Accuracy in Media

Teen Vogue tells us that the Supreme Court is an anti-democratic institution. We thought that was rather perceptive of them, even if everyone else has known this for the past 245-odd years. Then we realized that they were complaining about it rather than describing its purpose. Yes, the Supreme Court is anti-democratic: That’s what it’s there for; that’s the reason for its existence and power.

But, you know, Teen Vogue:

“Supreme Court is an anti-democratic institution.… The Court has wielded an anti-democratic influence on American law, one that has undermined federal attempts to eliminate hierarchies of race, wealth, and status.”

Teen Vogue’s actual complaint isn’t quite that simple – nor as moral. What they’re really complaining about is that the last few decades have led to a Court that doesn’t align with Teen Vogue’s views of what should happen. Therefore, they’re complaining about the politics that led to it being this way and suggesting ways to change the outcome. You know, the usual idea of appointing more justices to get some more progressives on there, and so on.

That’s just the usual political jockeying for position – it’s that anti-democratic idea that needs to be examined. For that’s entirely the point of the Supremes – the Founding Fathers were not silly men. They knew that a fashion, a fad, can sweep through a population. Hard-won rights can be sold off in the throes of some political passion. So, the system – as is any system with an actual constitution –  is set up to say that these, these basic rules of society, they’re really hard to change. It’s going to take a decade or more, you’ll need to get most of the society as a whole to agree. Constitutional amendments are difficult to get passed because it’s supposed to be difficult to change the basic rules of the entire society.

The other way to put this is that the Supreme Court, as that interpreter of that Constitution, is there exactly to be that protector against the passing whims of democracy.

Teen Vogue markets itself as “educating the influencers of tomorrow” which we agree is a noble aim. They gain some 5.5 million visits a month as they do so and of course, that influence is heavily concentrated among teenage girls – the obvious demographic for the magazine.

Actual education of teenage girls shouldn’t be this difficult. Teen Vogue complains bitterly about the likely reversal of Roe v. Wade – they may be right in doing so, might not be. But what they’re complaining about when they do is the Supreme Court returning the issue of abortion to democracy, removing it from that anti-democratic protection of the Constitution.

Yes, the Supreme Court is anti-democratic — that’s the point.




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