Intimidation of judges by Christian fundamentalists
Topics on this page: Justices O'Connor and Ginsburg warn of danger from Republican attacks on courts | Anti-Semitic attack on federal Appeals Justice Stephen Reinhardt | Religious right tactic: delegitimize judges | Impeachment threats | Tom Parker, extremist Alabama supreme court judge | Religious leaders' statements | Attacks on judge who ruled against "intelligent design" | Attacks on the Ninth Circuit Court | As the 2006 elections near | Intimidating "Justice Sunday" #3 | More topics
Please also see Court-stripping and Legislating Against the First Amendment in the section on church-state separation.
Federal Prosecutor Emcees Christian Event
AP, The Church Report, March 1, 2007
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal prosecutor was serving as master of ceremonies Tuesday night for a Christian organization that sparked controversy last fall when it asked Iowa judges to fill out a survey listing their views on hot issues.
U.S. Attorney Matthew Whitaker's decision to take part in the Iowa Christian Alliance's event prompted criticism from a Washington, D.C., lobbying group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State. A spokesman said anyone involved in the federal judicial system should attempt to remain as impartial as possible. Continue.
O'Connor Worries About Courts' Autonomy
Former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Says She Fears Growing Assault on Judicial Independence
AP, FoxNews.com, November 5, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO Nov 5, 2006 (AP)— Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said she fears judges are under growing political attack nationwide.
"I'm increasingly concerned about the current climate of challenge to judicial independence," O'Connor told a gathering of state judges from around the country Friday. "Unhappiness with judges today is at a very intense level." Continue.
Get the Judges
As dissatisfaction with the judicial system grows, ballot initiatives seeking to curb court power are popping up across the West
Andrew Murr, Newsweek, October 24, 2006
Murr interviews Rebecca Love Kourlis, a Republican who stepped down earlier this year from the Colorado Supreme Court and is now executive director for the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, where she is formulating nonpartisan reforms for state courts around the country. They discuss current attitudes toward the judiciary, including the widespread perception that the courts should not defy the "majority's" will. Click here.
Of Elections, Judges and Stupidity
By Andrew Cohen, The Washington Post, October 7, 2006
Election season this year means open season on judges around the country. In Montana, riled-up citizens tried to get onto the ballot a measure that would allow state court judges to be recalled from office at any time for any reason. In South Dakota, an initiative is set to be voted upon in November that would allow citizens to sue and otherwise punish judges for unpopular decisions. And in Colorado, a conservative group is fighting to impose sweeping term limits upon all of the state's appellate court judges. Continue.
The Warrant's Out On Judges
Aziz Huq and James Sample, TomPaine.com, August 30, 2006. Aziz Huq and James Sample are attorneys at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. Huq is the co-author of Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror (March ’07).
Within hours of her decision to hold the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program unconstitutional, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor was subjected to relentless personal criticism. Even in the mainstream press, she has been accused of “pos[ing] for the cameras” (the Wall Street Journal), charged with “blithely ignoring [her] own obligations” (The New York Times) and dismissed as having produced merely unscholarly “angry rhetoric” (The Washington Post). Such deeply personal invective directed at Judge Taylor drowned out commentary either applauding or disputing the merits of the decision.
The attack on Judge Taylor is not an isolated incident, but stands at the confluence of two different trends. First, it is the latest ad hominem, partisan attack on judges for the substance of their decisions. Second, it is a further step in a perilous flirtation with the idea that we are better off without independent judges to ensure the rule of law applies, not only to average citizens, but equally to those in power. Continue
Brownback Holds Up Judicial Nomination Over Same-Sex Ceremony
by The Associated Press, 365Gay.com, October 6, 2006
(Washington) A Republican senator is holding up a Michigan judge's nomination to the federal bench because she reportedly helped lead a commitment ceremony for a lesbian couple in Massachusetts four years ago.
Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, an opponent of gay marriage who has presidential aspirations, said Friday he wants to know whether there was anything illegal or improper about the ceremony. He also said he wants to question Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Janet T. Neff about her views on gay marriage and how her actions might shape her judicial philosophy.
"It seems to speak about her view of judicial activism," Brownback said. "That's something I want to inquire of her further."
The Senate Judiciary Committee last week approved Neff's nomination for a seat on the U.S. District Court in Michigan's Western District. Her nomination is now pending before the full Senate. Continue.
