After angry public reaction to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft opinion on the reversal of Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas said: “We are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with outcomes we don’t like. We cannot be an institution that can be bullied into giving you the results you want. The events of earlier this week are a symptom of that.”
The type of events Thomas referred to include pro-abortion activists blocking church entrances and protesting at the homes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Alito.
It is difficult to determine when this generation of left-wing Americans decided to attack rather than persuade those who disagree. But a turning point occurred when, for the first time in history, the Senate rejected a Supreme Court nominee, not because of ethics or lack of character, but because Democrats opposed his judicial philosophy.
President Ronald Reagan nominated to the US Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Judge Robert Bork, who represented, for Democrats like Senator Ted Kennedy, a threat to move the Supreme Court to the right on issues such as abortion and affirmative action. Kennedy brutally attacked.
On the Senate floor, Kennedy described “Robert Bork’s America” as “a land where women would be forced to have abortions in an alley, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, dishonest police could tear down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could If not taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the government, and the doors of federal courts would be slammed on the fingers of millions of citizens ”.
Two years ago, at an abortion rights rally outside the Supreme Court, Sen. Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., yelled, “I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have unleashed the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go ahead with these horrible decisions.” Following this, Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement: “Justices know that criticism comes with the territory. But threatening statements of this kind from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, but also dangerous.”
Two years earlier, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., at a rally, called for public harassment of members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet. Waters shouted: “If you see someone from that cabinet (Trump) in a restaurant, in a department store, in a gas station, you go out and create a crowd and push them, and tell them that they are no longer welcome, in nowhere.
President Joe Biden, who once backed an amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade recently criticized his possible recall: “What are the next things that are going to be attacked? Because this MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that has ever existed in the history of the United States, in the recent history of the United States.”
Even the executive editor of The New York Times, Dean Baquet, criticized the intolerance of the supposedly tolerant left. In 2017, Baquet said: “I don’t understand how one can really have an intellectual discourse in this country if one cannot have the opportunity to read thoughtful people with whom one disagrees. We are at a time in the country where I think, you know, the left should also do some soul-searching, right? … We don’t want to hear anything, we’ve been saying this about the right for a long time … but the left, as a rule, doesn’t want to hear thoughtful disagreement.”
I am pro-life. I oppose abortion. I live in California, where voters opposed abortion restriction proposals for parental notification and waiting periods. As a federalist who believes that issues like abortion are left to the states, I see my role as a citizen, expert, and person of faith to persuade, not threaten. There was a time when people on the left felt that way too.
Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host.