|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
Rep. Tom DeLay gave a speech yesterday at the NRA convention in Houston. He joked, "When a man is in trouble or in a good fight, you want to have your friends around, preferably armed. So I feel really good." At the conclusion of his remarks, he was presented a Cecil Brooks Original Flintlock Rifle.
DeLay Continues Attacks on Federal Courts
By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - House Majority Leader Tom DeLay says Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's work from the bench has been "incredibly outrageous," his latest salvo at the federal judiciary in the weeks following the courts' refusal to stop Terri Schiavo's death.
DeLay also labeled a lot of the courts' Republican appointees as "judicial activists," a term applied by conservatives to judges they dislike for not following what they call strict interpretations of the Constitution.
The No. 2 Republican in the House has been openly critical of the federal courts since they refused to order the reinsertion of Schiavo's feeding tube. And he pointed to Kennedy as an example of Republican members of the Supreme Court who were activist and isolated.
"Absolutely. We've got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not the Constitution of the United States? That's just outrageous," DeLay told Fox News Radio on Tuesday. "And not only that, but he said in session that he does his own research on the Internet? That is just incredibly outrageous."
A spokeswoman for the court, Kathy Arberg, said Kennedy could not be reached for comment.
Although Kennedy was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan, a conservative icon, he has aroused conservatives' ire by sometimes agreeing with the court's more liberal members. Nevertheless, it is unusual for a congressional leader to single out a Supreme Court justice for criticism.
Dan Allen, a DeLay spokesman, declined comment on the interview.
Democrats jumped on DeLay's comments Wednesday morning.
"Has the Internet become the devil's workshop?" said Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat. "Is it some infernal machine now that needs to be avoided by all right-thinking Americans? What is Mr. DeLay trying to say, as he is stretching to lash out at judges who happen to disagree with his political point of view."
Sen. Larry Craig (news, bio, voting record), R-Idaho, retorted: "Doesn't the other side have anything to talk about nowadays?"
DeLay also has been criticized for his comments following Schiavo's death, which came despite Congress' passage of a law giving the federal courts jurisdiction to review her case. They declined to intervene.
"The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior," DeLay said in a statement.
He apologized last week, saying he had spoken in an "inartful" way.
Conservatives have been pushing to get the Senate to confirm President Bush's most conservative judicial nominees, which Senate Democrats are blocking. The House has no power over which judges are given lifetime appointments to the federal bench.
However, DeLay has called repeatedly for the House to find a way to hold the federal judiciary accountable for its decisions. "The judiciary has become so activist and so isolated from the American people that it's our job to do that," he said.
One way would be for the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the clause in the Constitution that says "judges can serve as long as they serve with good behavior," he said. "We want to define what good behavior means. And that's where you have to start."
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