Leftist Group Offers to Pay Anyone Who Abets SCOTUS Harassment
You’ve heard of crowdsourced encyclopedias (Wikipedia), crowdsourced donations (GoFundMe), crowdsourced reviews (Yelp), crowdsourced navigation (Waze), and crowdsourced delivery (Door Dash). Now, get ready for… (drumroll please) crowdsourced political harassment! Infuriated by their failure to intimidate the Supreme Court, leftists have attributed its failure — just like communism’s — to insufficient extremism. To atone for their moderation, they are adopting new tactics and escalating their war of attrition against the third branch of America’s constitutional republic.
Left-wing activist organization ShutDownDC, known for its radical and often illegal tactics, offered to pay waiters who tip them off regarding the locations of the Supreme Court justices. “DC Service Industry Workers ... If you see Kavanaugh, Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, Coney Barrett or Roberts DM us with the details!” tweeted ShutDownDC on Friday. “We’ll venmo you $50 for a confirmed sighting and $200 if they’re still there 30 mins after your message.”
The hounds believe they are hot on the trail. Last Wednesday, ShutDownDC organized a demonstration in front of Morton’s, a D.C. steakhouse where Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was eating dinner. Justice Kavanaugh was compelled to leave the restaurant through a rear entrance. Since then, the restaurant has been flooded with fake reservations and phone calls. On June 30, 181 people were arrested at a ShutDownDC-style protest that attempted to blockade the Supreme Court garage.
These events are the latest escalations in a months-long intimidation campaign, sparked by the May 2 leak of the draft Dobbs opinion which overturned Roe v. Wade. During the two months between the leak and the decision’s official release, leftist activists published the Supreme Court justices’ home addresses online, organized weekly protests at their private residences, threatened to riot if they overturned Roe, and even plotted to assassinate Justice Kavanaugh.
Yet all their thuggish gambits have accomplished nothing. Since the disgraceful attempts at character assassination during his confirmation hearings (which ultimately failed to derail his nomination), leftists have carried out a causeless, scorched-earth vendetta against Kavanaugh in particular (and the other justices, too), presumably because they believe he is easiest to intimidate. So far, they’ve succeeded about as much as former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Not only did the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, but the court also reaffirmed the Second Amendment right to bear arms, rebuked overreach by executive agencies, and upheld religious freedom. With each puncture of their triumphalism bubble, the Left grew angrier.
Now they are openly recruiting mercenaries for their #Resistance. They want to deny the justices a moment of peace or civility by constantly confronting them with their crude slogans and vile manners. Their aim is possibly revenge, possibly badgering one or more conservative justices into an early resignation — possibly both.
A byproduct of the stalking campaign is to erode the legitimacy of the Supreme Court itself. The Supreme Court has long been known for its collegial atmosphere, operational security, and absence of partisan bickering. The late conservative stalwart, Justice Antonin Scalia, and the late progressive icon, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, maintained a fast friendship despite their disagreements about the law. That friendship relied on keeping legal philosophies separate from personal life — a principle that leftist activists explicitly reject.
With leftist radicals openly undermining the U.S. government on Twitter, what will the platform do about it? Probably nothing, even though their policy specifies, “You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so.” Experience has forced conservatives to only believe in equal justice from big tech corporations when they see it. As of 2 p.m. on Tuesday, the tweet was still live.
Twitter isn’t the only tech giant implicated; in the tweet, ShutDownDC proposes to compensate tips via Venmo, an electronic payment processor owned by PayPal. Will Venmo tolerate such transactions on its platform? It has been known to boot those engaging in illegal transactions like prostitution and violent extremism, at least those who aren’t on the Left. Perhaps they will do the right thing regarding the safety of Supreme Court justices as well. We’ll see.
Speaking of money, how is ShutDownDC funding its generous bounties? For that matter, how is the organization able to assemble so many people to block streets and snarl commuter traffic on a regular basis? Do these people not have jobs? Perhaps this is their job. It wouldn’t be the first time. In 2016, Planned Parenthood affiliates and other left-wing groups were recruiting paid protestors for as much as $18 per hour. Clearly, someone with deep pockets is bankrolling this front group, too. The radical Left remains both desperate and determined.
But paying for protestors is a shell game. It’s a tacit admission that your cause is not as popular as you want people to think it is. Real grassroots movements don’t have to pay their “volunteers” because their volunteers are so deeply invested. They will sacrifice their time to assemble for a protest. Average people have bills to pay and mouths to feed; they can’t afford to protest endlessly. Somehow, leftist protestors can keep on protesting endlessly — and have surplus cash to pay others to inform for them. But they still can’t draw a crowd large enough to achieve their desired effect. It’s almost like the American people doesn’t want the future they offer.
Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.