Thursday, June 09, 2005

Helms apologizes for stance on AIDS, not on segregation

Former North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms, in his upcoming memoir, suggests that racial integration was pushed on America by “outside agitators” before America was ready for it, sharpening racial antagonisms. Helms writes:

“We certainly do know the price paid by the stirring of hatred, the encouragement of violence, the suspicion and distrust.”

If we followed this logic, the US should not have gone into Iraq as our actions there certainly have stirred hatred, violence, suspicion and distrust. Yet, there are times in history – and whether or not you agree that Iraq is one of them, the civil rights movement was certainly one of them – that society needs a little stirring.

In regards to his opposition to laws protecting homosexuals from discrimination and of funding for AIDS research, Helms has changed his views:

“It had been my feeling that AIDS was a disease largely spread by reckless and voluntary sexual and drug-abusing behavior, and that it would probably be confined to those in high risk populations. I was wrong.”

Here, Helms still does not seem concerned with the fact that even had AIDS remained confined to the high risk populations that engaged in reckless and voluntary sexual and drug-abusing behavior he was sentencing these individuals to death.

Helms was wrong on both these issues. TYL is happy to see Helms acknowledge this on one issue, even if it was for the wrong reasons.


At 4:58 PM, Blogger Rob Jackson said...


Are you advocating for judicial activism in certain situations?

At 5:16 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

The Civil Rights cases (up until about the time of school busing) were not judicial activism. Declaring separate but equal was judicial activism. The civil rights cases, begnning with Brown v Board, were actually undoing judicial activism and enforcing the law as it was created under the 14th and 15th Amendments.

Everytime the court overturns a law it's not judicial activism. Judicial activism means finding a constitutional mandate that isn't clearly there. The 14th Amendment is pretty clear and many Southern laws were clearly violating it.

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Rob Jackson said...

"a constitutional mandate that isn't clearly there."

you mean like the whole 9th amendment?

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

What 9th amendment? thought they lost that one.

At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Stephen Curtice said...

Judicial activism has many flavors. Those that cricize it from the right are referring to the finding of consitutional rights in the "penumbras and emmanations" of the Bill of Rights. Others define it as overturning legislation, the voice of the popularly-elected branch of government, be it federal or state. Oddly, under the last definition, the Rehnquist court is one of the most active in history.

At 6:51 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...


Yeah, really , judicial activism is in the eye of the beholder. I think it's best described as "if I disagree with the ruling, it's judicial activism."

Personally, I side with the penumbras being judicial activism. But that doesn't mean it's always wrong. How's that for a mushy middle opinion?


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