Saturday, June 20, 2009

More on "Judicial Activism"

I want to really recommend a New York Times article this morning about Judge Sotomayor's record:

"Uncertain Evidence for 'Activist' Label on Sotomayor"

The article very effectively demolishes the lies that conservatives have been spreading about Sonya Sotomayor. That, however, is not what got my attention. It is this:

"But at a recent panel discussion on Judge Sotomayor, M. Edward Whelan III, president of the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center, faulted such scholars as not distinguishing between routine judicial “activity” and judicial “activism” — which he defined as the invention of dubious rights as a cover for wrongfully overriding elected officials.

Mr. Whelan also said there were other kinds of error besides activism, including its opposite, “judicial passivism,” when judges improperly let something stand. But Roger Clegg, president of the conservative Center for Equal Opportunity, said his definition of “activism” included judges’ upholding favored statutes or policies even though they violate someone’s rights.

By that measure, Mr. Clegg said, Judge Sotomayor is an activist."

(emphasis mine) By that measure? According to this guy, not only is it activism for judges to override legislative decisions, but it is equally activist to uphold legislative decisions, if conservatives disagree with them.

I get it. Everything liberal is "activist." Well, here is what I have been saying for some time now (which is to say, since the Reagan administration.) The whole issue of "activist judges" and "original intent" is nothing but a gigantic Republican tantrum intended to batter the courts into moving to the right. They don't give a damn whether the decision is for or against the legislature; if it's the decision they want, fine, otherwise it is an abominable abuse.

Just one more patent Republican lie, which large parts of the press have bought into for years, and made part of our national discourse, like it or not.


Poll P. said...

It's very hard to absorb subject. I think that's why journalists swallow it whole, rather than questioning it.

Green Eagle said...

I think they swallow it whole because they get paid to.