Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito stepped forward Thursday to defend the institution from its growing legion of detractors. In a speech at the University of Notre Dame, he pushed back on criticism of the court’s “shadow docket” handling of high-profile cases, like its recent decision to let Texas’ anti-abortion law take effect.
“The catchy and sinister term ‘shadow docket’ has been used to portray the court as having been captured by a dangerous cabal that resorts to sneaky and improper methods to get its ways,” Alito said, taking particular aim at a recent Atlantic article he called “false and inflammatory.” “That portrayal feeds unprecedented efforts to intimidate the court or damage it as an independent institution.”
Alito is just the latest conservative justice to speak of the court this way. His colleagues Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett gave high-profile speeches denouncing progressive calls for reforms like court-packing and ending