The Epistemic Closure of the Professional Conservative Mind

At least for the jurists (boldface mind):

Some observers have pointed out that the court’s conservative majority doesn’t seem to think of itself as answerable to the American people, especially given the vast right-wing bureaucracy represented by groups like The Federalist Society, which has arguably played a more central role in picking Supreme Court justices than any one president or senator.

The Republican Party and the Federalist Society have created a parallel community with its own norms and sources of validation,” wrote Florida State University Law Professor Mary Ziegler earlier this year. “The justices may not worry about losing legitimacy in one elite legal circle when they will be heroes in another.”

Fishkin said the court’s conservative justices are sensitive to the views of those in their hyper-partisan ideological bubble — what one book called “the company they keep.”

This ideological conformity, enforced by groups like The Federalist Society from law school on down, can mean more solid conservative majorities. But it can also create blind spots when it comes to public perception. Think of Justice Barrett, proclaiming “this court is not composed of a bunch of partisan hacks” during an appearance at… The McConnell Center at the University of Louisville.

One of the few saving graces of the typical professional Democrat is they care about what people who are quite different from them think–often, pathologically so. But the right, including its judicial elite, really seems to be unaware, even among the professionals, that they aren’t in touch with the American people on issue after issue. That said, given the structural advantages conservatives have, that might not matter.

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1 Response to The Epistemic Closure of the Professional Conservative Mind

  1. ronzie9 says:

    I don’t think they care about what the average American thinks about the issues they decide. They’ve convinced themselves that they are interpreting the Constitution using an objective, non-partisan reading of the text, and that if the public doesn’t like the results, they should get to work amending the document. The fact that the decisions they make happen to coincide, for the most part, with the justices’ personal views is just a “happy accident”. 😉

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