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Republican Senators: Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Brief “openly threatened” Supreme Court “with political retribution”

Republican Senators: Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Brief “openly threatened” Supreme Court “with political retribution”

“the Democrats’ amicus brief demonstrates that their court-packing plans are more than mere pandering. They are a direct, immediate threat to the independence of the judiciary and the rights of all Americans”

In August 2019, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse signed and filed an Amicus Brief in the U.S. Supreme Court that threatened the Justices with future court-packing if they didn’t vote his way on a 2nd Amendment case.

It truly was an extraordinary move, as we explained in Dem Senators to Supreme Court: Rule our way on 2nd Amendment case, or face possible restructuring:

Whitehouse’s attacks on Brett Kavanaugh during the confirmation hearings were demeaning and absurd, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse grilled Brett Kavanaugh about a high school yearbook fart joke. Seriously.

So it’s no surprise that the Brief signed by Whitehouse attacked Kavanaugh, the conservatives on the Court, and the very existence of the Court itself by suggesting the Court would be restructured if it ruled the wrong way.

It was a double-barrel attack — impugning the motives of those holding different views of the 2nd Amendment and threatening to damage the Court’s legitimacy:

Yet this is precisely—and explicitly—what petitioners ask the Court to do in this case, in the wake of a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to shape this Court’s composition, no less, and an industrial-strength influence campaign aimed at this Court. Indeed, petitioners and their allies have made perfectly clear that they seek a partner in a “project” to expand the Second Amendment and thwart gunsafety regulations. Particularly in an environment where a growing majority of Americans believes this Court is “motivated mainly by politics,” rather than by adherence to the law,2 the Court should resist petitioners’ invitation….

To stem the growing public belief that its decisions are “motivated mainly by politics,” the Court should decline invitations like this to engage in “projects.” See Quinnipiac Poll, supra note 2 (showing fifty-five percent of Americans believe the Court is “motivated mainly by politics”)….

The influence effort directed at this Court has been industrialized. In this particular “project” to rewrite and expand the Second Amendment, petitioners are flanked by an army of nearly sixty amici. As usual, the true identities and funding sources of most of these amici are impossible to ascertain. Amicus groups claim status as “socialwelfare” organizations to keep their donor lists private,7 and this Court’s Rule 37.6 is ineffective at adding any meaningful transparency.8 Were there such transparency, this amicus army would likely be revealed as more akin to marionettes controlled by a puppetmaster than to a groundswell of support
rallying to a cause.

The closing paragraph was at best a thinly-veiled threat (emphasis added):

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.

This was not so much a legal argument, but a shot across the bow of the Court and Chief Justice Roberts in particular.

Nice Court you have there, Chief, shame if something happened to it.

Whitehouse’s Brief generated enormous controversy, and a complaint by Judicial Watch with the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of Rhode Island’s Supreme Court, since that Whitehouse signed the brief while on “inactive” Bar status in Rhode Island.

Now Republicans in the Senate have responded with a letter to the Clerk of the Supreme Court, which reads in part:

On August 12, several of our Democrat colleagues filed a brief amicus curiae in support of the City urging the Court to dismiss the case as moot under Article III of the Constitution. We of course have no problem with Senators submitting amicus briefs. Many of us have done so. But our colleagues did more than raise legal arguments in favor of mootness. They openly threatened this Court with political retribution if it failed to dismiss the petition as moot. The briefs final paragraph warned: “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.” The implication is as plain as day: Dismiss this case, or we’ll pack the Court.

There is no greater example of the genius of our Constitution than its creation of an independent judiciary….

But judicial independence is under assault. Democrats in Congress, and on the presidential campaign trail, have peddled plans to pack this Court with more justices in order to further their radical legislative agenda. It’s one thing for politicians to peddle these ideas in Tweets or on the stump. But the Democrats’ amicus brief demonstrates that their court-packing plans are more than mere pandering. They are a direct, immediate threat to the independence of the judiciary and the rights of all Americans….

For our part, we promise this: While we remain Members of this body, the Democrats’ threat to “restructure[]” the Court is an empty one. We share Justice Ginsburg’s view that “nine seems to be a good number.” And it will remain that way as long as we are here.

The letter was signed by all 53 Republican Senators.


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Wow! When you get all 53 Republican Senators to sign something, it must be very serious. The self-righteous nature of so many of the Democrats these days and their uncivilized attitudes (barbarian attitudes?) is a bit frightening.

    The Dems have gone full Bolshevik. No more “moderate” or “centrist” Democrats. They are insane.

      guyjones in reply to FOAF. | September 2, 2019 at 6:58 pm

      Not insane, so much as totalitarian. And, becoming increasingly bolder with regard to expressing said totalitarian vision.

    Mark Michael | September 2, 2019 at 4:08 pm
    The self-righteous nature of so many of the Democrats these days and their uncivilized attitudes (barbarian attitudes?) is a bit frightening.
    Quit believing these are democrats. They’re fascists. Power is their only goal and if violence is needed they have no qualms about using it. See “naturally psychotic” in the link below as said by Scott Foval. They’re worse than you imagine.
    Democrats were run off the party reservation years ago if they didn’t buy into the agenda.

