So You Say You Want a Revolution? President Biden Continues to Talk Revolution if the Court does not Rule as Demanded

“So you say you want a revolution.” When they sang those lines, the Beatles could well have been talking about Democratic leaders today. Revolution seems much in the minds and the rhetoric of politicians who are continuing to threaten swift responses to the Court if it rules against their wishes. The latest armchair revolutionary is President Joe Biden himself who went on Jimmy Kimmel to do the first sit down interview in months. To his credit, Biden was promising only a “mini-Revolution.”

Others have gone full revolutionary.  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.”

Clearly, these leaders are using over-heated rhetoric and do not support violence. They no more want true revolution than Sen. Chuck Schumer was calling for the killing of Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch when he declared on the steps of 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. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

Calling for revolutionary change in politics is as common as calling on people to “fight” political opponents or legislative actions. For example, with rioting continuing in Brooklyn Center, Minn. and around the country, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, went to Minnesota and told the protesters that they “gotta stay on the street” and “get more confrontational.”

However, these same politicians have insisted that such references are literal when made by their opponents.  Notably, Democrats are holding hearings this week on how Republicans bear responsibility for the Jan. 6th riot due to their calls to “fight” against certification of the 2020 election. On that day, there is no question that Trump whipped the crowd into a frenzy. I was critical of the speech while he was giving it. However, Trump never actually called for violence or a riot. Rather, he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol to express opposition to the certification of electoral votes and to support the challenges being made by some members of Congress. He expressly told his followers “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Trump also stated: “Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy…And after this, we’re going to walk down – and I’ll be there with you – we’re going to walk down … to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women.”

There is little attention to how such rhetoric has been common on the left.

Of course, having leaders like Biden and Shaheen channeling revolutionary rhetoric is more vapid than violent. You can put on a beret and chomp on a cigar but it does not make you Che Guevara. It is clear that he meant a political revolution, but the President was engaging in the same ultimatum and saber rattling.

It is the underlying message that is worrisome. It is part of a long series of threats to the Supreme Court that it must yield on the interpretation of the Constitution or face radical changes to the institution. The President is not alone in presenting the Court with this yield-or-else choice.

Last year, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, and others stood in front of the Supreme Court to announce a court packing bill to give liberals a one-justice majority.  This follows threats from various Democratic members that conservative justices had better vote with liberal colleagues . . . or else. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, is not willing to wait and has called to pack the Court. She denounced the court for voting wrongly on decisions and, perish the thought, against “widely held public opinion.”

The attacks on the institution have become attacks on the members of the institution. Law professors like Berkeley Dean Erwin Chemerinksy have called the justice “partisan hacks” while others have supported targeting the individual justices at their home. Georgetown Law Professor Josh Chafetz declared that “when the mob is right, some (but not all!) more aggressive tactics are justified.”

Such calls can take on a more menacing meaning in the twisted minds of some who may think that “more aggressive tactics” include showing up at a justice’s house with a Glock handgun, zip ties, and burglary tools. Again, that is not the intention of such remarks but the endorsement of targeting justices at their homes shows a complete collapse in our sense of decency and responsibility.

Sixties Radical Abbie Hoffman once said that the “first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.” It remains to be seen if the public will allow these politicians to get away with it and support calls for changing the Court or retaliating against individual members. With the support of many in the media and academia, the reckless rhetoric is likely to continue.

However, there should be no question about the import of the underlying message that it is appropriate for politicians to pack or legislatively change the court if it does not rule the way that they and “public opinion” demand. Such proposals would destroy one of the core institutions of our constitution system.

That is why “when you talk about destruction” of our traditions of judicial review, as the Beatles declared in 1968, “you can count me out.”




134 thoughts on “So You Say You Want a Revolution? President Biden Continues to Talk Revolution if the Court does not Rule as Demanded”

  1. Some years back, professor you’d know the time, the court ruled on fighting words as not being protected speech. I believe it was over a religious argument and words were used to inflame the opponents. The court ruled that was not protected speech because the words were in effect promoting a violent response. I feel we are in that area of speech and response. Certainly, there are individuals ready to kill over the hyped rhetoric politics is generating. Just look at the character at the congressional baseball game, to think little words of inflammation were used then to stir this nut up so certainly there must be plenty of nuts ready for violence. The left is always violent, death is their go too plan when all else fails.
    Phil Davis

    1. “The court ruled…”

      – PD

      Courts don’t rule.

