Mark Sherman of the Associated Press was on the front page of the local paper with an unmarked opinion piece on the outcome of Brett on the Supreme Court. As we and many others have noticed progressives like Mark approach conservatives like they have never met one. Whatever the reason, Mark’s discussion seems very odd to a conservative because it is not how we think.
Sidebar: Deciding who is a “true” conservative is a difficult task. Yes, we are aware of the no true Scotsman problem and that conservative are a small part of the big Republican tent. We think the critical demarcation for conservatives is process. To oversimplify, conservatives think about process while progressives think about outcomes. End Sidebar.
We know it is a long quote but here are Mark’s first three paragraphs:
The moment conservatives have dreamed about for decades has arrived with Brett Kavanaugh joining the Supreme Court. But with it comes the shadow of a bitter confirmation fight that is likely to hang over the court as it takes on divisive issues, especially those dealing with politics and women’s rights.
With Kavanaugh taking the place of the more moderate Anthony Kennedy, conservatives should have a working majority of five justices to restrict abortion rights, limit the use of race in college admissions and rein in federal regulators.
The newly constituted court also might broaden gun rights, further relax campaign finance laws and halt the expansion of the rights of LGBT people, who three years ago won the right to marry nationwide with Kennedy in the majority.
Mark has a whole list of outcomes that he is concerned about. For most of the rest of the article he tries to convince the majority that to use the majority would erode the court’s legitimacy. We read that part so you don’t need to.
Conservatives are happy because there appears to be an originalist Supreme Court majority. That majority may lead to some outcomes that conservatives prefer as well as some they don’t. It will be interesting to see if the progressives continue to vote as a block or will try to influences outcomes by being part of the majority. Legal scholarship is not our area but we expect less predictable patterns from the new court. Perhaps when we have an unhappy outcome we can commiserate with a progressive like Mark.