The judiciary is under continuous attack in this country. The tort reform lobby feels that tearing down the judiciary, one of the foundations of our democracy, will advance it’s interests. They attack “reactionary judges” for decisions they don’t like, saying they are legislating from the bench.
Justice Sandra O’Conner was recently interviewed by Fox and does a wonderful job of articulating what is wrong with these attacks on our government. The threat of intimidation, sanctions or even jail time has a chilling effect on the judicial branch. This branch of government has protected our democracy for years by operating independent of the pressures legislators face. More people need to take up the cause of protecting our judiciary, it is a worthy cause.
“Indeed, when we got a Bill of Rights giving every citizen the right to due process of law, to freedom of speech, and freedom of religion and so on, the only way that can be enforced is to give courts the power to overturn actions by the legislative or executive branch that impinge on those freedoms. And that’s how it has to be enforced. So if you start imposing sanctions and punishment on judges for particular decisions within their jurisdiction, we have a problem.” Justice Sandra Day O’Conner