Yes, TIME, the Supreme Court Still Matters

And they know it.

Time magazine of October 22 has a cover story, "Does the Supreme Court Still Matter?"  Time wants to convince us that the Supreme Court doesn't matter any more.  Under the heading "The Incredible Shrinking Court" on an unnumbered page, Time said:

For example, in 1954, the Supreme Court decided a set of cases challenging racial segregation of schools.  Brown v. Board of Education changed the lives of millions, ... Compare that with the race-and-school cases decided by the Roberts court last term, which affected at most a few hundred students.

Time is working hard to convince us that the court doesn't matter, but this is a lie.  In an Oct 11 page 1 article, the Wall Street Journal reports:  "Now ... the ruling is affecting local school districts in ways large and small."  On p. A18, it says, "The 58,000 student Tuscon, Ariz. school district dropped its race-based assignment after a federal court judge declared it unconstitutional, citing the Supreme Court case."

Time says that the court is deciding smaller, less important cases, but what Time doesn't tell us is that the Supreme Court can only hear cases which have been decided in courts below it.  If nobody brings a case about race in schools, for example, the Supreme Court can't hear it.  People who bring cases set the agenda, not the Court.  (At least, that's the way it's supposed to work - someone please forward a copy of this to the Ninth District Court of Appeals.)

Liberals have known for years that the voting public doesn't like their ideas, so they rely on liberal judges to write the rules their way.  Liberals have more experience gaming the court system than conservatives.  When President Clinton appointed Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, the Republicans passed the appointment.  They felt that, having won the election, Mr. Clinton was entitled to appoint judges as he saw fit.

The Democrats, in contrast, are holding up Mr. Bush's judicial appointments.  If courts don't matter any more, why won't the Democrats accept Mr. Bush's judges?

Democrats know that courts matter a great deal.  The reason the Roberts court hasn't decided big cases is that the liberals know not to bring their favorite cases at this time and conservatives aren't smart enough to know that now is the time to get their issues decided.  By letting liberals bring the cases, conservatives let liberals set the agenda.  Bad move.

If Hillary gets the Presidency, we'll very soon be reminded just how much the court does matter.

If you read Time's older articles about the court, you'll see that Time knows full well that the Supreme Court is very important.  The only reason I can think of why they'd try to tell us that it doesn't matter is to fool conservatives into not worrying about a Democrat appointing the next 4 or 5 Supreme Court judges.  If a Democrat starts appointing judges, I only hope that the Republicans will stall the appointments as the Democrats have done.

It saddens me that Time would fill seven pages trying to convince us not to worry about liberals appointing Supreme Court judges.  The amount of space they used trying to mislead us shows how important the court really is.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Politics.
Reader Comments

Get your facts straight. While I agree that the TIME article is stupid and uninformed, you're not very well informed either.

"The Democrats, in contrast, are holding up Mr. Bush's judicial appointments.  If courts don't matter any more, why won't the Democrats accept Mr. Bush's judges?"

Sorry, you're not even close here. Perhaps you avoided news from supposedly liberal sources back during Clinton's term, but stalling federal judicial appointments started with the Republican-controlled Senate well before GW was elected.

Oh yeah, and the Senate didn't just roll over on justice Ginsburg either. Clinton negotiated his choice with the Senate Judiciary committee at the time...Republicans, remember? He nominated someone they told him they could support.

Get a grip.

October 23, 2007 9:16 AM

"Oh yeah, and the Senate didn't just roll over on justice Ginsburg either"

That is an extremely poor example to use.  Considering Ginsburg's widly-liberal resume, the committee was extremely lenient.  She was basically swept right through.

October 23, 2007 9:43 AM

Well, it sure as hell mattered in 2000, didn't it?

October 23, 2007 1:09 PM

It is very hard to believe that the Supreme Court would have done anything differently than it did in 2000 no matter who was on it - all liberal or all conservative.   The decision the court made - if you're intrested in the facts - is to kick the case back down to the state court which was the RIGHT decision.  Ever heard of federalism?

Oh, and for those who get their news exclusively from The Daily Show, in 2000 the Supreme Court was LIBERAL still.  The two new appointments Bush made came after that.

October 23, 2007 1:21 PM
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