Of greater import, however, was the reaction among the politicians. When the decisions came down, Democrats hailed both, though neither the gay rights agenda nor affirmative action is popular with a majority of Americans.
When the decision permitting racial preferences for 25 more years was handed down, Democratic Party chair Terry McAuliffe and candidates Gephardt, Kerry, Edwards and Lieberman all celebrated it.
What was President Bush's reaction? This mushy statement of resignation: "I applaud the Supreme Court for recognizing the value of diversity on our Nation's campuses. Diversity is one of America's greatest strengths. Today's decision seeks a careful balance between the goal of campus diversity and the fundamental principle of equal treatment under law."
Democrats were also jubilant over the O'Connor 6-3 ruling that struck down the Texas law President Bush had defended as governor. But the White House went dark, and silent.
What do these decisions and reactions tell us? Not only is the Supreme Court lost to conservatism and constitutionalism, it has, like the Warren Court before it, become an active belligerent against Middle America in the social and culture wars between Christianity and secularism on one side and tradition and modernism on the other.
The Court neither respects nor trusts majority rule. It assumes its own moral superiority and right to impose its values upon a society it deems too retarded to see the light. The GOP Congress and Republican Party have not the will nor desire to confront it. As for President Bush, like his father before him, he is a conscientious objector in the culture war.
When a battle is engaged, invariably, this administration turns up AWOL. Where, then, do the people turn? One place is to Ward Connerly, who intends to petition to put on the Michigan ballot a referendum stating simply that, in hiring, firing and admissions to state schools, there shall be no discrimination and no preferential treatment based on race.
With the Democratic Party arrayed against it and the GOP unreliable allies, Middle America must start looking to itself to find the leaders to take back a country taken away from them, undemocratically, by a renegade Supreme Court that Republicans are no longer even trying to rein in.