THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY: THE PROBLEM IS NOT THEIR PERSONNEL BUT THEIR POWER | 2000-11-04
The big argument for Bush is that he will appoint conservative Supreme Court justices. This is the kind of wishful thinking that makes conservatism lose every long-term battle.
As long as we play the game for more slightly more conservative Supreme Court justices, we will lose. The real problem, the problem we cannot avoid forever, is that our elected representatives let the courts rule America. As long as you base your politics on getting more justices on your side, you avoid the real fight. But just counting justices allows you to be respectable to liberals.
Anyone who demands that the power of the courts themselves be restricted is declared a radical. He loses the all-important "respectable" title that liberals give out.
For this reason, all of our legislative bodies give the courts the right to do anything they want to do. They do not dare take on the expansion of judicial power itself.
Congress has just forced every state in the Union to adopt a lower blood alcohol level for drunk drivers. This violates the most obvious of state's rights. It also takes attention away from the real problem.
Drunken drivers kill people, not because of a .02% difference in blood alcohol level, but because drunken drivers keep getting their drivers' licenses back. The killers have a record and the courts won't take their licenses away.
But the legislatures are not about to take on the judges. Judges are killing people, but that is no reason for congressmen to get so fanatical as to challenge them. So congressmen and legislators concentrate on blood percentages, because the courts are willing to leave that issue to them.
Exactly the same mentality rules when it comes to gun control. We all know that it is repeat criminals being put back on the street that causes crimes of violence. But the courts let them go, and no matter how loud public protest gets, the congress will only take token measures to rein in the courts' power. So it passes gun control laws.
Gun control laws don't work, but they are aimed at non-criminals, people the courts don't mind government pushing around.
We could lock up the repeat felons for life, but the courts won't let us. The courts make it too expensive. You can keep prisoners at a low cost, as the famous hard-nosed sheriff in North Carolina has shown us.
But the courts won't let us be hard on a poor, innocent repeat felon. It is the courts that make prisons too expensive for the public to afford. It is the courts that order repeat felons released because prisons are too crowded, and because that is hard on prisoners.
And what is the response of conservatives to this murderous court tyranny?
"Maybe Bush will appoint another conservative or two to our masters on the Federal Bench."
Now, if even the most dedicated conservative agrees to play the court game for respectability, what are the odds that poor, wimpy little BUSH is going to stand up and appoint people who will take on this same establishment?
I know that having a memory is not fashionable, but let me remind you that when the Democrats didn't want any conservatives, Bush, Senior appointed the most liberal man on the court, Justice Souter.
Gore's election would have at least one upside. Maybe he would put so many liberals on the court that conservatives will have to give up nose counting and go after the real problem.