April 9, 2005

More railing about judges.

Here's Dana Milbank's article in the Washington Post on the "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith" conference. The quotes from Edwin Vieira -- author of "How to Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary" -- are way over-the-top. How stupid do you have to be to adopt Stalin's "no man, no problem" when expressing opposition to a Supreme Court Justice?

Phyllis Schafly was also there:
Schlafly called for passage of a quartet of bills in Congress that would remove courts' power to review religious displays, the Pledge of Allegiance, same-sex marriage and the Boy Scouts. Her speech brought a subtle change in the argument against the courts from emphasizing "activist" judges -- it was, after all, inaction by federal judges that doomed Schiavo -- to "supremacist" judges. "The Constitution is not what the Supreme Court says it is," Schlafly asserted.
I hope the cooler minds among the Republicans in Congress see the need to distance themselves from these sorts of attacks.

UPDATE: The Moderate Guy collects a lot of reactions to that use of the Stalin quote.

6 comments:

Jack Sparks said...

"The Constitution is ... what the Supreme Court says it is."

Do you believe this to be a true statement?

Regards,

Jack

Jack Sparks said...

"The Constitution is ... what the Supreme Court says it is."

Do you believe this to be a true statement?

Regards,

Jack

Ravi said...

Vieira's comment does seem politically stupid, but Schlafly's seem quite reasonable. Why would Republicans want to distance themselves from it? A majority of the country sees the judiciary as out of control, with good reason. If the judiciary is going to create new law out of whole cloth (gay marriage), or look to international standards, instead of U.S. law that was created by duly elected legislatures (Lawrence, Roper), then what are the alternatives? The courts have operated for centuries largely free of accountability, but during most of that time, they have largely recognized that their authority is limited and that they owe deference to the legislative branch. Since a large percentage of judges no longer even pretend that it's their job to interpret law, not make it, some mechanism is needed to apply checks and balances to the judiciary, just as the judiciary provides such on the legislative and executive. The options are impeachment, which should be used more often, and congress' power to define the court's sphere of influence. The judiciary doesn't like it, so they're squealing. Tough. They've brought it upon themselves.

cincinnatus said...

These are the people you supported in the last election Ann. Hope you enjoy it. You made the bed; now lie in it.

Ann Althouse said...

Cincinnatus: Get your facts straight. I voted for Russ Feingold.

Joe said...

Where is this majority? The Court consistently votes in ways that a majority of the country generally agrees with, including overturning a rarely used sodomy law and striking down execution of minors which only a handful of states actively support. [This does not mean the Court is necessarily right.] The courts were restrained in the Schiavo matter and the people supported it. One liberal state court supported gay marriage, another libertarian one allowing "civil unions." The whole cloth comment suggests a failure to read the opinions. The suggestion past courts were so much more restrained is an ignorance of history. (Warren anyone?)

As to int'l standards, again, if one actually reads the opinions, they were not the deciding factor. But, yeah, as with her misquoting Alexander Hamilton (the courts are the least dangerous branch, not "should be" the least dangerous), it makes good political sense to speak to their base and rile up anti-court feeling. You know, until they aren't in power any more or conservative constitutional values need to be upheld. After all, I reckon conservatives are not as upset when the courts struck down overreaching uses of congressional power and supported vouchers to religious schools, funding to college religious publications, and after school religious classes in elementary schools.