      The U.S. Constitution rules.

      Any court that deviates from the clear, literal, “manifest tenor” of the Constitution is comprised of criminals of high office, worthy of immediate impeachment and conviction.

      That is the corruption of centuries past when access to a publicized Constitution was limited, allowing Justices and judges to usurp power with facility and rule arbitrarily in their private little domains and fiefdoms.


      The Supreme Court ruled on Roe v Wade.

      The Supreme Court decided that the Supreme Court was egregiously erroneous and unconstitutional.

      The Supreme Court struck down and overturned the Supreme Court.

      What’s that tell ya?

      Wake the —- up!

      It’s not the Court, it’s the Constitution

      Justice is not justice if it is not dispassionate, unbiased, apolitical, without favor, and absolutely and unwaveringly supportive of the literal Constitution.

      The judicial branch has no power to legislate, to modify legislation, or to modify legislation by interpretation.

      One who can read English does not need an interpreter.

  2. The Democrats have shown clearly that they have no respect for the Court or the Constitution, and have replaced them with their now-favorite motto: By any means necessary. The Dems have become the party for the globalist agenda, and is only able to survive because it has the billionaires and corrupt media on its side. If African Americans ever come out of their delusions and leave the party of dependency, the Dems would be extinct in a NY minute.

    1. Racism will end when Democrats stop using it as a political weapon. Blacks and minorities hold that power over the Democrat Party. A political realignment is coming.

      1. Racism will end when the law is obeyed and followed, when the law and obeyance are corrected, and when the validity and full force and weight of contemporary immigration law of 1863, the Naturalization Act of 1802, is retroactively enforced as corrective action, such as that recently effected by the Supreme Court regarding the erroneous and unconstitutional Supreme Court Roe v Wade decision of 1973, 50 yeas ago, not to mention the enforcement of the essential innate law, nature and character of borders which deny illegal immigration and, equally illegal, foreign invasion, which, in turn, is an essential duty of the President of the United States, who, in 1863, was one “Crazy Abe” Lincoln.

        As illegal aliens are allowed to pour over the border into the United States by the duty-derelict, duty-negligent criminal of high office, Joke Biden, “Crazy Abe” Lincoln and his successors facilitated the foreign invasion of 4 million Africans, entirely without even a scintilla of legal basis, Africans being absolutely and directly excluded from immigration into the United States, or from obtaining citizenship therein, in 1863.

        You cannot live a lie forever.

  3. Both the Dems and RepubliCons are at war with tyranny. They both want a republic.
    It’s a republic, if you can keep it.

  4. At 91 I have lived through depression, wars , mini wars, foolish presidents, crooked vps , etc but never this circus sideshow of a president surrounded by the strangest assortment freaks . I won’t live to see the damage either atomic or economic. God Save theUSA

    1. Blessings to you for being now in your 92nd year of life — stay healthy.

    2. Yours was truly the Greatest Generation for so many reasons. May God Save the USA!
      Hope you keep the comments coming!

  5. I am not sure about the rules here on this blog, but I think the incident of the gunman coming to Kavanaugh’s house- to me it seems like he was more disturbed than homicidal, since he effectively turned himself in (assuming news reports got that right) – is partly traceable to the fact Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault. Though I do not know what happened almost 40 years ago and do not regard it as relevant, I did some gumshoe detective work and got some information on one claim Christine Blasey Ford made in her Senate testimony that seems to be provably untrue and therefore maybe a perjury. And several other instances of untruthfulness, again, not about what Kavanaugh did as a drunken teenager, much more recent and with solid evidence to examine. Is this kind of information allowed or desired? One of the other big #MeToo icons, Chanel Miller, lived about a mile from Ford in Palo Alto – this relates because it appears there was a #MeToo activist advising both who has promulgated misinformation.

    1. Steve White, express anything you wish except: avoid certain words which WordPress causes sending your comment into moderation. Also, no more than two links to elsewhere. Finally, be civil; if you must attack another blogger at least be clever about it.

