Grisham Clarifies Controversial Comment on SCOTUS Assassination

 May 30, 2024

John Grisham's recent appearance on ABC's "The View" sparked controversy when he made a remark about assassinating Supreme Court justices.

This comment was quickly clarified by the co-hosts and Grisham himself as a reference to his fictional work, "The Pelican Brief," Fox News reported.

Grisham's Controversial Remark on "The View"

During his appearance on "The View" to promote his latest book, "Camino Ghosts," John Grisham made a remark that raised eyebrows and stirred controversy.

He mentioned thinking about assassinating Supreme Court justices, a statement that echoed the plot of his earlier novel, "The Pelican Brief." The audience initially responded with laughter, but the gravity of the comment quickly became apparent.

Co-host Joy Behar and the other hosts promptly intervened to clarify Grisham's intent. They emphasized that Grisham was talking about a fictional storyline and not making a real-life suggestion. Grisham reassured the audience, stating, "It’s all fiction. Don’t get upset," to alleviate any concerns.

Emphasizing the Fictional Nature of the Comments

Grisham's remark was meant to reference the fictional assassination plot in "The Pelican Brief," a novel where two Supreme Court justices are killed. This context, however, needed immediate clarification to avoid misunderstandings. Co-host Whoopi Goldberg added, "Writing part two!" to further emphasize the fictional nature of Grisham's statement.

Despite the clarification, Grisham took the opportunity to critique the current state of the Supreme Court. He voiced his concerns about the court's ethical challenges and political influences, tracing these issues back to the 2000 Bush vs. Gore case.

Critique of the Current Supreme Court

Grisham expressed a strong opinion on the perceived decline of the Supreme Court's integrity. "The court has never looked this bad," he stated, attributing the court's downturn to politically charged decisions and ethical lapses. He specifically cited the Bush vs. Gore case as pivotal when five Republican justices influenced the presidential election outcome.

Grisham proposed a solution to what he sees as a systemic issue: mandatory retirement for federal judges at the age of 75. "Every federal judge should have to retire at the age of 75," he suggested, arguing that this could bring fresh perspectives to the judiciary and mitigate long-term biases.

Earlier in the episode, First Lady Jill Biden also shared her concerns about the future of the Supreme Court. She painted a dystopian picture of the potential consequences if former President Donald Trump were to appoint more justices. "We cannot take things for granted," she warned, stressing the risks to rights and freedoms under a more conservative court.

Response from the Co-Hosts

The co-hosts of "The View" quickly managed the situation and steered the conversation back to a more neutral ground. Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg played key roles in this effort, using humor and direct statements to clarify Grisham's comments. Their intervention was crucial in preventing a potential public relations issue and maintaining the show's focus on promoting Grisham's new book.

Grisham's appearance, despite the controversy, succeeded in drawing attention to his latest work, "Camino Ghosts." The book's audiobook version, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, ties back to the show's broader efforts to engage with popular culture and contemporary issues.


John Grisham's mention of assassinating Supreme Court justices on "The View" referenced his novel "The Pelican Brief," leading to immediate clarification by co-hosts that it was a fictional scenario. He also criticized the current Supreme Court and suggested mandatory retirement for judges. The episode, which also featured First Lady Jill Biden discussing judicial appointments, effectively promoted Grisham's new book while delving into important political and judicial topics.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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