Kavanaugh Stalker Charged with Attempted Murder

A man who claims he was going to kill the Supreme Court Justice is in jail.

WaPo (“Man with gun is arrested near Brett Kavanaugh’s home, officials say“):

A man with a gun and a knife was detained by police early Wednesday near the Maryland home of Brett M. Kavanaugh after making threats against the Supreme Court justice, according to local and federal officials.

Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, Calif., was charged with attempted murder of a Supreme Court justice after he called authorities and said he was having suicidal thoughts and wanted to kill a specific justice, according to federal prosecutors.

Roske was “upset” by the leaked draft of an opinion by the Supreme Court signaling that it is positioned to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 49-year-old decision that guarantees a person’s constitutional right to abortion, as well as the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Tex., according to an affidavit filed Wednesdayin federal court.

“Roske stated that he began thinking about how to give his life a purpose and decided that he would kill the Supreme Court Justice …,” the affidavit said, adding that he allegedly planned to break into the justice’s home to kill him as well as himself.

The affidavit does not identify which justice Roske was threatening, but Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said in a statement that a man was arrested near Kavanaugh’s residence after making “threats against Justice Kavanaugh.” Efforts to reach Roske’s family were unsuccessful.

CNN (“Armed man arrested near Brett Kavanaugh’s home charged with attempting to murder a US judge“) adds:

The man, Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, California, had called emergency authorities saying he was having suicidal thoughts and had a firearm in his suitcase, leading to his arrest, according to the criminal complaint.

[…]

On Wednesday morning, Roske was carrying a suitcase and backpack filled with a tactical knife, a Glock 17 pistol, two magazines, ammunition, pepper spray and zip ties, the FBI said.

Roske also had on hand a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crowbar, pistol light and duct tape, the affidavit said.

Roske appeared in a Greenbelt, Maryland, federal court Wednesday and agreed to remain in jail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 22.

Clearly, Roske had the means of killing Kavanaugh. The fact that he called authorities ahead of time and didn’t engage in a gunfight with police, despite possessing a Glock and plenty of ammunition, does lead to questions about how serious he was about an assassination attempt. And, as is often the case in these situations, there are multiple pointers to mental illness.

Regardless, the thought that government officials need protection in their homes from those who disagree with their policy judgments is worrisome.

The White House says President Joe Biden condemns the actions of the armed individual arrested outside Kavanaugh’s home. White House spokesman Andrew Bates told CNN “President Biden condemns the actions of this individual in the strongest terms, and is grateful to law enforcement for quickly taking him into custody.”

“As the President has consistently made clear, public officials — including judges — must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety or that of their families. And any violence, threats of violence, or attempts to intimidate justices have no place in our society. He has said that himself, and his spokespeople have been forceful about this from the podium.”

Bates noted that Biden “supports legislation to fund increased security for the court and judges.”

Honestly, especially with regard to the abortion issue, I’m a little surprised that this hasn’t become a thing before now. I would have predicted it coming from the anti-abortion side, which has often employed violence and intimidation against abortion providers and their clients. But with Roe apparently about to end, throwing the issue back to the states, it’s now the abortion rights side that’s up in arms.

There has been a rise in threats against the court amid the national abortion rights debate and protests that have taken place across the US. The Department of Homeland Security issued a memo last month warning law enforcement that there are potential threats to members of the Supreme Court after a draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked.

The memo also said Supreme Court police have noticed a major uptick in social media threats of violence, with some currently under investigation. Some of those threats have been directed at the justices and the court building, which is now surrounded by fencing

[…]

The court did not respond to a question if Kavanaugh was at the building Wednesday morning. The building has been closed to the public since March 2020, and justices no longer announce their opinions from the courtroom bench due to covid protocols.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday that “threats of violence and actual violence against” Supreme Court justices “strike at the heart of our democracy and we will do everything we can to prevent them and to hold people who do them accountable.” “This kind of behavior is obviously behavior that we will not tolerate,” Garland told reporters. “Threats of violence and actual violence against the justices of course strike at the heart of our democracy and we will do everything we can to prevent them and to hold people who do them accountable.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement that there has been “heightened security” at the homes of justices since last month. “I call on leaders in both parties in Washington to strongly condemn these actions in no uncertain terms. It is vital to our constitutional system that the justices be able to carry out their duties without fear of violence against them and their families,” said Hogan, a Republican. “We will continue to partner with both federal and local law enforcement officials to help ensure these residential areas are secure,” Hogan said.

