So You Say You Want a Revolution? Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Issues a Warning to the Supreme Court


Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., joined the growing ranks of members of Congress in issuing a warning to the Supreme Court: reaffirm Roe v. Wade or else.  The “else” varies from promises to pack the Court to personal accountability for justices. For Shaheen, it is a promise of “revolution.” It is the latest demand that the justices yield to popular demand or any countervailing interpretation of the Constitution. Or else.

“So you say you want a revolution.” However, these threats are an attack on the very concept of impartial judicial review.  “When you talk about destruction” of our traditions of judicial review, as the Beatles declared in 1968, “you can count me out.”

I understand that Sen. Shaneen is speaking of a political rather than actual revolution but the implication is that there would be consequences for the Court.

Threatening the Supreme Court has become something of a required public exhibition of faith for Democrats, a demonstration that abstract notions like judicial independence will not distract from achieving political results.  Sen. Richard Blumenthal previously warned the Supreme Court that, if it continued to issue conservative rulings or “chipped away at Roe v Wade” it would trigger “a seismic movement to reform the Supreme Court. It may not be expanding the Supreme Court, it may be making changes to its jurisdiction, or requiring a certain numbers of votes to strike down certain past precedents.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also declared in front of the Supreme Court “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price.”

The message is clear and unambiguous: vote “correctly” or you will face personal or institutional repercussions.

According to these politicians, the media, and many in academia, justices should consider such consequences in reading the Constitution. These type of extrinsic considerations are anathema to ethical judging. A jurist should not be concerned how her ruling will be received as opposed to whether it is based on principled interpretative principles. That is precisely why the Framers gave these jurists life tenure.  As Alexander Hamilton stated in The Federalist No. 78, judicial independence “is the best expedient which can be devised in any government to secure a steady, upright, and impartial administration of the laws.”

It was once viewed as anathema to attack the Court or threaten retaliation if justices did not vote as demanded. Indeed, many Democrats criticized President Donald Trump for attacking judges as partisans during his Administration. Now, however, Democrats routinely denounce conservatives as activists and threaten to change the Court if they continue to rule conservatively. Notably, while pointing to conservatives voting together as proof of ideological bias, these same leaders do not denounce the liberal justices who routinely vote as a block from  the left of the Court. They are not ideologues because they are ruling “correctly.”

Roe is being used by many as an excuse to engage in raw court packing and jurisdiction stripping. Leaders like Shaheen are suggesting that, if the Court votes wrong, they have license to unleash the “Revolution.” Even academics who criticized Roe are now advocates for court packing. Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe once declared that “one of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.” Yet, Tribe is leading other activist professors in calling for the Court to be packed to ensure a liberal majority.

Despite widespread criticism of the constitutional basis for Roe, it is now considered an inviolate case of “super precedent.” Anyone arguing that the issue should be returned to the states in whole or in part are denounced as reactionaries. That position ignores the fact that even Ruth Bader Ginsburg criticized the decision: “Roe, I believe, would have been more acceptable as a judicial decision if it had not gone beyond a ruling on the extreme statute before the court. … Heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.”

What is fascinating about threats against the Court (and insulting billboards by groups like Demand Justice) is that they clearly undermine the effort to preserve abortion rights. If anything, justices are more likely to push back on such pressures rather than yield to them. Yet, it is politically popular to show that you will stop at nothing to achieve political ends, even destroying one of the core institutions in our constitutional system.

In the end, the response to politicians threatening revolution remains the same as it has for the roughly 250 years: bring it on. We had a revolution that ultimately secured our core rights and institutions.  Let’s have this debate. A negative ruling from the Court certainly can lead to renewed political campaign, particularly on the state level. However, the directing of such comments to the Court raised great unease for many of us. Regardless of how we feel about the merits of Roe, we remain a nation united by a common article of faith called the United States Constitution. Our politicians may have lost that defining faith, but most  Americans are unlikely to embrace the new Revolution over the Constitution:

“You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You better free your mind instead”

184 thoughts on “So You Say You Want a Revolution? Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Issues a Warning to the Supreme Court”

  1. (music)
    Roe! A deer… A female deer!
    Ray …a judge who had a gun!
    Wade a clown who calls herself…
    A god damn nun!

