Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Five Arrogant Senators Attack the Supreme Court

 

Just when I think I can’t be any more shocked by the outrageous and unethical behavior of members of Congress, they surprise me again. Well, not exactly. I’m not surprised at all that these five senators would threaten the Supreme Court with a legal brief, impugning the Court’s integrity and motivations even before they rule on an upcoming case.

The five senators—Mazie Hirono, Sheldon Whitehouse, Richard Blumenthal, Richard Durbin, and Kirsten Gillibrand—filed their brief against the case called New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. the City of New York. The totalitarian city of New York believed that it could severely restrict the carry of firearms and get away with it. The original legislation was changed to read that a person could transport a gun only to a second home, a gun range or a shooting competition outside the city. Quite generous of the city, don’t you think? And in the process, they declared moot the petitioner’s claim of violating the Second Amendment. Not quite, Bill DeBlasio; you can’t toss out the Second Amendment all by yourself.

Now to return to the senators’ claim against the Supreme Court.

The senators are accusing the Court of being motivated by politics in their decisions—conservative politics, of course. The fact that most of the politicization of the Court has been conducted by Democrats is, to them, irrelevant. Never mind that they nearly destroyed the reputation of Brett Kavanaugh to keep him off the Court.

Here are some of their claims:

Petitioners’ effort did not emerge from a vacuum. The lead petitioner’s parent organization, the National Rifle Association (NRA), promoted he confirmation (and perhaps selection) of nominees to this Court who, it believed, would ‘break the tie”’ in Second Amendment cases. During last year’s confirmation proceedings, the NRA spent $1.2 million on television advertisements declaring exactly that: ‘Four liberal justices oppose your right to self-defense,’ the NRA claimed, ‘four justices support your right to self-defense. President Trump chose Brett Kavanaugh to break the tie. Your right to self-defense depends on this vote.’

Sounds like really insidious behavior doesn’t it? Do you think that the NRA is also acting to protect Second Amendment rights?

Then there’s this statement in the senators’ brief:

Out in the real world, Americans are murdered each day with firearms in classrooms or movie theaters or churches or city streets, and a generation of preschoolers is being trained in active-shooter survival drills. In the cloistered confines of this Court, and notwithstanding the public imperatives of these massacres, the NRA and its allies brashly presume, in word and deed, that they have a friendly audience for their ‘project.’

I wonder how the justices might react to these “accusations of influence.”

This action by these senators is just one more example of the disdain they have for the Supreme Court, except for those justices whom they believe favor their issues. The brief is grandstanding, of course, demonstrating (they think) that they are fighting for the people. Instead, their disregard for the integrity of the three branches of government and the people who serve is mindboggling and revolting. They have only further confirmed their irresponsibility and megalomania.

I would like to think that the justices will brush this off as a mild distraction, or better yet, ignore it, and continue with the business of the Supreme Court.

There are 22 comments.

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  1. The Great Adventure! Inactive
    The Great Adventure! Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’m just shocked that Ron Wyden didn’t join in, since he lives in NYC while representing the state of Oregon.

    • #1
    • August 29, 2019, at 10:14 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):

    I’m just shocked that Ron Wyden didn’t join in, since he lives in NYC while representing the state of Oregon.

    He must have been off that day and was probably outraged that they didn’t include him! There are a boatload that probably were interested; maybe they were all trying to be subtle. . . ;-)

    • #2
    • August 29, 2019, at 10:17 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    For anyone wondering, the sculpture is called “Contemplation of Justice”; I hope she finds it.

    • #3
    • August 29, 2019, at 10:18 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. danok1 Member

    @susanquinn IIRC (no time to read the link right now), not only did the Senators impugn the Court, they stated that if SCOTUS doesn’t rule the way they want, they will seek to restructure the Court. Impugning the integrity of the Court and threatening it in one brief!

    • #4
    • August 29, 2019, at 10:36 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn: The totalitarian city of New York believed that it could severely restrict the carry of firearms and get away with it. The original legislation was changed to read that a person could transport a gun only to a second home, a gun range or a shooting competition outside the city.

    Sounds like the laws in New Jersey. You can put your gun in the trunk of your car and drive to the range but you must go directly to and from the range. The law does allow for “deviations as are reasonably necessary under the circumstances.” So, if you are running out of gas and stop at the nearest gas station, you are probably okay. However, if on the way back from the range you stop at the diner for a bite eat while leaving your unloaded gun locked in the trunk of your car, well then you have broken the law.

    • #5
    • August 29, 2019, at 10:55 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    danok1 (View Comment):

    @susanquinn IIRC (no time to read the link right now), not only did the Senators impugn the Court, they stated that if SCOTUS doesn’t rule the way they want, they will seek to restructure the Court. Impugning the integrity of the Court and threatening it in one brief!

