The Misinterpretations of the Supreme Court, with Ian Millhiser

April 20, 2015

Host: Lindsay Beyerstein

Our guest this week says that the U.S. Supreme Court’s power to interpret the Constitution is so great that they can use it to justify nearly anything they please. Even the American founders who forged the Constitution often had differing ideas of how its words should be interpreted. But one thing they did not foresee was the Supreme Court having the final say over all constitutional interpretation. Ironically, the most unconstitutional practice that we have may be the Supreme Court’s absolute power to determine what is and is not considered constitutional.

This week Point of Inquiry’s Lindsay Beyerstein chats with Ian Millhiser, the author of Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted. Millhiser takes a close look at how the various Justices of the Supreme Court have behaved throughout history, and rather than being champions of equality and justice, he concludes that the Court has largely served to perpetuate inequality and hinder progress. Millhiser argues that the only positive contributions the Supreme Court has made were a result of historical accidents, and that the most productive times of legislation in America’s history were during periods in which the Supreme Court was relatively inactive.

It’s a sobering and critical look at the role of the Supreme Court, this week on Point of Inquiry.

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