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Posts tagged "Activist Judges"

h/t: Zoe Greenburg at RH Reality Check

h/t: Peter Montgomery at RWW

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

More proof that right-wing activist judges are destroying this nation, with the McCutcheon v. FEC ruling being the latest. This is WORSE than Citizens United!! 

Gordon Klingenschmitt is aghast at the recent federal court rulings across the country in favor of marriage equality, telling members of his Pray In Jesus Name Project that “this is way beyond the point where it’s gotten out-of-hand.”

He calls on Congress to impeach and remove from office any judge who sides with pro-gay rights plaintiffs, since any such judge is “a domestic enemy of the Constitution.”

“These lawless judges replace Democracy with dictatorship, abrogate the U.S. Constitution, flaunt the laws of God and nature, assume jurisdiction they don’t have, and overturn the overwhelming vote of good people,” Klingenschmitt writes. “May God have mercy on these tyrants’ souls, when they are judged in eternity.

This is way beyond the point where it’s gotten out-of-hand. The lawlessness on the federal bench requires a house-cleaning. We need a new President to appoint new judges. But until that happens, we MUST pressure Congress to intervene.

Christians do not lose their right to vote simply because they are religious. These lawless judges replace Democracy with dictatorship, abrogate the U.S. Constitution, flaunt the laws of God and nature, assume jurisdiction they don’t have, and overturn the overwhelming vote of good people. May God have mercy on these tyrants’ souls, when they are judged in eternity.

There is NO mention of sexual orientation in the Constitution, and any judge who imagines one is a domestic enemy of the Constitution, and should be impeached and removed from office. We must demand Congress hold the line, and protect the traditional definition of marriage FEDERALLY, like the Oklahoma people did by state.

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

Recent court decisions in favor of marriage equality in Utah and Oklahoma have riled Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver to the point where he is suggesting that the government simply ignore and refuse to enforce decisions that allow same-sex couples to marry.

Staver, who is also the dean of the Liberty University Law School, said yesterday in an interview on Crosstalk that judges “lose their authority” if they rule in favor of marriage equality.

Later in the broadcast, Staver argued that judges “act as dictators” and must be stopped through a campaign similar to the one calling on A&E to lift its suspension of Phil Robertson, the Duck Dynasty star who was temporarily suspended after making racist and homophobic comments.

From the 01.15.2014 edition of VCY America’s Crosstalk:

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW


But the message this report gives at the end is ineffective.  Instead of telling liberals how to win it pushes the “lets whine at Democrats” meme which is so popular today.

The important point is that without George W Bush illegally “winning” the 2000 election or even the 2004 election Judge Brown would not be in her position nor any of the three judges that blocked the stay of TX onerous abortion restrictions as a friend noted earlier today.

Posturing about evil Dems in Washington is a losing game.  Tell people this is what we’re going to get more of if we can’t convince Americans to vote for Democrats instead of Republicans.

The influence of right-wing money into judicial elections is a growing problem. Not only have the 1% decided they want to own our politicians, they want to own our judges, too. And because judicial elections mostly fly under the radar, they seem to be getting away with it:

The Club for Growth, a right-wing group that supports tax cuts for the rich, privatizing Social Security and writing Tea Party ideology into the Constitution, spent $300,000 to keep a key ally of anti-union Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) on the Wisconsin Supreme Court — and that was just in the primary.

It’s not surprising that the Club and other well-moneyed conservatives are willing to spend big to keep Roggensack on the court. Roggensack was part of the 4-3 majority that upheld a law pushed by Walker to undermine public sector unions. She also cast the key vote to reject an ethics rule that would have prevented justices from hearing cases involving their major campaign donors.

Instead, Roggensack backed a rule written by corporate lobbyists.

h/t: Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars

Anti-gay activist Bob Vander Plaats, who was labeled the Iowa GOP’s “kingmaker” after Republican presidential candidates lined up to pay homage to him, was the architect of the successful effort to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices, and he’s now spearheading a new effort to remove a fourth justice. All four of the justices Vander Plaats opposes joined the state supreme court’s unanimous opinion recognizing that the Iowa Constitution does not permit marriage discrimination against gay couples.

