Apparently, a Supreme Court justice must never give a speech to a group that Vice disapproves of, based on their complaints that Neil Gorsuch gave a speech to the Federalist Society in “Supreme Court Justices Aren’t Even Pretending Anymore.”
The implication is that if you speak to a group then you must support that group in a manner inconsistent with being a neutral justice. This is a little silly even on the face of it – how do you persuade people or explain to them if you can’t speak to them?
But rather more than that Supreme Court justices give speeches all the time. They’re rather known for it, so much so that there’s a listing on the Supreme Court website – and even that’s not complete. Even we don’t believe the journalists at Vice are going to be ignorant of that fact so we’ll have to go with the other explanation. The complaint is because of who is being spoken to – it’s bias dressed up as concern about the sanctity of the law.
Even people known for making public and explanatory speeches must not speak to right-wing groups, according to the piece. Not that the Federalist Society is, in fact, right-wing – it’s just not progressive, which is perhaps enough to engender horror these days.
Vice as a website gains some 30 million visits a month. Its TV channel reaches 60 million U.S. households; the magazine runs at 900,000 copies. It can and should do better than this. Reporting is to remove bias from the story, not add it.
After all, as the Washington Post has pointed out: “Supreme Court justices routinely speak at partisan gatherings like this. “ All that shock horror is because Vice doesn’t like the Federalist Society – you’re letting your bias show guys.