For years, even to this very day, righties of all persuasions have repeated the tired old refrain that liberal judges have destroyed this country through their activism. These "activist judges", suspected of basing their decisions on personal or political considerations rather than existing law, were distained for ruling on such basic human rights as Brown v. Board of Education (desegregation of schools); the protection of a woman's privacy in Roe v. Wade (abortion rights), to the admissibility of statements in criminal court in Miranda v. Arizona ("Miranda rights"). Not surprisingly, conservatives haven't objected to this year's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited under the First Amendment. I suppose activism doesn't apply, in their opinions, when supreme court justices grant undeserving constitutional rights to organizations (i.e. corporations) and when that activism furthers and promotes their causes and agendas.
Read the following excellent piece by Matthew Rothschild, published in Friday's Progressive on the 223rd anniversary of the adoption of our constitution by the originating Federal Convention in 1787. After reading, you'll know exactly what judicial activism is, and how it has irreparably harmed our already shrinking democracy in this nation. Granted, big money in politics already subverted our democratic processes before this year, but that will seem like pennies-in-a-bucket when the steamroller of millions of corporate dollars start inundating the media with attack ads and influence peddling -- all designed to adversely influence your opinion to support their views and their candidates.
Feingold Slams Supreme Court over "Citizens United," Implies Roberts and Alito Lied Under Oath by Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive, 9/17/2010
Sen. Russ Feingold recently slammed the Supreme Court and strongly implied that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito lied, under oath, to the Senate during their confirmation hearings.
In a speech on Sept. 10, Feingold, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, denounced the “Citizens United” decision that the Court handed down earlier this year.
Feingold called it “a lawless decision.”
That decision allows corporations to give unlimited contributions in favor of, or in opposition to, a candidate so long as those contributions aren’t coordinated with a candidate’s campaign. It treats corporations the same way it treats individuals. (See http://www.progressive.org/mrapril10.html.)
But, said Feingold, “they are not the same as us. They do not have the same rights as all of us. And that decision is wrong on the law, and wrong for America, and an enormous danger for the political process.”
Without naming any names, Feingold said that George W. Bush’s Supreme Court nominees “came before the Judiciary Committee and promised me, under oath, that they would follow precedent, that they would be neutral umpires calling balls and strikes. Well, of course, they did the opposite.”
He was clearly referring to Chief Justice Roberts, who famously said at his confirmation hearing on September 12, 2005: “I will remember that it's my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.” Read the rest by clicking here.
Please also watch the video I've embedded below. In it, Senator Franken speaks of other Roberts Court activist decisions that have had adverse affects for normal, real, blood-running-through-their veins natural persons. Watch and listen, then tell me whether this is what our founding fathers had in mind. I'd like to think you agree that these two cases that Senator Franken discusses are totally against the precepts of the United States Constitution. I sure do.