July 02, 2007

The Roberts Court: a reality check

In an editorial today, the National Review takes on the daunting task of debunking some of the "hysterical" reactions from liberal critics of the Roberts Court's 2006-2007 term. (See E.J. Dionne and Linda Greenhouse, prime examples of this frenzied response to the Court's major decisions).

Here's the helpful 'reality check' offered by NRO's editors:
"None of the major liberal-activist precedents of the Warren or Burger Courts has been overruled in 30 years. The Supreme Court continues to insist that the First Amendment gives it the power to regulate school administrators’ disciplinary policies, even if it is easing up on those regulations. It continues to micromanage the circumstances in which states may employ the death penalty. Its church-state jurisprudence continues to have no consistent theme other than self-aggrandizement."
In sum:
"The Roberts Court's decisions lead to slightly more conservative policy results than those of its predecessors. Its opinions also try a little bit harder to announce principles that have the character of law, rather than keeping everyone guessing about what the Court’s next edict will be. The continuities are, however, more stark than the differences."
Read the whole thing for some important pointers to a few of the numerous factual inaccuracies that saturate most criticism of the Roberts Court.