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.

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