    You are correct. Like they could just do that by snapping their fingers. Unbelievable. I’d tell them to take it up with RBG; she thinks the Court is fine.

    • #6
    • August 29, 2019, at 10:56 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: The totalitarian city of New York believed that it could severely restrict the carry of firearms and get away with it. The original legislation was changed to read that a person could transport a gun only to a second home, a gun range or a shooting competition outside the city.

    Sounds like the laws in New Jersey. You can put your gun in the trunk of your car and drive to the range but you must go directly to and from the range. The law does allow for “deviations as are reasonably necessary under the circumstances.” So, if you are running out of gas and stop at the nearest gas station, you are probably okay. However, if on the way back from the range you stop at the diner for a bite eat while leaving your unloaded gun locked in the trunk of your car, well then you have broken the law.

    These kinds of regulations are so ridiculous and insulting. I think they’ve got bigger things to worry about–like high taxes, maybe?

    • #7
    • August 29, 2019, at 10:58 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan,

    This is why never-Trump is an untenable position. Without the Presidency we will have no conservative Supreme Court nominations and we would be in disastrous territory already without the two that Trump has already provided. With the other side holding the Presidency we will have nothing but radical left Supreme Court nominations only.

    For most conservatives of any stripe, this is unacceptable. Wishing that we had a consensus government is a fine thing. Imagining that it will happen if we stand down politically is wishful thinking and a disaster.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #8
    • August 29, 2019, at 11:37 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Susan,

    This is why never-Trump is an untenable position. Without the Presidency we will have no conservative Supreme Court nominations and we would be in disastrous territory already without the two that Trump has already provided. With the other side holding the Presidency we will have nothing but radical left Supreme Court nominations only.

    For most conservatives of any stripe, this is unacceptable. Wishing that we had a consensus government is a fine thing. Imagining that it will happen if we stand down politically is wishful thinking and a disaster.

    Regards,

    Jim

    I think the never-Trump crowd is so irrational about Trump that it hasn’t occurred to them that if enough people don’t vote for Trump, we will have a Democrat President. And Leftist picks for the court will ensue. That’s a really good point. Is that what they really want? Are they so bent on revenge that they’d sabotage this country’s future?

    • #9
    • August 29, 2019, at 11:42 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Is that what they really want? Are they so bent on revenge that they’d sabotage this country’s future?

    Susan,

    When asked this question they whine that you are trying to force them into Trump worship!? It isn’t your question that was wrong but their phony weasel answer. Keep asking the questions Suzy.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #10
    • August 29, 2019, at 11:47 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  11. Gary Robbins Reagan

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Susan,

    This is why never-Trump is an untenable position. Without the Presidency we will have no conservative Supreme Court nominations and we would be in disastrous territory already without the two that Trump has already provided. With the other side holding the Presidency we will have nothing but radical left Supreme Court nominations only.

    For most conservatives of any stripe, this is unacceptable. Wishing that we had a consensus government is a fine thing. Imagining that it will happen if we stand down politically is wishful thinking and a disaster.

    Regards,

    Jim

    As a severe Trump Skeptic, the judiciary is, by far, the strongest reason to vote for Trump. Ironically, if RBG were to pass away in the next year, that would be the strongest possible argument to vote against Trump, as he would have already had served his purpose. If RBG lives at least until the 2020 election, this would, by far, be the strongest possible argument to vote for Trump. 

    • #11
    • August 29, 2019, at 4:40 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Susan,

    This is why never-Trump is an untenable position. Without the Presidency we will have no conservative Supreme Court nominations and we would be in disastrous territory already without the two that Trump has already provided. With the other side holding the Presidency we will have nothing but radical left Supreme Court nominations only.

    For most conservatives of any stripe, this is unacceptable. Wishing that we had a consensus government is a fine thing. Imagining that it will happen if we stand down politically is wishful thinking and a disaster.

    Regards,

    Jim

    As a severe Trump Skeptic, the judiciary is, by far, the strongest reason to vote for Trump. Ironically, if RBG were to pass away in the next year, that would be the strongest possible argument to vote against Trump, as he would have already had served his purpose. If RBG lives at least until the 2020 election, this would, by far, be the strongest possible argument to vote for Trump.

    Good man, Gary! 

    • #12
    • August 29, 2019, at 5:02 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Skyler Coolidge

    Democrats are no longer recognizable as Americans anymore. 