At a rally last month, Vander Plaats explained why he is so offended by the targeted justices’ application of the state constitution. And then he compared marriage equality to slavery:

We must get back to the constitution… . It is the court that should be independent — free of politics — to uphold the constitution, not to trample on the constitution, not to insert politics in the constitution, and not to run the leftist agenda through the court system. That’s not their role.

The Iowa State Bar Association, they’ll tell you — they’ll say “Bob, this is only one opinion. It’s only one opinion. You can’t be that upset at a court because of one opinion.” One opinion: Dred Scott — blacks are property. One opinion: Roe v. Wade — we’ve killed sixty million babies off a court’s opinion. One opinion, the Varnum opinion and you are now seeing same-sex marriage infiltrate this state. One opinion, where a court legislates from the bench, when a court executes from the bench, when a court tries to amend the constitution from the bench, and when a court tries to do that, it is our responsibility as the people — the final arbitrators — to kick them off the bench.

So when Vander Plaats tries to take revenge against these justices by tossing them out of office, he is the one who injecting politics into the constitution and he is the one who is trying to run his agenda through the court system. Vander Plaats’ campaign is nothing less than an effort to make judges too scared to follow the law when the law conflicts with conservative views.

H/T: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

On Friday, ThinkProgress reported that a Pennsylvania Tea Party group vowed revenge against two state supreme court justices who joined a recent decision that unanimously rejected a lower court order upholding a voter suppression law. Now, the Florida GOP wants to play this game as well:

The party announced late Friday that its board voted unanimously this week to oppose the retention of Supreme Court Justices Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince, who were all appointed by Democratic former Gov. Lawton Chiles and who have ruled against several major priorities of Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s administration.

If the justices are not retained, Scott would appoint replacements.

“While the collective evidence of judicial activism amassed by these three individuals is extensive, there is one egregious example that all Florida voters should bear in mind when they go to the polls on election day,” said spokeswoman Kristen McDonald in a statement. “These three justices voted to set aside the death penalty for a man convicted of tying a woman to a tree with jumper cables and setting her on fire.”

The Florida GOP’s decision to base its PR campaign against these justices around a death penalty decision is rather ghoulish, but it is both familiar and unsurprising. Twenty-six years ago, California Republicans led a $5.6 million campaign to oust California Chief Justice Rose Birdand two of her colleagues. Although the campaign outwardly focused on the death penalty, its top supporters included the Independent Oil Producers Agency, the Western Growers Association, the late anti-tax activst Howard Jarvis and the Free Market Political Action Committee. Bird’s opponents knew they couldn’t run an effective campaign by attacking her for being insufficiently friendly to wealthy corporations and other interest groups, so they chose instead to hide their true motives by focusing on the death penalty.

In 1996, Tennessee conservatives ran a similar playbook, ousting Justice Penny White because she voted to overturn a single death sentence. Significantly, only 19 percent of the state’s voters participated in the retention election, demonstrating the ability of a well-funded campaign to shape the outcome of a judicial race, since the campaign only needs to rally a small group of voters in these very low profile elections.

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

Earlier this week, every single sitting Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice rejecteda lower court decision allowing that state’s voter ID law to take effect. Four justices joined a majority opinion requiring the lower court judge to look at the case again due to concerns that voters were unable to obtain the IDs they were supposed to have easy access to as a matter of law, and two more justices joined a dissent arguing that the law should simply be suspended right away. Three of the justices in the majority were Republicans.

Nevertheless, a Tea Party group is now threatening to exact revenge upon the state supreme court for refusing to uphold a law that prevents many low-income, student and minority voters from casting a ballot:

A Philadelphia-area tea party group says it will work to defeat two state Supreme Court justices next year if the state’s new voter identification law isn’t in effect for the Nov. 6 election.

The Independence Hall Tea Party on Thursday also criticized the court’s decision to send a legal challenge to the law back for a lower court review.

