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A commentator on a blog that regularly features harsh criticism of President Trump is warning that a threat from Democratic senators to the U.S. Supreme Court is damaging the nation’s judiciary and the outcome likely won’t be good.

The warning of Austin Sarat, who teaches at Amherst College, was posted on the Verdict blog of Justia, a company that provides referral services for lawyers.

“The senators may be right to conclude that ‘The Supreme Court is not well,'” he wrote. “But whether or not they prevail in convincing the court to dismiss the New York City gun case, their accusations further damage the court’s already shaky hold on the public’s respect. Without that respect, courts lose one of their key tools for convincing a recalcitrant president or Congress to comply even when they take exception to judicial rulings.”

The dispute is over a brief submitted to the justices by several Democratic senators. The case involves a New York gun law that was challenged and eventually withdrawn by the city. The court case still is pending and some fear the court could establish a nationwide precedent they may not like.

Already, Harvard professor Laurence Tribe has scolded the senators for threatening the justices.

The senators’ brief said the court is not well, and unless it heals itself they may have to resort to stacking the court with more justices who are amenable to the Democrats’ ideology.

Under a headline “The United States won’t be better for it,” Sarat wrote: “In a friend of the court brief filed last week with the Supreme Court, five Democratic senators, including one presidential candidate, (Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Richard Durbin of Illinois, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York) made similar arguments about the bias and partisanship of the court’s conservative justices.

“Their brief put aside the usual legal niceties to offer blunt criticisms of those justices,” he wrote.

“Their brief paints a picture of a dark conspiracy involving conservative groups operating in the shadows as well as the Federalist Society and the National Rifle Association. Together, the senators allege, these groups want to reap the rewards of a campaign mounted, following the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, to put another pro-gun justice on the court.”

He said: “Accompanying their conspiratorial narrative, the senators’ strident broadside blames ‘bare partisan majorities’ for wreaking havoc in ‘areas like voting rights, partisan gerrymandering, dark money, union power, regulation of pollution, corporate liability, and access to federal court, particularly regarding civil rights and discrimination in the workplace.'”

The brief attacks the conservative members of the court, he said.

But he cited a poll that showed 59 percent of Americans now believe there’s too much political influence on the the court.

He endorsed a warning from the Boston Bar Association that “the tenor and frequency of malign attacks on judges – and, indeed the judiciary as an institution, as well as the process for judicial selection and appointment – have risen to a point that the climate around judicial rulings and other decisions may be undermining public faith in the judiciary.”

Tribe said: “I agree the Court should drop this case as moot and am usually a fan of @SenWhitehouse but I think this brief was inappropriately — and stupidly— threatening. If anything is calculated to get the Court’s back up, it’s a brief like this. Really bad move.”

The senators said: “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.’ Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.”

WND reported Washington watchdog Judicial Watch reacted to the brief by submitting a complaint with the bar association of Rhode Island because Whitehouse filed the brief while on inactive status as a lawyer.

Along with Whitehouse being on inactive status, Judicial Watch said the brief “was unbecoming of the legal profession as it is nothing more than an attack on the federal judiciary and an open threat to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, earlier told his Democratic colleagues in the Senate to quit bullying the justices on the Supreme Court.


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