Christian Coalition Attacks Judges
Roberta Combs, Christian Coalition Chairman, Washington Weekly Review, August 18, 2006
Christian Coalition "Chairman" Roberta Combs rips into US District Judge Anna Dills Taylor who ruled that the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping was unconstitutional. Combs writes:
Radical judicial activism continues unabated in America as evidenced by the dangerous decision yesterday by Federal Judge Anna Dills Taylor, appointed by Jimmy Carter, who ruled "unconstitutional" the very National Security Agency Terrorist Surveillance Program which helped stop the Islamic fascist terrorist plot to destroy 10 planes over the Atlantic Ocean (probably murdering some 3,000 to 4,000 passengers).
She then lists a number of judges appointed by Democratic presidents who ruled against unconstitutional religious right behavior, such as public prayer, and disparages their actions as "legislating from the bench."Click here.
Tennessee judges facing voter review
Next week's election called 'a farce' due to jurists' refusal to answer questions
WorldNetDaily.com, July 28, 2006
An estimated 300,000 Tennessee families have been asked to review their level of trust in dozens of appellate court judges, most of whom wouldn't answer a short series of questions about their judicial philosophy as they seek voter permission to stay in office.
The e-mail campaign was organized by the Family Action Council of Tennessee, in preparation for the judges' retention vote on the primary ballot on Thursday, Aug. 3. Continue
The Bible Bench
News: The message from fundamentalists to state jurists is clear: Judge conservatively, lest ye not be a judge.
By Margaret Ebrahim, Mother Jones, May/June 2006 Issue
Summarizing the experiences of three state court judges who barely won reelection because of well funded attacks by the religious right, Ebrahim, an investigative reporter for the Associated Press, writes: these "were merely practice runs in a crusade to remake state courts to fit a conservative agenda. Those judges accidentally strayed into the sights of the religious right. In the future, such confrontations promise to become more systematic, as religious conservatives across the country examine judges and smite the ones who don’t obey God’s law, as they see it, or fail to agree with their interpretation of the Constitution."
In many states the religious right is recruiting Christocrat candidates for judgeships. Religious right activists are also suing to overturn state laws that limit campaign discussion of issues. According to Ebrahim, "the right’s well-funded assault on the courts could have a tremendous impact, not just on obvious issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, school vouchers, medical research, and school prayer, but on the way justice is delivered day by day." Click for the report
Christian conservatives take the culture wars overseas to foreign courts
By Scott Michels, US News & World Report, June 14, 2006
According to the report, religious right legal groups are involving themselves in foreign cases -- in part to promote their policies, but also to shape laws that they fear may someday be ruling in US courts. The religious right frequently complains about the use of "foreign" law by our courts. Click here.
Justices O'Connor and Ginsburg warn of danger from Republican attacks on courts. Attackers hardly chastened.
Former Supreme Court justice dismayed by attacks on judicial independence
By Steve Karnowski, The Grand Forks Herald (Grand Forks, North Dakota), May 24, 2006
MINNEAPOLIS - Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said Tuesday that she is "saddened and dismayed" at the intensity of attacks on judicial independence in recent years. Continue
O'Connor Decries Republican Attacks on Courts
by Nina Totenberg, National Public Radio's Morning Edition, March 10, 2006
"Newly retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor took on conservative Republican critics of the courts in a speech Thursday. She told an audience at Georgetown University that Republican proposals, and their sometimes uncivil tone, pose a danger to the independence of the judiciary, and the freedoms of all Americans." You can listen to the report by clicking here.
Public Comments by Justices Veer Toward the Political
By Adam Liptak, New York Times, March 19, 2006
"This month, former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor told an audience at Georgetown University that a judiciary afraid to stand up to elected officials can lead to dictatorship. Last month, speaking in South Africa, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that the courts were a safeguard 'against oppressive government and stirred-up majorities.'" Click here for the report
Family Research Council hectors O'Connor over speech in item titled "Lord of the Robes?"
By Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council, Washington Update, March 10, 2006
Responding to reports of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's speech at Georgetown University, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wrote that "Criticizing and correcting the courts, when there is just cause, is a vital part of our system of checks and balances." Then he went on to make clear that it is what Christocrats view as "liberal" rulings that call for "correction." He also offered O'Connor the DVDs of his intimidating "Justice Sunday" programs. Click here to see Perkins' item on O'Connor (in the middle of the page).
