Skip to comments.Life, Death and Judicial Tyranny
Posted on 04/04/2005 12:08:36 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
As the nation now knows, Terri Schiavo slipped out of this life and into eternity on Thursday, March 31st. 1 This pitiful 41-year-old mentally disabled woman was condemned to death by an immoral Florida court judge named George Greer, who never came to visit her, yet ordered that she be dehydrated and starved to death at the insistence of her "husband," Michael. Mr. Schiavo lives with another woman with whom he fathered two babies2, and yet, he was designated as the "guardian" of Terri's welfare to the moment of death. Seven years after Terri's brain injury occurred, and five years after Michael successfully obtained a reputed million-dollar plus malpractice settlement3 designated for his wife's care, he began saying he remembered that she didn't want to be sustained by a feeding tube. His claim is nothing more than hearsay and there is no written record to substantiate it. But for Judge Greer, it was sufficient to grant his wish to have her put to death, despite the husband's enormous conflict of interest, related to his common law "marriage," divided loyalties and competing fiduciary responsibility.
To understand the enormity of this decision, it is important to recognize that Terri was not comatose before the killing began, was not on a respirator, and was not unaware of her circumstances. She smiled faintly, she followed people and objects with her eyes, and according to the registered nurse who had cared for her, she succeeded in saying a few words. Nevertheless, Michael and the unjust judge made sure that Terri received the barest minimum of medical attention, no therapy such as assistance in learning to swallow, and, eventually, no food or water. Toward the end, the judge ordered that Terri not even be permitted to have ice chips placed in her mouth to moisten her parched tongue. She was confined to her room for five years with the shades drawn, could not be legally photographed or video taped, never received an MRI to determine the nature of her brain injury, and her parents were not even allowed to take her out in the warmth of the sun or to an outing at a mall. 4 And this is called justice.
Gary Bauer wrote this about Terri in a daily update distributed by his organization, American Values: "In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25, verses 35 and 36, Jesus says, For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.' His disciples were puzzled and asked when they had done those things for Him. Christ responds (verse 40) - Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it for me.'
Then Gary commented, "Surely, Terri Schiavo, abandoned by her husband, sentenced to death by our courts, regularly compared to a vegetable,' qualifies as the least of these.' Will someone give her a drink?" 5
The answer was, "no." Judge Greer had police posted at the door to keep anyone from bringing relief to Terri, and an entire family was arrested for attempting to give her a sip of water. 6 Toward the end, Michael even refused to let the priest provide communion for Terri, and instructed the police to arrest him if he tried. 7 And shortly thereafter, Terri died. God forgive us!
Not even a dog or a cat in the pound, or a prisoner on death row, would be treated with such cruelty. In fact, on the very Sunday evening when House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist were scrambling to pass a bill to save Terri, and President Bush flew back from Florida to Washington D.C. to sign the pending legislation, what was CBS television news doing? It aired a feature on the property rights of animals! 8
The media repeatedly told the American people that Terri was "brain dead" and that her brain had "turned to liquid". 9 Just before Terri's death, ABC's Good Morning America aired an interview between co-host Charlie Gibson and Dr. Jack Kevorkian, known as "Dr. Death", who is serving a 10-25 year prison sentence for helping people kill themselves. 10 With a straight face, Gibson asked Kevorkian to comment on the "circus" that surrounded the effort to save Terri. 11
After the media had shamelessly made the people think that Terri was sustained by artificial means and was probably dying, ABC News conducted a poll to determine how folks felt about "letting" her die. Have you wondered why the results were so lopsided in favor of death? Maybe I can explain it. The specific question asked by pollsters about whether or not it was appropriate to withhold food and water is as follows: "Schiavo suffered brain damage and has been on life support for 15 years. Doctors say she has no consciousness and her condition is irreversible. Do you support the decision to remove Terri's feeding tube?" 12
Of course the majority of Americans answered affirmatively. Who would want to live unconscious, breathing with the aid of a respirator for 15 years? By distorting the facts given in the set-up question, the media got the results they were looking for. Lo and behold, almost everyone wanted Terri dead. I do not believe it!
