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The Media And Their SCOTUS Double Standard

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The mainstream media continues to be the militant propaganda arm of the Progressive wing of the Democrat party.  It seems that with them, Republicans can do no right, except when they act like Democrats.  When Mitt Romney stands with Democrats, he’s being courageous.  When Joe Manchin stands with Republicans, he’s being a traitor.  Tulsi Gabbard was unapologetically labeled as a Russian agent by the left, simply because she didn’t carry their water all the time.  The double standard is more than maddening; It is, in my opinion, criminal.

Why is compromise only a virtue of the right and why is the left’s ideological hardline considered “brave.”

On the Country’s highest court, we have numerous ideological hardliners.  Clarence Thomas is not, by any stretch, a moderate.  He has become the most reliably conservative member of the court, his quiet and deliberative demeanor combined with his unparalleled level of intellect has made his decisions not only predictable but also respected amongst his Supreme Court colleagues.  During the 2018 session, Thomas wrote more opinions than any other Justice on the court, followed by Gorsuch and Alito, the latter being tied with Breyer in the number of opinions.

Similarly, Thomas and Gorsuch are the most detailed in their opinions, followed by Breyer, Alito, and Sotomayor, with Roberts, Ginsberg, Kagan, and Kavanaugh writing the least amount for their opinions.

During the Trump administration, there was a lot of talk about Trump nominated Justices, and how conservative they would be.  Obviously, Democrats were upset with the Senate procedures that gave Trump at least one appointment that the Democrats felt that Trump shouldn’t have, but those concerns seem to have fallen flat.  Remember, during the hearings for the justices nominated (especially in the case of Justice Barrett), the left criticized ACB’s nomination, in the fear that a challenged election could be swayed by the three Trump appointees.  When Texas brought its case (which in my opinion was the strongest case to date), all three of the Trump appointees voted to refuse to hear the case in the first place.

Anytime the media and the left bring up concerns with the way that the Supreme Court will vote, it always is concerned with how the Conservative justices will vote.  Liberals voting as a bloc doesn’t even bother them. While the court was 5-4 Conservative in 2018, of the 72 cases that were heard by the court that year, only 8 were decided by a straight conservative majority. Another 8 of those decisions were made with the liberal bloc and one of the conservative judges, meaning that the liberal bloc voted together at least 16 times, counting the 8 times they countered the conservative majority, and the other 8 times there was a 5-4 split with the liberal bloc and one Conservative judge.  For the record, Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, was most likely to vote with the liberal bloc on the court.

In 2019, Cato’s Ilya Shapiro made the same argument, stating that the liberal bloc of the court was more likely to vote with other Liberals that their Conservative colleagues.

There were 67 decisions after argument in the term that ended in June. In those cases, the four justices appointed by Democratic presidents voted the same way 51 times, while the five Republican appointees held tight 37 times. And of the 20 cases where the court split 5-4, only seven had the “expected” ideological divide of conservatives over liberals. By the end of the term, each conservative justice had joined the liberals as the deciding vote at least once.

How come the media never calls those liberal justices, partisan?  Why is it that Gorsuch is still labeled with this “ultra-conservative” label, yet is more likely to vote with the liberal bloc than his other Conservative colleagues?  This talk about Conservatives taking partisan votes occurred before the “Trump Three” even made the court in the first place.  Again, as noted by Shapiro:

“In the 2014-15 term, with Kennedy at the height of his “swing vote” power —the last full term before Justice Antonin Scalia’s death and resulting year-long vacancy — the four liberals stuck together in 55 of 66 cases, while the four conservatives (not counting Kennedy) voted as a unit in 39.”

Despite this fact, (again, it isn’t up for debate that this is the case) the media, both liberal and conservative, rarely points it out.  In fact, when one Googles the term “Liberal bias on the Supreme Court”, one would find a sparse finding of anyone, Conservative or Liberal, calling it out.  Alternatively, if one Googles “Conservative Bias on the Supreme Court”, numerous articles are displayed, primarily from mainstream sources, which openly criticize, the much more compromising Conservative Justices on the Court.

Again, if Conservative Justices fit that bill, Conservatives wouldn’t have the ground to argue against that bias.  On the other hand, though Liberal Justices do fit that bill, how much worse is it that the media fails to not only accept this but report on it?  When Sotomayor wrote her controversial dissent on the SCOTUS decision, making it more difficult for illegal immigrants who illegally use public and social welfare programs, to apply for residency and citizenship, no one questioned her ideological bias.  However, Justice Thomas cannot make a decision without accusations, made by Anita Hill during his confirmation hearings, again surfacing to haunt him.

As the media continues to push narratives that slam conservatives, they claim they do so through the veil of fairness making it seem as if they are simply reporting facts as opposed to attempting to alter public opinion with biased drivel.  In the case of SCOTUS, the fact is that the liberal bloc is more biased and ideologically aligned than the Conservative justices on the court, however, to Joe Q. Public, they’d never know that.  The way that information is presented is that the Liberal Justices are the levelheaded, reasonable Justices on the court, while Conservative Justices are unreasonable hardliners, filled with uncompromising hate for the left.  In the case of the 2020 Election, the left would have been calling for the heads of the Conservative Justices, if they had not shrugged their responsibility to hear the Texas case.  Instead, they act as if the case was so glaring that it was undeserving of being heard.  With news that Justice Roberts’ decision to not hear the case was based upon the potential reaction from the left speaks volumes.  Why would any of those Justices have come out to support hearing the case or in fact, voting to overturn unconstitutional orders, if they had already become victims of media witch-hunts and drive-by hit pieces?

Instead of celebrating the system working, instead, the left clings to their bias harder than ever.  Sure the Court’s justices have ideological biases, but those biases extend to all justices, not just to the Conservative 5 or 6 (I’m looking at you Roberts). Our disagreements should at times, be celebrated.  For the left, those disagreements are character flaws, instead of features of the system.  If those hardline views are indeed flaws, perhaps the media should start looking within.