Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Is it Journalism or is it a Pre-emptive Strike?

The Chronicle today decided to publish this article about supposed "judicial activism" on the 5th circuit court of appeals. The whole article talks about defiance of the Supreme Court on the part of the 5th circuit. They talk about so many cases that the supremes have had to bounce back to the 5th circuit, but the only cases they point to specifically are those against Thomas Miller-El, and Johnny Paul Penry, but in reality it was the 5th circuit standing against Judicial Activism on the part of the Supremes. How can it be Judicial Activism if the appeals court agreed with the lower court and therefore took no action? Activism is supposed to be about changing things. If nothing changes, can it be activism? I would suggest no.

This is really about two things:

First, The Comical has always been anti-death penalty. As usual, staking out the minority opinion and beating the drum. If you ask me the problem with the Death Penalty is we don't use it often enough. It takes too long and costs too much to sentence a person to death. Up until recently, Texans have not had much of an option. It wasn't until this legislative session that Texas Juries have had the option of life without parole. Before, calling it life was a lie. Unless the guy was already pretty old or got shanked in prison or died of AIDS, he had a pretty good chance of getting out to offend again. But if he is sentenced to death, unless he can really find a decent hole in the prosecution's case, he is pretty much assured of dying in prison one way or another. We the public, have always known that "life" really wasn't LIFE, even if the Supremes decided that it was predjudicial to the sentencing jury to inform them of that fact. When the state decides it cannot tell the jury the truth, there is something very wrong with the system. That should have been a hint to the state that life with the possibility of parole was a non-starter with the public. I mean really, if no jury would consider that sentence if they knew what it meant, isn't it dishonest to try to trick them into it?.

Secondly, There are a couple of very conservatve originalist judges (which would explain why they didn't play nice-nice with the moonbats on the SCOTUS) on the 5th circuit that might find thier names on a list at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There is already one resignation on the table and there could be as many as 3, possibly 4 more depending on which rumor mills you subscribe to. The other possibles are Rhenquist of course, Ginsburg (Supposedly her health is at least as bad, if not worse than Rhenquist's, we can only hope), and Souter (maybe he has to stay home to keep from loosing his $100,000 farmhouse to developers in an emminent domain action . Couldn't happen to a more deserving person...IMHO). Add the fact that Stevens is 85 and probably not that long for this earth either. So this becomes a twofer, they get to beat the death penalty drum AND smear some conservative judges at the same time that the Administration is casting about for replacement judges. What self-respecting bleeding heart liberal would have passed up that kind of chance?


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