Courts, Judiciary

"The gross affronts to the rule of law committed under Gonzales go far beyond the firings of US Attorneys considered insufficiently aggressive in their pursuit of bogus "voter fraud" claims, or even the evidence that prosecutors may have kept their jobs by going after Democratic voters and officials. The Brennan Center for Justice and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law have uncovered evidence of what they describe as "a much broader strategy on the part of the Administration to use federal agencies charged with protecting voting rights to promote voter suppression and influence election rules so as to gain partisan advantage in battleground states." There is now a compelling case that the White House used the Justice Department's Civil Rights and Criminal divisions and the Election Assistance Commission to create a false perception of widespread voter fraud to justify initiatives--stringet voter identification laws, crackdowns on voter registration drives and pre-election purges of eligible voters from the rolls--designed to disenfranchise the poor, minorities, students and seniors" (John Nichols. "Curing the Rot at Justice." The Nation, July 2, 2007: 5).

"Rather than get drawn into the recent unseemly haggling, it would be a rather more honorable and even realistic approach for the left to attack the whole corrupt system of judicial selection, from top to bottom. What possible justification can there be for a system in which all federal judges are within the gift of state delegations of the Democratic and Republican parties? Let's have popular election of all judges.

"The Senate, on the other hand, should abandon its comical pretensions to being a body reflecting any democratic mandate. Senators should be installed by some version of the phone-book approach. Probably the best method was the one obtaining at the former House of Lords, now destroyed by Tony Blair: incumbency by birthright, handed down the generations. Within not too many decades this simple method produced useful number of decent, independent-minded people. After Blair's "reforms," the place has become a quango, meaning a creature of the government of the day" (Alexander Cockburn. "There's Their Way or the Galloway." The Nation, Mar. 14, 2005: 13).


"Justices Roberts and Alito will take an already conservative court even further to the right, but the struggle for social justice will go on. And I am pleased to report that a new force--full of energy and optimism and new ideas--has entered the fray on the side of those who are committeed to our founding values of liberty, equality and justice. It is the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS), which employs many of the undeniably successful techniques perfected by the Federalist Society, but in pursuit of liberal ends.

"When I joined many others to help found ACS five years ago, I had high hopes for its potential, but even I have been astonished by its explosive growth and its increasing influence on the nation's legal scene. ACS rapidly made extensive progress in matching the Federalist Society's network of chapters, with thousands of members now organized in student chapters at 142 law schools and lawyer chapters in twenty-one major cities in both blue and red states nationwide" (Abner Mikva. "ACS v. Federalists." The Nation, April 17, 2006: 6-8).

Colby Glass, MLIS