It called the decision “a cowardly move” to “punt the ball.”

Chief Justice Ronald Castille, a Republican, and Justice Max Baer, a Democrat, are each finishing a 10-year term in January 2014.

These kinds of campaigns of vengeance against justices who place the law ahead of conservative’s policy preferences are increasingly common. Two years ago, a Florida Tea Party group launched a similar revenge campaign after the Florida Supreme Court kept an unconstitutional ballot initiative attempting to nullify the Affordable Care Act off the state ballot. Similarly, anti-gay groups poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a successful effort to remove three Iowa supreme court justices because they had the audacity to recognize that the state’s constitution does not permit discrimination against gay couples.

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice/

 On CNN’s CNN Newsroom, Bachmann Rails Against Activist Court After Health Care Ruling | Crooks and Liars

I know I can always count on Michele Bachmann to highlight the unique intellectually dishonest ways of wingnut conservatives, and she did not disappoint with her indictment of the Supreme Court after hearing the results of the ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

Forget that she lied about the mandate being a tax, because the ruling specifically said it was “like a tax.”

Let’s turn to her “denial of liberty” claim.

This is a denial of liberty: Telling people to die because they can’t pay for prescriptions or hospital care or even to see a doctor. A denial of liberty is being an innocent bystander and losing everything because some random car breaks your bones. A denial of liberty is losing everything you worked for because you dared to get sick. That’s a denial of liberty, Rep. Bachmann. Choosing a $695 penalty over health insurance? That’s a choice, not a denial of liberty.

But really, the crowning moment in this five-minute rant was her claim that “an activist Court rewrote Obamacare.” Um, no. That didn’t happen, Michele. It never happened. Not one word of the Affordable Care Act was rewritten. Like Rand Paul, Michele Bachmann doesn’t like the decision, but nothing was rewritten.

Here’s my question for Michele Bachmann: If the Supreme Court rewrote Obamacare, does that mean we call it SCOTUScare?

We can all be grateful that Michele Bachmann is a Representative and not a Supreme Court justice, since she clearly does not understand what just happened, since she declared it unconstitutional, because she’s Michele Bachmann!

Let’s bring in Congresswoman Michele Bachmann right now. The Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota, who was a Republican presidential candidate.

I take it, Congresswoman, you were inside the Supreme Court when this decision was read, and you heard the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, declare that, under the tax-writing provisions of the Constitution, the Affordable Health Care Act is in fact constitutional.

What went through your mind when you saw that 5-4 decision?

REP. MICHELLE BACHMANN, (R), MINNESOTA: Well, it really is a turning point in American history. We’ll never be the same again. What went through my mind is the court first went through the Commerce Clause argument. They rejected Obama-care and the individual mandate as constitutional under the Commerce Clause. And so across the courtroom, it appeared that the court had struck down the constitutionality of the individual mandate in Obama-care. But then the court turned to the tax argument, which was bizarre. Because the court ruled that Obama-care was not attacked for purpose of jurisdiction to hear the case, and then just several pages later they said, no, it is a tax. So therefore, Congress has the power to regulate the tax and create this tax and it’s constitutional. For my mind, this is clearly unconstitutional. There is no basis in the Constitution for the government to have this level of history-making expansion of power. Because now this means for the first time in the history of the country, Congress can force Americans to purchase any product, any service that Congress wants them to, which means that Congress then determines the price. And we are forced to, which is a denial of liberty. This is a turning point in American history. We’ll never be the same again with this denial of liberty interests.

But also, it’s a black cloud pragmatically speaking on economic recovery. There will be no hope of economic recovery between now and the election. We’ve exhausted now our legal solutions, to be able to rid the nation of Obama-care. Now we have to look for a political solution. So in the short term, what you’ll see from the job creators, and employers in America, you’ll see more of them by the millions dropping their employer health insurance because it’s wildly expensive. It’s increased by a factor of three, just this year alone. You’ll see millions of Americans lose their employer insurance. You’ll see millions of employers move their businesses outside of the United States to do business out of the United States. So you’ll see massive job loss as a result of this as well. This isn’t unexpected but this is the pragmatic effect of what we’ll see.

