GOP Endangers Justices’ Lives

Perhaps you remember when Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said this about judicial decisions he did not agree with:

It causes a lot of people, including me, great distress to see judges . . . make raw political or ideological decisions . . .I don’t know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. . . . And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception . . . where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in violence.

Around the same time, Tom DeLay, then House Majority Leader, also aired some of his grievances about the federal court’s failure to intervene in the matter of Terri Schiavo:

The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior.

Well, now we learn from Ruth Bader Ginsburg that these irresponsible statements have had real consequences:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg assailed the court’s congressional critics in a recent speech overseas, saying their efforts “fuel” an “irrational fringe” that threatened her life and that of a colleague, former justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

The fundamental problem for the GOP is that the Supreme Court’s job is to uphold the Constitution, but the Republicans currently in power want to do whatever they like. They believe wholeheartedly in the tyranny of the majority. So it pisses them off in a big way when they don’t get to ride roughshod over whatever law or decision they don’t agree with.

They’re not even sorry:

[Rep. Tom] Feeney [(R-Fla.)] noted that some of Ginsburg’s own colleagues on the court disagree with her. He said “there are some justices that get awful thin skins when they get their black robes on, and when they talk about judicial independence, they sometimes mean no one should be able to criticize them.”

This guy is a big time moron. Criticism is not the same as implicit justification of violence, and everyday citizens are not the same as elected officials. I wonder what would happen if John Kerry gave a speech that justified assassinating Bill Frist. Would it be thin skinned of Frist to be upset? No, of course not. Ginsburg is totally within her rights to be angry that irresponsible Republicans have put her life at risk with their inappropriate statements.

4 Replies to “GOP Endangers Justices’ Lives”

  1. Frankly, I expect more out of the Walrus. Justice Ginsburg references an anonymous internet poster, who doesn’t even reference any of the Congressional proposals, and from that we’re to deduce that it was the proposals that inspired it? Because Justice Ginsburg said so? She offers not one iota of evidence to back up such an irresponsible charge.

    Congressman Feeney’s comments had nothing to do with the threat and everything to do with the fact that, indeed, the use of foreign law is a subject well worthy of criticism. I recently attended an AEI event where JUSTICE Scalia did just that.

    In fact, everytime we have a dissent in a Supreme Court decision, that means we have someone criticizing a Judicial decision.

    Justice Ginsburg’s comments are also irresponsible in that she is criticizing a legislative function. Don’t know she thinks it’s appropriate to criticize Congress but not vice versa.

    I’ve seen many a bumoer sticker with the pithy:

    “Dissent is Patriotic”

    …did I miss the asterisk that referred to “except for Supreme Court decisions the Left agrees with” ?

  2. I see your point, and I agree that, if one looked, one could find almost any hateful or ridiculous sentiment expressed somewhere on the internet. I thought that it was newsworthy that Ginsburg felt afraid for her life, and that she drew the connection between that fear and the actions of Congress.

    Reading over my post I ought probably to have worded it differently, but I do still believe that Feeney and DeLay, and others to a lesser extent, acted irresponsibly in their statements. Every member of Congress ought to be full-throated in their support of an independent judiciary, and unequivocal in their condemnation of violence against judges.

    And I think dissent is patriotic whether I agree with the dissenter or not, because it helps our nation when open debate flourishes.

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