Joe Biden’s State of the Union address had a big decline in early Nielsen ratings compared to previous year.
On Tuesday, 23 million people watched Biden’s State of the Union speech, down from 34 million the previous year.
Ordinary folks appear to have been uninterested in hearing an elderly insane guy aggressively spout falsehoods from behind the House Speaker’s rostrum. Several Supreme Court justices also skipped the address.
“During the 2023 State of the Union, President Joe Biden greeted the attending Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court as is customary. However, four of the sitting justices declined to attend the Tuesday evening Congressional pomp and ceremony. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, and Neil Gorsuch were conspicuously absent,” the DC Enquirer reports.
According to Fox News, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts led the mixed delegation that included Associate Justices Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Pres. Biden talks with current and former #SCOTUS Justices after State of the Union address … pic.twitter.com/SMQNMr6iFE
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) February 8, 2023
There were also retired Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy in attendance, according to The Hill.
Ketanji Brown Jackson is attending her first State of the Union Address as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court tonight. pic.twitter.com/lCaH8ALivH
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) February 8, 2023
Insiders in D.C. know why the four justices did not attend, but here is a brief explanation.
According to The Hill, Justice Alito has not attended a State of the Union address since 2010, when he mouthed the words “not true” during President Obama’s speech against Citizens United v. FEC, which created the legal foundation for contemporary political funding.
By a margin of 5 to 4, the conservative majority ruled that “under the First Amendment corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited,” Oyez wrote.
As Justice Thomas told The New York Times in 2010, it had been more than a decade since he had attended.
“I don’t go because it has become so partisan and it’s very uncomfortable for a judge to sit there,” Thomas said, explaining that “there’s a lot that you don’t hear on TV the catcalls, the whooping and hollering and under-the-breath comments.”
“One of the consequences,” he continued, referring to the case with Justice Alito and Citizens United, “is now the court becomes part of the conversation, if you want to call it that, in the speeches. It’s just an example of why I don’t go.”
“Biden’s second State of the Union address is the second that Justice Gorsuch has missed since joining the court under former President Donald Trump,” the Enquirer added.
One mysterious holdout was leftist Justice Sotomayor who has skipped every State of the Union since Trump’s election in 2016. One would think she would be excited to attend Biden’s address, but according to Reuters, the progressive told legal scholars in January that she felt a “sense of despair,” since a conservative majority took over the bench.
Following the SCOTUS ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Sotomayor described herself as “shell-shocked” and “deeply sad.”
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
A particularly contentious moment of the night was Biden’s false claim that Republicans would repeal Social Security and Medicare, resulting in shouts and booing from Republican lawmakers. CONTINUE READING…