declansloan saidI must admit that the Supreme Court's reputation has been in the toilet since the George W. Bush decision from 2000, but this is the first case before this very political court in the history of the United States that I will be paying attention to because it is as important as the decision regarding black people's right to vote in this country and be equal citizens that was rendered initially by Chief Justice Earl Warren and his court on separate but equal. I never thought, having grown up in African American culture, I would be watching a decision from this political court this closely. I'm wondering are they capable of being impartial judges instead of representatives of the political ideologies and politicians that placed each of them on the court. If my suspicions are correct, we no longer live in the age of legal Justices who make decisions based on the principles of the Constitution but rather on their political puppet masters who control them outside of the court. I'm curious to see what their decision will be. I'm rarely wrong in guessing how each of these Justices will vote on a legal issue.
I agree with the sentiment, but without turning into a Supreme Court apologist I'd say this: there's really no such thing as following "principles of the Constitution." When you get down to it, there are interpretive methods (textual, historical, evolutionary, practical), but even employing the same interpretive approach two reasonable and intelligent people can come to different conclusions. Just look at Justice Thomas and Justice Scalia, they're both (from a cynical standpoint), conservative and Republican, and they both employ textual and historical interpretive means, but their opinions differ widely. For example, Justice Thomas does not think that the 14th Amendment applies to the States, and accordingly nearly EVERY piece of federal legislation is null and unenforceable, whereas Scalia calls this absurd.
I think it's less an affirmative "I'm a Democrat/Republican and I'm going to vote the way my party likes" dynamic, and more the dynamic that when you press the "principles of the Constitution" you can glean what you want to a large extent. Literally, 9 people are looking at the SAME text and history and facts and seeing wildly different things. That is appreciated in art, but such disagreement is apparently lamentable in jurists. All I can say is that I do not think the jurists are OVERTLY and CONSCIOUSLY manipulating the vote and "being political," rather I think that their fundamental and core ideologies are spilling out and bleeding onto their opinions. The former is condemnable, the latter is merely a natural upshot of being human.