Court Strikes Again
By Doug Patton
who paid attention during the 2000 election remembers the
U.S. map with the red states and the blue states. The red
states comprise the vast geographical area populated by people
who live in political and cultural reality, as evidenced by
the fact that they voted for George W. Bush, while the blue
states make up tiny areas filled with angry liberals living
on top of one another. These folks voted for Al Gore.
us who live in America’s spacious, sensible, liberty-loving,
red states have difficulty understanding the thought process
of those who live in the silly, cramped, crime-ridden, blue
states. We can’t understand their intense desire for a socialist
nanny-state that restricts the liberties of us all. We resent
their unwarranted statutes, their disrespect for our country’s
traditions and their extreme court rulings, many of which
establish legal precedents that force us to revise our own
state laws in ways contrary to our beliefs.
city in all the blue states is San Francisco, California,
home of the most intrusive, out-of-touch federal appeals court
in the nation, the Ninth Circuit.
Attorney General Jon Bruning has called the Ninth Circuit
a “renegade court,” and with good reason.
This gang of radicals in black robes – three of whom recently
found the words “under God” so repugnant they felt compelled
to rule the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional – has been
reversed on appeal more often than any court in the country.
Circuit has tried to overrule the will of the American people
repeatedly, most recently by trying to cancel California’s
recall election on the flimsy reasoning that the punch card
ballots used to re-elect Gov. Gray Davis less than a year
ago are now too unreliable to recall him. Based on past experience,
this decision is so likely to be overturned on appeal that
the candidates in the race have continued their campaigns
unabated in anticipation of the October 7 election.
the gang in black once again jumped to judicial conclusions,
this time against the death penalty, in order to fulfill its
the summer of 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that juries,
not judges, must render death sentences. The decision set
off a flurry of judicial and legislative activity in Nebraska,
where Gov. Mike Johanns was forced to call the state’s legislators
into special session to address Nebraska’s sentencing statutes
– which they did by altering the law to conform to the guidelines
in the ruling.
decision also led to speculation about the sentences of those
already on death row around the country. Would this apply
only to future cases? Surely, the courts would not simply
throw out the sentences of murderers already tried and convicted.
In separate cases, the Nebraska Supreme Court and the 11th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals both ruled that the U.S. Supreme
Court case should not be applied retroactively.
Ninth Circuit radicals. Last week, they overturned the sentences
of more than 100 death row inmates in Arizona, Idaho and Montana
on the grounds that they were sentenced by a judge rather
than a jury.
there are six men on death row in Nebraska, each sentenced
by a judge to die in the electric chair for an exceptionally
cold-blooded and heinous murder. The execution of these men
is the overwhelming will of the people of this state. The
people’s representatives in the Legislature agree. The State
Supreme Court agrees. Yet, a decision by an appeals court
in another jurisdiction could very well undermine the implementation
of justice in Nebraska.
blue trump red? Or will justice prevail over judicial tyranny?
is a freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter
and public policy advisor at the federal, state and local
levels. His weekly columns can be read in newspapers across
the country, and on www.GOPUSA.com,
where he serves as the Nebraska Editor. He also writes for
Talon News Service (www.TalonNews.com).
can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org