Subject: Just Who Are The Activist
Bart, this is for everyone thinking of "sitting
this one out" or voting for McSame.
The presidential debates this year saw McCain,
come down against activist judges -- the code name
for justices who believe in Roe v. Wade.
Conservatives like to divide judges into liberal "activists"
and conservative nonactivists who interpret the
law rather than making it.
Anyone who follows the court knows that conservative
judges are as activist as liberal judges
-- just for different causes. The conservative
Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are
actually more activist than their liberal colleagues.
Lori Ringhand, a professor at the University of
Kentucky College of Law, examined the voting records
of the Supreme Court justices from 1994 to date.
In the study, justices were considered to have voted
in an activist way when they voted to overturn
a federal statute, or one of the court's own precedents.
The conservative justices were far more willing
than the liberals to strike down federal laws -- clearly an
activist stance, since they were substituting
their own judgment for that of the people's elected
representatives in Congress. Justice Thomas voted
to overturn federal laws in thirty-four cases,
and Justice Scalia in thirty-one, compared with
just fifteen for Justice Stephen Breyer.
And by overturning the court's own precedents,
the conservatives were far more activist.
Justice Thomas voted to overturn precedent twenty-three
times, and Justice Scalia nineteen times,
while the court's four liberals each did so in
ten cases or fewer.
Activism is neither good nor bad, neither right
nor wrong. The Supreme Court is supposed to strike down
laws that are unconstitutional or otherwise flawed.
It is hypocritical for Republican presidential candidates
to pretend that Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and
Alito are not activist, and turn to judicial activism into a
partisan talking point, when the numbers show
a very different story.
The entire dialogue, which tens of millions of
voters and television commentators believe, is a lie.
Sent in by John Patrick
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