Saturday, April 09, 2005

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged

Being a judge has suddenly become one of the most dangerous and frightening jobs in the United States. Not only are criminals committing horrifying acts of violence against judges and their families, the radical right-wing elite has now joined in the cause, urging their crazed followers onto violence.
Inspired by the remarkably consistent series of rulings handed down in the Terri Schiavo case by jurists from the right, center and left, as well as by the Supreme Court decision last month declaring state execution of children to be unconstitutional, the lunatic fringe that has become the voice of the Republican Party is now calling on their neo-Nazi allies to take down judges.
At yesterday's Washington, D.C., conference on "Confronting the Judicial War On Faith," the crazed hag Phyllis Schafly, a reliable source of vitriol, was the voice of moderation, calling only for impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy because he dared to oppose government execution of minors.
The truly scary one was Edwin Vieira, the anti-union, anti-Federal Reserve nutcase lawyer, who cited Josef Stalin (Stalin!?!?!?!) in proposing achilling solution for troublesome judges: "No man, no problem."
Now remember that this is the same conference that the reptilian House Majority Leader Tom "Fly Me, Buy Me" DeLay was supposed to address before he decided to travel to the Vatican to shed more of his crocodile tears over the Pope's death. Does anyone believe that this walking, breathing trash heap has a sincere molecule in his being? Mr. DeLay, of course, famously threatened the judiciary after Mrs. Schiavo's death last week: "We will look at an arrogant, out of control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their nose at the Congress and president when given jurisdiction to hear this case anew and look at all the facts ... The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today."
Add to that his fellow Texan Sen. John Cornyn's thinly veiled threats to activist judges on Thursday: "I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country... And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in, engage in violence. Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have."
Collectively, these barbarous men have declared open season on judges. They think they are being subtle, of course. To them, anything short of a rifle pointed in one's face may be a comment or a suggestion, rather than a threat. But I would bet that most of us wouldn't see it that way if these comments were directed at us or our profession.
The legal profession has been a favorite whipping boy of the radical right-wing elite, many of whom -- like Schlafly and Vieira -- are lawyers themselves. These lunatics can't abide the rule of law because it doesn't always work in their favor -- and lately, as they have boldly crossed the line from conservativism to fascism, the judiciary has been one of our only protections against the excesses of these terrorists and the Bush administration they put in place.
I realize this post is over-the-top, but I believe the current situation is sufficiently frightening to pull out all the stops in protest. Liberals who believe in the ideals of the U.S. Constitution have got to work to halt this movement, which threatens the very founding principles of our government system.
The right wing has become the violent threat to democracy that we always worried it would be.