The Volokh Conspiracy’s Josh Blackman thinks the Court should speed up its announcement:

Every day that goes by, and Dobbs remains undecided, is a day that the lives of the Justices and their families are at risk. Immediately after the leak, I wrote that the Court should issue a one-sentence per curiam opinion, with a reasoned decision to follow–follow the path of Ex Parte Quirin. Lurking in the back of mind was the risk that a Justice could be assassinated. Now, that risk looks so much more real.

Why, then, has the Court not issued a decision in Dobbs yet? We know the majority opinion was finished in February. Yet, at least in May, the Chief Justice still had not circulated his much-vaunted concurrence. My cynical take was that “circulating the draft opinion at the latest possible juncture creates chaos, and makes it more likely that things can move around without sufficient deliberation.”

Or maybe there is a less cynical, but equally dangerous explanation. Shortly after the leak of the Dobbs opinion, Chief Justice Roberts proclaimed, “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.” Perhaps Roberts thinks that by deviating from the normal course, the Court would be sending a signal that the leak did affect the Court’s business. If so, Roberts continues to live in a different reality than the rest of us. Justice Kavanaugh nearly faced an assassination attempt. A group bearing the name of Ruth Bader Ginsburg advertises nightly protests outside of his home. Similar protests are scheduled outside of the homes of other Justices. Their lives have been turned upside down. All of the other Justices are at similar risk. The way to ensure that the Court “will not be affected in any way” is to decide a case as soon as it is ready, and remove the threat that someone will try to deprive the majority of the fifth vote.

Why is there a delay? So Roberts can take yet another ill-fated attempt to pick off one or two votes? A real leader would have put aside his quixotical quest for balance. Every day that passes, as the Chief haggles over votes, a target remains on the backs of his colleagues.

The Dobbs 5 should immediately issue an unsigned per curiam order, with an opinion to follow, even over the Chief Justice’s objection. The Justices should send a clear and unequivocal message that they will not be intimidated by these acts of violence.

While his premise, that the leaked memo increased the level of tension around the issue and it will remain high until the decision is final, is correct, I disagree that the Court should therefore rush its work. Roberts is right: carrying on normal order is essential under the circumstances. I don’t think there are any votes up for grabs here and think the leak and ensuing threats has likely hardened the resolve of conservative Justices. But, to the extent there may be a Justice or two on the fence, it’s absolutely essential to keep working the opinion as usual. It will certainly be the most important ruling of the term.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Supreme Court, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. SKI says:

    This isn’t just about the fact that the Court is about to remove bodily autonomy from millions. It is about the reality, as aptly described by Steven repeatedly, that this Court and this country is profoundly undemocratic. Yes, this man has definite mental health challenges but given that there isn’t an ability to turn to the ballot boxes, it is completely understandable why some will believe they need to turn to the ammunition boxes.

    I don’t think there are any votes up for grabs here and think the leak and ensuing threats has likely hardened the resolve of conservative Justices.

    Note also that the whispers *inside* the Beltway all suggest the initial leaks were from the conservative side to accomplish exactly this. And keep pointing to Ginny Thomas as involved. No idea is this is true but that is what is making the rounds.

    10
  2. James Joyner says:

    @SKI:

    given that there isn’t an ability to turn to the ballot boxes, it is completely understandable why some will believe they need to turn to the ammunition boxes.

    While I agree wholeheartedly that the system is unrepresentative, this really isn’t an instance of that. The Roe court overturned the law of the democratically-elected representatives of the people of Connecticut and, presuming the leaked opinion stands, this court would restore the ability of state legislatures to enact laws supported by the people of individual states.

    Note also that the whispers *inside* the Beltway all suggest the initial leaks were from the conservative side to accomplish exactly this. And keep pointing to Ginny Thomas as involved. No idea is this is true but that is what is making the rounds.

    I don’t know that we’ll ever know. But given that there are 6 Republican-appointed Justices and 3 Democrat-appointed Justices; I’d put the odds at 2 to 1 that it’s one of the former.

    3
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: But given that there are 6 Republican-appointed Justices and 3 Democrat-appointed Justices; I’d put the odds at 2 to 1 that it’s one of the former.

    Thanx for the chuckle, James. I can use one this AM.

    3
  4. @James Joyner:

    The Roe court overturned the law of the democratically-elected representatives of the people of Connecticut and, presuming the leaked opinion stands, this court would restore the ability of state legislatures to enact laws supported by the people of individual states.

