This perception is an incredible achievement, a brilliant exercise in political framing by the lawyers and legal organizations behind the two cases, who mobilized the amicus show of force. The business brief and the Republican brief, especially, are clearly designed to provide political cover for the Court’s five conservative Justices."This perception" — refers, I think, to the way the Court will look in the future if it doesn't rule in favor of gay marriage. This conditional appearance of badness is "an incredible achievement," something that has already taken place. Whose achievement is it? Who is doing the perception? We, the people, presumably. But Hunter does not mean to say that those doing the perceiving have achieved This Perception. She must intend to give credit for the "incredible achievement" to those who have placed This Perception in the minds of the people.
Hunter seems to credit the lawyers who wrote the briefs, but how did the "brilliant exercise in political framing" leap from the briefs into the public's mind? It was the "press coverage of the briefs." The briefs were raw material for the journalists. It is the journalists who performed the "political framing" that created the incredible achievement of This Perception — the journalists, including Hunter, right here, telling you what to make of the raw material generated by lawyers on the anti-gay marriage side. She wants you to know their stuff is "political cover," even as she delights in the "political framing" accomplished by the lawyers on the side she likes. It's all political. Isn't that marvelous? Incredible! Brilliant!
But if it's all political, shouldn't the judiciary restrain itself and allow the political branches of government to go where they will? Implicit in Hunter's cries of delight is the belief that the Court longs for public approval and with The Perception in place — it's there, believe it, all the journalists say it's there — the Justices know there are 2 possible futures, the one where Court looks good and the one where the Court looks bad.