Monday, April 04, 2005

Maurauding Liberals on the Bench??


Sorry to worry you there. After all, in the wake of the Schiavo case, Tom Delay threatening the very independence of the judiciary, and what could be the dumbest book ever (Thanks Levin! Thanks Regnery!), you'd think that the court system was full of godless heathens intent on force-feeding us liberal orthodoxy. The horror!! The horror!!

After all, just read these quotes from that bastion of clear-thinking Republican political thought...freerepublic.com (no link, b/c frankly, they're morons).

Fed up with liberal activist judges? Join the March for Justice!!

Scalia and Thomas are the only two jurists of distinction on today's court.

Renquist is at best, bearable.

The rest are out and out Trotskyites.

Levin is stating the obvious...but it needs to be stated.

Yep, maybe he'll do a Men in Black II and talk about the rest of the judiciary. This extends on down the line. Just look at how the entire judiciary is standing around watching as Greer oversteps his bounds. That judge should have been removed from the case, but not one judge has had the honor or moral courage to say it.

Reads like John Marshall himself wrote it!!

Now, you're probably saying "Who care what these half-wits think?" And you'd be right. Except that these half-wits are voting in the Neanderthals who are running Congress right now. After all, Delay is saying "the time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior" and that "we will look at an arrogant, out of control, unaccountable judiciary." Which is funny, because that's what a lot of people say about Delay and the GOP Congress.

But we have to take this seriously, because this constitutes a threat on the independence of the judiciary, which is a cornerstone of our way of life. If the day ever came that the Congress could tell the Supreme Court to not rule on certain issues... then we may as well close the court, and wipe out everything since Marbury v. Madison. Judicial review is what enforces the primacy of the US Constitution over the whims of men in political office. And we cannot forget that.

Delay, Freerepublic.com, and the rest are disappointed b/c this case didn't go their way. Don't think for a moment it's about Terri Schiavo. It's not. If life was the driving cause here, they'd be up in arms over the Texas law then-governor George W. Bush passed in Texas allowing hospitals to pull life-support on patients over the will of their guardians. The most recent being a pediatric patient (6 months old!) over the objections of the child's parent.

Is this young child not a life? Doesn't this child deserve to live? Where is the outrage? Where is Tom Delay?? Oh right, it's a Bush law...let's just sweep it under the rug. Just like Delay did with his daddy (see last post for link).

No, this is about changing the way our nation has been governed since the US Constitution was adopted. Since the GOP didn't get it's way, it now wants to gut the system so that the legislative branch assumes primacy. Let's see, they've gerrymandered competition right out of the House electoral districts, and now they want to be the ultimate authority on legal issues...ya, that's comforting. Do we get to call Delay "Generalissimo" next?

The "liberal activist court" is anything but. The Florida Supreme Court, that ruled 7-0 on SC04-925 against Jeb Bush (that's the law he tried to pass assuming guardianship of Schiavo)? Three of the members were appointed by Jeb. The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled 9-2 against the Schindlers in case docket 05-11628? Of the 9 who voted to deny the intervention, 4 were appointed by George H.W. Bush, three by Bill Clinton, and two by Ronald Reagan. Of the two who voted to intervene, one was appointed by Clinton and one by Gerald Ford. Hardly the makeup of an activist court, with 7 of the 11 ruling Justices appointed by Republican presidents.

And the SCOTUS? Of the 9 Justices, seven were appointed by Republicans, with a whopping three by Reagan (O'Connor, Scalia and Kennedy). The fact that they all don't kowtow to a hard-right theological politcal theory says more about their integrity and knowledge of law than their political affiliations.

The Judicial System must be maintained as it currently exists. Do we always like the verdicts it hands down? Of course not. But that is the essence of the Courts; to stand above the fray of day-to-day political jousting. When Tom Delay talks about changing this standard, he is talking about trashing the system that men like Madison, Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson and Franklin gave to us. He is basically admitting that what he believes is not popular enough to become amended to the Constitution, so he'll try and rot the inside of the system.

So we'll have to watch and wait. But, if you are any sort of believer in the concepts of "Checks and balances", of "federalism", of what conservatism used to be, you must oppose this. An independent court system, free to review the acts of Congress and state governments, in their proper spheres, is what makes us such a unique country. I'd like it to stay that way.

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