The liberal coup

Whether Chief Justice John Roberts changed his mind or is the latest Republican to “evolve” on the bench, he has done the improbable: Liberals are praising a Supreme Court that they had trashed as a player in a right-wing conspiracy. Old sins such as Citizens United are washed away, as are President Obama’s spring musings about the dangers of an unelected court unaccountable to public opinion. The about-face is jarring, even in a political atmosphere in which the right result typically makes right…

It is not news that most liberals regard the courts as a bulwark against public opinion, and that they celebrate the judiciary’s capacity to detach itself from the mainstream. What is more striking is the evolving liberal ideal that the overall political process need not and should not mimic popular sentiment either. Why bother, when reputation-sensitive elites can be persuaded without relying on a ballot — simply by invoking their desire to align with “history” and their skittishness about following the “uninformed”?