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The Honorable Judge Activist

The Honorable Judge Activist

Not to sound like the beginning gag of a standup comedian or anything, but have you ever noticed that when conservatives drop the term “activist judge” it’s always in reference to a ruling they don’t like?  “Legislating from the bench” is another term of art they’re quick at the tongue to traduce, meaning a member of the judiciary creating laws rather than interpreting them.  You know, egregious overreaches by the courts such as Brown v. Board of Education or Loving v. Virginia.  But such selective slander seldom if ever seems to apply when a conservative judge or court calls the shots.  Who labeled Chief Justices Rehnquist or libeled Roberts as “activist” in Bush v. Gore or Citizens United, respectively?  Both were arguable breaches of judicial probity.  It seems only a conservative can accuse another — anyone — as activist, irrespective of supporting fact or substantive grounds.  For just as when Republicans ballyhoo a hue and cry about invasive government only when it comes to business regulations or environmental protections — and never about whom you are sleeping with, or how — their bete noir becomes their best friend when a conservative agenda is gaveled, no matter how abusive of power.  It’s heads I win, tails you lose. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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