John Roberts v. the United States

Indignity Vol. 4, No. 111

John Roberts v. the United States
Declaration of Independence (1819), by John Trumbull. Via Wikipedia.


The Law Is That There Is No Law

TOMORROW IS INDEPENDENCE Day. This week, things went very wrong with the American Experiment, in multiple directions at once. None of those things were worse than the Supreme Court's decision in Trump v. United States.

Sometimes when a really horrible decision comes down, I skip ahead to the dissents, so at least I'm not meeting the six or five justices of the majority all alone, goggling helplessly at how stupid they think I am. It helps, sometimes, to have confirmation that they really are that transparent. 

It doesn't help substantively, though. It's not as if the dissents change anything; the cascade of decisions in the past two weeks made it clear that all the scathing dissents that went before did not made the majority feel any shame at all, nor make them feel any real concern for the standing of the institution of the court—and certainly not any fear. 

Two days after it came down, I still haven't gotten to the dissenting opinions in Trump. I've read about them and seen excerpts, but this decision was somewhere out beyond dissent. It was so nakedly cynical and destructive that to rebut it was to argue with a crocodile that had already swallowed your severed head. And all the while, the crocodile wept tears for a president, a hypothetical president, who might be scared out of taking "bold and unhesitating action" if presidents could be treated as criminals when they commit crimes.