Voter fraud (or suppression, whichever) in the Supreme Court

Lyle Denniston’s commentary on today’s oral argument in the Indiana voter ID case reminds me of Dahlia Lithwick’s take on yesterday’s lethal injection argument: neither the lawyers nor the Justices are willing to admit what the cases are really about. This sort of thing makes me cynical of the Supreme Court (and of our justice system in general): what sounds like high-minded legal theory is really a thin mask for a political brawl.

I expect the voter-suppressing Indianans to win 5-4, probably with Justice Kennedy writing a lofty and condescending opinion (à la Gonzales v. Carhart) in which he concludes that the “minor inconvenience to a small percentage of voters” is as nothing compared to the magisterial necessity of mercilessly rooting out poor urban Democratic fraudulent votes. Bah. I miss Sandra Day O’Connor.

[And just as I was about to hit “Publish,” I see Dahlia Lithwick’s witty analysis, full of her customary snark and bile. I ♥ you, Dahlia!]

UPDATE: My gal Dahlia and Emily Bazelon talk about this at Slate V. Sandy Levinson comments here.

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