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April 05, 2005

Whose side is Cheney on?

From the Washington Post:

Vice President Cheney says he opposes revenge against judges for their refusal to prolong the life of the late Terri Schiavo, although he did not criticize House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) for declaring that they will "answer for their behavior."

Cheney was asked about the issue on Friday by the editorial board of the New York Post. He said twice that he had not seen DeLay's remarks, but the vice president said he would "have problems" with the idea of retribution against the courts. "I don't think that's appropriate," he said. "I may disagree with decisions made by judges in any one particular case. But I don't think there would be much support for the proposition that because a judge hands down a decision we don't like, that somehow we ought to go out -- there's a reason why judges get lifetime appointments."

Apparently Dick Cheney feels that holding judges responsible for violating the Constitution is “revenge”. Apparently Cheney hasn't bothered to read the Constitution.

Article 3, section one states:

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

While justices and judges may make decisions, the existence of any judicial seat is dependant on Congress. It is well within their power to completely abolish every Federal judicial seat other than the Supreme Court. Congress also has the power, granted by the Constitution, to remove any Federal judge from the bench, if they deem his or her behavior is unsatisfactory. To deny or even shirk that responsibility creates an imbalance of power that runs contrary to intended design of the government as clearly indicated by the Constitution.

Now more than every Conservatives are fighting to change the courts back to when they respected the Constitution. The Washington Times reports:

Dozens of conservatives -- including anti-taxers, free-traders and Christian conservatives -- have united to demand President Bush's judicial nominees get final confirmation votes in the Senate.

They are placing pressure like never before on Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to employ the so-called "nuclear option" -- a rarely used parliamentary procedure that would confirm judges on a simple majority vote -- to break Democratic filibusters.

"Every once in a while ... a debate comes along that's really important, and I think this is one of those moments," said Gary L. Bauer, the social conservative who founded American Values. "This is a basic question of fairness."

"The judicial nominees that are being held up by the filibuster have not been accused of any ethical problems, haven't cheated on their taxes. Nobody's accused them of anything inappropriate," Mr. Bauer said. "The only thing they've been accused of is sharing a philosophy of the president who nominated them."

Mr. Bauer joined more than 150 conservatives in signing a letter to Mr. Frist and other Senate Republican leaders.

For too long Liberals have forced mediocre nominees on Conservative presidents, the result being what we saw last week --Republican nominated judges spitting on the Constitution and murdering an innocent woman.

But Liberals don't hold the blame alone. Voters elect and re-elect incompetent judges without lifting a finger to find out what their vote is doing. Texas State District Judge Ed Aparicio chambers and home had been the target of an FBI search in January 2004. An anti-corruption task force seized dozens of paintings, photos and documents. Yet the judge was easily re-elected to a third term just a few months later. Police found Aparico's body in his Weslaco, Texas home yesterday, a gun and a spent shell casing at his side as he sat in a pool of his own blood. All the doors were locked, and the Judge had recently submitted his resignation citing pressure of his job.

We can complain about Congress all we want in regards to the nomination process for judges, but we do a very poor job of electing qualified state judges when the decision is in our hands.

Related coverage: Pajama Hadin, The Seventh Age, Myopic Zeal, Teknosis

Posted by Danny Carlton at April 5, 2005 09:37 AM

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