Ginsburg Faults GOP Critics, Cites a Threat From 'Fringe'
By Charles Lane, The Washington Post, March 17, 2006
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg assailed the court's congressional critics in a recent speech overseas, saying their efforts "fuel" an "irrational fringe" that threatened her life and that of a colleague, former justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Click here to read the report.
Justice Ginsburg, demagogue
Editorial, Washington Times, March 20, 2006
"High-profile public figures like presidents, Supreme Court justices and House speakers receive death threats from time to time. They report them quietly to enable law enforcement to pursue the offenders. The threats are taken quite seriously. But Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg used one such threat last month in a lecture in South Africa to suggest that her critics on international law were somehow culpable. It can only be interpreted as an attempt to chill critical speech." Continue.
DeLay Says Supreme Court Justices 'Don't Get It'
by 365Gay.com, March 28, 2006
"Republican Rep. Tom DeLay said Tuesday that former and current Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg "don't get it" when they complain about conservative criticism of judges." Click here for the report.
Once Again, Scalia's the Talk of the Town
Justice Renders Frank Out-of-Court Opinions on 2000 Presidential Election, 'Sicilian' Gesture
By Charles Lane, The Washington Post, April 15, 2006
"[A]s he completes his second decade on the court, [Supreme Court Justice Antonin] Scalia, often known by his nickname, Nino, seems less inhibited than ever, speaking frequently off-the-cuff, in a crowd-pleasing voice quite unlike that of the legal academy to which he once belonged.
"It is the voice of a conservative populist: combative, humorous, and sharply critical of the media and of the legal establishment atop which he sits. That includes the Supreme Court, from whose rulings in favor of gay rights and against the juvenile death penalty he dissented vigorously but in vain." Click here
Judge Gone Wild
Ruling against parental rights is just one way Judge Stephen Reinhardt is trying to overturn American values
Citizen Magazine (Focus on the Family Website), February 2006
In this attack on a senior appeals court judge, Focus on the Family, a major religious-right organization, has unnecessarily called attention to the fact that Judge Stephen Reinhardt is Jewish in a way that we find offensively anti-Semitic. Early in the lengthy article, readers are alerted to Reinhardt's religion, immediately after learning that his parents worked in the film industry.
Divorced parents, Hollywood friendships and tales of horrific violence that lacked the redemptive power of Christ's atonement -- Reinhardt's childhood was the perfect recipe for the making of a leftist judicial activist.
"He thinks about his Jewish heritage a lot, very much so," Reinhardt's ex-wife, Maureen Kindel ... told Citizen. "He also thinks about the discrimination against Jews that he suffered, of course, when he was younger. ... I'm sure that has formulated his views about being protective of people's rights."
Much of the rest of the long article attacks Reinhardt for his work on the Los Angeles Police Commission. The attacks uncritically echo the positions of former Police Chief Daryl Gates, during whose tenure the LAPD had a reputation as a racist organization with outdated attitudes toward women and gays. Click here to read the article.
Lawyers react to Focus on the Family's attack on Judge Reinhardt
by Jews On First, February 16, 2006
When Focus on the Family's Citizen, magazine attacked Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt and unnecessarily called attention to his Jewish background, (see above), JewsOnFirst asked Jewish lawyers for their reactions to the Citizen, article. Click here to read the lawyers' reactions.
Scalia Dismisses 'Living Constitution'
By Jonathan Ewing, The Las Vegas Sun, February 14, 2006
"People who believe the Constitution would break if it didn't change with society are "idiots," U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says." Click here to read the report.
Scholars affirm Baptist concept of religious liberty at conference
by Brent Thompson, undated but probably September 2005, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary website.
"The historic Baptist idea of religious freedom expressed in the First Amendment is under attack from the American judiciary, Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Sept. 9...
“The greatest threat to religious freedom in America are secular fundamentalists who want to ghetto-ize religious faith and make the wall of separation between church and state a prison wall keeping religious voices out of political discourse,” Land said. Click here for the article.
We're Not in Kansas Anymore--Or Maybe We Are
Family Research Council, Washington Update, October 24, 2005
The Family Research Council's email update criticized the Kansas Supreme Court's striking down a law that provided harsher penalties for minors engaging in homosexual sex than in heterosexual sex. The FRC commented that the ruling "raises the stakes for filling vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court. Activism on the high court doesn't just trickle down; it thunders down like Niagara." Click here to read the comment.