      1. Thank you, I am nor attacking anyone here. I live about 30 miles from Christine Blasey Ford and I had suspicions she was being advised by a Stanford Professor who is a well known #MeToo activist, the same one Chanel Miller was advised by. During the Senate hearings, Ford told Senator Feinstein she added a front door to her house to have an escape route in case she was attacked as she said Kavanaugh attacked her. In other words, she had a very long term very severe traumae.
        There was one tiny news report the door was added to rent out the space (it was a front bedroom with bath attached already) as a therapist’s office. I went to the house (before a later remodel) and found the added door (Palo Alto City records showed it, but old Google Street View photos showed the house before it was put in)
        and it had both a stone path and a gate on that path. These are not consistent with an escape route -all you need is level ground with no tripping hazards to run away – the stones you put down because foot traffic is killing the grass, consistent with it being a therapy office – and a gate actively obstructs your escape, because you have to stop and open it, giving your pursuer a chance to catch up.
        So, that was one pretty clear untruth in my view – perjury? Well, she did make it during testimony, so, I let the lawyers figure that out – it certainly was viewed as relevant by Feinstein and Ford, apparently, but did not directly prove or disprove what happened back in 1982 or 83.
        I also wish to point out – Ford said she moved four times to avoid harassment and threats – but she lives in the same house today, she did not move four times, she did not even move once.
        And finally, Ford’s Go Fund Me promised to give away her donations – and that she would tell the world who she gave them to, on the GFM page – but that was in November 2018, and I see no notice of her re-donating it so far. I do not think she had any legal obligation to be trutthinhful on this point, as the donations were all given with the statement she could spend them on anything, and she ended the GFM before claiming she would give it away- no “fraudulent inducement” made – but not truthful IMO.

    2. “…he was more disturbed than homicidal,…”

      – Steve White

      Is it not axiomatic that a person who kills others or mass groups is totally insane?

      At best, he’s put himself in prison for life; at worst, he’s just committed suicide.

      From my perspective, and probably that of most people who enjoy a day in the park, a good book, a good meal, a party, etc., killing is unimaginable and wholly unacceptable, complete lunacy.

      Is differentiation conceivable or possible?

  6. Yes, I do find some of the comments made by various people in regards to the court to be inflammatory, and I would consider them to be calls for violence.
    Biden’s rhetoric is not better.
    Clearly the would be assassin of Justice Kavanaugh had violence in mind.
    Some of the rhetoric/tweets coming out of the RuthSentUs, also seem of the thinly veiled hints of violence, with clear intention of intimidation aimed at his family.

    The Senate passed a bill unanimously to increase security for all the members of the SC. As of this writing, Pelosi wont allow it to be brought to the floor. Why?

    1. Because the DNC is oh so fine with threats of violence extorting the Supreme Court.

    2. “The Senate passed a bill unanimously to increase security for all the members of the SC. As of this writing, Pelosi wont allow it to be brought to the floor. Why?”

      Good question, Upstate. Does she actually want a SC member killed? Jan6 had a lot of elements from the deep state and the left. Did Pelosi want the riot and want people killed? Ashley Babbitt was killed, but there was no need to do so. Did Pelosi secretly stir up the Capitol police so that they would be more likely to shoot?

      These questions might seem fanciful, but look at Pelosi’s actions. She is not the person she would like to be seen as. During Covid on the one hand she wanted everyone masked up and States closed down to stop the spread, but on the other hand she incentivized a tremendous gathering in China Town with a lot of close contact. Did she hope people would die. She wants to be seen as a great American, but where does the Pelosi family money come from? Her father had some dubious associations and his son was accused of rape. There are a lot of other family associations that are questionable. Her big money comes from China. I wonder how China, our biggest enemy, fits in.

      One can go on and on about Pelosi, but virtually everything points to a very bad person who is capable of almost anything.

  7. “On that day, there is no question that Trump whipped the crowd into a frenzy.”

    There is no question that Trump always whips the crowd into a frenzy.
    But so what? Does this mean that no rally speaking politician can get his/her constituents excited and enthusiastic?
    Basically a non statement.

