A New Attack on the Rule of Law
The always great Doug Ireland brings us a chilling report on the Christian Right’s agenda to destroy the separation of powers – the creation of an Inspector General for the judiciary.
As Ireland writes, this new crusade, led by Tom DeLay and his zealous allies, aims to bring the judiciary under greater control by Congress.
Ireland points to an article which states:
Although DeLay made the issue a party signature, House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) has quietly been pursuing a court-oversight agenda for years, mostly overlooked except for a few high-profile speeches he has given. Sensenbrenner said in an interview that his efforts would not be punitive and would be aimed at making the judicial branch stronger, not at retribution.
Sensenbrenner, 61, who has a degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School, suggested in a speech at Stanford University this week that Congress should create an inspector general for the courts to field complaints and conduct investigations.
Sensenbrenner also vowed to pursue a longtime Republican effort to split up the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which is based in San Francisco and is considered to be one of the most liberal circuits in the country. Conservatives were infuriated when the court ruled in 2002 that the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional because it describes the United States as "one nation under God."
If DeLay and Sensenbrenner succeed in their plans, the Christian Right will be able to wield unprecedented power in their fight to overturn reproductive laws, to socially ghettoize the gay community, and to bleed away the separation of church and state.
Ireland writes that the proposed Inspector General
…will have to render report cards on judicial behavior, with budgetary and disciplinary threats in its arsenal to force judge to toe the Republican line on everything from the right to die with dignity to affirmative action to abortion to gay civil rights. This is tantamount to putting the Christian right in charge of policing our courts.
This news is miserable indeed.
[X-posted at Freiheit und Wissen]