The Real Threat To The Judiciary ...
The perception that judges are partisan, political, and unfair appears to be causing a crisis of confidence in America's legal system.
Former GOP President Donald Trump set a record with his blowout margin of victory (51%) in the Iowa caucus this week.
In media entrance polls, two-thirds of caucus goers said Trump is fit to be president even if he is criminally convicted in the weeks ahead. What does this say about the public’s perception of the judiciary when a criminal conviction of a Presidential candidate is perceived to be irrelevant?
It appears the voters of Iowa agree with Trump that the criminal proceedings against Trump are the equivalent of election interference.
In Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton noted the judiciary is the weakest branch of government. He said the judiciary has neither the sword nor the purse “but merely judgment.” If the judiciary’s judgment is in question, what does it have?
Politics and the U.S. Supreme Court
Today, according to Gallup, 58% of Americans disapprove “of the way the Supreme Court is handling its job.” Prior to 2022, Gallup says, trust in the judicial branch averaged 68%.
So what happened in 2022?
On June 24, 2022, the Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that there was no federal constitutional right to abortion in the United States. This ended a 50-year period in which U.S. women had a right to abortion.
Whether the Court was right or wrong in how it decided Dobbs, the ruling obviously was the product of politics. Trump in 2016 said he would appoint candidates to the Court who supported overturning Roe v. Wade. Then he did so, appointing Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Of course, it didn’t help when Democratic Pres. Joe Biden announced he would appoint a black woman, rather than the most qualified candidate, to the Court. He did so in 2021 with the appointment of Kentanji Brown Jackson.
Ethical issues surround the justices acceptance of gifts from outside parties also have been damaging.
According to Gallup, America’s confidence in the court has “reached a new low in Gallup’s nearly 50-year trend.”
Dirty Tricks In Trump Prosecution
Politics appears to have permeated legal proceedings related to allegations that Trump interfered in the 2021 election in both federal and state courts.