Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Your Homework for Today

     I'm just not pissed about something today. Well, that's not completely true, but the unsettling news has just blended together in a black noise. It's much more comfortable sitting here now than it was in 2000 when the bad things were a shock to the system. It's like I just got the ol' electric chair padded so my back won't hurt.
     Anyway, I found this letter in Slate's Fray called "Kill a Judge!". It has a very well-stated rant about the current anti-judicial jihad. (I stole that term from Fat In Spanish)


Mike said...

I read Slate's Fray. Funny how liberals cry for "judicial independance" and conservatives cry for "judicial restraint". That should tell you who is in charge of the judicial branch. Obviously it isn't the Republicans.

I'm a republican and I don't give a crap about gay rights. What I do give a crap about is a select few individuals who have the power to change laws (and sometimes even write laws) and the people are powerless to fight them.

Our system of government was never meant to have one branch hold all the power. It was set up to be a system of checks and balances to prevent government from becoming too powerful. The courts were not intended to have the power to strike down laws. Only to interpret them. So my problem with the courts is that judges have too much power and no accountability to the people. That is tyranny.

Scott said...

    It's pretty incredible that you would say, "That should tell you who is in charge of the judicial branch. Obviously it isn't the Republicans." 7 of the 9 Supreme Court justices were appointed by Republicans. The President appoints Federal judges - Republicans have been the President 16 of the last 24 years; 24 of the last 36 years. Was it some nefarious liberal plot to trick the Republican presidents into appointing closet Democrats to the bench?
    With regard to the ability of the courts to strike down unconstitutional laws, the courts may or may not have originally been intended to be able to strike down laws. But Congess certainly was never meant to be able to pass laws that contradict the Constitution. And since the courts were intended to interpret the law, if they interpret that the law was unconstitutional, it obviously was illegally passed and is therefore invalid. Are you saying it should be OK for Congress to pass unconstitutional laws? What if a Democratic majority had passed a law saying nobody was allowed to criticize Bill Clinton back in 1992?

sideshow bob said...

mike hubbell, I salute your willingness to break from the republican party line, because you are so obviously high. I believe courts do have the right to "strike down a law", if it is determined to be unconstitutional. Funny how conservatives cry for "judicial restraint" until a brain dead woman who hasn't really had a life for 15 years becomes the political cause du jour.

"I don't give a crap about gay rights"...very compassionate...Jesus would be proud. It's ok to be a republican mike; as Ralph Nader said, "Republicans are people too." Just lighten up a little. Use a little humor. It takes the edge off and makes others more receptive to your points.

p.s. puff, puff, pass!

Sylvana said...

Wasn't it the Republicans in the 2000 election that dragged in the high courts to try and get the recount struck down even though there were laws put in place that favored a recount in situations such as that to protect the legitimacy of our elections?

Hey, don't bogart the bud, Hubbell!

fatinspanish said...

Call me crazy, but if "the majority" is complaining about having their power curtailed by the judiciary isn't that a sign that the structure of our government is functioning as intended, no?

The elective aspect of our government protects against the tyranny of the minority, whereas the judiciary protects against the tyranny of the majority...something our founding fathers expressly worried about and protected against.

Looking to knee-cap the judiciary is about as short-sighted a strategy as one could devise. Whose to say where the majority will lie in 10-20 years? Whose to say who'll be in it?

Page and Shaprio great book, "The Rationale Public" show how quickly racial attitiudes in america have changed over the last 30 years. A minority view became the supra-majority view in no time. Who'd have known?

Protecting the independence of the judiciary is not-so disguised self-interest....so, that tells you where the thinkers come down on this issue. Paging Darwin!

Ben said...

When Republicans nominated Justices, they nominated people who would do their jobs as they are supposed to be, whereas the Dems nominated people who would toe the party line. That's the difference, and now the Dems can't stand that Bush gets to appoint even more people who will follow the law instead of voting in favor of every liberal issue under the sun.

And yes, the SCOTUS is supposed to rule on the constitutionality of laws. The problem is that several, with the left-leaning justices leading the way, are taking this to mean that they can "reinterpret" the clauses of the Constitution however they want to make their case. Twisting the words around to strike down whatever laws you feel aren't right, and ignoring 200 years of what people previously thought the Constitution said, is judicial tyranny. Reading the Federalist papers and interpreting the Constitution the way it was meant to be read by the people who wrote it, that's what they should be doing, and what Clarence Thomas and Scalia typically do.

Mike said...

Wow. Look at the venom in here when someone disagrees with the left wing talking points. First I'll respond to the personal attacks. I've never smoked anything...ever. Not even a cigarette. Yes, I don't give a crap about gay rights. Let them do what they want as long as it doesn't affect me. Doesn't mean I hate gays. Again, stop picking nit.
All I'm saying is, a few select judges should not be given the right to dictate behavior in this country. I don't care if they are republican or democrat. The people elect the congress. The Constitution gives congress the power to make laws. So for the court to say congress doesn't have the right to make a law is wrong. Yes, Congress has passed some not so great legislation in the past. But the people have the power to elect new representatives and have those laws overturned. People are powerless to change the courts which is why the founding father didn't give them legislative or executive powers. They were only inteded to be arbitors.
Make no mistake, Terri Schaivo was sentenced to death by Judge Greer. I don't know if she was mindless or not, but I do know she could have kept living. She was sentenced to death and starved because he life was not worthy according to one judge. jIf he wanted to kill her, why not a lethal injection? It sure would be more humane than starving her to death. And what's next? Do we kill people with MS because they can't live normal lives? How about the mentally retarded? Should we starve them too? Suppose some federal judge makes it so. How are we going to stop them?

Ben said...

I gotta disagree with Mike here. Greer did not kill Schiavo. She was basically already dead, all he did was uphold the already standing law that the husband is the legal guardian in such a case as this. Where exactly did he do anything that in any way relates to changing a law?

Mike said...

How was she already dead? She wasn't on a respirator. We don't know if she had any brain activity because the husband wouldn't allow any tests to determine that. This is more complex than pulling the plug. They pulled her feeding tube and let her starve to death. If you starved your dog they would throw you in jail. (I can't wait for the comments saying I compared a cripple to a dog) In this case it is considered "compassionate?" The fact is she could have kept living for years. This gives a precident to kill anyone who can't feed themselves. I guess we should have starved Christopher Reeve too.

Ben said...

They did a CAT scan, didn't they? How much more evidence is needed to prove the lady had no higher brain functions? They've been running tests for 15 years, the husband was sick of it, and wanted his wife's wishes to be fulfilled.

Sylvana said...

The courts are allowed to make decisions as to the constitutionality of laws that are made. The constitution is the ultimate law. If laws that are passed are decided to be contrary to the constitution, then they can be said to be unconstitutional and therefore null and void.
As for going by the past to see what is right and wrong- we used to have laws saying that slavery is OK and that women shouldn't be allowed to vote, among other things. Should we just go back to that because there is a presidence? In part due to the new interpretations of the constitution to interpret "man" as meaning "human" these things were decided to be unconstitutional.