There’s so much in here from the facts that the Washington Post ignored, to the identity of the leaker being a pro-abort (which we all knew), to the recent attacks on the court making our country weaker.
Conservative justices have become targets of assassination while the Deep State grins and waits.
Justice Samuel Alito was supposed to speak to law students at George Mason University in Arlington, Va., but when they showed up, he wasn’t there. “That Alito was speaking via closed circuit from a room at the Supreme Court seven miles away, rather than in person, was a sign these are not normal times,” the Washington Post reported. The Post didn’t explain what made the “times” abnormal.
It wasn’t a lingering fear of Covid-19. In a mid-April interview in his chambers, Justice Alito fills us in on the May 12, 2022, event: “Our police conferred with the George Mason Police and the Arlington Police and they said, ‘It’s not a good idea. He shouldn’t come here. . . . The security problems will be severe.’ So I ended up giving the speech by Zoom,” he says. “Still, there were so many protesters and they were so loud that you could hear them.”
By now a noisy mob of law students may sound like any other school day, but last May also was a tumultuous time for the court. The preceding week, someone had leaked a draft of Justice Alito’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a landmark abortion case that wouldn’t be decided until late June. The last question at the George Mason event, the Post reported, was about how the justices were getting along in the wake of that unprecedented breach of confidentiality. At the time, Justice Alito said little in response beyond “we’re doing our work.”
He now says that the leak “created an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust. We worked through it, and last year we got our work done. This year, I think, we’re trying to get back to normal operations as much as we can. . . . But it was damaging.” Chief Justice John Roberts directed the marshal of the Supreme Court to investigate the leak. In January she issued her findings: “Investigators have been unable to determine at this time, using a preponderance of the evidence standard, the identity of the person(s) who disclosed the draft majority opinion.”
Justice Alito says the marshal “did a good job with the resources that were available to her” and agrees that the evidence was insufficient for a public accusation. “I personally have a pretty good idea who is responsible, but that’s different from the level of proof that is needed to name somebody,” he says. He’s certain about the motive: “It was a part of an effort to prevent the Dobbs draft . . . from becoming the decision of the court. And that’s how it was used for those six weeks by people on the outside—as part of the campaign to try to intimidate the court.”
That campaign included unlawful assemblies outside justices’ homes, and that wasn’t the worst of it. “Those of us who were thought to be in the majority, thought to have approved my draft opinion, were really targets of assassination,” Justice Alito says. “It was rational for people to believe that they might be able to stop the decision in Dobbs by killing one of us.” On June 8, an armed man was arrested outside the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh; the suspect was later charged with attempted assassination and has pleaded not guilty.
A few pundits on the left speculated that the leaker might have been a conservative attempting to lock in the five-justice majority and overturn the constitutional right to abortion. “That’s infuriating to me,” Justice Alito says of the theory. “Look, this made us targets of assassination. Would I do that to myself? Would the five of us have done that to ourselves? It’s quite implausible.”
He adds that “I don’t feel physically unsafe, because we now have a lot of protection.” He is “driven around in basically a tank, and I’m not really supposed to go anyplace by myself without the tank and my members of the police force.” Deputy U.S. marshals guard the justices’ homes 24/7. (The U.S. Marshals Service, a bureau of the Justice Department, is distinct from the marshal of the court, who reports to the justices and oversees the Supreme Court Police.)
A federal law called Section 1507 makes it a crime to picket or parade “in or near” a federal judge’s residence “with the intent of influencing” him “in the discharge of his duty.” During a hearing last month, Attorney General Merrick Garland told Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah) that the marshals have “full authority to arrest” violators of Section 1507. But according to training slides obtained by Sen. Katie Britt (R., Ala.), deputies on the justices’ residential details are told to enforce the law only as “a last resort to prevent physical harm to the Justices and/or their families.”
Although the Supreme Court has held that the Constitution allows for reasonable restrictions on the time, place and manner of speech, the training slides indicate that the Justice Department believes it is unconstitutional to enforce Section 1507 absent “criminal threats and intimidation.” Regular protests outside the justices’ homes continue.
In some ways this is an old story. Each side of the abortion debate has featured a vigorous protest culture since at least the 1970s, when the court decided Roe v. Wade. The last time it reconsidered Roe, the three-justice plurality opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) asserted that it would “subvert the Court’s legitimacy” to overturn a precedent while “under fire,” meaning subjected to public criticism. The losing side has even resorted to violence before: Antiabortion extremists assassinated four abortion doctors between 1993 and 2009.
But as the court has grown more conservative in recent years, the left has stepped up the attacks on the court’s “legitimacy,” including character assassination of individual justices, with little objection from mainstream Democrats and plenty of help from the media.
Justice Alito says “this type of concerted attack on the court and on individual justices” is “new during my lifetime. . . . We are being hammered daily, and I think quite unfairly in a lot of instances. And nobody, practically nobody, is defending us. The idea has always been that judges are not supposed to respond to criticisms, but if the courts are being unfairly attacked, the organized bar will come to their defense.” Instead, “if anything, they’ve participated to some degree in these attacks.”
Judges are in a double bind: If they don’t respond, the attacks stand. If they do, they diminish the mystique on which judicial authority depends. Justice Alito demurs when we ask about “ethics” accusations against Justice Clarence Thomas
from partisan media: “I’ll stay away from that.” But he does address a less-recent drama: “After Justice Kavanaugh was accused of being a rapist during his Senate confirmation hearings, he made an impassioned speech, made an impassioned scene, and he was criticized because it was supposedly not judicious, not the proper behavior for a judge to speak in those terms. I don’t know—if somebody calls you a rapist?”
Those who throw the mud then disparage the justices for being dirty. “We’re being bombarded with this,” Justice Alito says, “and then those who are attacking us say, ‘Look how unpopular they are. Look how low their approval rating has sunk.’ Well, yeah, what do you expect when you’re—day in and day out, ‘They’re illegitimate. They’re engaging in all sorts of unethical conduct. They’re doing this, they’re doing that’?”
It “undermines confidence in the government,” Justice Alito says. “It’s one thing to say the court is wrong; it’s another thing to say it’s an illegitimate institution. You could say the same thing about Congress and the president. . . . When you say that they’re illegitimate, any of the three branches of government, you’re really striking at something that’s essential to self-government.”
Me again: And that is the point of it all. The left and the Deep State (redundancy alert) are working to weaken the very idea of self-government because they’re attempting to make it seem impossible under our current system. Only if they’re in charge is a more…equitable system possible. And if a conservative justice is assassinated, so be it. They’ll use the incident to refill the Court with leftists along with taking away gun rights from citizens. Double victory for the left!
Pray, folks. Pray that their plans are spoiled somehow. It will take nothing short of heroic courage and supernatural intervention to save our country now.