This cooperative effort between the judiciary and the media to kill an innocent woman is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in American history. It has implications for the 25,000 adults and 10,000 children in this country who are also fed and hydrated through a tube. 13 What are we going to do, kill them all? Is every mentally disabled human being now fair game if they have an inconvenienced relative who wants to see him or her dead? Apparently, all they have to do is assert that starvation is what the victim wanted, and then find a wicked judge like George Greer who will order them subjected to slow execution. What a sad day this is for Terri and Schindler family, and for all of humanity! It is eerily similar to what the Nazis did in the 1930s. They began by "euthanizing" the mentally retarded, and from there, it was a small step to mass murder.
Terri's killing signifies conclusively that the judicial system in this country is far too powerful and is totally out of control. No agency of government can rival its reach. Not even the combined influence of the President, both Houses of the Congress and the Governor of Florida could override the wishes of a relatively low-ranking judge. His decision was upheld by several federal court judges, and ultimately, by the U.S. Supreme Court that refused six times to hear Terri's case. 14 She was doomed by that time. How could Terri's parents have expected compassion from the Justices who have declared unconstitutional the ban on the horrible procedure known as partial birth abortion? Anyone who would sanction a law permitting the brains of healthy, unanaesthetized babies to be suctioned out is capable of any evil.
Unfortunately, this decision by the courts is symptomatic of a much wider slide by the courts into moral relativism. Consider, for example, another terrible decision handed down on March 14, 2005. Judge Richard Kramer of the San Francisco Superior Court summarily struck down California's law prohibiting same-sex marriage. The measure was deemed to be unconstitutional, he said, because "It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite sex partners." 15 No rational purpose?
That takes us back to 2000, when, after a vigorous and highly emotional debate, fully sixty-one percent of Californians voted in a referendum to define marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman; only thirty-nine percent disagreed. 16 Despite this overwhelming response by more than four million people, which became the law in the Golden State, Judge Kramer had the temerity to say that the will of the majority made no sense. He set himself up as the sole determiner of rationality. What utter arrogance! If the decision stands, it will be reflected in every department of government and in every California public school from kindergarten to high school.
We knew this judicial assault on the institution of marriage was coming, and it certainly won't be the last. Liberal judges throughout the nation are itching to sanction same-sex marriages by judicial decree, despite their awareness that the vast majority of Americans do not want the family to be redefined. There can be no doubt about that fact. Seventeen states have voted recently on the meaning of marriage, and all seventeen have passed constitutional amendments defining marriage exclusively as being between one man and one woman. There have been no exceptions, not even in socially liberal Oregon and Hawaii. In all, 38 states have passed "defense of marriage acts."
Nevertheless, there in San Francisco a few weeks ago sat an imperious judge who concluded that marriageas it has existed for more than 5,000 years on every continent and in every culture on earthis not rational and should be retooled. Although many fine men and women serve on the bench, this decision illustrates the heady abuse of power that is all too common among independent fiefdoms known as judges. They rule like royal monarchs. And sitting on the top of the pyramid is the U.S. Supreme Court, which threatens the liberty that was purchased with the blood of countless men and women who died to secure it.
How did this happen to us? How could such a great and freedom-loving people have allowed themselves to be dominated by a handful of unelected, unaccountable, arrogant and often godless judges, many of whom receive lifetime appointments and regularly circumvent the democratic process? It is a breath-taking and ominous development. Was this the desire of the Founding Fathers when they designed this great representative form of government? Hardly!
Thomas Jefferson warned repeatedly about the emergence of an outof-control judiciary that would destroy the Constitution and, along with it, America's fundamental freedoms. He first became alarmed when, in 1803, the U. S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision called Marbury v. Madison. It allowed the Justices to rule on the constitutionality of every legal issue, both inside and outside the government, giving themselves unrivaled imperial power. The concept of "checks and balances" that was intended to keep one branch from eclipsing the other two was no longer in forceat least not with regard to the judiciary. Thereafter, the President, the Congress, and the will of millions of American people have been subservient to the rulings of five imperious justices, along with numerous lower court judges, who continue to issue their decrees beyond the reach of any authority.
When Jefferson recognized the full implications of the Marbury decision, he wrote this prophetic statement: "It is a very dangerous doctrine to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions. It is one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy." 17
BINGO! What we have today, 202 years later, is an oligarchy (rule by a small cadre of elites.) The courts simply strike down laws and policies they don't like, whether their opinions reflect the provisions of the Constitution or not. Furthermore, the activist judges and those who support them have turned the Constitution into what they call "a living, breathing document," in which its actual words no longer mean what they say. The Constitution "evolves," they tell us, to fit the biases of the court. Consequently, we no longer have a government "of the people, by the people and for the people," as Abraham Lincoln described it at Gettysburg. It is, insteadan oligarchy.
