Monday, May 02, 2005

Right Wing Judicial Activism

The Republicans claim the fight over the "nuclear option" is based upon opposition to judical activism, but in reality it is over whether the Republicans will be allowed to appoint judges who will move the country further to the right. The showdown might wind up occuring over the repeat nomination of Priscilla Owen.

Owen's nomination casts doubt on the honesty of the Republicans in their claims for opposing judicial activism. While they oppose acts of activism which grant greater liberty, they are perfectly willing to accept judicial activism from the far right. Salon notes an unexpected source who has opposed Owens in the past for her judicial activism--Alberto Gonzales:
More troubling for her nomination is that when he was Owen's colleague as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales accused her of trying to implement "an unconscionable act of judicial activism." The charge came during a heated abortion ruling in which Owen tried to make the burden for a minor even more onerous than the Texas Legislature intended. Time and again while serving with Owen, Gonzales admonished her for straying too far from the clear intent of Texas statutes. Today, however, Gonzales praises Owen as "superbly qualified," while her supporters try valiantly -- and at times imaginatively -- to explain away the damning "judicial activism" description.
People for the American Way has also documented Gonzales' criticism of Owen's judicial activism.


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