While accusing the Supreme Court’s conservative justices of “disdain for democracy,” Pamela S. Karlan proves herself talented at dispensing disdain. The Stanford law professor is, however, less talented at her chosen task of presenting a coherent understanding of judicial review. Still, her “Democracy and Disdain” in the November issue of the Harvard Law Review usefully illustrates progressivism’s consistent disdain for the Founders’ project of limiting government.
The primary focus of her displeasure is, remarkably, Chief Justice John Roberts’s opinion mostly upholding Obamacare. But she begins by being appalled at Justice Antonin Scalia’s suggestion that the lopsided majorities by which Congress in 2006 extended Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act were “a reason not for deference, but for suspicion.” Well.