Friday, May 21, 2004
Vince's, Paolo's, and my friend and former colleague, Professor Steve Smith, has a wonderful essay in the latest issue of First Things, "Conciliating Hatred" (available here). Read it!
In a nutshell, Smith proposes that the present Court's maddening performances in hot-button constitutional-"law" cases can be explained by a well-meaning, if misguided, desire to mediate, resolve, and soothe national differences and divisions. At the same time, though, as Smith explains, the Justices are increasingly and in many contexts employing a jurisprudence of "evil motives" to resolve political (masking or framed as constitutional) disagreements. In other words, and strangely enough, the Court pursues its civil-peace-making ambitions by labelling those whose views it rejects as fearful, bigoted, driven by "animus," etc.
Put differently: "'Shut up,' the Court explains. 'Don't you know we are one Nation, indivisible?'"
UPDATE: University of San Diego Law Professor Maimon Schwarzschild has these thoughts regarding Smith's essay, over at The Right Coast blog.