Appeals Court Delays Calif. Recall Vote – The California recall circus and the judicial oligarchy saga continue. Judges appointed by Clinton and Carter decide that the will of the people in California (and the law) don’t matter because six counties are using older voting machines. So where was this court when Gray Davis was elected and these same machines were used? If the recall election is allowed to be pushed into March, it is a clear victory for Davis who can count on more votes from Democratic primary voters. Once again the liberal left can thank their judges for thwarting the will of the people. It’s important to remember that while the recall process in California may be bad for a republican form of government, it is law. Again we have judges ignoring law when it suits them.
Miguel Estrada got tired of the garbage going on in the Senate over his nomination. He’s out. This is a political victory for liberals because the last thing they want is a successful, influential Latino in a prominent position in the federal government who isn’t a liberal — who is a conservative. Their “minorities can’t make it without us” race warfare rhetoric loses strength when such a thing happens. When accused of blocking nominations of President Bush (which, of course, they are doing), they gladly point out that over 100 of Bush’s nominations have gone through. This admission actually proves the point that Estrada is being blocked because he is a Latino. Bush is, for the most part, a conservative. His nominations are, for the most part, conservatives. Is Estrada any more conservative than the other 100+ nominees who have gone through for a vote? No. The difference is that Estrada breaks the liberal notion that minorities need to be liberal.
However, this is not just Senate Democrats obstructing — this is Senate Republicans showing what gutless country club wimps they can be. The Democrats have successfully filibustered a court nomination without actually having to say up 24-7 doing the work. The Constitution mandates a simple majority for a court nomination — the Republicans have surrendered to the Democrats and ultimately allowed them to thwart the Constitution and demand that court nominations get a supermajority rather than a majority. The Constitution specifies what items require a supermajority vote in the Senate — court nomination is not among them. Senate Republicans have failed in their sworn duty to uphold and defend the Constitution. There are several solutions to the Democratic obstructionism that is going on; the most obvious of which would be to actually force the Democrats to go through weeks of non-stop floor debate. But they did nothing.
I can’t blame Estrada for calling it quits. Senate Democrats can’t feel shame for doing the kinds of things they always do. But Senate Republicans ought to feel very ashamed tonight for letting them get away with it.
More stupid court tricks: A convicted murderor/burglar/arsonist/robber gets a new trial because jurors used a dictionary in deliberations. [Article]
Alan Keyes has written a thorough article on what is wrong with Judge Thompson’s edict, and why Alabama officials are obligated to disregard it. [Article] The issue has been wildly twisted away from its core in recent debate. This is not about imposing religion, this is about federal courts overstepping their authority.
It appears, according to recent polling, that there is a good chance that the California recall effort will result in Bustamante replacing Davis as governor. Bustamante has promised to raise taxes again rather than cut spending. I must admit to some perverse desire to see California liberals stew in the pot of their own experimentation, but then again, California represents a huge chunk of the US economy.
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has been overruled by the other eight judges in the Alabama Supreme Court, who said that the “rule of law” must be followed and the Ten Commandments monument must be removed from the courthouse.
The question I have is: what law? The US Constitution states clearly: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The first thing that must be understood is that “respecting” does not mean “giving respect.” It means that Congress is prohibited from making laws with respect to the establishment of religion. In other words, the establishment of religion is none of Congress’ business. There can be no law regarding religion from the federal government. The Constitution makes it perfectly clear (to one who deigns to read it) that there can be no federal law that applies to Roy Moore’s monument. It is clearly a matter of the people of Alabama (who, let us remember, elected Moore while he was being called “the Ten Commandments judge”).
The question of whether or not a granite monument of the Decalogue constitutes “establishing religion” (which it does not) is irrelevant to the issue. More relevant, but of limited importance to the issue at hand, is the prohibition of the free exercise of religion being imposed on the state of Alabama by Judge Thompson.
The real issue is what constitutes law. Judge Moore is being accused of not respecting the law by not submitting to the will of Judge Thompson. How is it that the dictates of a Judge are law? When the US Constitution prohibits the federal government from making any law regarding religion, how can Judge Moore be breaking a law by ignoring the ruling? In this case, what people mean when they say “obeying the law” is “obeying the Judge.” But a federal judge cannot create law by fiat.
In order for Judge Moore to break federal law, there would have to be a law with respect to religion prohibiting religious symbols from appearing on state property. Again, the First Amendment prohibits such laws from being made by Congress, so all that Moore can be accused of is not submitting to the dictates of a judicial despot.
It is a matter of ignorance to insist that the First Amendment was written to prohibit state organizations from incorporating religious aspects into their functions. The First Amendment was written when several states actually had official state religions, and representatives from those states wanted an amendment guaranteeing that their states could be free to do what they wish in regards to religion. It wasn’t until the sixties that the First Amendment became the scalpel of the left used to excise any acknowledgement of religion from public life.
Further complications arise from this faulty reading. For example, what is to be done with the Alabama state constitution itself? After all, it begins by “invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God,” acknowledging that the very source of the law is God. How can this be allowed to stand if Judge Thompson is correct in his interpretation of the First Amendment? Judge Thompson noted in his ruling that the monument caused people to be “offended.” If a mere engraved rock is offensive to a secularist, what more a preamble to the state constitution citing God as the source of the law!
Interpreting the First Amendment to say that religion cannot be acknowledged by the state is more than just wrong; it is of itself a “religious” point of view. In the end, all it can accomplish is the establishment of secularism as the official State Religion; a system that all but denies the very foundation it is based upon.
There is something much deeper to this than a Judge putting a granite monument of the Ten Commandments in a courthouse. If it were truly wrong to allow a religious expression like this to exist, one would need to begin tearing down all of the statues of the Grecian goddess Themis that we call “Lady Justice.” But nobody is clamoring to abolish Themis from state property. This is probably because nobody believes that Themis is actually the source of anything in our legal system.
So, we are left with a system that allows the expression of religious themes as long as they are expressed without belief. Therefore, Judge Moore is in the wrong because he actually believes that the Decalogue is an important historical aspect of the Alabama legal system.
The saddest part of this tale is that the eight Supreme Court justices in Alabama have decided that obeying a Federal Judge’s bidding constitutes “the rule of law.” It will be impossible to do anything about the oligarchic advancement of the judiciary if everyone concedes their usurpation of authority over law.