Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Cornyn: Our rhetoric on "activist judges" is working!

Others have commented on Republican Senator John Cornyn's statement below:

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. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news 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.

What astonishes me is how Cornyn attributes "the perception . . . [that] judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public" to the decisions of the judges. Who is he kidding?

Republican rhetoric about "activist judges" is wholly responsible for that "perception." They denounce even the most mundane decision contrary to their political philosophy as activist and laud even the most radical decision consistent with that philosophy as traditionalist. This was evident during the Schiavo circus, when they condemned the reasonable conclusion that Terri Schiavo intended her husband, Michael Schiavo, to make medical decisions on her behalf, as tantamount to murder. Republicans like John Cornyn take every opportunity to create the perception that "judges are making political decisions."

Given that, Cornyn's speech becomes even more vile. He can see a "connection" between a "perception" - one that he and his Republican cronies have created - and violence against the judiciary, yet he continues to cultivate that perception in his speech. However horrific the violence against the judiciary, it isn't sufficient to compel him to curb his false, hateful rhetoric.