Tuesday, November 30, 2004
You're about to hear the words "activist judges" approximately one hundred billion times in the next 24 hours
First of all, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the Massachusetts high court ruling that allowed gay marriages to take place in that most liberal of liberal states. The response from presidential spokesman Scott McClellan?
"Activist judges are seeking to redefine marriage for the rest of society, and the people's voice is not being heard in this process," said presidential spokesman Scott McClellan. "That's why the president is committed to moving forward with Congress on a constitutional amendment that would protect the sanctity of marriage."Okay, only ninety-nine billion, nine hundred and ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine more times. It was going to be tough (that's a pretty big number, eh), but then a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia stepped in, finding that colleges could keep military recruiters off their campuses or restrict their activities without losing federal funding. And, since this one involves homosexuals as well (since the ruling was based on colleges' objections to the military's discriminatory policies based on sexual orientation), you bet your sweet ass you are going to hear some people calling "activist judges" on this. I also think it's pretty ironic that the Justice Department (which is defending the so-called Soloman Amendment, which currently allows the government to withhold federal funding from schools that attempt to restrict, limit, or prohibit military recruiters on their campuses) is trying to couch their defense in terms of discrimination.
"The United States continues to believe that the Solomon Amendment is constitutional," [Justice Department spokesman] Mr. Corallo said. "We believe that Congress may deny federal funds to universities which discriminate and may act to protect the men and women of our armed forces in their ability to recruit Americans who wish to join them in protecting their country."Yes, the poor military. So much more vulnerable and wronged than gays and lesbians in this country. I also find it highly disturbing that many of the schools that were working to challenge the Soloman Amendment did so anonymously because of fear of repercussions from the federal government.
Billions of dollars are at stake, and no university has been willing to defy the government. Indeed, several law schools that are members of one of the groups that sued to block the law, the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, have not been publicly identified....Faceless bureacrats and vindictive politicians can be scary, I admit, but do they strike the kind of fear in your heart that can only be stricken by.... ACTIVIST JUDGES? I rest my case.
Mr. Rosenkranz [the lawyer representing the schools] said the reluctance of several law schools to be publicly identified was driven by fear.
"They don't want retribution that is exacted behind closed doors by faceless bureaucrats and vindictive politicians," he said.