|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
Run Against DeLay
He's ethically challenged, he's fiercely defending a position on the Terri Schiavo case which is deeply unpopular and, it turns out, he wants to neuter the judiciary as an independent branch of government, as I learned in this fascinating article in the Dallas Morning News (registration required):
In 1996, Mr. DeLay argued for using impeachment to police and steer the federal bench. The next year, he said "judges need to be intimidated" to ensure that they uphold the Constitution. In mid-2003, he created the House Working Group on Judicial Accountability, a GOP task force that would scour the work of federal judges and "take no prisoners."
The House has impeached a dozen judges, most recently in 1989. The Senate removed seven and another resigned. But not since the republic's early days have political disagreements been used as justification.
The Constitution allows for impeachment for treason, bribery or other "high crimes and misdemeanors." Lifetime tenure is guaranteed "during good behaviour." Mr. DeLay has argued that defying Congress would breach this rule, though few legal scholars or lawmakers embrace that view.
At a news conference Friday, DeLay condemned the judges in the Schiavo case --- all 40 of them, including, apparently staunch conservative Stanley Birch --- of being "an arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their nose at Congress and the president" (note to DeLay and others whining about 'judicial activism': when 40 judges including Birch rule against you, you're probably on the wrong side of the issue). This statement echoes DeLay's fundamental belief that the courts should be subordinate to the other two branches of government.
I doubt that most Republicans feel this way. Clearly they want to stack the courts with conservative judges, and clearly they're willing to go to nearly any lengths to achieve this goal. But I'm guessing that Republicans are pushing this because they hope those judges will rule in a manner they approve of, and not because they expect a rubber stamp for the conservative agenda.
But a rubber stamp is clearly what DeLay wants. Democrats should do everything they can to convince the public that his are the views of the mainstream Republican party.
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