MBA President Condemns Threatening Language Used Against U.S. Supreme Court Justices

Thursday, March 5, 2020

mbasealMassachusetts Bar Association President John J. Morrissey issued the following statement today regarding recent statements made toward sitting justices of the U.S. Supreme Court:

"The Massachusetts Bar Association is greatly concerned about recent statements made by the Senate Minority Leader toward justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Regardless of one’s political views or positions on pending cases, the use of intimidating or otherwise coercive language toward judges and the judicial branch of government is never appropriate. 

"We expect all elected officials to show respect for all judges, and refrain from threatening or inflammatory words and behavior that only serve to undermine the integrity and independence of the judiciary, a co-equal branch of government."

On Wednesday, as covered by the Boston Globe and other outlets nationally, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. rebuked statements made by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer at an abortion-rights rally, which appeared to threaten Supreme Court Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh. Later that day, American Bar Association President Judy Perry Martinez also issued a statement on behalf of her organization, which said: 

"The American Bar Association is deeply troubled by today’s statements from the Senate Minority Leader threatening two sitting justices of the U.S. Supreme Court over their upcoming votes in a pending case. Whatever one thinks about the merits of an issue before a court, there is no place for threats — whether real or allegorical.

"Personal attacks on judges by any elected officials, including the President, are simply inappropriate. Such comments challenge the reputation of the third, co-equal branch of our government; the independence of the judiciary; and the personal safety of judicial officers. They are never acceptable."