The ghost of Joe McCarthy. The attack on free speech.
Liberals join in going after abortion rights protests
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Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is the second highest ranking Democrat in the Senate.
He likes to parade around as a progressive, but when it comes to free speech he has his limits.
He voted pro-choice on a federal abortion rights bill yesterday that he knew would fail. But the Democratic Party has had 50 years to codify abortion rights and never even tried
But now Durbin joins those calling those who protest in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices reprehensible.
Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, on Tuesday called the protests outside of Supreme Court justices’ homes “reprehensible” in an interview.
“I think it’s reprehensible. Stay away from homes and families of elected officials and members of the court,” the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman told CNN when he was asked about his thoughts on the protests.
“You can express yourself, exercise your First Amendment rights, but to go after them at their homes, to do anything of a threatening nature, certainly anything violent, is absolutely reprehensible,” he added.
There was no violence by protesters.
I marched protesting the Court decision this week in Chicago among the most peaceful people you could imagine.
We were angry.
Anger is not violence. Anger at the loss of 50 years of women’s legal medical protection is justified.
On the issue of reproductive rights the violence has all been on the side of the Right, up to and including the murder of abortion providers.
Of course I would have predicted the attack on protesters that came from those on the Right.
They even claimed that the peaceful protests in front of judges’ homes was worse than the January 6th insurrection.
But coming from Democratic liberals like Durbin?
Of course, why should I be surprised?
It is the ghost of Joe McCarthy, the 50s Red Scare and the Black List.
Radicals, communists and progressives, like my Mom and Dad, were persecuted AND prosecuted for their beliefs and their non-violent protests by laws like the Smith Act and the Internal Security Act of 1950, which required named organizations to register with the government.
The government called them subversives.
It claimed their were limits to free speech that included where you could protest.
The laws were enacted to go after protests outside federal courts during U.S. prosecutions of alleged communist party leaders.
Many Democratic liberals who like Durbin remained silent in response to McCarthyism.
Or actively endorsed it.
Like the liberal Washington Post which editorialized this week:
A federal law — 18 U.S.C. Section 1507 — prohibits “pickets or parades” at any judge’s residence, “with the intent of influencing” a jurist “in the discharge of his duty.” These are limited and justifiable restraints on where and how people exercise the right to assembly. Citizens should voluntarily abide by them, in letter and spirit. If not, the relevant governments should take appropriate action.
Like what? Charge us with sedition?
The federal law that the Post refers to is part of the Internal Security Act which is still the law but was used during the McCarthy era to go after those with Left-wing views.
There is justifiable concern that the Court’s expected ruling on Roe will also impact other Constitutional rights like same-sex marriage, inter-racial marriage and sodomy laws.
Add to that list free speech.