I'm seeing "After Mr. Trump’s Din, the Quiet Grandeur of the Courts" — by the Editorial Board of The New York Times — and inclined to scoff. I'd like to feel inspired and exalted about courts, but there's just way too much past history to waft "quiet grandeur" with a lofty disinterested attitude. The NYT Editorial Board has made too much din of its own attacking the courts over the years to act so offended when the President lets us know what irks him.
And, frankly, I listened to the oral argument in the 9th Circuit the other day. I didn't hear "quiet grandeur" from the panel of judges. I heard grandeur — haughtiness, imperiousness — but it wasn't quiet. It was interrupting and argumentative and it chewed into the limited time the lawyers had to complete their thoughts.
But I don't have a huge problem with what the NYT also celebrates as "aggressively questioning." It's just not "quiet grandeur."
And federal judges are fallible human beings hanging onto lifetime appointments* and the power to say what they will about what the law is. So let's not get too sentimental. You may want to attack them tomorrow. They are not above criticism. They should be criticized. They are not godlike oracles, but human beings whose work is laid out in the open, in writing, where we have the opportunity — the responsibility — to judge them. We should not shrink from that work. (And I do judge the district judge for his failure to provide a decent written explanation for his activism.)
You want quiet grandeur? How about celebrating Clarence Thomas? That guy never interrupts. Barely ever even talks.
* One of the judges on the panel is 85 years old.