Chicago Politics Targets High Court

March 7, 2011

The Alinskyite left is not content with cramming its legislative agenda down the American people’s throats. Next stop, the Supreme Court, where it is seeking to attack and discredit justices who will pass upon the constitutionality of its overreaching legislation.

Liberals were incensed when the Supreme Court, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, struck down a provision of the McCain-Feingold Act that prohibited all corporations and unions from broadcasting “electioneering communications” — broadcast, cable or satellite communications that mention a candidate within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary. So incensed that President Barack “New Tone” Obama departed from years of custom and proper decorum and personally lambasted the justices for it in his 2010 State of the Union speech.

Obama said: “Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests or, worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and I’d urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps correct some of these problems.”

Obama’s attack was both untrue — they can’t spend without limitation — and highly improper, forcing the justices to remain defenseless in the face of Obama’s tongue-lashing.

Justice Samuel Alito could be seen quietly mouthing in protest “not true,” but that was hardly an effective rebuttal to the strident political assault Obama had just unleashed before millions of television viewers against the nonpolitical branch. Even the normally mild-mannered Chief Justice John Roberts told law students at The University of Alabama that Obama’s public criticism and the surrounding democratic congressmen’s catcalling reaction to it was “troubling.”

Obama having set the tone, his leftist disciples have followed suit in various venues to ratchet up the attack on the court, knowing that at some time in the near future, it will hear and pass upon the question of whether Obamacare is constitutionally enforceable.

But sadly, to these street brawlers, the law’s constitutionality is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is results. They will do whatever they can to achieve their end of preserving Obamacare as “one of the most important pieces of social legislation in this generation.” If maliciously and unfairly taking down a couple of “conservative” justices is necessary to accomplish their goal, so be it — in fact, all the better.

Even if their efforts to get these justices removed from the bench or to force their recusal in the Obamacare case and others fail, they hope that their intense political pressure will intimidate the “conservative” justices into softening their positions or perhaps influence “swing justice” Anthony Kennedy. Whatever it takes.

On Monday, Politico reported that liberal groups still upset about Citizens United and fearful the court could overturn Obamacare “have launched an aggressive — and at times personal — attack on the court’s most conservative justices.” They’ve targeted three out of the four “conservative” justices, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Alito.

The groups have accused Thomas and Scalia of engaging in partisan politics and of conflicts of interest and have called on the Justice Department to investigate them and possibly invalidate their votes in Citizens United. One group also asked the Missouri Supreme Court to disbar Thomas.

These attacks are so vicious and spurious that even liberal Harvard law professor Noah Feldman wrote a New York Times op-ed criticizing them and pointing out that any political involvement of Thomas and Scalia pales in comparison with that of many of their predecessors on the bench.

Feldman pulled no punches, suggesting that the left’s attacks on Thomas and Scalia seemed “suspiciously partisan.” It’s not only Feldman. Politico notes that “other legal scholars and court watchers from across the political spectrum have also dismissed the campaign as a stretch, at best, and dangerous, at worst.” The Washington Post’s editorial board pointed out that “liberal” justices have also affiliated with groups whose interests come before the court.

The liberals’ complaints mainly center on the justices attending or making speeches at conservative events and the involvement of Thomas’ wife, Virginia, in tea party activities. Some Democratic congressmen, such as Rep. Anthony Weiner, have tried to draw a specious connection between these events and the justices’ ability to rule impartially on Obamacare and are pressuring the justices to recuse themselves from the case.

But even liberal legal experts have outright rejected this effort. CNN legal commentator Jeffrey Toobin said of attempts to force Thomas to recuse himself, “I don’t think there is even a specter of a conflict of interest.”

The left’s unconscionable campaign to slander the justices should be seen for what it is: further evidence that it is ruthlessly devoted to its political ends and unscrupulous in the means it will employ to achieve them.