10 I CHRONICLESnpowers. What happens when Plato’s millennium of thenphilosopher kings actually arrives, I am not sure.”nThe basic principle is obvious enough: Power makesnright, as Thrasymachus put it; or as America’s liberal judgesnput it today, when they are as honest as Neely, the meaningnof the law is what judges say it is, until someone exertsngreater political force to constrain them. (Judge Neely is angraduate of Yale Law School and is quite conservativencompared to some of the “critical legal theorists” ensconcednat Harvard Law School. Critical theorists believe the wholenidea of “law,” as defined by the constitutionalists, is bothnludicrous and a weapon in class conflict. Their whole ideanof “law” is best summarized as “dog eat dog.” By comparison,nVladimir lUych was a conservative.)nThe second great change in this century that hasnexacerbated this politicization of the Supreme Court wasnproduced by the 17th Amendment adopted in 1913. Sincenit was crucial to the whole intent of the constitutionalists tonremove the appointment of Supreme Court justices asnmuch from partisan politics as possible, while remainingnconsistent with the idea of checking their power with thenalways more important power of the voters, the Constitutionnmade their appointment contingent on approval of thenSenate, not the House of Representatives. It is nowngenerally forgotten that the Senate itself was intended to benremoved more from the partisan political vortex by makingnthem six-year appointees of the state legislatures, while thenHouse, intended to be the more immediate representativesnof the wills of the people, was the only directiy elected bodynof the federal government. The Senate, then, was to benbuff^ered from political passions of the day by making thensenators appointees with six years of tenure (which onnaverage would allow them to ride out the impassioned criesnand tumults of “mobs” in the streets and of journalists in thenFor Immediate ServicenChroniclesnNEW SUBSCRIBERSnTOLL FREE NUMBERn1-800-435-0715nILLINOIS RESIDENTSn1-800-892-0753nnnpopular press). When the Constitution was amended tonmake the senators direct political representatives of thenpeople, a crucial buffer was destroyed.nMany lesser factors contributed as well to this growingnimmersion of the Court in political passions. Our Presidents,nwho were themselves originally intended to benappointees of the electoral college and who, until the rise ofnBig Covernment in this century, were not generally terriblynimportant, are now at the center of the vortex of factionalnpassions. Again, the growing importance of mass medianreports on the Court, including investigative burrowing thatnhas all but destroyed the privacy of deliberations, has putntremendous pressures on the justices. With few exceptions,njustices in the last century were hardly known and werencommonly thought of as beetie-browed scholars. Today theynare more likely to be celebrities and are sometimes referrednto irreverently as “The Brethren” or “The Supremes,”nanalogies which equate them with either mafioso conspiratorsnor choruses of cacophonous sentimentality. As if thenproblems of aging were not bad enough, justices today findntheir pulse rates and prostates in the daily headlines, which isna constant reminder that the journalists and politiciansnassume them to be political hacks filling political hot seatsnand casting ideological hot coals at the rest of us.nThe mass-mediation of the political maelstrom surroundingnthe nomination of Judge Bork has been a travesty of thenoriginal intent of the constitutionalists and of the entire ideanof law and judicial decision-making that is the very foundationnof our Constitution. This “political circus” is preciselynthe kind of embittered factionalism that undermines all rulenby law and eventually turns the law and judges intonlaughingstoeks among people of reason. If we Americansnseriously intend to become a “banana republic” or a peoplenruled by the iron tyranny of one party in which constitutionsnand laws are mere shams to hide political passions andnpersonal corruptions, then we should by all means continuenalong this path to the politicization of the law and ournjudges.nBut most Americans still believe in the great purposes fornwhich the Constitution was instituted, and we still believenthat law and judicious decisions are vital to achieving thosenpurposes. We cannot long tolerate such travesties, evennwhen we do not personally fully approve of those nominatednto be our justices. Perhaps we shall eventually manage tondepoliticize our nation by returning to restrained governmentnin general, so that government and court appointmentsnwill not be matters of life and death. But I doubt thatnwe can wait for that day of deliverance, especially whennpoliticians like Senators Teddy Kennedy and Arlen Specter,nand even some scholars like Archibald Cox, tell us that thenradical changes produced by sweeping Supreme Courtndecisions in recent decades cannot be undone because thatnwould constitute politicization of the courts. When judicialnconservativism becomes the last bulwark of defense of annalready achieved judicial revolution, we are at the MadnHatter’s tea party, where neither law nor reason reigns andnwhere any political passion is justified.nThe political changes of this century, including the directnelection of senators and Presidents, have progressivelyndestroyed the buffers of judicial decision-making. What wennow see in full force — and so obviously in the “delibera-n