Agreeing to Disagree – Let’s All Use Our Inside Voices


This week, I wanted to note a recent New York Times editorial, “Dangerous Threats.”  The piece comments generally on the disturbing trend of increased threats made to federal judges and prosecutors.

The Times focused on remarks made earlier this month by Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT) before a joint session of the Montana Legislature. In speaking on a recent decision about wolves and the Endangered Species Act, Congressman Rehberg wondered, “How can we put some of these judicial activists on the endangered species list. I am still working on that!”

While he did not explicitly name the “judicial activists” (a term I abhor) in question, it was all too apparent to the children of the judge who issued the opinion.  They wrote a letter in protest to Montana’s Independent Record, pointing out how disturbing it is that an elected official would think such remarks acceptable in public discourse.

Be you conservative or liberal, disagreeing with certain judicial rulings and opinions is a fact of life if you live in the United States. How appalling then that some of our fellow citizens can only handle that kind of disagreement by wishing harm to others. Instead of targeting someone with implied or explicit threats, why not take some time to bone up on how our branches of government work? After all, the judge was simply doing his job of interpreting and applying the law.

As an alternative, we can peacefully vote to change laws or elect people to do so on our behalf.  And I would add, even though I don’t agree with him politically, I don’t dispute, and neither should anyone else, the Congressman’s right to work on changing the Endangered Species Act if he doesn’t like it. But as the Times points rightly out, he also “should protect the judge from political pressure, not subject him to a nasty kind that encourages others to do the same.”

Posted in: Legal News

3 responses to “Agreeing to Disagree – Let’s All Use Our Inside Voices”

  1. Caroline Evans says:

    Judging only from the content of this article… it is really hard to get all revved up about the particular terminology quoted.

    It seems obvious it means to neutralize or eliminate “judicial activists” from the political scene.

    It is not a physical threat. It isn’t even close to a physical threat. You would have to have a touch of paranoia to take it as a physical threat.

    The real problem, it seems to me, is the increase in passive-aggressive aggression on the part of so many who do want to play though and speech police.

    Figuratively speaking… they seek to lobotomize those whose opinions they do not like by cutting out part of their speech center.

    To turn it into figurative speech…you have to wonder who is the sicker member of society?

    The one who openly and honestly threatens to “violently” punch someone for an opinion, and does not do so.

    Or the one who seeks to “peacefully” lobotomize-for-life one whose opinion they do not like… and seeks to get that person to do it to themselves.

    To me…. the passive-aggressives are the ones who are a greater danger to civil society and truly are a good deal more evil in their heart.

  2. It struck me that the children of the judge did seem a bit paranoid. As Caroline Evans stated in her post it did indeed seem obvious that Rehberg wants to eliminate so called judicial activists from the scene, not actually physically hurt them. To me the question becomes:OVER DRAMATIC much?

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