    Sure, but the court that overturned the CT law did not have a majority (or, indeed, any member) appointed by presidents who came to office without majority support. Likewise, those Justices were confirmed by Senators representing a majority of the population.

    You are conflating the un-democratic nature of SCOTUS rulings, which is inherent to the body, with the un-democratic and un-representative way the current court was constructed.

    I would argue that the latter makes the former even more un-democratic.

    In theory, going back to the Federalist Papers (39, I think) the idea is that there is some connection back to the people via the appointment and confirmation process. But that process, flawed as it is as a general matter, is made all the worse by EC distortions and the evolution of Senate (lack of) representation.

    It is simply too simplistic to see this as returning the matter to the state, in my view.

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  5. SKI says:

    @James Joyner:

    While I agree wholeheartedly that the system is unrepresentative, this really isn’t an instance of that. The Roe court overturned the law of the democratically-elected representatives of the people of Connecticut and, presuming the leaked opinion stands, this court would restore the ability of state legislatures to enact laws supported by the people of individual states.

    Have you not noticed how gerrymandered state legislatures are?

    More to the point, throwing it to the state legislatures means that an individuals’ rights are dependent on the whim of the legislature. That their bodily autonomy and personal choices in health care, marriage, sex, etc. are not protected. That you don’t seem to realize what a big deal that is likely is a result of your privilege but for those who aren’t white Christian cis men, let me assure you it is a big freaking deal.

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  6. gVOR08 says:

    We start televised hearings tonight on the Republican attempt, including violence, to overturn an election. Over the years anti-abortion people have run near constant demonstrations, bombed and burned numerous facilities, and murdered people. A couple dozen people died from well armed crazy individuals attacking a school and a grocery store to the utter indifference of the entire Republican Party. And pretend, but heavily armed, militias are supporting GOPs. So by all means, let’s freak out over one crazy person who didn’t actually attack a GOP. Bothsides.

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  7. James Joyner says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Right. But I see it as two separate issues.

    By all rights, the Supreme Court should be majority Democratic appointees given the results of the last seven elections. There’s no question that George H.W. Bush had the right to appoint Thomas, the most senior justice. I think the same is true of George W. Bush and Roberts and Alito, in that he won the popular vote in the 2004 election and appointed both in his second term. (Although we both agree that it’s more likely than not that, had Gore prevailed in 2000, Bush would have been unlikely to win in 2004.) Gorsuch is double-damned, in that Merrick Garland should have had that seat and Trump lost by 2 million votes. And Kavanaugh and Barrett both have that issue and others.

    But that’s a separate issue from the 2022 SCOTUS overturning a Constitutional right created out of whole cloth by the 1973 SCOTUS, and thus returning the matter to the political arena. While there are certainly representativeness issues in the state legislatures and the primary processes that give us general election candidates, it’s of a different piece than the Federal issue.

  8. James Joyner says:

    @SKI: So, three things.

    1. I agree that this is a big deal. While I think Roe was wrongly decided, I think it should be considered settled precedent at this point. Overturning rights that have been relied on for half a century is just bad public policy.

    2. But, because abortion was court-created right, I don’t find it shocking that a subsequent court would come to a different view.

    3. Regardless, the notion that judges and other public officials should be assassinated because people are frustrated with the system is just outrageous.

    3
  9. drj says:

    @James Joyner:

    But that’s a separate issue from the 2022 SCOTUS overturning a Constitutional right created out of whole cloth by the 1973 SCOTUS

    9th Amendment. How many times does this need to be said?

    As to the threat to Kavanaugh, if one’s legal philosophy boils down to “because I can, that’s why,” there is going to be reaction. A “live by the sword, die by the sword” kind of thing, IMO.

    The social contract cuts both ways. Those bent on introducing minority rule should be more mindful of this. And if not… well, that’s on them.

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  10. Jon says:

    @drj:

    As to the threat to Kavanaugh, if one’s legal philosophy boils down to “because I can, that’s why,” there is going to be reaction. A “live by the sword, die by the sword” kind of thing, IMO.

    It is also a bit rich to see the party who constantly insists that the 2nd amendment exists to overthrow tyranny, not for hunting, get all miffed about somebody who may have taken that message to heart (but only when it targets one of them).

