Santorum Doesn’t Get It

Pennsylvania’s Man on Dog in Washington, Rick Santorum, took some time during the Senate’s Easter recess to go and grandstand outside the Pinellas Park hospice where all those protesters are. I suppose he wants to connect with his whacko “base.” During his visit, which could have been accomplished privately so as not to stir a very contentious controversy, Mr. Santorum talked to the press to excoriate the decisions by dozens of judges. When all of Congress and the President himself have read the polls and, like they were hit with a brick up the side of their heads, discovered they were on the WRONG SIDE of this issue, Rick Santorum keeps blundering along. Frankly, I’m hoping Rick Santorum continues to show that conservatism to him means pandering to the religious right rather than an adherence to constitutional principle.

“We cannot continue to expect that the laws that we pass and the intentions are clear, that are just simply ignored by the judges and have their nose, basically thumb their noses at us,” Sen Rick Santorum, (R-Pennsylvania) said Tuesday, demanding that two judges who ignored the Congressional legislation and federal subpoenas issued in the Terri Schiavo case should be held accountable.

What’s becoming clear is that conservatives are beginning to be willing to speak about what used to be conservative values, like federalism. Indeed, Judge Stanley F. Birch, Jr., who authored opinions upholding a couple of the most conservative decisions in recent history, the Alabama Sex Toy ban and the Florida Gay Adoption Ban, came out yesterday to slam Bush and the Congress on their meddling in the Schiavo case.

Yet, in Wednesday’s 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to deny a rehearing to Schiavo’s parents, Birch went out of his way to castigate Bush and congressional Republicans for acting “in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers’ blueprint for governance of a free people – our Constitution.”

Birch said he couldn’t countenance Congress’ attempt to “rob” federal courts of the discretion they’re given in the Constitution. Noting that it had become popular among “some members of society, including some members of Congress,” to denounce “activist judges,” or those who substitute their personal opinions for constitutional imperatives, Birch said lawmakers embarked on their own form of unconstitutional activism.

In the same article constitutional scholar Dave Garrow places Birch firmly in the Scalia/Thomas camp, though I would doubt Scalia and Thomas would be so strictly originalist. They have shown their willingness to pander to the religious right before, after all. Still, the Republicans, including Pennsylvania’s Man on Dog in Washington, Rick Santorum, have always said they want judges who rule as Judge Birch has done.

You know, I hate the sound of dogs whining. I think Rick Santorum has been around those dogs too much lately, because his whining is about as shrill as chihuahua faced with a rolled up newspaper.

Thursday, March 31st, 2005 by SpinDentist |
Category: Uncategorized

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