Those on the Left and those on the Right show an almost superstitious reverence for the court, at least when it does what is wanted by one group or another. But the court is just another political body, one which takes into account political elections and positions, albeit with a certain aristocratic delay, which as a result makes its decisions always seem a bit out of place.

John Marshall, cousin of Thomas Jefferson whom he did not like at all, during Jefferson’s term of office invented out of whole cloth the right of the court to decide on the constitutionality of legislation. Everyone now seems to accept this, but it was a complete coup d’etat in a sense since it is not found in the Constitution at all. Many presidents have questioned it, perhaps most obviously Andrew Jackson. Other presidents have been more discreet, like FDR, who tried to pack the court when it was not quick to approve most of the New Deal. The court also gave us a president in 2000 who did not win the popular vote and was doubtfully in possession of the electoral vote, but the GOP controlled the court. That’s how we got G.W. Bush.

One could have a discussion about whether laws passed by representatives of the people in both houses of Congress should be subject to the decrees and whims of unelected jurists who have been chosen for a variety of reasons, rarely for their brilliance or knowledge, usually for their political connections. They are less representative of the people than members of Congress. But since those electing members of Congress are the unwashed masses for the most part, one could make a case — an aristocratic one — for a court not subject to the ignorance of the populace. But this needs discussion, not reverence for a court which is hardly worthy of religious veneration. And notice the Founding Fathers, some with aristocratic tendencies, never thought of making the court the boss.