The Marbury decision in 1803 continued to agitate Jefferson for the next two decades. He wrote in 1819: "The Constitution...is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please. It has long been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression...that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped." 18
Jefferson issued one more warning in 1823, just three years before his death. This time, however, he was not simply predicting the rise of an imperious court; by then he had observed it first hand. Jefferson said, "At the establishment of our constitution, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous "19
Now, the misfortune that worried Jefferson has produced for us a culture of death that is steeped in moral relativism. We are victims in our day of the grab for power that should have been squelched two centuries ago. Since then, the Supreme Court Justices have simply overridden the will of the people, regularly and without apology. Every time they convene as a body it is like a mini-constitutional convention in which the meaning of the foundational document is changed without the consent of the governed. Henceforth, their pronouncements are the ultimate law of the land.
As we have seen, it was never intended to be that way. The Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial Branches of government are "co-equal" in the eyes of the law. We know that the President and Congress regularly limit each others power, but what about the judiciary? Many Americans do not know that Article 3, Section 1 of the Constitution clearly gives to Congress the responsibility to establish every court with the exception of the Supreme Court. These lower federal courts serve at the pleasure of the Congress, which can abolish or create them at will. For example, the troublesome Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which consistently issues off-the-wall rulings, (including the Pledge of Allegiance decision in 2002) could be abolished and then staffed by different judges immediately. But the Congress has not had the political gumption to take any such action. Consequently, the Courts arrogantly thumb their noses at the other co-equal authorities.
Look again at what happened in the Schiavo case. On March 18th, congressional Republicans subpoenaed Terri in an effort to protect her from the heinous orders of Judge Greer, who had demanded that her feeding tube removed that day. 20 Yet, Greer flouted the law, defiantly ignoring the congressional order! Three days later, in an extraordinary Palm Sunday weekend session, the House and Senate passed a bill, allowing for federal judicial review of Terri's case. 21 Yet, hours later, U.S. District Judge James Whittemore refused to order the reinsertion of the tube. 22 After both the 11th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the case, Judge Greer, a low-ranking County court probate judge, ignored new evidence that spoke to Terri's attempt to communicate a desire to live. 23 In the process, he not only defied the Congress and the President, but intimidated the governor of Florida, Jeb Bush. The media defended Greer, of course, claiming the Congress had violated the "separation of powers." 24 They were entirely wrong. Our representatives were attempting to fulfill their constitutional obligations, but they lost their nerve when stared down.
So the unchecked judiciary plows ahead. In March of this year, the Supreme Court struck down laws duly passed in 18 states permitting the execution of minors. 25 With that decision by five justices, the sentences of John Lee Malvo and other heinous killers were commuted. Malvo shot ten innocent people26 standing peacefully on the streets just for the thrill of watching them die, yet he will not pay the ultimate price for his murderous spree. Neither will Christopher Simmons, who broke into a house, bound and gagged an innocent woman with duct tape, beat her unmercifully, and then threw her body over the railing of a bridge. The autopsy revealed that she was still alive when Simmons dropped her to the river below. 27 And this was done for six dollars found in Shirley Ann Crook's purse. Does Simmons deserve to live? I think not. Please note that the same court that upholds the supposed Constitutional "right" to destroy innocent pre-born children has now prohibited the execution of cold-blooded murderers who are in their late teens.
While we can debate the wisdom of executing minors, (who, by the way, would have been at least 30 or 40 years old by the time their sentences were carried out,) the more important issue is how the law came to be struck down. It was not debated or decided by the American people or their representatives, where such issues should be deliberated and determined. It was nullified by judicial decree. The Oligarchy did it for us.
