Conservative activist judges defied precedent and judicial restraint to give unrestrained political speech to corporate entities and special interests without regard for the chilling effect on free speech for natural citizens. Roberts and Alito violated some of the very principles they claimed (during their confirmation hearings) made a good judge.
There is much I would like to say on the subject, but Justice John Paul Stevens has already said what needs to be said far more thoroughly and in greater detail than I could ever hope to. With difficulty, I condensed part of his dissent into what I devoted a whole page to.
Just for a taste, he said things like:
The basic premise underlying the Court’s ruling is its iteration, and constant reiteration, of the proposition that the First Amendment bars regulatory distinctions based on a speaker’s identity, including its “identity” as a corporation. While that glittering generality has rhetorical appeal, it is not a correct statement of the law.
The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution (SCOTUS).
Essentially, five Justices were unhappy with the limited nature of the case before us, so they changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law.
The unnecessary resort to a facial inquiry “run[s] contrary to the fundamental principle of judicial restraint that courts should neither anticipate a question of constitutional law in advance of the necessity of deciding it nor formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied.”. Scanting that principle “threaten[s] to short circuit the democratic process by preventing laws embodying the will of the people from being implemented in a manner consistent with the Constitution.”
It is easy to take a few sound bites out of context, stripping it of it’s full and intended meaning. In my excerpt, I strove to remain faithful to the dissenting opinion of Justice Stevens, and the length shows it. The result only covers a portion of the dissent, and I recommend reading the whole dissent. If you do not have the time, at least start with my excerpts on my “Citizens United” page.
- Scholars and Law Professors Call for Constitutional Amendment to Reverse Corporate Take Over of Elections (grantlawrence.blogspot.com)
- Is Citizens United Hurting American Democracy? (politics.usnews.com)
- What is a Judicial Restraint? (brainz.org)
“Republicans demand that judges interpret the Constitution as written, not rewrite it from the bench.”
That’s exactly what liberals and progressives want too. The difference is one of definitions.
Republicans identify a judge whose ruling they do not like as an activist judge.
Democrats define a judge who does not follow proper jurisprudence and judicial restraint as an activist judge.
Judge Walker wrote a decision that respects the law, legal precedent, rules of evidence, and the Constitution. Some would call this sound jurisprudence. Blackwell is not among them.
Simply put, the defense offered by the proponents of prop8 had no basis in credible fact or law. To have ruled in their favor anyway would have been true judicial activism and legislating from the bench, but that is less important to conservatives than a favorable ruling.
The GOP has invested heavily in prejudice and paranoia, and they are having trouble holding the coalition of extremists together. The Constitution is against the Marriage Nazis, as the courts keep demonstrating. Unfortunately, prejudice, blind faith, and conservatism do not lend themselves to self-reflection or self-correction.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
We may be seeing a religion-driven breakdown in rule of law, enabled by political vigilantism.