In today's Wall Street Journal http://opinionjournal.com, Orin Kerr has a frightening article concerning supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her blatant abuse of power and infringement on a co-equal branch of government.
I confess, I am not a lawyer, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But I do know that the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government are separate, yet co-equal branches of government. The legislative can not tell the executive how to do its job and vice-verse. Neither the legislative or executive branch can tell the supreme court how to do its job, which should be simply whether or not laws meet constitutional muster, not one's personal or political belief.
Justice Ginsburg dissented from a 5-4 ruling last year in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber. The ruling was in reference to a statute as to when discrimination claims must be filed. No big deal, right? It would not have been except that Justice Ginsburg explained that the purpose of her dissent was "to attract immediate public attention and to propel legislative change." Really? I just did not know that the unelected Justice Ginsburg thinks that is her role as an associate justice on the federal supreme court.
Of course a Democrat House of Representatives passed a "corrective" measure on July 31, 2007 and the senate's favorite drunkard, Sen. Teddy Kennedy (D-Mass) introduced a parallel bill with 21 co-sponsors. President Bush has announced that when the bill eventually gets to his desk, he will rightfully veto it.
What Justice Ginsburg did is a clear breach of the separation of powers. It is not the supreme court's job to influence legislators to pass laws to its liking. Justice Ginsburg could have simply voted on the merits of the statute itself, and explained why she thought the way she did. In legal terms, not pushing a legislature to make law.
That is what the Massachusetts judicial supreme court did in its infamous ruling on "legalizing" same-sex marriage. It ordered the Massachusetts legislature to make a law regarding legitimizing same-sex marriage. Essentially, the supreme judicial court became the originating legislative body, not the lower or upper house of the General Court.
This kind of overreach should be reason enough to vote for the Republican presidential candidate in 2008. This is a perfect advertisement for the smart candidate. Tie the fringes that people like Justice Ginsburg represents as a threat, and she is, to legislative and executive independence.
In reality impeachment proceedings should begin, but will not, against Justice Ginsburg for admitting that she wanted to use her dissent on this case to influence legislation.
In lieu of impeachment, it is all the more reason that voters need to really look at all the candidates and figure out which ones would be more likely to appoint those with judicial restraint vs. those who would appoint those with no restraint whatsoever. The choice is clear. Any of the Republicans will nominate those who show restraint. The Democrats? Former President Clinton appointed Justice Ginsburg. Enough said.