  2. Turley says:

    “[I]t is politically popular to show that you will stop at nothing to achieve political ends, even destroying one of the core institutions in our constitutional system.”

    Has Turley forgotten his similar criticism of Trump for doing the exact same thing? He said:

    “Trump also crossed this line in pledging to appoint pro-life nominees though his nominees insist that they were not asked about their view of the constitutionality of abortion.”

    You remember when Trump pledged to appoint ONLY pro-life judges:

    It’s intellectually dishonest that Turley did not remind his readers that the Right likewise has stopped at “nothing to achieve political ends,” in this case, the overruling of Roe.

    1. When everything else fails, always fall back on the Four D’s: Deny, Deflect, Dissemble, Democrat. Works every time.

      Democrats are terrified that the abortion debate could decided by the American people through the democratic process.

      They will do anything to stop it. Ask Jeanne Shaheen.

  3. On what basis do people… persons back laws to violate a woman’s bodily autonomy in the second, third, and in the rare occurrence, fourth trimester? The viability apology is a quasi-scientific, politically congruent excuse to deny a woman’s rights.

    There is no mystery in sex and conception. A woman and man have four choices: abstention, prevention, adoption, and compassion, self-defense (not Capitol Hill “hero” plausible cause), and still six weeks (until an observable, reproducible heart beat, also nervous system development) to hold a reproductive rite (i.e. wicked solution) for light, social, redistributive, and fair weather causes.

    Roe, Roe, Roe your baby down the river Styx. #HateLovesAbortion

  4. The Right criticizes (quite correctly) the Left when it uses the bankrupt method: the ends justifies the means.

    Now it’s the Right using that fallacious method, with respect to abortion and their premise: Let the states decide. Their end is to stop abortions. Their means is absolute majority rule.

    Using that means is particularly bizarre, and contradictory, given that the Right claims to be in favor of a constitutionally limited republic — a “government of laws, not of men.”

    Tyranny of the majority is not cleansed by the claim that your end is “noble.”

    1. Sam, the states do have a right to decide. However, the states often make decisions that are contrary to the law as written in the Constitution. We then eventually rely on The Supreme Court to adjudicate the law. A good example of operating in defiance of the law would be sanctuary cities. It is simple common knowledge that the courts should point out any non-compliance. A constitutionally limited government does not mean that all behavior is acceptable. Your attempt is to point out that if I don’t accept the premise of a free for all that I am somehow a hypocrite. The tyranny of the majority was rightfully overcome in the south concerning slavery. Not every law made by the states or the national legislature is written in stone and should be scrutinized by the courts in order to determine if such laws are constitutional. You just don’t want the laws you like to be reviewed by the Court. Even Justice Ginsburg said that Roe V Wade was based on faulty reasoning. I get it. You must be more wise than Justice Ginsburg.

      1. “[T]he states do have a right to decide.”

        Where in the Constitution does it grant government (federal or state) the power to control a woman’s body (and life) and to prohibit her from seeking a medical procedure?

        “You must be more wise than Justice Ginsburg.”

        Why do some commenters on this blog feel a need to append a personal attack to an otherwise reasoned argument?

    2. Both sides are extreme, selfish and completely ignore the largest makeup of the American population.The center.
      One can be pro-life by choice and pro-choice within sane parameters without trampling the reproductive decisions of others.

      Is twenty weeks a fair time frame? Unless the fetus has severe anomalies, the woman is at risk or problems that are psychologically untenable,it is anathema to terminate a fetus that is fully formed.

      However, to force a female to bear an unwanted child is beyond overreaching and cruel.

      1. it is anathema to terminate a fetus that is fully formed.

