I'm not sure how much "prestige" George Will thinks the Supreme Court has when there are recent polls showing more than half the country believes "the justices are swayed by their own political beliefs" and less than a third believe they they “make impartial decisions based on their reading of the Constitution.”
Given the conflicts of interests with Scalia and Thomas, I would say the only reason the public does not have a lower opinion of the court lands squarely on the laps of people like George Will and the rest of our corporate media for not doing a better job of covering and bringing attention to the problems with those two justices.
And I find it laughable that anyone would believe that the Supreme Court injecting itself into a presidential campaign did not do damage to the "prestige" of that institution, but that's the line Will was pushing during his appearance on This Week, where we're unfortunate enough to have him as an almost permanent fixture in their panel segments.
WILL: It cannot be a good thing going into the fall campaign for the most prestigious federal institution, the Supreme Court, to announce not only that the president's plan was unconstitutional but that it struck at the very fundamentals of the Madisonian architecture of limited government. That can't be a plus to a candidate.
This will be, I think either way, a 5-4 decision. Unlike, say, Brown v. Board of Education--
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you don't buy the argument that Roberts might try to go in the majority?
WILL: I think he'll be in the majority and write the opinion. I assume that will be the case.
But this isn't -- it was terribly important in Brown versus Board of Education having a unanimous court, because you were overturning the mores of a region and changing the thinking of society. This would overturn an unpopular law.
MORAN: But at 5-4, it will be all Republicans against all Democrats if the law goes down, just like it was in Citizens United, just like it was in Bush versus Gore. And the risk for the court is that it begins to be seen by a lot of people as just another political hacks up there who vote their partisan interests. And that hurts the long-term interest of the court.
WILL: There is no measurable evidence that Bush v. Gore, much more consequential decision had an effect on the prestige of the court.