Yesterday, during the Senate impeachment trial's questions phase, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren submitted a question that attacked Chief Justice John Roberts who is presiding over the Senate impeachment trial as required by the Constitution:
Roberts read the question aloud: “At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?”
Prof. Adam White summed up the situation perfectly:
The fact that Senator Warren submitted this question, and the fact that Chief Justice Roberts read it unflinchingly, highlights how well and dutifully he executes his office, and how poorly and cynically she executes hers. https://t.co/mZJhmgf8nn— Adam White (@adamjwhitedc) January 30, 2020
Senator John Cornyn called it a "cheap shot":
Cheap shot by my colleague https://t.co/IP0gemfyfj— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) January 31, 2020
Senator Warren's question also backfired spectacularly. Senator Lisa Murkowski had indicated she might be willing for the Senate to hear witnesses, which the Democrats are desperate for after the failure of the House to build a record adequate for conviction. But Senator Murkowski decided to vote against the Senate hearing additional evidence in part because of Senator Warren's (and other Democrats') attacks on Chief Justice Roberts:
It has also become clear some of my colleagues intend to further politicize this process, and drag the Supreme Court into the fray, while attacking the Chief Justice. I will not stand for nor support that effort. We have already degraded our institution for partisan political benefit, and I will not enable those who wish to pull down another.
Senator Murkowski's vote would have been critical on the witness question, which was defeated this evening 51-49.
Senator Warren's attack on Chief Justice Roberts for political gain is just the latest of what has become a disheartening pattern of behavior among the Democrats: undermining the judiciary. Because of judges who respect the rule of law, along with the fruition of the originalism movement started by Attorney General Ed Meese, the judiciary can no longer be relied upon to advance progressive policy goals. So Democrats and their liberal allies have instead turned to attacking the very institution, from senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee constantly saying that the Supreme Court is partisan institution, to a group of senators led by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse filing a brief with the Court that threatened the Court if it merely decided to grant cert in a case (which it since has), to calls for court-packing becoming commonplace among Democratic leaders and some 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.