Schumer Flacks the Court

Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer has spent the entire Trump administration blasting the President for his intemperate language.  Now, apparently inspired by Trump’s success, The NEw York Democrat has raised the stakes.  Addressing representatives of the infanticide lobby on the Capitol steps, Schumer issued a warning to the two justices appointed by Donald Trump, threatening them with retribution if they upheld a Louisiana law restricting abortion:

I want to tell you, Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch, you have unleashed a whirlwind, and you will pay the price…“You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.

Schumer has since tried to persuade his critics that in threatening two justices he was really threatening Republican politicians, but no one but Dick Durbin (and others of that ilk) is buying the story.  Before long, we can expect Schumer to utter the usual plea used by media celebrities caught in a sex abuse scandal or an outburst of bigotry: “That’s not who I really am.”

Naturally Mitch McConnell is not passing up an opportunity to damage the democrats.  Now that Schumer has got egg on him, McConnell is doing his best to fasten that egg permanently with red hot rivets.  Not that there is anything wrong in his thirst for revenge.  Both as a Republican, who needs to attack the enemy, and as the Senate Majority leader, who has the duty of protecting the US Senate, McConnell is right to go after the man New Yorkers have seen fit to inflict on the American people. 

 The radioactive political fallout will only last a few days or weeks, but the issue at stake is of some significance.  The independence of the judiciary was a rallying cry of the British Whigs who inspired the rebels of 1776 and the representatives of the States who assembled to revise the Articles of Confederation.  There were anti-federalist pamphleteers, notably “Brutus” in New York, who were concerned that an unelected branch of government might arrogate too much power to itself, and, since the days of John Marshall, cynical and ambitious chief justices have expanded their power, at the expense not so much of the two other branches as of the states and the people.

Nonetheless, none of the anti-federalists would have liked to see a federal judiciary dependent upon the whim of either the Congress or the President.  Hamilton, in an attempt to dispel Brutus’ justified fears, insisted:

This independence of the judges is equally requisite to guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals from the effects of those ill humors, which the arts of designing men, or the influence of particular conjunctures, sometimes disseminate among the people themselves, and which, though they speedily give place to better information, and more deliberate reflection, have a tendency, in the meantime, to occasion dangerous innovations in the government, and serious oppressions of the minor party in the community.

This sentence reads as if Hamilton had Senator Schumer in mind.  

Naturally, Schumer and his cronies, like leftist Democrats since the New Deal, have used the Court, whenever they could, to strengthen the power of the central government, but, whenever the Supreme Court has been perceived as an obstacle to their plans to concert power in their own hands, they are tempted to threaten the Court.  FDR famously tried to pack the Court with his own tools, when his national-socialist National Recovery Administration was declared unconstitutional, as it most certainly was, and now we have Chuck Schumer—the man who did the most to defend the Clinton administration’s illegal and immoral murder of American citizens in Waco—threatening dire consequences if they were to dare to stand in the way of the mass murder of American babies.

Since neither Schumer nor his faction have the slightest interest in the US Constitution, perhaps they will have more respect for a statement coming from the world government they aspire to in the hopes of playing a master role in running the planet the way they have run the United States.  Here is a sentence from the United Nations’ statement of “Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary":

The independence of the judiciary shall be guaranteed by the State and enshrined in the Constitution or the law of the country. It is the duty of all governmental and other institutions to respect and observe the independence of the judiciary.

The Stupid Party is doing itself to make Schumer's threats sound absurd.  Can anyone imagine Big tough Chuck Schumer, the victim of every schoolyard bully, descending to violence?  When some villainous leader of his party scorches women and children, he comes to the defense of the murderers.  That is the nature of any coward lusting after power, but he would never run the risk of giving a dangerous order that would imperil his own perks and privileges.  That is why he is in the US Senate, a debating society, and has avoided taking on any executive responsibility in which he might have accept take the blame.   Schumer could never aspire be an Al Capone or a Frank Nitti.  He'd like a cozy job as legal mouthpiece for the mob, who gets paid whatever happens.

There is no simple constitutional or institutional remedy against tyranny.  The only remedy lies with a responsible and informed citizenry who are determined to put law and custom above their personal whims or partisan ideology.  Hamilton and Madison put too much faith in the constitutional apparatus, which divided power horizontally into competing branches,  The wiser Jefferson understood that it was more important to divide power vertically between the central government and the states.  Since the 1930's, however, the leaders of both parties have done their worst to eliminate the rights of the states and to turn the three branches of the national government into one vast apparatus of preeminent power.  Schumer's intemperate outburst, as trivial as it may seem at first, gives only a hint of what they have already achieved.

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

7 Responses

  1. Harry Colin says:

    Upchuck Schumer is the fountainhead of the obscene cult that hates real America and indeed all of historic Christendom.

  2. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    There is no responsible and informed citizenry anywhere in this country. The states exercise their own tyranny at every opportunity.

  3. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Yes, that was one of the objects all along, though I often wonder if even the leaders of this drive were more than dimly aware of what they were doing. It remains true, that the smaller and more localized the decision-making apparatus are–a small town’s council, for example, or a neighborhood association–the greater the chance of making some impact. I have an old friend who had one of the few older and historic houses in this county. It had been constructed as a postal station about 1850 or earlier, and he, a talented craftsman as well as an artist, had lovingly restored it, brick by brick, stair by stair. Then he found out that a group of developers wanted to run an expressway right through his house to connect up shopping centers and suburban tracts. Small town government being what it is–namely, government–he got nowhere, because money had been spread around. So, this generally indolent and unfocussed artist ran for mayor, got elected, and saved his home. He would have had a far harder time in Rockford, and Chicago would have been impossible.

  4. James D. says:

    The grandfather of a friend of mine had a small farm, which had been in his family for 200 years. The DOT wanted to build an interchange, so they took the farm, knocked down the house and barn, etc. The grandfather tried to fight it in court, ended up working himself into a lather over it, and had a heart attack. In the 11th hour, the DOT changed their plans. As it ended up, they didn’t need the farm, but took it anyway. The piece of land now sits on the side of the highway as a field of grass.

  5. Vince Cornell says:

    @ James D. – that’s enough to work me into a lather! The frustrating part is that stupidity is practiced far and wide with no consequences. If, when some official stole someone’s house, he had to suddenly be cautious about his own home and family, avoiding dark alleys and the like, or if a judge rules over some gross injustice that judge then had to tiptoe cautiously, keenly aware that an injustice was going to be done to him soon . . . . if consequences to bad decisions returned people might actually be more hesitant to make self-righteous, preening, self-serving, and utterly immoral decisions. I’m not a vigilante, nor do I condone vigilantism . . . but I can understand where it comes from, for sure. I think that’s one of the worst consequences of the government reserving all violence to itself – it prevents any attempt to legitimately work out solutions to problems on the local level. In the world of Ransom Stoddard vs. Tom Doniphon, I side with Doniphon.

  6. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    Do you really own your property if the government can tax it and confiscate it if you fail to pay the tax?
    I once made an error in writing the check to pay my property tax (several thousands of dollars) and was later notified that my house and lot were going to be sold at public auction if I did not pay the $400.00 shortfall.

  7. Josh Doggrell says:

    You are correct. The real threat of a judicial oligarchy (which we have) is not so much to the other branches, but to the States and to the people.