Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Gimme a J . . .

Our old friend, Utah State Senator Chris Buttars is at it again.

Buttars, best-known as the sponsor of a failed bill questioning classroom instruction of evolution, apparently has decided to take on the U.S. Constitution and Utah Constitution simultaneously.

The conservative West Jordan Republican has asked state attorneys to draft a bill defining the separation of church and state outlined by America's and the state's founding documents. At the same time, he is proposing legislation to require state judges to face legislators in a second confirmation hearing after their first term in office. Critics say such a law would undermine the sacrosanct division between the branches of government.

In what I suspect will be a trend after the religious right's failures in the Dover, Pennsylvania Intelligent Design case and the Board of Education elections in Kansas, Buttars is combining an assault on the Establishment Clause with an attempt to intimidate the judiciary. Having failed on a more than level playing field in front of a conservative Republican judge and in the reddest of Red States, the next option is to tilt.

Send a message to judges that they serve only at the pleasure of the most motivated legislators and, in the absence of any hoopla occasioned by high profile cases, the normal political process will insure that "God-friendly" legislation will follow the path of least resistance into law.

Welcome to the next phase of the cultural wars.

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