An independent judiciary ought to be viewed as a cornerstone of the American system, but to Democrats, that notion is merely antiquated obstacle to the realization of their radical agenda, a fact which was made clear this week when Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) essentially admitted to using bullying tactics to sway outcomes at the United States Supreme Court, as the Washington Examiner notes.
The confession from Whitehouse comes in the wake of the high court’s decision in a key case this week that – contrary to the senator’s prediction during then-nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing – did not eviscerate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and was in fact a ruling in which the newest SCOTUS justice joined.
Readers may recall that during Barrett’s confirmation hearing, Whitehouse did not ask any specific questions of the nominee about her judicial philosophy or the like, but rather went on long rants about the influence of “dark money” in politics and his suspicion that Barrett would play a principal role in taking health care away from vulnerable citizens when they needed it most.
Indeed, this week the court – by a vote of 7-2 – did not invalidate the ACA when given the chance, despite the dire prognostications issued by Whitehouse, which he now maintains were wholly justified and are the source of no regret whatsoever.
According to CNN’s Manu Raju, Whitehouse said that “not for a minute” has he thought better of the scare tactics he employed during Barrett’s hearing, and he added, “If we hadn’t done that, maybe they would have” put an end to Obamacare. The ACA may have survived, according to Whitehouse, “because we did so many warnings.”
The case of Whitehouse is further evidence that Democrats have unabashedly turned to intimidation as a means to influence the Supreme Court into rubber-stamping their far-left priorities, and the most recent incident was not the only time he has utilized the technique.
Back in 2019, he joined party colleagues in tacitly warning the court to heed their directives, saying, “the Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it. Perhaps the court can heal itself before the public demands it be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics,” as the Examiner noted.
Even more alarming were comments made by then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) last year in reference to an abortion rights case under consideration at the high court in which the lawmaker seemed to threaten some sort of tangible harm, suggesting that conservative justices “won’t know what hit” them if they did not rule in line with the left’s wishes, as NBC News reported at the time, going so far as to mention two jurists by name:
I want to tell you, [Neil] Gorsuch, I want to tell you, [Brett] Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price.
Now that President Joe Biden has convened a supposedly bipartisan committee to explore and make recommendations on issues pertaining to – among other things – “the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court” and “the membership and size of the Court” in a move many view as a precursor to an attempt at court packing, it is more important than ever for conservatives to fight back and insist that the independence of the judiciary be preserved.