Joe Biden’s Veiled Threat to SCOTUS Justices at State of the Union Speech

Amid escalating tensions and protests targeting justices over their decision to overturn Roe V. Wade from radical and oftentimes violent groups, President Joe Biden’s recent rebuke of the high court during his speech to Congress has added to the danger and strain that faces the Judicial branch of government.

Biden made comments Thursday night that can only be described as a veiled threat to the justices, and the pressure tactic to change their way comes at a time when incidents of violence at abortion centers and the homes of judges have surged across the country.

Biden’s campaign-style speech, given under the guise of the State of the Union address on Thursday night, was obviously meant to entice women voters to support him, so it was ironic that one crucial woman was not in the audience to be scolded by Biden.

In a notable absence, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett chose not to attend President Joe Biden’s 2024 State of the Union speech on Thursday night, along with two other conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. This decision left observers questioning the significance of their absence during a pivotal moment in American politics.

In a remarkable and unscripted moment, Biden directly addressed the Supreme Court justices, admonishing them for their recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case protecting abortion rights.

The atmosphere in the chamber shifted as Biden, in a pointed address that had been full of vicious rhetoric against his opponents, warned the justices not to underestimate the power of women, stating, “With all due respect, justices, women are not without electoral or political power.”

He then added, “You’re about to realize just how much…”, prompting a standing ovation from Democratic lawmakers present.

While the justices maintained their composure, observers noted a sense of shock rippling across their faces as Biden made his remarks.

Chief Justice John Roberts and the other justices sat stoically as the chamber erupted in applause around them. This rare interaction between the president and the Supreme Court justices harkened back to a similar incident in 2010 when Justice Samuel Alito visibly reacted to then-President Barack Obama’s criticism of the court’s ruling on Citizens United during a State of the Union address.

Biden’s address also touched upon other recent judicial decisions, including a ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court regarding in vitro fertilization. The president’s bold confrontation of the Supreme Court underscores the deep divisions surrounding issues of reproductive rights and the role of the judiciary in shaping American society.

While Barrett, Thomas, and Alito were notably absent, the remaining conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Chief Justice John Roberts, were present for Biden’s address. Conversely, all three liberal justices, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, attended the event, along with retired justice Anthony Kennedy, who was replaced by Kavanaugh during former President Donald Trump’s administration.

Barrett’s absence from the State of the Union address this year contrasts with her attendance last year, where she was among the five justices present. Justice Sotomayor, Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch missed last year’s address.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment on Barrett’s absence, but no response was received by the time of publication.

Social media erupted with commentary regarding Thomas’ absence, particularly in light of recent controversial decisions and calls from the political left urging him to recuse himself from certain cases.

Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia and Democratic attorney and commentator Kaivan Shroff were among those who commented on Thomas’ absence, with some attributing it to the discomfort surrounding Thomas’ wife’s alleged involvement in the January 6 “insurrection,” which was a theme of Biden’s speech.

However, Thomas’ absence from the State of the Union address is not unprecedented, as he has abstained from attending every address since 2006, including those delivered by former President Trump.

Similarly, Alito has been absent from the event since 2010, while Sotomayor had missed every speech since 2016 before Thursday, according to media sources.

The decision of justices not to attend State of the Union addresses may reflect a desire to distance themselves from the increasingly partisan nature of the event, particularly during an election year.

Thomas has been vocal about his discomfort with the partisanship and disruption that often accompany these speeches, expressing concern that such an environment is not conducive for members of the judiciary who are expected to remain impartial.

Chief Justice Roberts has previously described the State of the Union as “a political pep rally,” while Alito has voiced similar sentiments, noting that justices often “sit there like potted plants” during the event.

As the nation processes President Biden’s bold confrontation of the Supreme Court over the Roe v. Wade reversal during his State of the Union address, the absence of certain justices, including Barrett, adds another layer of intrigue to an already significant moment in American politics.

Check this out if you would like to support our work:

Ben Bergquam's Updates

Sign up today to get updates from Ben from Frontline America and Real America's Voice. Ben writes every email personally. Don't miss out!

This will close in 0 seconds