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Cruz Op-Ed: The Left’s Assault on Judicial Independence Is Going to Get Someone Killed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) published an op-ed in National Review titled, “The Left’s Assault on Judicial Independence Is Going to Get Someone Killed,” arguing that progressive efforts to intimidate federal judges is dangerous not only to democracy, but to the judges themselves. Read the op-ed here and below.

Recently, the Washington Post printed an op-ed that called for a campaign of “shaming” federal judges who dared to reach legal conclusions that differ from the author’s desired outcome. Through this “shame” campaign, the author hopes the targeted judges will deliver rulings closer to what he prefers. This naked call for harassment is just the latest attempt by the Left to intimidate its enemies and politicize the Court.

The Founding Fathers understood the important role that courts play as a check on the elected branches of government. To be effective, the courts need to be insulated so judges can impartially interpret the law. That’s why federal judges aren’t elected. 

This, however, hasn’t stopped leading Democrats and activists from making threats against the federal judiciary. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) threatened sitting Supreme Court justices by name, stating, “I want to tell you, Gorsuch; I want to tell you, Kavanaugh: You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.” When the Dobbs draft was leaked, Ian Millhiser, a senior correspondent at Vox, tweeted, “The draft Roe opinion appears to be as bad as expected, but I’m glad it leaked because this leak will foster anger and distrust within the irredeemable institution that is the Supreme Court of the United States,” and, “Seriously, shout out to whoever the hero was within the Supreme Court who said ‘f—k it! Let’s burn this place down.”

The Washington Post op-ed acknowledges that campaigns to shame judges could lead to violence. Make no mistake: This threat of violence is very real. Organized protest groups targeted Supreme Court justices at their homes in an attempt to pressure them into changing their ruling in the Dobbs case before it was released but after the draft opinion had been leaked.

Things predictably spiraled out of control. Authorities arrested a man armed with a gun, a knife, and burglary tools who traveled from California to Maryland to murder Justice Kavanaugh in his home.

And despite the fact that the organized harassment campaign at the justices’ homes violated a federal law against tampering with juries and judges, 18 U.S.C. § 1507, the Department of Justice has made no arrests.

The Biden DOJ’s unwillingness to punish those who violated the law in a targeted harassment campaign of Supreme Court justices will only encourage those on the left who support political violence to achieve their goals. Is that really the system of justice we want to have? Rulings based not on the facts or the law, but on who can terrorize the families of judges more? That’s what you’d expect in a banana republic, not in America. 

We also shouldn’t forget that the corporate media and the Left used to celebrate activism in the courts when it advanced their political objectives. When the courts used to invent rights from whole cloth, with Roe v. Wade being one of the most notorious examples, the Left cheered. But now that the courts are holding policy-makers to the text of the Constitution and its limited grant of federal power, the Left is furious and out for blood.

Our democracy cannot function without an independent judiciary. All of us should agree that harassing or intimidating judicial officers is not acceptable. Without an independent judiciary, there is no justice at all.