Tuesday, liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer warned Democrats to “think long and hard” about their dream of expanding (“packing”) the Supreme Court with additional leftist Justices to overpower the conservative Justices’ votes.
During a lecture at Harvard Law School, Breyer warned that the Court’s authority is based on the public’s trust that it’s “guided by legal principle, not politics.” He said, “If the public sees Justices as ‘politicians in robes,’ its confidence in the courts, and in the rule of law itself, can only diminish, diminishing the Court’s power, including its power to act as a ‘check’ on the other branches.”
Of course, that wouldn’t matter to people for whom diminishing the Court’s power to check the other branches is the whole point.
In other SCOTUS news, on Monday, the Supreme Court dismissed former President Trump’s appeal of a ruling that it was unconstitutional for him to block trolls from his White House Twitter account. The Court ruled it moot since he’s no longer President.
However, while Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with the ruling, he also made an important point that could form the basis for future needed reforms of laws governing these too-powerful social media sites. Lower courts ruled that Trump couldn’t block critics from what was considered a public forum because it was “unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination”...yet Thomas noted that Twitter – a private company – later blocked the President from his own Twitter account and therefore blocked all Twitter users from interacting with his messages.
Thomas asked how the law can find that First Amendment protections apply to a forum in which “unbridled control of the account resided in the hands of a private party.”
Noting the power of platforms such as Twitter to cut off speech, Thomas warned that the Supreme Court "will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms."
Let’s hope that happens very soon, since it’s obvious the Democratic Congress will never act as long as the social media giants’ biases and censorship are to their political advantage.