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May 23, 2005

Newsflash!!!: Judicial Activists don't like being called 'judicial activists'

From the Boston Globe:

The chief justice of the state Supreme Judicial Court said yesterday that rhetoric about judges destroying the country and the suggestion that court decisions should conform to public opinion are threatening public trust in the judicial system, a cornerstone of democracy.

Justice Margaret H. Marshall, who has been widely criticized as a judicial activist since writing the court's 2003 decision allowing same-sex marriage, spoke before a crowd of 7,000 at Brandeis University's 54th commencement.

A native of South Africa who fought apartheid before coming to the United States, she said she is not concerned about criticism of individual judges or decisions, but about ''attacks leveled at the very foundation of our legal system -- the principle that judges should decide each case on its merits . . . independent of outside influence."

''I worry when people of influence use vague, loaded terms like 'judicial activism' to skew public debate or to intimidate judges," Marshall said. ''I worry when judicial independence is seen as a problem to be solved and not a value to be cherished."

One year after the ruling by the state's highest court took effect, Massachusetts remains the only state where gay and lesbian couples can legally marry. The 4-3 decision was seen as a landmark by those on both sides of the marriage debate, and opponents of same-sex marriage across the country moved quickly to build on public outrage in its wake.

Got a real quick solution to the problem: QUIT LEGISLATING FROM THE BENCH!!! I can't seem to recall any despots actually wanting to be called a despot, can you? Why in the world can't these judges get it through their head that they are being called activists judges because they are, in fact, activist judges -- abusing their position. No, they want to blame people who point out that they are abusing their position. They're doing everything short of coming right out and saying, "If you call me an activist judge, you'd better hope you never have to stand before me in my court." It'll only be a matter of time until one of them slips and says it, though.

Posted by Danny Carlton at May 23, 2005 07:09 AM

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