As Ian Millhiser illustrates in his trenchant, persuasive, and profoundly dispiriting book Injustices, the Supreme Court has consistently and unapologetically used its authority to thwart progress and perpetuate inequality. The child labor disaster is, if you can believe it, one of the less appalling stories in the book. For as long as the court has held the power to strike down laws—a power it created—its justices have used this authority to impose their own antiquated, antidemocratic ideas on the country at large. Millhiser repeatedly ponders why the court has so persistently hindered self-rule and social progress. The better question to ask about the court, however, is a more basic one: Why do we still put up with it?
I suppose it would be bootless to remind Slate and its readers that not so long ago the shoe was on the other foot: