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In 2022, a California resident was arrested in U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland neighborhood after transporting weapons across state lines to allegedly assassinate him. This attempt followed weeks of potentially unlawful demonstrations outside the homes of the conservative justices after a leaked, draft opinion showed that Roe v. Wade would be overturned.
If this incident had happened to a Democrat-appointed justice, there would have been universal outrage from both sides of the aisle and swift passage of federal legislation to protect members of the judiciary.
However, an attempted assassination on a Republican-appointed justice was met with almost no coverage on subsequent Sunday political shows and a delayed vote in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives on a bill to extend greater protections to Supreme Court Justices and their families.
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The Kavanaugh episode may be one of the most egregious against our judges in recent memory, but it is not isolated. According to the National Judicial College, “71% of judges have received an inappropriate communication related to their position, and 56% have received a threat.”
As someone who has sued the federal government many times and been on both sides of judicial decisions in very controversial cases, I see the concerning rise in tone and rhetoric against our independent judiciary on both sides of the aisle – but especially from the left.
For example, after Judge Aileen Cannon, from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, ruled in favor of a Special Master in the case involving former-President Trump and the Biden-led Department of Justice, the left’s outrage was dangerously close to inciting violence against the American judicial system.
We look no further than a Sept. 6 tweet from Keith Olbermann that called for Judge Cannon to be “indicted and arrested” if she did not “vacate her order for a Special Master.”
This issue is personal for my family. My wife is a federal judge, and as a member of the judiciary, she is entitled to a protected address. We could never imagine dozens of demonstrators outside of our home in a last-ditch effort to influence or intimidate her before or after one of her rulings. Judges’ families should not have to live in fear because of lawful decisions handed down from the judicial benches around this country.
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There is no room for any intimidation of our federal judiciary, and yet we have seen the Biden Department of Justice continually look the other way when Republican-appointed justices or judges are targeted for potentially illegal protests.
Everyone in our society, from the media to elected officials, should soundly and immediately condemn any attempts to subvert our democracy with intimidation tactics or violence against federal judges or Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.
The path we are on now has been forged by every tin-horn dictator and Marxist revolutionary around the world and throughout history. It has been said that where the law ends, tyranny begins. But likewise, where an independent judiciary ends, Marxism begins.
An independent judiciary is the bulwark of a functioning and representative democracy. Our Founding Fathers set up a system of government where the judicial branch interprets the law. That responsibility demands that federal judges have no fear of reprisals from any disgruntled whims and that they remain true only to the U.S. Constitution and our laws. An assault on our judiciary is an assault on our entire system of government.
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This doesn’t mean that, from inception, America’s judicial branch has been perfect. Judges on the federal branch – all the way to the Supreme Court – have at times disappointed Americans with their rulings across the entire political spectrum. There are many cases that have been decided wrongly and have been reversed, or have yet to be overturned. Such is life in the Constitutional Republic in which we live. Justice may take time, but it ultimately prevails.
However, no one in public office should ever fear for their lives or livelihoods – or that of their families – for simply attempting to uphold their constitutional duties.
That’s why, in 2021, I co-led a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general who urged Congress to pass legislation to protect the safety of federal judges and their families. I have also called on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to enforce existing federal laws to stop attempts to intimidate Supreme Court Justices.
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Yet unfortunately, this is becoming our new normal across America. The far-left has undermined our institutions and values for decades and has set its sights on coercing landmark Supreme Court opinions to sustain its radical agenda. This will not end well for the men and women who serve on our nation’s highest court, which is why Congress and the U.S. Attorney General must act immediately to prevent a catastrophic tragedy from occurring.
Everyone in our society, from the media to elected officials, should soundly and immediately condemn any attempts to subvert our democracy with intimidation tactics or violence against federal judges or Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. Regardless of the issue being deliberate
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