In 2000, weeks after the general election, the Supreme Court broke down along partisan lines and voted 5 to 4 against a recount in Florida, making George Bush our 43rd president. On Tuesday night’s edition of The Rachel Maddow Show, host Rachel Maddow discussed how that landmark decision began a slow corrosion of the Court’s credibility that continues to this day.
In the 2000 ruling, the justices specified that their verdict could not be used as future legal precedent, limiting it to “present circumstances.” Maddow paraphrased, “We’re not actually making law here, we just really want George Bush to be president, okay?”
Another similarly partisan ruling came with Citizens United, the 2010 ruling that gave corporations the same rights as people and brought us super PACs.
Now the Court is poised to rule on the Obama administration’s signature domestic achievement, the Affordable Care Act. When polled, 75% of U.S. citizens said that the justices would rule according to their own political beliefs, which shows just how far the institution of the Supreme Court has fallen in public esteem.
Is Maddow right that we have arrived at this state of affairs as a result of the Court’s series of high profile partisan rulings? Did Bush v. Gore begin an unprecedented erosion of public faith in the highest office of the judicial branch of the government?
Watch the video, embedded via MSNBC, below: