Today's New York Times' editorial page addresses U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg's threatening words against District Judge Donald Molloy. During a speech last week to the Montana Legislature, Rehberg suggested certain judges should be put on the Endangered Species List. It was a thinly veiled reference to Molloy's controversial wolf decision last year.
The Times writes:
...the idea that a judge should be singled out in political retribution because a congressman doesn’t like his rulings is outrageous.
Mr. Rehberg, who likes to quote Thomas Jefferson when it suits him, should re-read the Constitution. The judiciary is a separate, co-equal branch of government. Federal judges have life tenure in order to make impartial and independent judgments. Mr. Rehberg should protect the judge from political pressure, not subject him to a nasty kind that encourages others to do the same.
The Times mentions a guest opinion piece written by Molloy's children, but draws its own conclusion:
When politics fans those passions rather than disciplining them, as happened last week in Montana where Representative Rehberg’s threat drew an eager laugh, the system protecting that freedom is also threatened.
You can read the full editorial, titled "Dangerous Threats," here.