Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Death, Be Not Proud (or Sorry, Terri. It's Not Only Not Over, It's Growing)

Yeah, I know, she's dead now. That's very significant, and important. Other things are significant and important, too...

For example, Sen. John Cornyn, (R) Texas, offered this on the upsurge in actual violence against the judiciary, while on the floor of the Senate.

I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence.
Thanks, Senator. As a former District Court judge, a former member of the Supreme Court of Texas, and a former Texas Attorney General, maybe you would enlighten us on whether you feel that's a proper way to channel dissatisfaction with the workings of the American judiciary, or digress on whether that's what "courthouse violence" is really about in the first place? Does that conjecture of yours tell us what we need to know about your views on those basic questions? Thanks, I thought it did. No need for you to concern yourself with any sort of "value judgments", or anything like that; barely coded messages received, loud and clear.

I haven't found any mitigating statements to give a more favorable context to the Senator's musings, either at the time, or since (as of this post). I also don't think it's "obvious" (as his defenders will no doubt plead) that he actually believes something contrary to the "conjecture" he gave air to in the Senate.

In light of some of the appeals to violence and uses of force during the Schiavo absurdity, this falsely passive stumping validates and extends the life of the assertions that we are at a constitutional impasse, and that violence is either underpinned by some perceived and unaddressed grievances, or flat out necessary and justified (look at previous Schiavo posts below for details on that).

That threatens to be Terri Schiavo's legacy. Those ideas were not given legitimacy by so many members of our elected government until her world became ours.


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