Dennis Campbell
September 26, 2003
It is time for the states to just say no
By Dennis Campbell

Observing what routinely transpires in our courts leads one to the dismal conclusion that no longer are there any legitimate legislative processes in America. An arrogant judiciary has simply appropriated for itself the power to overturn any law of which it does not approve for any reason, and replace it with new law.

In the courtroom, this is called jury nullification. The jury agrees that the crime has been committed by the man on trial, but for whatever reason chooses to set him free.

So we might call what is happening today judicial nullification. A judge does not like a law. The judge nullifies the law. The judge creates a new law.

A recent example: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, that bizarre collection of liberal activists who routinely show their contempt for our laws, the legislatures that pass them, and the people governed by them.

Several judges did not approve of the California election to recall Gov. Gray Davis. Now, you may not approve of it, either, but it is the law in California.

With enough signatures on a petition, someone can force an election to recall any elected official. For any reason whatsoever. It happens in this case that many California residents think Davis is doing a poor job and they want him out, but it could have been because they dislike the suits he wears. That is the law. If you do not like the law, work to change it.

But the court attempted to do that for you. These adversaries of liberty ordered California to postpone the election until next year (a decision rightfully overturned). Why? The same, old-fashioned punch-card voting machines that were acceptable when they were used to elect Gov. Davis suddenly became unacceptable to a couple of judges and the ACLU simply because they were being used for purposes contrary to the politics of these irresponsible power-wielders.

As justification, the court (at the urging of the ACLU) said that minorities that means blacks and Hispanics might not be capable of operating them, so California was told to postpone the election until modern voting machines were installed. Beyond the breathtaking bigotry and liberal condescension inherent in that idea, what gives these black-robed judicial bandits the right to tell California how to conduct its state elections?

Was the court intent on eventually nullifying every election in the Ninth District that used these machines? Hardly. And although that would be consistent, consistent application of the law never has been a hallmark of modern political liberalism.

When a federal judge clearly exceeded his authority in Alabama by ordering the removal of a memorial to the Ten Commandments in the state courthouse, Chief Justice Roy Moore was pilloried for resisting the order.

He was roundly criticized for violating the rule of law. The rule of what law? Exactly what law was Alabama violating? The Constitution, that document that is increasingly irrelevant to liberals, clearly and unambiguously, in language even liberal judges and politicians should be able to understand, forbids the federal government from meddling in matters of religion, and all powers not vested directly to the federal government are the province of the states.

This was the perfect opportunity to set in motion the means to end this tyranny. It never happened, because Justice Moore could not marshal the support of his fellow jurists and attorney general, who should have resolutely stood behind him and cheerfully told that federal tyrant to have a nice day, but he had no authority to tell them what to do and the monument would stay.

Why do we allow the destructive, Constitution-scorning proclivities of liberal politicians, organizations, and activist judges to lead us toward tyranny and away from the brilliantly conceived constitutional republic of our Founding Fathers? We are in danger of no longer being a nation governed by the rule of law, but by the rule of judges.

When First Lady Nancy Reagan launched her campaign against illegal drugs, she coined the slogan "Just Say No." In its highly successful advertising campaign, sports shoe manufacturer Nike created the ubiquitous catchphrase "Just Do It."

It is time the states to whom our Founders gave the greater portion of political power decide to stand tall and just say no.

And then just do it.

© Dennis Campbell

 

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