Supreme Court Justices Have Put Themselves In A Pickle

( Law professor Austin Sarat and former prosecutor Dennis Aftergut have written an opinion piece at the Hill where they light their hair on fire because Neil Gorsuch delivered remarks at the Florida chapter of the Federalist Society on February 5.

Yeah, really.

The two opinion writers are aghast that a Supreme Court Justice would speak at an event that was closed to the press. They believe Gorsuch speaking at the Federalist Society is proof that the Supreme Court is in crisis.

According to the writers, Supreme Court Justices shouldn’t be permitted to give speeches to organizations that have ideological views.

“Appearances matter” the two fussy writers whine.

Sure, they point out that the liberal Justices have made speeches at liberal organizations.

But that’s different!

Neil Gorsuch gave a “secret speech” where the press wasn’t permitted.

In a 2016 interview, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said if Donald Trump won the election, it would be a good time to move to New Zealand. Do Sarat and Aftergut find the optics of that kind of public remark problematic?

In their opinion piece, they also point out the bad “optics” over Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Ginny expressing her support on Twitter for “MAGA people” during the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally. But Ginny Thomas isn’t a Supreme Court Justice, so what should it matter?

Then again, the left has used Ginny Thomas as a cudgel to force Clarence Thomas off the Supreme Court for years. There’s nothing new about it.

Sure, Austin Sarat and Dennis Aftergut dress up their opinion piece as “concern” for the integrity of the Supreme Court. They quote legal ethics experts who kvetch over the “optics” of Neil Gorsuch speaking to conservative organizations. And they urged the Justices to heed the warnings of these legal ethics “experts.”

But we all know what this is.

Austin Sarat and Dennis Aftergut are doing their part to further the narrative that the Supreme Court has been irreparably broken by the conservative justices.

Don’t pay them any mind.