    1. Generally speaking in the past a politician who could whip up a crowd was referred to as an “orator”.

    2. Not there myself, but know many who were and not a one of them would agree that anything President Trump had to say would have whipped the crowd into a “frenzy.”

  8. I agree with Professor Turley that the rhetoric is getting very overheated but is not new. One only needs to have a sense of history and a review of campaign And political literature through the life of this nation to note other times when the rhetoric was caustic and personal vilification was rampant. Especially post civil war up to WW1. Also in that time you had labor strife, violent and deadly strikes and 3 presidents assassinated and another shot while campaigning in 1912 (TR Roosevelt). But the rhetoric was primarily in the newspapers and that limited it’s impact.
    Now it is 24 hr’s per day and 7 days a week. This just seems to raise the heat even more. I am not much concerned by politicians rhetoric but their minions are not controllable and there are too many sick minds out there. The problem is some nut will act and do something horrible to a political personage and set off a chain reaction which can build on it’s own momentum and quickly run out of control.
    It’s like a political arms race out there with everyone pulling out all of their biggest guns and responding to all slights with massive broadsides far beyond what is called for..
    What is a mini-revolution? They have a bad habit of going big and uncontrolled toppling governments often with violence.
    I’m sure the British thought that small raid to Concord to seize a stockpile of arms and some local troublemakers was basically just a police action.
    Or who would have thought the assassination of an unpopular heir in Sarajevo would launch the greatest war the world had ever seen up to that time.
    Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.

    1. GEB,
      Well said.
      “What is a mini-revolution?”
      I was wondering what that would look like?
      War are ugly, having seen it myself. Civil wars are even worse.
      Let us hope cooler heads prevail, and no one does anything fantastically dumb (re: assassination).

  9. As I will always point out to you Turley…, the best plan to pack the court was the one you had awhile back. The worst plan for how to pack the court was how Mitch McConnell actually did it.

    Yes, we get it. You don’t like the January 6th commission and they’re going to say a bunch of things that will make you feel badly about the stances you’ve taken during your full monty on fox news in recent years as you’ve become a complete repub mouthpiece. The toxic revolution has happened in R politics as they’ve sold out to a more openly racist and authoritarian base, so your appeals to look the other way carry no weight and actually only serve to pollute the imagery of an amazing piece of music from the Beatles.


    1. Eb,

      I thought you said you had had enough of this blog. I wouldn’t blame you were you to ditch this joint. Dealing with the flood of hate here is like sweeping back an ocean tide- hopeless, hopeless.

      I don’t regret living through this period of Trumpism/Q-Anonism because it has been a living history lesson. You don’t have to read about McCarthyism. You can see that mindset all around us. Turley recognizes it when he denounces the “age of rage” while profiting upon the main cause of it- Fox News- hypocritically.

      With few exceptions, I could not care less what these lying Trumpists think because they are dead-enders. I’m drawn here primarily to witness Turley’s struggle to straddle the moral and intellectual gulf of being a Liberal GW law professor and a Fox legal pundit. The damning revelations which he acknowledges are forthcoming from these hearings are likely to strain his ability to bridge this gaping divide.

      I have said where I think Turley ultimately stands. I know where I stand. If the Trumpists are right, then I rejoice being wrong. Because I don’t want to think like them, feel like them or act like them.

      1. You were going to leave if Turley mentioned deep state and he did. You are a damn liar.

  10. Thank you, Jonathan. You are a true liberal in the best sense. As to this performance art tonight, why do democrats want to punish all Republicans for the actions of a few hotheads? As I recall, Republicans didn’t blame all Democrats when Antifa followers tore down our historic statues and defiled cities and private businesses. We blamed those who committed the acts, those who sponsored them, and those who ACTIVELY supported and encouraged them.

    1. Jody,
      Republicans also didn’t blame Democrats when Bernie Bro shot up the ballfield almost killing Scalice. One way street. Par for the course for libs. Ends justify the means. Because,
      let me guess, ” Democracy was at stake”.

      1. The mouse won, recall…

        That is truly offensive. Mice can be shaped via operant conditioning, they are very resilient in preclinical experiments, and are extraordinary useful when it comes to medical science breakthroughs. Plus they are quite content with feeding them biscuits. Biden, not so much

  11. There are some MOC that should be censured for their actions. Speech is not absolutely free, and the incitement to violence by these people, regardless of political stripe, has to stop.

