Colin Kalmbacher at Law and Crime:

Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Neil Gorsuch appeared together during a Zoom presentation in which they both argued that civility in politics is a national security issue. Hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) last month, the discussion was only made public on Wednesday. Billed as a “fireside chat,” co-host Suzanne Spaulding noted the current “tumultuous time” in U.S. history by citing widespread social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economically dire straits of many Americans and the “high levels of discord” present in politics and communities across the country. Spaulding asked Sotomayor why she thought civics were particularly important “at this moment.” “This is the scariest of times, and the most exciting of times,” Sotomayor said in the video conversation last month. “I see the civil discourse as having many benefits,” the farthest left justice continued. “It’s getting people engaged who otherwise haven’t been. We had one of highest turnouts in voting the last election. Yet, at the same time, we see some of the cracks in our system. We have a great deal of partisan, very heated debate going on. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it can turn into an awful thing–into something that destroys the fabric of our community–if we don’t learn how to talk to each other; how to discuss things with each other; and how to change things in a positive, rather than in a negative way.”