        The brain is not fully formed until age 25 years. So your rubric of “fully formed” isnt worth much.

        Life begins when a sperm fertilizes an ovum. No one is expecting Americans to be well versed in the sciences of molecular biology, physiology and genetics. You stake your entire faith on your personal understanding of the sciences. Your understanding needs to be updated. Till then your faith is based on ignorance of the sciences.

        You would never accept a heart transplant that is necrotic (dead tissue). The baby within is not necrotic. It is alive, has movements, electrical currents, cellular divisions, metabolic processes, respiration, growth, etc., unlike the transplanted donor heart that is preserved in chemicals and on dry ice, until the heart surgeon zaps it with electricity to start beating it anew. The baby does not need zapping. The sperm fertilizing the ovum starts the process. Educate yourself. You have time to play on the internet. Take free science courses online at Coursera, EDX, or elsewhere. Till then you are spouting complete nonsense. This isnt that difficult.


        Molecular Biology

        1. “Life begins when a sperm . . .”

          Actually, sperm is alive. So you need to push back your timeframe for government control over an individual’s body.

    3. I wholly agree , vote R because the Dems are no longer representative of anything afforded by America.

      That said, I’m pro-choice,albeit with sane parameters. Im pro-life by choice as well. The key commonality: Choice

  5. I get that, but what the rationale for how the responsibilities are divided up between nation and state?
    In theory, the states could do everything and the nation nothing, or vice versa.
    So how are decisions and responsibilities categorized and distributed?

      1. There is actually nothing in the Constitution or Bill of Rights that prohibits abortion. It isn’t even mentioned.

        Crazy though it seems, if the “textualists” were asked how it became a legislative issue without an interpretive written basis, I’m curious as to how they would respond.

        1. if the “textualists” were asked how it became a legislative issue without an interpretive written basis,

          Not sure what you are trying to assert. The people create the rules(laws) they choose to live under.

  6. Courts should be specialized based on what the issue is at hand, kind of like how Colorado has special water courts.
    There could be special technology courts, with experts in the field.

  7. It’s just a change of venue – federal to state.

    The Feminazis want a right to abortion chiseled into the Ten Commandments; their problem is that thou shalt not murder is already there.

    1. Hah! Close the abortion chambers, shutter the Mengele clinics.

      They subscribe to the Pro-Choice religion with its Ten Congruences (“=”).

      First, they stood up for slavery. Then, they stood up for diversity [dogma] (e.g. racism), inequity, and exclusion (DIE). NOW (pun intended), they experience a psychotic break, and simultaneously stand up to deny a woman’s bodily autonomy in the second, third, and, in the rare occurrence, fourth trimester, and stand up for reproductive rites (i.e. wicked solution) to relieve her and his choice (sex and conception) for light, social, redistributive, and fair weather causes. They alleged systemic rape… rape-rape, and failed to reach a consensus, notably implicating their own socially liberal congregation (e.g. #MeToo #HerToo #SheProgressed). The edge cases of Her Choice are separable, and while we have some influence, it is ultimately decided by fate.

      The Pro-Choice religion denies a woman and man’s dignity and agency, and reduces human life to a negotiable asset.

      There is no mystery in sex and conception. A woman and man have four choices, self-defense, and still six weeks for the wicked solution to relieve their choice for light, social, redistributive, and fair weather causes.

      Roe, Roe, Roe your baby down the river Styx. #HateLovesAbortion

      1. The Pro-Choice religion denies a woman and man’s dignity and agency, and reduces human life to a negotiable asset.


        Mother Teresa of Calcutta Nobel Prize Speech

        And I feel one thing I want to share with you all, the greatest destroyer of peace today is the cry of the innocent unborn child. For if a mother can murder her own child in her own womb, what is left for you and for me to kill each other? Even in the scripture it is written: Even if mother could forget her child – I will not forget you – I have carved you in the palm of my hand. Even if mother could forget, but today millions of unborn children are being killed. And we say nothing. In the newspapers you read numbers of this one and that one being killed, this being destroyed, but nobody speaks of the millions of little ones who have been conceived to the same life as you and I, to the life of God, and we say nothing, we allow it. To me the nations who have legalized abortion, they are the poorest nations. They are afraid of the little one, they are afraid of the unborn child, and the child must die because they don’t want to feed one more child, to educate one more child, the child must die.

