Yesterday, I mentioned the monumental ignorance and stupidity exibited by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens about firearms – specifically confusing machine guns with semiautomatic weapons, and then stating his opinion that machine guns were commonly used in mass shootings.
I expressed dismay that somebody as ignorant (and, yes, stupid) should vote on perhaps the most important Second Amendment case in American history, D.C. v Heller. And that got me to thinking about the whole issue of the role played by ignorance and stupidity in SCOTUS decisions.
I don’t know if any of my readers with legal backgrounds ever clerked for a SCOTUS Justice, but if you take a look at the makeup of the average Court, you’ll usually find a large number, often a majority, of quite elderly Justices. And since Justices tend, whether they admit it or not, to support their own political team, they generally try to hang onto the high bench until the appointment for their replacement can be made by a President from the same political ballpark. Which means that, I suspect, at least some of them start to serve judicial wine that is well past its time.
How so? Bluntly, I believe that in some cases these superannuated Justices become so intellectually enfeebled – even to the point of full-blown dementia or Alzheimers – that they become nothing more than hand puppets for their clerks, and mouthpieces for their views. I don’t know enough about the inner workings of the Court to verify this suspicion, so I’m wondering if any of my readers might offer more first-hand information.
The alternative is to just assume that the level of ignorant dumbasses on the SCOTUS is somewhat higher than most people realize.