Even conservatives like Supreme Justices Kennedy and O'Conner are concerned, as they well should be. Nut jobs Frist and DeLay are attacking judges b/c they can no longer wear sheets or burn crosses. The extent of their extremism is real as
"The Los Angeles Times reports that 94 of 162 active judges now on the federal courts of appeals were picked by Republican presidents. Conservatives have a clear majority on 10 of 13 circuit courts. Since 1976, seven of nine seats on the Supreme Court have been held by conservatives, according to the paper's analysis." (see below.)
From the Village Voice; http://www.villagevoice.com/
The GOP's Fright Wing
DeLay and Frist light the torches for a crusade against 'activist' judges
by James Ridgeway
April 19th, 2005 10:18 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Far from backing down, Tom DeLay and his red-state allies are pushing their fight deep into the soft underbelly of the timid blue-state homeland, drawing shrieks of rage and pain as they go.
"Republicans are drunk with power," New York (blue state) congressman Charles B. Rangel said yesterday on CBS. "It's abuse of power in the House rules," said Maryland (blue state) Democrat Steny Hoyer. "It's abuse of power in the ethics process. It's abuse of power in threatening judges. It's an abuse of power of threatening."
On Saturday, DeLay told the National Rifle Association, "When a man's in trouble or in a good fight, you want all your friends around them, preferably armed. So I am in good company tonight."
DeLay's shock-and-awe campaign widened last week to welcome such luminaries as Trent Lott, the Mississippi (red state) senator who had to resign his post as Senate majority leader after celebrating the good old days when Strom Thurmond was kicking up his heels as a segregationist. Scaredy-cat George W. Bush wouldn't stand up for Lott. Now Lott is going after Bush for being a namby-pamby and not standing up for the Hammer.
"I do think the White House needs to remember," Lott said on ABC, "that people who fight hard for you as a candidate and for your issues as a president . . . deserve your support, aggressive support."
DeLay is point man for the Christian right, and last week Senate Majority Leader and Republican presidential hopeful Bill Frist was getting set to push the Christian agenda one step further this coming Sunday with an address to the Family Research Council (FRC), whose members are saying opponents of Bush's judicial nominees are "against people of faith."
"For years," said FRC president Tony Perkins, "activist courts have been quietly working under the veil of the judiciary, like thieves in the night, to rob us of our Christian heritage and our religious freedoms."
In The Weekly Standard, writer Jeffrey Bell comes to DeLay's defense, saying, "The truth is that Tom DeLay is a special target because he is the first legislative power broker to be an authentic red-state conservative.
"He is an unhyphenated Reaganite: militantly pro-life and pro-values on social issues, a pro-growth tax cutter on economic issues, and an unapologetic, spread-American-values interventionist abroad. In the years since the GOP's congressional realignment victory of 1994, no other GOP leader in either the House or Senate fully fits this description."
Down by law
The Christian right's campaign against activist judges is definitely having its effect on the judiciary. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who last week was attacked—some might say threatened—by speeches at a conference against liberal judges, asked Congress for more guards around the court building. Newsweek reports that Sandra Day O'Connor had already been concerned enough a few months ago about tension between the court and Congress that she invited some House Republicans to lunch to smooth things over. "It was just the two branches of government reaching out, trying to keep the lines of communication open," explained Ohio Republican congressman Steve Chabot, who had been especially critical of the judiciary.
But why? The Los Angeles Times reports that 94 of 162 active judges now on the federal courts of appeals were picked by Republican presidents. Conservatives have a clear majority on 10 of 13 circuit courts. Since 1976, seven of nine seats on the Supreme Court have been held by conservatives, according to the paper's analysis.