So said Yale lawprof Akhil Reed Amar to WaPo journ-o-list Ezra Klein, prompting National Review's Matthew J. Franck to turn the question around exactly the way I was going to before I saw that Matthew J. Franck already had:
If the Court goes 5-4 in favor of ObamaCare, will that be, you know, like, a totally okay, nonpartisan, statesmanlike decision?But really how is a lawprof's life a fraud if it turns out that the Supreme Court is governed by politics, money, party, and party loyalty? As a lawprof myself, I see the Court as an object of study. Whatever it does, my work has meaning.
And looking back at what Professor Amar said, I now think he's being funny. I haven't seen his office, but I'm pretty sure it's damned posh — along with his salary — and not "silly" or "little" at all. Obviously, like any smart conlawprof, he knows that the real world of human beings interpreting the Constitution isn't pure, that human emotion, swirling with everything that affects human beings — politics, money, party, and party loyalty — must play its part. What would law — this law that supposedly matters — be without the human element?
It's inconceivable. Or if you could conceive of it — truly and honestly, without the impurities of humanity (and how would you, you being human?) — I think you would find it to be something alien, inhuman, and brutal, and you would never want to live under the regime called "the rule of law."
But Professor Amar, who is a political creature, with partisan and money-based preferences of his own, plays the role of the Yale law professor, applying political pressure to the Supreme Court and to the larger political mechanism (which includes the 2012 presidential election).
Are you enjoying the theater?