by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
We have been warning for some time now that Democratic politicians and progressives were playing with fire in targeting the conservative Supreme Court justices. Overheated rhetoric is bad enough, but as always, I stand by my view that political violence is not the fault of political rhetoric, no matter how excessive.
Things have gone rather far beyond mere rhetoric with the Supreme Court, however. In the fall of 2018, protesters opposed to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination disrupted the hearings and chased one senator into an elevator and another out of a restaurant. Some “protesters broke through Capitol Police barricades and rushed up the steps to the Capitol Rotunda.” Other protesters “pushed past a police line, storming up steps to pound on the doors of the U.S. Supreme Court.” All of this led to hundreds of arrests, which predictably were treated with lenience on the theory that political protesters breaching the Capitol was no big deal. In March 2020, standing on the steps of the Supreme Court, Chuck Schumer bellowed to a crowd of pro-abortion protesters:
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have unleashed the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.” …
… Now comes the latest news: A California man in his 20s was arrested outside of Kavanaugh’s home, … allegedly armed with a gun, knife, and pepper spray and threatening to kill the justice. The man specifically cited abortion and the leaked Dobbs draft. This is intolerable. It is far outside the bounds of political protest, and it should make Democrats and progressives think twice about the whirlwind they are summoning with the campaign of intimidation against the justices. Pass the security bill. Arrest anyone who protests at justices’ houses. Cooperate with the leak investigation. And call off the dogs, before somebody really gets bit.