Erwin Chemerinsky writes a not-especially honest review of the most recent Supreme Court term. He falsely characterizes the Roberts Court as “a solid conservative voting majority,” notwithstanding the numerous decisions where conservatives were not in the majority, or where the majority decision fell far short of conservative ideals. He characterizes the divided Philip Morris v. Williams decision as “conservative,” even though it was Breyer and Souter in the majority and Scalia and Thomas in the dissent. He complains that conservatives “defer to the government in the face of most claims of individual rights,” but gives no mention of last term’s Wisconsin Right to Life v. Federal Election Commission, where five conservative justices reasserted first amendment rights for political speech over the dissent of Breyer, Souter, Ginsburg, and Stevens, who wanted to preserve the government ban on speech. We’ll ignore that Chemerinsky takes the typical liberal tactic of characterizing legal rules as favoring either businesses or consumers/employees—we all know darn well that many “pro-business” legal rules favor consumers and employees as a group ex ante.
Chemerinsky is entitled to his left-wing opinion, though one might justifiably complain that he’s not entitled to his own facts. But what I certainly object to is the fact that this is being distributed and printed by the State Bar of California in the California Bar Journal, and advertised at the top of the State Bar of California website, since I am required to pay the California Bar hundreds of dollars a year, and have no way of getting a refund for the fishwrap mailed to me every month. This sort of partisan activity strikes me as a highly unethical use of my dues, and I hope someone in California is doing something about it.