Even those who are opposed to the idea of capital punishment for minors should be gravely concerned about the criteria by which the Supreme Court arrived at its decision. In writing for the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom I consider to be the most dangerous man in America, explained his rationale for the ruling, boldly claiming, "It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international public opinion against the juvenile death penalty." 28 This justification was written by a man who regularly ignores the weight of American public opinion in forcing his post-modern nonsense on our culture. Kennedy further promised that the Supreme Court of the United States would continue to look to "the laws of [selected] other countries and to international authorities" in re-interpreting the Constitution. 29
Justice Kennedy should be impeached for taking such a position, along with O'Connor, Ginsberg, Souter, Breyer, and Stevens, who have recently made similar statements. It is outrageous that we, the people of the United States, not only find ourselves governed unwillingly by a judicial oligarchy, but we are manhandled and lectured by this tiny body of lawyers who increasingly base its rulings not on our Constitution, nor on legal precedent, nor even on international lawbut on something they call "world opinion." The American people have neither chosen nor agree with this opinion. Kennedy and his liberal colleagues simply pick and choose the people in countries or continents that agree with them, usually from Europe and Canada, and ignore the rest, such as South America, Asia, and Africa. This is what we call "judicial tyranny!" and for good reason.
Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the minority, referred to his colleagues on the Court as "black-robed masters." 30 A few weeks later, he went on to decry the manipulation of the Constitution by the other justices. He said, "Within the last 20 years, we have found the right to abortion, which was so little rooted in the traditions of the American people that it was criminal for 200 years[and] the right to homosexual sodomy, which was so little rooted in the traditions of the American people that it was criminal for 200 years." 31
Justice Scalia continued, "So it is literally true that the court has essentially liberated itself from the text of the Constitution, from the text and even from the traditions of the American people and the Constitution is not a living organism, for Pete's sake. It's a legal document. And like all legal documents, it says some things and it doesn't say other things." 32
Please tell me you understand the danger of this outrageous situation. To put ultimate power in the hands of those who promise to make up their rules as they go alongor to base them on treaties that were never ratified by Congressis a recipe for disaster. Democracy itself hangs in the balance.
But the beat goes on. As we speak, the Supreme Court is debating whether or not to permit the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public buildings and elsewhere on public property. Of course, the nine justices sit every day in the Supreme Court Building that is adorned by three depictions of the Ten Commandments or of Moses. 33 Our halls of government are positively brimming with references to our Judeo-Christian heritage. And don't forget the successive Sergeants of Arms, who since 1777 have opened each session of the Supreme Court by shouting, "God save this Court and the United States of America." 34 They will have to be silenced. Indeed, the entire nation will have to be transformed, it appears. And from here, religious liberty will hang precariously on every related decision.
Why? Because the American people demand it? No! It is because Justice Anthony Kennedy and the Oligarchy deem it so. Maybe they can find a rationale for trashing the remaining acknowledgments of the Creator somewhere in European public opinion. They certainly won't find it in this country. A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released earlier this month found that 76 percent of respondents supported displaying the Ten Commandments, while only 21 percent were opposed. 35 But then, our opinions are of no consequence.
Thomas Jefferson, you saw it coming.
Judicial hostility to faith, and especially Christianity has never been greater than today. On George W. Bushs Inauguration Day, January 20, 2005, Judge Gary Lancaster of the U.S. District Court for Western Pennsylvania dismissed a federal case against hardcore pornographers that were distributing undeniably obscene sex videos depicting [pardon me for speaking graphically.] rape, mutilation, defecation, and the murder of women. In so doing, he declared federal obscenity statutes unconstitutional, overriding three decades of Supreme Court precedent in the process. Judge Lancaster defended his decision by proclaiming: "After [the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision], however, upholding the public sense of morality is not even a legitimate state interest that can justify infringing ones liberty interest to engage in consensual sexual conduct in private" 36 [emphasis added]. This hardcore porn case is particularly troublesome. Judge Lancaster is essentially suggesting that America's laws cannot be based upon morality! Can you imagine such a ruling coming from a person who has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States? Remember his name: Gary Lancaster. Never forget it! He is symbolic of what is wrong with America's judicial system. Heaven forbid that he should ever become a "black robed master" in the future.
Anti-religious rulings like the one made by Lancaster are coming in bunches now. Another occurred on March 28, when three members of the Colorado Supreme Court overturned the death- penalty verdict for cocaine addict, Robert Harlan. 37 Harlan was convicted and sentenced to die for kidnapping and raping a 25-year old waitress. He held her captive for two hours before killing her in cold-blood. The Court overturned the death penalty decision because, if you can believe this, five members of the jury had looked up Bible verses to help them understand the moral implications of capital punishment. In so doing, it was said, they violated the separation of church and state. 38 There was very little protest from the religious community in Colorado as the state moved yet another step closer to the concept of the law without reference to right and wrong.