In theocracy they trust
By Michelle Goldberg, Salon, April 11, 2005
At the conference explicity titled "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith," Salon's reporter witnessed "Christian right leaders denounc[ing] separation of church and state and pray[ing] for a judge's deliverance to Satan. And their Capitol Hill allies were right there with them." Click here for the report.
Legislator Wants Judge Impeached for Overturning Maryland's Same-Sex Marriage Ban
By Bill Fancher, Agape Press, March 17, 2006
This article, published a week after a Maryland House of Delegates committee killed Del. Donald Dwyer's impeachment bill. Nevertheless it states: "a Maryland lawmaker is pushing forward in an effort to impeach a Maryland judge who struck down the state's marriage statute because it did not allow for same-sex marriages." It does not mention the death of Dwyer's bill. Click here for the report.
Dwyer to push for judge's impeachment
By Kelly Brewington and Jennifer Skalka, Baltimore Sun, February 24, 2006
Del. Donald H. Dwyer Jr., the Republican lead sponsor of a consitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman, announced he is introducing impeachment proceedings against Judge M. Brooke Murdock, who ruled that Maryland's marriage law unconstitutional (see story). Dwyer's amendment was defeated and his impeachment measure is certain to fail, too. Click here to read the report.
Update: On March 9, 2006 the Maryland House of Delegates Judiciary Committee voted 20-3 against a bill calling for the impeachment of Judge Murdock. According to a short item in the March 11th Baltimore Sun, critics of the measure, introduced by Del. Donald Dwyer, said it was intimidating to judges.
Impeach Outlaw Judges
Family Research Council, Washington Update, March 9, 2006
Tony Perkins, the group's president, congratulates Maryland Delegate Donald Dwyer for introducing impeachment legislation against the JudgeM. Brooke Murdock. To quote: "State and federal legislators have a duty under state and federal constitutions to rein in runaway judicial activism." The short article (mid-page) includes Judge Murdock's photo. Click here.
Maryland Lawmaker Calls for Removal of Activist Judge
Judge who nullified marriage law in favor of same-sex marriage, faces charges of misbehavior in office.
by Pete Winn, Citizen Link (Focus on the Family), March 7, 2006
"A Maryland legislator undertook an action this morning that pro-family lawmakers in other states only dream of doing — he struck a blow against judicial tyranny.
"Del. Don Dwyer, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, called for the removal of the judge who single-handedly nullified Maryland's marriage law and demanded same-sex marriage." Click here for the article.
Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker Under Investigation for Judicial Misconduct
By Chris Holmes, WSFA TV Broadcasting (Montgomery, Alabama), March 14, 2006
For the second time in three years, an Alabama Supreme Court justice is under investigation for violating judicial rules.
"A Tuscaloosa lawyer filed a complaint against Tom Parker, and now, Parker is firing back.
"Interestingly, the dispute sounds very similar to the controversy surrounding Parker's mentor, Roy Moore." Click here for the report
Alabama Judge Declares War on U.S. Supreme Court
State justice says colleagues should 'actively resist' juvenile death penalty ruling
By Tony Mauro, Legal Times, March 3, 2006
Angry at a Supreme Court decision taking a young murderer off death row, Alabama Supreme Court Judge Tom Parker is calling for "what could be considered an act of judicial sedition." He is calling for resistance to the high court's decision because he says it is unconstitutional. Parker is a former aide to Roy Moore who was removed from the court for refusing to remove religious display. He has also reportedly engaged in activities supporting the Confederacy and the Ku Klux Klan.Click here for the article.
Judge Wants Justices Denied
In Op-Ed, Alabama Jurist Slams 'Activists,' Calls for Resistance of U.S. High Court Ruling
By Stephanie Francis Ward, American Bar Association eReport, January 13, 2006
"An Alabama Supreme Court judge [Tom Parker] disagrees with a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that held death sentences for juveniles amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. So he wrote an opinion piece in a Birmingham newspaper arguing that his state judicial colleagues should "actively resist" the ruling, a position that some critics have likened to nullification." Click here to read the report.
Interfaith Letter to President Bush and U.S. Senators on Judicial Nominations
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, July 1, 2005
With Supreme Court nominations looming, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism along with other religious groups reminded the president and senators that, "the confirmation process must ... be free of the divisive and dangerous practice of using senators' and nominees' faiths as a wedge." Click here to read the statement.
