....The need to shield judges from outside threats - including those from elected officials like Senator Cornyn - is a priceless principle of our democracy. Senator Cornyn offered a smarmy proclamation of "great distress" at courthouse thuggery. Then he rationalized it with broadside accusations that judges "make raw political or ideological decisions." He thumbed his nose at the separation of powers, suggesting that the Supreme Court be "an enforcer of political decisions made by elected representatives of the people." Avoiding that nightmare is precisely why the founders made federal judgeships lifetime jobs and created a nomination process that requires presidents to seek bipartisan support.This is your GOP.
Echoes of the political hijacking of the Terri Schiavo case hung in the air as Mr. Cornyn spoke, just days after the House majority leader, Tom DeLay, vengefully vowed that "the time will come" to make the judges who resisted the Congressional Republicans' gruesome deathbed intrusion "answer for their behavior." Trying to intimidate judges used to be a crime, not a bombastic cudgel for cynical politicians.
The public's hope must be that Senator Cornyn's shameful outburst gives further pause to Senate moderates about the threats of the majority leader, Senator Bill Frist, to scrap the filibuster to ensure the confirmation of President Bush's most extremist judicial nominees. Dr. Frist tried to distance himself yesterday from Mr. DeLay's attack on the judiciary. But Dr. Frist must carry the militants' baggage if he is ever to run for president, and he complained yesterday of "a real fire lighted by Democrats around judges over the last few days."
By Democrats? The senator should listen to what's being said on his side of the aisle, if he can bear it.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
The NYTs weighs in on Cornyn,