Right-Wing Judicial Activism?
By Scott Editor | Scott's Archive
April 07, 2005

The elaborated Terri Schiavo media spectacle remains in full swing despite the fact Mrs. Schiavo is nothing more than a pile of ashes. On a more positive note I think we can all finally agree that Terri is indeed brain-dead, something liberals have been calling her for the last decade when she was most certainly alive, but an inconvenient vegetable nobody wanted anything to do with except her immediate family.

Liberals have taken advantage of the noble attempts by conservatives to save Terri's life and are using them to prove that it is in fact the Republican Party that resorts to judicial activism - as if all of a sudden liberals didn't like the idea of courts overruling public opinion, and could finally shift that image to the other party.

Cynthia Tucker, a liberal columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, clarifies the meaning of "Judicial Activism" for us:

Ultraconservatives want you to believe the term "activist judge" applies to a group of determined liberals whose rulings have overturned historic precedent, undermined morality and defied common sense. But the controversy that erupted around Schiavo, who died on Thursday, ought to remind us once and for all what "activist judge" really means: a jurist whose rulings dissatisfy a right-wing political constituency.
Actually the former definition is correct. Only a liberal court could find something called a "penumbra" in the U.S. Constitution. Had it not been found, liberals wouldn't have been able to create the right to abortion; a nonexistent right that stems from the nonexistent right to privacy. It didn't matter no such rights existed because the Supreme Court wanted them, and with a wave of the pen the problem was solved.

It was the worst case of judicial activism this country has ever seen. In the ugly Terri Schiavo case, conservatives did not want Judge George Greer to rule against law or become an activist. They wanted him to accept evidence of abuse on the part of Terri's husband. Whether or not Michael was a negligent provider is something we'll never know, but perhaps the allegations against him could have been investigated.

Conservatives refused to accept Greer's blasé finding on the issue of whether or not Terri would have wanted to be kept alive on a feeding tube. It was good enough for Greer that Michael said she wouldn't want to live in that condition, even though no official will was penned and Michael didn't come forth with his wife's "wishes" until many years after Terri was injured, and one year after he won a million-dollar malpractice settlement that would have been used to treat his wife. It was good enough for Greer that Terri supposedly stated her wishes casually after watching a TV show; not after speaking to an attorney and being informed of the end-of-life process.

Naturally conservatives were upset with Greer's ruling against Terri's family. The so-called "ultraconservatives" were pissed at how the case was handled and believed it warranted federal judicial review. That's not judicial activism; that's due process.

So what explains the lather liberals worked themselves into over Congress's emergency bill that sent the matter into the federal judiciary? It's required for child rapists, murderers and other death row inmates. Heaven forbid an innocent woman get the same attention.

When comparing right-to-life cases a sickening double-standard unfolds. For Terri the process was "government intrusion," for serial killers the process is a constitutional right aimed at finding any possible way to get one off the hook.

Then there’s the issue of marriage. It wasn't enough for liberals to call conservatives hypocrites for suddenly embracing judicial activism, it was also imperative to nail them for butting into a "private" matter between a husband and his wife. Aren't conservatives supposed to believe in the sanctity of marriage?

Sure they are, but it takes a liberal to believe that adulterers could be part of a sanctified marriage. If there's one bright side to Mrs. Schiavo's condition, it was that it allowed her to die without ever having to learn that her husband fathered two children with another woman.

At least Mrs. Clinton was able to make a sound decision for herself when she forgave her horny husband-of-a-president for fooling around with however many woman he actually put his hands on. I don't think it was asking for too much when Terri's parents begged Michael to get a legal divorce and walk away.

In that scenario everybody would have won, but because Michael Schiavo defied the mother of a daughter who was dying of dehydration -- and after Terri's death when he refused his wife a proper Catholic burial -- everybody lost.

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