Sunday, July 3, 2005

"ACTIVIST" JUDGES

It seems that some conservatives can't say or write the word judge without the adjective activist. Lisa over at Coming to Terms with Middle Age has an excellent entry on the budding hysteria on both sides. And, I found this quote from Rush "I managed to beat a drug rap by the skin of my teeth" Limbaugh in the Oregonian this morning.

"....This is a great way to illustrate the point that a number of us have been trying to make for a few weeks now, months, even years on the whole concept of judicial activism, because this hysteria, this interest, this breathlessness, shows how a bunch of enelectded judges have become the final authority in our country....."

I would note that the adjective is usually used only when the results are not what was expected or wanted. Deciding a presidential election was not condemned as "activism." At least not by the right.

Uh, Rush ol' buddy ol' pal, can I recommend a couple of books for you. One, "Miracle in Philidelphia" by Catherine Drinker Bowen and "Novus Ordo Seclorum" by Forrest MacDonald. Both probe the intellectual background of the constitution and why the writers did what they did. And in both you will find that the founders deliberately left the highest court not elected but appointed by the president with the "advice and consent of the senate."

Rush, the Supreme Court was designed to be unelected and the first Chief Justice, John Marshall was able to stake a claim to the right for the court to be the final arbiter on whether national laws were in line with the contstitution. Just because a law manages to get passed doesn't make it fair, right or constitutional. Generations of Jim Crow laws, laws to restrict Asian immigration and laws forbidding public school teachers to wear religious dress or symbols while teaching (Oregon had the last one) are proof of that.

The idea that the law is what the judges, (not the king, the president or popular opinion) say it is had its beginnings with the reign of Henry II. This protects us. We've all watched the political philosophy of this country go one way and then the other over the years. While the court also goes one step left, two steps forward, a step and a half right, one forward it doesn't go as far in either direction. I'd say that the volume of gnashing of teeth on both sides is a measure of its success.

5 comments:

sistercdr said...

Excellent entry, Jackie!

chasingmoksha said...

Rush ain't listening.  Must be his drugs.

hope5555 said...

Exactly.

lisaram1955 said...

I saw that same Rush Limbaugh quote.  He's such an idiot!  Lisa  :-]

hestiahomeschool said...

Great entry. I am very worried about the direction this country is headed. We are losing so many rights and people are placidly going along with it!