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Thune Denounces Democrats’ Supreme Court Temper Tantrums

“Democrats are apparently perfectly willing to undermine a fundamental part of our system of government for their political ends.”

June 13, 2024

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today spoke on the Senate floor to condemn Democrats’ attempts to undermine the legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court. Thune noted that trust in the Supreme Court’s independence is essential, and he warned of the severe consequences of Democrats’ unwarranted hysteria and threats directed at the court.

Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):

“Mr. President, Democrats made their latest move yesterday in their years-long campaign to undermine the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.

“Their failed attempt to gain unanimous consent on a so-called Supreme Court ethics bill was yet another attempt to bully the court into ruling the way Democrats want.

“And, Mr. President, with decisions in multiple controversial cases coming from the Supreme Court over the next few weeks, I expect this was just the prelude to yet another dramatic Democrat temper tantrum if things don’t go Democrats’ way.

“I say if things don’t go Democrats’ way.

“Because it’s a funny thing, Mr. President.

“When the Supreme Court decides things Democrats’ way, we hear a lot less about the illegitimacy of the court.

“Take the court’s decision in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America, Ltd., in which most of the court’s Republican appointees sided with all the court’s Democrat appointees to deliver a decision Democrats supported.

“Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the Democrat ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, had this to say: ‘With this decision, our nation’s justices have decided to put consumers first and reject the baseless attacks led by extreme MAGA Republicans and greedy payday lenders to hamstring the work of the CFPB and put consumers in harm’s way.’

“Or take the court’s decision in Moore v. Harper, in which half of the court’s Republican appointees sided with the court’s Democrat appointees to deliver a decision that was embraced by the Democrat leader here in the Senate.

“‘Today those who support democracy, fair elections, and the rule of law can stand a bit taller,’ the leader said. ‘Today’s ruling reaffirms the longstanding precedent that respects our constitutional system of checks and balances.’

“Funny how he didn’t mention anything in that statement about how the court has been captured by, in his words, ‘the fanatical MAGA right.’

“Mr. President, I could go on, but all this leads to one inevitable conclusion.

“And that is that to Democrats, the only legitimate court, and the only legitimate court decisions, are the ones that line up with Democrats’ policy preferences.

“And it has become clear that Democrats are willing to do whatever it takes, up to and including intimidation, delegitimization, and court-packing, to ensure that the court rules in line with where Democrats want it.

“This isn’t about ethics or legitimacy or concern for our democratic institutions, as Democrats would have you believe.

“This is about power.

“And Democrats are apparently perfectly willing to undermine a fundamental part of our system of government for their political ends.

“Because let’s be very clear, Mr. President.

“It’s not the Supreme Court that is undermining the legitimacy of this essential institution; it’s Democrats, with their unhinged campaign against a duly constituted court composed of nine duly confirmed justices nominated by duly elected presidents.

“A court, it’s worth pointing out, that in its last term ruled unanimously – that’s right, unanimously – roughly half of the time, and 90 percent of the time – yes, 90 percent – had at least one Democrat-appointed justice in the majority.

“Mr. President, it would be nice if we could just dismiss Democrats’ hysteria as the tantrums of a party that has discovered that sometimes in a democracy, you don’t get your way.

“But Democrats’ concerted effort to undermine the legitimacy of the court is deeply troubling because of the widespread consequences it could have.

“The last thing we should be doing at a time of deep political divisions is to be shaking Americans’ faith in the legitimacy of our institutions and the impartiality of the court.

“Do Democrats really want a public with less faith in its government?

“Perhaps they do, or perhaps they don’t care as long as their policies are ascendant and they can maintain a hold on power.

“But they should care.

“Mr. President, as I said, should things not go entirely Democrats’ way in the coming weeks of Supreme Court decisions, I expect we’ll hear a lot more hysteria about the court’s supposed hijacking and illegitimacy.

“But I hope the justices, and the American people, will tune it out.

“Because Democrats’ baseless and irresponsible attempts to delegitimize the court do not deserve to be given the time of day.

“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”