The high standing of the Supreme Court rests on its position as the court of last resort in defending the Constitution. The respect in which the Constitution has been held is the foundation of the Court’s authority. To the extent that the high court deviates from the written Constitution and relies on its own assertions to that same extent it is undermining the base of its authority. . . . Pronouncements by the Court without Constitutional backing have no popular base.
To the extent that the Supreme Court rules by its own will, it is rule by an oligarchy. That is, it is a rule by a few men—nine to be exact—over the rest. That the court had become exactly that was frequently charged in the 1960s. Indeed, one writer reasoned, with sound logic, that “If it is true that a construction of the Constitution by the Supreme Court . . . is . . . ‘the law of the land’ . . . ; if it is true that a ‘constitutional right’ can come into being merely on the Court’s say . . . , then, where in all candor, are we? If a judicial interpretation of the Constitution is, by definition, the Constitution, why then we are in the grips of judicial despotism! That is the meaning of despotism. An unchallengeable authority can be benign, or malevolent, but it is a despotism if the rest of the commonwealth has not practical alternative to succumbing to its will.”
Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.233-234