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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Intellectual dishonesty -- in a nutshell

Posted by: Hammer / 9:28 AM

Tony Perkins is deeply dishonest. He's dishonest in any number of ways, but today's Washington Update sets a new standard for intellectual dishonesty:

Today's Alito Hearings--In a Nutshell

...Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) spoke for the liberal view when he said, in homely terms, "before we give you the keys to the car, we want to know where you will take us." Here, in a nutshell, is the gaping flaw in the liberal view of the Supreme Court and its powers. They really do think the Judiciary runs the country. They seem to think their only role as lawmakers is to turn thumbs up or down on federal judges--who they admit have the keys to drive the car. Last night, we heard the AIDS activists chanting outside Philadelphia's Greater Exodus Baptist Church: "Under Alito/Our Rights are finito [ended]." That's the rub, too. Note their word: under. In Judge Alito's view we are Under God and Under the Constitution, but we are certainly not under the judges. I believe that is the correct constitutional view. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) politely reinforced that point when he cited the great Chief Justice John Marshall. Marshall was a tremendous jurist, but he limited his powers to the idea that judges "shall say what the law is." They don't write the laws. They don't execute the laws. That's because, as even Franklin D. Roosevelt's friend and appointee Justice Felix Frankfurter noted, the courts function best when they function "within narrow limits."

Who was Chief Justice John Marshall, Tony Perkins's model of judicial restraint? Marshall is best known for his opinion in Marbury v. Madison which set forth the radical idea that "A legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law." Marshall, in fact, was the architect of the greatest expansion of judicial power in the history of the country. He established the proposition of judicial review -- the authority of the court to invalidate acts of Congress.

Again, in a nutshell: holding up John Marshall as a model of judicial restraint is like holding up David Cross as a model of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.

(And, of course, thank goodness he's not.)


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