House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is actively trying to undermine the constitutional system. She has threatened the Supreme Court that it will become illegitimate if it does not rule in line with her policy preferences.
This is a bad thing for the speaker of the House to do, and it wasn’t a slip of the tongue. In a prepared statement, she said, “The constitutional right to an abortion has been repeatedly affirmed, and any failure to fully strike down the Mississippi ban would seriously erode the legitimacy of the Court.”
Pelosi is saying that the court needs to strike down democratically passed laws that Pelosi doesn’t like. She makes this argument although countless pro-choice legal scholars have said it was a bad decision. Ruth Bader Ginsburg called it a “heavy-handed judicial intervention.” Harry Blackmun's clerk Edward Lazarus wrote, “As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible.”
Pelosi is not merely some liberal abortion defender. She is the speaker of the House and thus the most powerful legislator in America. She is also a leader of the party that controls all three elected bodies in the federal government. Given her position of power, the comments need to be interpreted as a threat by the Democratic Party to attack the Supreme Court if it rules “wrong.”
Pelosi’s partner in legislating, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, was more explicit in threatening the Supreme Court and its justices. Schumer said last year, “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.”
Why do leading Democrats threaten the Supreme Court in such an unseemly manner, especially when they are pretending to be the defenders of American constitutional democracy?
Because they suspect it works — and they know they can get away with it because the major media outlets are on their side. Remember how every liberal threatened the court during Obamacare? “Court’s legitimacy at stake on ACA” was one headline. “Roberts court on trial” was another.
Democrats won the Obamacare case in 2012, possibly because they successfully scared Chief Justice John Roberts.
God willing, their threats won’t move Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney-Barrett, or Neil Gorsuch. And hopefully, Pelosi and Schumer will pay the price for their reckless talk.