Democrats are scandalized (or they pretend to be) by the preeminence of conspiracy-kookery and “hidden agenda” talk from the Right, but they are utterly deaf to it when it comes from their own camp. I think this is because they are so used to it. But consider this from Slate today, a Mark Joseph Stern column headlined:
The Hidden Agenda Behind the Attack on Vaccine Mandate: Six Republican-appointed justices may use these cases to seize power from the president and Congress.
A “hidden agenda” leading to an illegitimate “seizure of power” would be a serious thing. Of course, what the Court is being asked to decide is whether the Biden administration is exceeding its own constitutional authority, which is not, let us remember, unlimited. The question of how much the administration can do to enforce a “law” that has not been passed by Congress is a legitimate constitutional question. But Stern et al. would have you believe it is an illegitimate exercise in “hidden agenda” politics, a judicial coup d’état.
I was pleased to read Stern worrying about unconstrained judicial policymaking, that “unelected judges” may “strike down any policy they personally dislike.” Of course, that is exactly what the Supreme Court did in 1973 in Roe v. Wade, invalidating the nation’s abortion laws, which were real laws, passed by legislatures, not administrative innovations. But if the Supreme Court invalidates that act of judicial supremacy, you can be confident that a thousand thousand columns at Slate and elsewhere will denounce that as judicial adventuring and the implementation of a “hidden agenda,” too.
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