Saturday, April 23, 2005

Marshall, I am your father....

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Congress takes responsibility

You may recall Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist proclaimed his respect for the independence of the judiciary recently.

Bill Frist
said on Tuesday that courts had acted fairly in the Terri
Schiavo "right-to-die" case, differing sharply from a vow of retribution by his
House of Representatives counterpart, Tom DeLay.

"I believe we have a fair and independent judiciary today," said Frist,
now trying to resolve a battle with Democrats over judicial nominations that
threatens to tie his chamber into knots. "I respect that."

Turns out that that respect was rather fleeting...

Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's nominees.

Fliers for the telecast, organized by the Family Research Council and scheduled to originate at a Kentucky megachurch the evening of April 24, call the day "Justice Sunday" and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other. The flier does not name participants, but under the heading "the filibuster against people of faith," it reads: "The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith."

Oh, and wait, there's more fun to come. How have these activist judges gotten so out of control? Tom DeLay has the answer:

I blame Congress over the last 50 to 100 years for not standing up and taking its responsibility given to it by the Constitution. The reason the judiciary has been able to impose a separation of church and state that's nowhere in the Constitution is that Congress didn't stop them. The reason we had judicial review is because Congress didn't stop them. The reason we had a right to privacy is because Congress didn't stop them.

Well thank God that Congress is finally standing up and eliminating the separation of church and state, judicial review, and the right to privacy. I didn't realize all of these things came about only in the last 50 years, but I am but a mere third year law student, and if Tom DeLay, a former exterminator and current House Majority Leader says this is the way things happened, I will believe him just as much as I believe Dr. Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader, when he issues a medical diagnosis, outside his area of specialty, on the basis of watching a few minutes of video.

Certainly, the transparency of the deeply theocratic path the Republican leadership of this country is taken us down, along with their disdain for checks and balances, is alarming.

Perhaps more alarming is this: if Republicans already control Congress and the presidency (not to mention that the majority of federal judges are already Republican) and if they have a 55 vote majority in the Senate, exactly what kind of appointments are Republicans planning for, let's say, the Supreme court, over which they are so anxious that they don't think it would even be possible to get, if not the support of five democratic senators, at least an agreement not to fillibuster.

A very big plan is underway, with ominous implications for our country.

Please help us Harry.

P.S. And now this late breaking B.S. It turns out that contrary to previous reports, it was actually house Democrats , who in a typically brazen and corrupt fashion, wielded their liberal anti-faith power to shut down the house ethics committee, so that DeLay wouldn't be exonerated! Seriously!

"The only way I can be cleared is through the ethics committee, so they don't want one."
Those sneaky Democrats aye? What an ingenious plan. Who knows what committee they will shut down next? Perhaps they will shut down the investigations into how the Bush administration paid journalists to give favorable coverage to its policy proposals...

Anyway, should the corrupt Democrats ever back down and allow DeLay's inevitable exoneration, perhaps they would find this comment interesting (from the same interview):

Mr. Hurt: Have you ever crossed the line of ethical behavior in terms of dealing with lobbyists, your use of government authority or with fundraising?

Mr. DeLay: Ever is a very strong word.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable politicians

First, Republicans pushed through a law overriding state courts and giving federal courts the authority to decide the Terri Schiavo case.

The federal courts backed the state court rulings.

11th Circuit Judge Stanley Birch (George H.W. Bush appointee), in his concurrence:

The separation of powers implicit in our constitutional design was created "to assure, as nearly as possible, that each branch of government would confine itself to its assigned responsibility." INS, 462 U.S. at 951, 103 S. Ct. at 2784. But when the fervor of political passions moves the Executive and the Legislative branches to act in ways inimical to basic constitutional principles, it is the duty of the judiciary to intervene. If sacrifices to the independence of the judiciary are permitted today, precedent is established for the constitutional transgressions of tomorrow. See New York, 505 U.S. at 187, 112 S. Ct. at 2434. Accordingly, we must conscientiously guard the independence of our judiciary and safeguard the Constitution, even in the face of the unfathomable human tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Schiavo and her family and the recent events related to her plight which have troubled the consciences of many. Realizing this duty, I conclude that Pub. L.109-3 is an unconstitutional infringement on core tenets underlying our constitutional system...Were the courts to change the law, as the petitioners and Congress invite us to do, an "activist judge" criticism would be valid.

Then, Jeb Bush tried to send Florida State agents to forcibly re-insert Schiavo's feeding tube, in violation of a court order. He backed down when police said they were going to back to judge.

Hours after a judge ordered that Terri Schiavo was not to be removed from her hospice, a team of state agents were en route to seize her and have her feeding tube reinserted -- but they stopped short when local police told them they would enforce the judge's order, The Herald has learned.

Then, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay threatened the judiciary.

"Mrs. Schiavo's death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schindlers and with Terri Schiavo's friends in this time of deep sorrow."

And indeed, the time has come.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), under fire from Democrats for what they consider threatening remarks about federal judges, plans to ask the Judiciary Committee to undertake a broad review of the courts' handing of the Terri Schiavo case, his office said yesterday.

DeLay's office did not specify exactly what the majority leader wants the committee to do. The Constitution gives Congress the power to set the areas of authority for federal courts, but it was unclear what could be done by the committee in response to the Schiavo case, in particular.


DeLay issued a statement asserting that "the time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." He later said in front of television cameras that he wants to "look at an arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their nose at Congress and the president."

Arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable?

It's the modus operandi of today's Republican Party.