  8. I fail to see the “emergency” the left is screeching about.

    The people will ultimately do what is right.

    The left keeps stating(without evidence) that a wide majority of the electorate favor abortion on demand. The most direct, easy path to ensure that is at the ballot box. Elect representatives that support abortion on demand, and pass legislation to codify the the will of the people. Time marches on. While it may take several election cycles, the will of the People will prevail.

  9. Turley says:

    “As many on this blog know, I have long advocated the expansion of the Supreme Court rather than age-based limitation. I have spoken around the country on this proposal for many years. In my view, our court is demonstrably and dysfunctionally too small. Congress has the authority to expand that Court and it should do so along the type of staggered plan laid out in the proposal where the Court would be gradually increased to avoid any president being able to stack the Court.”

    I wholeheartedly agree with Turley. Let’s start the gradual expansion now!

  10. Commenters here know very little of mammalian reproductive biology. The supremes are equally ignorant.

    1. I think it is more important that they know about the law than about mammalian reproductive biology, however fascinating it may be.

      The crew on the Supreme Court would not be my first choice of actors in a good porn flick. Better for all of us that they stick to the books.

      1. I think it is more important that they know about the law than about mammalian reproductive biology, however fascinating it may be.

        I often think likewise about your many links to Power Line ad nauseam yet I cant recall anyone commenting it is more important that they know about the law than about Power Line crisis du jour, however fascinating it may be

        As you know I am not an attorney, and I try to contribute to articles when they involve medicine, like Roe v Wade and viability.

  11. Not many people realize this, but beetle is usually spelled as beetle, as in the insect. But they spelled their name as Beatles, with the letter a, as in apple, because
    ‘beat’ would give it a musical theme, as in a musical beat, whereas ‘beet’ is just a red vegetable. Then they pluralized it, because there were four of them in the band (five to some). And then they capitalized “beatles” with a capital B, making it “Beatles” because their band was a proper noun, and it was the grammatically correct thing to do.
    There is also the definite article “The” in front of “Beatles”, to refer to their special musical group. That’s how they became “The Beatles”.

  12. Democrats are terrified. You can hear it in their words. In their increasingly hateful diatribes against their political opponents. You can feel it in their deeds. In their increasingly desperate mandates imposing their rule on the vast unwashed. Democrats are terrified that they are losing their grip on political power. Terrified. And they will do anything to keep that power.

    Do as we demand or their will be consequences. That sums up the Democrat view nicely. But Roe and its progeny are a vast wet spot on the constitution. A wet spot emerging from the penumbras of activist judges’ nocturnal emanations. Justice Douglas’ seminal musings in the Griswold decision will live in infamy among the most misguided in the long history of the Supreme Court.

    Democrats are terrified that, fifty years later, the wet spot is drying and the soiled sheets are going to the laundry. That abortion could be decided by the American people through democratic means. Oh wait. If that happens there will be hell to pay. Interesting, isn’t it, that Democrat values have shifted so dramatically as they desperately struggle to enforce their stranglehold on political power?

    Another funny thing is that the Democrats claim to speak for the American people. But they are terrified that the American people could speak for themselves. That the American people could make their own bed. With clean, unsoiled sheets. Speaking personally, I don’t have especially strong views on how the abortion debate should be decided. It is a morally complex issue with important interests at play on all sides.

    But what is critically important is that the American people have the right to decide the abortion issue through the democratic process. Their solution will be far wiser, more nuanced, any ultimately more enduring than policy decisions imposed by activist federal judges. Or by angry, desperate, terrified demagogues like Jeanne Shaheen.

