Despite her matter of fact tone when relating activities of the US Supreme Court (scotus), Nina Totenberg is clearly a spokesperson for scotus. Her credibility is founded on her access to scotus and for continued access she must be obsequious to scotus; sacrificing the integrity requisite for responsible journalism.
A case in point is her recent reporting on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s apology for publicly criticizing a presidential candidate. She acknowledges that Ginsburg’s action was unprecedented, but she fails to point out that the reason it was unprecedented is because the behavior is expressly prohibited by The Code of Conduct for United States Judges.
Ms Totenberg went on to brazenly exhibit her partisanship by ridiculing Donald Trump for suggesting that Ginsburg’s mental faculties may have become unreliable. Totenberg asserted that Ginsburg’s acknowledgement of her bad behavior was evidence of a sound mind; though Ginsburg was probably coached on what to say.
Given her age; her more than twenty two years on scotus; and the fact she committed the offense on multiple occasions before apologizing, it is altogether logical to conclude that Ginsburg is either suffering diminishing mental capacity or harboring a belief that she is above the law and cannot be held to account for her actions.
Nina Totenberg is not the only media person subservient to scotus. Adam Liptak of the New York Times is another; and there are others.
The problem is that a misinformed public is worse than an uninformed public. For Totenberg, Liptak or any other media concern to gain access to scotus they must embrace and perpetuate the unfounded tenet that the power of scotus is absolute; which of course it is not.
The supremacy of scotus abides solely in the judicial branch of government; it is not the supreme branch of government. It has no constitutional power to expand, amend, repeal invalidate or otherwise alter any duly passed legislation; either to decide a case or as a legal remedy.
Courts decide cases, period. The court is constrained to regard the validity of a law in the context of the case before it. Should the court find a law fundamentally flawed, it is for the respective legislature, not the court, to change the law. The court has no constitutional power to “strike down” any law.
Ceding absolute power to scotus has created an omnipotent entity which is a more formidable threat to our democracy than any terrorist we now face; and people like Totenberg and Liptak facilitate that entity.