Jack Balkin: jackbalkin at yahoo.com
Bruce Ackerman bruce.ackerman at yale.edu
Ian Ayres ian.ayres at yale.edu
Corey Brettschneider corey_brettschneider at brown.edu
Mary Dudziak mary.l.dudziak at emory.edu
Joey Fishkin joey.fishkin at gmail.com
Heather Gerken heather.gerken at yale.edu
Abbe Gluck abbe.gluck at yale.edu
Mark Graber mgraber at law.umaryland.edu
Stephen Griffin sgriffin at tulane.edu
Jonathan Hafetz jonathan.hafetz at shu.edu
Jeremy Kessler jkessler at law.columbia.edu
Andrew Koppelman akoppelman at law.northwestern.edu
Marty Lederman msl46 at law.georgetown.edu
Sanford Levinson slevinson at law.utexas.edu
David Luban david.luban at gmail.com
Gerard Magliocca gmaglioc at iupui.edu
Jason Mazzone mazzonej at illinois.edu
Linda McClain lmcclain at bu.edu
John Mikhail mikhail at law.georgetown.edu
Frank Pasquale pasquale.frank at gmail.com
Nate Persily npersily at gmail.com
Michael Stokes Paulsen michaelstokespaulsen at gmail.com
Deborah Pearlstein dpearlst at yu.edu
Rick Pildes rick.pildes at nyu.edu
David Pozen dpozen at law.columbia.edu
Richard Primus raprimus at umich.edu
K. Sabeel Rahmansabeel.rahman at brooklaw.edu
Alice Ristroph alice.ristroph at shu.edu
Neil Siegel siegel at law.duke.edu
David Super david.super at law.georgetown.edu
Brian Tamanaha btamanaha at wulaw.wustl.edu
Nelson Tebbe nelson.tebbe at brooklaw.edu
Mark Tushnet mtushnet at law.harvard.edu
Adam Winkler winkler at ucla.edu
Warren Miller's 1959 science fiction novel A Canticle for Liebowitz describes a world taken over by the forces of irrationality. A small group of monks retreat to their abbey with a collection of books saved by Isaac Liebowitz, the last repository of rationalism. The monks study the books for centuries and sporadically re-enter the world in an always-futile hope to re-establish a well-functioning social order guided by science and reason.
Today many liberals who factor the Supreme Court into their political calculations are a lot like the"Order of Liebowitz" in the novel. They too have a group of texts, one that they take to be the true foundation of constitutional law -- scattered volumes of the U.S. Reports numbered 347 (Brown v. Board of Education), 410 (Roe v. Wade), 539 (Lawrence v. Texas), 576 (Obergefell), maybe one or two more.
From these volumes these liberals draw a picture of the Supreme Court as an institution defending minorities against oppression and protecting freedom of expression against unjustified government suppression. They then rely on this picture to worry about policy proposals that in their view would damage the Court's legitimacy -- and thereby, the inference is, weaken the Court's ability to fulfill these honorable functions.
Had the monks retained the full set of U.S. Reports, or even a decent random sample, they might draw a different picture, one in which the Court overall (not in every case, of course) has reinforced oppression of minorities and suppression of speech. There are brights spots in the picture. Notably, Seth Kreimer has ably shown that the Court has done a decent job of policing "village tyrants," local legislators and executive officials who go out of their way to oppress and suppress. But, the picture as a whole is pretty gloomy.
The current Supreme Court has obviously done a bang-up job of protecting Big Pharma and the Koch Brothers and their ilk against government oppression (Sorrell v. IMS Health, Citizens United), and of course Muslims against racist policies (Trump v. Hawaii). And it seems poised to read the Constitution to allow Republicans to adopt policies that entrench the Republican party in Congress and state legislatures while finding Democratic (and democratic) policies unconstitutional.
So, what's the net effect likely to be of weakening the Court's legitimacy? Perhaps (one can always hope) a reinvigoration of a liberal legislative politics about the Constitution's meaning.