It has been and is the duty and obligation of our federal courts to help preserve, protect and guarantee that those “ideas” are adhered to by all, all the time. But what if the federal court system becomes a collection of right-wing judges that are political ideologues? Just take a brief look at the decisions being handed down by the Bush appointed federal judges and it’s not to difficult to see what the result to this country will be.
Which brings me to Bush and his constant carping about the “rule of law.” Bush and the rest of that neo-con pack of ultra-hawks just love to “preach” about the “rule of law.” We hear from Bush and his cabal about how this is a country of laws, where the “rule of law” is supreme as is our adherence to that “rule of law.” If there is one thing that I have learned about Bush and his “wild bunch” it is that his definitions of terms like the “rule of law, freedom, liberty, democracy, no child left behind, national interest, national security, support the troops,” etc., etc., etc. is totally different than the definition we have for those very same terms. These people fully understand the principals of Cognitive Science and Linguistics and how selected use of specific terms and phrases create specific psychological metaphors and images which can be used to manipulate, create if you will, “necessary illusions” with the aim being “manufactured consent.” With that said, let’s take a brief look at what we are in for as a result of Georgie Porgies” court stacking.
First, there is the issue of Judge Charles Pickering. As you know, Pickering was nominated by Bush for the 5th Circuit Court right at two years ago. The Pickering nomination set off a fire storm in the Senate. Pickering’s opinions and comments, in and out of court, on such issues as civil rights, affirmative action, and abortion “earned” him a filibuster on his nomination instead of confirmation. There is not to much doubt that Pickering would not interpret the law, but would use the bench to legislate and make law. Back to Pickering and his nomination further on in this essay. For now, we only have to take a cursory look at the decisions being handed down throughout the federal court system by the 167 Bush appointed (and Senate confirmed) judges to see and understand what is coming our way…and it is not anything nice! This will also give a look into what Bush and cabal have planned for our future…which is also nothing nice!
When looking at federal judges and the federal court system, we must always keep in mind how very few cases are ever heard by the US Supreme Court. That means the federal appellate courts, for the vast majority of us, are the courts of last “appeal” for the most part. Therefore it is incumbent upon us not to be idle or silent where federal courts and judges are concerned. Judges are supposed to “interpret” the law, not “make” law from the bench as Jeffery Sutton, Dennis Shedd, Michael McConnell and John Roberts are attempting to do (keeping in mind these are just 4 out of the 167 Bush confirmed nominations).
Just these four have already written decisions and opinions in opposition to; the endangered species act, stating it’s unconstitutional; allowed the records of Cheney’s secret energy task force to remain secret…we are not allowed to know what is in it; overturning National Labor Relations Board rulings against anti-union discrimination and other unfair labor practices; re-write, by court order, a state law regulating First Amendment activity; Cut back severely on the scope of federal arson law due to “federalism” concerns; granting immunity to government officials from liability for illegal and unconstitutional strip searches; supported authority of Bush to detain indefinitely, and without benefit of an attorney, an American citizen by military authorities…there goes habeas corpus down the toilet; and they are all pushing to limit the power and authority of congress. I could go on forever enumerating various decisions but that would turn this into a book and I’m not writing a book.
“The President is dedicated to packing the courts with right-wing judges who will turn back the clock on equal rights, privacy and reproductive freedom, environmental protections, and much of the social justice progress we have made in the past half-century. He has demonstrated arrogant disregard for the constitutional checks and balances that insure independent and fair courts”. In short, this country is going to be faced with neo-con, right-wing, political ideology coming from our federal courts through the Bush appointee’s for the next 20+ years…God help us all! It will make no difference who is in the White House or what party controls congress…the federal judges Bush appointed will still be there…will still be undermining the constitution by legislating and making law from the bench…and most assuredly will continue to undermine and decrease congressional authority.
So the next time you hear Bush, or anyone else in the Bush cabal, go on about justice, freedom, liberty, democracy and especially the “rule of law” don’t just listen to his (or their) words, but match what is said to what is actually done. When that is done, t is not to difficult to see what that power-mad, manipulating liar is up to…which is nothing less than turning the country into the Project for a New American Century’s vision of “Pax Americana”.
An independent federal judiciary is the only thing, in the analysis that is there to help (at least in theory) us, the citizens of this country, from wrong, harm and injustice. If we loose that, the way I see it, we loose everything. Which brings me at last back to the Bush appointment of Charles Pickering to the 5th circuit Court of Appeals while congress was in recess. All without the “advice and consent” of congress…welcome to democracy, American style (at least the Bush cabals idea of democracy). The organization People for the American Way (www.pfaw.org) web site has an excellent report, court by court, judge by judge, about this very thing…you should take a look at it. Call them, write them, see what you can do the jump in on this very vital issue. The contact information is: People for the American Way, Tarek Rizk or Laurie Boder, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and their phone number is 202-467-4999.
Jack Dalton is a Vietnam Vet with a Masters in Labor and Political Economics and is madder than hell over and about what is being done to this country. Visit his website: www.Oregon-Medical-Marijuana-Project.org