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Justice Ginsburg on receiving death threats from The Base

“Okay commandoes, here is your first patriotic assignment … an easy one. Supreme Court Justices Ginsburg and O’Connor have publicly stated that they use (foreign) laws and rulings to decide how to rule on American cases. This is a huge threat to our Republic and Constitutional freedom. … If you are what you say you are, and NOT armchair patriots, then those two justices will not live another week.”

— threat to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on a winger message board

Try as they might to divorce themselves from threats like these, mainstream Republican political figures have been leading the way in suggesting violence as a means of intimidating judges around the country, including those sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court.

With issues like gay marriage and reproductive rights pushing the cultural hot buttons of the winger set, an alarming number of threats are causing sitting justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg to publicly speak out. (365gay):

Ginsburg revealed in a speech in South Africa that she and O’Connor were threatened a year ago by someone who called on the Internet for the immediate “patriotic” killing of the justices. Security concerns among judges have been growing.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter joked earlier this year that Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned. Over the past few months O’Connor has complained that criticism, mainly by Republicans, has threatened judicial independence to deal with difficult issues like gay marriage.

Worry is not limited to the Supreme Court. Three quarters of the nation’s 2,200 federal judges have asked for government-paid home security systems, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said this week.

Ginsburg said the Web threat was apparently prompted by legislation in Congress, filed by Republicans, that would bar judges from relying on foreign laws or court decisions.

It is disquieting that they have attracted sizable support. And one not-so-small concern – they fuel the irrational fringe,” she said in a speech posted online by the court earlier this month and first reported Wednesday by

Again, my friends, this is the Republican base, the folks courted by Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove, who are on speed dial to James Dobson of Focus on the Anus and Don Wildmon of the American Family Association. The suburban home of the Base is located, conveniently, in the filth-drenched environs of Freeperland.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

“Stay safe…resign today.”

“Sounds good to me.”

“Sniffle….she’s a victim….sob.”

“She probably dreamed up the whole thing…..while sleeping…on the bench.”

“Perhaps, just perhaps, they should wonder about this. Americans are normally fairly laid back about most things. I’m sure it couldn’t be that people see things as getting dangerously out of sync, a court that for some reason can over rule the executive and legislature. A court that seems to just make up law as it goes along. A court that is oblivious and impervious, or worse, to the effects of its decisions. None of this would make people start thinking the court is nothing more than a domestic enemy.”

“If she couldn’t handle being a SCJ should would resign. If she thinks she has it bad, she should run for President.”

“Ginsburg has devoted her life to breaking down the traditional protections of good manners, standards of what is permissible to say and what is not, and now she’s shocked! shocked! that she’s reaping the consequences of her actions. Not that she’s capable of recogizing cause and effect, of course.”

“It comes with the job, I’m sure President Bush receives more threats than any other political figure but you don’t hear him whining. The courts deserve the criticism they get and in more principled times their lives would indeed be in danger if only from the threat of imprisonment.”

“She’s brain dead. Disconnect the feeding tube.”

“This harpy is not fit to be on any court. She goes to South Africa to spout her paranoid crap. Let them spend the money to protect her and her love of foreign law. Spit on her and her foreign law.”

“With the number of nut cases in our country, I’m not surprised there are threats against them. I think it’s a stretch to say most come from conservatives.”

“I doubt that anyone who would even think about such acts would actually write about it. I will have to conclude that the threats were made by somebody from their own agenda to stifle honest public dissent and dissatisfaction. There must have been a time in this country that the supreme court justices didn’t have to worry about these kind of threats in that they didn’t render any opinions that remotely deserved that kind of attention. Sounds like fear born of a guilty conscience to me.”

“[Over the past few months O’Connor has complained that criticism, mainly by Republicans, has threatened judicial independence to deal with difficult issues like gay marriage.]”

“I’m assuming she is also deeply concerned about the countless threats of violence against Republicans, especially President Bush, and how this Democratic Party encouraged hatred undermines our political process. /sarcasm/”

“In the beginning of the article they actual state that the death threats were “apparently” spurred on by Republicans!!!!! That is truly outrageous.”

“I hope nobody here at Free Republic would be involved in any such unseemly threats”

“Such threats are pulled whenever brought to our attention, and those who make a habit of them are evicted.”

“Ginsburg is right. Some of the rhetoric used against allegedly “activist judges” has been over the top.”

“Turns out they were not directly threatened at all. Typical distortion and exaggeration from the drama queens on the REAL “irrational fringe” which REALLY threatens the court. Ruth Buzzi is a far more dangerous threat to do harm against America than some wacko blogger.”

John @ Americablog points out a list of GOP-endorsed hate that inspires violence. It’s the usual right-wing, allegedly God-fearing suspects who lay the groundwork for their minions to act out with threats while those in the suits keep their hands clean.


Unclaimed Territory’s Glenn Greenwald posts on the increasing flailing, wailing and now, defensive threats of the Bushies that are fueling the extremists as Dear Leader’s poll numbers go through the floor and the possibility of losing their death grip on power seems near.

There is a palpable increase in the level of extremism and desperation among Bush followers as the Commander in Chief’s approval ratings fall lower and lower and as the views which Americans have of both him and his party become more hostile. This is going to be a significant dynamic — as their power slips further and further away, Bush followers are going to resort to increasingly radical and rage-fueled measures to keep it.

…Impeaching disobedient federal judges is definitely something that is on the minds of Bush followers. At the confirmation hearings of Sam Alito, Sen. Coburn questioned Alito on whether he thought a judge who referenced foreign law in a judicial opinion could be removed from office under the constitutional “good behavior” clause. Coburn said: “I very strongly and adamantly feel that it [citing foreign law in a judicial opinion] violates the good behavior, which is mentioned as part of the qualifications and the maintenance of that position.”

If they cannot control this country, then they must destroy it from within before they lose power. Glenn:

…Reporters should be thrown into prison. Citizens should be removed from political events for wearing political t-shirts. The President has the right to break the law for our own good. Politicians who criticize the Administration are traitors and should be imprisoned, or worse. And Supreme Court Justices should be impeached — or worse. Does any of that sound like America to you?

And, oh – it’s vital that we fight The Terrorists so that we don’t lose our freedoms. And the principal objective our foreign policy is to run around teaching other countries how to be democratic and free.

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Oh yeah. Last Throes. Not.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding