Governance: Notes on Bullying as a Tactic

Glenn Reynolds:

I’m not talking so much about the opinion itself. I’m talking about the Supreme Court majority’s demonstration that it will do what it thinks is right despite unprecedented pressure from the media, from Democrats in Congress, from “activist” groups and even from angry mobs and attempted assassins who show up at their homes.

This is a big deal. When, as reported by Jan Crawford, a coordinated bullying campaign flipped Chief Justice John Roberts’ position in NFIB v. Sebelius, the ObamaCare case from 2012, many observers, especially on the right, lost faith in the court’s independence. And the perception that the court could be bullied, naturally, was a guarantee that people would try bullying it again.

And they did, in spades. Activist groups sent mobs to protest at the homes of justices expected to vote to overturn Roe, even though that sort of pressure on federal judges is a crime. (Unsurprisingly, Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice appears to have done nothing.) In an unprecedented breach of confidentiality, an insider at the court — we still don’t know who, for some reason — leaked a draft opinion that became a rallying point for Democrats and the left.