Religious Leaders Teleconference to Urge Majority Leader Frist Not to Legitimate the Message of "Justice Sunday"
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, April 22, 2005
Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, joined with Rev. Robert W. Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, and other religious leaders in protesting Senate Majority Leader Frist's participation in a rally against a Senate filibuster in the guise of a religious event, "Justice Sunday." Rabbi Saperstein questioned "Senator Frist's planned participation in the 'Justice Sunday' event, an event whose message claims that the United States' Senate is participating in a 'filibuster against faith.' For the Senate Majority Leader to support such an event is disingenuous, dangerous, and demagogic and above all, dismissive of all those Americans of great faith who disagree with him on the filibuster issue." Click here to read the statements of Rabbi Saperstein and Rev. Edgar.
Advocates of 'Intelligent Design' Vow to Continue Despite Ruling
By Michael Powell, Washington Post, December 22, 2005
"'This decision is a poster child for a half-century secularist reign of terror that's coming to a rapid end with Justice Roberts and soon-to-be Justice Alito,' said Richard Land, who is president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and is a political ally of White House adviser Karl Rove. 'This was an extremely injudicious judge who went way, way beyond his boundaries -- if he had any eyes on advancing up the judicial ladder, he just sawed off the bottom rung.'" Click here to read the report.
See Also: "Recent Rulings Leave Evolution Opponents, ID Advocates Dissatisfied," Agape Press, December 21, 2005, in which one of the commentators says "I hope this incites more people to be angry and to begin to throw out these thugs in black robes."
False judge makes mockery of case for 'intelligent design'
By Phyllis Schlafly, TownHall.com, January 2, 2006
Phyllis Schlafly writes: "Jones' pursuit of the spotlight illustrates what is wrong with our judiciary today. He smeared 'fundamentalists,' impugned the integrity of those who disagree with him by accusing them of lying and issued an unnecessary permanent injunction." Click here to read Schlafly's commentary on the TownHall.com site.
Religious right leaders staged the first of these national broadcasts dedicated to changing the courts in the wake of the Terry Schiavo case. This latest one was timed to coincide with hearings on Judge Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court.
Christian Right Mobilizes For Judge
Conservative Tilt Sought on Bench
By Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post, January 9, 2005
"PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 8 -- Republicans and leaders of the religious right gathered in a black church here Sunday night to build support for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. as part of their effort to block gay marriage, end abortion and restore religious expression in the public square.
"Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said the elevation of Alito to the top court is crucial because 'extremely liberal justices [are] destroying traditional morality.' The battle, he said, is against Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee who are determined to 'continue the far left judicial activism on the Supreme Court.'" Click here to read the report.
Excerpts from the transcript of religous right's "Justice Sunday III"
We have excerpted some of the particularly strong statements religious right leaders made about the US judicial system. To read them, click here.
'Justice Sunday III' to spotlight courts on eve of Alito hearings
Baptist Press, December 29, 2005
"The rallies have served to inform and equip conservative Americans about the need to reform the federal courts, particularly the U.S. Supreme Court, which in the past four decades has legalized abortion, ordered the removal of Ten Commandments plaques and banned prayer in certain public settings. Conservatives fear the court eventually will take up a 'gay marriage' case." Click here to read the report on the Baptist Press site.
Church-State Watchdog Group Notes That 'Justice Sunday III' Pastor Has Received $1 Million In 'Faith-Based' Funds
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, January 4, 2006
"Pastor Herb Lusk, the Philadelphia preacher hosting the Religious Right-led 'Justice Sunday III' rally this weekend, has a long history of partisan activity on behalf of Republicans and has been awarded more than $1 million in 'faith-based' grants by the Bush administration, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "The event at Greater Exodus Baptist Church, which will be broadcast nationwide, is intended to rally support for the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito Jr., President George W. Bush's choice to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor." Click here to read the entire article.
See also: In March 2006, President Bush appointed Lusk, a vocal homophobe, to his AIDS advisory panel. (Click here)
Falwell Defends Religious Freedom
By Pete Winn, Citizen Link, (a website of Focus on the Family), January 5, 2006
"The Rev. Dr. Jerry Falwell says there's a very specific reason he is taking part in 'Justice Sunday III' this weekend- he is concerned about what he calls 'the virtual disappearance of religious freedom in many corners of our culture.'" Click here to read the article.
