Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Legislating from the bench

This has come up repeatedly between the confirmation hearings of Chief Justice Roberts and soon-to-be Justice Miers. Bush touted both as individuals who would "strictly interpret the laws and constitutional and would not legislate from the bench."

Could someone then please tell me why they were pissed off when judge after judge refused to hear the appeals in the Terry Schiavo case? How come Trent Lott (how could I forget the guy's whose house was destroyed that Bush can't wait to sit, once again, on his porch?) spoke of investigating those judges, claiming they were getting away with "judicial tyranny?"

And how come, after the Citizen's of Oregon voted to okay assisted suicide twice, the Bush administration brought the case to the Supreme Court yesterday anyway?

In 1997, the Supreme Court declared that persons who were/are terminally ill do not have a constitutional right to doctor-assisted suicide. Being as Oregon has allowed this before 1997, they filed a lawsuit in defense of their law.

The repub's cry, whine and moan about Big Government, yet they are all up in Oregon's face about what many, including me, see as a no-brainer.

According to the article, Oregon has strict regulations on the drugs and how they can be used for doctor-assisted suicide. Yet, their law has been challenged by the likes of Ashcroft, who found doctor-assisted suicide to be an "improper use of medication and violates federal drug laws."

What is also interesting is Roberts seemingly perdatious manner and tone in his first case as Chief Justice. Was he trying to show off? Was he trying to prove that he could do this?

O'Connor would definitely be the swing vote needed here to keep Oregon's law intact, alas she will most likely not be on the SCOTUS when the case is decided. Meir's, I'm sure, will be the swing vote needed to tear Oregon's law down.

Who said she wouldn't legislate from the bench?

Oh yeah, the same guy who said this, "'I've known her long enough to know she's not going to change, that 20 years from now she will be the same person with the same judicial philosophy she has today,' Bush said. 'She'll have more experience. She'll have been a judge, but nevertheless the philosophy won't change, and that's important to me.'" (emphasis mine)

As my SOCY professor asked the class this morning, isn't that an oxymoron? Legislating is what they do. If VA or the US enacts a law I think is unconstitutional, my team of lawyers will challenge it and a judge somewhere at some point will decide if the law is indeed valid or not. That sounds a lot like legislating to me.