Sunday, April 24, 2005

Holy War Sunday

The Lousiville Courier-Journal | Editorial, Sunday 24 April 2005

At the rate things are going in American politics, next week will bring ads by the Noah's Ark Veterans for Truth claiming that the two Democrats on board were actually stowaways, whom God had intended for drowning but who snuck on cross-dressed as gayals.

That wouldn't be much more bizarre than what's planned for today: Bill Frist, the majority leader of the United States Senate, is going to Sunday meeting to preach that some deeply flawed and highly ideological judicial nominees are actually bloodied victims of religious persecution.

"Justice Sunday: Stop the filibuster against people of faith," the revival's being called.

It should be called, "Injustice Sunday: Demean the holy and foment schism for partisan gain."

Whatever you think of these nominees and the Democrats' filibuster of them, it is not the religious faith they possess, but the judicial qualities they lack -- restraint, balance, experience, respect for law -- that have brought the nation to this sorry point.

Otherwise, they would have fared just as well as the more than 200 other conservative nominees that President Bush has successfully appointed to the bench.

As you hear the Christian soldiers' trumpets of holy war and hymns of righteous rage today, keep in mind exactly who some of these nominees are.

There's Priscilla Owen, the token white woman and Texas judge whose eagerness to substitute her own values for the rule of law was too much for even Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who rebuked her for it when both served on the same court.

There's Janice Rogers Brown, the token black woman and California judge who believes that our vibrant nation of free-market capitalism -- this economy of Wal-Marts, Pfizers and Enrons and of Googles, Yahoos and Apples; this home of a pitiful $5.15 minimum wage and of a staggering 44 million people without health insurance; this land of soaring CEO pay and declining real wages for workers -- has actually been crushed by the boot of collectivism ever since what she calls the 1937 "triumph of our own socialist revolution."

There's Brett Kavanaugh, who has never tried a case, but rose from Ken Starr's impeachment crusade to become a White House operative.

There's William G. Meyers III, who also lacks trial experience but who has put in plenty of time rabidly fighting against environmental laws and in favor of mining interests.

And there's William Haynes II, whose meager courtroom work is offset by his considerable contribution, as the Defense Department's counsel, to the shameful abandonment of America's deepest legal principles regarding the treatment and rights of prisoners of war and detainees.

It's no wonder their advocates are so intent on diverting attention from their legal limitations, ideological excesses and partisan activism with claims of anti-Christian discrimination.

But religious martyrs, they're not -- nor jurists worthy of the damage their nominations are doing to both politics and religion.

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