terry.JPGYou decide:  horror movie poster or dog whistle call to action from Randall Terry to every nutball with access to God only knows what.

Just take a look at the poster to the left of Terry’s "Anti-Sotomayor Tour" and tell me there isn’t an irresponsible undercurrent of violent thought running through it.

I want to amplify what Kyle at Right Wing Watch said about this:  the right has gotten no traction on Sotomayor thus far.  Which means what to them?  Paltry fundraising numbers.

As Kyle points out, that doesn’t stop Randall Terry. No siree. For he of the "promote myself at any cost" mentality goes all out with this:

Randall Terry, for one, isn’t going to let this slow him down and so he is taking his "Defeat Sotomayor" effort on the road for a twelve city tour which is scheduled to culminate in Washington DC just as the hearings are getting under way (the photo below comes from this accompanying flyer [PDF and graphic content] proclaiming "To refuse to filibuster is to bow in abject obedience to the Angel of Death"). . .

I bring this to the public’s attention not to give Terry more publicity but because, frankly, I think the US Marshall’s Service ought to have a long talk with him.

As a sitting federal judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Sotomayor is entitled to protection from the US Marshalls, who take threats to judge security very, very seriously.

Especially since threats against judges have been mushrooming exponentially since the right wing decided to make judges targets of ire in so much of their public political discourse. And worse.

That this has been a long-term strategy for PR points with the rabid GOP base has not gone unnoticed. But it makes for a helluva lot of work for US Marshalls who are charged with protecting federal judges across the country. In fact, they just opened a new facility in Virginia to track threats nationwide it’s gotten so pronounced.

And for local sheriffs departments and state troopers who have to protect state judges from rampant lunacy and threats? Those folks are already overworked and underbudgeted as it is.

And yet, here comes Randall Terry tromping around and stirring up the multitudes of his unstable flock with a call from the Angel of Death.  Tell me that doesn’t say "big threat" in neon letters to you after the murder of Dr. Tiller.

I’m sure folks here remember Judge Reggie Walton from the Libby case. He had this to say in a recent interview about threats and the source thereof:

But Walton has his own theory on why the volume of threats has increased. "I think the unfortunate reality is our society has become so partisan … that when you have hot-button issues, people take it to the extreme."

He places some of the blame on talk show hosts. "The type of vicious attacks sometimes that you see coming from certain players in the media, I think contributes to the problem."

When asked what can be done about the situation, Walton responds: "It will take societal change, I think," and heaves a deep sigh.

For the record, most states have laws on the books which make it a felony to threaten a judge or other public officials in a way that is designed to prevent them from doing their duties or any number of other threatening behaviors. And federal law prohibits it as well (18 U.S.C. 115 and 18 U.S.C. 119).

Which is exactly what I see Randall Terry — who makes a point of a stop in front of the clinic that Dr. Tiller used to work at before he was brutally murdered in his own church during a Sunday service — doing with this tour. If Terry won’t learn any lessons about civic responsibility to not incite violence, directly or indirectly, the US Marshall’s Service might just have to help him learn that lesson through enforcement of the rule of law.

Maybe the name Hal Turner will ring a bell with Terry?

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

47 Comments