In an adversarial legal system, one side wins, the other side loses. Invariably, when a judge decides, it will “favor” one side, and “disfavor” another. That has always been the case.
A losing party is entitled to appeal a judge’s decision. She may raise disagreement with it. She may even question it. The options are many. But to threaten the judge who rendered the decision is not one of them. When that threat alludes to physical violence, then it becomes even more repugnant.
We respect judicial processes, not out of blind reverence but, because of their role in keeping society together. We adhere to the Rule of Law because the alternative is the Rule of Force. When we normalize threatening our judges with violence, we invite the same violence to visit us on the streets and in our homes.
We invite these individuals to heed the Supreme Court’s warning. Threats against the judiciary – veiled or direct – do not serve the cause you believe in. They expose you to contempt, both legal and societal. If these reminders do not give pause, perhaps the motu propio measures alluded to by the Supreme Court will. The signals are clear. Cut and cut cleanly.