Friday, June 29, 2007

EJ Dionne: Reading The Constitution As Its Written = Judicial Activism

EJ Dionne Jr has an absolutely ass backwards and absurd column today, posted at IBD Editorials.

Especially laughable and annoying at the same time is this paragraph of the column:

As for the Supreme Court, we now know that the president's two nominees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, are exactly what many of us thought they were: activist conservatives intent on leading a judicial counterrevolution. Thursday's 5-4 ruling tossing out two school desegregation plans was another milestone on the court's march to the right.

So, to liberals like Dionne, if the Courts have a tendency to read the constitution as it is written, then THAT is activism. To, say, read things into such as "the right to privacy" (abortion); the inherent right for Foreign Born, admitted Terrorists hostile to the US to have access to our courts; or to contort the bejesus out of the Fifth Amendment language in order to take one private citizen's property to give it to another; to do all of these things is NOT judicial activism. Its jurisprudence to be applauded. That's what makes Dionne's premise so laughable. I couldn't believe what I was reading.


As Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute noted this week in Roll Call, the issue-ad decision demonstrated "not a careful, conservative deference to Congress" but instead "a willingness by Roberts to toss aside Congress' conclusions to fit his own ideological predispositions" — the very definition of judicial activism.

The duty of any Supreme Court Justice is to determine the intent of the law as it was originally written. Twisting the words of the Constitution - the opposite of Original Intent - to make it say what you want it to say (see examples above) is the definition of judicial activism, EJ. And its the favorite tactic of Left on the courts. Dionne is 180 degrees out of phase. ***Addendum 7/1: Dionne is also miffed at the "activism" of the Roberts Court with regards to its recent ruling on McCain Feingold and the "issue-ads". Put bluntly, the McCain Feingold Act is nothing more than a gross violation of the First Amendment's Freedom of Speech. It should have been struck down in its entirety upon passage by the Court. Why? Because if you read the First Amendment correctly, through the lens of Original Intent, it clearly states that Congress shall make no law abridging Free Speech. Political speech is especially protected. But to Dionne, any chipping away of this absurd law is somehow "activism." One other thing, what is with this "deference to Congress" nonsense that Dionne and Ornstein are advocating? If a Republican Legislature and a Republican President signed a bill into law banning abortion, would Dionne and Ornstein be asking the Courts for "deference to Congress"? They'd be squealing like stuck pigs for a reversal, because it "violates the constitution 'right to privacy'". Dionne has to be smarter than this. ***

Dionne can call it a counter revolution all he wants, judicial activism all he wants, but in reality, its nothing more than interpreting the Constitution as its written. In reality, its NOT judicial activism. And that's what irks liberals like Dionne.

** for a more realistic take on the Roberts court, go here. Also, National Review absolutely slam dunks the school bussing issue that Dionne has his shorts in a wad over. Also, From The Wall Street Journal here.


I'm not done piling on Dionne. This paragraph is also ass backwards (bold emphasis mine):

If another conservative replaces a member of the court's moderate-to-liberal bloc, the country would be set on a conservative course for the next decade or more, locking in today's politics at the very moment when the electorate is running out of patience with the right.

The electorate is NOT "running out of patience with the right" - the electorate is running out of patience with Republicans who do not articulate and govern on the principles that the right-of-center heartland cherishes - sensible spending policies, sensible tax policies, family values and especially secure borders. If Dionne thinks that last November's election was an embrace of the electorate of liberalism, he's as dangerously deluded as many of his elected brethren in the Democratic party. The Democrats that swung the majority to the party of the jackass were Democrats of a conservative bent (or, at least they ran as such). Its been said many times that the best way for a Democrat to win National Office is to masquerade as a Republican. If Dionne is correct, that the electorate is "running out of patience with the right", then why can't Democrats win on a platform of honest liberalism?

More here from IBD.