Real Chilling Effects

I read about assassinations of judges in Iraq, and I think about whether we’ve just seen assassinations of a judge’s family in Chicago.

From Eric Zorn, in the Chicago Tribune:

Any organized, politically motivated attack on a judge or a judge’s family is an attack on a core presumption that shapes our daily lives–that major decision-makers operate free from the fear of organized intimidation, extortion and bloody revenge.

If that precious presumption shatters, we risk turning into one of those nations where the powerful and famous live in cocoons protected by thick walls, deadbolts, bulletproof glass and armed guards. They scurry from place to place, an eye always out for killers and kidnappers.

Political courage is backed by blood and underwritten by terrible risk. Moral bravery is about more than words.

It’s too early to conclude that the presumption suffered a serious crack Monday in Judge Joan Lefkow’s home.

But it’s not too early to hope that it didn’t.