Alito Rightly Slams Five Democratic Senators for ‘Bullying’ the Supreme Court
In an eyebrow-raising 2019 brief, five Democratic senators warned that the Supreme Court might have to be “restructured” if it failed to reach the conclusion they preferred in a Second Amendment case. Justice Samuel Alito recalled that episode during his Federalist Society speech last night, saying the senators had engaged in blatant “bullying” by issuing “a crude threat” aimed at undermining judicial independence.
Alito is right. The case involved New York City’s uniquely onerous restrictions on the transportation of firearms, and the senators—Sheldon Whitehouse (D–R.I.), Mazie Hirono (D–Hawaii), Richard Blumenthal (D–Conn.), Dick Durbin (D–Ill.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.)—wanted the justices to decide (as they ultimately did) that mid-litigation revisions to those rules made the case moot. But instead of simply presenting legal arguments in favor of that outcome, Whitehouse et al. launched an attack on the Court’s integrity, accusing the justices of perverting the law to protect “interests important to the big funders, corporate influencers, and political base of the Republican Party.” The evidence they presented consisted of cases in which the Court had reached conclusions they did not like.
“The Supreme Court is not well,” the senators concluded. “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.’ Particularly o
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