BLITZER: In terms of pragmatic effects, the practical developments that will unfold right now, there are limits to what you can do to repeal this Affordable Health Care Act. Even if there’s a lopsided Republican majority in the House of representatives. Correct me if I’m wrong. You need 60 votes in the United States Senate, even if Mitt Romney is elected president, to go ahead and repeal it, or revise it. Is that your understanding, that you need to break a filibuster in the Senate in order to change it?

BACHMANN: No, that’s not true at all. Because when the vote was passed in the Senate, they did so with a reconciliation bill. And that took a 50-person vote. So if there is a majority in the Senate, and a majority in the House, and if we have a Mitt Romney as the next president of the United States, we can, and we will repeal Obama-care. That is the hope that America needs to hold on to, that we will repeal Obama-care, and we will finally see economic recovery in the United States. There is no hope of that if Barack Obama wins a second term, and if Harry Reid continues to hold the gavel in the United States Senate. In all likelihood, you will see the House of representatives put forward a full-scale repeal bill, in all likelihood we will pass that even before the November election. But that will be for show only. Because in all likelihood, Harry Reid and Barack Obama are not about to deviate from what the Supreme Court did today.

We’re profoundly disappointed in the decision from the court. But I urge people to read the dissent that was read from the bench by Justice Kennedy and joined in by Justices Alito and also Scalia. Because that opinion said very clearly, this was an activist court that you saw today. What they did is not just uphold Obama-care, this Supreme Court re-wrote Obama-care in line with its own designs. So this is an even more far-reaching decision than anyone had expected or imagined.

WOLF: Because if the president is re-elected, Congresswoman, he could veto any legislation passed by the House and Senate, and then the Affordable Health Care Law would remain in effect. Is that your understanding?

BACHMANN: That’s right. That’s why it’s extremely important to those who believe in liberty and the Constitution, and who want our economy to turn around so we can create jobs, that’s why it’s extremely important that we are energized and remember this at the ballot box in November. If Barack Obama has a second term, we will not be able to get rid of Obama-care, and we will remain mired in this. If we want to be a pro-growth economy and have millions of high-paying jobs, then we have to replace Barack Obama. There is no other choice, Wolf. It’s only a political choice now.

Justice Antonin Scalia needs to resign from the Supreme Court.

He’d have a lot of things to do. He’s a fine public speaker and teacher. He’d be a heck of a columnist and blogger. But he really seems to aspire to being a politician — and that’s the problem.

So often, Scalia has chosen to ignore the obligation of a Supreme Court justice to be, and appear to be, impartial. He’s turned “judicial restraint” into an oxymoronic phrase. But what he did this week, when the court announced itsdecision on the Arizona immigration law, should be the end of the line.

Not content with issuing a fiery written dissent, Scalia offered a bench statement questioningPresident Obama’s decision to allow some immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children to stay. Obama’s move had nothing to do with the case in question. Scalia just wanted you to know where he stood.

“Arizona bears the brunt of the country’s illegal immigration problem,” the politician-justice proclaimed. “Its citizens feel themselves under siege by large numbers of illegal immigrants who invade their property, strain their social services, and even place their lives in jeopardy. Federal officials have been unable to remedy the problem, and indeed have recently shown that they are simply unwilling to do so.

“Arizona has moved to protect its sovereignty — not in contradiction of federal law, but in complete compliance with it.” Cue the tea party rally applause.

As it happens, Obama has stepped up immigration enforcement. But if the 76-year-old justice wants to dispute this, he is perfectly free as a citizen to join the political fray and take on the president. But he cannot be a blatantly political actor and a justice at the same time.

Unaccountable power can lead to arrogance. That’s why justices typically feel bound by rules and conventions that Scalia seems to take joy in ignoring. 

I agree. Scalia needs to be impeached and/or resign! The same goes for Alito and Thomas too.

h/t: E.J. Dionne, Jr at the WaPo