    Yes, Democrats are terrified. And that is when they are the most dangerous.

    1. Epstein says:

      “Democrats are terrified. You can hear it in their words. In their increasingly hateful diatribes against their political opponents.”

      You mean like when Conservatives call Liberals “baby-killers”? That kind of hateful name-calling?

      1. Roe and its progeny are profoundly anti-Democratic and divisive. Left to their own devices, the American people would have reached a workable compromise many years ago. If the American people were allowed to work it out, then the issue would be behind us. The Democrats are terrified that that could actually happen. They are terrified of the democratic process. They are terrified of change. Absolutely terrified.

        1. Epstein says:

          “Left to their own devices, the American people would have reached a workable compromise many years ago. If the American people were allowed to work it out, then the issue would be behind us.”

          Are you crazy? It’s NEVER gonna be behind us. The “People of Faith” believe in life from the moment of conception, and secularists believe it begins at viability. This is an ideological gulf that cannot be bridged. If I believed as you do, I would want to outlaw abortion too, but I believe in science.

          Science and Faith are mutually incompatible- it is an irreducible gulf. Now, we will be fighting over where to draw the line in 50 states! The pro-lifers will still be calling pro-abortion advocates “baby killers” as we fight this out in the states. The Pro-lifers will never give up until all 50 states ban abortion. This is their moral crusade. They cannot allow “babies” to be killed in neighboring states which serve as “abortion mills” for outlawed states. Christians will not sit idly by as they “hear the screams” of babies just over the state line….

          This issue WAS behind us for 50 years. Soon you will see marches in the streets, and politicians expressly running on where they stand on abortion. If women begin dying again from botched backroom abortions, what then?

          I don’t have a dog in this fight. The “People of Faith” may rue the day when Roe is overturned. I don’t know that to be a scientific fact, but I have faith that it will prove true.

          1. I don’t know that to be a scientific fact, but I have faith that it will prove true.

            Judaism is an amazing monotheistic Abrahamic religion that offers great wisdom, scholarly teachings and principles for honorable living that are recorded, practiced and have been followed by learned and academic men and women for thousands of years, including towering scientists. It is a pity that a person with a Hebrew name would choose dross like political ideologies in place of authentic Judaism. But here we see such a weak, insecure individual, preferring “faith” in his shoot from the hip dogmas, over the Jewish Tradition, to his impoverishment.

            Maimonides sends his prayers.

            1. Estovir,

              I reject gods for the same reason you reject every deity believed by man throughout man’s long history with the exception of one. Please explain how it is that you know that none of these other gods are real when they were believed more devoutly than your virtue-signaling belief in Jesus. After all, they sacrificed their own to the gods on the strength of their faith. You just talk a good game.

              I would live a life like the Haredi IF I was a true believer. At least they practice what they preach. But I can’t make myself believe because I know that Creationism is bogus. God is dead. Face it.

          2. Democrats really are terrified. Terrified that the American people would have a say in the abortion debate.

            When you think about it, Roe and its progeny are among the most enduring Democrat models for deplatforming an entire segment of the American people. Silberman spends four paragraphs arguing against democracy. The divisions are too big. People might be able to elect representatives who represent their views. The problem can’t be solved. Christians are dangerous zealots. Oh, the horrors.

            Yes, the Democrat are terrified. Terrified of democracy. Terrified of the American people. Terrified that. left to their own devices, Americans will find an enduring solution to the divisiveness created by the Democrat’s sacred abortion jurisprudence.

            So terrified that they will do anything to stop it. Ask Jeanne Shaheen.

    2. But what is critically important is that the American people have the right to decide the abortion issue through the democratic process.


