This excerpt is from a piece that originally ran on March 14, 2023.
I know the old refrain: The Court follows the law, not the will of the people. But no democratic institution nor public official, however insulated from the democratic process, deserves to be this opaque and unaccountable for its actions.
The Court still serves the people. It shouldn’t be unreasonable to insist that the justices be in conversation with us about our sacred text and laws in a way that is audible to most Americans. Accountability and transparency have a proper relation to one another in a democracy: less accountability, more transparency.
My guiding principle is simple: The public deserves to understand the operations and decisions of its Court. Measures like establishing a code of ethics for the justices, imposing term limits or expanding the Court are all important to consider in this moment. But we also must reform the Court so that its “traditions” actually make sense for a democratic society — and so that it can stop undermining democracy in the dead of night. We must immediately demand that Congress act to ensure transparency.