Short version titled 5 Signs of a Radical Change in U.S. Politics via the Supreme Court.
Through the past decade, there has been a radical shift in the “by any means necessary” rules of political combat, as I describe. Previous conservative administrations have nominated previous conservative Justices — but not radical partisans, happy to overthrow precedent to get to the party-politics result they want.
Long form is called SCOTUS Update: La Loi, C’est Moi
Liberal democracies like ours depend on rules but also on norms — on the assumption that you’ll go so far, but no further, to advance your political ends. The norms imply some loyalty to the system as a whole that outweighs your immediate partisan interest. Not red states, nor blue states, but the United States of America. It was out of loyalty to the system that Al Gore stepped aside after Bush v. Gore. Norms have given the Supreme Court its unquestioned legitimacy. The Roberts majority is barreling ahead without regard for the norms, and it is taking the court’s legitimacy with it.
Also too, David Orentlicher at Concurring Opinions has this to say:
But all we really need to know is that George Bush, rather than Al Gore or John Kerry, nominated Sandra Day O’Connor’s replacement to the Supreme Court…If the individual mandate goes down, its viability was determined not in the past couple of years but in 2006 when George Bush appointed Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.
Note: The Supreme Court will not be giving us their ruling on the health care reform law today. Most of Arizona’s immigration law was struck down although you still gotta show them your stinking papers. But Citizens United still stands, even stronger now.