This blog began over concerns about where the political powers of this country are taking us. As this blog has grown, my concern grew further as I learned how the two political parties had become more polarized over the last 40 years. Now this polarization and concentration of power is threatening our trilateral form of government. Our constitution is under attack from within by both citizens and politicians. What follows are just the latest attacks on our constitution by those who have only personal beliefs and don’t need facts. I have included references to related postings on this blog and other more recent material.
The most recent example of these believers trying to manipulate the judiciary is brought to us by the Harris County Republican Party. After failing to get a Texas Republican judge to rule in their favor and remove Tom Delay’s name from the ballot for Congressional District 22, they have posted a web petition. They hope to influence a three judge panel reviewing an appeal to the lower court’s ruling by using the collective opinion of this web poll. Never mind what the law says, what counts are the beliefs of polarized voters.
Here’s how the editor for the Houston Chronicle put it, “The credibility of American justice rests on judges’ impartiality, both real and perceived. Attempts to influence the outcome — whether through petitions or briefs filed by elected officials seeking partisan advantage — only damage that credibility.”
In a past article, I summarized another example on the attack of our judiciary by polarized power-crazed believers with no understanding of the law. (The word believers is used here in the general sense, not a religious sense.) Since then Justice O’Connor has warned us of the threat of a dictatorship.
The abuse by the Executive Branch and the bullies behind the President of the legislative branch has been going on since President Bush signed the first “law” to come across his desk. He has added more “signing statements” to Congressional laws than all the presidents that came before him. The total number of presidential signing statements of all previous presidents is 322. President Bush issued at least 435 in his first term.
This practice has become so abusive that Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter is preparing a bill that will allow Congress to sue the President. In addition a blue-ribbon task force from the American Bar Association has declared, “Presidential signing statements that assert President Bush’s authority to disregard or decline to enforce laws adopted by Congress undermine the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers”
As for the dysfunctional legislative branch, I first wrote about its sad state last year, where I said, “Like the attack on the federal judiciary, our basic federalist form of government is under threat from ideologues and their impact on the Supreme Court, the Congress, and our two party system.” Since then, Congressman Duke Cunningham resigned after admitting to accepting $2.4 million to influence our laws and The Delay Principle has trumped national security.
How much more of this abuse can our system of government take? Has the damage to our rule of law reached the point of no return? Will the rule of opinion dominate our future? If it’s not too late, are the elections in November our last chance to push the pendulum back before we all loose our heads, or at least before we are imprisoned for disagreeing with the opinions of those in power.