Tuesday, April 5, 2005

It’s Their Fault

From the WaPo:

Sen. John Cornyn said yesterday that recent examples of courthouse violence may be linked to public anger over judges who make politically charged decisions without being held accountable.

In a Senate floor speech in which he sharply criticized a recent Supreme Court ruling on the death penalty, Cornyn (R-Tex.) — a former Texas Supreme Court justice and member of the Judiciary Committee — said Americans are growing increasingly frustrated by what he describes as activist jurists.

“It causes a lot of people, including me, great distress to see judges use the authority that they have been given to make raw political or ideological decisions,” he said. Sometimes, he said, “the Supreme Court has taken on this role as a policymaker rather than an enforcer of political decisions made by elected representatives of the people.”

Cornyn continued: “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. . . . 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. Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have.”

Need I remind the Senator that the last two violent incidents against judges — the murder of Judge Lefkow’s family in Chicago and the courthouse carnage in Atlanta — had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with “enforcing political decisions.” One was a personal vendetta by a whack-job and the other was an escaping prisoner. Linking them to the political agenda of the wingnuts is a stunning reach, even for a senator who comes across as the poor man’s version of Tom DeLay.

And may I say to the good people of Texas — and the state of my birth: you need to seriously consider who you send to the national political arena. Your record of the last decade or so doesn’t speak well of you.