Thursday, March 31, 2005

Quote of the Day

"When the fervor of political passions moves the executive and legislative branches to act in ways inimical to basic constitutional principles, it is the duty of the judiciary to intervene. If sacrifices to the independence of the judiciary are permitted today, precedent is established for the constitutional transgressions of tomorrow." - Federal judge Stanley F. Birch Jr in the Schiavo case


At 6:08 PM, Blogger Danielle said...

Doth mine eyes deceive me? Are you not the same person who just a mere 10 hours ago advocated to me in writing that life is not “black and white.” Playing the black and white card now, are we? No room for subjectivity? No room for mercy? Tisk, tisk that doesn’t sound very “progressive” to me *big grin*

At 11:12 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Nope, no room for mercy here. Like all liberals, I'm cold & heartless, didn't ya know? :p

I agree with the opinion of Judge Birch (a staunchly conservative Republican appointed to the bench by G.H.W. Bush) though:

In particular, Judge Birch wrote, a provision of the new law requiring a fresh federal review of all the evidence presented in the case made it unconstitutional. Because that provision constitutes "legislative dictation of how a federal court should exercise its judicial functions," he wrote, it "invades the province of the judiciary and violates the separation of powers principle".

The law "robs federal courts of judicial doctrines long-established for the conduct of prudential decision-making," Birch wrote. "Congress chose to overstep constitutional boundaries into the province of the judiciary. Such an Act cannot be countenanced".

The long-and-the short of it is this: I believe very strongly in upholding the principles contained within the U.S. Constitution. While Ms. Schiavo's case moved a lot of people, and understandably so, trampling on the Constitution in order to "save" her ultimately does more harm than good. The issue for me has much less to do with the question of her "right-to-die" versus her "right-to-live" than it does with the checks we put on each branch of government.

The point I'm trying to make by posting this quote is simple: to show that this concern is not limited to just one side of the aisle. After all, purposefully violating the Constitution because a court rules in a manner that you don't like... well, that doesn't sound very "conservative" to me. =D


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