Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Stop Abusing Our Justices

Reader RJ writes:

I'm sick of conservatives talking about judicial advocacy and Cornyn's comments about judges making political decisions is way out of line. Judges make rulings of law, even when political parties and politicians politicize issues for their own gain, judges still make rulings of law. They're judges. They interpret the law.

The Constitution clearly establishes an independent judiciary. That’s why the Framers wrote an entire article (Article III) covering the establishment of our courts. If members of Congress and other citizens are concerned that justices are wielding too much power, they have several remedies including impeachment of judges and amending the Constitution. But our founders, in their wisdom, made both remedies quite difficult, insuring that a slim majority can’t subjugate a large minority.

But the only way to truly prevent justices from making questionable decisions that cross the line between judicial interpretation and judicial legislation, is for the people to stop treating our court system as the national school marm. Here’s an idea: instead of running to the courts every time there’s an action or a law we disagree with, how about actually debating, protesting and voting changes into law? Running to the courts puts our judiciary in the position of deciding matters they shouldn’t be deciding in the first place.

Take homosexual marriage. Whether or not you agree with the idea, it’s hard to support letting the courts determine the outcome. Those who passionately believe in gay marriage should work long and hard to change minds and get laws passed in their own states. Filing a lawsuit might save time and energy, but changing laws doesn’t change reality. Would the Civil Rights movement have ever succeeded if Martin Luther King Jr. had just filed lawsuits and never marched or spoke or organized? We, as a people, need to stop abusing our judiciary and start deciding controversial issues where our founders intended them to be decided—by the people and through our elected officials.


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