The only problem is that progressives only believe in the principle of democracy when it helps them to advance their preferred policy goals. When it threatens to stand in the way of what they want, they oppose it — which is precisely why they are so angry that they are facing the possibility of being even more decisively denied the power to control the Supreme Court, our system’s most formidable counter-majoritarian institution.
Do you doubt it? If so, consider: Most Americans say they don’t want to see Roe v. Wade overturned. But it’s also true that after the first trimester, public opinion turns quite solidly against the pro-choice position. And by the third trimester, it has become overwhelmingly pro-life. But the progressive position on abortion rights is not that early-term abortions should be legal and protected while late-term abortions should be banned, with second-trimester abortions strictly regulated and sometimes restricted. That would be the position supported by the greatest number of Americans. But on this issue — as on economic regulation, voting rights, anti-discrimination law, and other social issues — progressives don’t particularly care what majority sentiment is. They want to protect fundamental rights even if, and perhaps especially if, the majority takes a different view.