What can we do to reverse this out of control court, especially on a federal level? First, we need legislators who have the moxie to do what is right for the country. With notable exceptions, many of them have been too timid to speak up. Congress needs to know we've had enough. Secondly, our country desperately needs principled judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, rather than creating their own version of it and imposing European socialism and "politically correct" thinking.
During his first term in office, President Bush tried repeatedly to nominate conservative, strict constructionist judges to a variety of vacant positions on Federal Courts of Appeals and District Courts throughout the country. However, he was thwarted at every turn by liberal senators, led by the recently "retired" Tom Daschle. The former Senator consistently led filibusters of nominees or engaged in otherwise obstructionist tactics to ensure that they would never receive a fair hearing. Today's liberals in the Senate need to understand that they will be held accountable at the ballot box if they try to prevent up or down votes on judicial nominees.
In a bold and principled move, the President has defied his liberal opponents in Congress by re-nominating twenty top-notch individuals and sending their names to the Senate for appointment to various judicial vacancies nationwide. 39 These judges are all committed to applying the Constitution of the United States in a conservative manner and interpreting it as it is written. If these individuals, and many others like them, were to be appointed to the federal bench, we could make significant strides toward the restoration of religious speech to the public square, the enforcement of laws regulating obscenity, the protection of voluntary prayer in public schools, the defense of the institution of traditional marriage, and the protection of pre-born babies from the horrors of abortion. In short, the makeup of the federal judiciary in the coming years will play a key role in determining how these issues and many others that we hold dear will be decided, and in demonstrating what kind of people we are as a nation.
Again in 2005, however, Senate Democrats are endeavoring to sabotage this process by blocking the confirmation of judges before they even have a chance to come up for a vote. In their minds, judges who will interpret the Constitution as written have no place on the federal judiciary. Senator Joe Biden [D-DE], made this clear during a recent Meet the Press interview. In discussing the impending retirement of Chief Justice William Rehnquist from the Supreme Court, host Tim Russert asked whether Senator Biden would support elevating Antonin Scalia to the position of Chief Justice. This is an important point, because Senator Biden voted to confirm Scalia to the Court in 1987, saying at the time that it would be improper for the Senate to "deprive the president of the United States from being able to appoint [a] person or persons who have a particular point of view..." 40 And yet now, that is exactly what Senator Biden and his cronies are advocating. He boldly told Mr. Russert that he would oppose elevating Antonin Scalia to Chief Justice "because of his methodology, the way he interprets the Constitution." 41 In other words, conservative, strict constructionists need not apply! So far, the Democrats are using this same shameful reasoning in blocking the president's federal court nominees.
To counter the obstructionist tactics of Senate Democrats, the Republicans have been considering a change in Senate rules, dubbed the "constitutional option," whereby the requirement for cloture (a procedure by which 60 senators can vote to terminate a filibuster and allow a vote) could be done away with when it comes to judicial nominations.
Senator Robert Byrd [D-WV], in a shocking display of arrogance, responded by suggesting that the Republican majority was employing Hitler-esque tactics: "Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality. He recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal. And that is what the nuclear [constitutional] option seeks to do." 42 He further lamented the minority status of Senate Democrats, going so far as to suggest that "Minorities have an illustrious past, full of suffering, torture, smear and even death. Jesus Christ was killed by a majority "43
What incredible hypocrisy! Senator Byrd is a former member of the Ku Klux Klan who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 44 It takes a great deal of gall for him to lecture Senate Republicans and the American people on the struggles faced by minorities.
The shrill and desperate tone employed by Senator Byrd and others on the American Left is indicative of just how much is at stake in this battle. The nomination and confirmation of federal court judges represents a critical moment in the history of our nation, as well as a monumental opportunity for men and women of faith and others in the pro-family movement to stand up and make their voices heard. I urge you to contact your Senators and ask them to uphold the integrity of the nomination process by allowing a vote for each of the nominees on the list.
I love Dobson.
Me too. Great voice for the traditional family.
What a great article. Thanks for posting it.
Well done, Dobson. I am standing up and clapping and cheering you on!
Thank you, Dr. Dobson.
"Judicial hostility to faith, and especially Christianity has never been greater than today."
Some cases will always be remembered.
Marbury, Roe, Schiavo.
Never mind...The key words work...It must have been my browser not setting everything up.