Location: Texas

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Who is the bigger threat?

Many on the right love to hate left leaning "activist" judges, especially those of the 9th circuit. But the writings of these same conservative or libertarian blog and forum writers are just as alarming as those that are on the left. And these words are having an effect:

Judges must be protected, Rehnquist says

Threats to toss 'activists' from the bench may impede justice, he warns

WASHINGTON - Chief Justice William Rehnquist said in a statement to be released today that judges must be protected from political threats, including from conservative Republicans who maintain that "judicial activists" should be impeached and removed from office.

The public, the media and politicians certainly are free to criticize judges, Rehnquist said, but politicians cross the line when they try to punish or impeach judges for decisions they do not agree with.

"The Constitution protects judicial independence not to benefit judges, but to promote the rule of law: Judges are expected to administer the law fairly, without regard to public reaction," the chief justice said in his traditional year-end report on the federal courts.

"A judge's 'judicial' acts may not serve as a basis for impeachment. Any other rule would destroy judicial independence," Rehnquist said. "Instead of trying to apply the law fairly, regardless of public opinion, judges would be concerned about inflaming any group that might be able to muster the votes in Congress to impeach and convict them."

Threats to impeach judges that don't rule "correctly" is as much an assault on our republic as are efforts to eliminate the electoral college. Either will see the destruction of the country.

Congress, however, is another matter.


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