Congressional Leaders Move To Break Up the Liberal 9th Circuit Court
Calls to split the liberal 9th circuit are being heard again following last week's bizarre ruling attacking parental rights.
by Bill Wilson, Focus On the Family, November 7, 2005
"We have seen the 9th Circuit time and again ignore the Constitution without reverence for the principles that made it what it is, without reverence for families, and if we do not gain control of these out of control courts they will lead this republic into a darkness that we cannot emerge from." Click here to read this item.
Split the Ninth Circus
Family Research Council email, November 7, 2005
FRC's Vice President for Government Affairs Connie Mackey joined seven Members of Congress Friday in a Capitol Hill press conference to push for splitting the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Congress has the constitutional authority to create new circuit courts of appeals. The move comes in the wake of the Ninth "Circus'" outrageous decision last week denying parents' rights in education. Click here to read the item from the Family Research Council's email.
Congress Votes On Ninth Circuit Anti-Parenting Decision
Traditional Values Coalition, December 1, 2005
"The case is yet another outrage perpetrated by the 9th Circuit and makes it all the more urgent that this federal court is split." Click here to read the Traditional Values Coalition's report.
Behind the call for "judicial restraint," a radical judicial plan
Pro-Alito Buzz Cloaks a Draconian Agenda
By Seth Rosenthal, TheNation.com, December 20, 2005.
"As detailed nearly twenty years ago in reports produced by Edwin Meese's Justice Department, the right would like to raze what it sees as the law's accumulated liberal superstructure and rebuild it from the ground up based on their interpretation of the 215-year-old views of those who ratified the Constitution. Overturning Roe v. Wade is just the tip of the iceberg." Read the report on the Nation's website.
Where's the push-back?
Iowa federal judge blasts conservatives
'Judicial activism' is practiced more heavily on the right than the left, Mark Bennett says.
Bert Dalmer, Des Moines Regisnter, March 1, 2006
"Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett, in a public forum at Drake University on the judiciary and the media, responded to a question on judicial activism by blasting conservatives, who have used the phrase to describe a myriad of recent court decisions, on issues from affirmative action and campaign-finance reform to the definition of marriage and abortion rights." Click here to read the report.
Where are the Democrats?
by Richard Cohen, Washington Post, March 24, 2005
While Republicans savaged judges who would not rule their way in the Terry Schiavo end-of-life case last spring, Democrats (except for Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank) cowered out of camera range. Writes Columnist Cohen: "Once again, it was a Republican -- Christopher Shays of Connecticut -- who got it right. 'This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy,' he said." Click here to read the column.
Other reports on attacks on judges
Judge accused of misconduct
Senator says code broken by not revealing contributions
By Tim Carpenter, Topeka Capital-Journal, March 23, 2007
A state senator filed an ethics complaint Thursday against the Sedgwick County District Court judge who dismissed misdemeanor charges against the state's best-known abortion doctor.
The complaint by Sen. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, asserts Judge Paul Clark violated the judicial code of conduct by not revealing campaign contributions accepted from lawyers who won Clark's dismissal in December of 30 criminal counts filed against Dr. George Tiller by then-Attorney General Phill Kline. Continue.
Kansas: Proposed amendment to require Senate confirmation of justices shot down
By Carl Manning, The Kansas City Star, March 09, 2006
"Despite criticism of the Kansas Supreme Court, the idea of requiring Senate confirmation before justices can join the court was shot down Thursday by senators, dealing a serious blow to those wanting to overhaul the judiciary." Click here to read the report.
No better way to pick a justice?
Charles Pickering's critique of our judicial nomination process.
By Seth Stern, The Christian Science Monitor, February 07, 2006
Charles Pickering, a federal judge in Mississippi, was named for an appeals court seat by President Bush, but Senate Democrats blocked his nomination because of a record regarded as extreme on civil rights, voting rights and employment discrimination. Bush appointed Pickering to an interim appointment, after which he wrote a book that is reviewed in this report. Click here to read the report.
Pickering: Judges shouldn't legislate
By Nikki Davis Maute, Hattiesburg American (Hattiesburg, Mississippi), February 18, 2006
Former Judge Charles Pickering addresses students at a small school. Click here to read the report.
Angry Activists Lose Fight to Evict Supreme Court Justice David Souter
Fox News, February 6, 2006
"A group of residents had petitioned to get the matter on the town's March ballot, asking voters to take the justice's Weare home by eminent domain for the "Lost Liberty Hotel." The effort grew out of anger at Souter's support for last year's Supreme Court decision that allowed New London, Conn., to take several waterfront homes for a private developer." Click here to read more.