Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Activist Judges 

Anybody who follows politics knows how the Republican Party likes to harp on activist judges.

Delay even threatens judges, apparently because they are "activist."

Sen. John Cornyn (R. TX) thinks that judicial activism is to blame for the spate of violence against judges and their families...suggesting that such activity is understandable.

Such statements are more than irresponsible, they are dangerous.

But I would posit that the greatest act of judicial activism did not occur recently, but in the 19th century.
In Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company (118 U.S. 394 (1886)), at the lower court levels the question of whether corporations were persons had been argued, and these arguments were submitted in writing to the Court. However, before oral argument took place, Chief Justice Waite announced: "The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does."
Just a thought. Find that shit in the Constitution and I'll give you a dollar.


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