supreme Court.
It’s the third leg of the constitutional tripod, the other two being the Executive (the President), and Congress. The theory for decades has been: pack it with justices who think like you do, so your legislation won’t be obstructed when subjected to legal challenges. Generally, that works.
Generally. But Richard Nixon, citing executive privilege, found it didn’t necessarily work like that. He had to surrender the tapes of his Oval Office conversations, after the Court unanimously said, “No dice, Mister Prez.”
Let’s assume you’re a conservative justice on the Court, and you just welcomed President Trump’s latest appointee to the gang. And after the introductory back-room round of high-end tequilas with lime, s/he gets to have “the talk” with you. So, you say something like this.
“Look, we’re not here to serve the President. Nor the voters, exactly. We’re all people who … you know, read books ‘n shit like that. We have law degrees and stuff, right? Like, we’re smart and like … we know lotsa stuff. Law, for example.
“If we just rubber-stamp the bils that the White House or Congress refer to us, then we become irrelevant. We diminish our power. Take that goddam Roe vs. Wade thing, for example. If we just reverse that decision, it means we’ve said the Supreme Court can re-interpret anything and anything, whenever a smart-ass lawyer makes some cool, 20-word point that goes viral all over Twitter and Facebook. But really, it’s us who begin to look uncool.
“Yes, we can change and revise decisions. I mean, we don’t say slavery is okay and legal and all that any more, because after all, they changed the Constitution after that mess in the 1860s, so our previous decisions went in the tank. But we need to be careful in what we change, ya dig?”
My point is, there are no straight lines in politics, and the Court, as the non-elected leg of the tripod, is still a quasi-political institution. Half of what Trump promised at his rallies, like mass deportation, or proscribing the rights of Muslims in the US, could infringe on either the Constitution or long-standing interpretations of it. A conservative-dominated court might approve some of what comes its way. It might also decide at some point to make it plain that there’s always a line in the sand.
And that might emerge at a moment when no-one thinks it will, just so the justices can prove they aren’t bound to the Executive.

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