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  11. SKI says:

    @James Joyner:

    1. I agree that this is a big deal. While I think Roe was wrongly decided, I think it should be considered settled precedent at this point. Overturning rights that have been relied on for half a century is just bad public policy.

    2. But, because abortion was court-created right, I don’t find it shocking that a subsequent court would come to a different view.

    As an attorney and human who is part of a minority group, I strongly disagree that the right to bodily autonomy is something just made up in 1973. It finds precedent in pre-America English common law. Whether it is Griswold, Roe, Sullivan or any other “right to privacy” opinion, the fundamental building block is that individuals should be able to control what they do with their own body.

    That society didn’t always live up to that principal doesn’t mean that the principal is newly created or should be disregarded – despite Alito’s results-oriented gibberish.

    3. Regardless, the notion that judges and other public officials should be assassinated because people are frustrated with the system is just outrageous.

    No, it isn’t outrageous. It may be disturbing and upsetting but history tells us that is exactly what will happen when alternatives are removed.

    The Republicans in specific, and the country in general, is flirting with disaster. Gutting voting rights, doubling down on undemocratic systems, stripping rights from individuals, etc.

    When the GOP makes it explicit that they believe in the Conservatism proposition that there must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect, no one should be surprised when the out-groups don’t go quietly.

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  12. KM says:

    Because I’m feeling snarky & contrarian this morning: is this not what 2A proponents have been claiming the whole point of owning guns is? To be able to rise up against government tyranny when they come for our rights? They don’t want any restrictions on who can own and what they can buy so this seems like the logical end scenario of all their assertions.

    In the world liberals ask for, this never would have happened since the man would have been receiving treatment for his illness, never had access to dangerous weapons and no rationale to bother anyone in SCOTUS. In the world conservatives insist we all live in, this is just something we need to live with like mass shootings in schools in grocery stores.

    Kavanaugh needs to make sure to harden his home and only have one door to be fine, just like the rest of us. He’ll be fine and certainly doesn’t need specific legislation for his protection that needs to be rushed through Congress. If anything, it can be linked to proposed legislation to protect the rest of us as I’m *sure* it will pass quickly and without compromise to weaken it. After all, why would he want 2A limited just for his own safety! He’s a conservatives, part of the party that just listened to little children’s horrible testimonies with no intention of raising age rates to buy guns. Whatever they choose to pass (or not) will be fine for him as it will be for us. 2A trumps all!

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  13. Fortunato says:

    More false equivalency. More vacuous ‘both siderism’.

    From CNN’s reporting, cited above-

    There has been a rise in threats against the court amid the national abortion rights debate and protests that have taken place across the US.

    “A rise in threats” from the left, and pro choice activists from what… 4 per week to 11 per week?
    A rise from one troubled kid’s online threat to pack up a glock and zip ties and head to a toney suburb of D.C.; to one troubled kid actually travelling to a toney suburb of D.C. with a glock and zip ties, before choosing to call police and turn himself in, fearing he would commit suicide.

    Maybe someone recalls the actual number of death threats Obama used to get in a week.. was it 4,000.., 7,000.. 11,000?
    Or maybe the number of threats against AOC, Ilhan Omar, Nancy Pelosi, HRC, Brad Raffensberger, or here:
    A REUTERS SPECIAL REPORT – Trump-inspired death threats are terrorizing election workers.

    Where have Mitch McConnell, and Fox ‘News’ and the party of Grifting Obtuse People been throughout this decades long cacophony of violence?

    Maybe Kavanaugh should take the advise of the spineless, special interest owned lawmakers who share his party affiliation. Maybe he should simply arm all of his family members, and the maid, and the governess and then buy a new bullet-proof door that will be the only entrance and exit to the home. Harden his home and his family. Cause.. more guns = good. Maybe some razor wire.
    Or better yet, employ his old pals P.J., and Squi, and Handsy Hank, and Gang-Bang Greg to guard the his home. They’re likely all in retirement now and looking for an activity to fill their days. Surely he’ll trust his old pals with the safety of his family and children.
    And the government will no doubt pick up the tab.

    Sorry, I find it really hard to find my ‘give a f–‘ cup this morning.

    13
  14. Jen says:

    Honestly, especially with regard to the abortion issue, I’m a little surprised that this hasn’t become a thing before now.