    • #13
    • August 29, 2019, at 5:55 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. formerlawprof Coolidge

    I’m fairly confident, @susanquinn, that the justices will “vote,” 9-0, to simply ignore the stupid brief. (They will “vote” with their eyeballs rather than their feet, as we say. They will hear about the brief the same way we have, in the media, but they simply won’t read it.)

    Recall that in addition to being a former law professor, I am a former SCOTUS law clerk (while still teaching, on sabbatical leave, and at age 53), so I know a little bit about this. The clerks advise their bosses which amicus briefs to read, which to scan, and which to ignore. The latter pile is by far the largest of the three, although most justices will ask their clerks to give a page or half-page summary of even the stupidest briefs.

    I am here to tell you that all of the pop psychology about how the justices (most especially including the Chief Justice) just want to be loved by the nation and by the Georgetown cocktail party set is one large stinking pile of [whatever I am permitted to say by the c.c.].

    BTW, I clerked for RBG in 1996, when I was already far, far to the Right of where I was when I was her star student in some of her earliest seminars on women’s rights, at Rutgers Law School in 1968 and 1969. (And don’t get me started on that: RBG’s brand of feminism was and is wholly righteous, in marked contrast to the garbage peddled by some of today’s femi-nazis.)

     

     

    • #14
    • August 29, 2019, at 8:06 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    formerlawprof (View Comment):

    I’m fairly confident, @susanquinn, that the justices will “vote,” 9-0, to simply ignore the stupid brief. (They will “vote” with their eyeballs rather than their feet, as we say. They will hear about the brief the same way we have, in the media, but they simply won’t read it.)

    Recall that in addition to being a former law professor, I am a former SCOTUS law clerk (while still teaching, on sabbatical leave, and at age 53), so I know a little bit about this. The clerks advise their bosses which amicus briefs to read, which to scan, and which to ignore. The latter pile is by far the largest of the three, although most justices will ask their clerks to give a page or half-page summary of even the stupidest briefs.

    I am here to tell you that all of the pop psychology about how the justices (most especially including the Chief Justice) just want to be loved by the nation and by the Georgetown cocktail party set is one large stinking pile of [whatever I am permitted to say by the c.c.].

    BTW, I clerked for RBG in 1996, when I was already far, far to the Right of where I was when I was her star student in some of her earliest seminars on women’s rights, at Rutgers Law School in 1968 and 1969. (And don’t get me started on that: RBG’s brand of feminism was and is wholly righteous, in marked contrast to the garbage peddled by some of today’s femi-nazis.)

     

     

    @formerlawprof, thanks so much for sharing your insights!! I love when people fill in the picture and you’ve done a great job here. BTW, stay safe up there!

    • #15
    • August 30, 2019, at 6:16 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    @susanquinn IIRC (no time to read the link right now), not only did the Senators impugn the Court, they stated that if SCOTUS doesn’t rule the way they want, they will seek to restructure the Court. Impugning the integrity of the Court and threatening it in one brief!

    You are correct. Like they could just do that by snapping their fingers. Unbelievable. I’d tell them to take it up with RBG; she thinks the Court is fine.

    The best way to contain this would be with a 9-0 slapdown, where even RBG, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagen show they’re defending the Court against the Senators’ Mafia-like threats (which is likely, since the members of the Court have to deal with each other face-to-face as equal human beings, which makes it harder to go along with the type of woke targeting of people as mere symbols, as some of the same Senators did last year with the Kavanaugh hearings).

    • #16
    • August 30, 2019, at 6:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    The best way to contain this would be with a 9-0 slapdown, where even RBG, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagen show they’re defending the Court against the Senators’ Mafia-like threats (which is likely, since the members of the Court have to deal with each other face-to-face as equal human beings, which makes it harder to go along with the type of woke targeting of people as mere symbols, as some of the same Senators did last year with the Kavanaugh hearings).

    This would be a powerful and moral response, @jon1979. And it would just make sense!

    • #17
    • August 30, 2019, at 6:57 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. Old Bathos Moderator

    This is a silly stunt not a substantive brief. Here is a practice tip, kids: Don’t l start your brief by telling the judge you think he/she is a political hack incapable of making a determination on the merits.

    The other ingenious aspect of this brief is this: if judges who were endorsed by the NRA are influenced then why aren’t judges expressly opposed by the NRA also influenced with respect to the same issues? The obvious, sophomoric conclusion is that when you agree with me it’s principle and when you don’t it’s base partisanship or corruption.

    Three of the Senators are malignant morons. Durbin is malignant but should know better. Gillibrand has exceptional legal credentials so its a real indictment of judgment and character that she signed onto this swill. (Note: the other Senator from New York chose to stay above the fray. If even Chuck Schumer thinks it’s too partisan and tacky then, ..well what can we say about Kirsten.)

