Democrats wanted to intimidate justices. Now it’s getting dangerous
An attack not only on separation of powers, but also basic norms of civility.
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Those were the words of the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, one of the most powerful elected officials in the nation, in March of 2020. After spending years cynically delegitimizing the high court, Schumer had moved to openly threatening life-time appointed judges, by name, because he feared they would knock down the concocted constitutional right to an abortion.
Initially, Schumer refused to walk back those remarks. His spokesman ludicrously claimed the statement was “a reference to the political price Republicans will pay for putting them on the court.” Of course, the senator hadn’t singled out the Republican Party, or any Republican. He called out the two newest justices by name. “You” and “you.”
Yet, it is almost surely the case that the coverage of a California man carrying a weapon and burglary equipment near Brett Kavanaugh’s home, reportedly there to murder the Supreme Court justice over the leaked opinion in Dobbs, will not be tied to the rhetoric of Democrats like Schumer. CNN political reporters will not walk from one Democratic senator to the next, asking them if their rhetoric is responsible for inciting a man to show up at the Supreme Court justice’s home with a tactical knife, a Glock, ammunition, pepper spray, and zip ties. We will not have a national conversation about the specter of leftist violence.