Alan Jacobs


Just a gentle reminder of a point I’ve often made: if you read the actual text of Supreme Court opinions instead of journalists' descriptions of them, you’ll see (a) the existing law which the court is interpreting, and is legally bound to respect; (b) the relevant precedents which they’re professionally bound to reckon with; (c) the reasoning — complete with clarifications, distinctions, and the setting of boundaries — which both majority and dissent employ to reach their decisions; and (d) the diversity of opinion even among justices who are on the same side of the question. You can’t fairly judge a decision simply on the basis of whether or not you like the outcome’s implications for the present moment.