The case, to consolidate and ratify a class of women who claimed discrimination at the hands of Wal-Mart, was rejected by the Supreme Court today. I’ve nothing much to say about the case or the role of sociologists that has become something of a flashpoint this summer.
I would, however, suggest that we are living in an era when you don’t have to know a single thing about the law to know how the Supreme Court will rule on a case. Occam’s razor suggests that you simply ask yourself if it benefits business over workers, the powerful over the powerless, or Republicans over Democrats. If the answer is ‘yes’, that is how the Supreme Court will rule. I don’t know if this was always the case. Lawyers I know adamantly suggest that there was once upon a time a less ideological, more ‘law-focused’ Supreme Court. But it’s long past time we think of the Supreme Court as a ‘court’ in its proper, legitimating meaning of ‘arbitrating and interpreting the law of the land’, and instead just consider them one of many political players/institutions in the US landscape of other political players/institutions.
In other words, the ‘decisions’, ‘opinions’, ‘reasoning’, ‘precedence’, or ‘interpretation’ are all meaningless. If you refer to these things, I think that makes you something of a sucker. Instead, just draw a straight line between who benefits and how the court will decide.
I’m not bitter about this, genuinely, but I think legal commentary is essentially worthless here.