Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Senator Links Violence to 'Political' Decisions

WaPo reports Sen. John Cornyn said yesterday that recent examples of courthouse violence may be linked to public anger over judges who make politically charged decisions without being held accountable.

In a Senate floor speech in which he sharply criticized a recent Supreme Court ruling on the death penalty, Cornyn (R-Tex.) -- a former Texas Supreme Court justice and member of the Judiciary Committee -- said Americans are growing increasingly frustrated by what he describes as activist jurists.

"It causes a lot of people, including me, great distress to see judges use the authority that they have been given to make raw political or ideological decisions," he said. Sometimes, he said, "the Supreme Court has taken on this role as a policymaker rather than an enforcer of political decisions made by elected representatives of the people."

Cornyn continued: "I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. . . . And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in, engage in violence. Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have."

This is foolishness. As I indicated earlier, "What happened to the judge in Atlanta and the other judge's family were bad, but they were totally unrelated to what conservatives have been saying for many years about Activist Judges". One guy knew he was going to jail for a very long time, and did not want to go, and the other was ticked off about a particular ruling the judge had made.

Jon Henke blogged It's shameful that a US Senator would say that political activities might lead to violence. How dare a polician try to stifle dissenting activity by coded threats?

No it is not shameful, it is just a stupid statement. Political Activist Judges need to be stopped, but they need to be stopped by legal means, not violence.

Matt Yglesias blogged I can't really say what game John Cornyn thinks he's playing by speculating out loud on the floor of the U.S. Senate that maybe judges wouldn't get killed so often by demented rapists if they were more willing to bow to conservative theories of constitutional exegesis....

Matt Yglesias is just as foolish as John Cornyn
I don't say that most pro-lifers approve of anti-abortion terrorism. Clearly, they don't. Nevertheless, their cause benefits from it. In the wake of a killing there may be a backlash of some sort, but such things fade among the general public. They don't fade among the set of medical professionals who, at the margin, decide they'd rather not spend their lives dealing with might-be-terrorist activists harrassing them constantly. It makes a difference....
I think this is foolish. There certainly are doctors who are not willing to perform abortions, but I think it is because they realize they are wrong, not because they fear they will be blown up
But here's Cornyn offering a safe harbor. Confirm all of Bush's nominees, no matter how incompetent, corrupt, or inept they are, no matter how unsound their view of the constitution.
If any of them are incompetent, corrupt, or inept they should not be confirmed. But if their only problem is they disagree with the Left's unsound view of the constitution, then they should get an up or down vote by the entire Senate
And for the others, try to conform your views to those of Bush's new appointees. Do it and you'll be safe. If you don't do it, well, then, certainly John Cornyn wouldn't advocate killing you, he's just pointing out that it will happen.
It's the same, though more grotesque, as the prediction/threat the White House is trying to pull with Social Security. It'd be a shame if something were to happen to that Trust Fund, wouldn't it? A fate you can easily enough avoid by agreeing to private the system, no?
If there really was money in the so-called Trust Fund, then there would not be a need to borrow billions to start the personal accounts. The problem is that it just contains IOUs that the government will have to either borrow to cover sometime in the future, or raise taxes sometime in the future, in order to cover social security payments due then. Bush is just trying to point this out now, that as long as the money stays in the government's control it will be spent and replaced by IOUs, and the only way it will be safe is if it is in personal accounts the government can't touch
Joe Gandelman blogged Sen. Cornyn has now seemingly given a perfect mental fig leaf for every nut on the right OR ON THE LEFT who wants to physically take out a judge (or the judge's family) with whom he or she disagrees.... Here's the truly terrible issue with his remarks: a LINE has now been crossed. Will people in the GOP and the Democratic party repudiate his remarks and redraw the line?
I don't know about the fools on the left, but I certainly repudiate his remarks
If our consensus in this country that we don't condone or rationalize terrorist acts or violence against those with whom we disagree breaks down we are in huge trouble — and this isn't a partisan issue.

Sammler blogged Does this merit calls for hs resignation? This is a non-party issue: Texas is firmly in Republican hands, so an appointed successor would be a party-line Republican. I don't know yet; but if he combines the intemperance to make these remarks with the stupidity to apologize, then he should be made to resign.

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