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March 28, 2009
NYT 2000 vs. 2009: Profile in Inconsistency
In 2000, the NYT rushed to defend a judiciary attacked by “right wing conservative extremists.” So, where’s their outrage when left wing extremists are the attackers?
On December 4, 2000, NYT ran Bob Herbert’s op-ed entitled “In America: A Plan to Intimidate Judges.” Herbert criticized then Congressman Tom DeLay and former Supreme Court Justice nominee Robert Bork for intimidating judges.
“Robert Bork, whose nomination to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan was blocked, has -- even more incredibly -- called for a constitutional amendment that would allow decisions by federal and state judges to be overruled by a simple majority in each house of Congress… Those who cherish the idea of judicial independence can only be chilled by Mr. DeLay's utter contempt for it [meaning the impeachment and removal of some federal judges].
The attacks by Mr. DeLay and Mr. Bork are part of a relentless conservative assault on the judiciary that continues today and threatens the bedrock principle of the separation of powers. Conservatives in Congress have wreaked havoc for years with President Clinton's attempts to appoint federal judges, blocking some and imposing unconscionable delays on others because of the fear that some might behave a bit too independently.
An independent judiciary -- that is, judges who are not subject to the bludgeoning of politicians on the left or the right -- is an absolutely crucial check on what otherwise would be the rampant power of the legislative and executive branches. An intimidated judge is a worthless judge.
But quivering, intimidated judges are exactly what the extremists have in mind.
What happens when abuses occur but judges dare not act for fear of political retribution? I guess that would delight the likes of Tom DeLay and Robert Bork, but it would be the tragic end of the United States as we've known it.
Okay. Now push Fast Forward.
It’s 2009, and left wing extremists of the Democrat Party are the attackers. On March 27, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday that John Roberts misled the Senate during his confirmation hearings by pretending to be a moderate — and that the United States is now “stuck” with him as chief justice.
“Roberts didn’t tell us the truth. At least Alito told us who he was,” Reid said, referring to Samuel Alito, the second Supreme Court justice nominated by President George W. Bush. “But we’re stuck with those two young men, and we’ll try to change by having some moderates in the federal courts system as time goes on — I think that will happen.” Source .
The Majority Leader of the Senate calls the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court a liar, and that’s not intimidation?
Plus, Congressman Barney Frank recently called Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia a “homophobe.” His comment is captured near the beginning of this video clip.
Where’s the outrage from the NYT in defense of “quivering, intimidated judges?”
No wonder the Times is circling the drain.