    The Pelican Brief was published in 1992, and part of the plot line there was essentially surprise that the Court had remained out of the realm of political attacks/assassination attempts. My guess is that it was–in part–due to the relative anonymity of justices prior to the internet era. People just haven’t focused on the Court much until recently, and I still think most average Americans would be hard-pressed to name three sitting justices, let alone name all nine.

    (I recall seeing Justice Souter at the Manchester airport a number of years ago. Nobody seemed to recognize him at all, despite at least one fairly obvious (to me at least) bodyguard.)

  15. Kathy says:

    @Jon:
    @KM:

    The second amendment is meant to be used to protect against a Democratic tyranny, not a Republican one.

    11
  16. @James Joyner: I just don’t think you can separate all of that out. The linkages, both practical and theoretical, are too great.

    1
  17. @James Joyner:

    because abortion was court-created right,

    I think you lean too heavily into this. On the one hand, I don’t necessarily disagree with you. But on the other, the reality is that the Constitution is whatever the Court says it is, so the notion that there is one basket with “non-court-created rights” and another with “court-created rights” is less clear than I think you make it out to be.

    Even the rights in the BoR are clearly subject to the way the Court interprets them to a degree that they might as well have created them, in terms of how much power they have over their meaning.

    16
  18. @James Joyner: Steven L. Taylor: Also: rights aren’t self-executing, so while I understand the categories you are delineating, the reality remains that all rights, to one degree or another, have to enforced by the government–if not “created” by it.

    And I think that @SKI raises some legitimate points about bodily autonomy as a general principle.

    6
  19. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner:

    The Roe court overturned the law of the democratically-elected representatives of the people of Connecticut

    Right. Because we look to the Supreme Court to protect the rights of the minority or the systemically dis-empowered from the majority. The idea that somehow it is a noble outcome of democracy that women should be force to bear children because that’s how an election turned out is no more valid than that people with dark skin should be forced to drink from separate fountains because of a similar election.

    Let’s remember what the shibboleth of “States Rights” is predominantly used for: perpetrating existing bigotry.

    14
  20. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Justice Boof and his family. But now is not the time to discuss policy; we should not be politicizing this terrible event.

    21
  21. James Joyner says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    the reality is that the Constitution is whatever the Court says it is, so the notion that there is one basket with “non-court-created rights” and another with “court-created rights” is less clear than I think you make it out to be.

    Even the rights in the BoR are clearly subject to the way the Court interprets them to a degree that they might as well have created them, in terms of how much power they have over their meaning.

    Sure. Rights expand and contract at the whim of the courts. The 4th Amendment has been contracted too much and the 2nd expanded to the point of absurdity in my view. Ultimately, that’s the nature of judging and working through committees. I think that’s different than simply declaring a new right but it’s within the same ambit. My narrow point, though, is that rights created in this way are naturally more subject to reinterpretation than ones directly listed in the Constitution or created by statute.

    1
  22. steve says:

    The judges should get just as much protection as did the abortion providers who have been shot, kidnapped, bombed, had acid thrown on them and killed.

    Steve

    13
  23. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @James Joyner:
    “…because abortion was court-created right…”
    The 14th Amendment guarantees personal liberty and restrictions upon state action…expressly prohibiting state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property.
    You should read it.
    If, indeed, personal liberty is a “court-created” right then the logical outcome is the re-institution of slavery. That will likely be preceded, perhaps as soon as the next SCOTUS Session, by the elimination of marriage equality. After that the “court-created” crowd will come for interracial marriage.

    6
  24. wr says:

    The entire Republican party has been cheerleading for political violence for years, from the armed attack on the capitol to overturn an election to death threats phoned in to school boards for acknowledging the fact that history exists. And somehow it never occurred to any of these wise people that if the right wing becomes a massive, violent mob it might occur to some on the left to become violent as well?

    12
  25. KM says:

    While his premise, that the leaked memo increased the level of tension around the issue and it will remain high until the decision is final, is correct

    Actually it demonstrates that they specifically wanted to hide it because they were aware of what they were unleashing upon society and wanted to get out of town first. Can you image the chaos and rage that would have occurred if they just dropped it one morning as “guess what, this is life for you now!”? Waking up to find out you’re a second class citizen with less rights then you had the night before with no warning? They KNEW what they wrought and wanted to be in a safe location to ride it out.

