Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Elite Judicial Thuggery
While I would usually leave legal issues to be dissected by Thom the Blog Culler, yesterday's SCOTUS ruling that effectively voided the death penalty statutes as they apply to juvenile offenders really irritated me.
I realize there are those of you in this audience that may have problems with Capital Punishment. While I do no share that view, I can understand the emotional foundations upon which it is built. Depriving someone of their life is not a subject to be discussed lightly.
Never the less, the Founders of this nation laid a framework upon which a person or group of people could petition the government for a "redress of grievances". This process was meant to go through the State Legislatures and the Congress - not through the Halls of Justice.
I will not here debate the death penalty and the many issues surrounding it. I have a problem with the precedent cited by the SCOTUS, specifically that of Justice Anthony Kennedy, in reaching the Majority Opinion. I quote directly from yesterday's ruling (available from the SCOTUS website in PDF form):
The overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty is not controlling here, but provides respected and significant confirmation for the Court?s determination that the penalty is disproportionate punishment for offenders under 18. See, e.g., Thompson, supra, at 830?831, and n. 31. The United States is the only country in the world that continues to give official sanction to the juvenile penalty. It does not lessen fidelity to the Constitution or pride in its origins to acknowledge that the express affirmation of certain fundamental rights by other nations and peoples underscores the centrality of those same rights within our own heritage of freedom.I could quote further, as Justice Kennedy goes on to cite "world" law another 16 times in his opinion. With due respect to Justice Kennedy, I would like to remind him that he is a Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. Should he wish to fule on international issues, I believe he should resign from his current position and pursue an appointment to the World Court.
It seems as though Justice Antonin Scalia agrees with me, or more respectfully I agree with him. I'll take that company any day.
The larger problem here is the increasing power of the Judiciary Branch. It has grown to encompass a role not envisioned by the Founders. Laws are being passed by the people only to have them overturned by a single judge. Judicial fiats are replacing the will of the people and are fast becoming the law of the land.
Democrats, specifically those few who remain in the Senate, would like this type of behavior to continue. The Judiciary holds the key to the dwindling remnants of leftist liberalism. It is there, rather than the ballot box, that liberals hold on to what power remains to them. They are in very real danger of losing their grip on the hallowed halls of Justice.
A week or so ago I penned commentary regarding the potential use of the "Nuclear Option" as it relates to judicial confirmation. Yesterday, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made clear his intention to filibuster "controversial" nominees. Controversial in his mind is anyone who doesn't conform to his idea of mainstream. His idea of mainstream is so far out of the stream there is no moisture left. If he does this, there is but one option.
I just hope Senator Bill Frist sees fit to pull the trigger.
Here endeth the lesson.