Saturday, July 08, 2006

It seems as if Republicans don't give a SHIT about the "will of the people" or the "law of the land"

Those terms are "shorthand for good and bad," said Tony Perkins, the group's president. "Good in that he understands the role of the court is not to create law. That's good. Activist, that's bad."

"Not legislating from the bench to our people means that he will not try to take on the job of the Congress," said William J. Murray, president of the Religious Freedom Coalition, a national evangelical advocacy group.

Once again, President Bush has confounded his critics by doing what he said he would do. He has nominated to the Supreme Court someone he believes will not make law from the bench, but interpret laws in light of the Constitution as the Founders wrote it.
- Cal Thomas

These are quotes from right-wingers when Bush put forth Roberts as his nominee for Chief Justice and judging by them, it seems as if Judicial Activism is primarily the domain of liberal activist judges who want to destroy our supposed Christian nation by rewriting law to fit their “immoral” atheist world-view. If you were to believe those on the right, you would think that it was a vast-liberal conspiracy to usurp the rein of power from those godly, patriotic conservatives fighting to make our country great. You would think that liberal activist judges were plotting to overextend the reach of the judicial branch into our very lives, threatening the balance of power, when it is the executive branch, the Imperial Presidency that threatens to do the very same, making the legislative branch impotent and useless as Bush ignores the very laws Congress passes and reserves the right to decide HIMSELF whether laws are unconstitutional or not. You’d think that conservative judges were only looking out for the country’s best interests by strictly adhering to precedent.

But let’s get it straight. Conservatives hailed Roberts as someone who wouldn’t legislate from the bench like those damn liberals always did. They said he would be fair and show restraint. Roberts himself said that he would show “judicial modesty.” HE would RESPECT the WILL OF THE PEOPLE and the LAW OF THE LAND by not CREATING new law. But as the article points out, this judge is nothing more than a servant to Big Business and the core-constituents of the GOP. Perhaps, what we should really call Roberts a Judicial Servant, a judicial FLUNKY, which is defined on as a “A person of slavish or unquestioning obedience; a lackey,” a judicial LACKEY (defined as “a servile follower; a toady”). I don’t care what we call them, but we should get into the framing argument too, Lakoff style. They call our guys judicial activists, let’s point out their slavishness to corporations and conservative causes. Let’s point out that Roberts has decided that well judicial modesty is only for cases where conservative interests are threatened by the plaintiffs. Let’s point out that he will show his judicial modesty when it comes to helping the average American who doesn’t earn a six-seven-figure income.

Let’s ask the average American Joe if he wants labor protections struck down by an ultra-conservative court? Let’s ask the average Joe if he wants environmental protections struck down in the name of unholy profit? Let’s ask the average Joe if he wants a court beholden to Bush’s dream of a police state where dissent is not tolerated and free speech goes down the drain unless Bush and his minions approve of it? Perhaps we should follow Lakoff’s advice and frame it as a family values issue since family values is apparently the domain of conservatives because as he argues the conservatives have framed it as being exclusively on the right. Perhaps instead of going through awkward 150-page explanations which no one is going to read, we should try this family values thing. Does your family value privacy? Does your family want their phone calls monitored? What if your conversations are extremely personal? Is it a family value to allow corporations and factories to pollute the air OUR CHILDREN breathe, the water OUR CHILDREN drink, etc.?

Which brings me to my point about Republicans and respecting the people's decision expressed in the vote...
These liberal activist judges decided that their personal support of gay marriage was more important than the will of the people and the law of the land.
It seems that Republicans only respect the will of the people if they can get the people to vote their way. They always cite the will of the people in gay marriage cases looming before the court. What did Roberts do? He tried to strike down the will of the people who voted in the Oregon Death With Dignity Act by siding with the administration. Isn't this Death with Dignity Act the "law of the land?" I thought judicial activists ignored the will of the people which is so important apparently to the Republicans when it comes to gay marriage, but I guess it doesn't mean a damn when they vote against how Republicans desire them to vote. I guess in that case, the GOP shows their utter contempt for voters by keeping silent when a judge tries to overturn the "will of the people." So are they being lawless just like they wish to portray gay rights advocates as lawless? I thought Republicans were all about the Rule of law and the law of the land, but I guess they show their true colors when they cry and moan about laws they don't like, because when the people vote their way, they are expressing the "will of the people" but when they don't, they are only being sheep willingly being led to the slaughter by the agents of evil incarnate, gay marriage advocates and other liberal "scum."

Of course as this excellent essay points out, sometimes the will of the people HAS to be overruled for the good of all. The Constitution is a LIBERAL document. I shall add another example to back up this excellent article. Back in the days of the Civil War, not many favored giving African-Americans the right to vote much less emancipating them. It took the courage of the Radical Republicans to at least partially write the wrongs our country has inflicted upon them, but of course who were there to block them from achieving their goals? Yes, the so-called moderate Republicans watered down the 15th Amendment allowing the South to impose loopholes that allowed them to disenfranchise African-Americans by instituting poll taxes, grandfather clauses, understanding clauses, literacy tests, etc. But let's get the point here. James McPherson writes, "After much tugging and hauling, Congress passed the first and most conservative version of the amendment" (James McPherson, Ordeal of Fire (New York, 2001), pg. 589. The first version would have only forbidden states to "deny citizens the right to vote on grounds of race, color, or previous condition of servitude while the other versions would have forbid literacy tests and allow ALL male citizens over 21 to vote. Yes those conservatives were Democrats who opposed the amendment, a fact that Republicans love to point out as they try to divert attention away from their record, but things have changed now. Those Radical Republicans were LIBERALS, not conservatives, so nice try.

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