That's the beginning of paragraph 4 of Maureen Dowd's attack on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Her rant includes many of the hackneyed phrases we're accustomed to seeing in anti-Court writing:
It has squandered even the semi-illusion that it is the unbiased, honest guardian of the Constitution. It is run by hacks dressed up in black robes.How do hacks writing NYT columns dress up?
All the fancy diplomas... cannot disguise the fact that its reasoning on the most important decisions affecting Americans seems shaped more by a political handbook than a legal brief.I elided "of the conservative majority" to highlight how political liberals bitching about conservative judges talk just like political conservatives bitching about liberal judges... and all their fancy diplomas cannot disguise it!
But I'm interested in the phrase that sounded new "cosseted behind white marble pillars." Can one be cosseted by pillars? What exactly is cosseting anyway? Did you picture something like this?
No. That's a corset. Do you let similar words affect your understanding of a word? (I once lost a spelling bee because I allowed the word "ostrich" to intrude upon my understanding of "ostracize.")
But cosset... it's something soft, not pillarlike, is it not?
cossetWhen it comes to the Constitution and the Affordable Care Act, one must wonder who is the little lamb brought up as a pet.
1650s, "to fondle, caress, indulge," from a noun (1570s) meaning "lamb brought up as a pet" (applied to persons from 1590s), perhaps from O.E. cot-sæta "one who dwells in a cot."