Even if their efforts to get these justices removed from the bench or to force their recusal in the Obamacare case and others fail, they hope that their intense political pressure will intimidate the "conservative" justices into softening their positions or perhaps influence "swing justice" Anthony Kennedy. Whatever it takes.
On Monday, Politico reported that liberal groups still upset about Citizens United and fearful the court could overturn Obamacare "have launched an aggressive -- and at times personal -- attack on the court's most conservative justices." They've targeted three out of the four "conservative" justices, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Alito.
The groups have accused Thomas and Scalia of engaging in partisan politics and of conflicts of interest and have called on the Justice Department to investigate them and possibly invalidate their votes in Citizens United. One group also asked the Missouri Supreme Court to disbar Thomas.
These attacks are so vicious and spurious that even liberal Harvard law professor Noah Feldman wrote a New York Times op-ed criticizing them and pointing out that any political involvement of Thomas and Scalia pales in comparison with that of many of their predecessors on the bench.
Feldman pulled no punches, suggesting that the left's attacks on Thomas and Scalia seemed "suspiciously partisan." It's not only Feldman. Politico notes that "other legal scholars and court watchers from across the political spectrum have also dismissed the campaign as a stretch, at best, and dangerous, at worst." The Washington Post's editorial board pointed out that "liberal" justices have also affiliated with groups whose interests come before the court.
The liberals' complaints mainly center on the justices attending or making speeches at conservative events and the involvement of Thomas' wife, Virginia, in tea party activities. Some Democratic congressmen, such as Rep. Anthony Weiner, have tried to draw a specious connection between these events and the justices' ability to rule impartially on Obamacare and are pressuring the justices to recuse themselves from the case.
But even liberal legal experts have outright rejected this effort. CNN legal commentator Jeffrey Toobin said of attempts to force Thomas to recuse himself, "I don't think there is even a specter of a conflict of interest."
The left's unconscionable campaign to slander the justices should be seen for what it is: further evidence that it is ruthlessly devoted to its political ends and unscrupulous in the means it will employ to achieve them.