  13. Sotomayor’s comments about brain dead fetuses are brain dead remarks. The excuse of unconsciousness for killing humans is extremely poor reasoning. The fetus will become conscious just as anyone under anesthesia or temporary coma or in deep sleep. Can’t kill someone using inability to currently feel pain as an excuse. What is astonishing is that she doesn’t know that her argument is grotesquely stupid.

    1. Agreed. Sotomayor demonstrated that brain dead fetuses have peers on the highest Court in the land. I suppose every group is entitled to some representation.

      1. Cid says:

        “I suppose every group is entitled to some representation.”

        Indeed. And sexually assaulters are duly represented by Kavanaugh and Thomas.

  14. And now we fully grasp the profundity, cogency and nature of responsibility.

    That one is egocentric and reckless, does not absolve one of her obligation and duty.

    The singularly important act human beings can undertake is the perpetuation of the species.

    The survivors of World War III will know that well by orders of magnitude.

  15. The Constitution does not address abortion.

    The 9th Amendment does not establish abortion as a right.

    The Framers considered rights and freedoms to be natural and God-given.

    Abortion is the fabricated synthetic antithesis of natural and God-given.

    The People or the States have the power to allow or prohibit abortion per the 10th Amendment.

    The People have decided that the people must act collectively as the State to prohibit and interdict homicide.

    States have decided to prohibit homicide.

    A zygote, fetus or baby is a nascent human being.

    A nascent human being is a human being nonetheless.

    Abortion is homicide

    9th Amendment

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    10th Amendment

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

  16. Twitter: “Today, SCOTUS will hear arguments for the most consequential abortion case in decades. If SCOTUS overturns #RoeVWade, millions will lose access to abortion care & decades of precedent will be overturned. We must get rid of the filibuster & pass the #WomensHealthProtectionAct.”
    9:39 AM · Dec 1, 2021·Twitter Web App

    Guess which US Senator said this today:

    1. Is this a trick question? I think probably 48 would say the same thing verbatim. And Shaheen herself claims descent from the actual Pocohontas, so it could indeed be she.

        1. Mespo, press down on El Cid’s name and you’ll discover that Estovir stole that photo from Gravatar, a site he likes to explore.

    2. During an abortion procedure, if a baby is too large to remove in one piece, abortionists tear off the baby’s limbs and crush the head while the child is alive. This is known as a dismemberment abortion or D&E.

      Dismemberment abortions are typically performed between 13 and 24 weeks of pregnancy when a baby is too large to remove as a whole. At this stage of development, a baby has a beating heart, fully developed arms and legs, and can swallow, yawn, hiccup, and smile.

      Abortionists use a sopher clamp—a grasping instrument with rows of sharp “teeth”—to grasp and tear the limbs from the living child’s body. After removing pieces of the child’s skull, the abortionist uses a curette to scrape the uterus and remove the placenta and any remaining parts of the baby.

      The abortionist then collects all of the baby’s parts and reassembles them to make sure that all of the pieces have been removed.

      Since the baby is removed in pieces, there is an immediate risk of major complications for the mother with this procedure, including bleeding due to laceration or puncture of the woman’s uterus as well as infection from the baby not being fully removed.

      This is their definition of “Health Care.”

    3. #WomensHealthProtectionAct.”

      You favor killing 60,000,000 human beings in order to protect women’s health. Your top 5 health concerns for women who are unable to secure an abortion legally are what, exactly?

    1. Slavery, diversity [dogma], redistributive change, political congruence, and, apparently, reproductive rites, because sex and conception are a mystery, and a woman and man’s four choices are a burden and “burden” without inclusion of a reproductive rite. Presumably, with separate jurisdictions, there is a hope to avoid another civil war, especially when demos-cracy can be aborted (planned) in darkness.

    2. The rational is something called the constitution.
      The federal government has limited, enumerated powers.

      The Federal Government was the creation of the States. A govt unit that would do those tasks the states as individuals could not accomplish. The States were adamant that the federal govt would not exceed the power of the State. This the Constitution that painstakingly limits Federal power. Thus limits the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the United States

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