March 16, 2006

"Spurred on by Republicans"

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg claimed that threats on her and former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's life were "apparently prompted by legislation in Congress, filed by Republicans, that would bar judges from relying on foreign laws or court decisions."

"It is disquieting that they have attracted sizable support. And one not-so-small concern — they fuel the irrational fringe," she said in a speech posted online by the court earlier this month and first reported Wednesday by

Why is the implication that the Republican legislation is actually -- somehow -- responsible for these threats made by a few lunatics? Does this mean then that the loonies at the DU and Atrios (and elsewhere) can be held "responsible" for any threats made against President Bush and/or members of his administration -- that they'd be fueling an "irrational fringe"? This, not to mention the Democratic leadership! (Howard "Bush May Known Something Prior To 9/11" Dean and John "US Troops Are Terrorizing Iraqi Women and Children At Night" Kerry, to name but two.)

Michelle Malkin has more:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg gave a speech in South Africa last month, which, for some reason, is just now being publicized. Ginsburg's speech was titled "A Decent Respect for the Opinions of [Human]kind." In it, Ginsburg argued explicitly for the relevance of foreign law and court decisions to interpretation of the American Constitution. Ginsburg did not try to hide the partisan nature of this issue; at one point, she referred to "the perspective I share with four of my current colleagues," and she specifically criticized Justice Antonin Scalia, Judge Richard Posner, and the two bills that were introduced in Congress in 2004 and were broadly supported by Republicans. And she indulged in an outrageous bit of demagoguery, suggesting that those who disagree with her are somehow aligned with Justice Taney's infamous defense of slavery in the Dred Scott case.

But, naturally, people -- i.e. Republicans in Congress who do not agree with this view -- must be careful not to attempt to thwart this line of reasoning ... because they just may give a few complete nutcases the "wrong idea."

Mark "The Great One" Levin has still more, including much more of Ginsburg's speech. He says:

It is unseemly for a Supreme Court justice to smear judicial originalists, including members of Congress, by lumping them with some nut who wrote a disgusting post on some website. Ginsburg’s purpose is to paint legitimate critics of her extreme activism and the Court’s excesses as encouraging physical threats against justices. To the best of my knowledge, Ginsburg has never spoken publicly about the attacks on the judiciary or nominees to the bench by leftwing groups, bloggers and members of Congress — whose rhetoric and tactics are typically poisonous. Perhaps the reason is that she’s sympathetic to their goal, which is the perpetuation of judicial supremacy.

What Ginsburg and other activists don’t appear to realize is that they are undermining the legitimacy of the judiciary by their refusal to accept the limited role of judges in our constitutional system. The Court’s repeated interposition into political and policy areas invites the kind of scrutiny and criticism received by politicians and policymakers. And the public is growing increasingly resentful of justices and judges who use their office to impose their personal preferences on society. And rather than smearing legitimate critics or tuning them out, Ginsburg and her colleagues could learn something from them.

Posted by Felix at March 16, 2006 03:59 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

The accusation that the attempt by conservative members of the Legislative Branch to utilize their constitutional authority to check the Judicial Branch "spurred" threats is one that merits the aplication of a riding crop to this horse-faced liberal jurist.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at March 16, 2006 08:56 PM

"Why is the implication that the Republican legislation is actually -- somehow -- responsible for these threats made by a few lunatics?"

All Ginsburg said was that there was a temporal relationship between the proposed legislation and the threat. She did not say that the legislation was responsible for the threat.

Relationship and responsibility are not the same.

Posted by: Dana Garrett at March 16, 2006 11:11 PM

"...they (Republican legislators) fuel the irrational fringe."

Dana, seems pretty clear to me, reminiscent of the accusations that Rush Limbaugh was responsible for Timothy McVeigh.

What's fueling the irrational black helicopter fringe is the idea that activist justices, when they can't find support for their position in the Constitution, have the audacity to cite foreign law or discern emanations of penumbras instead.

Posted by: G Rex at March 17, 2006 10:36 AM

your kidding right when you ask "Why is the implication that the Republican legislation is actually -- somehow -- responsible for these threats made by a few lunatics?"

Gee I don't know maybe two pretty powerful people stirred the pot a little last year, b/c the SC didn't agree with them....

After the decision last March that ordered a brain-dead woman in Florida, Terri Schiavo, removed from life support, Mr DeLay said: "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behaviour."

The senator she was referring to was John Cornyn, a Bush loyalist from Texas, who made his remarks last April, soon after a judge was shot dead in an Atlanta courtroom and the family of a federal judge was murdered in Illinois.

Senator Cornyn said: "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 in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in violence.",,1729396,00.html

Posted by: donviti at March 17, 2006 12:27 PM

Sad, so sad that the GOPer thugs want to focus on hateful personal slurs like "horse faced".
Rhymie shows his more seedy side when he expresses his sadist whippery wish.

If I wanted to slide down the common denominator I'd go for all sorts of idiotic comparisons to Bush with Alfred E. Newman as nauseum.

Threats against SCOTUS members is serious stuff and I hadn't heard anything about it until this reading.

Posted by: Willy Nilly at March 17, 2006 04:11 PM

This is really weird thinking on your part, my man. Justice Ginsburg alludes to a connection that Republican Sen. John Cornyn already talked about himself months ago...yet it's Ginsburg who's somehow the crazy one. Yowza.

Hey, why not go as far as the nutters over at PowerLine and call for her impeachment! I guess they're trying to keep up with the "Impeach Bush" crowd in any way they can.

Posted by: dan at March 17, 2006 07:52 PM

IMO, Cornyn's comments were certainly irresponsible (I think he has somewhat of a small point -- for example, judges who give ridiculous "sentences" to child rapists w/no real lawful basis and then are unaccountable -- but he phrased it very badly for a public statement; and, any such court actions most assuredly don't condone any sort of violence) but that doesn't make Ginsburg's any less so. She doesn't even "allude" to what Cornyn said; as noted, she makes whatever connection she's making directly to Repub. legislation that was offered in the wake judicial reliance on foreign court decisions, that that is what is fueling the "fringe" that has made death threats. That's quite weak and she offers no substantiation. Doesn't she realize that, as we're all told by the Left regarding Executive power, there are three co-equal branches of government designed to check one another?

BTW: it was actually O'Connor who directly referenced DeLay and Cornyn in her own [similar] speech.

Using DeLay's comments, also, is a weak attempt in worrying about "slipping into a dictatorship," as O'Connor said. Cornyn's were worse, IMO, but both of these, when compared to the utter vitriol coming from Howard Dean and the bizarre Left, is kid's stuff. The Right should keep that all in mind when/if they get death threats.

Posted by: Hube at March 17, 2006 11:52 PM

'Tis a pitty to be saddled with a nag like Willy whose unbridled contempt for conservatives makes it impossible for him to rein-in his comments in the face of a tongue-in-cheek comment laden with bad puns.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at March 18, 2006 02:29 AM

Post a comment

Remember personal info?