Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Last Stand

I expect to soon see the remainder of the independent United States judiciary crushed under the heel of the "activist judges" canard, but until the third branch of the federal government is entirely lobotomized, I'm going to take pleasure in its last few spasms of conscience before they turn out the lights:
A judge in Washington said the military short-circuited the rights of Osama bin Laden's driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, 34, of Yemen. Last month, another judge rebuked the government for limiting foreign detainees' access to lawyers.

The administration has defended to the Supreme Court its detention of hundreds of men in Cuba without constitutional protections, and lost in a landmark ruling this summer.
This won't last. The Republicans have shown a fondness for rewriting whatever rules don't suit them, so I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Congress starts muscling the judiciary with actions of questionable legality like this:
The House Judiciary Committee yesterday voted along party lines to eradicate the power of federal courts — including the Supreme Court — to alter the Pledge of Allegiance. The Republican leadership has promised to bring the highly-charged legislation up for a vote on the House floor and is expected to do so next week.
...
Yesterday’s action in the House is part of a piecemeal solution that Republican congressional leaders have adopted to solve what social conservatives have long viewed as the problem of activist judges, particularly on the federal bench.
This last is merely a trial balloon, in my view. If the Republicans manage to invalidate judicial review at will, soon we'll be proudly displaying a banana right next to the republic's golden door.

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