A federal judge leveled harsh accusations against Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and the rest of the conservative majority, claiming that they are “actively participating in undermining American democracy.”
Judge Lynn Adelman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin blasted the Roberts-led court in an article titled “The Roberts Court’s Assault on Democracy,” set to be published in the Harvard Law & Policy Review.
“[T]he Roberts Court has been anything but passive,” wrote Adelman, who was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton. “Rather, the Court’s hard-right majority is actively participating in undermining American democracy. Indeed, the Roberts Court has contributed to ensuring that the political system in the United States pays little attention to ordinary Americans and responds only to the wishes of a relatively small number of powerful corporations and individuals.”
Adelman pointed to two particular types of cases. First were those dealing with what he called “direct assaults on democracy such as cases that affect voting rights.” He said some cases have hurt minorities by weakening the Voting Rights Act. In a recent case, the court refused to intervene in partisan gerrymandering.
The second type of case Adelman described was where he said the court “increased the economic and political power of corporations and wealthy individuals and reduced that of ordinary Americans and entities which represent them.” These included Citizens United, which said that corporations enjoy free speech protections that allow them to spend large sums in connection with elections. Adelman said that this decision “weaponized the First Amendment.”
Adelman was even unhappy with Roberts’ own opinion and key vote that upheld ObamaCare because it knocked down its expansion of Medicaid. He said this “thwarted Congress’ efforts to address one of the most serious problems that the poor face, the lack of health insurance[.]”
The judge did not reserve his ire for the Supreme Court alone. He took shots at Senate Republicans for their handling of President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, which GOP senators ignored in order to allow Obama’s successor to appoint someone else – this resulted in President Trump successfully nominating Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Adelman went so far as to compare the Republican senators to pro-slavery Southerners.
“The zealous partisanship the Republicans displayed in connection with the Garland nomination, as well as judicial appointments generally reminds one of nothing so much as the ‘fire-eaters,’ those fervent defenders of slavery who pushed the South into the Civil War,” he wrote.
Ultimately, though, Adelman’s focus was on Roberts, insisting that he has exhibited a harmful bias and that his description of a Supreme Court justice was of an umpire who “calls the balls and strikes” was “a masterpiece of disingenuousness.”
He concluded with a dire warning that the current state of the judiciary has contributed to “a new and arguably dangerous phase in American history” that requires fixing and necessitates “every bit of democratic resourcefulness that we can muster to undo the damage that the Court has already caused.”
GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik blasts ‘radical Far-Left’ after finding ‘vile’ note on car while grocery shopping
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, a freshman congresswoman from New York state who drew national attention for defending President Trump during impeachment hearings on Capitol Hill last year, has become the latest victim of public incivility against Republicans.
Stefanik wrote Saturday on Twitter that when she returned to her car earlier in the day after grocery shopping with her husband, she found what she described as a “vile anonymous note.”
“Rot in Hell FASCIST PIG,” the hand-scrawled note said.
Stefanik posted a photo of the note, along with her own reaction.
“It is truly sad that the radical Far-Left cannot see beyond their vicious hate,” she wrote. “My husband and I went grocery shopping this morning before district events and enjoyed chatting with constituents throughout the store. This vile anonymous note was left on our car.”
Other incidents this year involving incivility – or even violence – against conservatives and Republicans have included a vehicle smashing a GOP voter-registration table in Florida, an alleged assault of a 15-year-old Trump supporter in New Hampshire, the smashing of a College Republicans information table in California, an individual’s threat, caught on video, to “slash Republicans’ throats" in Arizona, an alleged assault of a retired police officer wearing a Trump-style hat and shirt in Tennessee and a suspect being sentenced to 90 days in jail for slapping and spitting on a Trump supporter in Florida.
Stefanik became a favorite target of Democrats and liberals during the House impeachment inquiry late last year, particularly for becoming a thorn in the side of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
One of the most explosive moments of the impeachment hearings came Nov. 15, 2019, when ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., yielded some of his time to Stefanik. But as she spoke, Schiff slammed down his gavel, arguing that it was not allowed under committee rules.
“The gentlewoman will suspend,” Schiff said.
“What is the interruption for now?” she shot back.
"You're gagging the young lady from New York?" Nunes laughed at one point.What followed was a debate between Nunes and Schiff as to whether the Republican could offer his time to a fellow member of Congress, rather than minority counsel. Stefanik repeatedly tried to speak, only for Schiff to bang his gavel again.
"This is the fifth time you have interrupted a duly-elected member of Congress," Stefanik told Schiff, who repeatedly told her she was "not recognized" to speak.
Stefanik's performance at that moment and throughout the hearings earned her praise from fellow Republicans and likely contributed to her being named an honorary chair for the Trump 2020 Campaign in early January.
“I’m looking forward to working with his campaign to deliver another decisive victory in my district. President Trump’s record of results will win handily over far-left radical resistance in November," she said at the time.