Why Should Political Ideology Matter for a Supreme Court Justice?

Billion Photos / shutterstock.com
Billion Photos / shutterstock.com

The Judiciary Act of 1789 allowed, as established within the United States Constitution, the formation of the Supreme Court. The motto “Equal Justice Under Law” boldly emblazoned above the main entrance of the Supreme Court building should serve to remind Justices that their sole responsibility is to hear and decide cases involving the American people’s constitutional rights.

In 2021, conservative Justice Amy Barrett commented on the Supreme Court’s duty to act in a nonpartisan way, explaining, “Judicial philosophies are not the same as political parties.” She continued her comments by urging people to note the distinction between “criticizing the court’s reasoning and accusing the justices of acting in a partisan manner.”

These words mean little in a world where “court stacking” is a recognized path to achieving a party’s political goals, and Justices from both parties “interpret” the law in ways that further heavily political agendas.

In a world where overthrowing the Constitution is the stated purpose of one party and upholding the founding document is the goal of the other side, it’s no wonder that the public perception of the venerable institution is irreparably tarnished. Only 16% of Americans believe that Justices rule in nonpartisan ways.

It’s no surprise that favorability fluctuates wildly depending on which party nominates the Justices. If Democrats appoint a judge, the favorability of the court among liberals rises sharply while conservative opinions decline. Likewise, a Republican-appointed nominee sways conservative opinions to favorable ones while liberal opinions decline.

In a perfect world, the Supreme Court should make the entire nation feel confident in its ability to decide Constitutional law, regardless of political affiliation.

It’s expected that some cases fall into unchartered territory. The founding fathers could never have envisioned an America where biological males competed with biological females in sports, or where abortion as a form of birth control is, according to many, a “constitutional right.” Nor could they have imagined an America where Christian values are squashed, groups are targeted by governmental agencies, and people are imprisoned for years without their constitutional right to a fair trial as with the January 6th prisoners.

Or did they?

Within the Constitution are many safeguards against tyranny and abuse of power by the government. This is a stumbling block for liberal Supreme Court Justices and the key factor in the left’s desire to throw out America’s core defining document.

Many issues at play now are clearly defined in black and white in the Constitution, such as the right of Americans to own guns, speak freely, and have a speedy trial. The founding fathers attempted to block tyranny by ensuring a clear separation of powers between the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. They sought to protect religious beliefs and to ensure that the government could only have as much power as the people allowed.

Other issues sit in a gray area because the founding fathers could never even have conceived of them 200 years ago. And these gray areas are where the liberal Justices wield their power.

Liberal judge Janet Protasiewicz recently won a seat on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, turning it from red to blue. For a swing state like Wisconsin, this appointment spells the end of conservative candidate wins. Her first stated priority was gerrymandering the current state’s districts to ensure Democratic candidates win in federal elections. In an April 4, 2023, op-ed, MSNBC proudly gloated that “the ideological makeup of one state’s Supreme Court does make a difference.”

The left hates when decisions are made that uphold the constitution, and to be fair, so does the right if the decisions don’t agree with their agenda. But in real-world justice, politics should have nothing to do with constitutional law. If a Justice doesn’t shake things up in their own party now and then, they are nothing more than a political hack toeing the party line and abusing their power.

And if Americans can predict the outcome of a case solely on the political views of the justices involved, true constitutional justice will never be served again.