The problem with these accumulated extrajudicial comments is that they often happen in such liminal political spaces: in foreign lands, or unpublished formats, assailing unnamed adversaries, and through indirect channels. This sort of shadow-dialogue only fosters more resentment and criticism. Justices wishing to take part in the national conversation must stop pretending they aren't really speaking, or that nobody's really listening, or that their words don't have consequences.
Perhaps it's unfair to ask that Supreme Court justices speak openly and directly if we simply plan to call for their recusals whenever they do. But judicial attempts to speak from the shadows are plainly backfiring. If they want to be a part of the conversation, it's time for the justices to step up to the mike and talk.
A version of this article also appears in the Outlook section of the Sunday Washington Post.
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