I said that no conservative would be as stupid as the mysterious Sam Sampson. Perhaps I was wrong.
“It causes a lot of people, including me, great distress to see judges use the authority that they have been given to make raw political or ideological decisions,” he said. Sometimes, he said, “the Supreme Court has taken on this role as a policymaker rather than an enforcer of political decisions made by elected representatives of the people.” Cornyn continued: “I don’t know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. . . . And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in, engage in violence. Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have.”
If this is an accurate portrayal of what Cornyn said, this does not speak well of Cornyn to make such a mind-numbingly foolish statement. It does a disservice to legitimate criticisms of an unaccountable judiciary to suggest that courthouse shootings borne out of individual vileness are AT ALL related.
Cornyn’s a dick for even suggesting such.
UPDATE FROM PATTERICO: I agree with a commenter that Beldar has worthwhile thoughts on this subject. Personally, I wouldn’t call Sen. Cornyn a “dick” for these comments.
But, having read Cornyn’s speech, I have to say that I find silly (at least) his suggestion that any recent violence against judges is related to judicial activism. I think it’s related to, you know, criminal activity.
UPDATE FROM CHRIS: Having read Cornyn’s whole speech (linked from Beldar)–I stand by my original “dick” claim. Cornyn’s speech was fine as it was–but nothing in its fuller context changes the reading of his statement regarding the “correlation” of violence to perceived judicial activism. That’s what he was a dick for, and that’s why I’m calling him a dick. The other 95% of the speech, I like. I don’t think Beldar’s post (or the text of the speech itself) changed Cornyn’s fundamental point on that matter (I realize that wasn’t the fundamental point of his speech). I wasn’t accusing Cornyn of endorsing or even encouraging violence against judges (as Beldar seemed to be taking issue with others who had accused Cornyn of doing). I was taking issue with his attempts to draw a correlative relationship between judicial activism and recent courthouse violence.