Jennifer Rubin claims ‘tone-deaf’ Supreme Court destroyed ‘its own integrity,’ calls for court packing

By | September 13, 2022

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote a Monday op-ed claiming the Supreme Court ruined its own credibility, and must be redeemed by expansion.

Chief Justice John Roberts recently spoke at a legal conference where he defended the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. He said, “But simply because people disagree with an opinion is not a basis for criticizing the legitimacy of the court,” which Rubin took exception to and called “whining.” 

She responded by suggesting that he and his conservative compatriots on the court are blind as to the reason why, claiming, “He really doesn’t get it. The degree to which this court is utterly and completely tone-deaf to its role in the destruction of its own integrity remains a powerful reason for court expansion or term limits.” 

Rubin suggested that it is beyond doubt that “the public” has lost faith in the Supreme Court.

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“Let’s start with the obvious. It’s a fact, not an accusation, that the court is losing the public’s confidence,” she warned. “One need only look at a slew of polls to see that the court’s self-image as a nonpartisan institution does not match public perception. The question that remains is whether Roberts and the other five conservative justices will make it worse.”

Then, in one massive sentence, she slammed conservative justices for issuing opinions she didn’t like and suggested that they had politicized the court and used underhanded tactics.

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“Roberts would rather not address the root of the court’s credibility crisis: its conservative members’ blatant disregard of nearly 50 years of precedent, their misuse and abuse of facts and history, their penchant for delivering public screeds in political settings, their misleading answers in confirmation hearings, their improper use of the shadow docket, their prior placement on the shortlist of potential justices by right-wing dark-money groups attempting to transform the judiciary, their opposition to adhering to a mandatory code of judicial ethics — and a refusal by Thomas to recuse himself from cases related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, despite the anti-democracy activism of his wife, Ginni.”

Rubin appeared to suggest that term limits and packing the court would be the way to start cleansing the court’s reputation.

“So it’s up to Congress and the president to shore up the court’s credibility. Allocating more seats to correct the damage done by Sen. Mitch McConnell’s court-packing, imposing term limits on all justices and enacting a mandatory code of ethics would be good places to start,” she concluded.