As of this writing, it’s a good bet that the election mess will end up in the Supreme Court for resolution. If so, one of two scenarios is likely to unfold. One is the that the five conservative justices will have the backbone to stand firm for the rule of law. These justices are Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch. Chief Justice John Roberts, who is a proven equivocator, could vote either way, but he would not affect the final decision.
The other less desirable scenario is that at least one of the five conservative justices gets weak and surrenders to the pressure of the moment. That pressure can be called “practicality.” Forming the practicality mindset would be the riots, looting, and violence that occurred this summer and are ongoing to some extent. And indeed, many leftist groups are promising turmoil if Donald Trump wins a second term. Plus the media will make it clear that they intend to mau-mau justices who deviate from the liberal script.
In such an environment, a weak justice might reason like this: “If I vote to uphold the election laws, the Biden forces will go on a rampage. On the other hand, if the decision goes against Trump, his supporters will huff and puff, but despite media propaganda, I know they are not as violence-prone as their opposition. So I’ll be practical. I’ll twist my reading of the law to make it serve the cause of social peace.” And should one conservative justice weaken, Roberts will be sure to follow like a puppy looking for petting.
I was being overly generous when I called this “practicality.” Actually, it is bowing to intimidation. And there is precedent when conservatives — real conservatives, not Roberts-like ones — capitulated to intimidation.
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