Friday, May 31, 2013

Immodest Robes

TPM tries to read the tea leaves on the Supreme Court's upcoming affirmative action decision, but I was more struck by this throwaway line:
Numerous legal scholars thought the five conservative justices on the Roberts Court — not best known for judicial modesty — would end Grutter now.
I don't disagree that the Roberts Court is not exactly a beacon of "judicial modesty." But remember when it was? Or more accurately, remember when it was thought that it would be? A lot of folks thought that would be a defining feature of the Roberts Court. Maybe that was always an unreasonable belief; maybe the whole idea of "judicial modesty" is conceptually incoherent. I do find it interesting, though, that the conventional wisdom regarding the Chief Justice and his cohorts has done a complete 180, such that now folks can just casually presume agreement with the statement that they're the furthest thing from "modest."

1 comment:

PG said...

It's particularly odd to assume about Roberts less than year after he found a way to deem the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate constitutional while still limiting the Commerce Clause.

Anyway, yeah, Fisher is not set up well procedurally to get far-reaching relief.

Texas's system also creates a peculiarity in which the plaintiff probably would have been in the top 10% of her class, and thus likely to have gotten admission to UT-Austin, if she hadn't been going to such a good public school.