    **Snip** said Mr. Foval. The key is initiating the conflict by having leading conversations with people who are naturally psychotic.”
    “Nobody’s really supposed to know about me,” Mr. Black said. “So the Chicago protest, when they shut all that, that was us. It was more [Mr. Creamer] than me, but none of this is supposed to come back to us because we want it coming from people. We don’t want it to come from the party.”

    He said the idea is for the protests to appear spontaneous, not orchestrated by the DNC.

caseoftheblues | September 2, 2019 at 4:20 pm

The attitudes and things proposed by democrats are in fact terrifying. They have gone so far off the rails that even 5 years ago the the things they are saying now and getting applause for would have ended their political and public lives.

If you have a liberal in office in your sate start a recall.

    In federal office? There’s no such thing as a recall. In state office, your advice only applies if you happen to live in a state where recalls exist. And even there, what’s the point in trying to recall someone who is sure to defeat it, and to use that as a vindication?

I’d like to meet Sheldon Shithouse in a dark alley.

The amusing part is that RI and especially Providence are among the most corrupt places in America. This Senator should most probably be serving time for his crimes.

Comanche Voter | September 2, 2019 at 5:28 pm

There is a reason that the wiser of his constituents refer to this clown as “Sheldon Whorehouse”. A lot of silly ideas get put in his brain–briefly.

It’s really just waiting for the bombing like the sixties and seventies. We’re lucky most people are idiots and have to Google, ‘bomb instructions’ in the internet and the FBI can entrap them. Don’t get me wrong some maybe most of the knuckleheads they get to make the fake bombs might have been willing to go ahead and do something, like say throw a glitter bomb or hit Grandma with a bucket of paint. But most of them are just clueless windbags blowing off steam until the agent provecteur eggs them on.

I’m ok with things as they are but someday one of them will have the basic chemistry to do it without FBI help then we’ll be hurting.

It is absolutely AMAZING what IDIOTS are infesting our federal government.


If you have anything going for yourself, run for Congress. Your competition is dim.

    Conservative Beaner in reply to | September 2, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Unfortunately so are the voters in RI who put this clown in office.

      They probably didn’t know just what an idiot biden really is. He has this whole ‘tough guy’ act, and it turns out it’s about a mile wide and an inch deep.

      Soros Organ Grinder Monkey Obama didn’t want biden to run, because it’d expose obama in the process of exposing biden.

      Even the idiots of Will and Grace now know biden is about as inauthentic as obama.

Senator Outhouse should choose his words more carefully, they do have a foul stench about them!

I like the idea. Congress has the power to limit what the court can do (e.g. ene Ron Paul, ultra constitutionalist with his life begins at conception legislation). Real courts cannot review vaccine court findings either, but where did the 7th amendment go – the damages are often over $20.

But McConnell should take it seriously, especially if there is the expected Trumpslide in 2020. Split the 9th circuit and gerrymander the circuits so they can be easier to pack. Which Trump is doing already, but the more young, healthy, originalist judges, the better. Hey, maybe McConnell & Co. can expand SCOTUS to 21 Justices, so there will be Clarence Thomas Clones in the majority until my death (assuming I live longer than RBG by a decade).

In any case as soon as he 9th C is packed it will be fun (as in schadenfreude) watching the left scream as the courts overturn their “democratic” preferences.

Oh, and Wheeler Dealer Roberts should resign or be impeached if even a fraction of the report on Obamacare is true. In one sense I can fully disagree with RGB’s “temprament” but she at least is principled. Same with the other side. But to horse trade?

I’m pretty sure he is very impressed with the way he hold his glasses and dissects high school yearbooks for code.

Sheldon is such a hideous dolt and trust fund sissy.

The Dhimmi-crat totalitarian ethos, increasingly expressed in unabashed and non-plussed terms.

Such an inane ass. One has to wonder if this R.I. Senator breathes the same air as Prof.J.

It’s genuinely hard to say who’s the dumbest D senator, equivalent to Nero’s horse. I’d say Whitehouse is tied with Durbin and Hirino. To be fair, Kennedy (R) from Louisiana would be an able contestant.

Does this schmuck look like a character out of one of the Airplane or Naked Gun comedies, or what??

As always, the progs project their nefarious intent upon their political opponents. Shitehouse whines about judicial “projects” which is an absurd way to refer to the 2nd Amendment. It’s right there in the Bill of Rights. But if I were to use the word “project” to describe a right created by SCOTUS it might be “eugenics project”

SCOTUS should continue to make responsible rulings. But it has to make rulings that firmly reject the threats in the brief signed by Sen. Whitehouse.

They can’t bend at all. They should bend slightly, within reason, the other way.

Sheldon Whitehouse is stupid even by the Demomoron standards.

This clown clearly missed class the day they taught Constitutional law.

And masquerading as a lawyer with no active law license is the coup de grace.

Eventually, the Democrats want to eliminate the Constitution and turn the country to a Monarchy, with Obama being the king.

They absolutely don’t want the citizens to have any rights.

That Whitehouse represents Rhode Island reflects very poorly on the morals of its citizens.

Were Democrats not invited to sign it? Or did they all refuse?

Voice_of_Reason | September 4, 2019 at 9:35 pm

maybe Trump should preemptively “restructure” the Supreme Court by packing it with 1,000 constitutionalists.