Indiana columnist subtly attacks Justice Barrett, Chief Justice Robert, for alleged 'legal crisis' in Hoosier State

 May 26, 2024

The conservative-leaning justices of the Supreme Court, most notably Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, have consistently faced ethics-related attacks and partisan smears over the past few years that are intended to undermine their credibility and the legitimacy of the court as a whole.

Now a subtle attack disguised as faux concern for a purported "legal crisis" in Indiana has been aimed at Justice Amy Coney Barrett and Chief Justice John Roberts, courtesy of an op-ed from Hoosier State columnist Brian Howey.

The columnist seemed to imply that Barrett and Roberts were at least partially responsible for a dearth of new judges and lawyers in the state and tangentially linked them to the Supreme Court's low approval rating, former President Donald Trump's rhetorical attacks on judges and prosecutors, and the alleged ethical issues facing some of their conservative-leaning colleagues.

Indiana should be proud of its two justices on the court

Howey began his column by observing that Indianans should be proud that two of their own, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Barrett, have connections to the Hoosier State but then argued that that wasn't actually the case.

He cited recent commentary from the chief justice of the state's Supreme Court, Loretta Rush, about a "critical" shortage of new attorneys and judges, which coincides with Indiana ranking near the bottom of the 50 states in terms of the ratio of lawyers per residents.

The columnist also pointed to the results of a Gallup survey last year which found that public approval of the Supreme Court was at 41%, just a tick above its all-time low of 40%, with an all-time high disapproval rating of 58%.

That poll also found that just 49% of Americans had a "great deal" or "fair amount" of trust and confidence in the court while 51% had "not very much" or "none at all."

Blame cast on Trump and Justices Alito and Thomas

"It’s curious that Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Barrett haven’t inspired a new generation of Hoosier legal scholars," Howey wrote in his column. "What’s going on?"

The columnist proceeded to answer his own rhetorical query by first suggesting that former President Trump's long history of employing fiery rhetoric against judges and prosecutors arrayed against him -- often personal attacks that have at times extended to their family members and have resulted in controversy and gag orders -- was at least partly responsible.

He then shifted his finger of blame to the more conservative colleagues of Barrett and Roberts, Justices Alito and Thomas, and suggested that their alleged ethical shortcomings were also at fault for the alleged "legal crisis" in Indiana.

Howey focused on the latest ethics allegations about Alito flying partisan-linked flags outside his home and Thomas receiving unreported gifts from wealthy benefactors -- which the Washington Examiner recently reported are clearly part of a "coordinated" effort by leftist activists and their media allies to try and force their recusal from critical cases that are launched "like clockwork" every spring as the Supreme Court's term draws to a close.

Justices appearing to delay trials for Trump a "judicial tragedy"

Howey ended his column by lamenting that former President Trump would likely only face in one of the four criminal cases he faces -- the "hush money" trial in New York -- as his two federal cases, the 2020 election and Jan. 6 Capitol riot-related case in Washington D.C. and the classified documents case in Florida, will likely be delayed until after the election in November.

Left unmentioned directly is that the D.C. case has been delayed, and could eventually even be dropped altogether, because of two cases the Supreme Court will soon issue rulings on -- Trump's claim of presidential immunity from prosecution and the DOJ's overly broad use of an obstruction charge.

Howey concluded of the alleged lack of accountability for the former president, "That’s a judicial tragedy, with the optics of sitting justices putting their thumbs on the scale (or dragging their feet), if nothing else than to delay the rule of law."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.