Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Activist Judges

While on the subject of Amendment Evil, I wanted to talk about something I saw in one of David Kranz's columns last week. He showed what a Minnesota district judge, George Harrelson, wrote about South Dakota's J.A.I.L. Amendment (aka Amendment Evil). What caught my attention was his opinion of the people who are always complaining about "judicial activism."
Activist Judges: "I must be one of those activist judges. In the 23 years
that I have been a judge, the caseload has more than doubled, and at the end of
a lot of days, I feel like I have been rode hard and put up wet. Of course, when
you hear about the 'activist judges,' someone is usually complaining about
rulings of a Supreme Court (often in Massachusetts or California) that they
don't agree with. Problem is, trial judges, such as myself, are required to
follow laws or prior court rulings even if they are not popular.

"In the past, when citizens or groups of citizens were unhappy with a law
or court ruling, they would pressure their legislators to pass a different law
or a constitutional amendment. Recently, a new technique has emerged -
intimidate the judge. People are being urged to 'hold the judge accountable.' If
you don't like what the judge did, get rid of the judge," Harrelson says.

"When a judge starts to worry about who they will please or displease with
a ruling, then we cease to be a government based on law," Harrelson
So the people who are always screaming "activist judges" when they don't like the judge's decision are just bullies. And the Amendment Evil people are just trying to make it easier to bully judges and manipulate the justice system how they see fit. I thought as much.

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