The Supreme Court is supposed to rule by the law alone. But Harvard’s Randall Kennedy says that doesn't always happen.
“A very common misconception is that the Supreme Court is above politics," he says. "With all the marble palace and the robes and the funny words and all of that, beneath all of that is a political struggle.”
So let's stop pretending that the court is a magisterial, impartial arbiter of the law. The law, Kennedy says, is a distillation of our politics.
Top ACLU lawer David Cole disagrees.
“It's too simple to say that the court is just political," Cole says. "Judges take an oath and it is part of their legitimacy that they decide questions not simply by resort to political, partisan judgments.
Today, On Point: Has the Supreme Court always been political?
From SAY IT LOUD!: On Race, Law, History, and Culture by Randall Kennedy. Reprinted by permission of Pantheon Books, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2021 by Randall Kennedy
This program aired on October 13, 2021.