Thursday, May 26, 2005

The great compromise

Is this a good thing or a bad thing, this act of comity on the future of the filibuster?

On the one hand, the filibuster lives to see another day, and the traditions of the Senate are temporarily preserved. On the other hand, three truly frightening judges now ascend to the federal bench. Of these, Priscilla Owen of Texas has received the most attention for her exemplary judicial activism that is, at once (to steal an idea from Molly Ivins), both theocratic and plutocratic.

Far more troubling to your Webwench is the specter of Janice Rogers Brown of California occupying the D.C. circuit court, to which most cases regarding the operation of the federal government are brought. Here's Rogers Brown on the virtues of government:

"Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates, and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility; and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."

When questioned about this quote from her 2000 speech before the right-wing Federalist Society, Rogers Brown did not exactly retract it. She simply said that she had engaged in a bit of hyperbole before a group of young people, in order to get their attention.

Well, she sure got your écrivaine's attention. Imagine--a judge who hates government issuing rulings on the government. Get ready for a ride, mes amis.

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