I think the chief justice has lost control of his ship or at least has been poisoned by the bitter pen of Justice Scalia. His writings in dissent serve to diminish the legitimacy of the Court, and use language that – with the exception of Scalia – I rarely see in Supreme Court opinions.
Here is the start of his dissent in the Arizona redistricting case:
“Just over a century ago, Arizona became the second State in the Union to ratify the Seventeenth Amendment. That Amendment transferred power to choose United States Senators from “the Legislature” of each State, Art. I, §3, to “the people thereof.”…
What chumps! Didn’t they realize that all they had to do was interpret the constitutional term “the Legislature” to mean “the people”? The Court today performs just such a magic trick with the Elections Clause.”
WHAT CHUMPS? The only chump I see sits in the center chair. He can make his argument without having a temper tantrum.
Ironically, the dissent in this case by Scalia is measured and focused, without the rancor that we often see. Of course, his one friend, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is writing the opinion of the Court, and while he criticizes it, he does so without the fury he reserves for others.