Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Why Do They Hate America?
John E. Jones III, the Federal District Judge who decided the Intelligent Design Creationism case, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, has given a speech sponsored by the League of Women Voters of St. Louis that touched on the aftermath of the ruling and the need for judicial independence. As reported by The St. Louis Jewish Light, Judge Jones also spoke in favor of Missouri's Non-Partisan Court Plan, in place since 1940, whereby judges are nominated on a non-partisan basis, for later appointment by the governor. Typically, the Plan has been under attack from various conservative groups. In explaining his support, the Judge said:
I have had the most remarkable odyssey since deciding the intelligent design case in 2005. Without the principle of judicial independence in our federal court system, I could not have rendered such a decision. Judicial independence means that judges must strive for fair and impartial ruling, hearing cases free of favor or political influence by those who put the judge in office. This certainly was true in the case of Kistmiller v. the School Distrcit of Dover.As the judge noted, the fallout was less than pleasant, naturally enough considering the sources, including such mouth-breathers as Bill O'Reilly and Phyllis Schlafly, among others:
[U]nfortunately, very few Americans really understand and appreciate the concept of judicial independence. I was a Republican when I was named to the federal bench in 2002. The Kistmiller case came to me in December 2004, and was really an example of the 'third rail' kind of hot button issue, the intersection of religion, the Constitution and politics. I decided the case not on the basis of political considerations, but on the basis of the law.
Ann Coulter said that I was a 'hack,' and the worst judicial selection Bush made since he nominated Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court.Coulter calling anyone else a "hack" creates such massive irony that it threatens to collapse into a singularity that could suck the entire universe into a black hole of stupidity. Jones continued:
It is alarming to me that the public is being fed this kind of misinformation about the role of the judiciary. Judges should not rule on the basis of who their political benefactors were or are, but on the basis of the law.But those self-proclaimed patriots of the Righteous Right actually loathe the form of government the Founders envisioned.
Judge John E. Jones on the other hand is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks ... political buddy of Governor Tom Ridge (who in turn is deep in George W. Bush's circle of power), and finally was appointed by GW hisself. Senator Rick Santorum is a Pennsylvanian in the same circles (author of the "Santorum Language" that encourages schools to teach the controversy) and last but far from least, George W. Bush hisself drove a stake in the ground saying teach the controversy. Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn't going to rule against the wishes of his political allies. Of course the ACLU will appeal. This won't be over until it gets to the Supreme Court. But now we own that too.
The disappointment they felt when Jones turned out to be an honorable man and a good judge accounts for the venom he has since received.