Attack on the Judiciary Continues (and Escalates)

This is simply unbelievable. I actually can’t remember the last time my stomach turned quite so thoroughly when reading a news story, and considering the amount of crap I read every day, that’s really saying something.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is a fairly accomplished jurist, but he might want to get himself a good lawyer -- and perhaps a few more bodyguards.

Conservative leaders meeting in Washington yesterday for a discussion of "Remedies to Judicial Tyranny" decided that Kennedy…should be impeached, or worse.
Matriarch of Professional Wingnuts, Phyllis Schlafly, led the charge against Kennedy (an appointee of that world-renowned zany liberal Ronald Reagan), by saying that his refusal to support the death penalty for juveniles “is a good ground of impeachment.” So much for the culture of life, eh, Phyllis?

Not to be outdone by the Duchess of Delirium, Michael P. Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said:
Kennedy "should be the poster boy for impeachment" for citing international norms in his opinions. "If our congressmen and senators do not have the courage to impeach and remove from office Justice Kennedy, they ought to be impeached as well."
What a superb idea. Let’s just impeach the whole of the House, the Senate, and the judiciary, and then Bush’s ascension to dictator will be complete.

The competition for Grand Minister of Inflammatory Vitriol continued with a statement from “lawyer-author” Edwin Vieira, who:
told the gathering that Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, "upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law."

Ominously, Vieira continued by saying his "bottom line" for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Joseph Stalin. "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem,' " Vieira said.

The full Stalin quote, for those who don't recognize it, is "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem."


Vieira, a constitutional lawyer who wrote "How to Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary," escalated the charges, saying a Politburo of "five people on the Supreme Court" has a "revolutionary agenda" rooted in foreign law and situational ethics. Vieira, his eyeglasses strapped to his head with black elastic, decried the "primordial illogic" of the courts.

Invoking Stalin, Vieira delivered the "no man, no problem" line twice for emphasis. "This is not a structural problem we have; this is a problem of personnel," he said. "We are in this mess because we have the wrong people as judges."
I doubt this is the only issue on which Vieira and I disagree, but I’m kinda thinking that a bunch of fucknuts congregating to declare war on the judiciary is a bigger mess than the judiciary itself. One wonders how many judges (or judges’ families) will be killed as a result of this increasingly aggressive rhetoric before something is done to curb this mania.
"The people who have been speaking out on this, like Tom DeLay and Senator Cornyn, need to be backed up," Schlafly said to applause yesterday. One worker at the event wore a sticker declaring "Hooray for DeLay."
Backed up against a wall maybe, where they’ll be frisked (with any luck by a huge, mustachioed leather daddy wearing nothing but a thong and a dog collar) and then handcuffed and carted off to jail where they belong.
The conference was organized during the height of the Schiavo controversy by a new group, the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration. This was no collection of fringe characters. The two-day program listed two House members; aides to two senators; representatives from the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America; conservative activists Alan Keyes and Morton C. Blackwell; the lawyer for Terri Schiavo's parents; Alabama's "Ten Commandments" judge, Roy Moore; and DeLay, who canceled to attend the pope's funeral.

Got that?

Unethical, corrupt, morally bankrupt douchebag:

Brought with official delegation to Pope’s funeral.

Honorable, altruistic, Nobel Peace Prize winner:

Excluded from official delegation to Pope’s funeral.

Anyway, back to the story.

The Schlafly session's moderator, Richard Lessner of the American Conservative Union, opened the discussion by decrying a "radical secularist relativist judiciary." It turned more harsh from there.

Schlafly called for passage of a quartet of bills in Congress that would remove courts' power to review religious displays, the Pledge of Allegiance, same-sex marriage and the Boy Scouts. Her speech brought a subtle change in the argument against the courts from emphasizing "activist" judges -- it was, after all, inaction by federal judges that doomed Schiavo -- to "supremacist" judges. "The Constitution is not what the Supreme Court says it is," Schlafly asserted.

Former representative William Dannemeyer (R-Calif.) followed Schlafly, saying the country's "principal problem" is not Iraq or the federal budget but whether "we as a people acknowledge that God exists."

Farris then told the crowd he is "sick and tired of having to lobby people I helped get elected." A better-educated citizenry, he said, would know that "Medicare is a bad idea" and that "Social Security is a horrible idea when run by the government." Farris said he would block judicial power by abolishing the concept of binding judicial precedents, by allowing Congress to vacate court decisions, and by impeaching judges such as Kennedy, who seems to have replaced Justice David H. Souter as the target of conservative ire. "If about 40 of them get impeached, suddenly a lot of these guys would be retiring," he said.
These people are the faces of the conservative movement in America. This was no collection of fringe characters. As we as a country become increasingly tolerant of this radical agenda, in no small part due to its proponents’ using religion as a defense shield and our willingness to defer to such madness despite the conspicuous and resoundingly hateful motivations behind their actions, this extremism continues to gain legitimacy. Where are the Dems, who ought to be demanding the president denounce such rubbish? Where is the media, who ought to be drawing the obvious comparisons between the rise of this radical movement and its historical counterparts, which have been the undoing of other nations?

It feels as though I am screaming into the darkness, but, of course, if this antidemocratic element is left to fester unchecked, as I fear it will be, the real darkness is yet to come.

I wonder if the Supreme Court might be regretting that Bush v. Gore decision at all—including Justice Kennedy, who was one of the seven finding equal protection violations and one of the five voting to cease all recounts. Complicit in handing the election to Bush, he now discovers firsthand what a dreadful decision that was, and the depth of the wickedness it unleashed.

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