On Wednesday, June 26, 2024, Newsweek published an article discussing the growing criticism from judges against the United States Supreme Court.

The article reported on dissatisfaction among judges both towards certain decisions made by the Supreme Court in recent years as well as controversies surrounding ethics at the high court. It noted retired Judge David Tatel as one prominent critic, who revealed in a new memoir that part of his decision to step down from the D.C. Court of Appeals in January was due to the Supreme Court’s “low regard” for judicial principles.

Tatel was not alone in his criticism, according to the article, which pointed to remarks made in May by Hawaii Supreme Court Justice Todd Eddins who slammed the Supreme Court for being “incredibly dishonest” in how it picks facts and law. That same month, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves also publicly criticized the court’s qualified immunity doctrine.

The Newsweek piece included analysis from experts who said these criticisms reflected growing polarization at the judiciary and dissatisfaction with the Supreme Court’s conservative majority. However, it noted some conservatives have argued against critiques from liberal judges by framing them as partisan responses to outcomes rather than the judicial process. Tatel rejected this, saying his issues were with the act of judging itself.

Not all criticism came from the left, according to the article, which mentioned conservative retired Judge J. Michael Luttig and Trump appointee Kevin Newsom have also taken aim at certain Supreme Court decisions and practices. The article surveyed polling showing public approval of the high court recently reaching new lows, though some judges worry this could start affecting trust in the entire judiciary.

It explored ethical issues that have contributed to dissatisfaction, such as controversies over trips taken by Justices Alito and Thomas not fully disclosed. These revelations, along with their rejections of recusal calls, were presented as adding to pressure points along with the Supreme Court lacking an enforceable ethics code, unlike other federal courts.

In conclusion, the Newsweek article suggested this dissent and declining public support could push the Supreme Court to moderate some of its stances this term, as evidenced by its recent rulings upholding abortion pill access and certain gun restrictions. It maintained most judges still aim to uphold precedent despite personal disagreements, though some experts warned of potential defiance if criticism of biased decision-making continues long-term.



Source: Newsweek