    • #18
    • August 30, 2019, at 7:01 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    This is a silly stunt not a substantive brief. Here is a practice tip, kids: Don’t l start your brief by telling the judge you think he/she is a political hack incapable of making a determination on the merits.

    The other ingenious aspect of this brief is this: if judges who were endorsed by the NRA are influenced then why aren’t judges expressly opposed by the NRA also influenced with respect to the same issues? The obvious, sophomoric conclusion is that when you agree with me it’s principle and when you don’t it’s base partisanship or corruption.

    Three of the Senators are malignant morons. Durbin is malignant but should know better. Gillibrand has exceptional legal credentials so its a real indictment of judgment and character that she signed onto this swill. (Note: the other Senator from New York chose to stay above the fray. If even Chuck Schumer thinks it’s too partisan and tacky then, ..well what can we say about Kirsten.)

    Gosh, @oldbathos, I wish I’d been as direct as you are! It was so tempting, but I have a reputation to maintain–not! Thanks!

    • #19
    • August 30, 2019, at 7:04 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Skyler Coolidge

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    This is a silly stunt not a substantive brief. Here is a practice tip, kids: Don’t l start your brief by telling the judge you think he/she is a political hack incapable of making a determination on the merits.

    The other ingenious aspect of this brief is this: if judges who were endorsed by the NRA are influenced then why aren’t judges expressly opposed by the NRA also influenced with respect to the same issues? The obvious, sophomoric conclusion is that when you agree with me it’s principle and when you don’t it’s base partisanship or corruption.

    Three of the Senators are malignant morons. Durbin is malignant but should know better. Gillibrand has exceptional legal credentials so its a real indictment of judgment and character that she signed onto this swill. (Note: the other Senator from New York chose to stay above the fray. If even Chuck Schumer thinks it’s too partisan and tacky then, ..well what can we say about Kirsten.)

    I disagree. It is not a silly stunt, nor do they expect to influence the justices. Their audience is not the Court, their audience is the radical communist wing of the Democratic Party. They are setting up the ball for a spike when one of theirs gets back in the White House. They are riling up sentiment so they can justify packing the court.

    It’s not silly. It’s dangerous and calculated. Some are morons, but they are just the face of this action. Other, more savvy politicians are quietly behind this.

    • #20
    • August 30, 2019, at 9:02 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Old Bathos Moderator

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    This is a silly stunt not a substantive brief. Here is a practice tip, kids: Don’t l start your brief by telling the judge you think he/she is a political hack incapable of making a determination on the merits.

    The other ingenious aspect of this brief is this: if judges who were endorsed by the NRA are influenced then why aren’t judges expressly opposed by the NRA also influenced with respect to the same issues? The obvious, sophomoric conclusion is that when you agree with me it’s principle and when you don’t it’s base partisanship or corruption.

    Three of the Senators are malignant morons. Durbin is malignant but should know better. Gillibrand has exceptional legal credentials so its a real indictment of judgment and character that she signed onto this swill. (Note: the other Senator from New York chose to stay above the fray. If even Chuck Schumer thinks it’s too partisan and tacky then, ..well what can we say about Kirsten.)

    I disagree. It is not a silly stunt, nor do they expect to influence the justices. Their audience is not the Court, their audience is the radical communist wing of the Democratic Party. They are setting up the ball for a spike when one of theirs gets back in the White House. They are riling up sentiment so they can justify packing the court.

    It’s not silly. It’s dangerous and calculated. Some are morons, but they are just the face of this action. Other, more savvy politicians are quietly behind this.

    Not sure there are savvy pols behind this. I understand the goals & the audience as you identify them. I also know that the left does not even pretend to care about constitutional order. But as a political matter, it is risky to overtly attack the courts in a manner that repeals the notion of an independent third branch to make no bones about making it a rubber stamp for the legislature and executive and the NYT editorial board. I gotta believe there are still enough grownups left to prevent such an outcome.

    • #21
    • August 30, 2019, at 10:46 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. The Reticulator Member

    formerlawprof (View Comment):
    I am here to tell you that all of the pop psychology about how the justices (most especially including the Chief Justice) just want to be loved by the nation and by the Georgetown cocktail party set is one large stinking pile of [whatever I am permitted to say by the c.c.].

    One. I presume you’re aware that in this paragraph you set up a straw man to knock down.

    Two. I doubt that the Supreme Court justices, including the Chief Justice, are immune to the type of social pressures that every other person in the universe is subject to.

    • #22
    • August 30, 2019, at 8:48 PM PDT
    • 1 like

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