Who's afraid of democracy?
Since Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the Supreme Court, Democrats have been on a mission to undermine his legitimacy and, by extension, the legitimacy of the Court. A prominent line of attack argues that Kavanaugh was chosen by a president who lost the popular vote and confirmed by senators who represent fewer people than those who opposed him.
The suggestion that democratic principles were somehow violated is ironic given that a disdain for democracy is what really animates the Democrats’ rage about Kavanaugh.
They are angry that democracy produced the president who appointed Kavanaugh and the Senate majority that confirmed him. They fear that the nation’s policies on abortion and other social issues will soon be determined by voters rather than by judges and other elites.
The resentment is palpable in a New York Times editorial that bemoans “the degrading era of [Kavanaugh’s] service on the Supreme Court” and attempts to delegitimize him and other GOP appointees [...]
Putting aside the Times’ sleight of hand — George W. Bush appointed John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court after winning the popular vote in 2004 — progressives are really complaining about a central tenet of our Constitution and the democracy it produced.
Under the Great Compromise of 1787, large and small states alike got two senators, and small states got a disproportionate number of electoral votes. No mention was made of the national popular vote, which has as much relevance as the New York Yankees outscoring the Pittsburgh Pirates 55 to 27 while losing the 1960 World Series.
If you nonetheless follow the logic being used against Kavanaugh, every bill signed by President Trump is also of dubious validity given his popular vote loss. Likewise, every bill passed by the Senate on a party-line vote lacks legitimacy, since the 51 GOP senators represent too few Americans whether they’re voting for Kavanaugh or for legislation. Talk about a rejection of democratic outcomes.
Progressives would likely argue that they dislike just the details of our constitutional democracy. Yet it’s hard to imagine that they would have been less outraged by Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation i