sharpening their pitchforks

The attack on so-called activist judges (and by “activist” the Republicans mean judges that don’t toe the evangelical line) continues. According to the Washington Post, the radical conservatives now have Supreme Court Judge Anthony Kennedy in their crosshairs. Here’s a clip:

Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is a fairly accomplished jurist, but he might want to get himself a good lawyer — and perhaps a few more bodyguards.

Conservative leaders meeting in Washington yesterday for a discussion of “Remedies to Judicial Tyranny” decided that Kennedy, a Ronald Reagan appointee, should be impeached, or worse.

Phyllis Schlafly, doyenne of American conservatism, said Kennedy’s opinion forbidding capital punishment for juveniles “is a good ground of impeachment.” To cheers and applause from those gathered at a downtown Marriott for a conference on “Confronting the Judicial War on Faith,” Schlafly said that Kennedy had not met the “good behavior” requirement for office and that “Congress ought to talk about impeachment” …

Not to be outdone, lawyer-author Edwin Vieira told the gathering that Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, “upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law.”

Ominously, Vieira continued by saying his “bottom line” for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Joseph Stalin. “He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: ‘no man, no problem,’ ” Vieira said.

The full Stalin quote, for those who don’t recognize it, is “Death solves all problems: no man, no problem.” Presumably, Vieira had in mind something less extreme than Stalin did and was not actually advocating violence. But then, these are scary times for the judiciary. An anti-judge furor may help confirm President Bush’s judicial nominees, but it also has the potential to turn ugly…

The conference was organized during the height of the Schiavo controversy by a new group, the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration. This was no collection of fringe characters. The two-day program listed two House members; aides to two senators; representatives from the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America; conservative activists Alan Keyes and Morton C. Blackwell; the lawyer for Terri Schiavo’s parents; Alabama’s “Ten Commandments” judge, Roy Moore; and DeLay, who canceled to attend the pope’s funeral.

PDF downloads of the material covered during the “Confronting The Judicial War On Faith” conference can be found at the website of The Traditional Values Coalition. You can also, apparently, order DVDs from the Stop Activist Judges website… And, here, because I don’t think most of you will follow that last link, is the anti-agenda that you’d find at the Stop Activist Judges site (between pleas for donations).

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  1. Felix
    Posted April 11, 2005 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Scary stuff. If left-wing activists said such things, the right would be howling for their heads and they’d stand an excellent chance of being investigated for making “terrorist threats”.

    Unfortunately, you also touched on one of my pet rhetorical peeves. It’s TOE the line, not TOW the line! The first describes a bunch of people standing in formation with their toes touching a line drawn on the ground, a good metaphor for rigid conformity. The second rather nonsensically suggests that they’re dragging a rope around behind them.

  2. js
    Posted April 11, 2005 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Just as an etymological note: The expression “toe the line” comes from the good ol’ days of bareknuckle boxing. You would have the two fighters stand about three feet from each other, and each had to keep his toes on the line while pummelling (and being pummelled). So “toeing the line” means standing firm in the face of adversity, actually.

  3. mark
    Posted April 11, 2005 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    All I can say is that I am truly sorry to have put you all through this. I have learned my lesson though, and I promise that it will never happen again. I will toe the line.

  4. Posted April 13, 2005 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m stunned and appalled that the Right is going after a Supreme Court judge, any judge, much less one appointed by their Savior, Ronald Reagan. Is it possible to impeach a Supreme Court justice? And what on earth is wrong with those people?

    Sorry I hadn’t been by in a while, but I find my blood pressure going sky high after I read what the Right is up to – yes, I have been burying my head in the sad.

  5. Stella
    Posted April 13, 2005 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    “yes, I have been burying my head in the sad”
    If thats indeed a typo, its really one of the best ever. I may have to nick it for some found poetry. Beautiful.

  6. Posted April 13, 2005 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Stella – it was a typo, but sadly accurate….

  7. mark
    Posted April 14, 2005 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    “Burying my heart in the sad” has a nice right to it as well.

  8. Posted April 14, 2005 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Even better, Mark…

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