Dahlia Lithwick writes in Slate that she does not quite know what to see about the Roberts court. She recognizes - at some level - that it would be - oh I don' t know - puerile to simply call them mean (although she thinks that they are), but just can't put her finger on what's wrong.
The one thing that she seems sure of is that there is no point in engaging the court on the merits. The key, for her, seems to be that they are ruling against the little guy - or, more accurately, wh0 she sees as the deserving little guy (unborn babies and grassroots organizations bucking the power of entrenched incumbents apparently have nothing coming). Chief Justice Roberts apparently does not see the need to set the court up as the arbiter of contentious social issues. What gives with that?
This is the type of thing that annoys conservatives about the left (and which, incidentally, drives a lot of people to the right.) It is the smug assumption that there cannot be any plausible reasons for others to disagree with you. It has to be "greed" or "hate" or just plain "meanness." It is the unexamined assumptions about what comprises the good and how it is to be achieved. (Government intervention on behalf of the poor is compassionate; free markets that raise our very definition of what it means to be poor are selfish.)
It really is embarrassing.
And, in any event, the heat is really ticking me off.
So, to climb out of the fray, what is it that distinguishes the Roberts court from what the Lithwcks of the world want it to be? Is it just cruel and vengeful? Is the problem, as she suggests, that it is a bunch of lawyers? If that's so, what does that mean? Is the problem too many people from Harvard and Yale ? (Pop quiz: who on the court did not go to one of these schools?) What would that mean?