So Now They’re Worried?
Seems even right-wing Supremes are disturbed about the rampant spread of wingnuttery in the country. In his 19th year-end report, the Chief Justice is plenty pissed about Congressional attempts to usurp the powers of the judiciary to render decisions in challenges to the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, the display of the Ten Commandments on government property, and the Defense of Marriage Act, among other things.
But primarily Rehnquist is bristling about the dizzying stupidity of a resolution sponsored by Rep. Tom Feeny (R-FL) which threatens with impeachment any Supreme Court Justice who cites foreign law in a decision, as was done in striking down capital punishment for the mentally retarded and invalidating the Texas criminal sodomy statute. He notes that it is one of the country’s founding principles that a judge should not be impeached on the basis of a decision. “Any other rule would destroy judicial independence,” he says, since “judges would be concerned about inflaming any group that might be able to muster the votes in Congress to impeach and convict them.”
Sandra Day O’Conner also called the resolution “very worrisome,” and said that things between the Supremes and Congress are “more tense than at any time in my lifetime.”
The steady erosion of checks and balances between the three branches of government is, indeed, a bitch. But it’s hard not to look back at Election 2000 and say um, do you think maybe you guys had a hand in this?