    Why are we supposed to have pity for people who deliberately started an inferno but are mad they got caught before drop the match and run? Why should we care about “early tension” when there was gonna be tension anyways unless the argument is we shouldn’t be upsetting our overlords when they’re handing down world-changing decrees? How dare we know early enough to hold them accountable, make them uncomfortable or even make them realize their safety is not assured like the rest of America even in someplace like their home? World’s smallest violin has a waiting list a few years long and thought & prayers have been out of stock for a while now. To paraphrase, SCOTUS has made their decision….. now let them live with it.

    4
  26. Fortunato says:

    A few moments ago in an appearance of Fox ‘News’ (where else) Tom Cotton, twice, referred to the guy who was arrested for threatening Kavanaugh as a “Democratic hitman”.
    Cotton declared he was arrested only moments before murdering Kavanaugh and his entire family.
    He then went on to say that “left wing street militia’s” publicly announced, on the internet (!!), that they were going to violate federal law by protesting outside of Kavanaugh’s residence.
    (h/t Aaron Rupar for for video clip)

    2
  27. Jen says:

    I think that’s different than simply declaring a new right but it’s within the same ambit.

    What is the functional difference between “declaring a new right” and the phrasing “shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”?

    Wouldn’t “other rights retained by the people” that are not specifically elucidated in the Constitution mean exactly “declaring a new right”? After all, privacy as a right isn’t exactly a new concept.

    2
  28. Stormy Dragon says:

    I think the big problem here is people trying to politicize this while the Kavanaugh family is still shaken up by the attack.

    Has Kavanaugh considered remodeling his home so that it only has one door or perhaps asking armed local veterans to hang out inside to look for trouble? After all, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

    While we’re all shocked by these incidents and want them to stop, before we rush into a poorly thought out law that might infringe on the rights of law-abiding Americans, we should try enforcing the existing laws instead.

    Kavanaugh’s family is certainly in my thoughts and prayers though.

    16
  29. Rick DeMent says:

    @James Joyner:

    “But that’s a separate issue from the 2022 SCOTUS overturning a Constitutional right created out of whole cloth by the 1973 SCOTUS”.

    From where I sit, this is nothing compared to creating a right under the constitution “out of thin air” for a blastocyst and or fetus. Seriously, I can thing of any number of SCOTUS decisions that make Roe V Wade seem like a model concurrence compared to excavating rights for some thing that was never contemplated by the founders. Even if they did, this is the same group who considered actual living people 3/5ths. I can’t imagine they would extend any rights to a blastocyst and or fetus, at lease not before the quickening.

    I want someone to explain to be how a blastocyst or fetus was given the status of a person under the constitution and how that determination was arrived at without using a religious justification.

    6
  30. SKI says:

    @JustAGirl:

    You do know that protesting outside a Supreme Court Justice’s home actually IS illegal?

    Inaccurate. See the First Amendment.
    Congress shall make no law … abridging … the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    I don’t know what troll factory you crawled out from but this site isn’t kind towards bomb-throwers who don’t have a good grasp on reality.

    7
  31. MarkedMan says:

    @JustAGirl:

    The Supreme Court is not supposed to “protect the rights of the minority” or anything of the sort

    Oh, come on. Of course the court protects everyone’s rights. But whose rights more often need protecting. How often does a state or local government agency pass laws designed to single out and discriminate against heterosexuals or Christians? And how often do they try to dictate who homosexuals can and cannot marry, or where people with dark skin can go to the bathroom or go to school.

    Of course the court has to protect everyone’s rights but you know and I know and everyone else knows whose rights are most likely to be encroached. So get out of here with your faux clever gotchas.

    3
  32. MarkedMan says:

    @JustAGirl:

    DNA is the only molecule capable of reproducing itself. DNA is present in almost all living cells of all living things.

    You think these gotchas are very clever. You might want to check your assumptions there.

    3
  33. steve says:

    Stormy- Stealing that. It was really good. You caught the affect just right.

    Steve

    1
  34. grumpy realist says:

    @JustAGirl: Based on that argument, cancer tumours gotta be left to do their thing. Pro-life, baby!

    ….you gonna go first? No? Didn’t think so….

    5
  35. CSK says:

    Fox News person Jesse Watters claims that Biden may be behind the conspiracy to kill Kavanaugh.

    Also, Chuck Schumer, Liz Warren, and Nancy Pelosi.

    1
  36. Kathy says:

    I find it interesting, and disturbing, that conservatives are more upset over the non-murder of a privileged white male than over the two most recent mass shootings, in which lot sof people were killed.

    10
  37. Rick DeMent says:

    @JustAGirl:

    DNA has rights under the constitution? I missed that. Can you quote me where it says that?

