March 28, 1997 in City

It’s Judges Who’ve Become Tyrants Judges Arrogant Will Of The People Often Blocked.

By The Spokesman-Review

A year ago, six men and two women - endowed with life tenure and masquerading as impartial arbitrators - overturned the will of Washington voters with an unprecedented ruling that Americans have a “right to die.”

In other words, eight cultural elitists from the San Francisco-based court outvoted 810,623 Washingtonians.

Despite the far-reaching implications of the decision, the 24 judges then on the activist U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals couldn’t bother themselves to hear the case as an entire appeals court. In his dissenting opinion, Judge Stephen Trott correctly called the ruling “judicial imperialism.”

Unfortunately, judicial activism isn’t limited to the Western appeals court. It’s widespread. Rogue lawgivers routinely overstep their constitutional boundaries by blocking citizens initiatives, siding with pornographers and criminals, and imposing new taxes.

Congress should staunch such activism by impeaching federal judges who stray too far.

When House Majority Whip Tom DeLay announced earlier this month that the GOP will pursue impeachment proceedings against activist judges, the reaction was predictable. American Bar Association President N. Lee Cooper fretted that any attempt to limit the judiciary’s independence would be dangerous.

But the hand-wringers fail to mention that a judiciary, which for the past 30 years has embraced law making at the expense of law interpretation, has no checks. Yet, it continues to make political decisions affecting every moral, political, social and economic issue in the country.

On two occasions a single federal judge blocked the right of Californians to limit welfare benefits to illegal immigrants and to ban race and sex preferences in state hiring and college admissions. In Pennsylvania federal court last year, a handpicked judge contradicted U.S. Supreme Court rulings by deciding that adults have a right to disseminate pornography to juveniles on the Internet.

The arrogance of today’s judiciary is summed up in the words of Charles Evans Hughes, former U.S. Supreme Court chief justice: “We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is.”

At one time, the Constitution was what the people said it was.

, DataTimes MEMO: For opposing view see headline: Judges often save us from tyranny

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, EDITORIAL - From both sides

For opposing view see headline: Judges often save us from tyranny

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, EDITORIAL - From both sides

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