Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Judicial Branch

Today, the California Supreme Court met to discuss whether or not they would uphold the decision made by the electorate last November to constitutionally define marriage as between one man and one woman. Thankfully, the court decided to stick to the rules and not legislate from the bench.

There's a reason that the court system is called the judicial branch, and not the legislative branch. Justices that sit on the California bench are appointed by the sitting Governor, not elected by the people as a representative. In California, voters are given the opportunity once every twelve years to vote if a particular justice should be retained, but if that justice is booted, the current Governor is the one that gets to make the nomination for the replacement.

Needless to say, justices do not necessarily represent the will of the people they preside over. That's why we have representatives. Representatives run for office. They tell us why they think they'd represent us well. If they do a lousy job, we vote for the other guy the next time around (two years for the State Assembly, four years for the State Senate).

The legislative branch is the one that represents the people and has the authority to propose amendments to the California Constitution. The Governor (also an elected official, I'd like to point out) also has the power to propose amendments, as well as individual citizens that may propose new legislation by popular petition.

The judicial branch is there to make sure that the laws, as stated in the constitution, are upheld. That's it. They don't get to make up their own laws. They don't get to wake up one morning and decide to overturn a constitutional amendment that went through the proper legal channels and has become law. That's not their job.

So the idea that the California Supreme Court even had a vote on whether or not to overturn the will of the people on the issue of homosexual marriage is ludicrous. Geez, this is stuff I learned in my junior high government class! California sure is nutty sometimes.

At least our President (a Harvard Law School graduate) knows that the role of the judicial branch in policy is to uphold it, not to create or alter it. Or does he?

I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract
legal theory or footnote in a casebook; it is also about how our laws affect
the daily realities of people's lives, whether they can make a living and
care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome
in their own nation...I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and
identifying with people's hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient
for arriving at just decisions and outcomes. -President Obama, May 2009, on what he will look for in potential US Supreme Court Justice

I want a Justice that follows the rules. Hasn't anyone in the government read The Lord of the Flies? Don't they know what happens when the supposed leaders start making their own rules? I don't want to ruin it for you, but I can ensure you that chaos ensues.

Let's just hope that Sonia Sotomayor (Obama's pick to replace the retiring Justice Souter on the US Supreme Court) understands her job description, and rules with a firm and fair hand, giving no biased rulings based on things like gender or race.

Somehow, I doubt it. Take a look at what she said in 2005:

And as far as impartiality is concerned? Here's what she had to say about that:

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences
would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t
lived that life. -Sotomayor, 2001

Like Ralph on the final pages of The Lord of the Flies I weep for, "The end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend." Ralph's friend was the bespectacled Piggy, who was chased off a cliff by bloodthirsty young boys in pursuit of his fire-starting glasses. My friend's name is Justice, and once our country has empathetic judges that legislate from the bench on the basis of race and gender, she too will be chased off a cliff and flung to her doom.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dear California Voters,

I was planning on having an elaborate post for you all on why I plan to vote against all the propositions in the special election tomorrow. However, a teething baby has ruined my plans. Because my responsibility to be a good mother comes above my responsibility to be a good blogger, the post is not to be.

For the record, this conservative chica is voting a big fat NO on all the props tomorrow.

We don't need more of our tax dollars to be poured into the infrastructure, we just need it to be better spent.

Please, can we let the sea lions go before we let the firemen go?

The money is there already, it just needs to be better budgeted.

Please vote NO tomorrow and force the CA legislature to reallocate bureaucracy bucks into bucks that will actually do some good for our bankrupt state.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nancy Pelosi- Liar or Lunatic?

Maybe all that Botox has seeped into her brain. It would certainly explain the selective memory she seems to be suffering from.

In case you haven't been keeping up with the news in the past few weeks, the issue of torture has become a hot button topic. It turns out that evil US soldiers were *gasp* pouring water over terrorists' head in Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp in order to gain information about our enemies.

A few weeks ago, Speaker of the House Pelosi (aka The Wicked Witch of Washington), very firmly assured anyone that would listen that as of 2002, she had absolutely no idea that this enhanced interrogation method (or any other) was being used on terrorists detained at Gitmo.

That is until the CIA released documents clearly stating that she had, in fact, been briefed on the situation. So what did the Speaker have to say about that? She backpedaled and said that she had not been briefed on the interrogation tactics until 2003.

Rep. Jane Harmon (D-CA) was also briefed in 2003. Harmon didn't think it was right to throw water on America-hating terrorists heads, so she drafted a letter to the CIA’s general counsel to express “profound” concerns with waterboarding. (Side note- I also have profound concerns with waterboarding, particularly that it probably isn't as effective as pulling out fingernails or being repeatedly hit with a stun gun. These people hate America and want to see us all dead; why the heck wouldn't we do our best to get information from them about possible-and preventable-future attacks?)

According to the Pelosi confidant, the newly elected minority leader was told about the briefing, and that Harman was drafting a protest letter. Pelosi told Sheehy (a Pelosi aide) to tell Harman that she agreed with the letter, the Pelosi insider said. But she did not ask to be listed as a signatory on the letter, the source said, and there is no reference to her in it (This somehow reminds me of junior high, when I told Jessica to tell Ben to tell Matt that I thought it he was cute).

Since this information has come to light, the crazy Pelosi camp has stated that she didn't protest directly out of respect for "appropriate" legislative channels.

I don't know about you, but if I come face to face with something atrociously misaligned with my morals, I say something. I write letters. I blog about it. I make my voice heard, and let people know that something is happening that I do not agree with. I don't glibly spout off whatever the political ideal of the moment is. Following 9/11, people were scared, and wanted to be kept safe, even if the cost was getting a few POW's a little bit wet. After more than seven years of safety, Americans are forgetting what it's like to be afraid, and pandering Pelosi has no problem saying what she thinks people want to hear in order to get re-elected.

Nancy Pelosi is either A) A liar-how many times has she had to eat her words at this point? or B) A lunatic-and a raving one at that. My guess? A little from both column A and B.