    Adams was correct in noting ““Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

    1. And that’s why the Founders opted for a republic because in a pure democracy, laws are made directly by the voting majority leaving the rights of the minority largely unprotected.

      1. Interesting, I think, that the greatest of the Greek philosophers (i.e., Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle), as well, as the greatest Athenian statesman (that would be Pericles) thought democracy was the most degenerate form of “government.”

          1. David, by now you should realize Kagan was talking about Athenian Democracy which is quite different than you might envision.

            1. S. Meyer, “was”. It was what I shall term Periclean democracy that Socrates died from and both Plato and Aristotle found wanting.

              1. Democracy is a problem, unless you are one of the two foxes voting with a chicken as to what should be placed on the dinner table.

              2. “. . . Periclean democracy that Socrates died from . . .”

                How so?

                Socrates was sentenced to death some 20 years after Pericles’ rule. So the dates don’t fit.

                The primary charge against him was “impiety,” a quasi-religious condemnation. So the ideology doesn’t fit.

                There might be something to your point, but i’m not sure what your point is.

    1. It is naive to think that Democrats who are seeking to pack the court or impeach Thomas would be dissatisfied if one or two of the five justices seemingly comprising the majority in Dobbs were to be assassinated. They cannot succeed in packing the court or impeaching Thomas. The assassinations would accomplish their goals of preserving Roe/Casey and quickly changing the balance on the court through Biden appointments, while the Democrats still have a Senate majority.

      The failure of the DOJ to enforce 18 USC 1507 suggests that the AG and his fellow ideologues in the department may have a similar view.

      This is the logical culmination of the left’s politics of personal destruction and all out war on the institutions that preserve ordered liberty in this country.

  12. Well, literal or rhetorical, they should be careful what they “wish” for. I don’t think things will turn out they way they think they will.

    1. You took the words right out of my mouth. I was going to post the same thing.

  13. “….To his credit, Biden was promising only a ‘mini-Revolution.'” ?!?!?! Oh come on, Jonathan! The threats and rhetoric coming from the Democrat’s are nothing less than incendiary and irresponsible. From a sitting President, such language is unforgivable.

  14. ““I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.” To me that is a true threat that was almost carried out this week. Schumer should be expelled from the Senate for inciting a terrorist attack and for insurrection against the constitution. None of this will happen because the system is packed with leftist LEOs and the right are a bunch of mealy-mouthed cowards.

    1. Schoomer is a disgrace – to NY, to the USSenate, to any good and decent registered Ds who find his words and actions despicable, etc. He called on someone somewhere, like the hitman who traveled from CA, to do physical and mental harm to Justices of the Supreme Court of the USA.

      1. My significant other, who is an orthodox Jew, says that Schumer and Nadler make him ashamed to share a faith with them. They are truly ungodly in their behavior along with being anti-American and tyrannical in their thirst for power.

  15. If you don’t vote Republican…you Hate America
    Democrats Hate America. They are bankrupting the country….$150k of federal debt for every person in the country! People are rewarded, helped and encouraged to be here illegally. Try that in a European Country…you would be gone by month’s end! Democrats in Government use Government to ATTACK Opponents….this is Banana Republic level Government! Democrats are the most greedy, hate filled, lying, cheating, hypocrites on the PLANET!

    DNC, Hillary, Obama, Comey, DOJ, FBI, etc….all try to over throw the election of Trump!!! These people should be rounded up and jailed!

  16. Again…

    Personally I think the Democrats are intentionally ram their popular social justice policies down our throats so they have to get rejected by the courts as being illegal or unconstitutional to project their false narrative that the courts are corrupted and need to be completely overhauled or eliminated because they won’t allow the Democrats to do what they want.

    If you think I’m wrong, then prove me wrong. 😉

  17. Democrats are at War with America…AGAIN!
    Problem is Republicans and Independents aren’t fighting! The DOJ and FBI are 100% corrupt…and the Rule of Law is Dead!

    Better start fighting! Elections should be One Day, In Person, Photo ID. If you can’t be bothered to SHOW UP…then your vote isn’t needed!

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