The “Pulliam Effect”?
There is a struggle going on for Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s soul. Today, Linda Greenhouse, the famous New York Times reporter who covers the Supreme Court (and namesake of the “Greenhouse Effect”) tried to push Kavanaugh into the arms of Chief Justice John Roberts, replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy as the Court’s centrist fulcrum–and denying the Court’s conservative justices the long-awaited conservative majority Republican Presidents have failed to deliver (here). I counsel patience in assessing Kavanaugh’s alignment. Greenhouse quoted from my American Greatness piece on Kavanaugh’s “tea leaves.” Greenhouse said:
Clearly, there is concern on the right about that very prospect. In a recent blog post on the website American Greatness, a conservative lawyer named Mark Pulliam, who describes himself as having “fled California” for his current home in Texas, addressed such fears and sought to allay them. “Commentators are reading all kinds of silly things into Kavanaugh’s failure to join Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch” in the Planned Parenthood cases, Mr. Pulliam wrote in an essay titled “Kavanaugh: Too Soon to Be Reading Tea Leaves.” “Good grief,” Mr. Pulliam exclaimed. “He’s only been sitting on the court for a couple of months — still learning where the bathrooms are.”
If despite Mr. Pulliam’s fondest wish the newest justice proves an ally for a chief justice caught in the middle, the real test may come when last week’s aggressively implausible decision purporting to render the Affordable Care Act unenforceable reaches the court.
The latter reference is to Judge Reed O’Connor’s ruling in the case brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (here).
I am delighted to make the radar screen of Linda Greenhouse and the New York Times. She has her agenda–coaxing justices to the Left through a mixture of flattery and bullying–and I have mine: promoting the rule of law.
I hope that my agenda prevails. Will that be called the “Pulliam Effect”?