    But if you are saying that Alito just conjured up new rights for DNA that makes it an objectively worse decision the Roe.

    5
  38. just nutha says:

    @SKI: I didn’t take Dr. Joyner’s comment seriously. He’s simply repeating right-wing boilerplate–much the same as when JKB or Drew or any number of trolls at any number of venues simply say what’s always been said on whatever topic is current.

    2
  39. just nutha says:

    @gVOR08: Indeed! While President Biden is within his rights to condemn the actions of the pseudo-assailant, my hope would be that everyone who takes actions that would result in taking the life of any high-visibility person (or low-visibility for that matter) would be open to the possibility of the need for professional intervention and call the authorities instead of following through on Plan A.

  40. wr says:

    @Stormy Dragon: It’s pretty clear that the only option for Kavanaugh is to move a kindergarten teacher into their home and give her a gun.

    3
  41. wr says:

    @JustAGirl: “Have you heard of this thing called DNA? You might want to read up on it.”

    My DNA is in my sweat, my blood, my hair, my snot. Are you suggesting that I must preserve all of these forever if I don’t want to be charged with murder by religious fanatics who are seizing control of state governments?

    6
  42. wr says:

    @CSK: “Fox News person Jesse Watters claims that Biden may be behind the conspiracy to kill Kavanaugh. Also, Chuck Schumer, Liz Warren, and Nancy Pelosi.”

    Finally they’re doing something to motivate Democrats to vote!

  43. James Joyner says:

    @SKI: @wr: @Rick DeMent: @grumpy realist: I sent “JustAGirl’s” messages to spam. It’s yet another pseudonym (DiamondGirl, FarmBoy21, ZMan, etc.) for our old pal MBunge, who is apparently nonbinary in addition to annoying.

    16
  44. DAllenABQ says:

    @Stormy Dragon: This is really good. Well done, and a gold star for you.

    1
  45. Scott says:

    @James Joyner: Honestly, I didn’t find him/her to be offensive. Annoying, yes, but like my children (and other family members) sometimes, I have learned to ignore people like that. So not sure what the issue was other than identity dishonesty

    1
  46. wr says:

    @James Joyner: I don’t want to derail this conversation any more than it has been (partially thanks to me!), but I’m just wondering if the occasionally seen “Moderate Mom” is also a member of this group…

  47. DK says:

    But that’s a separate issue from the 2022 SCOTUS overturning a Constitutional right created out of whole cloth by the 1973 SCOTUS, and thus returning the matter to the political arena.

    Oh my, I didn’t realize conservatives were back to the old ‘states should dictate whether women, gays, and blacks have the liberty, autonomy, and self-determination guaranteed under the 9th and 14th Amendments’ canard. That’s interesting. Certainly, explains why Alito and Co. think it’s okay to endorse states enslaving women with forced birth. Jefferson Davis’s ghost must be thrilled to see so many finally admitting the Confederacy was right: states have the right to decide whether Americans who aren’t straight white men are human beings or not. Cute.

    What’s next? Should we be reviewing the right of blacks not to have to use separate water fountains and schools as a “right created out of whole cloth” by the 1954 SCOTUS?

    Or maybe Republicans and their apologists will inform us the ability of consenting adults to marry without respect to race or sexual orientation is a “court-created right” that should be kicked backed to the political arena to decide whether gays are people and interracial couples are protected by the constitution. Buckle up.

    7
  48. just nutha says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: In a small and shallow defense of Dr. Joyner’s point as it relates to bodily autonomy, originalists could successfully argue that a document that creates the legal definition of someone being 3/5th of a citizen has little concern for bodily autonomy as a concept irrespective of its role as a long-standing philosophical principle.

    2
  49. Fortunato says:

    @JustAGirl:
    The Supreme Court is not supposed to “protect the rights of the minority” or anything of the sort

    umm… not sure that’s a hill you want to.. well, you know..

    June 2, 2022, Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal –
    Upholding Roe v. Wade Is Supported by Most Americans, WSJ Poll Finds
    After decades of shifting attitudes, some 57% of respondents say a woman should be able to get an abortion for any reason
    WASHINGTON—More than two-thirds of Americans want to uphold Roe v. Wade, and most favor women having access to legal abortion for any reason, according to a new Wall Street Journal poll that shows a four-decade evolution in the country’s viewpoints regarding the procedure.

    and

    June 7, 2022, The Christian Post –
    Most Americans think abortion is ‘morally acceptable’ for the first time, Gallup poll finds
    When asked if they viewed abortion as “morally acceptable,” most respondents (52%) answered in the affirmative for the first time in the poll’s history.

