Tom DeLay - In need of a nice kick in the ass
KH: So it seems like the repub's have taken the sad circumstance surrounding Terry Shiavo's condition and death to whip out the pitchforks and torches against judges who uphold rulings he doesn't agree with. As someone posted in the "Carpet Bagger Report" comment section, "Let them go after the judges, more rope to hang themselves with." Lets hope this happens.
From "The Carpet Bagger Report"
It’s a nice judiciary you have here; it’d be a shame if something happened to it
Posted By Carpetbagger On 1st April 2005 @ 09:31
By now, probably everyone has heard that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay took his attacks on the judiciary to a new level yesterday, making an implicit threat against the judges who upheld the law.
Mrs. Schiavo’s death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today.
Note that this was a written statement, not an off-the-cuff remark made during a press conference. DeLay, in other words, had to think about exactly what kind of deliberate message he wanted to share — and decided to offer a veiled threat against state and federal judges.
But while this remark received wide-spread attention yesterday, I’d also like to note that DeLay’s attacks on the judiciary didn’t end with his written statement. In fact, he was just getting started.
For example, after warning judges that they’ll “answer for their behavior,” DeLay told the AP he hasn’t ruled out impeachment for judges who heard the Schiavo case.
[DeLay] said the courts’ refusal to do just that was a “perfect example of an out of control judiciary.” … “Congress for many years has shirked its responsibility to hold the judiciary accountable. No longer,” DeLay said.
The House Majority Leader was even less guarded in talking to the ultra-conservative Washington Times.
“We will look at an arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their nose at Congress and the president,” said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Texas Republican. “We will look into that.”
This kind of talk is not only wildly reckless for someone in DeLay’s position, it’s also part of a disturbing pattern.
For far too long, DeLay has used irresponsible rhetoric to undermine the courts.
In 2003, DeLay told the Washington Times, “Congress, for so long, has been lax in standing up for the Constitution. There are ways to express ourselves — for instance, we could limit the jurisdiction of the judicial branch.”
A year later, DeLay embraced court-stripping (also known as “jurisdiction stripping”) with even more enthusiasm, saying that conservatives should no longer look at the Supreme Court as the “Taj Mahal [that] everybody should stay away from.”
In 1997, before reaching the House leadership, DeLay made his approach abundantly clear: “Many of these judges begin to grow drunk on their own power. Why shouldn’t the people have a right to impeach these out-of-control judges?”
It’s reassuring, I suppose, that DeLay has been attacking the judiciary with this nonsense for years, but no drastic crises have arisen and cooler heads have prevailed. This may even lead some to believe that The Hammer is more bark than bite.
But I’m genuinely concerned that as the Republican caucus has moved further to the right, and DeLay’s rhetoric has grown increasingly pathological, the likelihood of a real legal challenge to the courts’ independence and authority may be close at hand.
DeLay’s threat yesterday was a shot across the bow; the next one may be more direct.