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EDITORIAL: Biden should practice what he preaches on justice system

The response to the Donald Trump verdict was predictable, as partisans raced for their corners. But President Joe Biden’s comments were particularly thoughtless given their lack of self-awareness and glaring hypocrisy.

On Friday, Mr. Biden weighed in on the New York jury verdict that determined his predecessor was guilty of 34 felony counts for falsifying business records to cover up a potentially damaging tryst with a porn star. He was particularly unsympathetic to attacks on the criminal justice system from Mr. Trump and Republicans.

“It’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict,” Mr. Biden said. “Our justice system has endured for nearly 250 years, and it literally is the cornerstone of America. Our justice system, the justice system, should be respected, and we should never allow anyone to tear it down. As simple as that. That’s America. That’s who we are.”

Stirring words. If only Mr. Biden and Democrats believed them.

In fact, not only do progressives rail against a justice system steeped in “systemic racism,” they openly seek to “tear down” the U.S. Supreme Court precisely because the justices prefer to follow the Constitution rather than bend to fashionable statist orthodoxy. Undermining the criminal justice system is part and parcel of the leftist playbook. When the court issues decisions they don’t like, congressional Democrats now threaten to manipulate the institution with court-packing schemes.

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, did Mr. Biden urge his supporters to respect the decision, while defending the importance of an independent judiciary? Hardly. Instead, the president attacked “extremist” justices and accused them of “being far removed from the majority of this country.”

Just a few years earlier, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat from New York, took to the steps of the high court to rile up a crowd upset about a pending abortion case. “I want to tell you, (Neil) Gorsuch. I want to tell you, (Brett) Kavanaugh,” Sen. Schumer said, “you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

Not a peep from Mr. Biden about such threats and intimidation being “reckless” or “dangerous” or “irresponsible.”

And while the president is preaching “respect” for the Trump verdict, he’s blatantly ignoring the Supreme Court by continuing to forgive billions in student loans despite a recent ruling that he lacks authority to unilaterally take such a step in most cases.

Our courts do indeed deserve respect. But if Mr. Biden and his fellow travelers are truly concerned about Trump supporters “tearing down” the justice system, they might start leading by example.

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