    A record low share of Americans (38%) characterized abortion as “morally wrong,” making this year’s poll the first conducted by Gallup to show more Americans viewing abortion as “morally acceptable” than “morally wrong.”

    and

    Harvard – Kennedy School Institute of Politics –
    The Vast Majority of Americans Support Universal Background Checks.
    In fact, according to a Public Policy Polling survey, 83 percent of gun owners support expanded background checks on sales of all firearms, including 72 percent of all NRA members

    5
  50. Han says:

    @James Joyner:

    Sure. Rights expand and contract at the whim of the courts.

    Well if that’s the case, how is the 1973 decision not just an expansion of the right to bodily autonomy, instead of a brand new right made of whole cloth? Unless you don’t think we have a right to bodily autonomy?

    6
  51. Gustopher says:

    Shouldn’t attempted murder require the accused to actually attempt to murder?

    He called the police on himself and was stopped before he actually tried to do any killing. The dude should be off the streets, and should be getting help, but this is not a serious murder attempt.

    We’re not even up to attempted chemistry here.

    8
  52. KM says:

    @Gustopher:
    Overcharging for the camera. Gotta make an example of him you know.

    I’m sure they will offer a deal thought because if it goes to court on those charges, he’s gonna walk.

    2
  53. James Joyner says:

    @wr: It’s hard to know for sure but signs point against it. 392 posts over a span of more than a decade with the same moniker and email. Likely just a regular reader who occasionally comments.

  54. Sleeping Dog says:

    @DK:

    Remember it will be allowing states the power to control only those things R’s want them to control. Be assured that there will be a move to ban abortion nationally and to strip from states whatever power they will have left to regulate guns. All will take place after the R’s abolish the filibuster. Stay tuned.

    3
  55. DK says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Once again, I forget Rule 1a of partisan American politics: “It’s okay when Republicans do it.”

    Thanks for the reminder.

    1
  56. just nutha says:

    @Han:

    Well if that’s the case, how is the 1973 decision not just an expansion of the right to bodily autonomy, instead of a brand new right made of whole cloth?

    Because it’s an interpretation which the opponents disagree with and, therefore, an abusive overstep. (That wasn’t hard at all.)

    5
  57. Gustopher says:

    Honestly, with lifetime appointments made by an unrepresentative government, I’m surprised that there isn’t an assassination attempt every few months from one side or another whenever their side has the Presidency.

    I could even come up with a rationalization for it, since they make decisions that affect so many lives, their own life is a tiny weight on the scale. Whether you want to go with aborted “babies”, women who will die from unregulated abortions, Medicare extension, environmental regulations… what’s a small handful of lives (2-3 to reshape the court) compared to the cost of not acting?

    I would generally expect it more from the right than the left, as their nuts are more likely to be armed, and the sovereign citizen movement and the militias are already wandering down that path, but a lefty doesn’t surprise me either.

    That said, my property values would likely be adversely affected by political turmoil and violence, so I would rather have a more democratically responsive government than a couple dead justices.

    Meanwhile, perhaps the right wing will try to remember that when they talk about 2nd Amendment solutions, lots of people are listening, not just on their side.

    4
  58. gVOR08 says:

    I’m still amazed Obama got through two terms without being shot at. What with him being so ….. uppity. Partly a tribute, I suspect, to the Secret Service.

    3
  59. Gustopher says:

    Nothing to see here, just a history of right wingers trying to kill a judge and getting his kid instead. And having considered going after Justice Sotomayor instead.

    This would have been 2020, or 2021’s “last year”

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/20/judge-says-attacker-made-dossier-supreme-court-justice-sotomayor/4514223001/

    WASHINGTON – A federal judge whose son was killed and husband was wounded in an attack on their home last year says the assailant was also planning to target Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

    U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas told 60 Minutes in an interview that will air Sunday that authorities found a dossier on Sotomayor in a locker used by the assailant, Roy Den Hollander.

    “They found another gun, a Glock, more ammunition,” Salas told the CBS News program. “But the most troubling thing they found was a manila folder with a workup on Justice Sonia Sotomayor.”

  60. wr says:

    @James Joyner: Thanks!