Former Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, who left the California Supreme Court in 2021 to become president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, has co-authored an article that is sharply critical of the U.S. Supreme Court. The article, which appeared yesterday on the Foreign Affairs journal’s website, is titled, “Diplomats in Robes? The Supreme Court’s Unwelcome Forays Into Foreign Policy.”

Saying the high court “is well on its way to becoming a shadow ministry of foreign affairs,” the article claims the Court has taken cases “in ways that buck precedent and stretch the power of the Court beyond its familiar bounds” and is hampering American diplomats in dealing with the present dangerous “conjunction of great-power competition and an accelerating climate emergency.” “[T]he justices defer to experts in the executive branch only when it suits them and only erratically recognize judicial precedent,” the article asserts.

Cuéllar and his co-author, University of Chicago law professor Aziz Huq, blame “[t]he new, aggressive judicial posture” on “the success of conservative activists” who “have been lobbying Republican presidents since the 1980s to appoint judges who would cater to their ideological fellow travelers rather than to the American public as a whole.”