When I was a child, I would often ask my parents for something or permission to do something and just as often they would answer no. When I would ask why, their answer was usually, “Because I said so”. That, without fail, ended the discussion. While that didn’t satisfy my curiosity, it was all I got.
Recent events have made the news concerning activist judges and their responses to various cases they have heard. The state of Oklahoma, in the last election, approved by a seventy percent majority a law which would disallow Sharia Law from being used in that state. A single Federal Judge, on hearing the case, stopped it in its tracks. Why? Because she said so.
Recently in Arizona, the people, by a huge margin, enacted a law which would go a long way in dealing with their illegal immigration problem. Another Federal Judge threw it out. Why? Because she said so.
All across the country judges are setting themselves up as supreme dictators usurping the will of the people and making law from the bench. Why? Because they said so. Somehow some have come to believe that these elected or appointed former lawyers are granted some divine right of intervention once they don the robe of judge.
In both of the cases cited above, appeals have been sought and in the final analysis will probably find their way to the Supreme Court where they will doubtlessly be overturned.
If the last election taught us nothing else, it should have alerted the powers that be that we the people are in charge. An example of this is the state of Iowa. There, three state Supreme Court Judges were fired by the voters for, among other reasons, finding Iowa’s law requiring legal marriage to be between one man and one woman, to be unconstitutional. Their ruling would have allowed so called “gay marriage”. The people said no. It has been reported that in the next election the remaining judges will also be eliminated by the voters.
Too often special interest groups go “judge shopping”. They research sitting judges to determine those who would be sympathetic to their cause and bring actions in their courts in an effort to stack the deck in their favor. Apparently, if you have enough money, it isn’t very difficult to do.
We the people need to face this fact. Just because a lawyer puts on a black robe and sits on a bench in a courthouse, doesn’t increase his or her intelligence or judgment. They don’t park their bias at the courthouse door. Judges are people and people are fallible. Judges, like all people, have their prejudices and their political opinions. Their job is not to write law however. That is the job of legislatures throughout the country and in Washington, DC. Judges, like all officials who govern and control our lives, must be accountable to the people. When they violate their oath and try to usurp the will of the people by writing law instead of interpreting law, they need to be fired.
Too often, I suspect, we become enamored with the pomp and circumstance of the courthouse. We have been led to believe that judges are somehow blessed with this unquestioned wisdom. One of my childhood friends is now a judge. He is a great friend and he definitely is smart, but judicial wisdom? I don’t even know what that means.
Because I said so is not a reason to usurp the will of the overwhelming majority of the people and I am pretty sure that this is not what our framers had in mind when they established the three branches of government. Laws are made by duly elected legislators and judges serve as referees, and not just because I said so.
Ron Scarbro November 15, 2010
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