Why would any American not defend the inherent right of Donald Trump to give voice to the vitriol and hate behind his movement?
It's because the liberties animating a non-authoritarian politics face determined enemies across the political spectrum in the American political culture.
The substance of anti-Trump arguments, such as there exists substance, suggests implicitly or explicitly a denial of Trump's right to excoriate a federal judge such that the denial promotes a greater social good.
For example, as one line of reasoning goes, because Trump's view are racist, Trump no longer enjoys the right to voice his views.
This reasoning should require no further comment, but this is the USA and defense of liberty usually stops at the bumper sticker or comment below the political column.
Right Wisconsin's Charlie Sykes offers a more nuanced and equally absurd take: Because Trump is a candidate for the presidency of the United States, Trump no longer retains the right to criticize a federal judge. Writes Sykes:
Reflect on this for a moment. A candidate for president of the United States using his pulpit to personally attack a federal judge presiding over litigation involving that candidate’s fraudulent business practices. At best, it was yet another petulant outburst; at worst, it was intended to bully and intimidate the judge, perhaps an attempt to push him to step down. In either case, Trump is using his political position to try to derail his own day in court.
And yet, we are told, this is the man we will should trust with the future of the judiciary?
The tyranny of the judiciary is long documented in America, but one case ought to suffice to goad political commentators in considering Trump's rights vis a vis the federal judiciary, and the question how exactly is Trump bullying and intimidating Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California?
Sykes doesn't say, but all he references are the absurd rants of Trump which, if Sykes were more rigorous, he would recognize as no departure from the neo-facsist Repulbican Party. [Note: Trump's silly remarks amount to: Because Trump has proposed a wall between Mexico and the U.S., and the mass deportation of Mexican immigrants, (presumably without due process in Trump's view), the Mexican "heritage" of Judge Curiel is a disqualification of Curiel's impartiality in hearing federal litigation involving Trump.
Sykes on the other hand argues that because Trump as the presumptive Republican Party nominee is arguing his position publicly as a component of his presidential campaign, Trump is improperly impugning the impartiality of the judiciary branch. Both are ludicrous positions, but Trump as well as Sykes retain their First Amendment rights to state their positions, irrespective to the soundness and rigor lacking in both arguments.]
United States v. Dellinger et al
As to that one case, consider the 1969-1970 indictment, trial and convictions, (along with a mistrial), of peace and social justice activists in United States v. Dellinger et al, overturned on appeal, (472 F.2d 340; 1972 U.S. App. LEXIS 6620; 22 A.L.R. Fed. 159) (February 8, 1972, Argued; November 21, 1972, Decided).
The Chicago Eight were peace and social justice activists who faced prosecution for allegedly violating federal Anti-riot Act, (18 U.S.C.S. § 1821), and a host of other ludicrous charges steaming from protests at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Party Convention. Ironically, the Anti-riot Act was a provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
The defendants were David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale, John Froines and Lee Weiner, all of whom were friendly to or intimately associated with the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, MOBE, to name one conspiring organization, "others identified in the record being Professor Sidney Peck, Western Reserve University, Professor Donald Kalish, University of California at Los Angeles, Msgr. Charles O. Rice, Pittsburgh, and Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Atlanta. Rennie Davis, aged 28, was MOBE's Project Director for these activities and set up an office in Chicago." (NexisLexis).
These activists continually ridiculed the presiding U.S. District Judge Julius Jennings Hoffman, and the U.S. Attorney Thomas Foran.
The defendants were ultimately vindicated, legally and morally.
Now, if say George McGovern or Edmund Muskie had ridiculed Judge Hoffman as an imbecile and a fascist as part of their campaigns for the presidency, would McGovern and Muskie had been accused of bullying and intimidating the judiciary branch? Of course not.
Or would McGovern and Muskie's complicity in bullying behavior be dependent on whether McGovern and Muskie were directly party in federal litigation involving Judge Hoffman? If you believe what Charlie Sykes writes.
Sykes and others' are ludicrous positions, as is the failure to call for the rights of Donald Trump as part of one's own political commitment.
In America hysteria is usually more popular than history. I'll have to look and see if the federal Anti-riot Act, (18 U.S.C.S. § 1821), is still around, because not a few would like to see the provisions used against Donald Trump.