Democrats’ Disgraceful Track Record Of Delegitimizing The Supreme Court

Democrats Have Spent Years Threatening The Supreme Court Over Decisions They Didn’t Like And Have Taken To Making Increasingly Strident Political Accusations About Justices


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Time and time again, prominent Democrats show they’re no longer content to work within the ground rules and norms of our institutions, but prefer to threaten the institutions themselves…. In recent years, we’ve seen the Democratic Leader stand on the steps of the Court and threaten that specific justices, quote, ‘won’t know what hit them’ if they didn’t rule the way he wanted. We’ve seen a number of Democratic Senators send a threatening brief suggesting the Court might need to be ‘restructured’ if its rulings upset liberals…. [President Biden] set up a pseudo-academic ‘commission’ to ‘study’ the merits of packing the Supreme Court. Just an attempt to clothe this transparent power play in fake legitimacy…. The left wants a sword dangling over the Justices when they weigh the facts in every case. As the Democratic Leader threatened just two years ago, Democrats want the Justices to know that they will ‘pay the price’ for rulings that Democrats don’t like…. The threats are the point. The hostage-taking is the point. And responsible people across the political spectrum have a duty to denounce this.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/15/2021)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “Even if Democrats fail at structurally changing the court, they could still succeed at applying improper pressure. The left wants to prey on justices’ instincts to protect their institution by having ‘court reform’ hang over them like a sword of Damocles. The left hopes that a manufactured cloud of fake concerns about the court’s legitimacy may be enough to change which cases the court decides to hear, how it hears them and what rulings it hands down. But if the justices fell into Democrats’ trap and let political threats change legal outcomes, they would not be shoring up their institution, but undermining it. It would poison the actual source of the court’s legitimacy — its impartiality. Moreover, appeasement would not even end the threats and reckless tactics. It would guarantee more. Hostage-takers will not settle for half a loaf.” (Sen. McConnell, Op-Ed, “Mitch McConnell: Democrats, Leave The Supreme Court Alone,” The Washington Post, 11/11/2021)

SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT), Senate Judiciary Committee Member: “I think it is important that even when, especially when, we disagree with decisions issued by [the Supreme Court]. We as a committee, as the Senate Judiciary Committee, not engage in speech or behavior that would undermine the legitimacy of the Supreme Court of the United Sates. You see, it’s the legitimacy of the court that gives them their … power, their significance in our system of government. We all have a duty to make sure that we don’t undermine that very thing that we purport to be protecting.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/21/2022)


Chuck Schumer Stood On The Steps Of The Supreme Court And Threatened Justices If They Didn’t Rule The Way He Wanted In A Case

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “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.” (“Roberts Rebukes Schumer For Saying Justices Will ‘Pay The Price’ For A Vote Against Abortion Rights,” The Washington Post, 3/04/2020)


In An Amicus Brief, Several Senate Democrats Threatened The Supreme Court With Being ‘Restructured’ If The Justices Did Not Rule The Way They Wanted In A Case

SENS. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI), DICK DURBIN (D-IL), MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI), RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT), and KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): “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.’” (New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York, Brief Of Senators Sheldon Whitehouse, Mazie Hirono, Richard Blumenthal, Richard Durbin, And Kirsten Gillibrand As Amici Curiae In Support Of Respondents, 8/12/2019)

ALL 53 SENATE REPUBLICANS: “[O]ur colleagues did more than raise legal arguments in favor of mootness.  They openly threatened this Court with political retribution if it failed to dismiss the petition as moot…. Democrats in Congress, and on the presidential campaign trail, have peddled plans to pack this Court with more justices in order to further their radical legislative agenda.  It’s one thing for politicians to peddle these ideas in Tweets or on the stump. But the Democrats’ amicus brief demonstrates that their court-packing plans are more than mere pandering. They are a direct, immediate threat to the independence of the judiciary and the rights of all Americans.” (Republican Senators, Letter to Scott S. Harris, Clerk for the Supreme Court of the United States, 8/29/2019)


Sheldon Whitehouse Has Dedicated A Series Of Speeches To Undermining The Legitimacy Of The Supreme Court, Calling It ‘Rotten,’ And Has Outrageously Painted Justices As Stooges For Corporations

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI), Judiciary Committee Member: “The American people may not be able to see all of the rot, but they can see enough to know that something is rotten over there across First Street at that Court. We must set it right.” (Sen. Whitehouse, Remarks, 11/16/2021)

  • WHITEHOUSE: “This commission served its purpose of killing time for the administration to avoid confronting the deep rot at the Supreme Court. The American people are fast losing confidence in the independence of the Court, and who can blame them? Either we grapple with the Court’s very real and very big problems, or, as Justice Sotomayor said, the persistent ‘stench’ of the Republican majority’s partisan decisions will damage this precious institution beyond repair.” (Sen. Whitehouse, Press Release, 12/7/2021)
  • WHITEHOUSE: “[L]et’s get real. You don’t apply gale-force political pressure for judges who are just going to call balls and strikes…. You want judges who will throw the game for you. You want what you paid for—a captured Court. And if you look at its track record, that is this Court. It is the Court that dark money built, and it is delivering.” (Sen. Whitehouse, Remarks, 9/20/2021)

Whitehouse Even Smeared The Chief Justice, Saying He Should ‘Have NASCAR-Style Corporate Badges On His Robes’

WHITEHOUSE: “At his hearing, Justice Roberts infamously said he would just call balls and strikes, but this pattern … of the Roberts Five qualifies him to have NASCAR-style corporate badges on his robes.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 9/04/2018)

WHITEHOUSE: “Gorsuch is the single most corporate-friendly Justice on a Court already full of them, ruling for big business interests …” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 9/04/2018)


During An Impeachment Trial, Elizabeth Warren Called Into Question The ‘Legitimacy Of The Chief Justice, The Supreme Court, And The Constitution’

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): “At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the Chief Justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?” (Congressional Record, S.717, 1/30/2020)


Other Democrat Senators Spew Venom At ‘A Stolen, Illegitimate, And Far-Right Supreme Court’ And A Court That Has ‘Destroyed’ Its Credibility

SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA): “We have a stilted, illegitimate, 6-3 conservative majority on the court that has caused this crisis of confidence in our country” (Sen. Markey, Remarks, 4/15/2021)

  • MARKEY: “A stolen, illegitimate, and far-right Supreme Court is responsible for making life-or-death decisions on issues from abortion rights to gun control to voting rights. That's why we are building a national movement to expand the court...” (Sen. Markey, @EdMarkey, Twitter 10/26/2021)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) “[s]ays the [Supreme Court] nominee should ‘reset’ a court that has ‘destroyed’ its credibility.” (CNN’s Manu Raju, @mkraju, Twitter, 2/10/2022)


House Democrat Leaders Have Joined In Too, Saying, ‘I Don’t Trust The Supreme Court One Bit’ And Declaring ‘The Supreme Court Majority Has Zero Legitimacy,’ Suggesting The ‘Ghosts Of The Confederacy Are Alive And Well’

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “I don’t trust the Supreme Court one bit…. Even the court cases they have decided in our favor, they said they will revisit, and it’s just appalling.” (“Nancy Pelosi: All Trump SCOTUS Justices Should Recuse From Election Decisions,” Huffington Post, 10/30/2020)

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY), House Democratic Conference Chairman: “The Supreme Court majority has zero legitimacy. Ghosts of the confederacy are alive and well.” (Rep. Jeffries, @RepJeffries, Twitter 2/08/2022)



Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Judicial Nominations, Supreme Court