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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Wed May 4, 2022, 10:09 AM

13. What is meant by "legitimate"?

The pertinent dictionary definition is "accordant with law or with established legal forms and requirements." So in that sense, the court is legitimate. It exists and operates in accordance with the Constitution and federal statutes. What it has become, however, is a legally established and therefore "legitimate" body that has lost the confidence of a large sector of the population. It exists in the first place as a branch of government intended to provide an ostensibly neutral arbiter of the law and thus a check against the political tendencies of the other two branches. Some of its decisions since its creation have been politically-motivated and some have been downright bad, but overall it has at least seemed neutral and fair enough that the other branches and the people have been willing to accept its decisions as reasonable applications of the law that they were willing to accept even if they didn't agree.

It started to slide, I think, with Bush v. Gore, which was such a bad, dumb, poorly-reasoned and disingenuous opinion that its goal - to achieve a particular political outcome by twisting the law and the facts of the case - was screamingly obvious. It's gone to hell in the proverbial handbasket during TFG's maladministration with the addition of overtly biased and arguably unqualified justices, and now the draft opinion in Dobbs shows beyond doubt that the court is just another political body, and as such will have lost the confidence of a whole lot of us that our cases can have a chance at a fair hearing. That's the whole reason for a court to exist - to give all cases before them a fair hearing - and if a court can't be trusted to ensure impartial justice, its technical "legitimacy" is meaningless.

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